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Old 01-26-2007, 12:54 AM   #251
raul rodrigo
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Re: Baseline skillset

If I were to take a stab at it, it seemed that his fingertips came up under and inside the "sphere" of my grab; somehow this popped my elbows into the air, and then at that point I was so light that the slightest flick of his hands would knock me away. There were none of the large movements we normally see, eg, torso leaning forward, or elbows dropping to get underneath them my grab. There was no feeling of ordinary muscular strength in the forearms; i've done this long enough that i can tell whether tori is deriving power from his elbows, his shoulders, his biceps, etc. It was as if at the very moment of contact, he was already underneath my center--and that was all he needed. Don't know if this helps any.


R
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Old 01-26-2007, 01:59 AM   #252
eyrie
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
The wrist rotation commonly taught is the easiest way to allow people to visualize and feel it. It is by no means the only way. It can be done with a wrist turn out, in up or down, an arm cut down, a cut across (in or out), diagonals and many more. When a well understood kokyu path gets good, there really is no more than a twitch of adjusting the connection and away we go..... I am merely observing the motion of the limb segments in proper kokyu and describing their motion. It is not a measn of power generation perse, but the motion that occurs in both low and high energy kokyu movement.
OK, I get where you're coming from now. I'm not sure how to say this, so I'll be blunt... but no offense intended. I think this is the problem with how aikido is taught. Essentially, a follow an example, try to copy it, learn by discovery. I'm not debating the validity of such a learning model... it has its place, and probably deserves a separate thread.

The problem is, people follow the motions without understanding the basis for motion. Doesn't help when you aren't told, even if you are shown it/feel it. Raul is a good example. (Sorry dude!). He got shown, he felt it, but I'll bet Kuribayashi didn't elucidate the how... (See also my original thread on "Stealing techniques"....)

So when faced with a strong, resistant uke, the natural tendency is to force the motion to conform to the demonstrated model, with more physical strength. Which leads us further and further away from what Raul described Kuribayashi did to him.

Obviously, some minute (or even overt adjustment) in motion is required, to find the correct path - for the average person. But if taught and shown correctly how to source the power for the motion from the ground, using the structure, it doesn't take long before a student can find the correct path to uke's center consistently, with and without following the prescribed motion and/or rotations. How well they can do it, then becomes a matter of degree and practice.... LOTS of practice.

Which is the reason why we're having this discussion in the first place. IMO, the motion is NOT what I'm talking about when I refer to baseline skill. It is the "source" of that motion, and how motion is given impetus (i.e. powered) that I'm talking about.

Can you see where I'm coming from?

Ignatius
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Old 01-26-2007, 02:14 AM   #253
raul rodrigo
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
The problem is, people follow the motions without understanding the basis for motion. Doesn't help when you aren't told, even if you are shown it/feel it. Raul is a good example. (Sorry dude!). He got shown, he felt it, but I'll bet Kuribayashi didn't elucidate the how...
No, i'm not offended, Ignatius. And no, he didn't explain where the power came from. So I basically have two choices: search high and low for an explanation, even from outside conventional aikido thinking, or just bow my head and say, "He is a Hombu shihan, i am a mere mortal, and will never get it."
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Old 01-26-2007, 02:40 AM   #254
eyrie
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

If one could find it in mainstream aikido, we wouldn't be having this discussion...

My own instructor was very "strong", but no one within the group seemed to be able to replicate his strength, and nor was he telling how to... I suspect his various interests in iaido, kyudo, shintaido etc. led him to various practices that influenced his own practice. But he passed away quite untimely at the young age of 45, from a rather nasty flu virus.

So, we're all mere mortals.... even Hombu shihan...

Ignatius
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Old 01-26-2007, 08:11 AM   #255
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote:
If I were to take a stab at it, it seemed that his fingertips came up under and inside the "sphere" of my grab; somehow this popped my elbows into the air, and then at that point I was so light that the slightest flick of his hands would knock me away. There were none of the large movements we normally see, eg, torso leaning forward, or elbows dropping to get underneath them my grab. There was no feeling of ordinary muscular strength in the forearms; i've done this long enough that i can tell whether tori is deriving power from his elbows, his shoulders, his biceps, etc. It was as if at the very moment of contact, he was already underneath my center--and that was all he needed. Don't know if this helps any.
What you describe with the fingertips is very much the same sense of what I am talking about in terms of action "behind" him. It does not take much, because he is not defending that -- and cannot if he is really committed to the attack. The large movements of the body are superfluous to the kokyu at connection.

When you "get" the sense (and it is a sense, not technique), you literally "shake off" the attack while actually firming the connection -- if that makes any sense. His arm motion is a reflection of that same reciprocal motion as in tekubi furi -- like waves bouncing back off a hard surface. His arms become my arms as far as that the same instantaeous rotation/vibration/wave (all accurate physically) that occurs in tekubi furi or furitama -- the only difference in the kokyu tanden ho is that there is, at minimum, only a half-cycle of that reciprocal action, and then his center is going. The only large movement necessary is following uke in his fall to maintain the irimi in the kokyu.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 01-26-2007, 08:31 AM   #256
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
My own instructor was very "strong", but no one within the group seemed to be able to replicate his strength, and nor was he telling how to...
Which I suspect is not from a desire to hide it but from a fundamental lack of vocabulary to describe the intensity of duality (Western thought) that goes right down together to form the essential unity at the indivisible center (Eastern thought). That duality allows one to "walk" the student in to the central solution, like "too hot," "too cold." The holistic mode expands the indivisible unity to encompass and blend the duality at large scale. The reduction mode finely divides the duality until there is nothing left to divide and unity is realized at the central limit.

The traditional modes rely on metaphors such as "sourcing" because, while they can reconcile opposites holistically, they do not have a way good way to relate the two aspects together in rigorous detail for arbitrary interactions. Finer and finer degrees of "hotness/coldness."

It is as though saying that the hands should come together to make one fist, which is fine, but the detail in the interlacing of the fingers of the two different hands in becoming "one" is not captured in that entirely valid traditional prescription. That is not a criticism, merely an observation about the limitaitons of a given form of knowledge.

This results, in my view, in two perspectives, that on occasion diverge in understanding when the realization that they are merely perpectives of one reality is lost (or not gained to begin with). So tradition tends to default in teaching from one pole or the other (very loosely and way overbroadly) by example -- Ki Society approach versus Aikikai and the mix between the two poles is achieved by creative unifying imagery and the repetitive "feel" of practice.

It works, in both perpectives, and very well. I am not faulting either one, and the latter practice aspect can never be dispensed with. It is the former conceptual exposition (from both sides) that I am addressing.
Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
OK, I get where you're coming from now.... I think this is the problem with how aikido is taught. Essentially, a follow an example, try to copy it, learn by discovery....
The problem is, people follow the motions without understanding the basis for motion. ... So when faced with a strong, resistant uke, the natural tendency is to force the motion to conform to the demonstrated model, with more physical strength. Which leads us further and further away from what Raul described Kuribayashi did to him.

Obviously, some minute (or even overt adjustment) in motion is required, to find the correct path - for the average person. But if taught and shown correctly how to source the power for the motion from the ground, using the structure, it doesn't take long before a student can find the correct path to uke's center consistently, with and without following the prescribed motion and/or rotations. How well they can do it, then becomes a matter of degree and practice.... LOTS of practice.

Which is the reason why we're having this discussion in the first place. IMO, the motion is NOT what I'm talking about when I refer to baseline skill.

It is the "source" of that motion, and how motion is given impetus (i.e. powered) that I'm talking about.

Can you see where I'm coming from?
I do. And "source" of power is fine in the holistic mode. But to break it down -- which Japanese and Chinese traditional knowledge are not designed to do, some other approach is helpful. Substance without form is a shapeless goo, form without substance is a dessicated shell. That is why I put the point on two inseparable poles.

First -- the form of the essential movement -- which is in the kokyu tanden ho, and in the waza -- and it is essentially one form -- of endless variations.

Second, the substance of the connection which is sensed (best for me) in the tekubi furi exercise (and in furitama and torifune and funakogi undo and others).

They are fundamentally the same thing -- but again two perspectives, and they must be unified.

Making the form with that sensibility throughout the movement -- that is the essence of kokyu. If the same sense is there and the necessary form of movement is understood, that sense -- precisely followed -- in one small flick of the underlying form accomplishes the purpose entirely.

The endlessly fascinating thing for me is that the paths of that form and the sense of the interaction in a particular engagement are both so varied (and ultimately unique) and yet each instance is so fundamentally similar to every other.

The kind of detail to see both parts in their interaction simultaneously (thus showing their essential unity), requires a breakdown into constituents to see where the parts (the fleshy "substance" and the form-giving "bones") fit and nestle together. That kind of reduction approach is not really native to Japanese and Chinese traditional forms of knowledge.

It is intended not to irrevocably divide them or prioritize them, but to allow one to relate the two very different poles of understanding in a one fundamentally concrete way -- and at very fine detail of interaction.

I certinly do not have it all "right" yet -- but I think I have shown the possibilities of the fine detail that can be described.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 01-26-2007 at 08:41 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:22 PM   #257
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
While I chuckle at Justin's tagline ribbing on where to locate one's crotch area, I know enougth about classical Taoist writing to say that such an expression is hardly an odd image for that body of knowledge, and indeed, they get far more graphic than that and unshamadely so. So I cut Mike slack on things like that.
Any statement about physical things about the martial arts can be empirically tested and therefore evaluated.

One person using techniques that somehow result from believing the statement 'let your crotch weight be in his hands' can have a limited rules match against someone using techniques that do not result from believing in that statement.

This is so we can assess the statements' martial validity.

It also helps if the person endorsing the statement can simply rephrase the philosophy in normal terms. For example, 'oh, I mean, you employ your bodyweight against your opponent', instead of being cryptic.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:25 PM   #258
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Mike Sigman wrote:
I dunno, Erick.... the corroboration you're getting is so strong, maybe ..... Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Conspiracy theorist, start your engine.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 01-26-2007, 06:08 PM   #259
eyrie
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
Substance without form is a shapeless goo, form without substance is a dessicated shell. That is why I put the point on two inseparable poles.

First -- the form of the essential movement -- which is in the kokyu tanden ho, and in the waza -- and it is essentially one form -- of endless variations.

Second, the substance of the connection which is sensed (best for me) in the tekubi furi exercise (and in furitama and torifune and funakogi undo and others).

They are fundamentally the same thing -- but again two perspectives, and they must be unified.
Can I suggest the entire rationale for this thread is because there is too much focus on the FORM and next to none on the SUBSTANCE.

You know the old sales technique - sell the sizzle not the sausage?

Yeah, the sizzle (i.e. form) smells great.... BUT what I want to know is WHERE'S THE BEEF (i.e. substance)? I'm sure others do too...

If form was the be-all and end-all of aikido, then everyone practising the FORM of aikido would be great masters surely...

Wasn't it Terry Dobson who wrote: "The form of aikido is the enemy of aikido"?

Ignatius
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Old 01-26-2007, 08:04 PM   #260
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
Can I suggest the entire rationale for this thread is because there is too much focus on the FORM and next to none on the SUBSTANCE.
Semantics, and a useful but ultimately false dichotomy, as I have discussed. Form and substance play equal parts in the strength of structure, but form predominates when it comes to stability, both static and dynamic. Aikido is not about breaking substance, but disrupting form.
Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
Wasn't it Terry Dobson who wrote: "The form of aikido is the enemy of aikido"?
Well, he was right, if you obsess only on the waza just as received (assuming one has at least learned it as received). If the form of interaction is established, and the sense of connection is sound, then spontaneous movement becomes possible. As Saotome said, any ikkyo is correct as long as it it is a spontaneous response to the moment of contact.

What do YOU mean by the "substance" so as to separate it from the form. I have made a case that it is not really separate, except in our various limited perspectives. The form is the means to extend the same substance to the actions of my partner as well as my own, to join them and bring his actions within my sphere of control.

I can do tekubi furi all day long and I am feeling the "substance" of kokyu, but it is not connected to anything but me. It is like an engine without an transmission, it needs appropriate linkage to engage that power. Form of movement gives that connection to my opponent -- the same essential form as the "substance" but never a fixed movement.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 01-26-2007, 08:27 PM   #261
eyrie
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

I get what you mean... but that still doesn't help in any way to advance the understanding of what we're attempting to discuss. I think it is necessary to separate the form from the substance for the purposes of discussion. To me, the substance is what we're concerned with when we're talking about "baseline" skills - the "engine" as you say. Obviously there must be some form, some structure for that transmission of power. But can I suggest, the form can be aikido waza, jujitsu waza, karate waza or whatever other form of movement, but the substance essentially remains the same?

Which is why IMO, form is irrelevant... knowing the substance brings all sorts of forms to fruition... vis a vis the techniques of aikido are limitless...?

Ignatius
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Old 01-26-2007, 08:39 PM   #262
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
But can I suggest, the form can be aikido waza, jujitsu waza, karate waza or whatever other form of movement, but the substance essentially remains the same?
Sort of like why Ikeda Sensei is bringing in Ushiro Sensei from karate to teach kokyu, eh, and teach it with the Sanchin kata? It has to do with a basics that preceeds "irimi", "tenkan", and all waza. But perhaps Ikeda Sensei is simply missing the point?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 01-26-2007, 08:49 PM   #263
eyrie
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Mike Sigman wrote:
It has to do with a basics that preceeds "irimi", "tenkan", and all waza.
Including kata...er... form....

Ignatius
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Old 01-26-2007, 09:27 PM   #264
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

Excerpt from a fellow trying to train in Daito ryu in Japan. He notes the following differences between two styles approaches.

Technique and form
"I will admit that X sensei's training methods (mainline) do differ from both Y and Z's, (X) focusing more on complete techniques, starting from the simplest Ikkajo techniques and moving up with rank, and usually only does some tai-sabaki and block/strike practice at the beginning of each class........."

Internal
Y and Z both start with very elemental "ki-hon" training to develop the aiki pathways out through the proper channels in the hands and to perfect that proper footwork to support these channels. (internal training)

Sound familiar?
The more things change- the more they stay the same. The only thing to do is to train. "Technique junkies" will always rule the arts. Ata point you just give up trying to change their minds. Conserve your energy for those who see.

Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-26-2007 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 01-27-2007, 06:38 AM   #265
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Re: Baseline skillset

For 'power generation' one kicks into the ground, uses muscle, etc.

As a thought experiment, say we are floating in space. We cannot push off of the ground. If someone floats over to you and does a shomen uchi, is it no longer a shomen uchi because they cannot generate power entirely the same way as when on ground?

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 01-27-2007, 11:45 AM   #266
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
Which is why IMO, form is irrelevant... knowing the substance brings all sorts of forms to fruition... vis a vis the techniques of aikido are limitless...?
True. One thing that helps is to get a feel of a real expert, in order to even understand which way you should be aimed for higher-level skills. And trust me, there is a distinct difference in feel between people who have *some* skills and the higher end. Just as an example, I got an email recently indicating that Wang Hai Jun will be giving some more workshops in the US this Spring. Since Wang Hai Jun is one of the sources that Dan uses for information, it might be worthwhile for Aikidoists to go *just to get some data input on which way to go.* Who knows, you might get a chance to accomplish several things at once: get a feel for what Wang Hai Jun is like; get a feel for what Dan does, get some pointers on training approaches via Taiji the martial art, rather than the more typical "Taiji as the New Age Dreamzone". The baseline skills will be the same, although the usages may only be "similar". Same is true of Ushiro Sensei and other outside sources, BTW. All info helps.

http://www.wanghaijun.com/

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 01-29-2007, 09:10 AM   #267
Eddie deGuzman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Sort of like why Ikeda Sensei is bringing in Ushiro Sensei from karate to teach kokyu, eh, and teach it with the Sanchin kata? It has to do with a basics that preceeds "irimi", "tenkan", and all waza.
Mike, it's interesting you mentioned this. I was talking to a Jr. High School kid today who studies karate and mentioned this stance and kata, but she had no idea what I was talking about. I was showing her the, for lack of appropriate terms, centering stance of Mr. Sum, at least my version of it. Nice cowinkidink. I found it a bit odd she wasn't familiar with the stance or kata, though. Nonetheless, perhaps the substance does exist as a substrate of other arts, and as aikidoka absorb what they will and make aikido their own, other arts have done the same with this substance.

I had class tonight and lots of theory floating around in my head. I noticed there were but a few things that I conciously tried to do. Stand with better posture, release the tension in my shoulders, maintain better connection, keep my center/weight down, breathe and move smoother and try not to force techniques. These kinds of things seem so vague and yet seem so important to me. As others have said, you need to feel it to understand it. And if these ideas are internal and lacking substance, would it not, therefore, be virtually impossible to teach? How does one teach what lacks form? It seems to me, after having felt these things through technique, that we assimilate both(if we're lucky) and at some point are able to express to others through technique(be it complex or simple, our choice)how we feel aikido is to us.

Kind of like whistling in a way. I might be able to tell you to pucker up and blow and you might then whistle. But it's still gonna take you a little longer to zero in on how to change pitch and even longer to whistle in tune.

Still, nice to ponder.
Eddie
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Old 01-29-2007, 09:19 AM   #268
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Eddie deGuzman wrote:
And if these ideas are internal and lacking substance, would it not, therefore, be virtually impossible to teach? How does one teach what lacks form?
Hi Eddie:

Yeah, but if the people you're talking never understand these things about connection and so forth, you can still teach them the "techniques", right? They'll never be doing them correctly, but what the hey, the techniques still "work", right? In a nutshell, that's what has happened in most western Karate, Aikido, "Koryu", jujitsu, etc. And because "the techniques still work" and there are "subtle ways to apply those techniques", most people are happy that they've arrived. They did, but at the wrong station.

Best.

Mike
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Old 01-29-2007, 10:40 AM   #269
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Since my own mathematical skills are abysmal to the point of practical no-existence, I don't find any of the mathematical discussion helpful at all. The question is what is happening with your body and what is happening with your mind in the training or martial interaction.

Mike can "do" what he says he can. I have felt it. He is also capable of explaining what he is doing in such a way that, in a fairly short period of time, one can begin to get the skills he is teaching into ones own body.

Erick is one of the smarter folks with whom I am familiar (and I know some pretty smart folks). I am sure that he can do what he thinks he can do. He isn't the type of fellow to content himself with what we not so fondly refer to as "wishful thinking" Aikido.

So where is the disconnect? I think that the first issue lies in trying to define some aspect of the energetics as "not Aikido". For me, as a student of Saotome Sensei, there is very little that would be described as "not Aikido". Certainly there are attitudes which O-sensei would have condemned which he would have felt were not consistent with the moral and ethical principles of the art. But he was careful to say that one should not show the techniques of the art to people of bad character. In other words, the principles which underly technique are value neutral and could be misused.

But when it comes down to describing those principles, there is very little that I was taught not to include in my Aikido. Aiki seemed to include both that which was creative and life affirming and that which was destructive and life ending. The application of these techniques would be deteremined by the aforementioned ethical and moral considerations. As far as I was taught, about the only thing that one can pretty much say "isn't" Aikido is the use of pure muscle power to overcome the strength of the opponent. Taht would not be considered 'aiki" and therefore would not be part of Aikido.

But being able to join with the intention of the opponent in order to enter intside his attack and end the confrontaion with one strike would be part of the art. the ability to neutralize the power of an attack simply by directing ones attention and intention in various ways would be part of the art. Understanding how to relax ones body completely to abosrhbg and redirect the power of the opponent would be part of the art.

The way I have been taught, it's all Aikido on some level. The art is infinite, the ways in which one can manifest the principles is not limited. So arguments which say that one very succesful way of doing a technique is Aikido but another successful way of doing a technique is not don't make much sense to me. And they don'y help me in any way learn what I want to know.

Sorry for the delay in replying. I've been on the road.
Personal experience at the hands of Tohei, Saotome, and others has shown me that the kind of forces that Mr. Sigman is talking about are real, and valuable. And information from people I know and respect, such as yourself, convince me that Mr. Sigman can do what he says he can, and I'm sorry if I seemed to indicate otherwise.
But the basis of this thread is basic skills, and that was what I was responding to. I believe that any formally organized activity, be it Aikido or baseball or English composition is expressed in terms of basic principles that are more or less unique, at least in how they are combined. That's how we can tell them apart. All of these arts allow skilled practitioners to move outside the envelope, to varying degrees, but I think that one must first become competent and comfortable inside the envelope. The question, then, is what is inside it, what is basic and fundamental and gives a specific form to that art?
I am right with you in thinking that there is very little that could not be called Aikido, but I believe that accretions must relate to the core forms, whatever those are. Otherwise we just up the noise-to-signal ratio.
Whether or not I find Mr. Sigman's math compelling is really a side note, especially since that is not a language that I am particularly skilled in, either. I am simply saying that, to the extent that I understand the basics of Aikido, and the exercises he is talking about, I find them in conflict with one another.
Now, it is very easy, as we know, to practice the kihon waza in a not-terribly-meaningful way; the form does not guarantee the elicitation and development of substance. It reminds me of something Ken Kesey once said, something like, "If you want to find inspiration, you have to hang out in areas that inspiration has been known to frequent. There's no certainty that it will show up, but if you want to see it, you have to go there." For Aikido, I think that, if inspiration is going to show up, it will show up in the kihon.If we're good, and if we're lucky, the ki/kokyu/etc. that we have been talking about will manifest. It is up to us --- and our instructors --- to do the work that will reveal the power in the practices. Then maybe down the line we can relate things like Kali and Kung Fu to the basics.
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Old 01-29-2007, 11:00 AM   #270
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Brion Toss wrote:
Whether or not I find Mr. Sigman's math compelling is really a side note, especially since that is not a language that I am particularly skilled in, either. I am simply saying that, to the extent that I understand the basics of Aikido, and the exercises he is talking about, I find them in conflict with one another.
I'm not sure what "math" you're talking about, Brion, since I am the one who keeps trying to get the topic down to short, common-sense nomenclature. Remember the pictures and diagrams I've posted?

Here's the real problem. You're arguing often directly against me and my approach, so you go to the lengths (as you did in this thread) of sniping. You didn't argue the functional aspects of the discussion, you went into some vagary about what argument appears compelling to you. In doing that, and in doing as you did in the quote above, you take a publicly-stated position that you don't understand what I'm talking about and you disagree with it.

Fine. In a debate sense, I could be wrong. In a functional sense, though, I can and have shown these things well enough and with enough disparate people and groups over a long-enough time that I'm more than certain I can bet every dime I have that I am telling the functional truth, as it sits. This means that since you don't understand these fairly basic things we're discussing, you don't know them. It means that you have not been taught them, inferring that your teacher doesn't know them. In other words, when you go outside of the discussion of issues and attack the peripherals, it works two ways. Hopefully, based on the fact that you don't personally care for me (a totally useless tangent to *any* viable discussion, IMO), you want my discussion of basics to be wrong. What you've really done is signal to at least 40 to 50 fairly knowledgeable people that read this forum that there is a problem related to your teacher.

My suggestion is, and has been, that when debating such a basic topic as skillsets like the ki/kokyu things, people should question things that need questioning, comment intelligently, ask questions if something is not clear.... but be very cautious in asserting judgements, because the assertions themselves are telling.

I.e., if there is a conflict with "what you know" and the simple baseline skillset that I've mentioned... the same basics that Rob, Dan, Ushiro, etc., all seem to be focusing on... maybe the problem is closer to home?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 01-29-2007, 11:10 AM   #271
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Wang Hai Jun is one of the sources that Dan uses for information ... The baseline skills will be the same, although the usages may only be "similar". Same is true of Ushiro Sensei and other outside sources, BTW. All info helps.
I read through the articles on the various chan si "reeling silk" exercises. What struck me were things described that I have trained to do -- in two different ways -- in my course of training. The figure eight free hip motion, the pushing with left leg to move someone from right to left, and the "coiling/uncoiling" strength that it delivers.

Overgeneralizing -- engaged:

In Saito's bukiwaza, particularly in the ken and jo suburi these things are very strongly developed in a small (dimensionally speaking) tight way (but never, ever stiff at all). That training is powerfully applied in the tai jutsu somewhat more expansively. This most obvious parallel to the initial example of the "fixed leg" article on Wang Hai Jun is particularly seen in irminage variations I was taught and had shown to me where seemingly contradictory hip movements result in very powerful destabilizing of uke. There are some marvelous videos of Frank Doran Sensei demonstrating some of these throws.

Conversely, in Saotome's bukiwaza, in the kumitachi and kumijo a rather larger partnered weapons movement encompasses the same body movement on more expansive terms. The training delivers that same motion somewhat more compactly in the tai jutsu. There are exercises that practice this larger flowing motion (really big flinging-arm tenkan stuff, and rotary "prayer drum" action with arms flinging back and forth). That is then captured in reduced scales of movement in the typical techniques.

I get every bit of what the articles on reeling silk are talking about, and they map very well onto what much of the trainig that I received actually does teach one to do. The weapons training was a very powerful part of that from my perspective -- and something that Saito's and Saotome's curriculum both focussed upon -- in their respective manner.

All of these operate in the same essential spectrum - just different choices of gradient.

The concepts about the uses of the hips in the "ordinary" and "contradictory" ways, (soto and uchi turns of the hips, respectively in regard to the point of conection) I have since discovered are addressed also in Muso Jikiden Eisshin-ryu iaijutsu in respect of two basic modes of cut. This adds more weight to the bukiwaza emphasis in developing properly connected movement.

I was often told that if one finds trouble in a particular technique, then put an imaginary sword in the hands at the point of the problem -- and then find the way to cut him with it, within the bounds of the technique given. It cures all sorts of problems in a very intuitive way -- and the "form" in that instance precisely channels the correct "substance" in the type of movement required.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 01-29-2007, 11:20 AM   #272
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
I get every bit of what the articles on reeling silk are talking about, and they map very well onto what much of the trainig that I received actually does teach one to do. The weapons training was a very powerful part of that from my perspective -- and something that Saito's and Saotome's curriculum both focussed upon -- in their respective manner.
Erick, no offense, but Aikido does not even come close to using reeling silk methods. I would suspect that you're interpretting "reeling silk" in terms of what you already know and understand... the common fault that I keep referring to and the one which has led so much of Aikido into a cul de sac.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 01-29-2007, 02:22 PM   #273
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Erick, no offense, but Aikido does not even come close to using reeling silk methods.
I never take offense from you, Mike. And I did not say that it did. I said that the points of movement and dynamics discussed as being taught by the reeling silk methods are are taught in Aikido in different ways, at least two of them which I alluded to, and are not , as you say, using the "reeling silk method" to teach that form of movement
Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I would suspect that you're interpreting "reeling silk" in terms of what you already know and understand... the common fault that I keep referring to and the one which has led so much of Aikido into a cul de sac.
Actually, I do not travel on my suspicion, but what his observant student said about what Wang Hai Jun actually teaches: http://www.corniceengineering.com/wa...clesbltao9.htm
Quote:
Nick Gudge-www.wanghaijun.com wrote:
[Describing use of chan si gong ] For example, if I were to consider pulling someone from my right to my left, typically I would push with my right leg to generate linear momentum to my body, which would be added to the strength of my arms. With good timing a significant amount of strength can be generated this way. This is the normal method of generating strength. A chan si gong might attain a similar strength for the same right to left pull by starting on the left (!) leg, using the push with the left leg to generate rotational (coiling) strength by driving the left hip back and right and the right hip forward and left.... In the example above, if I were to pull by shifting from right to left and the person I was pulling kept hold of me and pulled me (using the momentum I had provided their body,) I would have a limited ability to neutralise that pull. Using chan si jin in the above situation I would have much more opportunity to neutralise that pull. I would be better "balanced" in Taiji terms. This allows continuous access to this coiling strength. ... the whole body must coil or spiral as it moves. No part must move too much or too little to maintain optimum leverage. Some parts of the body move considerably more than other parts,
Oh, gee. ---Who was it who went on and on about hips and rotational dynamics some while back??? And energy generation from the uncoiling chains of the limbs ??? Lessee -- who was that again ???

I would call what he physically describes as a straightforward irimi/tenkan movement -- if the feet are fixed to the floor, FWIW. Carrying that all the way through and pivoting -- without lifting or sliding my feet from their initial position -- I can take a hand grab and turn 270 degrees in place and drop my partner in an iriminage, or kokyunage (depending on choice of arm position). I can reverse that position back 360 degrees on the return, if need be (i.e. 90 degrees past my initial kamae, the other way, again without lifiting or sliding the feet. Some call this "tenkan-tenkai" and may teach it as two movements at first -- but it is really one motion. I get the coiling thing fairly well, and that is from very mainstream aikido practice. Frank Doran is one the most effortless examplars of that particular use of the movement whom I have seen.
Quote:
Nick Gudge-www.wanghaijun.com wrote:
WHJ uses a wide stance circling exercise to train this. (feet slightly turned out) The legs are used in conjunction with the hips to generate a "figure of eight" type movement with the waist.
I believe I even wrote some while back about the nature of the human stability system having the dual eccentic hips gyrating the center of mass in a chaotic orbit shaped roughly like a warped figure-eight, citing to some balance studies as support:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...9&postcount=50
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...&postcount=122
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...&postcount=128

Ignatius bowed out at that point in the earlier conversation, as I recall. Perhaps he will reconsider, now.

My only comment on Mr. Gudge's excellent observation of Wang Hai Jun's chan si exercises is that I would qualify it to say that the legs "follow" or "capture" that natural 'figure of eight' type motion of the baalnce rather than "generate" it, exactly.

I am not saying you are wrong in applying or discussing the Chinese concepts, and never have (except on the "resistance" thing, and then only in reference to aikido).

I am simply saying there many more ways to also be right.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 01-29-2007 at 02:29 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 01-29-2007, 02:36 PM   #274
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
I did not say that it did. I said that the points of movement and dynamics discussed as being taught by the reeling silk methods are are taught in Aikido in different ways,
Well, not really. Not even close to the way you're imagining things, Erick.
Quote:
Actually, I do not travel on my suspicion, but what his observant student said about what Wang Hai Jun actually teaches: http://www.corniceengineering.com/wa...clesbltao9.htm
I doubt that Nick, whom I've known for years and who has hosted a number of workshops I've done, would agree with the way that you're interpretting this, Erick.
Quote:
Oh, gee. ---Who was it who went on and on about hips and rotational dynamics some while back??? And energy generation from the uncoiling chains of the limbs ??? Lessee -- who was that again ???
Well, if you're not really understanding what is involved in reeling silk, which I can tell you fairly casually that you're not, then your dancing a jig is premature.
Quote:
I would call what he physically describes as a straightforward irimi/tenkan movement
I'm sure you would. Similarly, if my aunt had balls, I'd call her my uncle.
Quote:
My only comment on Mr. Gudge's excellent observation of Wang Hai Jun's chan si exercises is that I would qualify it to say that the legs "follow" or "capture" that natural 'figure of eight' type motion of the baalnce rather than "generate" it, exactly.

I am not saying you are wrong in applying or discussing the Chinese concepts, and never have (except on the "resistance" thing, and then only in reference to aikido).

I am simply saying there many more ways to also be right.
Similarly, there are many more ways to be wrong than even that, Erick. As I said, a conversation about reeling silk internal strength is not really germane to Aikido. It's particularly not germane to a thread topic about "Baseline skillset", IMO.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 01-29-2007, 02:58 PM   #275
Brion Toss
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I'm not sure what "math" you're talking about, Brion, since I am the one who keeps trying to get the topic down to short, common-sense nomenclature. Remember the pictures and diagrams I've posted?
I remember the pictures and diagrams, and so very much else. You might be being selective in describing the nature of your posts.

Quote:
Here's the real problem. You're arguing often directly against me and my approach, so you go to the lengths (as you did in this thread) of sniping. You didn't argue the functional aspects of the discussion, you went into some vagary about what argument appears compelling to you. In doing that, and in doing as you did in the quote above, you take a publicly-stated position that you don't understand what I'm talking about and you disagree with it.
You do not get to say what the real problem is. You are mistaken in saying that I am arguing directly against you, or your approach, and I do not believe that I have been guilty of sniping ("malicious, underhanded remark or attack"]. And couching my terms with phrases like, "to the extent that I understand," is a long ways from saying that I don't understand; it is an attempt at humility.

Quote:
Fine. In a debate sense, I could be wrong. In a functional sense, though, I can and have shown these things well enough and with enough disparate people and groups over a long-enough time that I'm more than certain I can bet every dime I have that I am telling the functional truth, as it sits.
As I stated in the post that you are refering to, " ... Mr. Sigman can do what he says he can, and I'm sorry if I seemed to indicate otherwise." I also stated that I have personal experience with the kind of forces you have described, and that I find them significant and valuable. I have no doubt that you can demonstrate them. I am glad that you are demonstrating them. I am not accusing you of overstating, let alone lying. I am only saying, in the context of this thread, that what you propose is not directly pertinent to a basic, fundamental set of Aikido skills.

Quote:
This means that since you don't understand these fairly basic things we're discussing, you don't know them.
Conclusion based, once again, on an unproved assumption.

Quote:
It means that you have not been taught them, inferring that your teacher doesn't know them.
And again.

Quote:
In other words, when you go outside of the discussion of issues and attack the peripherals, it works two ways.
My original post was intended as an analysis of the preceding ten or so pages of posts, focusing on yours and Mr. Mead's opinions. As such, it was admittedly and necessarily peripheral, but I do not think that it was an attack on peripherals.

Quote:
Hopefully, based on the fact that you don't personally care for me (a totally useless tangent to *any* viable discussion, IMO), you want my discussion of basics to be wrong.
Mike, I don't know you, except to the extent that I have read and pondered a tiny fraction of your posts here. I do not have a basis for forming a personal like or dislike. What you say often angers me, but just as often leads me to reevaluate my opinions. Sometimes simultaneously. So there's another "fact" that isn't a fact at all. As for wanting your discussion of basics to be wrong, I would like to believe that I have reason to disagree with you, based on information, not prejudice.


Quote:
What you've really done is signal to at least 40 to 50 fairly knowledgeable people that read this forum that there is a problem related to your teacher.
Only if they are as talented at drawing shaky conclusions as you appear to be. And in any event, how is this spectral group of fairly knowledgeable peoples' opinion pertinent to the issues?

Quote:
My suggestion is, and has been, that when debating such a basic topic as skillsets like the ki/kokyu things, people should question things that need questioning, comment intelligently, ask questions if something is not clear.... but be very cautious in asserting judgements, because the assertions themselves are telling.
Yes.

Quote:
I.e., if there is a conflict with "what you know" and the simple baseline skillset that I've mentioned... the same basics that Rob, Dan, Ushiro, etc., all seem to be focusing on... maybe the problem is closer to home?
Again, I have no conflict with the skillset you've mentioned, only a question as to its suitability as Aikido basics. And incidentally, I have no reports on Rob and Dan, but from what I've heard from Ikeda sensei and other practitioners, Ushiro is not focusing on the same thing at all.

Last edited by Brion Toss : 01-29-2007 at 03:08 PM.
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