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Old 07-18-2007, 09:43 AM   #1451
Budd
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

I'm going to chime in and agree with Mark and Ron. Basically, people seem to be bringing their own "baggage" to this topic (echoing an offline discussion I've been recently having) and applying what they think they know, after already having been told that "it has to be felt" and experienced hands-on.

Does it make you invincible? I don't think so (based on my limited exposure, but I don't think anyone's really saying that, despite what some people seem to "want" to hear - besides, there's always someone "better" than you). Does it make you more effective martially? I strongly believe so (I grew up playing martial sports and still periodically train boxing and bjj). Does it (as Dan has said) make you "a better you"? Absolutely seems so to me.

It's much more comfortable to pick at and examine some of these things from a distance, because then we don't have to be (or admit to being) challenged by something outside the realm of our experience. Personally, I like jumping in the deep end and getting schooled as a newbie.

It seems that some folks are invested as coming across as "knowledgeable" (this also includes the, "I suck but my teacher can beat you up" crowd), that if the stuff that has been written hasn't already enticed you to try to feel this for yourself (which ain't necessarily gonna be on "your terms", you should expect to "give up" something - at least time and effort - to get something back) -- or you're already of the mindset that "we already do that", then maybe you should just be happy knowing what you know and not worry about what other people are doing or saying. Maybe you're right and this won't really matter one whit to what you're doing anyways.

I'm happy to admit that I don't know jack and keep learning new things. The amount of (at times, obsessive) work it takes to be good seems like it will preclude most folks from really getting anywhere (besides an enjoyable activity - plenty of merit in that as it is) anyways.

Last edited by Budd : 07-18-2007 at 09:47 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:26 AM   #1452
Timothy WK
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
So, no, they aren't helpful at all, either with visuals (how do you get internal actions into a video?) or context (how do you get hands on feeling of this stuff into words?).
I don't necessarily think it's impossible for a new student to learn this stuff from a video or pictures, but I think it would be really, really difficult. I wouldn't recommend it. I tried and couldn't.

But anyway, I wanted to illustrate how it's easy to copy form without the feeling. I took karate for a number of years. I was shown to tuck my butt & flatten my back by pulling with my abs and tightening my glutes. Then, awhile ago I started talking with a taiji friend. I was amazed to find they held the same "tucked butt" position---only, they achieved the position through relaxing the lower back and glutes. Same form, different feeling.

Even if someone took the time to describe all that went into their practice, it would still be difficult for a new student to get it without hands on experience because minute differences in posture and alignment engages different muscle groups & fascia connections differently. Small errors might cause the student to miss the intended lesson.

--Timothy Walters Kleinert

Hakuho-ryu/ Takeda-den Itto-ryu, & Wujifa qigongs
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Old 07-18-2007, 03:51 PM   #1453
G DiPierro
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Re: Baseline skillset

I give Rob credit for posting videos of not only his teacher but also himself learning the movements. He has posted enough material at this point, including solo work, paired exercises, and applications, for someone to have a reasonably good idea of how they are training. That doesn't mean people are going learn to train like them from watching the video, but in my mind it is much better to see what someone is doing and read the description than just read the description alone. Obviously feeling it in person is best, but I don't see how writing thousands or tens of thousands of words could do a better job of explaining what is happening than the words together with the some video. If someone doesn't want to post video, that's their choice, but I think there is enough video out there (not just of Akuzawa but also of pretty much every well-known TJQ and aikido teacher) that it is clear that video is not a worthless medium.
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Old 07-18-2007, 04:52 PM   #1454
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
I give Rob credit for posting videos of not only his teacher but also himself learning the movements. He has posted enough material at this point, including solo work, paired exercises, and applications, for someone to have a reasonably good idea of how they are training. That doesn't mean people are going learn to train like them from watching the video, but in my mind it is much better to see what someone is doing and read the description than just read the description alone. Obviously feeling it in person is best, but I don't see how writing thousands or tens of thousands of words could do a better job of explaining what is happening than the words together with the some video. If someone doesn't want to post video, that's their choice, but I think there is enough video out there (not just of Akuzawa but also of pretty much every well-known TJQ and aikido teacher) that it is clear that video is not a worthless medium.
Well, I put out a couple of 3-video sets (the last one around 10 years ago) and they were my best attempts to show what I thought was the shortest way to do and understand these skills of jin (I didn't do much breathing stuff for liability reasons). A lot of people told me how well I explained things, but I never met anyone who had really even learned to do a good, relaxed jin-path/ki-strength from the videos. Not even that simple basic. So even though the videos made pretty good money, they weren't doing the job and I quit selling them for that reason (I allowed Plum Flower to continue and to buy the rights only because of a personal relationship with someone).

In other words, I think videos are fine to give you a vague idea of what's going on, but if you haven't felt it and discussed it with someone who really knows, you're going to guess at the wrong thing and wind up sure that some external counterpart is the same thing. It's not... so videos can be misleading, too.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 07-18-2007, 05:06 PM   #1455
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Re: Baseline skillset

I would never suggest trying to learn how to do anything from video alone any more than I would suggest learning how to do something from reading a web forum alone. However, if there is a value to discussing things verbally without being able to physically demonstrate them, and think everyone posting here agrees that there is or they wouldn't be posting here, then I think there is also a value to demonstrating them on video. How much of a value depends on a number of things, including how much the viewer already knows, either from training with the person in the video or from training with someone else.

At this point I would imagine that the people who are still reading these threads have enough interest in the subject to get something useful out any videos that could be posted. Many of them have also already had hands-on time with some of the people posting here, so it should help those people even more. However, this does not mean that someone who does not want to post video should do so. That's a personal decision. But the request does have merit, and I think the videos available now (including videos of people posting here and ones from other teachers in various arts) have undoubtedly raised the general level of understanding of what is out there.

PS - Mike, I notice that Plum Flower has your videos but does not have preview clips. I'd be interested to get an idea of what is on them without having to buy one first. Are there any excerpts out there?

Last edited by G DiPierro : 07-18-2007 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:17 PM   #1456
Budd
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

The argument I keep seeing as a result of the videos, from various sources on the net and in person is either, "Oh, they're doing XYZ" or "We do that, too" -- both of which allude to an understanding of what's being demonstrated as a "I relate to it this way from my own experience". Individual folks have to evaluate whether or not they understand what's being demonstrated or might be looking for a reason to dismiss it as unimportant or something they already know.

Personally, I found the videos interesting, but didn't really draw any conclusions, other than that they represented something I'd have to feel to gain any real understanding -- and then made it a priority to do so.
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:59 AM   #1457
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Re: Baseline skillset

Just to reiterate something which may or may not be obvious: the problem with using video to communicate something which is primarily tactile is that *the information is not there*. Of course every viewer has an experience of the relationship between what they see people doing and what they believe that 'feels' like -- but a critical aspect of martial skills built on the 'concealed strength' is that these expectations are violated.

To make a crude analogy, if I have 'video' in the form of an old film strip without sound, it won't really help me to understand how different instruments sound. If all I have ever experienced is a piano, and I then watch film of someone playing a harpsichord -- that film is not going to help me know what a harpsichord sounds like *at all*. More to the point, if I somehow mistakenly think that watching silent film of a harpsichord *might* give me a feeling for what a harpsichord sounds like, then I'm *already* a little confused; and the most likely outcome of watching such a film is that I conclude that harpsichords and pianos are essentially alike and differ only in minor construction details.

That is not to say a great deal of information may not be contained in video *for those who already know what to look for*. Knowing the difference between a harpsichord and a piano, I may 'hear' the appropriate sound when I see each being played on film. But, importantly, I could *never* establish the basis for that perceptual trick solely through watching video. Tactile introduction is like being taught what words like 'red', 'green', and 'blue' mean by being shown colored objects. Without a visual referent, the real meaning of those words can never be understood -- even if I come to a complex understanding of their relationships and contextual meanings.

Wanting to read books written in a language you don't know is an exercise in futility. As Budd pointed out, that futility might have a silver lining if you recognize it and are inspired to learn the language. But if instead you squint your eyes and 'make sense of' the words and constructs you don't understand, the result might be worse than never picking the book up in the first place. If I build a house based on instructions I pretty much *think* I understand, I might get some important details completely wrong and never be the wiser.

-ck
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:54 AM   #1458
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
PS - Mike, I notice that Plum Flower has your videos but does not have preview clips. I'd be interested to get an idea of what is on them without having to buy one first. Are there any excerpts out there?
I don't know of any previews, Geiancarlo. Once I washed my hands of it, I've never even really looked to see what they were doing with the tapes (I know he later converted them to DVD's). Generally speaking, the jin stuff is pretty much in line with how I would still start people, so it's probably an OK *start*. Still, without the feel and some discussions, there's a lot of room for error.

Best.

Mike
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Old 07-19-2007, 11:06 AM   #1459
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Re: Baseline skillset

Mike,

I am mainly interested in seeing what your DVDs contain out of curiosity and to put what you write here in context, but $30 per DVD is a pretty high price to satisfy that curiosity, especially not knowing at all what is on them. If someone had taken a workshop with you and wanted them to reinforce what they had learned, then it might be worth the price, but otherwise I'd agree with you that they would have limited value as a learning tool.

My point (which I thought I had already made clear enough) was not that video could teach anything useful anymore than words posted in a forum could teach anything. They are both means of communication, and each has certain strengths and weaknesses. Obviously there are good enough reasons for a sizable number of people to post a lot of words in this forum, so I don't buy the claim that video, by contrast, has no value, particularly when what is being discussed is a movement discipline.

I'm not going to respond individually to the arguments various people have made against posting video. Most of them are concerned mainly with potential problems that different types of viewers might or might not have. There is a lot of speculation about who could be watching the videos and what they might be trying to do with them. It seems like a lot of people are reflexively against video because they are afraid that some people somewhere might get the wrong idea. Of course, the fact that the same problem exists with words doesn't seem to stop them from posting here (nor should it).

-Giancarlo

Last edited by G DiPierro : 07-19-2007 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 07-21-2007, 11:44 AM   #1460
David Orange
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Pete Rihaczek wrote: View Post
...Mike, you're arguing with a guy who posited that Aikido people really could take swords away from swordsmen, which is about where I tuned out.
Yeah, you should tune into some easy listening, muzak or something.

Like it or not, whether you believe anyone can, ever could or ever did do it, sword-taking is integral to daito ryu and it's the technical basis of aikido. Moreover, the description I gave earlier of sword-taking comes straight from Morihiro Saito's book...so...I guess you know better than Morihiro Saito.

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Pete Rihaczek wrote: View Post
Add the whole toddler thing and it's over.
Yeah, you do need to get on over to an EZ-listening site somewhere and just give up.

Of course, I'm talking to a guy who would refuse to believe that a "human" martial art could be influenced by innate human movements observable in human children--as adult tiger fighting movements are observable in tiger cubs' play-fighting, panther fighting movements in panther cubs' play-fighting, dog fighting movements in puppies' play-fighting, etc., and would instead accept that samurai fighting arts were derived from worm movements.

Yeh.....toddlers don't have the necessaries to illustrate the roots of Chinese and Japanese arts, but......worms do......???

That's called "straining at a gnat but swallowing a camel."

Or should I say, "Swallowing a worm????"

Yeh. You need to get somewhere quiet. You and Mike, both.

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Pete Rihaczek wrote: View Post
Using my whole body to do something I can do with a part is not natural.
There you are wrong. Toddlers use the whole body for everything, as well as being able to coordinate all the parts of their bodies without having to look at what they're doing.

David

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

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Old 07-21-2007, 06:52 PM   #1461
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

I know more than a few folks who bought those videos and they can't do anything of any real value. And it has nothing at all to do with Mike or his various products. Find a teacher to explain things and that knows where to have you start and how to move forward. Hopefully it will be someone who gives a rip about you making progress. And I'd say research and train with others as well.
Just here on Aikiweb there are more than a few guys who have felt, Ikeda, Saotome, Ushiro, Chiba, Okomotto, Kiyama, Goldberg, Kondo, Two who even trained with Ueshiba. Then these men and women have felt various combinations of / or; Mike, Me, Rob, Ark, and virtually dozens if not hundreds of Aikido and Daito ryu practitioners of all ranks.. All you have to do is ask their opinions and go train and research.

Videos
There is nothing..no thing, to compare to hands on. And no one has to talk you into, or convince you of, anything. You decide.
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Old 07-21-2007, 11:40 PM   #1462
David Orange
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Just here on Aikiweb there are more than a few guys who have felt, Ikeda, Saotome, Ushiro, Chiba, Okomotto, Kiyama, Goldberg, Kondo, Two who even trained with Ueshiba. Then these men and women have felt various combinations of / or; Mike, Me, Rob, Ark, and virtually dozens if not hundreds of Aikido and Daito ryu practitioners of all ranks.. All you have to do is ask their opinions and go train and research.
Looking forward to meeting, Dan.

Thanks.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 07-22-2007, 10:58 AM   #1463
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

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David Orange wrote: View Post
Looking forward to meeting, Dan.

Thanks.

David
I just hope you have a good sense of humor. I hate guys that are all serious. Life's too short. We never stop smilin.
I know this is going to be different for you. I just hope you're like me, in that "different" isn't an insult. Think of it like research and then you can let go and have fun doing somethin different. Or maybe some things will be familiar-.I seriously doubt it by your writing though. Personally, -if I read you right- I think you are going to find a whole new world to go play-in and get old in and have in ....even more fun than before. Could be a whole new set of possibilities, bud.
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Old 07-22-2007, 01:43 PM   #1464
Jerome Braun
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Re: Baseline skillset

Momentary thread hijack...

Hi Dan! Any chance to set up a meeting sometime later this summer or fall?

Quote:
Think of it like research
Yes. I'm also very curious to make some comparisons among the approaches that I've seen and am training (previous yoshinkan, current wing chun, studying Aunkai exercises, some Brazilian jiu jitsu, some exposure to Chinese internal MA principles and practitioners) and your training methods.

I do wonder whether your training methods might "empower" the aikido I worked on, and which I dropped due to disbelief Your comments about jiu jitsu are very interesting too, though somewhat mysterious to me at present.
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Old 07-22-2007, 02:11 PM   #1465
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Jerome Braun wrote: View Post
Momentary thread hijack...

Hi Dan! Any chance to set up a meeting sometime later this summer or fall?

Yes. I'm also very curious to make some comparisons among the approaches that I've seen and am training (previous yoshinkan, current wing chun, studying Aunkai exercises, some Brazilian jiu jitsu, some exposure to Chinese internal MA principles and practitioners) and your training methods.

I do wonder whether your training methods might "empower" the aikido I worked on, and which I dropped due to disbelief Your comments about jiu jitsu are very interesting too, though somewhat mysterious to me at present.
Yes for sure. I am not into theory that does not transfer to actual execution myself. As far as empowering Aikido? I'm interestd in knock-out power, throw resistence and the slam and bang. You can have all the reiki, chi-flow and Aikido "ki" flow- crap. I'm not interested either. Quite frankly I think its a flat out lie. Not a belief system or view, just a ftat-out lie being perpetrated on an unknowing populace..

We just need to find a date. There are a a whole bunch of "out of state" folks trying to set up a weekend. We need to figure it out how to do it is all. I got your many P.M.'s. I just need help in putting a time slot together.

Last edited by DH : 07-22-2007 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 07-22-2007, 03:54 PM   #1466
Jerome Braun
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Re: Baseline skillset

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I got your many P.M.'s.
<ahem> Well, yes, just being persistent...

Quote:
I just need help in putting a time slot together.
My feeling is that it is at your convenience, and I'm quite happy to join up with others, if that would help, and if they're open to it.

Please let me know what sort of help you would like. E-mail or phone is fine for me, too, if that works better.

I'll take it back off-line after this
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:09 AM   #1467
David Orange
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I just hope you have a good sense of humor. I hate guys that are all serious. Life's too short. We never stop smilin.
My sense of humor is one of the things I'm best known for, though it doesn't always come through in postings on the internet.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I just hope you're like me, in that "different" isn't an insult. Think of it like research and then you can let go and have fun doing somethin different.
Being able to stand in a shoulder-width stance and be immovable to someone larger who's trying to push you is undeniably "different," and if I can learn to do it, I don't see how I could find it insulting--unless that means I try to push you and twelve of your guys jump on me with bokken.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Or maybe some things will be familiar-.I seriously doubt it by your writing though.
That may just be my niggling interest in precision--trying to get precise agreements on some fairly moveable topics, and that paired with some people who will tie themselves in knots to avoid agreeing on anything. Yes, there is a central essence that is "the same" between all arts, yet; yes, there is a real difference between all the arts as visible in the techniques, which wouldn't exist except for some difference in the fundamental approaches...

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Personally, -if I read you right- I think you are going to find a whole new world to go play-in and get old in and have in ....even more fun than before. Could be a whole new set of possibilities, bud.
I'm with you on that. Sensei said "Truth can only be built on truth" and I don't want to deal with any delusions. So I will bring an open mind and all the endurance I can muster and we'll see where it goes.

Thanks again.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 07-26-2007, 04:35 PM   #1468
statisticool
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
As many here have reported...
Again, I'm not interseted in what people report.

Quote:
Since you continually reveal you don't have clue-I think you don't have a chance to do much of anything to someone who does understand the difference. Since you tell us we're nuts, why not put your body where your mouth is and stop the stalking.
We did.
Better than making false accusations ("you tell us we're nuts") and challenges of physical encounters, why don't you post a video of yourself doing it for us to see? Then us unknowledgeable would know for sure if it is even worth spending resources to check out in person, and that it is different than regular ol external movement.

Last edited by statisticool : 07-26-2007 at 04:44 PM.

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Old 07-26-2007, 07:43 PM   #1469
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Re: Baseline skillset

Justin, if you really are interested in finding out about this stuff, then surely you know that it isn't all necessarily going to be on your terms, right?
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:53 PM   #1470
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Budd, you obviously don't know how many of Justin's generation were raised.

Best.

Mike
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Old 08-03-2007, 05:49 PM   #1471
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Justin, if you really are interested in finding out about this stuff, then surely you know that it isn't all necessarily going to be on your terms, right?
But how is it on "my terms" when I'm just asking if video, anywhere, heck, even before my time, exists, of people claiming these amazing skills that are so vital, they claim, to understanding aikido, taijiquan, and other arts?

Justin

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Old 08-03-2007, 07:20 PM   #1472
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Baseline skillset

There are a bunch of those videos, and links were posted ages ago. All on YouTube -- of Ueshiba, Shioda and Mifune -- and Liu Chengde, who is still very much alive and teaching, all showing some form of ki/kokyu/aiki, right in front of our very eyes. Though just how they are doing them is "hidden in plain sight," since you really do have to feel them firsthand to understand what's going on. That's why everyone who has gone and felt it firsthand keeps telling you that you need to do that too. And it will be on the skill-possessor's terms (as Budd says), not yours.
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Old 08-03-2007, 07:51 PM   #1473
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
There are a bunch of those videos, and links were posted ages ago. All on YouTube -- of Ueshiba, Shioda and Mifune -- and Liu Chengde, who is still very much alive and teaching, all showing some form of ki/kokyu/aiki, right in front of our very eyes. Though just how they are doing them is "hidden in plain sight," since you really do have to feel them firsthand to understand what's going on. That's why everyone who has gone and felt it firsthand keeps telling you that you need to do that too. And it will be on the skill-possessor's terms (as Budd says), not yours.
Frankly, there are a lot of people that I'm quite happy don't have any clue about these things, Cady. There's a phrase from Chinese that translates about someone having a "bad heart". Why try to show someone with a "bad heart" how these things are done? In the old days, these techniques and skills were important to the survival of ones family and friends.... why would you show someone who might misuse the skills and harm your own family and friends, unless you seem to be suicidal (about the ones you care for) in some way?

In my experience there are a lot of people who will glad-hand you, be your pal, give you a hug, etc., and yet who are really into these things strictly for their own self-aggrandizement or for some sociopathic reason. That's why the phrase "you're known by your friends" is also balanced by the sheer fact that you're always known by the type of person who is your enemy, too.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 08-04-2007, 04:48 AM   #1474
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
There are a bunch of those videos, and links were posted ages ago. All on YouTube -- of Ueshiba, Shioda and Mifune -- and Liu Chengde, who is still very much alive and teaching, all showing some form of ki/kokyu/aiki, right in front of our very eyes.
The people in this thread, for example, who claim amazing skills, are the ones I am referring to.

I have no doubts about the skills of Ueshiba, Mifune, etc.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 08-04-2007, 07:50 AM   #1475
tarik
 
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Join Date: Jun 2000
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote: View Post
The people in this thread, for example, who claim amazing skills, are the ones I am referring to.

I have no doubts about the skills of Ueshiba, Mifune, etc.
I have amazing skills.

Just ask my wife.

Regards,

Tarik Ghbeish
MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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