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Old 02-27-2008, 07:38 PM   #101
Mike Sigman
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
That it might take me all night and then some to learn it. I am no longer the sharpest tool in the shed LOL
Oh, please... me either. I'm not as sharp as I was at anything. There's an old German saying, "Zu bald Alt, zu spaet Klug" (Too soon old, too late smart). What's happening here is that a some of the older hounds in the pack have spotted the fox, but they can't convince the rest of the pack.

Best.

Mike
 
Old 02-27-2008, 08:56 PM   #102
phitruong
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Chris Parkerson wrote: View Post

About a year ago, he began to try to resist my technique. Both situations concerned his shoulder socket and elbow. One was a form of Daito finishing hold performed on the ground. The other was a standing Yanagi-style Sankajo. On both occasions, I barely moved. He tried to root. In his rooting, his shoulder and arm became disunified, i.e. his arm was not unified with rooted his torso. On both occasions he was injured by his own rooting.
What can you recommend…
Don't know much about the internal stuffs. couldn't describe or demonstrate to save my own life. Don't know about Yanagi-style Sankajo, but if it is anything like the normal aikido sankyo, then did your partner tried to "root" after the sankajo locked in place? is "root" means grounding yourself? if i am not mistaken, sankajo lock when applied correctly would put the receiver on his/her toes and lock all the arm joins (wrist, elbow, shoulder) into one unit which then lock into the spine and offset the spine. if rooting (hoping that it meant grounding) after the lock is in place, then it would be the same as helping the other person to rip your own elbow and shoulder out of its joints, especially, if the other person's center is below your or somewhere around there. speaking from a reversal point of view, the time to deal with sankajo would be way before the lock is in place, preferably, at the moment of contact.

Don't know of a way to get out of a sankajo lock once it's on. would be interested to know. the only thing that i could think of, since you are on your toes, is to do an aerial scissor thing from the vovinam folks. of course, i probably lose my arm, but then the other person will lose some body part(s) too (that's just my nasty side speaking).

interesting problem for thought. damn! not like i don't have anything better to do.
 
Old 02-27-2008, 09:35 PM   #103
Mike Sigman
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
Don't know much about the internal stuffs. couldn't describe or demonstrate to save my own life. Don't know about Yanagi-style Sankajo, but if it is anything like the normal aikido sankyo, then did your partner tried to "root" after the sankajo locked in place? is "root" means grounding yourself? if i am not mistaken, sankajo lock when applied correctly would put the receiver on his/her toes and lock all the arm joins (wrist, elbow, shoulder) into one unit which then lock into the spine and offset the spine. if rooting (hoping that it meant grounding) after the lock is in place, then it would be the same as helping the other person to rip your own elbow and shoulder out of its joints, especially, if the other person's center is below your or somewhere around there. speaking from a reversal point of view, the time to deal with sankajo would be way before the lock is in place, preferably, at the moment of contact.

Don't know of a way to get out of a sankajo lock once it's on. would be interested to know. the only thing that i could think of, since you are on your toes, is to do an aerial scissor thing from the vovinam folks. of course, i probably lose my arm, but then the other person will lose some body part(s) too (that's just my nasty side speaking).

interesting problem for thought. damn! not like i don't have anything better to do.
Good analysis, PT. That's the kind of discussion I like to read.

Best.

Mike Sigman
 
Old 02-27-2008, 10:44 PM   #104
eyrie
 
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Re: why focus on internal power

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I dunno, Ignatius. The problem is that people are using the name of "Ueshiba" and the name of "Aikido" to suit themselves. Is that really a fair usage of "Aikido"? "It means what you want it to mean"? Is that really respect for Ueshiba, when you really think about it? And I'm not speaking to you, really... I'm speaking to the people who want to do just that. Having read your stuff, I think your Aikido is probably pretty spot on.
People use the name of such-and-such omnipresent being or religion in vain too. You and I are not going to stop that anytime soon, so the answer is probably not... but that's not really important in the greater scheme of things. The only thing one can do is be true to yourself... and the proof, as you and i both know, is in "touching hands". As for being "spot on", I dunno... I might know some kewl buzzwords, but I know I also suck bigtime... even my 10yr old can occasionally push me over.

Ignatius
 
Old 02-27-2008, 11:48 PM   #105
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: why focus on internal power

First and foremost... Ledyard Sensei, I only wish I had the temperament and skill to speak in a manner that contained as much truth and contained as much understanding and compassion with which you did in your post in this thread. I hold your post up as an example to which I aspire to achieve, perhaps some 50 years from now should I continue to train daily, seeking O-Sensei's Aikido. I am truly inspired by your words, your heart and your way.

...and now to the thread...

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Ueshiba realized that internal body skills (in addition to the mental training) made him able to truly "Stop the Spear" -- the very essence of the Budo, and the acknowledgement that internal power makes one capable of -not- fighting or being aggressive.
capable of, yes... but not necessarily desirable of not fighting or being aggressive as a "attained" state of being. While internal skills are necessary for even the most basic understanding of aiki, (and while this skill set is absent in many of the so-called advanced aikidoka of today) having all of the internal skills in the world has nothing to do with having even the most basic understanding of Aikido - the way of aiki.

Anyone who understands knows implicitly that any level of "aiki" is a physical manifestation of physical skills. You will find this a component, as Ledyard Sensei mentioned, in many Ryu. However, Aikido is not the manifestation of a physical skill set. In fact, it never has been. Had it been, O-Sensei would never have needed, nor would he have created a separate martial art from that of his teacher. Moreover, and unfortunately for those who are still stuck in the same place (so many moons after my departure from these forums) mastering any physical skill set - as important as that is, and as long as that may take - will never result in even the most basic understanding of Aikido (defined as the Way of Aiki).

If this were the case, then studying any of the other "aiki-based" arts would be a much more practical and straight forward way of achieving mastery of the physical control of an aggressive, non-compliant, drugged-up or any other version of (pick your most elusive, dominating or feared) attacker/opponent. In Aikido, there is no attacker, there is no opponent. There is no opposing force... no thing to learn to deal with, reconcile, master, control... etc. because there is no "him" or "I" component in the mix (being attacked) in the first place.

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Why do people seek internal power? Are we trying to beat each other up in a new way?
Common sense tells me she is not really asking her question, wondering if people really are trying to beat each other up in a new way. However, she is asking, regardless of their undeniable mastery of internal skill sets, but no understanding of Aikido "why so many (non-aikido) people have been able to dictate what Aikido is really about on these and other Aikido forums. Of course, common sense also tells me that they can only do this when people don't really understand what Aikido is. This is not entirely harmful. In fact I would say that it is a good thing if they can accomplish the goal of teaching, sharing or encouraging others to seek internal martial skills. I would prefer this rather than teaching people that Aikido is mere "conflict resolution" or ki simple development. Again, not that either of these things in and of themselves are harmful, either. It is simply that these things are not, never have been, and never will be what O-Sensei's Aikido - The Way of Aiki - is about.

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
"Meek" doesn't necessarily imply "weak," however, the kind of "internal power" you and Jen, and George, are talking about is not the internal power being discussed in the threads that perplexed Mary Eastland and caused her to open this thread.
...and the kind of internal power you, mike s. dan h, robert j, etc. are talking about, important as it is to all martial arts is still not Aikido. I would agree that there is some confusion. However, the confusion you speak of is more likely caused by people who have not committed to spending the rest of their lives seeking O-Sensei's Aikido (as the highest level of martial arts) speaking from a place where they, themselves, have not yet resolved these very differences.

For now I can only say, ...where there is still time there is still hope.

.

Last edited by Misogi-no-Gyo : 02-27-2008 at 11:52 PM.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
 
Old 02-28-2008, 12:03 AM   #106
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Re: why focus on internal power

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Chris Parkerson wrote: View Post
The world's political leaders need wisdom to weather a mighty big storm that is breaking "heavy" this year. In fact, watch the storm greatly magnify around March 15 in a very big way. At least that is what I am getting from my meditations.
So a time machine hah? Good for you.
 
Old 02-28-2008, 05:52 AM   #107
Chris Parkerson
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Re: why focus on internal power

there is allot of reading, mutual discussion with others, and yes, instinctive forecasting that goes i to it.

no one can predict with a solute certainty.
 
Old 02-28-2008, 06:23 AM   #108
Chris Parkerson
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Don't know much about the internal stuffs. couldn't describe or demonstrate to save my own life. Don't know about Yanagi-style Sankajo, but if it is anything like the normal aikido sankyo, then did your partner tried to "root" after the sankajo locked in place? is "root" means grounding yourself? if i am not mistaken, sankajo lock when applied correctly would put the receiver on his/her toes and lock all the arm joins (wrist, elbow, shoulder) into one unit which then lock into the spine and offset the spine. if rooting (hoping that it meant grounding) after the lock is in place, then it would be the same as helping the other person to rip your own elbow and shoulder out of its joints, especially, if the other person's center is below your or somewhere around there. speaking from a reversal point of view, the time to deal with sankajo would be way before the lock is in place, preferably, at the moment of contact.
I will send you a message off line in order to respect Rob's world.
It does appear I will need to ask Sifu John Allen of Green Dragon to get some direction or support.

Quote:
Don't know of a way to get out of a sankajo lock once it's on. would be interested to know. the only thing that i could think of, since you are on your toes, is to do an aerial scissor thing from the vovinam folks. of course, i probably lose my arm, but then the other person will lose some body part(s) too (that's just my nasty side speaking).
Two ways to neutralize Sankajo have some success...

1) Step underneath the technique protruding your belly until it is (a) close to Tori and (2) under your torqued hand. Now you have time to perform another technique with your other hand.

2) Quickly grab the fist of your torqued arm. Force it directly down into your belly.

Either way, make sure your posture is in alignment with the waza.
 
Old 02-28-2008, 06:55 AM   #109
phitruong
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Chris Parkerson wrote: View Post
Two ways to neutralize Sankajo have some success...

1) Step underneath the technique protruding your belly until it is (a) close to Tori and (2) under your torqued hand. Now you have time to perform another technique with your other hand.

2) Quickly grab the fist of your torqued arm. Force it directly down into your belly.

Either way, make sure your posture is in alignment with the waza.
your description told me that the sankajo you dealt with involved only the wrist lock, which is more in line with pain complaint approach. the sankajo that i am in favor involved locking up most of your body skeletal structure, break your center line/shift your spine, and put your weight on the toes of your one foot. you won't feel pain unless you resist. also, your other arm would be useless as well. you would not be able to get close to tori or go under your wrist or any other thing. also the sankajo lock only happens for a second so i can use your arm to cut your head down to your feet then apply control. if i take the jutsu approach then cut your head down toward my rising knee, not pleasant.

i am still trying to find a way out of such lock. might be able to use the cut down motion to do a forward flip over my own arm, then sacrifice throw, then jump up and run on top of bamboo trees....
 
Old 02-28-2008, 07:42 AM   #110
Chris Parkerson
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Re: why focus on internal power

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
your description told me that the sankajo you dealt with involved only the wrist lock, which is more in line with pain complaint approach. the sankajo that i am in favor involved locking up most of your body skeletal structure, break your center line/shift your spine, and put your weight on the toes of your one foot. you won't feel pain unless you resist. also, your other arm would be useless as well. you would not be able to get close to tori or go under your wrist or any other thing. also the sankajo lock only happens for a second so i can use your arm to cut your head down to your feet then apply control. if i take the jutsu approach then cut your head down toward my rising knee, not pleasant.

i am still trying to find a way out of such lock. might be able to use the cut down motion to do a forward flip over my own arm, then sacrifice throw, then jump up and run on top of bamboo trees....
Just poor wroding. Efficient sankajo does not need wrist pain. It attaches the humerous to the clavicle and scapula to reach the center of gravity. The radial and ulna are what must give way. Often felt in the elbow, the attack, when completed as Koppo can result in a spiral fracture of both radial and ulna.

As I said, these defenses have "some" success. We have had some real fun with both of them. The principles on the first one have an Aiki element as well as a jujitsu element. Remember how Tohei would step inside someone's posture and then they could not lift him?

The second uses an Aiki principle as well. Munenori's sword posture. Your hands should remain aligned with and near your hara for optimum skeletal strength.
 
Old 02-28-2008, 07:56 AM   #111
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post

Aikido is not the manifestation of a physical skill set. In fact, it never has been. Had it been, O-Sensei would never have needed, nor would he have created a separate martial art from that of his teacher. Moreover, and unfortunately for those who are still stuck in the same place (so many moons after my departure from these forums) mastering any physical skill set - as important as that is, and as long as that may take - will never result in even the most basic understanding of Aikido (defined as the Way of Aiki).

If this were the case, then studying any of the other "aiki-based" arts would be a much more practical and straight forward way of achieving mastery of the physical control of an aggressive, non-compliant, drugged-up or any other version of (pick your most elusive, dominating or feared) attacker/opponent. In Aikido, there is no attacker, there is no opponent. There is no opposing force... no thing to learn to deal with, reconcile, master, control... etc. because there is no "him" or "I" component in the mix (being attacked) in the first place.
.
If Aikido has no physical component or requirement then you have negated the need to study waza or any of the physical principles that provide the basis of the art. You have, in my mind, made Aikido purely esoteric. If that is the goal, then to quote my sensei "go study Zen".

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
Common sense tells me she is not really asking her question, wondering if people really are trying to beat each other up in a new way. However, she is asking, regardless of their undeniable mastery of internal skill sets, but no understanding of Aikido "why so many (non-aikido) people have been able to dictate what Aikido is really about on these and other Aikido forums. Of course, common sense also tells me that they can only do this when people don't really understand what Aikido is. This is not entirely harmful. In fact I would say that it is a good thing if they can accomplish the goal of teaching, sharing or encouraging others to seek internal martial skills. I would prefer this rather than teaching people that Aikido is mere "conflict resolution" or ki simple development. Again, not that either of these things in and of themselves are harmful, either. It is simply that these things are not, never have been, and never will be what O-Sensei's Aikido - The Way of Aiki - is about.

...and the kind of internal power you, mike s. dan h, robert j, etc. are talking about, important as it is to all martial arts is still not Aikido. I would agree that there is some confusion. However, the confusion you speak of is more likely caused by people who have not committed to spending the rest of their lives seeking O-Sensei's Aikido (as the highest level of martial arts) speaking from a place where they, themselves, have not yet resolved these very differences.

.
In your above statement you have said Aikido isn't about physical waza or principles, its not about internal power, its not about conflict resolution etc etc. If it is none of these things, then just what is Aikido to you? What is your understanding of O-Sensei's Aikido?

Dan.
 
Old 02-28-2008, 08:24 AM   #112
Mike Sigman
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
...and the kind of internal power you, mike s. dan h, robert j, etc. are talking about, important as it is to all martial arts is still not Aikido.
No one has said that it *is* Aikido. For about the third time in this thread. Aikido is much more complex than that. However, without that kind of internal skills, what most people are doing is not Aikido, either. Like Ushiro Sensei said, "No kokyu, no Aikido". But that's true of all Asian arts. For people who have no kokyu/ki skills to sit their and talk about "outsiders" who "don't do Aikido" gets to be a fascinating study in logic and human behavior.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
 
Old 02-28-2008, 08:26 AM   #113
Mike Sigman
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Re: why focus on internal power

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Chris Parkerson wrote: View Post
It does appear I will need to ask Sifu John Allen of Green Dragon to get some direction or support.
Fabulous. I'd already mentioned to someone offline that you must be part of that group.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
 
Old 02-28-2008, 08:58 AM   #114
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
O Sensei wrote:
Use of the te-gatana [hand-sword] (or fist): in order to deliver a devastating blow to an enemy, one must be enlightened to the principles of heaven and earth; one's mind and body must be linked to the divine, and there must be a perfect balance between the manifest and hidden, water and fire. Heaven, earth, and man must blend together as a single unified force—in this case a te-gatana—and one must move in harmony with the cosmos propelled by the divine; heat and light should radiate from your entire body. Without offering your opponent the slightest opening or allowing a break in the flow of kokyu and ki, you must be enlightened to the essence of "striking."

Conversely, when the enemy strikes, always remain positive, calm,
settled, and full of power, centered in the great spirit of the universe,
and attuned to the will of the gods.
Like this, even when you are surrounded by a host of enemies or other obstacles, you can anticipate any attack and shift direction to the left or right to escape.
Taken from "Budo. Teachings of the Founder of Aikido". Translation by J. Stevens.

I think O Sensei saw kokyu as a very important element of Aikido.

 
Old 02-28-2008, 09:01 AM   #115
Chris Parkerson
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Re: why focus on internal power

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Fabulous. I'd already mentioned to someone offline that you must be part of that group.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Actually I am not. But since he is in Ohio and my friend needs ongoing assistance, I will definitely reach out to him.

Is he also not an acceptable resource in your opinion?
 
Old 02-28-2008, 09:44 AM   #116
Cady Goldfield
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
No one has said that it *is* Aikido. For about the third time in this thread. Aikido is much more complex than that. However, without that kind of internal skills, what most people are doing is not Aikido, either. Like Ushiro Sensei said, "No kokyu, no Aikido". But that's true of all Asian arts. For people who have no kokyu/ki skills to sit their and talk about "outsiders" who "don't do Aikido" gets to be a fascinating study in logic and human behavior.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
I would say that it's part of what made Ueshiba's aikido -his- aikido. And to all who would embrace this concept, it could become once again an integral part of aikido -- this time, though, -everyone's- aikido.

Maybe think of it as a healthy part of a nutritious breakfast that is aikido.
 
Old 02-28-2008, 10:05 AM   #117
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Re: why focus on internal power

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Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
It is simply that these things are not, never have been, and never will be what O-Sensei's Aikido - The Way of Aiki - is about.
Shaun,

This begs the question, do you think one can be actualizing O-Sensei's aikido without these internal skills?

Best,
Tim Anderson
 
Old 02-28-2008, 10:23 AM   #118
Blake Holtzen
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Chris Parkerson wrote: View Post
Actually I am not. But since he is in Ohio and my friend needs ongoing assistance, I will definitely reach out to him.

Is he also not an acceptable resource in your opinion?
I really like his "Iron Vest" program. It is one of the few qigongs I really enjoy doing consistently.

Also, he emphasizes stance training. Anyone who emphasizes stance training is good in my book. This usually shows that one is willing to "eat bitter" and is commited to patient progress.

However, his ideas on qi/chi and internal strength have been hotly contested by some. Even his method of proper structure is confusing (why is he puffing his chest and sticking out his butt?).

But, I am just a newbie with an opinion...

-Blake
 
Old 02-28-2008, 11:36 AM   #119
Chris Parkerson
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Blake Holtzen wrote: View Post
I really like his "Iron Vest" program. It is one of the few qigongs I really enjoy doing consistently.

Also, he emphasizes stance training. Anyone who emphasizes stance training is good in my book. This usually shows that one is willing to "eat bitter" and is commited to patient progress.

However, his ideas on qi/chi and internal strength have been hotly contested by some. Even his method of proper structure is confusing (why is he puffing his chest and sticking out his butt?).

But, I am just a newbie with an opinion...

-Blake
I have the same concern. I have read that some Chi Kung systems get that "muscular effect" only to experience major degerration in later life. This is not my way either. When I practiced regularly, I was relaxed about the whole process and just let nature do its thing with focused meditation.

But I suspect that he knows allot about regulating the fire (Kan) since he develops so much of it. He may be able to help in this manner. I guess I will see unless there are alternative resources I can point my buddy to.
 
Old 02-28-2008, 02:15 PM   #120
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Tim Anderson wrote: View Post
Shaun,

This begs the question, do you think one can be actualizing O-Sensei's aikido without these internal skills?

Best,
Tim Anderson
Tim,

Thanks for the well thought-out question. Let me start out by saying that anything I might say is based solely upon my current understanding of these matters.

My answer is to your question is, categorically no ...and yes. The way of Aiki is not concerned with techniques at all. O-Sensei said, "Aikido is misogi..." Common sense tells me that if I am to understand Aikido, then I must seek misogi. Misogi, like Aikido has a physical component. Of course, no one would say that the ultimate purpose of misogi is to master funakoki-undo. Would they? I sure hope not. Misogi-no-gyo are the physical components, the forms of misogi, if you will. However mastering the gyo are not the objective of the form. In this sense, the physical components of Aikido, the waza are the form. However, just as with misogi, mastery of the waza is not the objective of the waza. If it were, oh how empty such a lifelong pursuit would be. I see it like comparing the gas in the gas tank of your car and the gas gauge. One gives you a representation about the other, but it is not the other in any way, shape or form. You get feedback from the gauge, and this gives you information that you can reliably use to better understand how much potentially you could travel, give or take a small percentage. For me the waza is like the gas gague. I can use my waza to tell me potentially how much further I have to travel down the very long path of Aikido.

Those who know me well understand that I see Aikido as a martial art. This to me means that it contains both physical and non-physical components. Both of these are to be mastered over a prolonged period of intense and varying training methods. However, in my opinion mastery of these components is not the goal for the Aikidoka, it is the path of the Aikidoka. If you asked me what would happen if I tried to follow a path without an understanding of where it was I was trying to end up, I would tell you that most likely I will get very lost.

I feel it important to address the thread and say that I spend upwards of 80% of my (training) energies towards gaining an understanding of internal power. I have been exposed to several different teachers, approaches, points of reference and art forms. In my opinion each spoke towards very similar concepts when broken down into their various component levels. I use the places where these things overlap as a starting point and work my way out from there. I have gained some basic knowledge as a result of over 30 years of effort. I have a pretty okay method of sharing this information because I share it the way it was shown to me and to the level at which I am able to understand these things. I have no doubt of their importance to me as a martial artist. More importantly as someone who tries to share my limited understanding of these things with anyone that I may come in contact with on the mat. I would feel derelict if I ignored this type of training, even more so if I did not encourage others to seek out every avenue where these things may be found that speaks to them. If you get this at your dojo - GREAT. If you do not, well... less than great. Hopefully at some point it will become important if you are seeking a deeper sort of understanding of yourself, your training and what to do with yourself after 20 or 30 years of training. If spending time with Mike, Robert, Cady, Dan, Sensei Angier... etc. moves you closer to that - GREAT!!! I would recommend it and them every time.

Of course, this still has nothing really to do with O-Sensei's Aikido and that is the point (I believe) why the thread was opened in the first place.

...oh, while it may not be the be all end all of your Aikido training, it most certainly is on the path, so stop putting it off. Really...

.

Last edited by Misogi-no-Gyo : 02-28-2008 at 02:27 PM. Reason: formatting & clarification

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Old 02-28-2008, 02:38 PM   #121
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Dan Botari wrote: View Post
If Aikido has no physical component or requirement then you have negated the need to study waza or any of the physical principles that provide the basis of the art. You have, in my mind, made Aikido purely esoteric. If that is the goal, then to quote my sensei "go study Zen".
With all due respect to those who practice or study Zen, I am neither a practitioner or proponent of Zen. I also believe that it has less than nothing to do with Aikido in that one need not even know it exits to practice, understand or even master Aikido. That said, it might help others, so for them I say, bully!

Quote:
Dan Botari wrote: View Post
In your above statement you have said Aikido isn't about physical waza or principles, its not about internal power, its not about conflict resolution etc etc. If it is none of these things, then just what is Aikido to you? What is your understanding of O-Sensei's Aikido?

Dan.
to the first point...

I think any answer of any value could only be sought out training together on the mat. I am in NY, Long Island to be exact. Please let me know when you are in the area and have some time to explore the question.

to the second point...

please see above and my previous posts for any relevant information that might help. The only caveat is that some of my understanding has changed over the past few years, so it may be quite outdated.

.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
 
Old 02-28-2008, 02:40 PM   #122
Cady Goldfield
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
Of course, this still has nothing really to do with O-Sensei's Aikido
What, exactly, is O-Sensei's aikido, in your opinion?
 
Old 02-28-2008, 03:19 PM   #123
Mike Sigman
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
However, Aikido is not the manifestation of a physical skill set. In fact, it never has been. Had it been, O-Sensei would never have needed, nor would he have created a separate martial art from that of his teacher. Moreover, and unfortunately for those who are still stuck in the same place (so many moons after my departure from these forums) mastering any physical skill set - as important as that is, and as long as that may take - will never result in even the most basic understanding of Aikido (defined as the Way of Aiki).
Hi Shaun:

Did you read that quote from Inaba Sensei that I posted the other day? How about the quote from Tohei about ki skills and how they were physically-based, in the interview from AJ? They were good things to read and I'd recommend them to you.
Quote:

If this were the case, then studying any of the other "aiki-based" arts would be a much more practical and straight forward way of achieving mastery of the physical control of an aggressive, non-compliant, drugged-up or any other version of (pick your most elusive, dominating or feared) attacker/opponent. In Aikido, there is no attacker, there is no opponent. There is no opposing force... no thing to learn to deal with, reconcile, master, control... etc. because there is no "him" or "I" component in the mix (being attacked) in the first place.

Common sense tells me she is not really asking her question, wondering if people really are trying to beat each other up in a new way. However, she is asking, regardless of their undeniable mastery of internal skill sets, but no understanding of Aikido "why so many (non-aikido) people have been able to dictate what Aikido is really about on these and other Aikido forums. Of course, common sense also tells me that they can only do this when people don't really understand what Aikido is. This is not entirely harmful. In fact I would say that it is a good thing if they can accomplish the goal of teaching, sharing or encouraging others to seek internal martial skills. I would prefer this rather than teaching people that Aikido is mere "conflict resolution" or ki simple development. Again, not that either of these things in and of themselves are harmful, either. It is simply that these things are not, never have been, and never will be what O-Sensei's Aikido - The Way of Aiki - is about.

...and the kind of internal power you, mike s. dan h, robert j, etc. are talking about, important as it is to all martial arts is still not Aikido. I would agree that there is some confusion. However, the confusion you speak of is more likely caused by people who have not committed to spending the rest of their lives seeking O-Sensei's Aikido (as the highest level of martial arts) speaking from a place where they, themselves, have not yet resolved these very differences.

For now I can only say, ...where there is still time there is still hope.
Those poor misguided lads. Tsk.
Quote:
Shaun in another post: wrote:
please see above and my previous posts for any relevant information that might help. The only caveat is that some of my understanding has changed over the past few years, so it may be quite outdated..
Well, wait a minute, Shaun. The last time I was reading you, you seemed just as certain as you do now that you had it pretty well sussed. What part of your "understanding" has changed?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
 
Old 02-28-2008, 03:21 PM   #124
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: why focus on internal power

Comment on the gas gauge. It assumes that the gauge is funcitoning correctly as a feedback mechanism. It also assumes that we know what exactly is meant by "half a tank". It also requires that we are not looking at another gauge like the oil gauge.

In discussing the realitive value of the output, say "half a tank". It also assumes that the two people are indeed looking at the same gauge at the same time.

I think this is a huge issue we deal with in aikido. We apply reductionism to the various parts of the whole, then we assume that the feedback we are getting is correct, then when we discuss it, we assume that ours is correct, and the other is wrong..or vice versa.

 
Old 02-28-2008, 07:34 PM   #125
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
However, without that kind of internal skills, what most people are doing is not Aikido, either. Like Ushiro Sensei said, "No kokyu, no Aikido".
Mike, I would disagree a bit here. There are a million people doing Aikido world wide now and maybe thirty to forty thousand in this country.

Now it would be my understanding that, since hardly any of us has what you would call "internal skills" or would be using kokyu power the way it is understood in the internal arts, you are saying we aren't doing Aikido.

I simply disagree with that statement. We are still doing Aikido; it's just not very good Aikido. If you want to say our Aikido sucks, then fine... I am on record in a number of places on this and other forums as being in agreement with that. Some of us are trying to fix that issue by looking outside for input.

But I stand by my statements about folks who don't do Aikido not understanding the art, it's purpose, or what the Founder meant it to be. I have been on the mat virtually every day for 31 years doing this art. I will concede that I do not have the skills I would like to have and I am taking steps to remedy that situation. But I also know from direct experience what the art contains that is independent of the skills you are talking about.

The skills you are talking about should be there and they aren't for the vast majority of folks in this art. If I can believe what you have said in past posts, this is true of martial arts in general, including the so-called "internal arts". I do not have the impression very many people measure up to your standard in this respect, which from our brief exposure together, I know to be very high.

You, at least have trained for some time in Aikido... This make you very valuable, just as Ellis Amdur is, because you know the form our movements take and have a sense of the practice. But the relatively short time you spent in Aikido comparatively speaking does not give you the level of deep insight into the art which you have in the area of internal power. As you yourself have conceded, the art is much more than that. Whereas, we are mostly lacking in the skills required to duplicate O-Sensei's technical skills, there is still a lot going on here, even in our "bad" Aikido.

If someone who trained directly with the Founder, who has many years of training over me, who can do things on the mat that I simply can't do, tells me I'm not doing Aikido or what I am doing is not what the Founder intended, then I will listen... But I don't concede that same authority to anyone else. And I do not think that folks who have spent their entire adult lives doing this art need to either. I know what I have gotten out of my training thus far and I see every day what the art has given to the many thousands of folks out there. We may be doing "bad Aikido" but it's still Aikido. Some of us would like to take our art to where we are doing good Aikido. We appreciate the fact that there are now sources of information out there which were not previously available... that may allow us to get back to an Aikido that technically was more like what the Founder could do. But as we muddle along, doing our inadequate Aikido, there is still something happening in our art which is unique, which has benefit despite the fact that we have not mastered some important technical issues. People from outside can, quite correctly, point out that none of us can do what the Founder could do... I don't know anyone who would dispute that. But those folks don't get to define our art for us, to tell us that what we are doing isn't Aikido.

Aikido is far more than just the skills we have been discussing. The folks who are possessed of these skills tend to write off or demean the different skills and insights attained by the folks who may not have these same skills under discussion. I don't concede their authority to do that. I concede that we must be better at what we do. I concede that you guys know some of what we need to do that. I do not concede that you understand to any great depth what we are doing or what the Founder intended his art to be.

Thanks to all of you for being willing to assist us being better. Thanks to Akuzawa and Rob for teaching at my dojo, thanks to you for giving so generously of your time and skill in Colorado, thanks to Dan for doing his workshops on the East Coast and helping us be better at what we do. I want to be as clear as possible about this... thank you all, it is important.

I think that Aikido folks get this... When I saw the folks at the Akuzawa seminar, most were Aikido folks or at least former Aikido folks. I see the same thing at the seminars Howard Popkin does... It was Aikido folks who brought Ushiro Sensei over the first time and have continued to invite him over each year. The Systema folks have seen that when they do open seminars, many of the new folks who show up are Aikido folks. Aikido is changing and it is for the better.

But its still that case that folks who have put thousands of hours, if not tens of thousands, on the mat, who have spent the majority of their adult lives trying to connect the teachings of the Founder with the physical training they do, have a far better idea of what the Founder's message was, what he wanted the art to be, what it can give to a committed practitioner, than anyone from outside or someone who did the art and left because he was looking for something else. There are thirty or forty thousand of us doing our Aikido, it may be bad Aikido, but it's Aikido and it's our Aikido. Hopefully we'll make it better Aikido.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 02-28-2008 at 07:39 PM.

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