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Old 03-24-2007, 07:10 PM   #26
shidoin
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Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote: View Post
Mr. Sloan,

I provided information for you about why you were not invited onto our mat the one time you came into our dojo without an invitation or prior notice. I remember wishing you good luck in finding a place to train.

(By they way, meeting me on one brief occasion wasn't an invitation to call me by my first name. I'm relatively old fashioned.)

Sincerely,
As stated before I did come to your dojo 3 times, I did contact you before I came for an invite, I was invited to observe not to train! Sorry for the first name thing, I am going by what others call u on this board. If your seniors would like me to discuss our conversation Via private message, I would be happy to do so with your consent.

OSU!
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Old 03-25-2007, 01:56 AM   #27
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Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

ummm

this thread seems to have devolved into private matters.

I don't know what this is all about, but it's getting off topic.

Mr Sloan, you are always welcome to come by when I am teaching a class and try to resist my techniques. I love that. Helps me keep it real and could learn something. My students are always giving me no respect in that regard. Wouldn't have it any other way.

Clark Sensei and Mr. Hacker, as always my utmost respect.

as to doing it real time.
unbendable arm is just a beginner's step. Tohei Sensei always said that you can teach unbendable arm in a few minutes. Learning to apply unbendable arm feeling/internal aspect dynamically is what we spend the rest of our time doing.

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Old 03-25-2007, 02:19 AM   #28
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Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

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Craig Hocker wrote: View Post
Clark Sensei and Mr. Hacker, as always my utmost respect.
Good to "hear" from you [ahem] Mr. Hocker! :-) Long time, no chat. Feel free to ping me privately and let's catch up.

Quote:
unbendable arm is just a beginner's step. Tohei Sensei always said that you can teach unbendable arm in a few minutes. Learning to apply unbendable arm feeling/internal aspect dynamically is what we spend the rest of our time doing.
When I asked my first teacher whether he recommended I take up meditation, he said (paraphrased) "Yeah, it's good stuff... but it's easy to keep your center when someone isn't trying to disturb it."

Michael Hacker
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Old 03-25-2007, 06:21 AM   #29
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Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

Oh dear. Think I'm gonna kick back with a few beers or some popcorn for this one. Mr Hacker makes me look positively diplomatic when he gets going

Craig Hocker said:

"My students are always giving me no respect in that regard. Wouldn't have it any other way."

Neither would I. If I had a for every time I've had to say 'stop being so nice to me'.....

The other Mike H

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 03-25-2007, 06:42 AM   #30
Edwin Neal
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Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

i like many others are still curious about exactly what this internal power is and is it any different than the ki (and ki development) that many of us have practiced for years... as for the source of OSensei's internal power, i would give more weight to his studies of Shingon than to Omotokyo, i would also give plenty of credit to his study of DRAJ, but none of these are the whole answer... again what examples of practices to develope and/or manifestations of this internal power can you provide...

Edwin Neal


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Old 03-25-2007, 12:14 PM   #31
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Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

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Mike Haft wrote: View Post
Oh dear. Think I'm gonna kick back with a few beers or some popcorn for this one. Mr Hacker makes me look positively diplomatic when he gets going
Sorry to disappoint, Mr. Haft, but Mr. Hacker isn't going anywhere.

Quote:
Neither would I. If I had a for every time I've had to say 'stop being so nice to me'....
... you'd need to go on a diet?

Michael Hacker
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Old 03-25-2007, 01:36 PM   #32
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Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

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Michael Hacker wrote: View Post
Sorry to disappoint, Mr. Haft, but Mr. Hacker isn't going anywhere.

... you'd need to go on a diet?
<puts popcorn away sullenly> Nope, I'd be free of 10 years of university debt

Mike Haft

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 03-25-2007, 03:26 PM   #33
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Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

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Edwin Neal wrote: View Post
i like many others are still curious about exactly what this internal power is and is it any different than the ki (and ki development) that many of us have practiced for years... as for the source of OSensei's internal power, i would give more weight to his studies of Shingon than to Omotokyo, i would also give plenty of credit to his study of DRAJ, but none of these are the whole answer... again what examples of practices to develope and/or manifestations of this internal power can you provide...
I sometimes feel that with all this talk of internal skills thats been around recently it reminds me of a guy I went to school with. He came into the classroom one day and loudly declared that he had 'discovered jazz' and that all our music was rubbish, we should stop listening to rock music and all listen to jazz, cos it was better.

At first we thought it was funny because we all knew and liked jazz but wanted to listen to rock anyway. Eventually it became annoying and we just decided he was an obnoxious guy who we didn't want to spend time with.

I personally have been working on 'internal skills' ever since I started aikido. I also remember about 6-7 years ago that if you dared to say you thought that 'internal' or 'soft' arts were better or even just plain effective then you were roundly set upon and dismissed as some sort of tree hugging weirdo.

Seems there are some MMA/UFC types who have just recently 'discovered jazz'

IMHO YMMV

Regards

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 03-25-2007, 05:10 PM   #34
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Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

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I also remember about 6-7 years ago that if you dared to say you thought that 'internal' or 'soft' arts were better or even just plain effective then you were roundly set upon and dismissed as some sort of tree hugging weirdo.
I don't see the same pattern in these conversations about internal stuff that you see and I do remember having a few of these conversations with Dan (and others) almost 10 years ago on aikido-l (and reading MANY more).

I do know from some of my experiences that talking about it online only gives you a few hints until you've had enough exposure to actually feeling what people are talking about.

In my own case, I found that a lot of my training and teachers SOUNDED like they were talking about the same thing, but when I felt it, the difference was.. some people can talk about it.. and claim to be able to do it.. and it feels ok and maybe even good.. until you finally meet other people who can do it on levels you never experienced before and didn't realize were possible.

It is not so much a matter of being deliberately misleading as it is a matter of not having the actual physical experiences of just how deeply these principles can be applied.

A lot of the reaction I've read on here in the last few years is, IMO, due to a sense of feeling both threatened and being frankly disbelieving because, after all, we all like to think we're studying aiki and the fundamental principles (physical and spiritual) of what we all think aikido is and can be.

Tarik Ghbeish
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MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 03-25-2007, 05:52 PM   #35
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Smile Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

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Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
I don't see the same pattern in these conversations about internal stuff that you see and I do remember having a few of these conversations with Dan (and others) almost 10 years ago on aikido-l (and reading MANY more).

I do know from some of my experiences that talking about it online only gives you a few hints until you've had enough exposure to actually feeling what people are talking about.

In my own case, I found that a lot of my training and teachers SOUNDED like they were talking about the same thing, but when I felt it, the difference was.. some people can talk about it.. and claim to be able to do it.. and it feels ok and maybe even good.. until you finally meet other people who can do it on levels you never experienced before and didn't realize were possible.

It is not so much a matter of being deliberately misleading as it is a matter of not having the actual physical experiences of just how deeply these principles can be applied.

A lot of the reaction I've read on here in the last few years is, IMO, due to a sense of feeling both threatened and being frankly disbelieving because, after all, we all like to think we're studying aiki and the fundamental principles (physical and spiritual) of what we all think aikido is and can be.
Well Said Bravo!, couldn't Have said it better myself!

matt
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Old 03-26-2007, 12:20 AM   #36
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Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

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Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
I don't see the same pattern in these conversations about internal stuff that you see and I do remember having a few of these conversations with Dan (and others) almost 10 years ago on aikido-l (and reading MANY more).

I do know from some of my experiences that talking about it online only gives you a few hints until you've had enough exposure to actually feeling what people are talking about.
I have to say that 10 years ago, my memories are more in line with Mike's. Maybe being on the ki - kiwee - tree hugging labeled side of the fence might have colored our experience of those conversations a bit differently than some one coming from an Aikikai training culture.

My very first Aikido seminar was with an old tiny little Hawaiian guy that started with Tohei Sensei back in the early 50's. He could do some weird stuff like drop you like a sack of potates without you feeling it and pin you with just his thumb. He tossed the big guys around with ease. The fun was he wanted to show you exactly what he was doing. Having only started a few months before I certain didn't get it all in that one seminar. However it was made pretty freaking clear from the beginning that internal stuff was important and vital in Aikido.

If Dan's approach is going to become all the rage by MMA/UFC types, that would be pretty cool. If he gets some Aikido people to start thinking about internal stuff in a more sophisticated way, that's cool too. And I mean by that, in person. I don't think that it could happen online.

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Old 03-26-2007, 12:38 AM   #37
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Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

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Craig Hocker wrote: View Post
I have to say that 10 years ago, my memories are more in line with Mike's.
Perhaps what colors my perceptions is that the only significant difference I personally see between now and then is the number of people who are participating in the conversation and the number of people who are actually trying things out.

In both cases, there are plenty of interested skeptics, believers, and outright disbelievers. Nothing has really changed except perhaps the scale.. that and the improvement of the descriptions..although that could easily be attributed to my own personal growth.

Quote:
Maybe being on the ki - kiwee - tree hugging labeled side of the fence might have colored our experience of those conversations a bit differently than some one coming from an Aikikai training culture.
The dojo I started in is independent. While I've spent a fair amount of time visiting and training with various Aikikai organizations, I've never been a member and I seriously doubt that will ever change.

Tarik Ghbeish
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MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 03-26-2007, 12:53 AM   #38
Edwin Neal
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Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

"Internal stuff"... "but when I felt it, the difference was.. " ??? what? how about some examples please... saying someone has strong waza that has this internal power, and that you can feel the difference is not very helpful unless you can explain what that difference is and how it measure against waza without "it"...

Edwin Neal


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Old 03-26-2007, 01:50 AM   #39
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Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

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Edwin Neal wrote: View Post
"Internal stuff"... "but when I felt it, the difference was.. " ??? what? how about some examples please... saying someone has strong waza that has this internal power, and that you can feel the difference is not very helpful unless you can explain what that difference is and how it measure against waza without "it"...
Edwin, I don't think I'm talking about "strong waza", nor am I talking about anything any more mystical or magical (IMO) than the birth of a child. For that matter, what I've experienced may not be this 'it' that everyone seems to be talking about although there are consistencies with how they talk about this and explain themselves.

I probably shouldn't even try to answer you as I'm hardly skilled at this sort of thing. I *think* I've experienced a taste of "it" while training with one of Okamoto sensei's students who is also a friend and from other people whom I actively seek to train with now.

Have you ever experienced an arm wrestling match wherein you simply relaxed and, without moving or pushing back redirected your opponents power and prevented them from moving your hand down. It's the most mundane (and probably piss poor) example I can think of that you may have played with yourself and it only begins to touch on the feeling.. in my limited experience.. and it perhaps is a poor example at that since that is relatively static in comparison.

I think that what I am talking about is the difference between saying and _really_ doing many of these various aiki principles that are constantly talked about in almost any seminar and class I've attended, but really only practiced in a fairly superficial way.

How to really explain what I mean by that? Honestly, I think the best thread I've seen about it in a long time is the ukemi thread. I think the idea of being uke and receiving when I am tori is the first time that I began to get a taste for how to make some of this happen in my own training.

Once I began to watch my training partners ukemi and comparing it to their ukemi when practicing kaeshi-waza I began to see a disconnect in many people's training that reflects a difference in their ukemi and their nage-waza that is, to me right now, symptomatic of the problem.

However, unless you're some kind of special genius (and I'm not), it's not very helpful to talk about it when you don't have a shared experience since the language used to talk about aikido is so similar. I've had many conversations with people and realized that we were saying very similar things that ultimately ended up feeling SIGNIFICANTLY different when we finally met on the mat.

So there's a lot of words when I really conclude that it's rather a waste of time asking someone who can't really do this. Ultimately, you're asking the wrong person. Go and experience it for yourself with people who claim to be pretty good at it.

Tarik Ghbeish
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MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 03-26-2007, 11:28 AM   #40
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Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

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Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
Ultimately, you're asking the wrong person. Go and experience it for yourself with people who claim to be pretty good at it.
You're selling yourself short, Tarik. I've had hands on you enough in the past couple of years to know that what you're saying and what you're doing are getting pretty damn close.

I sure hope you can make it to Shochugeiko this year.

Michael Hacker
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Old 03-26-2007, 07:07 PM   #41
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
...Tohei's 4 principles do that, but they are not (nor do they attempt to be) a physical interpretaiton of what happens that can be used as an generally applied concept in the Western sense. They are a widely approved impression of feel for correct action -- they are not a rubric for detailed description of correct action. There are tools for doing this in physical terms, they just need to be applied correctly and consistently.
When you say "detailed description" are you talking about a verbal/written description or some video/computer simulation? What sort of "tools" are you talking about?

What sort of advantage do you see in the above type of description, rather than what K. Tohei did?

Just curious.

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Old 03-30-2007, 07:58 AM   #42
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Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

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Michael Hacker wrote: View Post
You're selling yourself short, Tarik. I've had hands on you enough in the past couple of years to know that what you're saying and what you're doing are getting pretty damn close.
Close to whom?
Close to what?
Have you experienced the level of "internal" skills we are discussing? Or are you discussing technical skill? Which is fine- just not what I am interested in- as it's in a lot of places.
So far I've not seen, nor felt and high level internal skills or "Aiki" in Aikido. I'd be interested in where to go see. Point the way.
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Old 03-30-2007, 08:36 AM   #43
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Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

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Close to whom?
Close to what?
Have you experienced the level of "internal" skills we are discussing? Or are you discussing technical skill? Which is fine- just not what I am interested in- as it's in a lot of places.
So far I've not seen, nor felt and high level internal skills or "Aiki" in Aikido. I'd be interested in where to go see. Point the way.
Mr. Harden,

Perhaps I miscommunicated. I'm not comparing what Tarik is saying and doing to anyone, but rather to each other. I'm opining that what he is starting to become capable of doing is comparable to what he is saying.

As to what I'm doing or talking about... I think it's pretty easy to figure out who my teacher is. :-)

Michael Hacker
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Old 03-30-2007, 08:44 AM   #44
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Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

My Bad
I didn't even look- and its in your signature line.
Hey I had a late night.
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Old 03-30-2007, 10:36 AM   #45
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Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

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I didn't even look- and its in your signature line.
If I had a dollar for every time I've heard that line in a bar...

Of course, what my teacher can do isn't necessarily an indication of what I can do... yet. :-)

Quote:
Hey I had a late night.
You and me both. After about 3 hours of class last night, I was tired, sore, and hungry. Bad combination. Needless to say, after a few hours of pizza and conversation, I was falling asleep in my hot tub. (Don't worry... I use it only for medicinal purposes.)

Michael Hacker
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Old 03-30-2007, 07:07 PM   #46
shidoin
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Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

I would love to feel you technique Michael! you speak very highly of it

OSU!
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Old 03-31-2007, 01:27 PM   #47
shidoin
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Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

I thought I should rephrase my last post because it didn't sound (well) very good. Your techniques, IE: the way you do Nikyo sounds fascinating to me.
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Old 03-31-2007, 01:35 PM   #48
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Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

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Matt Sloan wrote: View Post
I thought I should rephrase my last post because it didn't sound (well) very good. Your techniques, IE: the way you do Nikyo sounds fascinating to me.
I appreciate the clarification and the private messages.

Michael Hacker
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Old 03-31-2007, 11:20 PM   #49
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

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Ted Ehara wrote: View Post
When you say "detailed description" are you talking about a verbal/written description or some video/computer simulation? What sort of "tools" are you talking about?

What sort of advantage do you see in the above type of description, rather than what K. Tohei did?

Just curious.
Tohei, in my limited experience with his students provided a guide to appopriate "feel" of disposing the body in relation to the dynamic of the interaction. "Relax completely; Keep one point; keep weight underside;and extend ki". These are all pointers to internal cues of adjustment. They make sense to my thinking and practice even though I have never trained in a Tohei lineage. They are not physical descriptions of what is mechanically occurring that produces the subjective feedback that he describes and advises seeking in those terms.

They are, by all accounts, reliable self-referential guides to the proper feel of correct "doing." They are not and do not pretend to be an explanation of "what is done" in an objective, mechanical sense, when done correctly. Saying that we need more of the latter does not diminish the importance of the former.

As to descriptions, videos -- I have said before -- they do not tell the entire story either. Go look at a Necker cube for while; your eyes often see what you choose to tell them to see. Both subjective impressions and objective visual or verbal depictions have to be tested against known and proven mechanical concepts to ensure consistency and generality of observation and conclusion.

In this way a reality can be checked physically, internally and externally, as well as conceptually, at that same time. Any of the two alone could well be faulty. All, all three agreeing together are unlikely to be wrong.

My internal sense of what it means to "extend ki" does not immediately translate at present into any reliably repeatable mechanical principle. It also is only translated, rather haltingly, into some one else's external observation of what I mean when I demonstrate extension in a given interaction. Thus, they may repeat what they remember seeing, or what they think they see from external observaitons -- and still miss it.

Indeed, extension may seem very different externally in different settings, when internally it feels very much the same to me. A sound description of the mechanical concept in play would more easily communicate the commonality between seemingly different things, when viewed externally as opposed ton internally.

Similarly a certain concept of mechnical action may seem inviting from an internal sense standpoint, but when compare with external observaiton it may be seen to be mechnically wrong. The internal sense does not need correcting, only the mechnical concept to come into agreement with both the internal and external observations of what is occurring.

Right now we lack a good effort at describing the movements and principles in their mechnical aspects. That needs to be done. I am trying to do some of it. I urge others to give their own thoughts the same rigorous attention.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 01-27-2008, 12:49 PM   #50
Stephen Webb
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Re: Ueshiba, Tohei, and "Non-Dissension"

Mr. Sloan,

My instructor lived with Tohei sensei for I believe two years in the late 60s, and served as a translator for O'Sensei during some interviews done with an American reporter.

At 72 years old, I have seen him do some freaky stuff that I've also seen video of Tohei Sensei do. There is a video on YouTube of Tohei Sensei holding up his pinky finger, and two men trying to bend it with their forearms, and not being able to do so. Similarly, there is a video of I presume Barry Bernstein trying to lift Tohei up. At first, he can, and then Tohei changes how he's centered (for lack of a better explanation), and suddenly he can't.

I have been witness to or heard stories of my instructor doing these exact things. These "abilities" have been passed on, it's just that it is not disseminated throughout Aikido as a whole for reasons that I'm not certain of.
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