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Old 12-26-2006, 11:30 PM   #301
Erick Mead
 
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Aikido is physical, or people wouldn't have to dress up and go to the dojo and get a partner to work out with.
"The body is the door to the gardens of the soul." Some Persian, I forget who.

You can hang out by the door if you want and discover the intricacies of doorish principles. I love, doors, really. But, it's rather simple, tangent push, pivot and hinge, repeat as needed. The far larger and more subtle art that door encloses is the point.

The real fruits of training are only likely to be so close to the door by mere happenstance, however. I have a big basket and I'm going a good bit further in to see what all is ripe for harvesting today.

Which part was it, exactly, that waxed all "happy-bunny" cosmological for you ? The part about depositions, court orders, deppity sheriffs with guns and papers, people losing control and hurting others over money troubles or property. Or was it just the sappy feel-good part about lawyers who have human emotions only the better to use them against other people ?

I must admit the last one got me all misty-eyed.
Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
But the main point ... the comment regarding "the even narrower view of internal work". ... get this straight. The basic skills ...so blithely calling ...extremely broad. ... secret lore ... etc., etc., arts. ...huge ... ancient .. Aikido ... a narrow vestige ... These skills, ... are B.C... but which came first ... the Yin-Yang cosmology ... or these skills.
Hallooo!
Hallooo!

Who are you talking to way over there, and why do you keep walking away?

"Even narrower" as in focussed more narrowly on the body (and one's one body) disregarding, as Dan has said "the other guy." Disregarding the commonalities of the two souls about to meet in the most intimate physical and spiritual embrace outside of a marriage bed. If you think that violence is not intimate, in every sense, then you really do have much to learn.

I truly consider that view more narrow than Aikido's "sincere regard" for the other guy. Love, even. Tenderly and brutally delivered. Often with a stout length of oak.

As for "semantic glorious sunsets," I prefer the term "Tequila sunrise." Or better yet how about just straight up? Lime's fer sissies or old women.

Maybe it was the shock of an admission that we actually manipulate people, sometimes in distinctly unkind ways. Lawyers and martial artists. All in a good cause, of course, but budo is like that -- an ugliness turned to better end.

Gardens grow bitter herbs also.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 12-27-2006, 12:10 AM   #302
Erick Mead
 
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
<sniffs Erick's Ego>
No, really, you have no idea. Rank. Truly.

I could give a rats behind what your opinon of me is. I would give a great deal to see to it that what I know Aikido can deliver in conflict in practical human terms is not buried under sophistry masquerading as "martial effectiveness" dressed up in bamboo skirts. How many people did you talk out doing harm to themselves or others last year over long-running, intractable conflicts, without ever facially addressing the point so as to shame or break an already burdened soul, or destroying the other side in conflict, which would have only done precisely the same thing by different means. That is what Aikido can do in a real conflict. The kind where the guys with tinbadges and guns tend to show up afterward.

Really, speaking martially, get a gun -- or an aircraft carrier. And trust me -- I know sophistry when I catch a whiff -- and it smells no better.
Quote:
Robert John wrote:
We could go on and on about the mental aspects of Aun, induced by the physical training.The concept of Imashime.
"Bondage?" Ick.
Quote:
Robert John wrote:
If anything, digging deeper into Internal Work only opens more questions, both physical and mental.
See, questions are inherently more dangerous than answers. Having a solution that is diverging instead of converging is a sign of a problem. If the generic question is "What then must we do?," I know two right answers to that question, and Aikido fills the bill in practically applying both of them.
Quote:
Robert John wrote:
But the reality is, until you have the physical skills, you can't really discuss it.
No, we just do physical skills in a manner consistent with the strategic goals and methodology of Aikido. Which you have, by no means, persuaded me are remotely close to what you are doing.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 12-27-2006, 12:41 AM   #303
Tim Fong
 
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

I have a week or so before I have to start studying for the Bar, so what the heck, why not waste some of it here =)

Mike raises a good point about the closeness of "physical practice" to religious and physical practice.

Erick, you have mentioned before that your course of undergraduate study involved Chinese philosophy and religion. However, reading the texts is only half of it. When people use(d) those texts in the actual _practice of religion_ there were physical/movement based practices that went with them, whether in Chan/Zen, Daoism, or even Neo-Confucianism. I spoke recently to a good friend of mine who is a Chinese-trained Classicist who is also fluent in a number of other Asian languages. He mentioned that there simply isn't much good material in English regarding the practices that accompanied the texts, because for the most part the scholars translating them had little interest in that aspect. Unfortunately reading the texts without the practices is essentially incomplete. Rob makes a good point too that one can hear the words, but can't understand without going through the actual practice.

Now when I made the above point to another friend of mine ( like Erick, he is also a hermeneuticist) he flipped out and said that it sounded like True Believer religion, and not like science.

Is it religion? Or is it science? Do we need to jam it into a little box to make sense of it? Or are current categories simply inadequate to describe what is happening? Do we try to force reality to line up with what we already "know", or do we try to force what we know to line up with reality?

Well chew on this:

Quote:
The primary experimental method to study the "presence" is to place the person in a simulated "cave", an acoustic chamber, where they are blindfolded and sit in the dark for about 30 min. The person wears a helmet or a collection of solenoids arranged around the head (like a crown) through which complex magnetic fields are generated. By applying specific patterns of weak magnetic fields that imitate the brains own activities, about 80% of the normal population report the experience of "another". Only specific patterns produce the experience; a reversed presentation of the pattern does not. People exposed to sham-field conditions rarely report the experience.

What we have found

We have found that: 1) the verbal label (usually supplied by the culture) the person places upon the experience strongly affects how it is recalled even within a few seconds after the end of the experiment, 2) experiences along the left side are usually aversive while those associated with the right side are more positive and may have "thoughts" associated with them, 3) increased geomagnetic activity in association with right hemispheric stimulation encourages the incidence of a sensed presence, 4) when a person attempts to "focus" upon the sensed presence it appears to become dynamic (to "move") since the act of focusing alters brain activity and hence how the applied complex fields interact with the brain, 5) an inordinate number of people who experience a sensed presence attribute them to gods or deceased individuals, 6) about 7% of the population, particularly males with enhanced temporal lobe lability and who attend a religious place frequently), report that if god told them to kill they would in his name, and 7) certain patterns of applied magnetic fields produce subjective experiences that are sometimes considered "parapsychological" or "paranormal". By applying a specific sequence of magnetic fields through the brain of a person who had experienced a "haunt", we generated the experience as well as paroxysmal electrical activity that suggested a source deep within the right temporal lobe.
link
And also, an interview with the researcher and some of his associates:

Quote:
Dr. Persinger is a neuroscientist who has been conducting experiments with a helmet that pulses tiny bursts of electrical activity into the brain. Persinger says the pulses can simulate mystical or spiritual experiences.

And at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Andrew Newberg can show, through a brain scan, the parts of the brain that are activated during meditation, and also during prayer.
Link
Mystical and spiritual experiences...now who in Aikido would have anything to do with those?

Last edited by Tim Fong : 12-27-2006 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 12-27-2006, 01:48 AM   #304
Upyu
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
<snip>
"Bondage?" Ick.
<snip>
Majide imi wakaran, bakajanee? Oubei kayo teme! ww

Lol. I hope you meant that in jest
Imashime deals with "restraint", or "holding back."

Not whips and chains man (though if that floats your boat, to each his own )

But its also a physical skill, not simply an "idea." A physical skill/approach needed to execute more complex versions of the skills we're talking about.
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Old 12-27-2006, 03:51 AM   #305
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Eric Meade wrote:

Quote:
The worst conflicts don't involve weapons, not even empty handed ones. Truly, it would be immensely more satisfying if they could be that simple. The worst weapons are not even physical. The hearts of men cut deeper than the finest sword. Where do internal skills aid in the practice of Aikido in that setting?
It is all a matter of perspective. If you are the guy staring point blank at the end of an executors gun, I think that is probably the worst you will ever face. It is all realitve to the situaiton.
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Old 12-27-2006, 06:25 AM   #306
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Bears are hungry. Bears seek out food. Bears learn to find food. Bears eat food when they find it. Bears will continually go back to the same place as long as food continues to appear. That is what bears do.

Continually leaving food out in the open and then blaming the bear for eating it is pointless, silly and non-productive. Not feeding the bears seems to be the better approach.

MJ
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Old 12-27-2006, 06:46 AM   #307
Cady Goldfield
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Robert Rumpf wrote:
To borrow a response from Ellis:

"I don't have anything to add. I just wanted to quote it to read it again. Left me smiling. Never been more succinctly and elegantly."

Unfortunately, I am not currently interested in MMA. I am interested in Aikido.
-snip-
Rob
But Rob, that's what is being said here -- that while someone like Dan may use his internal skills to fuel his fighting method, aikidoka could use the same thing so that they don't have to fight at all.

I think that because the concept of what's going on internally is difficult or impossible to envision if one has not felt them. Being "unthrowable," "unpinnable," "unhittable" and "unlockable" means that one can take an attack and choose either to return it in kind, or to "deflect" it without harming the attacker. How does that not serve aikido?

Furthermore, what is also being stated here is that Ueshiba had these skills and maintained that they are what constitute true budo. We can be merciful and compassionate, but really only from a position of strength, not weakness. When you can Stop the Spear and then choose not to impale your attacker upon it, that is true budo.

If you are saying that aikido should never be anythiing more than a cooperative pas de deux, practiced as a square dance and only in the dojo, then that's one thing. But if you see aikido as a discipline that you can take out into the world with you, and possibly use it to defend your life from physical assault, then you may be off base.

Those here who have the historical and technical knowledge (and who may practice MMA) are saying that these internal skills are the birthright of aikido, and that it time for aikido to take them back and truly live Ueshiba's vision. What does that have to do with MMA?

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 12-27-2006 at 06:48 AM.
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:34 AM   #308
Robert Rumpf
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
But Rob, that's what is being said here -- that while someone like Dan may use his internal skills to fuel his fighting method, aikidoka could use the same thing so that they don't have to fight at all.

I think that because the concept of what's going on internally is difficult or impossible to envision if one has not felt them. Being "unthrowable," "unpinnable," "unhittable" and "unlockable" means that one can take an attack and choose either to return it in kind, or to "deflect" it without harming the attacker. How does that not serve aikido?
I agree with all of this. This is why I think highly of what the Ki Society has to offer (in the ideal world), as I mentioned in my above post (and have said numerous times before). You are the one who has told me that this stuff is not practiced in modern Aikido at all and that "Dan has done things never recorded before by Aikidoka" (or something like that). I respectfully disagree, but that's ok.. For what its worth, the Ki Society also has the advantage of not being located solely in Massachusetts, Durango, or whatever sundry places the non-Aikido people here are at.

I also think that there are more options than those you listed above in terms of responses, which I have learned about (and continue to learn about) from my Aikido classes and life but I expect that this training would help with the implementation and awareness of those, too. So would weight training. So would judo. So would karate. So would kendo. Granted, I think the internal skills are more... special... This is again why I have interest in this stuff: from the Aikido perspective.

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
Furthermore, what is also being stated here is that Ueshiba had these skills and maintained that they are what constitute true budo.
You lose me at the bold.

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
We can be merciful and compassionate, but really only from a position of strength, not weakness. When you can Stop the Spear and then choose not to impale your attacker upon it, that is true budo.
This is a complex set of statements. I think there is more to it than that. Certainly, you can find strength in apparent weakness, and weakness in apparent strength.

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
If you are saying that aikido should never be anythiing more than a cooperative pas de deux, practiced as a square dance and only in the dojo, then that's one thing.
Never said that. Never advocated it either. Since I've tried to explain my feelings about this before, and I clearly can't communicate them, I'll just say that I agree that such a thing would be bad.

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
But if you see aikido as a discipline that you can take out into the world with you, and possibly use it to defend your life from physical assault, then you may be off base.
This is most likely true, or at least I am not efficiently spending my time if that is my goal (regarding the defense part).

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
Those here who have the historical and technical knowledge (and who may practice MMA) are saying that these internal skills are the birthright of aikido, and that it time for aikido to take them back and truly live Ueshiba's vision.
I don't think they are just the birthright of Aikido. Hence why they can be learned and used in MMA. Presumably all martial arts have (or more likely had) these things at some level, and most likely the other "do" have these in common.

I'm all in favor of internal skill development. I just don't think they are the only skills worth having, and I'm not even sure that they are the most important skills. In addition, I think the appropriate place for an Aikidoka to learn these skills if they are interested is the Ki Society, or by training themselves in the context of the techniques with fellow students. What does that have to do with MMA?

One other thing: I wouldn't hold my idea of appropriateness against another. If they choose to work in the MMA arena - that's fine with me. However, when I go onto the Aikido mat, I want to practice Aikido.

Rob

Last edited by Robert Rumpf : 12-27-2006 at 07:37 AM. Reason: Elaboration
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Old 12-27-2006, 08:12 AM   #309
Mike Sigman
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Robert Rumpf wrote:
I'm all in favor of internal skill development. I just don't think they are the only skills worth having, and I'm not even sure that they are the most important skills.
So, are you suggesting (looking at your whole post) that Ki skills are some complementary skill that is possibly useful in Aikido, but not really necessary in order to do Aikido?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 12-27-2006, 08:53 AM   #310
Mike Sigman
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Robert Rumpf wrote:
You are the one who has told me that this stuff is not practiced in modern Aikido at all and that "Dan has done things never recorded before by Aikidoka" (or something like that). I respectfully disagree, but that's ok.. For what its worth, the Ki Society also has the advantage of not being located solely in Massachusetts, Durango, or whatever sundry places the non-Aikido people here are at.
If you're arguing with Cady (and I certainly don't agree that Dan is bringing anything new to Aikido, so you need to argue that with her... I'm just saying that a lot of the current teachers don't know this stuff), then you don't need to drag poor ole Durango into the retort, Rob.

I also agree that the Ki Society has *some* of this stuff and that other people have it to varying degrees. My point has been that the people that really know it don't show it. The people that don't know it either pretend they already do know it or that it's not really important. Those people in the latter category are far more harmful to Aikido and students than someone like Dan is.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 12-27-2006, 09:19 AM   #311
Lee Salzman
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Is it my imagination or was this not the actual topic of discussion?

Quote:
Mark Jakabcsin wrote:
The question for the forum at large is how do you or your system teach/train an individual to become relaxed? Is there a specific method or is it simply a hope that over time the student will relax? What drills or exercises are explicitly used for the purpose of teaching relaxation and it's powers?
I don't see where this was supposed to turn into yet another thread (I lost count somewhere) about whether this is useful to aikido at all and who knows it and who doesn't and... Seemed to me like the thread was supposed to be about, for those who actually want to positively discuss it, the methodologies for training these qualities into the body?
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Old 12-27-2006, 09:26 AM   #312
Robert Rumpf
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote:
Is it my imagination or was this not the actual topic of discussion?

I don't see where this was supposed to turn into yet another thread (I lost count somewhere) about whether this is useful to aikido at all and who knows it and who doesn't and... Seemed to me like the thread was supposed to be about, for those who actually want to positively discuss it, the methodologies for training these qualities into the body?
Sorry to contribute to thread-drift.
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Old 12-27-2006, 09:46 AM   #313
Mike Sigman
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote:
Seemed to me like the thread was supposed to be about, for those who actually want to positively discuss it, the methodologies for training these qualities into the body?
Heh. Is that the criterion for discussion? No negatives critiques? Interesting.

You know, just having something out for discussion means that people will play around, wander off topic, hopefully come back, and so on. Thoughts and information come out, depending on the real interest and character of the contributors.

Even though not everything posted on the thread has been helpful, I personally have been able to glean some interesting perspectives, have had to think more about how I would reply to something (thereby forcing me to formulate my thoughts -- always helpful), and so on.

As an example, I'll share a thought that I had last night and came back to this morning...because the thread, even with its off-topic components, is still alive and motivating me to think:

The Ki Society approaches the use of kokyu forces through relaxation. This means that they are using a "traditional" ki and kokyu combination that is often simply referred to as "Ki". Regardless of what they call it, they're still doing exactly what I've positted a number of times... they're using the ki structure (mind/fascia) and the willing/manipulation of force vectors.

Core to the Ki-Society approach is the idea of relax and move and there is a lot of power if you do it this way. What they neglect to mention is that over and over, the "right way" is used as a correction in their classes, so the idea that "teaching people to simply relax" is being used is not really accurate at all.

The real problem comes with the idea of using the hara/"one-point". The idea of using the middle can actually be looked at in 2 ways: one way ties the hands to the hara via a connection and the other way involves mentally manipulation forces more or less from the middle (this is not strictly true, but it's a side-issue to the discussion). Full-blown powers involve both methods.

So what we have is that most of the Aikido we run into is mostly technique, although sometimes with a dab or two in a few places of using the body middle to effect a technique.

The Ki Society uses "ki", but in the limited sense of mainly using force manipulation and a coordination of the body "ki". Very real mind-body coordination.

There's a further step that, in my opinion, O-Sensei used by combining an active hara with the coordinated body (you can see him blatantly do this in some of his jo and bokken work). The problem with this last step is that it is a step that can contain a wide degree of abilities in the 2 major categories I mentioned.

OK, so my point is that to get into the full combination of powers, you need to train the body movement far more that just relaxation. Yes, relaxation is crucial in order to bring out some of these 'new' (they're somewhat innate, but that's also another discussion) coordinations. If you build up your Ki, but in a method that still uses "normal movement" as its basis, you're going to wind up in a limited cul de sac of Ki usage. That needs to be considered in relation to the Ki Society training, *in my opinion*.

See what a meandering thread can do in terms of still forcing you to think?

Best.

Mike
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Old 12-27-2006, 10:32 AM   #314
Lee Salzman
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

I don't mean to say thread drift or negative critique is bad. Just that from my view in the peanut gallery, I see the same argument, same opinions, same players. People have agreed to disagree already. But so much useful potential dialogue is being blocked by questions that can be entirely suspended for the discussion - we've got 12 pages devoted to shooting down the validity of the topic, as opposed to the topic. Aikido itself really seems tangential to the topic, if that's what people are so hung up on. Just for selfish reasons, it would be cool to see more discussion of "how" rather than tiresome, endless discussion of "why".
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Old 12-27-2006, 11:04 AM   #315
Erick Mead
 
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Tim Fong wrote:
I have a week or so before I have to start studying for the Bar, so what the heck, why not waste some of it here =)
... and may God have mercy on your soul!
Quote:
Tim Fong wrote:
Erick, you have mentioned before that your course of undergraduate study involved Chinese philosophy and religion. ... can't understand without going through the actual practice.
I practice. Aikido. You? The "skills" advocates seem to make a dissociated object out of one's own body, and dissociated even farther from the objectified opponent. Aikido is precisely the reverse, expanding the subjective so as to also subjectify the opponent in "a spirit of loving protection."

If you want a thread of Chinese thought for this, look to Wang.
Quote:
Wang Yang-ming; Da Xue "The Great Learning" wrote:
Later generations did not know that the point of departure in becoming a sage is in being completely dominated by heaven-given principles, but devoted themselves to seeking to become sages by means of knowledge and power; for they thought that sages are all-knowing and all-powerful. Each said to himself: "I must comprehend the exceedingly great knowledge and power of the sages, before I can rest." For this reason they did not devote themselves energetically to moral principles, but vainly dulled their mental energies and exhausted their strength that they might worm it out of books, or search it out of nature, or surmise it from various signs left by the sages. With greater increase in knowledge there came greater increase in passion; and the greater the power they attained, the more they obscured moral principles.
The point here is not that books, or nature, or signs are things to be avoided or which have no use or meaning. It is the purposes to which they are turned in the "investigation of things" that is the danger. The will to power and the satisfaction of passion are the dangers.

The so-called "internal work," "skills" seem -- from their advocates positions so far -- not to expand the scope of the internal to include the opponent, but to actually reduce it. I am a big fan of the utility of reductionist knowledge but I know enough not to stop there, or to deny the uses of holistic knwoledge, either. Aikido is an expansion of inward, subjective knowledge to include the former object of conflict. This only happens by relaxing the boundaries between self and other, movement and stillness -- and not by hardening the internal into some uncrackable, immoveable nugget.
Quote:
Tim Fong wrote:
Now when I made the above point to another friend of mine (like Erick, he is also a hermeneuticist) he flipped out and said that it sounded like True Believer religion, and not like science.
"Hermeneutics": you said that like it was a dirty word. The hermeneutic circle is a powerful observation about seeking Truth. The parts cannot be understood without some vision of the whole, and the whole cannot be understood except through experience of the parts, etc. Theory is meaningless in the absence of concrete facts -- which are themselves meaningless in the absence of organizing theory

Or in Neo-Confucian terms -- in the investigation of things, knowledge and action are one. " ... the high and the low, altitude and depth, together constitute the great round, unmoved stillness, from what other point can knowledge of the doctrine be gained?"
The cycle of refinement from being to knowing and back to being, etc. is endless, and always centered, if you let it be. Descartes was not wrong, but only half-right. They cannot be separated.

Relaxing that mental boundary is therefore more natural to both knowledge and action -- which Aikido teaches -- than maintaining the distinction so as to be unswayed or unmoved by "external" forces -- which is where these "skills" advocates' arguments tend. By making the opponent's will ineffective you externalize, reduce and reject it. This is inherently unrelaxed because there is an opposition of wills, and therefore an opposition in physical terms. They even speak of "contradictory tension" as a physical principle -- as if that inherently unrelaxed state could possibly be reconciled to principles of Aikido and relaxation in the training of this art. A body at war with itself is hardly poised to not be at war with another body.

By accepting the opponent's will and its consquences in joining your will to it, you subjectify and expand it, eliminating the tension of wills altogether. As technique is refined in giving expression to that mutual will, you eliminate the remaining mental and physical vestiges of opposition. In other words, you can progressively relax, because there far less work or thought for you to have to do in the conflict.

He volunteered his decision and his energy to do the heavy lifting for us. I just follow along. He tries to impose his will, but fails to understand the full ramification of what he has willed. As a result, his knowledge and action are not initially unified. I help him understand that, and help to unify them for him ...

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 12-27-2006, 11:07 AM   #316
Erick Mead
 
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

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Robert John wrote:
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Erick Mead wrote:
<snip>
"Bondage?" Ick.
<snip>
Lol. I hope you meant that in jest
Too good to pass up.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 12-27-2006, 11:13 AM   #317
Mike Sigman
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

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Erick Mead wrote:
I practice. Aikido. You?
Pecking order stuff. Tohei was reported to watch someone's Aikido and say something to the effect, "Where's his Ki?". I.e., without Ki it's not really Aikido.

In the current discussions about the ki, how it works, how it's practiced, etc., it becomes obvious that not everyone uses it in their Aikido. Why else would Ushiro Sensei be invited by Ikeda and Saotome Senseis to teach aspects of this stuff (maybe they don't know what they're doing?)?

The question is.... is this stuff a necessary basic in order to claim that someone "does Aikido". If it is a necessary basic, then a lot of people claiming to do Aikido are not really doing Aikido and their understanding is skewed. An interesting philosophical debate, eh?

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Mike Sigman
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Old 12-27-2006, 11:20 AM   #318
Erick Mead
 
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

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Cady Goldfield wrote:
But Rob, that's what is being said here -- that while someone like Dan may use his internal skills to fuel his fighting method, aikidoka could use the same thing so that they don't have to fight at all.
But I don't want to stop the fight, I want him to join him in his fight, to support and continue the thing he has begun. He may, at that point, find that he wants to stop fighting, at which point -- so do I. Not the same thing at all, really.
Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
Furthermore, what is also being stated here is that Ueshiba had these skills and maintained that they are what constitute true budo.
A point that I continue to contest, with good authority, I might add, and which remains unproved from any authority yet offered. Even the videos offered so far do not show the things that the advocates claim that they show along these lines. He taught his art to his students, who taught it to us -- that art is Aikido, and Aikido truly is budo.
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Cady Goldfield wrote:
We can be merciful and compassionate, but really only from a position of strength, not weakness.
The timeless and universal seduction of power -- which tends to corrupt, as Wang Yang-ming and Lord Acton both warned.
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Cady Goldfield wrote:
Those here who have the historical and technical knowledge (and who may practice MMA) are saying that these internal skills are the birthright of aikido, and that it time for aikido to take them back and truly live Ueshiba's vision.
Assuming authority and proving things from it are two different things.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 12-27-2006, 11:24 AM   #319
Cady Goldfield
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

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Mike Sigman wrote:
If you're arguing with Cady (and I certainly don't agree that Dan is bringing anything new to Aikido, so you need to argue that with her... I'm just saying that a lot of the current teachers don't know this stuff),
Hm. I don't think that anyone is claiming to bring anything "new" to aikido. More that there is much that could be "returned" to aikido.
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Old 12-27-2006, 11:30 AM   #320
Erick Mead
 
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
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Erick Mead wrote:
I practice. Aikido. You?
Pecking order stuff. ... without Ki it's not really Aikido. ... a lot of people claiming to do Aikido are not really doing Aikido and their understanding is skewed. An interesting philosophical debate, eh?
It is beyond debate and evidenced here that a lot of understanding about Aikido is skewed. However, constructing a definitional fallacy does not constitute debate, philosophical or otherwise, or prove anything -- except that by defining terms as we like, we can reach any arbitrary conclusion we like.

Asserting that Budo="the skills" and Ki ="the skills" and that therefore Aikido = "the skills" are unwarranted narrowings of all the concepts involved -- which I happen to know because I practice them.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 12-27-2006, 11:37 AM   #321
Cady Goldfield
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

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Erick Mead wrote:
A point that I continue to contest, with good authority, I might add, and which remains unproved from any authority yet offered. .
Whoa. You had a seance and summoned the ghosts of M. Ueshiba and S. Takeda?! Well, they were probably yanking your chain, Erick.

You know, just because you can't see something with your eyes, doesn't mean that it's not there.That has already been discussed on this forum. Reminds me of one of the best exchanges in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series (This from the Devil's Foot Root):

Sterndale: How do you know?
Holmes: I followed you.
Sterndale: I saw nobody!
Holmes: That is what you may expect to see if I follow you.

Get out in the world and experience things hands-on, then come back and say it's just a figment of many ancient and modern MAs' imaginations. So much easier to debate it from your comfy chair, though, with zero experience! I get the sense it's just a topic of idle debate for you, or you would climb outta your box and truly seek the answers...
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Old 12-27-2006, 11:55 AM   #322
Erick Mead
 
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

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Lee Salzman wrote:
Seemed to me like the thread was supposed to be about, for those who actually want to positively discuss it, the methodologies for training these qualities into the body?
That answer is quite simple, although getting some people to accept and actively follow this advice of the Founder is trying, at times. Of course, many of them do not, or no longer, practice aikido.
Quote:
O Sensei wrote:
In these teachings listen most
To the rhythm of the strike and thrust
To train in the basics (omote)
Is to practice the very secrets of the art.

Progress comes to
those who train in the
inner and outer factors.
Do not chase after "secret techniques,"
for everything is right before your eyes!

Aiki!
The root of the power of love
A love that must grow ever broader.
Practice the basics with all of your attention when you are training, and you will see what is there. Do it mindlessly, impatiently, or in the expectation of something other than what it will show you -- and you will miss it. Unifying the inner (self) and the outer (enemy) occurs progressively in that practice. Tension in conflict is created by the mind -- it is artificial. Relaxation of the boundaries between you and your enemy is actually more natural, more effortless, and more effective.

As you work through this in practice your mind starts to actually believe it. You learn a practical lesson in what Aikido and the higher levels of all budo share with another stream of divine wisdom:

"Be not afraid! Neither let your hearts be troubled."

Conquering (Masagatsu Agatsu) is not to conquer the object of fear, but its subject. And then you are truly free to be easy and relaxed in all circumstances.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 12-27-2006, 11:57 AM   #323
Ellis Amdur
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Apropos some of these discussions, when I first started training Araki-ryu (and was still doing aikido on a daily basis), my instructor asked me, "My understanding of aikido is that it is supposed to resolve conflict. So, if you are in a bar and someone - say an obnoxious drunk grabs you and won't let go - like this <he grabbed my arm hard> - what would you do?" I immediatedly responded with a nikkyo (and I was and am pretty good at this technique - I was practicing on an almost daily basis with the then uchi-deshi at the Aikikai, circa 1977, as they liked to slam around the big guy). My instructor countered the technique, as I recall, with some simple shifts of posture and redirection of force. "What would you do now?" he asked. I replied, "I'd use atemi," and gestured slugging him in the face. He started laughing. "So that's the art of reconciliation I've been hearing about? You'd just hit a poor drunk who's too intoxicated to know what he's doing? You just slug him in the face when your lousy wrist-lock doesn't work!!!!? How about if you do the technique like this?" CRUNCH. A very definitely non-aikido wrist/arm lock brought me to the ground. "Seems to me that when your techniques are weak, you end up more violent, not less so I guess Araki-ryu is the art of peace isn't it?"
Reminds me of the story of John L. Sullivan shoulder checked on a train by a young thug. Upon Sullivan saying "excuse me" as the kid passed, his friend remonstrated, "You don't have to be so damn polite! You're the heavy weight champion of the world." Sullivan said, "I'm the heavy weight champion of the world. I can afford to be polite."
If any translation is needed, why would anyone object to any training method that would make your aikido more powerful?

Best

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Old 12-27-2006, 12:01 PM   #324
Mike Sigman
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
It is beyond debate and evidenced here that a lot of understanding about Aikido is skewed. However, constructing a definitional fallacy does not constitute debate, philosophical or otherwise, or prove anything -- except that by defining terms as we like, we can reach any arbitrary conclusion we like.

Asserting that Budo="the skills" and Ki ="the skills" and that therefore Aikido = "the skills" are unwarranted narrowings of all the concepts involved -- which I happen to know because I practice them.
Well, based on all your previous conversations, in addition to some comments from people that know you, you're giving off the impression that you really don't know exactly what we're talking about. No problem... I'm sure that will be ascertained and publicized before this is all over. Maybe Ikeda Sensei should have invited you to give the kokyu instruction at Summer Camp. I'll suggest it to him.

The point I was making is sort along the lines that when the discussion is this complex and slippery one of ki/kokyu and who does it to what degree and what degree is needed in Aikido, and so on, it's difficult going.

If, as some people are suggesting, Aikido is already chock full of good Ki skills, then I'd suggest they go back and look at the archives from a year or two ago. Both AikiWeb and Aikido Journal. Look at the current books on "how to do ki" and "advanced Aikido techniques".... which don't have any explanations of how to really do these complex body mechanics.

If, on the other hand, there is not much knowledge of these skills and how to obtain them in Aikido, these open-forum discussions, getting instruction with an eye to Aikido applications, and so forth, are a lot more preferable, in my estimation, then going and taking a course in Goju Karate, Wing Chun, Systema, etc. Every substantive contribution to the conversation should be a welcome one. Every "already there in the pecking order so leave me alone with this Ki stuff" instructor should be looked at askance. IMO.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 12-27-2006, 12:14 PM   #325
Cady Goldfield
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

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Robert Rumpf wrote:
I agree with all of this. This is why I think highly of what the Ki Society has to offer (in the ideal world), as I mentioned in my above post (and have said numerous times before). You are the one who has told me that this stuff is not practiced in modern Aikido at all and that "Dan has done things never recorded before by Aikidoka" (or something like that). I respectfully disagree, but that's ok.. For what its worth, the Ki Society also has the advantage of not being located solely in Massachusetts, Durango, or whatever sundry places the non-Aikido people here are at.
True, I'd said some thangs... ... but meant mainstream aikido. Which does constitute most aikido. Again, it's not because these are magical secrets, but just that they have been sidelined or inadvertantly lost from the curriculum. It's been stated many times that those who may have "gotten it" from Ueshiba didn't pass it to their students either by choice, by inability to transmit, or by lack of ability by the students. Others went outside aikido to get it and bring it back, Shioda and Tohei, for instance, but there was a limit to the number of even their students who seem to have been able to fully receive the skills.

And to go back to one of Justin's comments about K. Ueshiba -- it might occur to some that just because one is the son of the Big Honcho of a discipline or art, doesn't mean that he will be comprehend (or even, dare I say, be given) the complete system. This has happened universally throughout the world of crafta and disciplines. It happened in crafter's guilds, martial arts, science, music and art, where the crafty ol' master didn't give even his kids the deepest tricks of his trade. Or, the kids just didn't "get it" because it was beyond their abilities. The passed on what they could to the best of their ability.

I expect the flames to flare momentarily...

Quote:
I also think that there are more options than those you listed above in terms of responses, which I have learned about (and continue to learn about) from my Aikido classes and life but I expect that this training would help with the implementation and awareness of those, too. So would weight training. So would judo. So would karate. So would kendo. Granted, I think the internal skills are more... special... This is again why I have interest in this stuff: from the Aikido perspective.
I wouldn't argue with this. No art, none, is complete in and of itself, and an intelligently woven set of skills from other disciplines can enrich and broaden what we have. That's what MMA are about, as long as they are not a "leftovers stew" mix lacking in sound knowledge of each discipline's fundamentals and principles. And, there must be a complementary theme or thread that connects each so they are not discrete hunks of information that cannot be integrated with one another, or which conflict with the movements and body needs of each discipline.

Cady Goldfield wrote:
Furthermore, what is also being stated here is that Ueshiba had these skills and maintained that they are what constitute true budo.


Quote:
You lose me at the bold.
I was referring to the repeated references to those internal skills as empowering Ueshiba's aikido to the point that he could truly "stop the spear" -- be at a point of absolute power over a potential assailant but to do no harm. Why do we train in potentially (and easily) lethal arts, but to ensure that we never have to kill anyone?

Cady Goldfield wrote:
We can be merciful and compassionate, but really only from a position of strength, not weakness. When you can Stop the Spear and then choose not to impale your attacker upon it, that is true budo.


Quote:
This is a complex set of statements. I think there is more to it than that. Certainly, you can find strength in apparent weakness, and weakness in apparent strength.
It's not a complicated concept, Rob. People who are very strong and wielding great power have the luxury of "being" weak -- of showing gentleness and compassion -- and making concessions by choice. People who are powerless do not make concessions by choice, they are forced to choose to submit or to die. If they do not wish to die, then neither option is a real choice. Obi Wan could "die" because he was ultimately powerful and knew he would gain "Unimaginable Power" by joining the force. Ewoks, on the other hand, were just so much dead meat crushed by the Evil Empire's robot stompers, though they were doughty little dudes.

Cady Goldfield wrote:
Those here who have the historical and technical knowledge (and who may practice MMA) are saying that these internal skills are the birthright of aikido, and that it time for aikido to take them back and truly live Ueshiba's vision.


Quote:
I don't think they are just the birthright of Aikido. Hence why they can be learned and used in MMA. Presumably all martial arts have (or more likely had) these things at some level, and most likely the other "do" have these in common.
"Birthright" might not have been my best choice of words. What I'm saying is that Ueshiba brought these skills into aikido and it made his aikido the powerhouse that it was. That it wasn't universally passed on is evident in the inability of his most senior students to replicate his feats. Ingrediants were missing, and remain absent from the vast majority of aikido curriculums. If they weren't we wouldn't be seeing this neverending debate on MA and aikido forums.

They certainly aren't, and never were, limited to Ueshiba's aikido. After all, he got them from Takeda, and Takeda himself didn't invent them; he received them from the koryu training he "inherited" or obtained. From what I've been reading, hearing from traditionial CMA people and observing over the past decade, internal skills were one of a number of elements of many old family martial systems in various Asian cultures.

Quote:
I'm all in favor of internal skill development. I just don't think they are the only skills worth having, and I'm not even sure that they are the most important skills. In addition, I think the appropriate place for an Aikidoka to learn these skills if they are interested is the Ki Society, or by training themselves in the context of the techniques with fellow students. What does that have to do with MMA?

One other thing: I wouldn't hold my idea of appropriateness against another. If they choose to work in the MMA arena - that's fine with me. However, when I go onto the Aikido mat, I want to practice Aikido.

Rob
Again, I never said that internal skills are "all" there is. They're just one important part of a well-balanced breakfast. For example, you can train in jujutsu or chin na and have yourself a powerful, satisfying set of skills. But add internal power to those powerful external techniques, and your locks, your throws, your pins become "turbocharged." Or you can use them in wrestling and your opponent won't be able to take you down ... he just keeps bouncing off you. Or add them to your sex life and, well...

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