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Old 10-04-2007, 05:27 PM   #26
Mike Sigman
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

Ah Jeez.... I'm on vacation and traveling and I've been sporadically checking Aikido Journal so I could answer any questions and not get behind. Suddenly I look at AikiWeb and all the questions about the blogs seem to be over here and I'm too far behind to even start. I can't win.

I basically planned to do 3 very basic but very solid how-to blogs on Aikido Journal and just leave them for people to do with whatever they want. In other words, the fun assumption is that most people won't do anything with a completely beneficial and productive gimme. I'll do the third one when I get back home.

If someone wants to ask a question related to the actual blog, I'll be glad to do it on Aikido Journal. Comments like Mike Hafts that I should stick around and see what Tohei's senior guys can learn if they spend the time, I'll answer shortly with this: "I've felt too many of Tohei's 'senior students'... it ain't there, so indeed he must not be clear enough".

Best.

Mike Sigman
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Old 10-04-2007, 05:31 PM   #27
statisticool
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

Quote:
So there you have it, a suggested clarifying addition to the breathing aspects in order to help get ki back into Aikido practice.
Am I the only one wondering where the support is for the ki supposedly being gone from Aikido practice?

Justin

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 10-04-2007, 06:51 PM   #28
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
"I've felt too many of Tohei's 'senior students'... it ain't there, so indeed he must not be clear enough".

Best.

Mike Sigman
Which begs the question; do your 'senior students' demonstrate it?
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Old 10-04-2007, 07:43 PM   #29
Mike Sigman
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

Good experiment comes to mind. Why don't you ask your usual insulting questions (Ricky and Justin) on Aikido Journal in the blog commentary that I posted and let's see if the moderator over there has the sense to bounce your posts? Let's see which Aikido web-forum starts blocking the nonsense-artists.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 10-04-2007, 08:13 PM   #30
MM
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Ah Jeez.... I'm on vacation and traveling and I've been sporadically checking Aikido Journal so I could answer any questions and not get behind. Suddenly I look at AikiWeb and all the questions about the blogs seem to be over here and I'm too far behind to even start. I can't win.

I basically planned to do 3 very basic but very solid how-to blogs on Aikido Journal and just leave them for people to do with whatever they want. In other words, the fun assumption is that most people won't do anything with a completely beneficial and productive gimme. I'll do the third one when I get back home.

If someone wants to ask a question related to the actual blog, I'll be glad to do it on Aikido Journal. Comments like Mike Hafts that I should stick around and see what Tohei's senior guys can learn if they spend the time, I'll answer shortly with this: "I've felt too many of Tohei's 'senior students'... it ain't there, so indeed he must not be clear enough".

Best.

Mike Sigman
Thanks Mike. It's interesting stuff.

The only downside is that you have to have a paid subscription to Aikido Journal to comment on the blog entries. Many don't have that. Here, it's free to register and comment.
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Old 10-04-2007, 09:50 PM   #31
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

FYI I started a thread over on the Aikido Journal forum. Please add your questions and insights. For those that have neither questions or insight please visit another forum and another thread. I.E. if you can not find it in yourself to contribute in an constructive manner please be an adult and do not contribute at all. Thanks in advance.

Take care,

Mark J.
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Old 10-04-2007, 10:00 PM   #32
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

Quote:
Mark Jakabcsin wrote: View Post
I.E. if you can not find it in yourself to contribute in an constructive manner please be an adult and do not contribute at all. Thanks in advance.
Please explain what you mean by "an constructive manner?"
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Old 10-04-2007, 10:03 PM   #33
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

If you do not know what I mean by constructive then you are not doing it. Simple as that. Move along, move along.

MJ
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:47 AM   #34
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Comments like Mike Hafts that I should stick around and see what Tohei's senior guys can learn if they spend the time, I'll answer shortly with this: "I've felt too many of Tohei's 'senior students'... it ain't there, so indeed he must not be clear enough".
Fair enough. I'm guessing then that we disagree on what exactly 'it' is.

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 10-05-2007, 08:07 AM   #35
Aran Bright
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Ah Jeez.... I'm on vacation and traveling and I've been sporadically checking Aikido Journal so I could answer any questions and not get behind. Suddenly I look at AikiWeb and all the questions about the blogs seem to be over here and I'm too far behind to even start. I can't win.

I basically planned to do 3 very basic but very solid how-to blogs on Aikido Journal and just leave them for people to do with whatever they want. In other words, the fun assumption is that most people won't do anything with a completely beneficial and productive gimme. I'll do the third one when I get back home.

If someone wants to ask a question related to the actual blog, I'll be glad to do it on Aikido Journal. Comments like Mike Hafts that I should stick around and see what Tohei's senior guys can learn if they spend the time, I'll answer shortly with this: "I've felt too many of Tohei's 'senior students'... it ain't there, so indeed he must not be clear enough".

Best.

Mike Sigman
I guess this question may not ever get answered but could you tell us more about the experience with the aikido sandan that got you started on your *quest*?

http://brisbaneaikido.com

Brisbane Aikido Republic
Brisbane
Australia
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:03 AM   #36
HL1978
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote: View Post
Am I the only one wondering where the support is for the ki supposedly being gone from Aikido practice?

Justin
The fact that senior teachers are bringing in outsiders from their system to teach it? Perhaps you disagree, but there seems to be some acknowledgment that things could be improved by some senior instructors.
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:47 AM   #37
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
The fact that senior teachers are bringing in outsiders from their system to teach it?
Not where I train they aren't

It's a messy subject. I've often thought (when visiting other aikido dojo) that it was absent and should have been taught more. I put that down to my point of view being biased towards our version/interpretation of ki aikido.

In the end, I like being able to go to any aikido dojo regardless of style/affiliation and learn something, even if they aren't doing aikido the way I think it should be done. Everyone has something to offer. to say 'it' is absent from aikido is patently false. To say 'it' can be taught better is something I think everyone everywhere would agree with, IMHO. There are many different ways of training and manifesting this power I think. I think we're all guilty of preferring the approach we're more familiar with, whether it be Tohei's ki development. Aunkai, Bagua etc etc... I also think there's a lot of overlap with all of these approaches.

The perceived 'decline' in the effectiveness of aikido because of the absence of these skills is nothing new, Koichi Tohei said it would happen decades ago. The fact that this debate is happening at all just goes to show how right he was about it all. It caused a lot of bad feeling when he left the aikikai, it shouldn't be much of a surprise that it still does really. Like I said, messy

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 10-05-2007, 01:46 PM   #38
HL1978
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post
Not where I train they aren't

It's a messy subject. I've often thought (when visiting other aikido dojo) that it was absent and should have been taught more. I put that down to my point of view being biased towards our version/interpretation of ki aikido.

In the end, I like being able to go to any aikido dojo regardless of style/affiliation and learn something, even if they aren't doing aikido the way I think it should be done. Everyone has something to offer. to say 'it' is absent from aikido is patently false. To say 'it' can be taught better is something I think everyone everywhere would agree with, IMHO. There are many different ways of training and manifesting this power I think. I think we're all guilty of preferring the approach we're more familiar with, whether it be Tohei's ki development. Aunkai, Bagua etc etc... I also think there's a lot of overlap with all of these approaches.

The perceived 'decline' in the effectiveness of aikido because of the absence of these skills is nothing new, Koichi Tohei said it would happen decades ago. The fact that this debate is happening at all just goes to show how right he was about it all. It caused a lot of bad feeling when he left the aikikai, it shouldn't be much of a surprise that it still does really. Like I said, messy

Mike
Mike, thats why I said some instructors
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Old 10-05-2007, 04:05 PM   #39
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
Which begs the question; do your 'senior students' demonstrate it?
Or even actual names (gasp!) of these anonymous people that he refers to who don't have 'it' would be helpful.

I only ask because the naming of anonymous mystery people ('this person said, that person said, I tested these people'-type of stuff) doesn't really do anything.

Justin

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 10-05-2007, 04:07 PM   #40
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Why don't you ask your usual insulting questions (Ricky and Justin) on Aikido Journal in the blog commentary that I posted and let's see if the moderator over there has the sense to bounce your posts? Let's see which Aikido web-forum starts blocking the nonsense-artists.
I think to some the idea that questions can only be addressed in a certain place is nonsense.

You talk about putting ki back in aikido. A sensible question, definitely not nonsensical, is what makes you believe ki is missing? Please let us know,

Justin

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 10-05-2007, 04:48 PM   #41
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

An observation.

I don't think it is so much who has it an who doesn't. I haven't met anyone that I would consider to necessarily be "complete" that is, you can quantify with any kind of litmus test..."yep, he has it."

That said, there are many people I have trained with that martially have various parts of what I consider to be "IT".

Some are beginners, or junior to me, others senior.

Martially I would consider myself superior to many, however, there seems to be some people that do somethings better than I.

I try to identify it, and work with them as I work with myself.

This way, I don't have to worry about studying with the right teacher, or wasting my time chasing a "holy grail". I simply train whenever the opportuntiy arises, always seek to improve and grow, and constantly look introspectively and extrospectively...careful to avoid the dissonance that is ever present in the dojo environment.

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Old 10-06-2007, 01:14 PM   #42
MM
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
An observation.

I don't think it is so much who has it an who doesn't. I haven't met anyone that I would consider to necessarily be "complete" that is, you can quantify with any kind of litmus test..."yep, he has it."
Another observation. Perhaps you should get out more.

In regards to what Mike is talking about, yeah, some people have it and some don't. And there are litmus tests to show it.

Mark
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:48 PM   #43
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Another observation. Perhaps you should get out more.

In regards to what Mike is talking about, yeah, some people have it and some don't. And there are litmus tests to show it.

Mark
I've been quite busy, traveling etc. I just had time to read Mike's tow part article. Very excellent. Thanks, Mike, for taking the time to write such a clear explanation. Hope we can get together again sometime, sooner rather than later.
- George

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 10-09-2007, 09:07 PM   #44
Mike Sigman
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I've been quite busy, traveling etc. I just had time to read Mike's tow part article. Very excellent. Thanks, Mike, for taking the time to write such a clear explanation. Hope we can get together again sometime, sooner rather than later.
My pleasure, George. Although by now it's a 3-part article. My main moan during my Aikido days was that no one gave me the honest-to-god truth-information about how to start doing these things. I tried to lay it out for someone who has no access to a physical demonstration and I hope it helps those very few who are looking for the same thing.

All the Best.

Mike
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Old 10-09-2007, 09:07 PM   #45
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I've been quite busy, traveling etc. I just had time to read Mike's tow part article. Very excellent. Thanks, Mike, for taking the time to write such a clear explanation. Hope we can get together again sometime, sooner rather than later.
- George
There is a third part on Aikido Journal now. Did you get a chance to read it?

Part I:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=3821

Part II:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=3838

Part III:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=3884

And the AJ Forum thread:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/forums/...ic.php?t=11100
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Old 10-09-2007, 09:08 PM   #46
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

Well, Mike, it seems you posted right before mine. I could have saved some typing.
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Old 10-09-2007, 09:13 PM   #47
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Well, Mike, it seems you posted right before mine. I could have saved some typing.
Well, as my wife says, I'm one of the quickest men she's ever met. Whatever that means.

Mike
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Old 10-09-2007, 09:28 PM   #48
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

Those really are very informative articles Mike.
Thank you.
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Old 10-09-2007, 11:12 PM   #49
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

Thanks Mike for the information and exercises.

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Old 10-12-2007, 06:21 PM   #50
Dan Bixler
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Re: Article by Mike Sigman

I am new here on Aikiweb and this is my first post. Forgive me if I "hijack" this post by getting off topic.

First of all, I would like to say that I enjoyed the articles by Mike Sigman. I've been a long-time admirer of Mike Sigman and his work. Several years ago, I ordered his Internal Strength videos. Though I learned a lot from them, I knew I wasn't quite getting "IT" in some areas.

I started Aikido when I was in the Marines, stationed in Okinawa, Japan about 12 years ago. After I got out of the Marines, I joined a local Aikido club that was connected to the British Ki Society. I stayed with the group for about 3 years. My sensei often had his sensei come up from Maryland to teach us. His sensei was Wayne Thomas who studied under Yoshigasaki(sp). Sensei Thomas was the most amazing martial artist I've seen in person to date. When I told him that, here's the conversation that ensued:

Wayne: "I'm nothing. You should see my teacher. When I once told him he was great, he told me. "I'm nothing. You should see my teacher." You know who his teacher was?"

Me: "No."

Wayne: "Tohei Sensei"

Wayne was an awesome teacher. Not only could he do the stuff, he could teach it better than anyone I've ever met. And, although I progressed quickly and got pretty good at Aikido,(due to great teachers) - I was young, immature, and impatient. I didn't think it should take so long to learn Aikido. So, I started internal CMA, hoping to get better at Aikido. Eventually, I stopped Aikido. (I really miss it, too.)

I always thought I'd learn some chi secrets from some master, someday. I e-mailed Andrew Nugent Head of Yin Style Bagua, and this was a part of his reply that really stuck with me:
"If you can lose the idea that there is some sort of power or force that comes from outside or through only meditation or via some secret given by a teacher, you are already far ahead of the game of most people interested in Chinese arts." I agree with him.

I do however, feel that one needs to be shown by a teacher exactly how to move correctly. I've recently been studying by video from Master Stephen Hwa. He is far better at articulating how to move internally than any other teacher I've seen since my Aikido teacher. I can't wait to study with him in person. He was so generous as to go out of his way twice in an attempt to meet with me in my hometown, while he was travelling through PA. Unfortunately, I was too busy to meet with him at those times. Soon, I will finish school and make sure that I meet him. Here is the web site for Master Hwa and Classical Tai Chi. There are also several good videos on Youtube. However, I feel the videos I purchased from Master Hwa were much better, as they cover much more.

http://www.classicaltaichi.com/

I was curious what Mike Sigman thinks, and if he's heard of Master Hwa. I'm very impressed with Master Hwa's knowledge and his ability to convey it. No mystical chi mumbo jumbo from him. Just plain, easy to understand explanations of how you should move and why. Tai Chi is really tough if practiced this way. His videos are by far the best martial art instructional videos I've ever seen. There is many years worth of learning on 5 DVDs. Incredible stuff, IMHO.

I'm also wondering if Mike Sigman has found that the internal discipline is pretty much the same in Tai Chi, Bagua, XingYi, and Aikido?

Thanks for reading my long, rambling post.
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