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Old 02-07-2007, 08:32 PM   #476
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
Moving right along...
Actually it's good for a lot of the peanut gallery to realize that their silly-shots have a cost by getting their actual worth highlighted. Maybe they'll grow up... maybe not. Most of these 'martial artists' would be stunned to have someone physically call them out for loose lips. I.e.... maybe it's good for any martial art to quit the pretend nicey-nice and get serious.
Quote:
...perhaps it would be helpful to discuss what are some of the things people could do (or are already sorta doing, but should be doing differently) to start learning how to move from the middle and feel the connections - i.e. feet to middle to hands, same-side/opposite sides?
What's interesting is to note that even though you're making a sane comment on the forum, there are a large number of people that would have no idea why you'd ask a question like that. Or if they had a vague idea, they'd maybe remember that their sensei read to them something about that one night, so therefore that's already been covered. Next.

The real problem with your question is that "moving with the middle" (IMO) means nothing without some understanding of what jin/kokyu force is. For instance, when Ushiro Sensei pushed his fingers, backed by jin, into peoples' throats at the Summer Camp, he was maintaining the basic (baseline) skill while he extended it straight ahead (the easiest way to move with it). His middle backed it up. In fact, the middle movement and the force were one thing... and both of them were developed at the same time in Ushiro's training by the use of the force and the breath training in Sanchin kata. So there you have fullblown "kokyu". You see my drift.... just "moving from the center" can be a start, but there are a lot of caveats to it.

My best recommendation? Suburi/bokken-swinging. But someone should be clear in how to start or it just becomes another movement that has the magical hope of producing something. Sort of like Dorothy closing her eyes and wishing she was back home. Most of the suburi I've seen is about as useful as for tanden development as a workout with dumbells at the gym.

Best.

Mike
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Old 02-07-2007, 08:48 PM   #477
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Most of these 'martial artists' would be stunned to have someone physically call them out for loose lips.
Has this happened to you?
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:21 PM   #478
Jim Sorrentino
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Re: Baseline skillset

Hello Cady,
Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
When it comes to internal physical skills, opinion from those who have not experienced them doesn't really hold any sway until they have felt them. Such observers don't know what they are looking for or at, so how can they have an opinion? How much truck would you give an opinion about colors given by a person who has been blind since birth? He can express opinions based on his observations of comments from others who have experienced such things, or from scientific or literary writings about them, but he can't speak from the first person about what these things are and truly -know- them.

I don't automatically assume anything; however, having touched some people who DO have certain skills, I can recognize the words of someone who has not yet felt them. From Erick's words, it is pretty obvious that he has never encountered the basic skills being discussed. I believe it would be to his advantage to get out there and have encounters with some of the key people in the world who are recognized to have the basics that are being discussed.
Erick has seen and felt Dennis Hooker-sensei. If I remember correctly, you have also been on the mat with Hooker-sensei. Are you saying that Hooker-sensei does not have these skills? I look forward to your reply!

Jim Sorrentino
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:32 PM   #479
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Baseline skillset

Jim,
The brief moment I got to spend with Dennis (back in 1998, I think, when we had the first Aikido-L meet in San Antonio) and the other things I got to observe him doing over the course of the seminar were not related to the things Mike and company are discussing here. However, back in 1998, I was not yet familiar with this skill set and would not have been in a position to make any sort of evaluation. In retrospect, though, I'd say no -- it wasn't in what he was doing then.

I do know that when I watch those old archived films on YouTube of M. Ueshiba and some other key individuals, I see the tell-tale external effects of some of those internal principles being discussed here.

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 02-07-2007 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 02-08-2007, 07:53 AM   #480
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Baseline skillset

!998? Is seems longer ago than that. Jim I do remember Cady and we all had a delightful time together there in Texas, but I don't remember we ever physically interacted on the mat. I am not good at this written Aikido or dialog budo I am more of a hands on guy. So I am not surprised some folks would surmise my skills as lacking if the key to understanding is the written word. I also would hope that my ego is not such that I would assume I am the vessel of all knowledge in these matters and capable of judging others by what they write. I am no where near that good. My mat is always open to anyone wishing to train in a friendly manner and that includes my dojo and seminars. I am open to learning from anyone and I often do. I think I have a body of work out there that would not be hard to tap into if anyone truly wished to know my skill level. Frankly I can't evaluate my own skill level; I will have to leave that up to others. I am what I am and at this point in my life that is good enough. I will leave it to others to talk about how good they are, I defiantly am not that good. Hell I may be no good at all. I have been accused of being a no good bastard from time to time.

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Old 02-08-2007, 08:10 AM   #481
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Baseline skillset

p.s. I would like to publicly apologize to Eric for not remembering him on this list. My old memory has been stimulated and I do remember him. In fact I tested him last summer and I found him to be both warn and friendly and his Aikido good. I can't judge you folks by what you write I am not good enough and frankly some of it is over my head. I take my friends word at face value and trust my own judgenent when meeting people Friends I trust tell me both Dan and Mike are the real deal and I accept that. I can't tell you if I am the real deal or a poor knockoff.

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Old 02-08-2007, 08:25 AM   #482
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Baseline skillset

Nope, you're right, Dennis -- it was Jim Baker (the notorious AaaRk Sensei) I felt on the mats, briefly, during that weekend. (You were both handsome bearded devils... what can I say? Now that I'm old and befuddled, I got you mixed up!)

I did observe, in their entirety, the sessions Dennis taught that weekend. It was informative. And yes, it was a delightful time. Though I recall that it took longer to get the rental car than it would have taken Dennis to walk to his hotel room! (You were a good sport!)

Please don't misinterpret my response to Jim Sorrentino's pointed question, which, frankly, I should not have responded to, in hindsight. Furthermore, I can only respond according to what little I know now compared to what I recall from then, when none of this was known to me at all. Note that in my prior post, I said "doing then." Again, based on my observations -then- and my experiences -now-, I do not recall seeing enactions of the things Mike is discussing on this thread. But I have no idea what Dennis is doing -now-, nor would I be so presumptuous as to hazard a guess.

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 02-08-2007 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:39 AM   #483
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Re: Baseline skillset

It remains diffcult to qualify-yet when we say that we can touch someone and in a moment we know! We mean it.
Further, as wierd as it sounds, there are many things that can be seen just from watching. Its all in how you carry your wieght, how you move and what your body does when pressed. No you can't catch it all on video but many things are able to be judged.
And Yes. It is THAT different.

Then again, Jim, since your asking Cady publicly, Why not ask Mark Murray, Murry McPherson, Rob Liberti, Stan Baker, Tom Holtz, Chris Moses, Gernot H., Gerge Ledyard, or any other of the men who have felt Me, Mike or Rob and Ark. Several of -them- have felt Aikido's and many other arts.... top dogs. What is it they have been sayng, Jim?
Seems to me that they have all marked a difference in feel as well. And several wrote of it here.
In fact it seems strange that all of them reported the same things. You could win a case with this much personal witness testimony.

Since your talking personal witness, I've felt some of the highest ranked folks in aikido and many middle and lessor lights. I have never felt anyone in Aikido who can do this or exhibited these skills in any real way. I aint much, But I wouldn't trade my skills for theirs for any amount of money.

But again, we're not talking about the second coming. They're great skills, in my view they are the best there is and much can be built off of them. But they should be used as an enticement to move forward into excellence, not a bludgeon to beat folks down with. Hopefully they will be disseminated with a measure of grace, sincerity and good humor. In the end I don't begrudge the Asians for withholding. The older I get, the more I hesitate. The more I think they may have been right all along. To reserve these skills as an edge. And to judge through personal relationship.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 02-08-2007 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:39 AM   #484
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Baseline skillset

Jim, a budo man (or any man) is made of parts both tangible and intangible. Some parts are stronger in some men than others. This thread is talking about a part that is perhaps both tangible and intangible but it is still a part. It is a part I believe we all have in some manner of fashion. It is much more developed in some than others. Some may believe what is being discussed here is the foundation of a budo man. Others may have vastly different opinions as to what that foundation should be. There are other elements that make up a budo man's character and skill set which together define him as a warrior, philosopher or layman. It is easy to read a thread like this and become consumed with the topic. This is the baseline skill set as seen by a few skilled individuals. A person can become myopic when consumed by that which they believe is most important. I can, you can and so can we all. Remember the old saying "we can't see the forest for the trees" well that is what is happening here. We are standing in front of a very old and rooted tree contemplating its power and we are missing the forest. However, I believe this topic was meant to address only this part of a budo man and somewhere along the line some have defined it as the most important part. How well does this serve you in battle? I don't know, I have been in battle and survived and I am sure I didn't't have this type of skill at that time. Do I possess this skill now? I don't know I have never laid hands on Dan and Mike so how can I judge what they are talking about. How can anyone judge me or you if we have not interacted in a physical way. There are a lot of people that want me to teach them what I do and very-very few are capable of doing it once shown. Is this the skill being talked about? I don't know! Do I have a desire to test myself against the baseline being discussed here? Not in the least. Either I have it or I don't and it will not change me. If I don't have it I will get it or I won't, but it will not change who I am one way or another. I make no assumptions about the budo people I interact with. I know some hign ranking budo men will never show me their good stuff and I have interacted with them. It is not in the nature of some high ranking individuals to show you what they got unless you are one of the inner circle. You can like it or not but that is the way it is.

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Old 02-08-2007, 03:00 PM   #485
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Dan wrote

Quote:
Since your talking personal witness, I've felt some of the highest ranked folks in aikido and many middle and lessor lights. I have never felt anyone in Aikido who can do this or exhibited these skills in any real way. I aint much, But I wouldn't trade my skills for theirs for any amount of money.
So are you saying that you have not met anyone in aikido that has any real internal skills, (however it is that you define it). So what does aikido, or better yet those that teach us aikido have to offer if this is the case in your opinion?
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Old 02-08-2007, 03:06 PM   #486
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
So are you saying that you have not met anyone in aikido that has any real internal skills, (however it is that you define it). So what does aikido, or better yet those that teach us aikido have to offer if this is the case in your opinion?
Not to leave Dan hanging, but I'd have to point out that I only joined Aikido *after* I felt some Aikidoist (from Hombu Dojo) that had this "weird strength" that I wanted to learn how to do. And over the years, I have felt various Aikidoists (always Japanese) that had some varying degrees of that strength. YMMV.

Mike
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Old 02-08-2007, 04:56 PM   #487
Eddie deGuzman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Mike, that's exactly what happened to me. When I visited home last year, a newer yudansha from my old dojo said I move differently from everyone else. I guess that sums it up.

Cheers,
Eddie
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Old 02-08-2007, 07:03 PM   #488
eyrie
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Eddie deGuzman wrote:
...a newer yudansha from my old dojo said I move differently from everyone else. I guess that sums it up.
That doesn't really tell me anything...

I think what Mike is implying is that the varying degrees of "strength" is probably nowhere near what Ueshiba, Tohei, Shioda and others (my apologies if I've left any big, and not so big, names out), and perhaps nowhere near some of the big, and not so big, dogs in taiji that he's touched hands with since.

Moving "differently" really means squat. For instance, when I last visited my sempai, he wasn't moving at all when he threw me - actually, it was more like me throwing myself. He was merely standing there with arm outstretched, and as I connected with his hand, it felt like whatever force I was putting into him, came back at me.... kinda like pushing on a wall.

Ignatius
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Old 02-08-2007, 11:15 PM   #489
Eddie deGuzman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
That doesn't really tell me anything...

I think what Mike is implying is that the varying degrees of "strength" is probably nowhere near what Ueshiba, Tohei, Shioda and others (my apologies if I've left any big, and not so big, names out), and perhaps nowhere near some of the big, and not so big, dogs in taiji that he's touched hands with since.

Moving "differently" really means squat.
I've thought from the get go that there are varying degrees of ability level. Just makes sense to me. And if you are on the right track, the longer you work at it, the better you get and the "stronger" your technique becomes. I tend to think that the quality of your movement IS the quality of your aikido. But then again, maybe that yudansha was just being nice and didn't want to say I suck.

What I find odd is that you allow Mike his insight after coming to Japan and feeling this technique yet disallow the nearly 23 years I have on the mat, the last thirteen and counting of which have been here in Japan. As Mr. Hooker said earlier, "I don't know I have never laid hands on Dan and Mike so how can I judge what they are talking about. How can anyone judge me or you if we have not interacted in a physical way. The same holds true for everyone here. I hope everyone training moves differently after every 10 years, hopefully for the better.

I wouldn't say my "moving differently" means squat. I would say it is a vague description. But that was NOT a post defining the method of my movement, it was merely sharing a similar circumstance. As a result of Mike's experience, he began studying aikido. As a result of mine, I began studying aikido...again. And I 'll bet you a doughnut that we both move differently now.

Cheers,
Eddie
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Old 02-08-2007, 11:25 PM   #490
raul rodrigo
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Re: Baseline skillset

I certainly move differently now than i did a year or two ago. That doesnt necessarily mean i'm any better. Although i would hope so. the question is, "different" how?
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Old 02-09-2007, 12:38 AM   #491
Upyu
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Eddie deGuzman wrote:
What I find odd is that you allow Mike his insight after coming to Japan and feeling this technique yet disallow the nearly 23 years I have on the mat, the last thirteen and counting of which have been here in Japan.
Words say a lot though. And anyone that's called me out hasn't made me eat them so far
To put things into perspective, about a month ago I met an old guy that was a headhunter for my friend. He was pretty old, in his 50s maybe and turned out had been practicing Aikido for 30 some years. He'd even taken Uke for both Tohei and Ueshiba back in the day. He was telling me about Ki this, and Ki that, and immovable body this and that. Yet, he couldn't give me concrete physical descriptions of what he did to achieve these things (we were still in a coffee shop at this point.) Actually by this time I'd pretty much surmised from the way he walked that he didn't have anything, but I figured I'd feel him out anyways since talk is cheap.
Did the pushout exercise which I elaborated on another thread with him which the guy failed miserably.
Then tried to do the Kokyu Age exercise. He couldn't take my balance at all. Nor was I resisting very hard.
And, while it was probably bad manners on my part, I did the index finger parlor trick and threw him around a bit.
Of course this all ended nicely and I let him save face, but it led me to the conclusion that:

Time on mat + time with "experts" = Potentially Zip, if you have a student that just "didn't get it."
Actually my first impression of how his body was connected was only reinforced by the discussion we had in the cafe, which was then sealed by the hands on session after we got outside.
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Old 02-09-2007, 12:44 AM   #492
eyrie
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Thanks for rephrasing the question Raul.

Yes, Eddie... "moving" and "different" how? Vague descriptions mean squat to me...

The example I used clearly illustrates that "different" can mean different things... whether one is moving or not.

What I find odd is the need to justify your mat time to me, when it was neither requested nor relevant to my question.

What would be more helpful to the discussion is, if you could not only do what was illustrated in my example, but also explain how it works...

Ignatius
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Old 02-09-2007, 01:21 AM   #493
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
To put things into perspective, about a month ago I met an old guy that was a headhunter for my friend. He was pretty old, in his 50s maybe and turned out had been practicing Aikido for 30 some years.
Rupert,
You're killing me...
- George

George S. Ledyard
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Old 02-09-2007, 01:48 AM   #494
Upyu
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Rupert,
You're killing me...
- George
Ah...ok, I meant relative to myself

...great, now I know I'm going to catch flak from Ark for that comment if he reads this thread ^^;

Btw, I realize 50s isn't old in a MA career, I'm still a youngin'
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Old 02-09-2007, 07:11 AM   #495
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

50's? Old man?
Ya young pipsqueek!! I'll remember that comment when we meet. You can do the pushout test and then you may freely "unload" on me as well. Then it will be my turn.
50's.....old man...mumble...mumble
Well to be fair the same can be said for all the guys I've met in their twenties and thirties who've no idea of what connection even is, much less how to achieve it.
Sadder still is to have struggled in vain for half a life to try to get the secrets and find out you've been duped.

So, to the general crowd.
1. Just who -do you suppose- invented the idea or model of "Stealing technique"
2. Why?
3. Was it ever a "Japanese" idea or is it Chinese as well?

4. Here's another flip side to all the teacher comments. Years ago and again recently I stood in a room with master level teachers with their own students there. After much testing and feeling for hours I was shown things with actual hands-on-bodies that these students had never seen their teacher do with someone.
Why?

We can slam the teachers for holding back, but how much of a pain is it to be a teacher and see so much half-assed effort made by folks. How funny is it to watch them keep coming back and paying to get nothing, because they do nothing -to- get it.
How truly odd is the average students attempts to stumble through.
And how about the folks who truly do try hard but due to language or lack of raw talent have trouble absorbing the material?

I say it is no small wonder why Sagawa yelled at people to "Use you head!" "Think!"
Why Ueshiba told people "You're not doing my Aikido!"
Why Takeda never repeated techiques and said "Did you see it?" "Did you get it?"

So what are folks achieving for base line skills?
A bujutsu body?
Or technique?
In my experience- its technique all the way. Its easier, less painful, and more sexy. These type of folks want to "do" cool moves and copy what they see on the tee vee.
Then you have men who want power. You let them feel you they go bug eyed. Yet they won't do what I did to get there. The same guys will gladly go to the gym and lift in ways that will wreck their real strength, yet won't spend anytime bodybuidling and exercising and standing for martial strength. So much wasted effort. Who would want to help someone who thinks that way. They're not budo men.

So, its not always about the teaching, or lack of it. A good student can be just as precious.
As one teacher said to me "All I need is one good student."

Owning your own training is a task most simply cannot bear. Not being able to lead, yet unwilling to follow, they are in Dojo's everywhere and won't get out of the way
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 02-09-2007 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 02-09-2007, 07:37 AM   #496
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
Ah...ok, I meant relative to myself

...great, now I know I'm going to catch flak from Ark for that comment if he reads this thread ^^;

Btw, I realize 50s isn't old in a MA career, I'm still a youngin'

You damn kids!! Wait tell I take my Metamucil and liver pills get my teeth in and my joints moving an I'll give you something to think about. Damn Kids anyway. Shit I can't move myself how the hell you gonna move me. I get put I stay put and ain't no young whippersnapper gonna move me either. Ya Damn Kids ya! All these experts give me a damn headache, damn kids. And that damn Mike he ain;t no spring chicken either. He's damn near gray as me. Did I say damn kids already?

Ark

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Old 02-09-2007, 08:08 AM   #497
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Re: Baseline skillset

Shore enough Robert. You invoked the wrath of Ark.
I hope you plan on taking ukemi, cause I sure aint.
Nice to hear from you Ark.
BTY,
Is Ark your name, or a sound?

A Fan
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Old 02-09-2007, 08:22 AM   #498
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote:
Shore enough Robert. You invoked the wrath of Ark.
I hope you plan on taking ukemi, cause I sure aint.
Nice to hear from you Ark.
BTY,
Is Ark your name, or a sound?

A Fan

I am the Ark of the Aikido Covenant. In me resides all knowledge I am also known as the All Knowing Ark. Have we successfully high jacked this thread yet? I expect Jun to kick us off forthwith.

Ark

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Old 02-09-2007, 08:48 AM   #499
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
Time on mat + time with "experts" = Potentially Zip, if you have a student that just "didn't get it."
Very true, Rob, as anyone with any exerience knows. You gotta meet the guy and feel him.



Mike
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Old 02-09-2007, 08:53 AM   #500
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote:
In me resides all knowledge
So that's what the Metamucil's for.
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Aikido Transmission and Class Size Kevin Leavitt General 30 03-02-2007 10:14 AM


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