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Old 02-21-2008, 10:21 AM   #51
DH
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Re: Daito Ryu's Aiki

Jim
I considered meeting you a waste of time for me then, and I still do. However, I am glad *for your students* and applaud the fact that you have invited others to come and take the time to show you the beginning basic steps of aiki-do...as it was supposed to be done. Good luck in your training.
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Old 02-21-2008, 11:57 AM   #52
Mike Sigman
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Re: Daito Ryu's Aiki

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I considered meeting you a waste of time for me then, and I still do. However, I am glad *for your students* and applaud the fact that you have invited others to come and take the time to show you the beginning basic steps of aiki-do...as it was supposed to be done. Good luck in your training.
I tend to agree with Tohei's approach (and others, although they're not as explicit about an "approach", but they separate ki training from Aikido, too) that the ki/kokyu skills can and should be worked separately from the waza and other technical aspects of full-blown Aikido.

Now although I technically and officially studied Aikido somewhere between 7 and 8 years, I consider that I don't really know proper Aikido in any complete sense. What I know is a moderate amount about some of the ki/kokyu training. What I'm getting at is that in my perspective no one in these discussions is a full-blown expert in Aikido. Maybe some people are ahead of others in certain aspects, but that's the way it happens. What's bothersome is if anyone starts pretending that they are at some advanced level in Aikido where they can point to someone from lofty heights and say "beginner". It's a little irritating, frankly.

I'd suggest that everyone try to keep the conversations open and candid and that people clinically recognize that this is a multi-faceted corpus of knowledge which at any one time, someone will know more about some things than others, but no one is clearly more of an expert in Aikido than anyone else.

Personally, I'm trying to keep the playing field pretty level. While jin/kokyu basics are important, I'm trying to be sure that fairly accurate information about how the body works, the breathing exercises, and other aspects are getting out there offline at a level that goes beyond some of the other approaches to training that I'm hearing about. And admittedly I'm selective about who I'll show it with, but some of that selectivity has to do with me wanting to be sure that no one is really out ahead of anyone else. I've seen too many times, in my experience, what happens when the game of "I know more than you" starts getting played. It benefits no one.

My opinion.

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:47 PM   #53
Mike Sigman
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Re: Daito Ryu's Aiki

In a true example of "Non-Aikido Martial Arts", let me offer the below-styled example of an offer to debate on the QiJin forum. Based on a (in my opinion) rather supercilious post on E-Budo by Nathan Scott, I have offered Mr. Scott a chance to defend his comments made in a post on E-Budo on a forum-sector of QiJin. If Dan or someone who appears, in my estimation, to be fairly conversant in the skills of ki/kokyu or who represents an reasonable sector of the Daito-ryu community wants to be involved, please let me know and I'll be glad to offer that limited access. Although the debate is not purely Aikido, in the sense that it involves many of the core principles of Aikido (and many/most Asian arts in general, if someone really knows the subject), it's germane to both Aikido and Daito-Ryu Aiki-jujutsu.

Quote:
Posted on QiJin in the Off-Topic forum:

There is an interesting post on E-Budo which, IMO, reflects the common understanding of a number of well-ranked "instructors" in various arts, including Daito-Ryu (but not limited to that art). It's interesting to read the fairly direct put-downs (even though they're supposed to be somewhat oblique, everyone knows that Mr. Scott is referring to Dan Harden) indicating that if someone is not well-accredited in an art they can't understand the art. The post in question is at the URL:

http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showpost...0&postcount=12

The interesting point is the indication of Mr. Scott's knowledge, in and of itself, about the raw core point involving kokyu/jin power, which quite obviously Dan Harden has referred to for some time.

My interest is in seeing the repeated assertion/contests of power and position within the current martial-arts hierarchies when challenged by an outsider (in this case, Mr. Harden) about what is essential to general Asian arts.

Anyway, it's worth reading and discussing. To be fair, I have extended an offer for Mr. Scott to engage in the debate, if he cares to, although in my personal opinion I have seen little to indicate that Mr. Scott has any real idea about the very basics which are being discussed beneath his nose. But I could be wrong. That's what debate, etc., is for, though.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Regards,

Mike Sigman
mikesigman@earthlink.net
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Old 02-22-2008, 12:22 AM   #54
Aikibu
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Re: Daito Ryu's Aiki

My chosen practice for last night's class...

Kokyu "Power" Basics...

By the way Mr. Sigman I have met and practiced with Sensei Scott and He and one of his students came to one of our beginners classes. He 's a good Hombre.

William Hazen
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:34 AM   #55
Mike Sigman
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Re: Daito Ryu's Aiki

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
My chosen practice for last night's class...
Kokyu "Power" Basics...
You should start a separate thread that outlines your general approach to this topic, Bill.

Best.

Mike
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:57 AM   #56
Blake Holtzen
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Re: Daito Ryu's Aiki

Hmm, maybe this thread lost focus ? Daito Ryu's Aiki ?

Anyway, let me throw out this thought. I am a late comer to the game and I just finished reading Stanely Pranin's wonderful text, "Conversations with Daito Ryu Masters." Here are my thoughts:

1) It seems that only several of Sokaku's students really "got it" as far as aiki (Sagawa, Horikawa, and maybe Hisa)

2) Most seemed obsessed with techniques. Lots of techniques. Like Eight levels of various numbered techniques. So...many...

3) I found no mention of any extra "body training". So, me wonders, either those that "had it" got it through their waza or they didn't want to mention it.

Therefore, I am curious, did Sokaku have a systematic way of training aiki body skills or was it taught through waza?

If this post is too far off topic, please ignore me...

-Blake
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Old 02-22-2008, 12:54 PM   #57
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Daito Ryu's Aiki

It's pretty far behind in terms of general understanding...

My suggestion is to read the posts in Non-Aikido Martial Traditions by Dan Harden and others. Sagawa apparently prized the solo body work highly. In English you can find the work of his top student on his time with Sagawa. In Japanese, his text on "Clear Power" is supposed to be excellent. You might also go by e-budo and check out the archive in the aiki-jujutsu section.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 02-22-2008, 01:13 PM   #58
Aikibu
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Re: Daito Ryu's Aiki

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
You should start a separate thread that outlines your general approach to this topic, Bill.

Best.

Mike
Someday soon perhaps...Sadly I am not as articulate as some here on the subject and since I am representing the teachings passed down to me by some very esteemable men in Soto Zen, Tai Chi, Yoga, and Aikido I will have to survey them all to get a good idea on how to explain the teachings and my personal training regimen.

Aiki is like an vain of gold. No matter how much you uncover there is an endless amount of riches waiting to be discovered.

Namaste Mike

William Hazen
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Old 02-22-2008, 01:35 PM   #59
Timothy WK
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Re: Daito Ryu's Aiki

Quote:
Blake Holtzen wrote: View Post
I just finished reading Stanely Pranin's wonderful text, "Conversations with Daito Ryu Masters." ... I found no mention of any extra "body training". So, me wonders, either those that "had it" got it through their waza or they didn't want to mention it.

Therefore, I am curious, did Sokaku have a systematic way of training aiki body skills or was it taught through waza?
I am confident that Sokaku taught breathing techniques (at least), which is a type of "body training". Hakuho-ryu contains a number of breathing exercises, but I'm not sure if Okabayshi-sensei learned these from Hisa or from Tokimune (or both).

--Timothy Kleinert

Aikido & Wujifa qigongs
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:39 PM   #60
Blake Holtzen
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Re: Daito Ryu's Aiki

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
It's pretty far behind in terms of general understanding...

My suggestion is to read the posts in Non-Aikido Martial Traditions by Dan Harden and others. Sagawa apparently prized the solo body work highly. In English you can find the work of his top student on his time with Sagawa. In Japanese, his text on "Clear Power" is supposed to be excellent. You might also go by e-budo and check out the archive in the aiki-jujutsu section.

Best,
Ron
Thanks for the suggestions Mr Tisdale. However, my point was that (besides Sagawa) why is there no written info confirming a systematic training method for aiki? Every reference to it is either in the context of waza,waza,waza or some veiled cryptic tidbit like "push when pulled" and other nonsense.

Appartently no-one would even know about this body training had it not been for Dan Harden telling people. (and Rob and Mike, but I am talking the context of daito ryu/aikido.

So if I really am soo far behind in general understanding, then where is all the people that know about this and why arn't more training it??

-Blake
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Old 02-22-2008, 03:12 PM   #61
DH
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Re: Daito Ryu's Aiki

Daito ryu has the same issues as many Koryu. Finding those who get it, is a case by case basis. Rank and style are no indicators of skill. Further DR is not subject to "style" differences in the same way Aikido is- where they pretty much still all look alike. In DR they are very distinct in syllabus and level of aiki. And just saying that. Stating it openly, will create denial and trouble.
All-in-all you have about as much chance of getting a DR guy to discuss details regardless of what he knows, as you would of any other Koryu adept openly discussing their art. Ain't gonna happen. Go ask a student of KSR-if you can find one- how the spear is trained in their art? You'll get used to the sound of crickets real fast.

To place it in context I'll tell you a true story in the koryu community.
There was a koryu guy who reached a high level in an art. He was a personal friend of the head guy and trained for twenty plus years. He started openly teaching and morphing waza without permission. They booted him. A few years later, when someone asked the head guy about this man, his former friend, he replied. "Who? I don't know anyone by that name."
So, good luck. While the art can demonstrate tremendous power, I see no chance of getting information openly. Further finding anyone who has taken DR internals and worked it in modern fighting formats such as Judo, wrestling and MMA, is rarer still, almost unique. Upon questioning the typical response is going to be "If you want to know the art-go study."
I've no problem with that. It appears there is little merit in discussing details of things on the net anyway.

As for breath techniques and or solo waza. Yes they exist, and you can recite major honcho's who have extensive solo regimens. They are just not openly discussed. And just about all the big guns discuss breathing techniques or "breath-power." It is known term in the art. And there are specific exercises to connect the body through breathing with aiki-in-yo- ho. That said, at a point you can have the connections and the breath training is not critical in the same way. Hence, Sagawa's probable comment.
Anyway, good luck in your attempts to get Koryu people to yak with you about their stuff. And poking fun at folks who really don't get it, yet are convinced they do is sad as it really isn't their fault. On the other hand, some truly do know things but will not talk about openly anyway.

E-budo thread
Curiously, that thread generated an unprecedented hit count and a readership of dozens of people in DR from all branches, from all over the world.. More interesting were the private correspondence! Those telling interesting stories and expressing frustrations, agreements, some knowing they were not being taught “the real deal” many questions and requests for meeting and a general dismay at the closed attitude prevalent in the art. En example would be I was present when one Aikido teacher from N.Y., amazed at the power in DR, asked a Japanese DR shihan "Why don't you teach more and let people know this stuff?" His reply was (paraphrased) "They don't need to know. I don't care if they know. If they want to learn-they come train.
Cricketts………

Last edited by DH : 02-22-2008 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 02-22-2008, 03:40 PM   #62
DH
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Re: Daito Ryu's Aiki

I wanted to add that for some...watching another Daito ryu demonstration would be about as much fun as watching paint dry. Still others who have seen it, and felt it, would rather stay with Aikido. One fellow said "I dunno, felt aikido to me. Where's the power." And said as much to the teacher.
So, again, DR is all over the map and if you are looking for true power-just like in any other art-there is no guarantee.
The beauty, the greatness of Daito ryu aiki is not in the one-step kata training that is seen. Rather it's in it's body method. Formless, and techniqueless

Last edited by DH : 02-22-2008 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 02-22-2008, 04:16 PM   #63
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Re: Daito Ryu's Aiki

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Rather it's in it's body method. Formless, and techniqueless
And might I dare add; wordless...cricketts...
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Old 02-22-2008, 04:39 PM   #64
Blake Holtzen
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Re: Daito Ryu's Aiki

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I wanted to add that for some...watching another Daito ryu demonstration would be about as much fun as watching paint dry. Still others who have seen it, and felt it, would rather stay with Aikido. One fellow said "I dunno, felt aikido to me. Where's the power." And said as much to the teacher.
So, again, DR is all over the map and if you are looking for true power-just like in any other art-there is no guarantee.
The beauty, the greatness of Daito ryu aiki is not in the one-step kata training that is seen. Rather it's in it's body method. Formless, and techniqueless
Cool. So could I come train with you? I am eager to see and learn this in person. One can only learn so much from reading everyone's posts and Sigman's videos...

-Blake
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:24 PM   #65
DH
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Re: Daito Ryu's Aiki

Quote:
Blake Holtzen wrote: View Post
Cool. So could I come train with you? I am eager to see and learn this in person. One can only learn so much from reading everyone's posts and Sigman's videos...

-Blake
Blake
I got your emails. Let me talk to my guys and see what I can put together.
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:51 AM   #66
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Daito Ryu's Aiki

Quote:
Blake Holtzen wrote: View Post
Thanks for the suggestions Mr Tisdale. However, my point was that (besides Sagawa) why is there no written info confirming a systematic training method for aiki?
I think one reason is because if you have a very valuable pearl, and you are walking in a poor neighborhood, the wise man hides the pearl under his shirt, out of sight.

I also think that if you take the time to look at arts throughout asia that specialize in like skills, you will find they all have extensive solo training. Even in aikido, you have people using suburito to train the skills in question.

Quote:
Every reference to it is either in the context of waza,waza,waza or some veiled cryptic tidbit like "push when pulled" and other nonsense.
A) perhaps you should at least consider the idea that it is not "non-sense"
B) See my statement above...

Quote:
Appartently no-one would even know about this body training had it not been for Dan Harden telling people. (and Rob and Mike, but I am talking the context of daito ryu/aikido.
I disagree...my own teacher in aikido has stressed "know your body", and I believe that he refers to solo work when he says that. One method for this is yoga...

Quote:
So if I really am soo far behind in general understanding, then where is all the people that know about this and why arn't more training it??
People are where they are...and they do what they do. Take care of yourself, first. Then worry about others...

Best,
Ron (oh, please call me Ron, Mr Tisdale is my dad, and Mr. T is an actor)

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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