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Old 12-22-2006, 11:12 AM   #201
DH
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Its a diffcult term to embrace.
Learning a more effiecient means to do a thing may prove to enable foks a shorter learning path. The real discussion may be "Path to what?
If we had an agreed ultimate goal in the first place- a faster more effiecient way to get there would be less argumentative.
We don't even agree where we are all trying to get too.

Travelling in different circles has shown me there are indeed some startlingly common means and methods to different expressions-of individual arts. Things I had thought were proprietary, were indeed elsewhere in other cultures arts and yet missing in others. And why it is revealed in a moment.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 12-22-2006 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 12-22-2006, 11:16 AM   #202
Ron Tisdale
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
We don't even agree where we are all trying to get too.
The truth of that statement is widely in evidence on this very site...

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 12-22-2006, 11:23 AM   #203
Lee Salzman
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Adam Bauder wrote:
Is this anything like the "iron bridge" (if that description makes sense)? Your description sounds similar to something I've been practicing lately.
Only real commonality seems to be lying on one's back, there's no physically active aspect to it, unlike the preceding zhan zhuang. It, as far as I can tell, is about inhibiting the desire to move, to block out ego sensations like itching, deadness, etc. and to just be okay with doing nothing and let go.
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Old 12-22-2006, 11:28 AM   #204
Tim Fong
 
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Dennis,
I don't see the dedicated ki development as a shortcut, so much as it is a method with a higher degree of certainty in delivering results. The 20 year "you figure it out...maybe" method is like wandering in the dark. Maybe you get there, and maybe you fall off a cliff.
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Old 12-22-2006, 11:31 AM   #205
Mike Sigman
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
(re "there's disagreement about where we're trying to get to")The truth of that statement is widely in evidence on this very site...
It's a common problem. When someone tells me they're confused by all the differences in teachings by all the teachers in a given art, I tell them to ignore all those teachers and go get a glimpse of the one or two real big dogs in their art. Do what those guys do; try to feel like those guys feel; find importance in the things those guys say are important.

One of the big failings in western Aikido, Karate, Taijiquan, etc., etc., was either the deliberate attitude that "there can't be anything out there that a brilliant guy like me doesn't already know" or the "here's my take on what I think those simple-minded Japanese guys were probably talking about.... it ain't that hard for a guy of my perspicacity to figure out.". These "I'm a Yudansha... I'm King of the World!" attitudes have come back to haunt a lot of arts right about now. I can think of a number of arts that are going through this slow realization right now that there was more to the ki and kokyu stuff than just primitive superstition, as so many thought.

I posted a Youtube clip of Kuroda Sensei doing sword technique and then some eye-opening ki/kokyu "tricks". O-Sensei, in his dotage, gave a ju-dan grade to a woman dancer. The whispered titillations were usually along the lines that in his senescence, O-Sensei was flirting... but in actuality the type of ki/kokyu skills that are supposed to be in Aikido are also part of high-level dancing movement.

This stuff, this basic movement stuff, was hidden in plain sight, as Ellis noted. There can be disagreement a-plenty still about technques , variations, etc., etc., but there should not be any disagreement about these skills as a basic goal, IMO.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 12-22-2006, 11:34 AM   #206
Robert Rumpf
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
....and making someone cut one thousand times in the wrong way just to prove there is another, better way, instead of just showing the guy the right way in the first place and the why of it-is yet one more example, a short snap shot, of what is so wrong in many teaching methods. And why some smart teachers offer ..shortcuts and tricks
Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Not my way of expressing it, but I agree. Instead of making someone tire out the upper body, why not just show them how to do it with the lower body and let them develop a correct connection using fresh muscle and mind?
To me, it is the difference between rote learning, a calculus class, a real analysis class, and trying to derive from scratch.. The material is the same, but the type of learning, the end-goal, and the application are different.

The depth of the study desired and the interests and abilities of the student and teacher dictate the approach. The level of abstraction and amount that you're willing to take for granted dictates the level of the training.

This is why I try to let my learning (in class) be directed by what is taught (and what isn't taught) rather than what I feel like learning. I have time outside of class to focus on other areas or not as I wish.

Rob

Last edited by Robert Rumpf : 12-22-2006 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 12-22-2006, 11:40 AM   #207
Dennis Hooker
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Well, My position (and I think many people agree with me in this) is that a person should learn to move correctly first, since these are unique skills, and then perfect the art. Tohei's approach is similar, BTW, as are a few other top instructors. In Chinese martial arts of the real (not trendy or touristy) variety require that someone spend a year or two just learning to move correctly before they start on a "form", etc.

FWIW

Mike

A big part in the rift at Hombu Dojo after O-Snesie's death came about as a result of the shift in the teaching paradine brought about by Tohei Sensei. What he thought ought to be brought out and emphasized through structured classes other people believed was and natural evaluation of proper training.

From your statement I assume you believe the others were right? I assume this because correct movement is what they thought would lead to a greater understanding of the concepts you spoke of. They also believed those things would happen naturally under puroper instruction.



Dennis

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Old 12-22-2006, 11:54 AM   #208
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote:
A big part in the rift at Hombu Dojo after O-Snesie's death came about as a result of the shift in the teaching paradine brought about by Tohei Sensei. What he thought ought to be brought out and emphasized through structured classes other people believed was and natural evaluation of proper training.

From your statement I assume you believe the others were right? I assume this because correct movement is what they thought would lead to a greater understanding of the concepts you spoke of. They also believed those things would happen naturally under puroper instruction.
Anyway you cut it, Tohei or other people, Aikido winds up in the present (but so do a number of other martial arts) looking frantically around for "what's missing". I.e., somebody was wrong about their approach and their teaching, or people wouldn't be trying to "fill the gaps" with Systema, MMA, Wing Chun, Karate, Tai Chi, etc., etc. The fact that somebody was wrong, but nobody is still willing to admit to anything more than a high-level and subtle understanding of true Aikido is sort of beside the point. The point is to move forward. Hi-HOoooooooooo!

Mike
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Old 12-22-2006, 12:04 PM   #209
Dennis Hooker
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Wrong? No Mike, not wrong just alternative rights! I don't believe Aikido lacks anything. Some of its teachers might be lacking but that is another story.


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Mike I believe you are a contrary by nature. Like the native American in Little Big Man you wash with dirt and dry with water.

Have a good weekend

Dennis Hooker
'I am a self made man, a product of unskilled labor"

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Old 12-22-2006, 12:29 PM   #210
Robert Rumpf
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Robert Rumpf wrote:
This is why I try to let my learning (in class) be directed by what is taught (and what isn't taught) rather than what I feel like learning. I have time outside of class to focus on other areas or not as I wish.
The hard part of this, I think, is realizing what someone does and doesn't know, can and can't teach (to you), and being able to deal with the consequences and look for alternatives (and/or postpone or move up your timetable for learning it).

That is where instructors often fail in terms of communicating what they can offer to an individual in a realistic way.. but I don't think that is limited to Aikido. There is often also an unrealistically positive assumption made by both student and teacher on how much the student is willing to apply himself to the training and learn.

There is some great idea I read recently that goes something like "a good actor will take any part, while a bad actor finds no end of shortcomings."

I'm trying to learn to be the good actor, but its hard.

Rob

Last edited by Robert Rumpf : 12-22-2006 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 12-22-2006, 12:41 PM   #211
DH
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

"I don't believe Aikido lacks anything."
Spoken like a true believer.
That's a hell of a boast.
I'd bet that can be disproved rather easily... in minutes in fact.

Who..........Will say they do exactly what Ueshiba was doing?
Where.......The modern equivalant 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. And many got lost on side paths that lead no where. And all think they're heading up the same mountain. Even, that all paths lead to the same place.


Dan

Last edited by DH : 12-22-2006 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 12-22-2006, 12:59 PM   #212
Dennis Hooker
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
"I don't believe Aikido lacks anything."
Spoken like a true believer.
That's a hell of a boast.
I'd bet that can be disproved rather easily... in minutes in fact.

Who..........Will say they do exactly what Ueshiba was doing?
Where.......The modern equivalant 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?


Dan

Well Dan one thing is for sure. If you ever meet him it will be becasue he comes to you.
You say .........."We can't find anyone who can explain it and do it? Or even comes close?"

Not by chatting on this list you won't anyway. And how do you know since you don't seek it. Some folks talk a hell of game. Now I am over 60 years old but I am still willing (and I do) go out into the world and try and back up my teaching and I'm not afraid to be shown up if it comes to that. I am also not afraid of learning from other people. I guess if I really believed I had nothing to learn from them I would stay in my dojo too.

Dennis

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Old 12-22-2006, 01:07 PM   #213
Erick Mead
 
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Not my way of expressing it, but I agree. Instead of making someone tire out the upper body, why not just show them how to do it with the lower body and let them develop a correct connection using fresh muscle and mind?
First of all it is a function of the whole body not merely the lower part -- but I take your meaning. The short answer is because they are not very likely to develop it with "fresh" muscles operating normally. Most people have too many voluntary and involuntary cross-signals they are producing, largely from that muscular interference.

There is also the point about finding the naturally relaxed shape of the body. Not "making" it -- but finding it, like a toddler finds gravity. So you put the body into a condition where there are no other choices, because you have beaten tension out of the limbs and torso. It literally hurts to tense.

The legs yearn to let the weight drop to the ground rather than popping up tense, straight and stiff. The exhausted body hangs from its frame, and the arms when lifted naturally then droop in the middle with relaxed hands, as they should -- because there is no other way to lift them -- it's just too damn hard to make the effort.

More importantly --most people do not have any unlearned ability to selectively "de-tune" the perception of competing sensations in their own bodies. It is a thing that most people cannot ordinarily control or focus upon. There is a grave difficulty learning to consciously control the perception of something that one has yet to meaningfully perceive. Classic Catch-22.

This kind of shugyo is a selective de-tuning procedure. Rigorous training in suwari techniques accomplishes a similar purpose for the posture by the same principle.

Eliminating the muscular component, by exhausting it, leaves the background in higher relief. Then they can begin to perceive what they are really working on, and start to identify it even when the muscular signals have not first been damped out.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 12-22-2006, 01:12 PM   #214
DH
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

No no......yuck!
Not the point Dennis , and I go out plenty if we want to sling crap -lets not. Chill and trust me for a second and let me expand a bit. What meant is a totally different read on how you took it. Or my poor writing.

It was your point that this single art lacks nothing. I'm not trying to be contrary or umpleasant. I hate that crap on the iternet. I was responding to a point-that I dissagree with. I just don't think any art, anywhere, that anyone does, is not "lacking in something." That's why I mentioned:

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. And many got lost on side paths that lead no where. And all think they're heading up the same mountain. Even, that all paths lead to the same place.


"other arts" as well are the direct genius of their founders and they held the key.
I allow for miscommunication.
I was not singling out Aikido. It's also why I said "we" are all playing catch -up.

Where is the equal to Ueshiba M.?
Where is the equal to Takeda?
Choisai?
Teshu?
Yagyu
See what I mean?
.
I think its not forwarding the conversation for you to say one art lacks nothing. Maybe for you...but in the larger picture. It won't stand for 5 minutes. I can't think of anything, or anyone I'd say that about.
No slam meant.

Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 12-22-2006 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 12-22-2006, 01:19 PM   #215
Dennis Hooker
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Well Dan I guess I might have overstated a bit myself after all I am 4th dan in MJERI and we teach it at the dojo along with karate, kendo, judo and another sword arts like Toyama Ryu so I kind of like that sword stuff a little better than the grist from the Aikido mill. As you might can tell I am having a freaking bad day here.

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Old 12-22-2006, 01:24 PM   #216
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Well I'd hug ya if I was there. I have been told, that we'd get along real well in person. Couple a old bears.
Go find someone to hug......
I'm going Christmas Shopping with my son.... so I'm out.

Merry Christmas to all...oops
Happy holidays
Dan
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Old 12-22-2006, 01:28 PM   #217
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
It was your point that this single art lacks nothing.
Q: "What does a duck lack?"

A: "Nothing that matters to a duck."

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 12-22-2006, 01:29 PM   #218
Dennis Hooker
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

I will settle for a hearty handshake. I am not the huggy kind and if you kiss me we are defiantly gonna have a fight.

Hooker

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Old 12-22-2006, 01:37 PM   #219
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
First of all it is a function of the whole body not merely the lower part -- but I take your meaning.
>> Mike passes out cold <<
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Old 12-22-2006, 01:40 PM   #220
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
... it sounds like what you're doing is trying to mix 2 different approaches and I'm not sure how well it will work.
Actually, in my mind, I am still keeping it focused on a single approach. I've just taken the, "use muscle ... then test. Now, relax ... then test ..." approach to another degree. The main difference is, that I'm very specifically tensing certain areas that should already have a measure of 'tension' to them (more or less). I spend more time on the 'relaxed' version than I do on the 'tension' version.
Quote:
Instead of "forcing" anything why not just keep doing the very relaxed movement of the Ki Society, but add 2 things:

(1.) Push your head up lightly while letting your butt drop down, lengthening the spine. Keep the limbs lightly "extended" (but not tense) so that there is a nice surface (and sub-surface) connection from the middle torso to the fingers, feet, and head.
Already doing that. I'm just investigating, further.
Quote:
(2.) When you push outward in funakogi, the hands should BE the middle; the middle is solidly rooted in the ground through the rear leg. When you pull, the hands are actually your obi... your obi should do the pulling.
I'm not sure I would have written it the same way you did, but once again ... see my previous statement.

I am working on deepening my understanding of the tools and exercises that have been taught to me. I'm trying to observe and test them from different angles. I want to keep them and make them more powerful, not abandon them.

thanks,
Adam
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Old 12-22-2006, 01:43 PM   #221
Mike Sigman
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote:
I don't believe Aikido lacks anything. Some of its teachers might be lacking but that is another story.
I agree with that, Dennis.
Quote:
Mike I believe you are contrary by nature.
Mebbe so. Mebbe so.

Mike
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Old 12-22-2006, 01:48 PM   #222
Erick Mead
 
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
>> Mike passes out cold <<
Yep... Contrary.

And now ... VERY relaxed.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 12-22-2006, 02:28 PM   #223
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote:
Only real commonality seems to be lying on one's back, there's no physically active aspect to it, unlike the preceding zhan zhuang. It, as far as I can tell, is about inhibiting the desire to move, to block out ego sensations like itching, deadness, etc. and to just be okay with doing nothing and let go.
Thanks for the clarification, Lee.

I practice something which would seem opposite to that exercise's goal. I'll meditate to have the desire to move. In other words, have every fiber in my being intent on suddenly getting up -- to the point that I'll actually "believe" I'm about to stand -- then don't. Meditating in this way I find that I become very, very still. The meditation is over, once my body follows through with the intent.

thanks,
Adam
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Old 12-22-2006, 03:35 PM   #224
Cady Goldfield
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Dennis shook my hand once, and almost hugged me (I probably smelled bad). T'was back in '98 I think...
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Old 12-22-2006, 03:39 PM   #225
Mike Sigman
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Adam Bauder wrote:
I'll meditate to have the desire to move. In other words, have every fiber in my being intent on suddenly getting up -- to the point that I'll actually "believe" I'm about to stand -- then don't. Meditating in this way I find that I become very, very still. The meditation is over, once my body follows through with the intent.
Could I ask where you learned this exercise, Adam?

Thanks.

Mike Sigman
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