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Old 02-12-2007, 07:11 AM   #551
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
Our understanding is in our hands, not in words, and not in our teachers reputation
Very true.
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Old 02-12-2007, 07:14 AM   #552
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
Thanks for nailing it, Mike. The major objections so far have largely been centered upon the use of these buzzwords, which really say nothing specifically... kinda like those management buzzwords which sound really impressive but mean very little.
Nah... people will say what they will. What more people need to realize is that there are people out there (perhaps reading the forum at this moment) who know enough about the basic skills that a writer's pretenses and affectations are fairly obvious. A "buzzword-guy" is actually someone who thinks he's at least close enough to the truth to be able to BS knowledgeably. What people need to concentrate on is realistic discussion and drop the need to appear to be high level.... particularly when it comes to dazzling students.

Right now, as always, I'm working on some stuff that I sort of knew over the years but I didn't have the physical development of certain areas to be able to carry it off at anything more than a demo level. I *know* it wouldn't fool a real expert. I may meet a real expert later this summer, so I'm working hard to build up this particular skill. In other words, my focus is on impressing experts, not some online pecking order where we're pumping air into each others' tires trying to impress each other.

Impress the experts; the beginners will always be easy to impress. The guy who devotes his time to impressing beginners is not someone I could ever respect or take seriously. And I want to respect myself, don't I?


Best.

Mike
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Old 02-12-2007, 07:24 AM   #553
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
my focus is on impressing experts
Interesting motivation. I try to focus on impressing myself. Of course impressing experts is no small task and I do not suggest that I have the ability to do so. I just don't feel the need.

Last edited by gdandscompserv : 02-12-2007 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 02-12-2007, 07:33 AM   #554
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

Maybe you missunderstood.
It's about yourself and your hard work.
Its not whether some guy pats you on the back
Its about whether you're on the right track.
There is so much you have to do alone. Who are you gonna ask if your on the right path when your a 2. Then when you're a 3
I had a guy fix a few things I thought were rather small. Just a year later it made a big difference. And a year is nothing. I knew enough to ignore my instinct and take some great advice.
How did Takeda teach? Most of your real training was alone or with a training partner. Work, sweat, and becoming very familair with failure, and picking yourself back up..
The motivation is about the work and trying not to work in vain.
Dan
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Old 02-12-2007, 07:40 AM   #555
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

It's too easy to BS one's self. It's better to go to someone really good and compare and get an evaluation. Or at least watch them and see what they can do that you can't do.... adjusting training and goals accordingly.

There was a comment that I always liked, "Many of these things are simple after you have been shown how; it would take you several lifetimes to figure them out for yourself".

I try to learn something (not forms, though) and then work on it until I can do it. Then I go back for more. These people who go to workshop after workshop but never really improve because they're waiting for somebody's next workshop .... they're just wasting their time. I think best step is work hard, then compare. But to each his own, I allus sez.

Mike
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Old 02-12-2007, 03:35 PM   #556
Thomas Campbell
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
[snip]Our understanding is in our hands, not in words, and not in our teachers reputation

Dan
Very nicely put.

Understanding in the whole body, expressed through our hands . . . and . . .
our understanding is in our hands, as in our understanding is our responsibility.
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Old 02-12-2007, 08:01 PM   #557
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote:
Interesting motivation. I try to focus on impressing myself. Of course impressing experts is no small task and I do not suggest that I have the ability to do so. I just don't feel the need.
Well, think of it from another perspective. It's easy for someone to fool themselves about what they're doing or where they are.... in fact, that's what leads a lot of people down the path of Self-Satisfaction. If you go to a real expert and talk really honestly and show real results, you'll get a real idea of where you are and where you should focus next. Most of the problem in the martial arts right now is that too many people are impressed with themselves for imaginary reasons.

Mike
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Old 02-13-2007, 07:12 AM   #558
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Baseline skillset

For the most part when I see demonstrations with people jumping over machetes and dodging swords I cringe. I believe some of these folks whom I have spoken with afterward actually believe they are doing this things under realistic circumstances. I am old and slow and even my blade moves faster than the eye can track, but taking a live blade from the hands of those of my ilk would be more of a task than these could accomplish, let alone my betters. We have some real con men and women out there and many are actually deceiving themselves assisted by culpable and vulnerable students. I hear the audience cheer at such antics and get embarrassed. Not only are the audiences being deceived but by being so gullible they reinforce the inflated ego of the demonstrator. I believe there are many more good teachers and students of Aikido out there than some on this thread but I also know from experience there are many that are hollow shells willing to be filled with all manner of tripe. There are those that have never tested themselves and some that have fell short of their expectations and for the most part blame the person they ask to help them test their skills. I have seen high ranking individuals abuse their students because the student was true to the attack and won. My partners get congratulation for such a thing. Although I will admit the older I get and the more down time I suffer from the occasional injury the less grateful I get .

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
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Old 02-13-2007, 07:40 PM   #559
statisticool
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Re: Baseline skillset

Could someone cite the source where Ueshiba, any of them, refer to 'baseline skills'?

Thanks.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 02-14-2007, 05:33 AM   #560
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Interestingly enough, I had a response on the ki and kokyu baseline that was fairly in-depth, but once again Justin the Unbalanced has reminded me that there are simply a few bad people on this forum, so I'll take the discussion to QiJing where it can be done a little more thoughtfully.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-14-2007, 05:24 PM   #561
Moses
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Re: Baseline skillset

from the peanut gallery, there are those of us who really enjoy reading the disscusions, don't stop.
Also, what is QiJing?
Moses
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Old 02-14-2007, 05:32 PM   #562
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Baseline skillset

Mike's mail list/forum, I believe, which would be fun to lurk and listen on.
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Old 02-14-2007, 07:01 PM   #563
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
Mike's mail list/forum, I believe, which would be fun to lurk and listen on.
No lurking.... or that's supposed to be the rule that I flogs 'em with. It's supposed to be a "pool". Even if someone contributes good questions, critiques, what-if's, etc., and it makes people think, it's a bonus.

Mike

Loves to eat them mousies,
Mousies what I loves to eat.
Bite they little heads off,
Nibble on they tiny feet.


--J. Cat
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Old 02-14-2007, 07:38 PM   #564
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Baseline skillset

Loves to eat them mousies,
Mousies what I loves to eat.
Bite they little heads off,
Nibble on they tiny feet.

--J. Cat


Haven't seen a quote from B. Kliban in years!
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Old 02-14-2007, 09:23 PM   #565
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
Could someone cite the source where Ueshiba, any of them, refer to 'baseline skills'?

Thanks.
Could you show me anywhere where he didn't?
There are many, many, interviews and quotes where men have gone on record stating they didn't have a freakin clue what he was talking about and couldn't wait for him to shut up so they could train.
There is significant president in interviews and film where he spent significant time having men push on him. No tenkan, no turn, direct force back into the pusher. Add the countless hours solo training.
It's fairly obvious by the thousands who have no clue about what he was really doing that "finding it" through techniques is stupid. It has never, and will never, work. I find it interesting that the grandsons of Takeda are- right now- purportedly training these skills, instead of the waza based pretzel-logic you seem to advocate as a better method. I wonder why?
Dan

Last edited by DH : 02-14-2007 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 02-14-2007, 09:40 PM   #566
eyrie
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Dan, you should know better than to throw out bait... Imagine... we are at the zoo....

Talking about baseline skills, I happen chance to come across an old vid of Ueshiba doing solo training... AND here he was... in the dark... spear thrusting at a bogu tied to a stake in the ground...

Ignatius
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Old 02-14-2007, 10:23 PM   #567
David Orange
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote:
I am old and slow and even my blade moves faster than the eye can track, but taking a live blade from the hands of those of my ilk would be more of a task than these could accomplish, let alone my betters. We have some real con men and women out there and many are actually deceiving themselves assisted by culpable and vulnerable students....There are those that have never tested themselves and some that have fell short of their expectations and for the most part blame the person they ask to help them test their skills. I have seen high ranking individuals abuse their students because the student was true to the attack and won. My partners get congratulation for such a thing.
That's where the old padded sword comes in very handy. Mochizuki Sensei made them out of pvc pipe (about 1/2" diameter) covered with pipe insulation foam and wrapped in duct tape. The attacker could really attack with true spirit and the defender would get the true message and know he'd gotten it. Nothing puts an end to self-deception like a good whack from a good padded sword.

Best to you.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 02-14-2007, 10:43 PM   #568
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

Since it takes little effort to cut I'd say a light touch with two cuts would be even more impressive.

Back in the day
Ya had to fight all day
Ya didn't swing a sword
That way...all day
You left energy
To fight another day

Dan
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Old 02-15-2007, 11:57 AM   #569
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
Could you show me anywhere where he didn't?
There are many, many, interviews and quotes where men have gone on record stating they didn't have a freakin clue what he was talking about and couldn't wait for him to shut up so they could train.
There is significant president in interviews and film where he spent significant time having men push on him. No tenkan, no turn, direct force back into the pusher. Add the countless hours solo training.
It's fairly obvious by the thousands who have no clue about what he was really doing that "finding it" through techniques is stupid. It has never, and will never, work. I find it interesting that the grandsons of Takeda are- right now- purportedly training these skills, instead of the waza based pretzel-logic you seem to advocate as a better method. I wonder why?
Dan
I have to say that I come firmly on Dan's side in this. I constantly meet folks who have trained seriously and consistently for decades who simply don't have any real understanding of what our teachers are doing. The idea that simply repeating the same movements over and over will magically result at some unspecified time in the proper skills is just wrong in most cases.

The training that has been the most helpful to me has been principle based exercises, not waza. Ushiro Sensei does this a lot. Kuroda Sensei did this almost exclusively at the Expo. At least 50 % of Systema training is along these lines.

Static training in Aikido should be used for this but many folks miss the point and simply make it a contest about whose technique is stronger. If done properly, it is about developing the proper "feel" for your technique; conditioning your body to understand what it needs to be doing without the tension created by concerns for timing, spacing, etc. I once attended a seminar with Angier Sensei in which we did what I would call kosa dori sumi otoshi from a static position for a day and a half. Many of the folks attending lost interest and stood around talking but the real "goods" were right in front of them and they didn't see it. They just wanted to mambo...

Dan is absolutely right that most folks don't realize how much training O-Sensei did alone, both in terms of what we would see as spiritual practice and what we would describe as physical training. The fact is that these two areas weren't really separate. Nevertheless, very little of what he did in his solo practice is presented as important as daily training for most people in Aikido. Folks may have this or that exercise presented in class once in a while but not as something that should be done every day and often only in a very abbreviated form.

Saotome Sensei used to do the rowing exercise for a half hour or more every day. One poster commented that he gets bored if he is asked to do it more than a few minutes in class... he wants to get to the waza. He is missing something very important.

Very few people that I see get to a high level of skill just by doing daily partner training comprised of just waza. Some may do so but not any where near as many as should do so. Aikido people need to get out more. There are some absolutely amazing folks out there who can help us tremendously. Since they do principle based training, you do not have to abandon your Aikido. You can train with these people and the application of what they are doing is immediately apparent in ones own technique.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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Old 02-15-2007, 12:56 PM   #570
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Ledyard Sensei,
What 'principle based' exercises do you recommend?
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:27 PM   #571
Ian Starr
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
I have to say that I come firmly on Dan's side in this. I constantly meet folks who have trained seriously and consistently for decades who simply don't have any real understanding of what our teachers are doing. The idea that simply repeating the same movements over and over will magically result at some unspecified time in the proper skills is just wrong in most cases.

The training that has been the most helpful to me has been principle based exercises, not waza. Ushiro Sensei does this a lot. Kuroda Sensei did this almost exclusively at the Expo. At least 50 % of Systema training is along these lines.

Static training in Aikido should be used for this but many folks miss the point and simply make it a contest about whose technique is stronger. If done properly, it is about developing the proper "feel" for your technique; conditioning your body to understand what it needs to be doing without the tension created by concerns for timing, spacing, etc. I once attended a seminar with Angier Sensei in which we did what I would call kosa dori sumi otoshi from a static position for a day and a half. Many of the folks attending lost interest and stood around talking but the real "goods" were right in front of them and they didn't see it. They just wanted to mambo...

Dan is absolutely right that most folks don't realize how much training O-Sensei did alone, both in terms of what we would see as spiritual practice and what we would describe as physical training. The fact is that these two areas weren't really separate. Nevertheless, very little of what he did in his solo practice is presented as important as daily training for most people in Aikido. Folks may have this or that exercise presented in class once in a while but not as something that should be done every day and often only in a very abbreviated form.

Saotome Sensei used to do the rowing exercise for a half hour or more every day. One poster commented that he gets bored if he is asked to do it more than a few minutes in class... he wants to get to the waza. He is missing something very important.

Very few people that I see get to a high level of skill just by doing daily partner training comprised of just waza. Some may do so but not any where near as many as should do so. Aikido people need to get out more. There are some absolutely amazing folks out there who can help us tremendously. Since they do principle based training, you do not have to abandon your Aikido. You can train with these people and the application of what they are doing is immediately apparent in ones own technique.
Hi George,

I think I may be one of those people that needs to come into contact with some of the folks you mention. I have to a very limited extent - perhaps I am not in a place psychologically where I can benefit yet. So maybe on second thought encountering more people of a similar quality would not be beneficial at this time - it's hard to know. Maybe it has to be the "right" person. I personally grow frustrated with the exercises and demos like we may see from, Ushiro Sensei for instance, at summer camp. I feel like in 15 years I can return to camp and very likely see the same people doing the same exercises (push here now change the way you feel/or settle your center/or shift your attention/or now use kokyu and now push again - see the difference?) and to what end? Where is it going? There are also other variables that constantly occur during the course of participation in these excercises that can totally wreck any real glimpse of truthful experience. And those are hard to avoid even when we desire to do so. After a week of going through that I simply don't feel like anything tangible has been conveyed at all. It is very frustrating indeed for some of us I believe.

Perhaps belief plays a crucial role actually. I know perfectly well that something has to be created/exist in your mind before it can exist in reality. And again, I just may not be there yet or may never be there.

People I have a lot of affection and respect for are very into some of these teachers and the things they are doing so despite my personal frustrations it is hard to dismiss them and what they are offering altogether. I suppose that is good.

I regard myself as a sincere student of the martial arts and just wanted to voice a frustration. I feel there are other students amongst our peers (dedicated aikidoka) that have similar feelings or difficulties.

Thanks,

Ian
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:47 PM   #572
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ian Starr wrote:
I personally grow frustrated with the exercises and demos like we may see from, Ushiro Sensei for instance, at summer camp. I feel like in 15 years I can return to camp and very likely see the same people doing the same exercises (push here now change the way you feel/or settle your center/or shift your attention/or now use kokyu and now push again - see the difference?) and to what end? Where is it going?
I don't want to appear to be speaking out of both sides of my mouth, but on the one hand I applaud the fact that someone like Ushiro is being utilized to highlight the importance of kokyu (via Ikeda Sensei's concerns and focuses).... but on the other hand, as I've mentioned before, I don't think that most people are going to benefit from what Ushiro Sensei is *showing* (i.e., I don't think he's being explicative enough to call it "teaching").

Usually when someone tells me how much they've learned, etc., from a given teacher and how good he is, and yada, yada, yada, I just ask that they "show me". So far, I haven't felt anyone who has been to Ushiro's classes who has developed any real kokyu skills. Not that they couldn't, if they'd been given instruction up to where they understood where Ushiro Sensei was starting from, but since they're missing that gap and he doesn't fill it in, most of those classes are going to have marginal, if any, value, IMO. On the other hand, isn't a certain amount of reserve with information the traditional Asian method? We can't fault this occurence.

I've also talked with a few old friends of mine who have done Aikido forever (i.e., longer than most readers on this forum, by far) and who have participated in a number of Ushiro's classes. Privately, these people, while wanting to believe, have just been-there-done-that too long. They see it pretty much the same way I do and the way Ian does. Let's don't see clothes on the Emperor if they're not really there.... let's call a thong a thong. Critical, self-honest thinking is the only way to approach these skills and Ian appears to be saying publicly what I've heard a number of people say privately.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:57 PM   #573
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
There are also other variables that constantly occur during the course of participation in these excercises that can totally wreck any real glimpse of truthful experience.
I think this is really important...what it means to me is that without a knowledgable person to guide you, you can do all the solo and paired training you want...but it's still quite possible (or even likely) that you are just fooling yourself. I've been to seminars where some group of uke will fall or bounce off or go rigid at a touch...suggestion seems to be everything for them.

But then the next person isn't buying, and guess what?? My "Master" status drops pretty quickly right about then.

Without that base of someone who knows what you're looking for and where you're going getting hands on with you...these baseline skills can be very tricky to obtain.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 02-15-2007, 06:09 PM   #574
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ian Starr wrote:
Hi George,

I think I may be one of those people that needs to come into contact with some of the folks you mention. I have to a very limited extent - perhaps I am not in a place psychologically where I can benefit yet. So maybe on second thought encountering more people of a similar quality would not be beneficial at this time - it's hard to know. Maybe it has to be the "right" person. I personally grow frustrated with the exercises and demos like we may see from, Ushiro Sensei for instance, at summer camp. I feel like in 15 years I can return to camp and very likely see the same people doing the same exercises (push here now change the way you feel/or settle your center/or shift your attention/or now use kokyu and now push again - see the difference?) and to what end? Where is it going? There are also other variables that constantly occur during the course of participation in these excercises that can totally wreck any real glimpse of truthful experience. And those are hard to avoid even when we desire to do so. After a week of going through that I simply don't feel like anything tangible has been conveyed at all. It is very frustrating indeed for some of us I believe.

Perhaps belief plays a crucial role actually. I know perfectly well that something has to be created/exist in your mind before it can exist in reality. And again, I just may not be there yet or may never be there.

People I have a lot of affection and respect for are very into some of these teachers and the things they are doing so despite my personal frustrations it is hard to dismiss them and what they are offering altogether. I suppose that is good.

I regard myself as a sincere student of the martial arts and just wanted to voice a frustration. I feel there are other students amongst our peers (dedicated aikidoka) that have similar feelings or difficulties.

Thanks,

Ian
I think to some extent this is the point of the discussion... If someone hasn't had enough of a foundation to understand what is being taught, it won't matter that someone shows you. The folks that I see getting the most out of Ushiro Sensei's teaching are the most senior people. I don't think most folks are aware enough of what the prerequisite issues are to be able to take advantage of the instruction. I use Ushiro as an example only in that he is more systematic and more clear about what he is imparting than what I have been used to. I have already had some of the best Aikido training available anywhere. So my experience prepared me to see what he is offering. Most people are simply in the same boat they are with Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei... they see them year after year and don't make any substantial progress towards understanding what they are doing. This is do to a failure in the transmission model.

I think that the principles which combine to create high level technique should be explained and taught right from the start of ones training. I see no point in acquiring hundreds of techniques and variations, none of which you can actually do, because you don't understand what principles are at work. You are better off doing a much smaller repertoire designed to teach your mind and your body the essential principles of aiki. Then one can acquire new techniques at any time and understand what needs to happen to make them effective.

There are a number of skills which would combine to create an O-Sensei level practitioner. There are various psychological aspects one would have to address. There are the structural aspects relating to internal power and kokyu which Mike and Dan have been describing. There would be the aspect of how one joins ones power with another's which would be along the lines of what folks like Endo Sensei and Kuroda Sensei focus on. Someone like Saotome Sensei, my own teacher, embodies much of this on a holistic level. But he doesn't really isolate the principles. I don't even think he sees them as separate issues. So if I wanted to focus on understanding internal power I would definitely train with someone like Mike who has a highly developed way of describing what he is doing and is quite excellent at getting you to do it. Kuroda Sensei had an array of movement paired exercises which were designed to get your body to understand what it should and should not be doing. He really focused on the physical musubi aspect of aiki. In terms of understanding about how to project your intention and what the issues are involved in ki musubi, Ushiro Sensei is incredible. I see a variety of amazing teachers, each focusing on certain aspects of what goes into producing the total package that results in an O-Sensei or a Takeda Sensei.

The problem is for moist folks is that the issues haven't even been defined enough to know what they should be trying to do or learn. They can see someone who is showing them what they need to be doing but they can't see it, even when it is right in front. This is the gap that has been created by a faulty definition of what the fundamentals are. Things that should be fundamental are called high level and no one even talks about them in normal training. Then someone comes along who will show you and you aren't ready because you don't even have the conceptual structure to understand what is being shown. This needs to be addressed. Discussions like this can make folks aware of what these issues are but it's still back to training with people who can teach you what you need to know. It may be that the folks who are the best at "doing" aren't even the best at "teaching". This has often been the case in the past. But if you are going to design your own training program to get you where you want to be, you need to be aware enough of what the issues are that you can seek out the teachers who can show you. Just training away, night after night, will not do it.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:07 PM   #575
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
I think to some extent this is the point of the discussion... If someone hasn't had enough of a foundation to understand what is being taught, it won't matter that someone shows you. The folks that I see getting the most out of Ushiro Sensei's teaching are the most senior people. I don't think most folks are aware enough of what the prerequisite issues are to be able to take advantage of the instruction. I use Ushiro as an example only in that he is more systematic and more clear about what he is imparting than what I have been used to. I have already had some of the best Aikido training available anywhere. So my experience prepared me to see what he is offering. Most people are simply in the same boat they are with Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei... they see them year after year and don't make any substantial progress towards understanding what they are doing. This is do to a failure in the transmission model.

I think that the principles which combine to create high level technique should be explained and taught right from the start of ones training. I see no point in acquiring hundreds of techniques and variations, none of which you can actually do, because you don't understand what principles are at work. You are better off doing a much smaller repertoire designed to teach your mind and your body the essential principles of aiki. Then one can acquire new techniques at any time and understand what needs to happen to make them effective.

There are a number of skills which would combine to create an O-Sensei level practitioner. There are various psychological aspects one would have to address. There are the structural aspects relating to internal power and kokyu which Mike and Dan have been describing. There would be the aspect of how one joins ones power with another's which would be along the lines of what folks like Endo Sensei and Kuroda Sensei focus on. Someone like Saotome Sensei, my own teacher, embodies much of this on a holistic level. But he doesn't really isolate the principles. I don't even think he sees them as separate issues. So if I wanted to focus on understanding internal power I would definitely train with someone like Mike who has a highly developed way of describing what he is doing and is quite excellent at getting you to do it. Kuroda Sensei had an array of movement paired exercises which were designed to get your body to understand what it should and should not be doing. He really focused on the physical musubi aspect of aiki. In terms of understanding about how to project your intention and what the issues are involved in ki musubi, Ushiro Sensei is incredible. I see a variety of amazing teachers, each focusing on certain aspects of what goes into producing the total package that results in an O-Sensei or a Takeda Sensei.

The problem is for moist folks is that the issues haven't even been defined enough to know what they should be trying to do or learn. They can see someone who is showing them what they need to be doing but they can't see it, even when it is right in front. This is the gap that has been created by a faulty definition of what the fundamentals are. Things that should be fundamental are called high level and no one even talks about them in normal training. Then someone comes along who will show you and you aren't ready because you don't even have the conceptual structure to understand what is being shown. This needs to be addressed. Discussions like this can make folks aware of what these issues are but it's still back to training with people who can teach you what you need to know. It may be that the folks who are the best at "doing" aren't even the best at "teaching". This has often been the case in the past. But if you are going to design your own training program to get you where you want to be, you need to be aware enough of what the issues are that you can seek out the teachers who can show you. Just training away, night after night, will not do it.

Perhaps, that is why you rarely see shihan teaching a seminar that does not focus on basics. THere is more there to learn than meets the eye. I like the way you put it.
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