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Old 03-05-2007, 01:22 PM   #876
Pete Rihaczek
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Pete,

I hear ya on the 20 somethings! I don't have too much issue with them, but stamina wise it is hard to keep up with them. There is no way I can beat them.

About 6 months ago I had to fight a young white belt in an open tournament.
Hi Kevin,

I won't spar white belts, period. They're the scary ones.

I'm not going to mediate between you and Dan here, but I do think I see you projecting an attitude on him that I'm not reading from his words. I do see you writing things like, "Dan, I'm getting concerned about your understanding of distance", and so forth. Now I'm new here, so likely there is a long history of interaction I'm not aware of, but I don't see the ego from Dan that you're talking about. Writing is a generally poor form of communication though, because the reader is free to interpret the writer's emotional state, and it's often wrong. So, such things are normal and inevitable.

In my post to Dan, what I was agreeing with is essentially the separate nature of body skills and a technical fighting syllabus. The body skills are a way of moving, and as such can be applied to any martial technique. To me then, and presumably to Dan, since our interest seems to be in what works best, the value of the technical syllabus of Aikido is dubious. The simplest example is that no man is going to get his wrist grabbed in a fight. Women and kids maybe, but not an adult male. If it did happen, the only reason would be for the attacker to throw punches with his free hand, the wrist grab being merely to prevent you from blocking on that side. You're immediately engaged in a punching battle then, and working on a wristlock isn't a good idea anyway.

Let me be clear that any art that one trains hard at *can* work on some people some of the time. No one is saying "Aikido is useless". But some techniques are low-percentage, and some are high-percentage in terms of how likely they are to be successful. Yet whether it's spoken about openly or not, there is an implicit assumption even among those martial artists who profess their interest is in something other than pure effectiveness, that the more years you have in an art, the tougher the level of opponent you could handle. But if you're working low-percentage techniques that isn't very true. Someone with a few months MMA training could easily defeat someone with 10 years in Aikido, and that would not be unusual at all. The reason is that the technical syllabus of Aikido doesn't address a really competent opponent.

Wrist grabs can be ignored (punch the guy in the face) or defeated easily. The shomenuchi type attack you could say could be a stick or club, but if you want to learn that stuff, a Filipino or Indonesian system will give you a PhD in weapons compared to what you would learn in Aikido. I forget what that attack that looks like a softball pitch is called, but it's ridiculous. Double wrist grabs are easy to defeat, and you can learn to counter all these sorts of things with minimal training, and no tenkan, no large body movement, just standard jiu-jitsu type stuff. We're talking a few hours to a few weeks to drill such things. I think that's what Dan means with a "yawn". From an overall martial arts perspective it's rather unexciting. Why spend years working on low-percentage counters to things you can learn high-percentage counters to in a matter of hours? Only the body skills are interesting, but you won't find those anywhere, and if you do, why not put them to work with a high-percentage syllabus?

Dan refers to MMA as the "great equalizer", and I would agree. A good part of the reason for that is the Western boxing component of MMA. Boxing has both speed and knockout power, and it doesn't offer anything to feel through the arm, whether you want to feel the opponent's balance, work on an arm or wristlock, etc. It's suicide to try. A whole lot of traditional arts that do a lot of work in this area of feeling the opponent through arm contact would have to adapt their technical syllabus to address the fact that you're taking a huge chance of getting clocked unless you clinch in some fashion (if you don't want to trade) and work from there. Note that this means that even with the body skills the actual technical syllabus has to be adapted to address modern opponents. MMA is exploding in popularity to the point that it is becoming part of the cultural awareness, hence the likelihood of being attacked by someone who is at least somewhat aware of what works, if not actually trained in it, is becoming higher.

Having said all that, I would say in principle that you have a valid question, because I don't really know how the body skills would best be used in a boxing/kickboxing context. I don't doubt that they can, I just don't know enough to do more than speculate. This could easily be another discussion tangent, but as I see it the maximum ground power necessitates a good ground connection, which would seem to incur at least some cost in mobility. On the other hand, there is the aspect of connection alone, without necessarily using the ground for power. I almost see a sort of two-pronged approach between what Akuzawa and Rob do and what Mike does, deriving from the Chen Taiji and similar traditions. The obvious sweet spot for the latter is in the clinch, where the full suit and ground connection can be used to maximum effect, along with short power hits. That is probably the area where internal skills can make the greatest impact (pun intended) in MMA. But what about the feeling out range where the opponent is dancing in and out, trying to hit you with jabs and score with leg kicks? I don't doubt that you can powerfully close the gap, but this is where it's generally better to be up on the balls of your feet with high mobility. That doesn't seem to mesh with maximum ground connection, keeping weight underside, etc. As a quick speculation I could toss out the idea of more connection-only approach kickboxing range, shifting to the full ground-and-suit approach in the clinch. Anyway, I think only a select group is going to understand exactly what I'm getting at, point being it's certainly a valid question as to whether there is a tradeoff between maximum power and mobility. You sort of accused Dan of not being able to do his stuff at all without standing in one spot, which to be honest isn't fair since you haven't experienced what he does, but in this sense the strategic question has merit. Note that it's a question, not a statement. That you made it as a statement indicates some bias or irritation with how you think Dan is putting things, and as I said I don't really see that. Hopefully this gives you an idea of where (I think) he is coming from as well.
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Old 03-05-2007, 01:55 PM   #877
Pete Rihaczek
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Gernot Hassenpflug wrote: View Post
I'm sorry to hear about your injury Pete, those long-term things suck :-( [snip] I would argue that even without proper internal training (as Mike Sigman, Dan Harden and Akuzawa might teach) any activity, such as serious dance, which does build connectivity, will help to reduce the possibilities of training injuries a great deal.
Hi Gernot,

My shoulder is fine actually, never bothers me, I just had to give up heavy bench pressing. Which is fine, weight training is not something I particularly enjoy anymore, in some ways I think it does more harm than good, and benching doesn't have the best athletic carryover anyway. I definitely think more holistic exercises where the whole body is addressed as a unit is the way to go for the long term.
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Old 03-05-2007, 03:30 PM   #878
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Pete,

Thanks for the reply. No need to mediate, the discussion is over.

I agree whole-heartedly with your post above.

I have a very good, sound traditional aikido background as well as a pretty good base in MMA/combatives training. I have trained extensively with sticks, knifes, tasers, simunitions and understand there place and employment for the most part, as well as I think you can without becoming a kali expert.

Pete wrote:

Quote:
his could easily be another discussion tangent, but as I see it the maximum ground power necessitates a good ground connection, which would seem to incur at least some cost in mobility. On the other hand, there is the aspect of connection alone, without necessarily using the ground for power. I almost see a sort of two-pronged approach between what Akuzawa and Rob do and what Mike does, deriving from the Chen Taiji and similar traditions. The obvious sweet spot for the latter is in the clinch, where the full suit and ground connection can be used to maximum effect, along with short power hits. That is probably the area where internal skills can make the greatest impact (pun intended) in MMA. But what about the feeling out range where the opponent is dancing in and out, trying to hit you with jabs and score with leg kicks? I don't doubt that you can powerfully close the gap, but this is where it's generally better to be up on the balls of your feet with high mobility. That doesn't seem to mesh with maximum ground connection, keeping weight underside, etc. As a quick speculation I could toss out the idea of more connection-only approach kickboxing range, shifting to the full ground-and-suit approach in the clinch. Anyway, I think only a select group is going to understand exactly what I'm getting at, point being it's certainly a valid question as to whether there is a tradeoff between maximum power and mobility.
YES, YES, YES...you have precisely hit the nail on the head. I am not so good with words!

Nah, Dan got what Dan got because he is sniping at bits and pieces. It was a quick tap dance around the issue for him. (He was sniping at my comments concerning aikido methodolgy and moving. I said irimi/tenkan...which is moving your feet/body/alignment...he says...why would you want to do that??? so the inverse is...what...don't move, or move a little...certainly relevant to perspective and this is text and not reality! My point is regardless of moving a little or not at all...if you do not first move ENOUGH, then you will get nailed, and why do you want to assume this risk in a real situation? So you can show everyone you can do some cool things with your body????

Or you really don't understand aikido....or you assume I don't really understand what I am talking about....

So either way, it was a snipe at the real issue, which was simply another way for him to grandstand and thumb his nose (I am not in the GET IT club you see!)

In hindsight, I fell for the trolling hook line and sinker. Hey it happens every now and then! He got me.

Anyway, I think part of my frustration on this thread has been that I cannot seem to understand things from my own training paradigm. I am excited because it appears that you might be able to help bridge that gap with your background as it seems similar, AND you have an idea of how this stuff works!

Look forward to your input and discussion!

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Old 03-05-2007, 04:42 PM   #879
Lee Salzman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Pete Rihaczek wrote: View Post
Having said all that, I would say in principle that you have a valid question, because I don't really know how the body skills would best be used in a boxing/kickboxing context. I don't doubt that they can, I just don't know enough to do more than speculate. This could easily be another discussion tangent, but as I see it the maximum ground power necessitates a good ground connection, which would seem to incur at least some cost in mobility. On the other hand, there is the aspect of connection alone, without necessarily using the ground for power. I almost see a sort of two-pronged approach between what Akuzawa and Rob do and what Mike does, deriving from the Chen Taiji and similar traditions. The obvious sweet spot for the latter is in the clinch, where the full suit and ground connection can be used to maximum effect, along with short power hits. That is probably the area where internal skills can make the greatest impact (pun intended) in MMA. But what about the feeling out range where the opponent is dancing in and out, trying to hit you with jabs and score with leg kicks? I don't doubt that you can powerfully close the gap, but this is where it's generally better to be up on the balls of your feet with high mobility. That doesn't seem to mesh with maximum ground connection, keeping weight underside, etc. As a quick speculation I could toss out the idea of more connection-only approach kickboxing range, shifting to the full ground-and-suit approach in the clinch. Anyway, I think only a select group is going to understand exactly what I'm getting at, point being it's certainly a valid question as to whether there is a tradeoff between maximum power and mobility.
I can only speak for the methodology I practice, but connectedness can and is developed into explosive power/movement. You can teach the body how to relax more completely to be prepared for movement, get rid of the gap between intent to move and actual movement, ensure movement is not broken, hone your ability to move in different directions out of various body shapes, etc. etc. Down is one direction out of many in this whole 4D space-time thing.
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:04 PM   #880
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
So either way, it was a snipe at the real issue, which was simply another way for him to grandstand and thumb his nose (I am not in the GET IT club you see!)
Well, I'm not speaking for Dan, nor do I want to get in between your love fest, but let me say that there are 2 sides of the story.

Try to imagine the other side for someone who was exposed to these types of body skills:

First of all, the utility of these skills and the sudden physical realization of what the old Asians meant by "ki" is obvious. The fact that everyone is not already doing this is stupefying.

Secondly, imagine trying to tell people in a friendly (at first) manner that there's something generally missing that is pretty important. Then imagine getting repeatedly rebuffed with crap about how they're "high-ranking dans" and there is either "no such thing" or "we already talk about and do those things" (when very obviously they don't).

Picture how really stupid that scenario looks to someone who can see these skills (even at a low level) and who suddenly sees western Aikido, Karate, Judo, Ju-Jitsu, Iaido, Sword arts, etc., for what they are.... a lot of costumery covering pretty much just external strength. And the guys doing those external charades are the ones giving you a hard time for trying to pass on something that is supposed to be intrinsic in the art they teach. See the picture? Now imagine that that same bizarre denial and rudeness has gone on, in your experience for a decade or more. As you can see, respect for some "high ranking dan" is just about nil and of course the "high ranking dan", who has some assigned niche in the pecking order, takes that lack of respect as an insult. That pretty much sums it up.

Now go back to some of your posts, Kevin, and the posts of others. There's been enough to signal quite easily that there's probably something you should look at and just shelve the commentary for a while. Instead, you've listened and then you post things about "Oh, ki and kokyu.... I teach those things".... but to us it's pretty obvious you don't know what ki and kokyu are, so you're signalling that you're part of the same continuing insanity that seems to be never ending from "Those That Teach" (not all, but too many). See why Dan gets irritated so quickly, under that scenario? See why you, a 'teacher' who also 'rumbles with young guys and whips their butts' feel like you're not being given full due for you knowledge, etc.? It's a 2-way street.

Dan's apparently being pretty friendly in his showing people whatever he shows them, although I suspect he'll reach a point where he'll feel "point made; now back to working on myself". Knowing that you're under no obligation to make your point and validate yourself, as Dan has more or less done at this point, makes him probably less prone to put up with the superficial friction that has probably gotten under his skin over a number of years. I.e., He may not be trolling... he may be considering that doesn't he really need to put up with supposed "teachers" challenging him about something they should already know before they call themselves a teacher. See the point?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Last edited by Mike Sigman : 03-05-2007 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 03-05-2007, 06:03 PM   #881
Pete Rihaczek
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
[snip]

So either way, it was a snipe at the real issue, which was simply another way for him to grandstand and thumb his nose (I am not in the GET IT club you see!)

In hindsight, I fell for the trolling hook line and sinker. Hey it happens every now and then! He got me.

Anyway, I think part of my frustration on this thread has been that I cannot seem to understand things from my own training paradigm. I am excited because it appears that you might be able to help bridge that gap with your background as it seems similar, AND you have an idea of how this stuff works!

Look forward to your input and discussion!
Honestly, and I think I'm being objective here because I don't know you or Dan, I simply did not see Dan's comments as sniping. If you're anticipating sniping and attitude, you can put it in where the writer didn't intend. This is one of the bizarre side effects of being in the "get it" club (not by virtue of ability in my case, mind you) that it's like the Babelfish got put in your ear and you understand what someone like Dan is trying to say.

The whole mobility thing is probably easily answered; like most of us who have been exposed to this stuff but don't have someone high-level to train with on a regular basis, there are many gaps and you do the best you can. I work on putting what I know of this sort of motion into boxing, because the objective evidence is that punching people in the head really hard is very effective. I'm playing with various things, but the kickboxing range stuff I'm less sure of how to address. This is the problem Matt Hughes had when lost to St. Pierre, namely that he was in boxing mode, and MMA encompasses more than that and calls for a modified approach. St. Pierre was able to get in, hit, and get out, before Hughes could effectively counter. But, my knowledge of "internal footwork" and kicking technique is extremely limited, and my ignorance says absolutely nothing about how well it can be done. I know that Akuzawa and Rob have shown things in this regard, but the structure is different than what Mike does. There are many facets and variants of the big picture, and I have even less idea who Dan trained with, what system(s), etc. Suffice it to say I'm sure it can be answered relatively easily.

If by "I think part of my frustration on this thread has been that I cannot seem to understand things from my own training paradigm" you mean you can't put what Dan, Mike, etc. do into the reference frame you already know - welcome to the club. That is the normal experience, as Ron Tisdale confirmed for the nth time. I've never heard it go differently with anyone, ever. I had talked to Mike for some time before meeting him, and I'm pretty decent with verbalizations and picturing things, kinesthetic sense, but it was still totally different than what I expected. There simply is no way around that. You have to meet up for a show and tell before you can join the Dark Side^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H club.
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Old 03-05-2007, 06:44 PM   #882
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

I think Mike and Pete are doing a fair job of describing both sides and I appreciate the effort.
I have to mention that I have posed so many questions to Kevin that have largely gone unanswered with no attempt made.
I have agonizingly tried to describe two different baseline skill arguments; MMA and internal skills.
As I have repeatedly laid out- these things are first taught statically then in motion....
What do I get from Kevin.
a. I don't understand distance
b. I don' understand off-line work
c. Then he tells me the only word he can think of to describe it is ignorance
Uhm... are you kiddin me.
Now I'M a bad guy?
My remarks about "Yawning" and Aikido claptrap were about wrist grabs.

I'd add to that that my repeated attempts to describe and explain they are used in motion is simply never acknowledged. Its like I never said it. Every post in return talks about standing still.
So....where is this "communication” and openness really happening?
I talk, I explain, I go ignored. OK fine
Someone else PMed me pointed out the many compliments I have given Kevin with no thanks nor any warm regards and no friendly recognition.

Last, I think it obvious that those who have felt the skills have experienced these skills haven’t gotten any serious consideration for their efforts, nor a lot of intelligent questions. In fact some have gotten weird PM's and there really isn't the "openness" as Kevin mentions here to learn. One PM I've seen from a guy who attended one of these shabangs was pretty snide. There are still vestiges of "territory" and proprietary information.
I thought I’d share some cautions I have received.

I’ve heard very good reports. And I appreciate you being so open with __________. He was very grateful and went on at length. If I may be so bold, I would caution you to be careful about being too open on Aikiweb and wearing your heart on your sleeve the way you sometimes do……

This from a surprising source I edited out the off topic points.
....meaning the level of acceptance your seeing is a bit of a veneer, well trained in them by their Japanese teachers.
....I have been privy to some talk of checking you out and bringing it back to work into our own. What I am getting at, is the level of acceptance you are seeing may be on the surface. It has not, nor will not, overshadow the level of scorn and open hostility seen in the past.
......There will be skill stealing and denial. There will be backstabbing. There will be teacher prejudice and a very real sense of protectionism and loyalty, even to their own detriment. I’m sorry to say that as a group, they’re not as honest, even with themselves, as the same men I’ve met in Judo.
You three fellows have your work cut out for you. If your serious about helping engineer a change-I hope you can stay the course. I’d suggest being very cautious, take it slow and pay attention to who you show things too.


Ouch!
I will continue to try to be hopeful.

Pete makes a compelling case that if a reasonable man were to go back and read in Open discussions.
Robs original Ark thread
Robs thread after Paris
My meeting with Rob and Mike
My meeting with Dan Harden in Boston
My experience with Dan Harden

You will see a commonality in the threads. Every....single....man reports the same things. It is very compelling. Lest it escape anyones attention the teaching was clear, open, and giving, and real results were attained.
All acknowleged it was absolutly a baseline skill to have for aikido. Moreover that asa group they didnlt get it-what we have been talking about-till they felt it. I find it interesting that now they talk amongst themselves about its potential and where and how it all makes perfect sense in their training. Just like we all did....Its about the work.

In light of the recent letters I went back and read the tone expressed in the "open invitation to Dan Harden" thread. As one gentleman who wrote me cautioned .....so don't be fooled, that was hostile. That level of hostility doesn't go away overnight.

I ...am... going to keep by guard up.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 03-05-2007 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 03-05-2007, 07:31 PM   #883
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

On a lighter note and lest it escape Kevin's attention again -note-that is lighthearted banter Kevin the third or fourth exercise at this last get together was?...drum roll...How to move with the connection they just created and felt- intact...actually Moving with it.
Lest it escape anyone elses attention.
I then demonstrated a next step in how to deal with changinf roces you aren't expecting. we used judo throws as an example. I demonstrated the use of these skills with three different guys bieng allowed to move and do anything they wished to try and throw me.
1. I let them get close-in and they locked themselves up
2. I no longer let them get in and they had serious trouble lifting their feet
3. They couldn't move-in at all and bounced off
4. I let an Iai guy try to cut at speed with a bokken
This is a very small example of moving around with....drum roll
different distances.

For the guys who have felt this- this is in keeping with Arks pushout exercise. How you manage your connections doesn't change and is no different you just connect with them while fighting with it in jujutsu- keeping the tensions and the central pivot. The short kick and the power release I did (sans breath work) to a few guys are further exercises in motion . In a pushing test exercise "What receives?...feeds." So the paths of power are static as well as fluid. Quick change-up are done without thought or with thought, standing or on the ground. On the ground you still need to know how to fight on the ground to use them well.
If you are lousy fighter, you're still a lousy fighter but with a bit of an edge. If you get this stuff really really well.....you're still a lousy fighter.. with a better edge.
If you're a good fighter..this stuff can help you to be a great fighter.
If you're a great fighter it will give you another great edge.
In any event -they- are great skills.
MMA are great skills
They can be discussed separately or together.
But in the end, when we train, we move Kevin
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 03-05-2007 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 03-05-2007, 08:55 PM   #884
Upyu
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Pete Rihaczek wrote: View Post
Having said all that, I would say in principle that you have a valid question, because I don't really know how the body skills would best be used in a boxing/kickboxing context. <snip> That is probably the area where internal skills can make the greatest impact (pun intended) in MMA. But what about the feeling out range where the opponent is dancing in and out, trying to hit you with jabs and score with leg kicks? I don't doubt that you can powerfully close the gap, but this is where it's generally better to be up on the balls of your feet with high mobility. That doesn't seem to mesh with maximum ground connection, keeping weight underside, etc. As a quick speculation I could toss out the idea of more connection-only approach kickboxing range, shifting to the full ground-and-suit approach in the clinch. Anyway, I think only a select group is going to understand exactly what I'm getting at, point being it's certainly a valid question as to whether there is a tradeoff between maximum power and mobility.
You bring up some really good points Pete.
I think a good deal why Ark stresses the upper cross, and not so much the Dantien and ground power is when you're moving chaotically in a fight, a lot of things get shot to ""$t, and having control over your upper cross tends to be more beneficial in this scenario.
Really I think there's no real transition and that you develop the major "control" centers of your body and adjust them to the situation accordingly.

The other thing you have to consider is that...even when you're fighting a kickboxer, you don't fight them within their paradigm, and that's what gives you the upper edge. (Leads into the whole you don't fight them, fight them without fighting them bla bla bla)You're not worried about mobility, timing etc, because when you move you "pwn" them regardless.
Its just another one of those "IHTBF" things, which I'm sure we'll get around to soon enough if I can drag Ark's ass to the westcoast.
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Old 03-05-2007, 09:04 PM   #885
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Robert John wrote: View Post
I think a good deal why Ark stresses the upper cross, and not so much the Dantien and ground power is when you're moving chaotically in a fight, a lot of things get shot to ""$t, and having control over your upper cross tends to be more beneficial in this scenario.
Well, I disagree with that, Rob, and I think I can convince you pretty easily, but since I'm pressed for time I'll let it go and pm you later when I have more time. The one comment I'd make is that a lot of what you know you only know now because you conditioned your body to a certain point. Maybe your perspective would change if you conditioned it more, slightly differently, etc. That's the unfortunate truth I have rediscovered about a dozen times.

Best.

Mike
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Old 03-05-2007, 09:46 PM   #886
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

P.M.ed
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 03-05-2007 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:03 PM   #887
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I don't taiji or CMA at all so I have no clue what Mikes talking about.
OK, so pick any traditional Japanese text on martial arts and see if they don't emphasize the hara/tanden/whatever. No need to publicly post that the middles locus is just some Chinese idea.

I'm unclear why the importance of the middle should have escaped you, if you've looked for the whole picture of the relationships. The "cross" is the minor one, not the major one.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:21 PM   #888
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
OK, so pick any traditional Japanese text on martial arts and see if they don't emphasize the hara/tanden/whatever. No need to publicly post that the middles locus is just some Chinese idea.

I'm unclear why the importance of the middle should have escaped you, if you've looked for the whole picture of the relationships. The "cross" is the minor one, not the major one.

Regards,

Mike
What? When did the "importance" of the middle escape me?
Where? I was talking about a "relationship" in grappling, not the engine
The upper cross remains significant in grappling and bujutsu, but there are different ways to use it.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 03-05-2007 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:39 PM   #889
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

I give up. You said you didn't understand what I was saying and the discussion was about cross versus dantien and I said the dantien is more important and........ well, nevermind then.



Mike
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:53 PM   #890
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

I was just keying into a discussion Rob and I had about that very thing the other night. I guess I just wanted to be clear that I wasn't saying I "knew" what you were alluding to or were stressing.

Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 03-05-2007 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 03-05-2007, 11:06 PM   #891
Pete Rihaczek
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Robert John wrote: View Post
You bring up some really good points Pete.
I think a good deal why Ark stresses the upper cross, and not so much the Dantien and ground power is when you're moving chaotically in a fight, a lot of things get shot to ""$t, and having control over your upper cross tends to be more beneficial in this scenario.
Hi Rob, like I said it's pure speculation on my part only because I don't know how the uber ground power guys do their footwork. I know what you're saying about not fighting their fight; look at the success BJJ had just timing entries, and that's without having anything threatening in the striking arsenal. It *is* pretty hard to stay away from somebody, especially if you're attacking. So a powerful bridging technique is something I would expect. But it's another blank area to be filled in, and something I need to ponder until I get more info.

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Robert John wrote: View Post
Its just another one of those "IHTBF" things, which I'm sure we'll get around to soon enough if I can drag Ark's ass to the westcoast.
That would be great. Also gives me some motivation to get off the couch a bit more, never know who's going to be in town when.
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Old 03-05-2007, 11:24 PM   #892
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

Just a small point But I'm not sure I'd raise up the entering tactics of BJJ as their stellar attribute over wrestlers or judo guys who mixed it up. BJJ's real early game was combining a sphisticated relaxed ne waza with 'stalling" thus wearing out an uninformed and agressive opponent as well as their drilled specialized submissions. Something which Shamrock finally got in their long tied bout. He finally wised-up to playing the stall game instead of creating undending openings and gasing-out.Overall it was BJJ just doing the classic "find a fight they can't do well" and then specialize in bringing them there. To which the MMA crowd has responded to with; better stand -up, take down defenses and strikes. I think its interesting that the stand up is more Muay Tai and the clinch more greco roman. The shoot getting ever more simplified to western wrestling and the grond is BJJ or ground and pound. And the Japanese aint doing so well.
I don't know what I'd say about your earleir "western boxing" comments. Many of the top guys have pretty unconventional striking methods. Its the tough thing about MMA. You would like to say how would one of these unconventional strikers do against a conventional boxer, but then they'd just submit him. And so it goes.
One whopping kit of base-line skills though. The staying away from someone while attacking has some interesting tie-ind to internal skills. The more powerful you hit- the more you should be into yourself. It is the same with kicks. So there isn't as much leaning and dedication. There is more power with less effort as well- which helps prevent the gassing issue. Then you have stability and casting off. It would be interesting to see what a group of guys could do with it who trained it. Tim Cartmell is doing well with BJJ.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 03-05-2007 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 03-05-2007, 11:39 PM   #893
Pete Rihaczek
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Just a small point But I'm not sure I'd raise up the entering tactics of BJJ as their stellar attribute over wrestlers or judo guys who mixed it up.
Hi Dan, that's why I carefully chose the word "had" in "the success BJJ had". They had a good run with it, but all the top BJJ guys will freely say no one art can get the job done these days, that ship has sailed. I think there's still lots of room to grow in each aspect of MMA, and the future will see some scary athletes.
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Old 03-05-2007, 11:43 PM   #894
Upyu
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Well, I disagree with that, Rob, and I think I can convince you pretty easily, but since I'm pressed for time I'll let it go and pm you later when I have more time. The one comment I'd make is that a lot of what you know you only know now because you conditioned your body to a certain point. Maybe your perspective would change if you conditioned it more, slightly differently, etc. That's the unfortunate truth I have rediscovered about a dozen times.

Best.

Mike
Maybe I should restate that then, I didn't mean that as an ultimate, "the upper cross is better for fighting period", (^^ );;
But rather, in the short term, better control of the upper cross can give you access to certain abilities that you can quickly and naturally use in a fighting context.
Of course what you said is true, I know only what I know right now because my body is conditioned the way it is.
I also won't disagree at all that as it continues to change my perception on all this will most likely change. I'm already workin on how to bring the dantien more into play in things I do even though it's weak right now.
Just to be clear that even though I say the "upper cross" is useful in fighting etc, I'm not dismissing the fact that the lower & dantien useage isn't useful...its quite the contrary.
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Old 03-06-2007, 12:40 AM   #895
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

A small example I can offer is the end of the Ten Chi Jin exercise where you are squatting. If you "pull" youself up, stretching the spine, but you draw your dantien down resisting, you'll feel what I was talking about about the dantian drawing the upper cross. Now..if you remember our phone conversation the other night about winding? As you draw down... wind in. Don't do open/close side to side. Do it in/in with a gentle pull into your center....when your mind has a tough time holding that..imagine you are being unwound up and out whiile winding in. You have sagital, vertical and horizontal all at once. Over time- in grappling if they are trying to separate a chest shoulder and lift- it gives a left or right upper quandrant draw around and axis as the whole body draws. Then you can compress the breath or bounce the bubble at will.
In fighting I think its slower then a more bujutsu feel but in grappling it has awesome stability against an opponents fast change up when
a. You can't get away
b. They're changing
I don't think its as sharp, its more rubbery. But it works.
There are ways to move it with the breath. A fun thing is to have someone push on your chest while you use your breath to rotate your dantien...and in an Aikisage or Aikiage direction.. they tell you they feel your center move their center. while you're just standing there. Then have them dig there fingers into your stomach and jamb them sharply back so they hurt. Explode, relax, explode or roll and they sink. Its great once again in grappling if they start punching your gut and you just smile...and nail em.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 03-06-2007 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 03-06-2007, 07:58 AM   #896
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Robert John wrote: View Post
Maybe I should restate that then, I didn't mean that as an ultimate, "the upper cross is better for fighting period", (^^ );;
But rather, in the short term, better control of the upper cross can give you access to certain abilities that you can quickly and naturally use in a fighting context.
Of course what you said is true, I know only what I know right now because my body is conditioned the way it is.
I also won't disagree at all that as it continues to change my perception on all this will most likely change. I'm already workin on how to bring the dantien more into play in things I do even though it's weak right now.
Just to be clear that even though I say the "upper cross" is useful in fighting etc, I'm not dismissing the fact that the lower & dantien useage isn't useful...its quite the contrary.
Well, these are the good and necessary discussions that help everyone learn, form opinions, etc., so I like them.

None of the dantiens work in isolation. The 3 body power ones are the lower dantien above the perineum, the middle/main dantien, and the chest dantien that has the "cross". The two two major power ones in an "internal arts" sense are the Lower and Middle dantiens. The chest/cross dantien is a subset of the main dantien and only moves as a subsidiary of the main dantien. The point to understand is that these dantiens are not just arbitrary points in a mystical nomenclature of the body.... they are actual and powerful muscular nexi that interconnect with each other. One of these days I'll post a vid clip showing how the controls work.

Best.

Mike
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Old 03-06-2007, 08:43 AM   #897
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Baseline skillset

I always liked this analogy when referring to the tanden "Thirty spokes share the wheel's hub; It is the center hole that makes it useful." --Tao Te Ching, Chapter Eleven

O-Sensei did a calligraphy called the cross of Aiki. I have a beautiful rendition done by Saotome Sensei hanging in the tea room. I believe many of Dan’s points referring to the dantiens are seen in that calligraphy.

I am not trying to hijack the thread here but do you believe there is a connection with these exercises and with the calming of the belly brain. This has fascinated me every since I learned of it.

http://www.2012.com.au/Second_brain.html ?

Many of the breathing and movement exercises I have studied over the years seems to revolve to some degree around calming that part of the body and letting power flow form the center. It moves first and controls everything.

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
https://www.createspace.com/238049

www.shindai.com
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Old 03-06-2007, 05:19 PM   #898
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
But perhaps now you sense MY frustration in following this thread. ALOT of words but nothing I can really apply in my own training. I do not doubt for a minute that Mike, Dan, Rob or others have these internal skills...it's just that they're not helping me to understand or acquire them. Just telling me how inadequate I am isn't very helpful.
Ricky,
You might want to pick up a copy of 'Zen Body-Being' by Peter Ralston. In chapter 5 or maybe 6 he explains out a few drills you can work on, although to have any chance of properly understanding the drills I think you need to read the preceeding chapters. Of course this is not a substitute for hands on experience but it might give you a few things to think about. Peter has other more complex books but this one is probably the easiest to start with. How or if it relates exactly to Mike's, Dan's and Rob's methods is, is for them to say. I will say Peter uses lots of visualization.

Take care,

Mark J.
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Old 03-06-2007, 09:17 PM   #899
Upyu
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Dennis Hooker wrote: View Post
It moves first and controls everything.
Controls maybe, but I disagree with the notion that it "moves first."
I don't think the tanden powers it so much as controls.
Motion should still iniate from the legs.
Anyone else want to chime in?
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Old 03-06-2007, 09:41 PM   #900
eyrie
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Mind moves first... then legs... then arms, controlled via the tanden... You know, the General, The Commander, and the rest of the army...

Ignatius
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