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Old 02-26-2007, 10:42 PM   #751
eyrie
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Well, the questions you pose are conjectural and bear no relation to baseline skills.... by the same token, do they apply equally to your opposing model??? Can your model answer those questions in that context?

Yeah, I don't recommend licking the Cat-5 cable either... we can talk about recipes all days... but unless you can cook... we're only going to be "eating wind"...

Ignatius
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:04 PM   #752
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
You can't quote the 徹底した part while leaving off the 主義, and certainly not the part that explicitly elaborates on how that 主義 is realized.
I could not and would not make an effort to carry on a sustained argument on any point that I have not dwelt on for some time, like this one. I am sure that I do not conjugate worth a damn, but then I was bad in Latin as well. But these are not finer points of grammar here.

I only need a rudimentary background in Japanese to point out that you still have not distinguished or explained away his use of "tettei" 徹底 "completeness/absolute" in regard to the concept of muteikou, that Pranin translated as "absolute non-resistance." Or the other consistent usages in that same interview and other works giving similar emphasis to the "absolute" nature of his "priniciple of nonresistance."

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
合気道について日本語で話してはいけないとは決して言わないが、日本語について議論するなら、日本語が最適だと思います。
私は同意する。私の思考は彼が話した主義の彼の重点から来る.
Which probably still bears much correction, grammatically, but gets the essential point, at whih we will agree to leave it.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:48 PM   #753
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
With all due respect, Dennis (and my respect for you is considerable), I have watched Ueshiba in randori, in the 1935 Asahi film to be precise, and seen him stand still and have a person bounce off him. Twice. Well, that's not entirely true. He did move forward ever so slightly, just as the uke reached him.

Shioda does the same thing at about the 2:30 mark in this clip.
Shioda does the basic movement as O Sensei does in the other "chest push" video. His whole body is already rising in a forward-upward arc at the moment uke makes contact. By the time that uke makes contact the arc is actually vertical, and from there is headed up and backward relative to Shioda.
Since uke was attacking the shoulders, the normal attack is to shove up with the hips from the ground through the soulders and arms to try to teeter Shioda up and out of his center.

Shioda lets him do just that. At contact uke is pushing a now retreating object headed upward, and getting heavier as Shioda's upward momentum dies with gravity. Becasue Shioda has overcentered uke's arms upward, uke's shoulders have popped out of line to apply the push. Shioda also allows himself to be acelerated backwards, just like uke wanted. In combination this stops the motion of uke's shoulders forward -- but not the angular momentum of his already committed torso rotation. It has to go somewhere. His hips continue coming forward but with even greater acceleration in the established rising arc as all the angular momentum he was trying to apply from the shoulders is transfered to uke's hips in the same direction of rotation.

Shioda does exactly the same thing when attacked from behind immediately after the first one at 2:33.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 02-26-2007 at 11:57 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-27-2007, 08:44 AM   #754
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Apropos of "rooting." I have said before that what Mike and Dan describe seems to me to be basically kokyu tanden ho. And lest I be accused of cherry-picking -- this recently was given in a post recounting Second Dosshu's lecture on Ki development, in which Kisshomaru explicitly discusses "rooting to the earth." Originally from aikidoonline. I think it gets pretty plainly at the nature of the means intended to develop a "rooted" center with aikido practice, as distinct from doing "rooting" to develop centering as a predicate for aikido practice.
Quote:
Kisshomaru Doshu wrote:
It is clear that unless your center is firmly established, rooted to the earth, it will be impossible to achieve Aikido movements. The strict life style that has historically been associated with budo is one of the ways to establish this necessary firmness of center. ... In Aikido, our concept of the "Principle of Ki" is based on establishing a unity between this cosmic flow of the heavens and earth, and the flow of our own individual center, our "kokyu ryoku". We use kokyu ryoku yosei ho (popularly called kokyu-ho) as the most basic exercise designed to develop this power and unification.
Emphasis added.

This part precedes that discussion but is also of note:

Quote:
Kisshomaru Doshu wrote:
What does all this mean in terms of the actual movements of Aikido? We often hear people describe Aikido as being "purely defensive" or as relying exclusively on a "go no sen" form of technique in which we wait and act only in response to another's movement. I always feel that anyone who says this sort of thing must have somehow missed the true essence of this budo. ... Our feeling should be that we are already reaching out and embracing the other person. For this reason, I can say that when I move around my center the partner moves as well. Likewise, we could say that the other person is moving of their own accord and causing me to move around my center. This is the ideal way that we take hold of ki in Aikido.

A budo that is only a "go no sen budo", or that is only a "uke no budo" is not really a budo at all. In Japanese budo history there has never been an art designed to gain victory by being backed into a corner or by putting oneself under siege. In every case the essence is to strike out and decide the issue of victory or defeat in an active way. Thus in Aikido we do not sit back and let our partner push us here and there, neither do we actually attack them. There is no winning and there is no being defeated. We do away with the distinctions of attacker and attacked. Aikido movement brings the two into a single accord.
Shioda's preemptive movements in the shoulder push video are very illustrative of the approach Kisshomaru Doshu describes, to my mind. "Preemptive" is precisely the right word, too, for those who are translation junkies. Pre + emptore = "to buy before."

Shioda buys into the attack completely -- before it is completely delivered.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-27-2007, 09:38 AM   #755
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
I could not and would not make an effort to carry on a sustained argument on any point that I have not dwelt on for some time, like this one. I am sure that I do not conjugate worth a damn, but then I was bad in Latin as well. But these are not finer points of grammar here.
No indeed, they are finer points of idiom and usage.

Quote:
I only need a rudimentary background in Japanese to point out that you still have not distinguished or explained away his use of "tettei" 徹底 "completeness/absolute" in regard to the concept of muteikou, that Pranin translated as "absolute non-resistance."
Yes, I have.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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Old 02-27-2007, 08:48 PM   #756
Upyu
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Apropos of "rooting." I have said before that what Mike and Dan describe seems to me to be basically kokyu tanden ho. And lest I be accused of cherry-picking -- this recently was given in a post recounting Second Dosshu's lecture on Ki development, in which Kisshomaru explicitly discusses "rooting to the earth." Originally from aikidoonline. I think it gets pretty plainly at the nature of the means intended to develop a "rooted" center with aikido practice, as distinct from doing "rooting" to develop centering as a predicate for aikido practice.
Emphasis added.

This part precedes that discussion but is also of note:

Shioda's preemptive movements in the shoulder push video are very illustrative of the approach Kisshomaru Doshu describes, to my mind. "Preemptive" is precisely the right word, too, for those who are translation junkies. Pre + emptore = "to buy before."

Shioda buys into the attack completely -- before it is completely delivered.
Putting aside the fact that Kisshomaru isn't a good example either, (particualy since I think he only got this stuff on a very very very basic level)
the whole concept of go no sen, sen no sen etc etc, is simply application of the baseline skill sets.
You practice recieving/grounding to develop the skill to some degree. There's other ways to develop and refine as well.
But whether you chose to pre-empt (sen no sen, you kenjutsu freaks correct me if im wrong) or simply react (go no sen), is a difference in application.
Digging into the whole moving on "Setsuna" is interesting, but only if we have the *dum dum duuuuuuuum-* baseline skill sets at play
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Old 02-27-2007, 10:16 PM   #757
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

Well
Three degrees of sen
Sensen-no-sen is premptive
Sen-no-sen is matching
go-no-sen is after


Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 02-27-2007 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 02-27-2007, 10:39 PM   #758
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Baseline skillset

And I seem to recall an interviewer asking Ueshiba about sen and he replied that it's not sen no sen, not go no sen - that the enemy is defeated before he starts. (And in taking ukemi for K. Ueshiba, nope - he couldn't do that). So rather than Pre-emptore, caveat emptor.

Best

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Old 02-28-2007, 01:38 AM   #759
Upyu
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Well
Three degrees of sen
Sensen-no-sen is premptive
Sen-no-sen is matching
go-no-sen is after

Cheers
Dan
Duh, I'm such an idiot...
Cady thnx for pointing it out as well ^^;
"Go" (後-> after)の 線
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Old 02-28-2007, 02:59 AM   #760
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
"Go" (後-> after)の 線
Rob, unless I'm very much mistaken, the second "sen"
is also "tip":

先先の先
先の先
後の先

Regards, Gernot
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Old 02-28-2007, 09:48 AM   #761
MM
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Brion Toss wrote: View Post
Mark,
You misread me. When I asked, "But does any of that truly matter?", it was in reference to my opinion, in the immediately preceding lines, regarding the respective engineering concepts of Messrs. Harden, Sigman, and Mead. I wrote that opinion in order to draw a contrast with the theme of the letter: an open heart as a basic Aikido skill. I certainly think that "internal power" does matter, a great deal, and I am sorry if that was not clear from my post.
Ah, I misread. Apologies.

Quote:
Brion Toss wrote: View Post
As for whether or not such power can be derived from the waza, it would appear that we disagree. There are, of course, no guarantees that a student will be able to derive them, or that a teacher will be able to teach them, any more than there are guarantees in any other training model.
I disagree in that if the teaching model isn't there, no amount of waza practice will give you these skills. With the rare exception of the genius who can see what is hidden in plain sight and pick it up.

Now, that doesn't mean I think waza is useless. Don't take it that way. Waza is very important, but we aren't talking about waza in this thread, merely the baseline skills.

Quote:
Brion Toss wrote: View Post
You believe that it takes a martial arts genius to find internal energy in Aiki waza; I believe otherwise, perhaps because it has been explained to me better, as a system.
So, your teacher can do these things that Rob, Mike, and Dan can do?

Quote:
Brion Toss wrote: View Post
It also seems clear that you see any attempt at a mechanical analysis of the nature of internal power to be "useless," and this I just do not understand. If we can't even approach creating a rational model for what is happening, then we are stuck with the kind of direct transmission that tends to ossify into cult belief. Information that cannot be analysed cannot be related to other phenomena, or improved on in a meaningful, systematic manner.
I'll reply to Erick's post about this. But, yes, it is useless and a waste of energy at this point in time.

Rather than waste the time on mechanics and physics, instead invest the time in solo practice. These skills are teachable. If I can learn, hey, that means anyone can learn.

Mark
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Old 02-28-2007, 09:59 AM   #762
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
-- you still have not distinguished or explained away his use of "tettei" 徹底 "completeness/absolute" in regard to the concept of muteikou, that Pranin translated as "absolute non-resistance."
Yes, I have.
No. Respectfully, you have not dealt with it in this context. You are certainly far better at Japanese than I hope to become but translation is contextual and your approach has divorced his statement from its immediate and near context in that interview exchange, which Pranin did not.
Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
徹底した〇〇主義 is a common expression in Japanese, and refers to a thorough consistency in thought and attitude, so Ueshiba was certainly not talking about body mechanics.
You lifted that phrase and made it fit your purpose in the argument, rather than the speaker's actual usage in its context to fit all of his words.

The question O Sensei was answering in the interview [ http://www.aikidofaq.com/interviews.html ] was specifically about comparing or contrasting aikido to physical push/pull pull/push in Judo, not the "completeness" of adherence to principles of the universe. The remaining clause of his sentence " ... で相手に逆らわない is rendered by Pranin in English: "that is to say, we do not oppose the attacker."

Pranin also had to fit it to things in the later parts of the interview, like "Also, in Aikido you never go against the attacker's power." which was to immediately emphasize a point his son had just made that " if you clash with your opponent's power you can never hope to win against a very strong person. "

In Pranin's translation, the answer given of "adherence to the principle of absolute nonressitance" is thus clarified in that following clause to deal with an actual interaction between the aikido practioner and an attacker, not "adherence to nonresistance to the "flow" of a metaphysical principle.

Here's what you did on that point:
Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
Now, as to 徹底した. The quote is 徹底した無抵抗主義で相手に逆らわない. First off, the 徹底した refers to the 主義, not the 無抵抗. 無抵抗 is modifying the 主義, not the 無抵抗, not the 無抵抗.
Then you are squarely contradicting Pranin's translation, which you said you did not question. In his translation, in English the phrase using "tettei" that he renders in English as "absolute" unequivocally modifies "nonresistance", it does not, and cannot grammatically modify "principle" in English.

You said:
Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
I do not disagree with Pranin. If you would reread my previous post, I said that that the translation capable, and the words adequate to convey the basic idea of the original.
How can he give an adequate idea of the original in English if you are saying he got the emphatic modifier attached to the wrong concept?

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
無抵抗主義, which is something Ueshiba repeats, can be translated as "principle of non-resistance". It can also be translated as "principle of passive resistance".
He translated it the way I read it, you acknowledge the validity of his reading, but you read it differently and in doing so take it out of the context.

徹底した無抵抗主義で 相手に逆らわない.

Pranin reads it as "We adhere to the principle of absolute non-resistance, that is to say, we do not oppose the attacker."

I do not understand your argument on how the whole sentence should be read, in this context, with your assertion that Pranin is correct in his translation into English -- but his translation does not apply in English as he gave it.

What then, is your complete reading of it, in context?

I really think this is an important point made by O Sensei on a key area of dispute about what we train for and how we train to achieve it. I'd like to get tot he bottom of an actual answer, rather than suggestions about why my reading might be wrong in the Japanese, even though it agrees with the English translation by an accepted translator.

Why don't we we ask Pranin, or maybe Goldsbury, to offer their views?

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-28-2007, 10:07 AM   #763
MM
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
"Useless?" "Wasting energy?"
Yep and yep.

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
That is curious.
Well, since you're curious.

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Having said that, we cannot run away from the ideas that are the basis of that technological bujutsu either. We have to engage it and infuse it with the same spirit O Sensei demonstrated. Technological and methodological innovations did not completely destroy the fundamental spirit or principles lying behind classical warfare. But, really -- "useless?" Damned dangerous, I would say.
You can say it, but that don't make it right. I don't follow your posts all that closely because I'm not an engineer nor a physics major. But, what I do know is that you're using some very simple mechanics and physics to try to explain some extremely complex actions.

In other words, you're showing some flashy stuff that has no solidity or reality behind it. As an example, try this read:
http://www.discover.com/issues/jul-0...s/featphysics/

Note the section about the "Women of the Kikuyu and Luo tribes". All they're doing is walking and it can't be explained how they do it.

Heck, they can't explain the reasons behind the shift between a walk cycle and a run cycle.

Not to mention the dynamic interplay between muscle groups, tendons, nerves, electrical system, chemical system, joints, etc, etc, etc.

It's like setting up a machine that spits out baseballs for training and sport purposes, studying the mechanics of that, and then saying that you are now a professional baseball pitcher because you understand what's happening in the very simple mechanics/physics of the machine.

But, I did err in one way. I should have said, useless, waste of energy, and silly. I forgot silly.

Mark
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Old 02-28-2007, 10:11 AM   #764
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
So, your teacher can do these things that Rob, Mike, and Dan can do?
One of the interesting things about these discussions, as more and more people are personally exposed to the feel and theory of these skills, is that a quick check back at most of the previous threads and posts has shown many people that they now understand fairly easily what has been posted by some of the ones trying to explain. It also becomes fairly obvious that the ones who continue to insist on tangential stances and other explanations must not know these basic skills. I.e., it is a very reasonable assumption that Brion Toss's teacher does not know these things ... Brion has chosen to highlight this point, repeatedly.
Quote:
about: any attempt at a mechanical analysis of the nature of internal power to be "useless," ... Brion.

I'll reply to Erick's post about this. But, yes, it is useless and a waste of energy at this point in time.
It's very much like riding a bicycle.... simple when you're shown how, but pretty much a waste of time to try to describe with math, physics, and the written word.

Mike
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Old 02-28-2007, 10:18 AM   #765
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
As an example, try this read:
http://www.discover.com/issues/jul-0...s/featphysics/

Note the section about the "Women of the Kikuyu and Luo tribes". All they're doing is walking and it can't be explained how they do it.
Actually, you picked an example that I'm familiar with, Mark, and I'd comfortably put in a bet that the "difference" they're having trouble explaining is that those women are carrying the loads using a jin-path to the ground, rather than just "carrying the load on their head".

Regards,

Mike
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Old 02-28-2007, 06:07 PM   #766
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
But, I did err in one way. I should have said, useless, waste of energy, and silly. I forgot silly.
A true classic!
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Old 02-28-2007, 07:14 PM   #767
Brion Toss
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Ah, I misread. Apologies.

I disagree in that if the teaching model isn't there, no amount of waza practice will give you these skills. With the rare exception of the genius who can see what is hidden in plain sight and pick it up.

Now, that doesn't mean I think waza is useless. Don't take it that way. Waza is very important, but we aren't talking about waza in this thread, merely the baseline skills.

So, your teacher can do these things that Rob, Mike, and Dan can do?

I'll reply to Erick's post about this. But, yes, it is useless and a waste of energy at this point in time.

Rather than waste the time on mechanics and physics, instead invest the time in solo practice. These skills are teachable. If I can learn, hey, that means anyone can learn.

Mark
Hi again,
I hope you will understand if I leave my teacher out of this discussion; he is a quiet man, not interested in being compared to others. Further, I hope that this discussion can continue to be about principles, not an instructor-by-instructor rating process. Having said that, I believe I have worked with and been trained, to some extent, by people who do exhibit at least some degree of the skills you are speaking of, notably K. Tohei in the Aikido world. And what I have learned in those encounters lies behind my approach to this discussion. Clearly it has not been your experience, but there you are.
As for your assertion that physics and engineering analysis is a waste of time and silly, I continue to be stupefied. Perhaps an example from another field would help.
I had a father-in-law, now sadly gone on, who was a P-47 pilot in "War 2", as he called it. The basic (please stop calling them "baseline"; that's another word) skills required to fly a P-47 were definitely teachable, and those teachers, according to Curtiss, who understood the plane best tended to turn out fighter pilots who were less likely to get shot down. So no question, teachable, hands-on skills were valuable, as I am sure they are today. But Curtiss also often spoke of the exhaustive --- and exhausting --- time spent in classroom study over the years, where the physics of flying were imparted, to whatever degree possible, to aspiring pilots as well as senior ones. Without what he learned there, including how to think about problems, he said, repeatedly, that the hands-on stuff would be less valuable. He was definitely inclined to be a seat-of-the-pants fighter jock, but he understood the value of concepts. One of the consequences of those concepts was the addition of the characteristic "spine" that ran from the aft end of the cockpit to the base of the tail in later models of the P-47. This spine, which he suggested to a Repuplic engineer, helped prevent spin in certain situations, especially steep dives.
Now I'm no physics major either. In fact I have a hard time reading and digesting Mr. Mead's posts, and I'm sure I'm missing a lot. But what I derive is informing my practice, as knowledge tends to do. His attempts at describing the mechanics of Aikido, and how they relate to learning have, as I recall, been dismissed as attempts to use simple mechanical principles to describe extremely complex actions. Well let me clue you in: so far it is ONLY by use of simple mechanical principles that we can hope to describe extremely complex actions. The trick is to apply the correct principles, the ones that actually correspond to the actions. You might not find this approach useful in your practice. You might think that all you need is to touch the right teachers. And you might be right. Notice, please, that I am not dismissing your approach as useless and silly.

Regards,

Brion Toss
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Old 02-28-2007, 08:10 PM   #768
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Incidentally, as a side note to these discussions, it's an obvious undercurrent of the idea that the "Baseline Skills" are considered paramount by one group and secondary by another group of posters. The problem is that to realistically argue whether the skills are primary or secondary, one should be able to do those skills first, logically. However, the point I was thinking about as that this is an old, old argument about which should come first, the internal skills or technique first and then the skills. Here's something related that I grabbed in a quick internet search, just to show how old is this discussion:

Huashan Sect (華山派)
Huashan Sect was originally the most powerful of the five allied sects. Unfortunately, it became divided into two factions: the Qi faction (氣宗), which emphasized the cultivation of internal energy before learning sword techniques and the Sword faction (劍宗), which focused on acquiring sword techniques and mastering its use and making internal energy cultivation a secondary emphasis. While the Sword faction was in the majority, the Qi faction managed to win control of Huashan mountain and the sect through a ruse, forcing the other faction to leave the sect into exile or take their own lives. Because of the feud, the sect's strength was severely weakened and consequently, the Songshan sect won control of the leadership of the five sects. In general, the Sword faction possessed more innovative and creative sword techniques and skills, while the Qi faction relied on having strong internal energy and brute power, but were less creative and skillful with the sword.

The origin of the split arose when Yue Su (岳肅) and Cai Zifeng (蔡子峰), martial brothers from Huashan and the best of friends, went to the Shaolin temple and stumbled upon a manual written by a eunuch called the Sunflower Manual. In an effort to copy the manual, the two each read half of the manual and memorized it before return to Huashan. However, when they tried putting their parts together, much of the content was incomprehensible. Consequently, each believed his memory and interpretation to be correct and the other person's to be incorrect. However, from the individual parts that each of them had memorized, neither one could come up with or practice anything substantial either. From this, these once best of friends became heated rivals and helped to cause the rift between members of Huashan. Yue Su became the founder of the Qi faction and Cai Zifeng became the Sword branch's founder. The Shaolin abbott, upon realization of the nature of the Sunflower Manual and the inherent dangers of its practice, sent a monk, Du Yuan (渡元), to dissuade them from practicing the methods found there. The two martial brothers, who apologized to Du Yuan for what they had done and admitted their doings, asked Duyuan, to help them understand the manual.

Unknownst to the two Huashan masters, the monk had never heard of the manual or practiced the martial arts contained within. However, he was able to make logical conclusions from what Yue Su and Cai Zifeng recited. From the recollections of the two Huashan fighters and the monk's understanding, a manual was able to be formed. At the same time, however, Du Yuan began to be seduced by the manual and began secretly memorizing these recollections. Using his recollections of the dialogue between him and the Huashan masters, the monk made his own copy of the manual on his cassock or robe. Later, the monk fled the Shaolin temple and renounced his vows , returning to secular life as Lin Yuantu (林遠圖), the great-grandfather of Lin Pingzhi, compiling the Bixie Jianfa (辟邪劍法) manual. The two Huashan masters' disagreements were never resolved and as a result, led to the formation of the Sword and Qi factions. The copy which they compiled was stolen and became the Sunflower Manual (葵花寶典) in the hands of the Sun-Moon Sect (日月神教).

Though the two masters eventually died while fighting the Sun-Moon Sect members who had come to Huashan to steal the manual, their disagreement over which training should take precedence, qi or internal energy cultivation or swordsmanship continued within the factions they created. Each argued that the other side had turn away from orthodoxy by forgetting the teachings of the past Huashan masters. Disagreements between the sides eventually grew to the point that an all-out war between the two factions took place, taking the lives of many masters and students. Using a ruse to draw Feng Qingyang, the Sword faction's greatest swordsman and Huashan's best fighter away from Huashan, the Qi faction was able to eventually win control of the school and drive out the Sword faction members into exile. Feng Qingyang, who realized that he had been tricked, chose to stay in exile in the back of Huashan as a recluse.




Mike
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Old 03-01-2007, 04:33 AM   #769
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: Baseline skillset

Er, it seems we're still on pretty tame and amicable terms by these standards of the past eh? Very interesting extract, especially the part about more brute strength and less technique. I wonder if that is a poor translation, since if they were training Qi presumably whatever they used would be something else than brute strength. If the results of Qi and Sword training led to the same sensitivity in terms of wielding a sword and responding to the other party, it probably makes zero difference in practice where one starts. But I suspect that the Sword style also presupposed that all their techniques were to be done with jin/qi from the start, and the problem is merely that the beginners aren't very good at it. That seems to be a fairly usual thing in Japan, say in even in Abe sensei's aikido, and similarly is written in Kuroda Tetsuzan's books about his sword and jujutsu training. The "qi" faction equivalent doesn't really exist here it seems, but instead lives on as non-martial practices, such as the breathing or misogi groups that Tohei and Abe sent to to learn what they were missing in some way or other.
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:10 AM   #770
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Gernot Hassenpflug wrote: View Post
Er, it seems we're still on pretty tame and amicable terms by these standards of the past eh? Very interesting extract, especially the part about more brute strength and less technique. I wonder if that is a poor translation, since if they were training Qi presumably whatever they used would be something else than brute strength. If the results of Qi and Sword training led to the same sensitivity in terms of wielding a sword and responding to the other party, it probably makes zero difference in practice where one starts. But I suspect that the Sword style also presupposed that all their techniques were to be done with jin/qi from the start, and the problem is merely that the beginners aren't very good at it. That seems to be a fairly usual thing in Japan, say in even in Abe sensei's aikido, and similarly is written in Kuroda Tetsuzan's books about his sword and jujutsu training. The "qi" faction equivalent doesn't really exist here it seems, but instead lives on as non-martial practices, such as the breathing or misogi groups that Tohei and Abe sent to to learn what they were missing in some way or other.
The "Qi" faction would be Tohei's "Ki Society". The analogy is pretty close and sort of humorous.

And frankly, these last few months of nosing around the Ki Society approach make me somewhat more appreciative of Tohei's curriculum, to some extent. One of the points I've tried to make repeatedly is that it's not just Technique versus Ki... the added factor is that there are a number of ways to practice/develop Ki, just as there are a number of ways to do even external versions of Aikido technique.

But, lo and behold, the discussion is actually getting back to the famous old debates of "How and When to do the Ki Practice"..... that's so much better than the posts of only 2 years ago where some people were showing their complete ignorance by what they were posting in dismissal of Ki.

Things are moving nicely.

Best.

Mike
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:54 AM   #771
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Brion Toss wrote: View Post

In fact I have a hard time reading and digesting Mr. Mead's posts, and I'm sure I'm missing a lot. ..... His attempts at describing the mechanics of Aikido, and how they relate to learning have, as I recall, been dismissed as attempts to use simple mechanical principles to describe extremely complex actions. Well let me clue you in: so far it is ONLY by use of simple mechanical principles that we can hope to describe extremely complex actions.
Well, here's a clue back at ya.
Unless it has escaped your attention those from the list who have come to train with those who -actually- can do things all talk about it being laid out in simple terms. With every intention of it beng clear and teachable. There is no mention of Calculators, chaulk boards, and rotational dynamic models. Further, since he already more or less stipulated he can't do most of these things- were we able to get Mr Mead to stand there and be tested- he will simply fail-chaulk board, calculator, and laser pointer firmly in hand.
I think its very transparent-and I'm not alone-that attempts to obfuscate and muddy the waters with overly complex theories, is just another way to avoid facing the "simple" truth.
If we listen to him- Takeda was inept. I'll argue
Takeda didn't "know" physics.
He just "knew" Physics.
And Eric could never throw him.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 03-01-2007 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:36 AM   #772
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

I'm gonna throw this in because I've not seen anyone else bring this up. If it has been, I missed it and apologize.

Using language that is useful in describing the mechanics of the human system performing behaviors such as running, jumping, throwing something, etc., or affecting an inanimate object such as lifting a barbell, or hitting a heavy bag, catching a ball, etc. is not appropriate for describing a human affecting another human such as boxing, wrestling, dancing, martial arts, etc. (A system of notation for describing ballet movements was developed but was so laborious that it largely is no longer in use because it wasn't really "useful.")

I think the sort of interchange of forces that is being discussed here is extremely complex and although it can be described mechanically in limited ways, it really can only be reached somewhat more by poetic metaphore, etc. Actual physical touch/connection is necessary with someone who has it at some level and someone who is willing to experiment to learn.

It's always amusing to hear taoist and zen folks talk about the "Tao that can be described is not the true Tao" and yet we all continue to talk about it and write about it incessantly. Somehow it's always easier to talk about what it isn't instead of what it is...

Thanks to everyone for sharing your passion for this from whatever direction.

Chuck Clark
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:57 AM   #773
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Erick,

This is quite simple. You questioned the aikido applicability of Mike's internal "baseline" skillset, arguing that it did not fit Ueshiba's idea of "non-resistance", using a quite narrow definition of non-resistance. I pointed out that Ueshiba never used the non-resistance, that he rather used the word 無抵抗, which, while it can be glossed/translated/calqued as "non-resistance", idiomatically it doesn't always match up, since what can be considered 抵抗 may not always be "resistance", and vice-versa. You asked for a source. I provided one.

You then suggested that 抵抗 meant "resistance" in a systemic sense, a wholly unsupported assertation. When I provided a dictionary entry to indicate this, you used it to then define 抵抗 as broadly as you did "resistance". When I suggested that your use of 抵抗 was not idiomatic of Japanese usage, you jumped on the 徹底 of Ueshiba's quote, linking it with 無抵抗 and justifying your very narrow definition of what "non-resistance" is. In doing so, you took it completely out of the context of the original quote.

Ueshiba never says "徹底した無抵抗". That phrase appears only in your posts. He says 徹底した無抵抗主義. I will categorically state now that the 徹底した modifies the 主義. There is no debate here. I don't care what Pranin's translation was (at the moment; see below), the Japanese is unequivocal. 無抵抗主義 is a compound, and 徹底した modifies that. You simply cannot, as you did, take the 徹底した無抵抗 and leave the 主義. Furthermore, this 徹底した...主義 expression is an idiomatic Japanese expression. The 無抵抗 is connected to the 徹底した only in as much as it is connected to the 主義.

So, after I explain that, now you come to me with Pranin's translation. This brings us exactly back to my original objection! A translation is never as reliable as the original! Okay, so what about Pranin's translation? I take back nothing that I said about it. I said it was capable and adequate for getting across the basic idea. I never said it was 100% perfect. I said that I agreed with Pranin's translation of non-resistance, and I'll thank you not to extrapolate that agreement to every word of the translation. No translation is perfect, and few are beyond quibble.

"Absolute" is one such quibble. Perhaps here Pranin, or his translator, was biased by what he already perceived the principles of aikido to be. 徹底 by itself carries more the meaning of "thorough". In the sense of 徹底した used here, "constant, consistant in thought and attitude". Lots of different ways to translate it. "Out-and-out" is sometimes seen. "Through and through". Now in translation we have to be aware of issues of tone. "A principle of non-resistance, through and through!" doesn't quite match the tone Ueshiba is taking here. I like "complete". Again, it's a very bad idea to take this word entirely literally, because it's a gloss, a calque, meant to convey general meaning, not precise semantic equivalence. So, "complete", I give a 90 on the acceptability scale, versus a 75 for "absolute". Here, any thoughts from other Japanese speakers would be greatly appreciated. I'm trying to illustrate the nebulous difficulty of translation, not say, "I'm right, Pranin's wrong."

Now, "complete principle of non-resistance" vs. "principle of complete non-resistance". Looks a lot like "six of one, half a dozen of another", does it not? The former is a literal translation. The latter more idiomatic English. Most people will get the same basic idea from both. I'm sure Pranin didn't exactly expect his translation to be taken apart literally to explain aikido mechanics. It's a nice translation (talking about the whole). It gives people with no knowledge of Japanese some insight into Ueshiba's ideas. But for God's sake, don't take it (or any translation) as gospel. A grain of salt or two is required.

Finally, both the original and the translation have a context, as you note. An interview, in which people asked specific questions, and Ueshiba was addressing those questions. I, personally, don't see how you could use that quote in a discussion of baseline skillsets and mechanics without taking it completely out of context, but I'll leave for others to decide for themselves whether you were justified in doing so.

Josh Reyer

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Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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Old 03-01-2007, 12:19 PM   #774
TomW
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Brion Toss wrote: View Post
As for your assertion that physics and engineering analysis is a waste of time and silly, I continue to be stupefied. Perhaps an example from another field would help.
I had a father-in-law, now sadly gone on, who was a P-47 pilot in "War 2", as he called it. The basic (please stop calling them "baseline"; that's another word) skills required to fly a P-47 were definitely teachable, and those teachers, according to Curtiss, who understood the plane best tended to turn out fighter pilots who were less likely to get shot down. So no question, teachable, hands-on skills were valuable, as I am sure they are today. But Curtiss also often spoke of the exhaustive --- and exhausting --- time spent in classroom study over the years, where the physics of flying were imparted, to whatever degree possible, to aspiring pilots as well as senior ones. Without what he learned there, including how to think about problems, he said, repeatedly, that the hands-on stuff would be less valuable. He was definitely inclined to be a seat-of-the-pants fighter jock, but he understood the value of concepts. One of the consequences of those concepts was the addition of the characteristic "spine" that ran from the aft end of the cockpit to the base of the tail in later models of the P-47. This spine, which he suggested to a Repuplic engineer, helped prevent spin in certain situations, especially steep dives.
Now I'm no physics major either. In fact I have a hard time reading and digesting Mr. Mead's posts, and I'm sure I'm missing a lot. But what I derive is informing my practice, as knowledge tends to do. His attempts at describing the mechanics of Aikido, and how they relate to learning have, as I recall, been dismissed as attempts to use simple mechanical principles to describe extremely complex actions. Well let me clue you in: so far it is ONLY by use of simple mechanical principles that we can hope to describe extremely complex actions. The trick is to apply the correct principles, the ones that actually correspond to the actions. You might not find this approach useful in your practice. You might think that all you need is to touch the right teachers. And you might be right. Notice, please, that I am not dismissing your approach as useless and silly.
Hi Bryon-

I liked your anecdote. I tend to concur with Curtiss on the subject of hands on and class room skill sets, particularly as a carpenter-turned-engineering student.

We indeed use simple mechanical principles to describe complex actions, (though personally I don't think that's the only "tool in the kit.") There are some things we can't explain using these simple mechanical principles. For example, I can describe, using mechanical principles, how aiki age is used in kokyu-dosa to lock up your skeletal structure and give me access to your spine. I can not use mechanical principles to explain why it works better when I breathe, or why I get different effects depending on where I place my intent but I have tangible, visceral evidence that it does work.

That's all well and good, but here's the rub with Mr. Mead. Several posters here have suggested that he's applying the wrong set of mechanical principles or that possibly this can't be explained using said principles. I myself suggested that, through my own experimentation and knowledge of said principles, the latter was indeed the case. Mr. Mead said I was wrong because.....he saw a video.....of someone else....at an event he didn't attend.

I have no problem with people who don't believe it until the see (feel) it, but the physical sciences (physics, chemistry, etc) and by extension, engineering, are laboratory sciences, fundamentally based on experimentation and tangible results. This implies not only finding an answer, but all answers. So, for Mr. Mead to expound mechanical theory while refusing to enter the lab to test all the theories presented is indeed a waste of time and silly.

Tom Wharton

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Old 03-01-2007, 12:37 PM   #775
ChrisMoses
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Tom Wharton wrote: View Post
We indeed use simple mechanical principles to describe complex actions, (though personally I don't think that's the only "tool in the kit.") There are some things we can't explain using these simple mechanical principles.
Agreeing with Tom here, one of the things I took away from my BS in Physics is that the things we can solve specifically and cleanly even using very modern and complicated solutions is VERY small. Basically as soon as you have a couple points of mass influenced by a couple of non-linear forces, you are getting really close to chaos theory. What you get good at is figuring out how to approximate the system you are dealing with so that you can get pretty close. Hell, we put people on the moon using equations that were known to be incorrect. BUT THEY WORK! I am a very analytical and visual person. I can't walk down the street without seeing angle bisectors coming out from every crack in every sidewalk. As a I take a step, I draw mental lines between my feet and my head produces equilateral triangles to where my front and back 'third points' would be. Constantly, all the time. Talk about your useless superpowers... But that kind of thing only goes so far because bodies are not only hugely complicated structures, they are constantly changing and affected by psychology and physiology. I think it's important to realize that no matter how specific our paradigms get, we are always simplifying what is actually going on.

Chris Moses
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