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Old 02-28-2008, 08:19 PM   #126
Aikibu
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Re: why focus on internal power

Excellent Post Sensei Ledyard and I said much the same thing to Mike a few posts back. The only difference is that using Mike's criteria We seem to be practicing Aikido.

Once more with feeling.

William Hazen
 
Old 02-28-2008, 08:38 PM   #127
Mike Sigman
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
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.
George, before this goes too far or even before I read any further, let me note (as I have before) that if you look at my post in context, it was in response to the idea that I and others "don't do Aikido", with the obvious connotation that the argument begins and ends with Shaun's idea of who does Aikido. My rebuttal, even though it's oblique, is meant to say "let's don't go there, because there are a lot of arguments if you want to circumvent the issue and just trivialize things."
Quote:
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.
I understand, George. My point is that if someone wants to box-in what "isn't Aikido", though, they need to understand that boundary-conditions can get tricky. For instance, what is "not Aikido"? Who determines it? Is everything that is not really Aikido also "not very good Aikido"?
Quote:
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.
Well, my position is that the techniques, "aiki", etc., are dependent upon the very ki/kokyu skills that have been the subject of much discussion. Be glad to debate it with you, but it would probably be in another thread. For instance, how is a "kokyunage" acceptable as Aikido if the person really doesn't have any kokyu? You know me, I'll take the opposite side of any argument.
Quote:
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.
George, it's true. And I've now been around long enough to hear some pretty good experts (from Asia, and not just Ushiro) say the same thing. How is a kokyunage a kokyu throw if the person doing it doesn't have any kokyu power? Even if there technique and timing, etc., is "smoothe"? It gets very tricky, but it's a topic that merits discussion. Too often an attempt is made to shortstop the discussion with the idea of "oh your knowledge/debate has no credibility because "you don't do Aikido". And that opens the debate.
Quote:
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.
I'll be glad to debate that, George. I disagree with you, more or less along the lines of my last-above reply. No emotion; I just like factual debates. However, logically there is an impasse when it comes to "Ai-ki-do" but there is no ki.
Quote:
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.
There's more people "doing Tai Chi" than that, George. By a long shot. There is a diplomatic nod to the people who do Tai Chi choreography, etc., but frankly I either say nothing or I give my honest opinion when someone doing choreography asks me what I think. It would be a lot easier if I just said, "Great! That looks so good. Keep going.. you're getting there!". Personally, I feel like if I'm going to really respect someone, I don't consign them to the diplomatic-speak. Of course, that's what Asians tend to do... tell somebody what they want to hear so that they'll feel good... but I'm just not there yet.


Just out of curiosity, why do you think someone like Ushiro Sensei said something as blunt as "no kokyu, no Aikido"? Do you think he was trying to be helpful or that he just didn't understand the full depths?

Best.

Mike Sigman
 
Old 02-28-2008, 09:51 PM   #128
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: why focus on internal power

Just out of curiosity, why do you think someone like Ushiro Sensei said something as blunt as "no kokyu, no Aikido"? Do you think he was trying to be helpful or that he just didn't understand the full depths?[/quote]

I think I understand what he means and I also believe I understand you. But Ushiro is less an Aikido person than you are; you at least have Aikido in your background. This is no slight on Ushiro Sensei, he has been instrumental, amongst others, in helping me take my own Aikido to an entirely different level. I understand some of what he is doing and others parts, not yet.... What he does definitely involves a deep understanding of "aiki".

But it is still the case that he doesn't do Aikido, didn't train with O-Sensei, isn't particularly conversant with the works on Aikido by the Founder or his son Kisshomaru, or Tohei or anyone else for that matter. Ikeda Sensei connected with him on a deep level because he has a systematic method for explaining and teaching what Saotome Sensei has been demonstrating all these years but had no developed methodology for transmitting.

But Ikeda Sensei is an Aikido guy. He is taking what Ushiro Sensei has taught him and used it to develop his Aikido. His Aikido contains far more than what Ushiro has helped him with. What Ushiro Sensei has taught me has helped me understand far better what Saotome Sensei has been showing us all these years. I can, at long last, do what my teachers are doing. I don't do it as well as they do certainly, but I can do it. I have trouble with the terminology on what I do. I have been developing my own description of it because neither Ikeda Sensei nor Saotome Sensei use words to describe what they do to any large extent. So I incorporate whatever seems fit, whatever seems helpful to get others to be able to do what I do.

So in these discussions when you get to the technical elements of how to talk about the issues of internal power, I have no common terminology for discussing what I do. So I can only go by what happens on the mat. I can reproduce what my teachers are doing at this point. It took far too long in my opinion but I can. Since I actually never thought I'd get to that point, I guess I am happy but there's a long way to go. Every step I make forward seems to increase my sense of what is ahead. So not only am I focused on continuing to go forward myself, but I am concerned with helping other folks make the jump to where they can understand what our teachers are doing as well. Then these folks can direct their training in such a way that it may actually get them towards their goal of mastering, at least on some level, what their teachers have been doing.

I'd love to have some time with you where I could pick your brain and show you stuff that I am doing and get you to tell me what it is in your terms. It would help a lot in being able to discuss it.

But, back to the point... the art isn't in necessarily attaining or not attaining certain skills. The art is the practice. How we practice, the proper mindset, the proper relationship with the partner, the outer form of what we do is an important part of what we are doing. People who don't have experience training this way can't understand that. So, no, I don't concede Ushiro Sensei any more authority to dictate when there is Aikido and when there isn't than I do any other non-Aikido practitioner.

Anyway, it isn't really worth debating this point... It is in some ways about talking about Faith with someone who is religious... I know from my own personal experience what training in this art can do and O-Sensei and his spiritual and philosophical teachings are an integral part of my experience of the art. I "know" from my own personal experience. It is almost impossible to explain in some convincing way to explain what I know to someone else who doesn't have the same kind of relationship with it. That doesn't make you wrong and it doesn't make me right... it's far too personal for much of an exchange between folks who aren't already on the same page.

As you and others keep getting around and folks from my end of things get more exposure, at some point there might be more common means of expression developed. I think a much more precise explanatory method is important for Aikido. It's kind of a joke right now. I do stuff that I have no way of describing except through methods I develop myself cobbled out of things I have heard, read, gotten from a myriad of teachers. Much of this is probably due to Aikido making a jump into non-Japanese cultures which had no descriptive terminology for these things. I notice that you use far more Chinese terminology to describe this stuff than Japanese... I expect because they have taken it deeper, longer than anyone else. Anyway, that's an on-going discussion and will take time to evolve.

My point here is that what makes Aikido, Aikido is a very complex mix of things. There is a difference between the journey and the destination.
Aikido is the journey. The journey is made up of all sorts of experiences which are determined by the path that each practitioner takes. There are people who will spend their entire lives doing this art, finding the utmost satisfaction in the journey, deriving tremendous satisfaction from sharing the journey with others, getting all sorts of insight from treading the Path, who will never arrive at any of the destinations we are discussing.

There are people, like yourself, who have arrived at various points by different paths. While you do understand quite well these various destinations, you have taken different roads to get there. An Aikido person may or may not arrive at some of these destination points but they are still on their path and that path is Aikido. Those who arrive at these destinations via this path of Aikido will understand these places differently than those who arrived via different roads. There's nothing wrong with that but it does not mean that people who have arrived at one or more of these points by different roads will understand each other very well. They will be able to talk about the point itself, but their journeys, their paths, their arts are still different.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 02-28-2008 at 09:56 PM.

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Old 02-28-2008, 10:05 PM   #129
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Re: why focus on internal power

Aikido is ours, I tell you. OURS! No one outside aikido could ever, ever have a clue, even if they come from the art from which aikido was directly derived. Because aikido is just too complex for your non-Aikidoka selves to ever, ever understand.

Oh, and you're not Japanese, so you couldn't possibly understand "things Japanese." It's just not in your being! So don't go thinking you could ever, ever understand aikido if you're not Japanese. Aikido is a Japanese Thang!

 
Old 02-28-2008, 10:18 PM   #130
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Just out of curiosity, why do you think someone like Ushiro Sensei said something as blunt as "no kokyu, no Aikido"? Do you think he was trying to be helpful or that he just didn't understand the full depths?
I think I understand what he means and I also believe I understand you. But Ushiro is less an Aikido person than you are; you at least have Aikido in your background.
Hi George:

The point I'm arguing (in the debate sense) is that "ki" is core to Aikido and that you can't jump around the ki part and still have "Aiki"-do. Your argument seems to be (as I understand it; you have posted the thought in various ways a number of times) that you can have Aikido and that ki is something extraneous to understanding Aikido. In my perception of ki/qi, it's the alphabet from which the words are written. In your perception (pardon the hyperbole and attribution, but I'm having fun), you can write pithy prose and you can get to the alphabet later, to sort of round out your version of prose.

Ushiro's understanding is not of Aikido, I agree. But to understand Aikido is not what Ikeda Sensei is trying to do. Ikeda is attempting to resolve a basic skill that he knows is common to many/most Asian martial arts. So in that sense, the discussion is about a skill that is the core of Aikido, of karate, of jujitsu (ki-strength is what the "ju" refers to, not just "soft")of iaido, of shodo, of Noh dancing, of the tea ceremony, and so on. It's a *big* deal, these skills. That's why Ueshiba devoted so much time in his writing to the assurances (obliquely) that he was using these keystones of Asian martial arts.

Similarly, Tohei separates out, to a noticeable extent, these same skills as the very baseline of all Aikido techniques. He did so before he parted ways with Hombu Dojo and he did so while Ueshiba Morihei was alive. That gives the focus on ki and kokyu as separate from the techniques somewhat of the imprimatur of Ueshiba Sensei himself, IMO.

I understand your perspective about the understanding of techniques growing with sophistication after years of practice... but just where do you put the ki/skills in terms of importance, not to you or to me, but to the upcoming ranks of Aikidoists? Is it really only "somewhat important"?

Best.

Mike
 
Old 02-28-2008, 10:31 PM   #131
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Aikido is ours, I tell you. OURS! No one outside aikido could ever, ever have a clue, even if they come from the art from which aikido was directly derived. Because aikido is just too complex for your non-Aikidoka selves to ever, ever understand.

Oh, and you're not Japanese, so you couldn't possibly understand "things Japanese." It's just not in your being! So don't go thinking you could ever, ever understand aikido if you're not Japanese. Aikido is a Japanese Thang!

Um, that's a pretty subtle point, Cady. Let me work on it a while.

However, let me use the workshop a few weeks ago in Pennsylvania to make a point somewhat related to the "understanding Aikido" meme. No one who was there at the Pennsylvania workshop is going to be able to understand, exercise, and condition to the point where they will catch up to my ki/qi skills in the very near future... I've got a pretty good head-start. But I can easily see that some of those senior people who were there grokked enough that they could have already begun to apply some of the general principles/strengths into a few Aikido techniques. Since they "understand Aikido" better than me (and in terms of waza, I'm sure they do), then their combination of ki/kokyu skills and their Aikido knowledge conceivably puts them beyond my ability to do the same techniques. I.e., once again the point is that the discussion is not really about Aikido, but about a strength system on which Aikido is based. Who "understands Aikido better" is not really the issue, IMO.

Best.

Mike
 
Old 02-28-2008, 10:45 PM   #132
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Re: why focus on internal power

Perhaps, but a syllabus of codified waza is only the tip of an iceberg, as so many here have passionately argued about the complexities of aikido. However, were aikidoka to receive and re-introduce the full range of internal training that exists in their art's ancestral form -- as Ueshiba applied it -- they might find that it would transform their present syllabus of aikido -technique- into something quite "new," and that their present syllabus might no longer be necessary to memorize as "a thing."

It would give a whole "new" understanding of the meaning of Ueshiba's frequent (post-WWII) roarings, upon entering the dojo after an absence, that "This is not MY aikido!"
 
Old 02-29-2008, 02:25 AM   #133
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I understand your perspective about the understanding of techniques growing with sophistication after years of practice... but just where do you put the ki/skills in terms of importance, not to you or to me, but to the upcoming ranks of Aikidoists? Is it really only "somewhat important"?
No, I think that it is of crucial importance. And I would change the entire way Aikido is taught. I am amazed that the few folks who really have the goods managed to do so the way they trained.

I would turn Aikido on its head if it were up to me. In fact that's what I am doing in my own dojo. But my own Aikido is evolving so fast, I keep adding new elements so quickly that I can't at all predict where I will end up with it, either personally or how I teach it.

You are absolutely right that it's ridiculous that most folks doing Aikido can't even tell you what Aiki is much less do their technique with aiki. I'm still looking at the various people whom I believe have the goods and trying to see what they have in common. I just don't have enough information yet to come to any conclusions. I can do things now that 2 or 3 years ago I simply couldn't conceive of doing, that sort of thing was just stuff my teacher could do but none if us had a clue about. You seem to have a very detailed descriptive set of terminology to outline the various elements of ki, internal power, aiki etc. I haven't directly encountered anyone in Aikido who has that.

Anyway, it is helpful that you guys are interested in giving Aikido folks your input. I think that between the input from outside folks that Aikido is getting and the innovative ways that Aikido folks are incorporating that information into the art, everyone's Aikido will be better than it is currently. And maybe then it won't take 25 years for someone to start having a clue.

Talk again soon...
- George

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Old 02-29-2008, 04:15 AM   #134
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Just out of curiosity, why do you think someone like Ushiro Sensei said something as blunt as "no kokyu, no Aikido"? Do you think he was trying to be helpful or that he just didn't understand the full depths?
While the question wasn't addressed to me. I'll venture to add that Tohei Sensei is known to have said "no unbendable arm, no aikido" and similar phrases for at least the last 50 years. I'm betting he understood the full depths and was trying to be helpful. So I can only imagine Ushiro Sensei was doing the same.

For myself, I usually tell my students that if they're not trying to learn about ki then they're not doing aikido, they're doing something else that looks a bit like aikido on the outside. But thats according to my own definition of what aikido is, I'm quite happy to accept others definititons and recognise their efforts, ranks etc, even if they know nothing about ki and mind and body development (so long as they're trying to learn it, but then surely thats what anyone would ask of people who come to study with them?)

Best

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
 
Old 02-29-2008, 04:21 AM   #135
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Re: why focus on internal power

Given that 99% of people practicing aikido spend the majority of classtime practicing technique of some form or another, I would hazard to say that technique (physical or otherwise) is a major component of the practice of aikido - a lot more than the claim that Aikido, as an art-form is broader in scope and more complex than a limited subset of physical technique.

The fact that there are a multitude of factors (physical or otherwise) also being trained/practiced within (and without) the structure and practice of technique, is neither here nor there. Sure, the training focus may be different to other more sport/competition-oriented martial arts, but I seriously doubt that such integrated practice is any different to other integrative martial practices.

IMO, the spiritual/philosophical difference argument is moot - the doctrine of Aikido merely serves to inform and guide the physical/mental/spiritual practice (whether on or off the mat) - just as other MAs with a spiritual/philosophical doctrine do. The argument is akin to whose God is the true God - it doesn't leave much room for everyone else outside that particular religion or denomination. So much for Aikido as a religion to complete all religions and to unite the world...

I am not entirely certain that aikido needs to be turned on it's head. Perhaps the way the practice is approached, taught and learnt needs to be addressed. Certainly, the "how-to" of ki/kokyu and by extension, "aiki", needs to be addressed at a foundational level. By that I mean, black belt, white belt, or the average Joe/Jane that walks in off the street into their first class.

IMO, without this foundation, it is simply "empty" practice - whether it be Aikido or some other MA.

Last edited by eyrie : 02-29-2008 at 04:31 AM.

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Old 02-29-2008, 05:00 AM   #136
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
It would give a whole "new" understanding of the meaning of Ueshiba's frequent (post-WWII) roarings, upon entering the dojo after an absence, that "This is not MY aikido!"
I suppose O Sensei roaring "This is not my akido" was absolutely unrelated to his previous

"From this conscious attitude, the defense against and repulsion of an attack should be accomplished by means of kokyu, in accordance with this truth. When this is achieved, wisdom, kindness and courage naturally flow from within you and will give form the only and true Yamato damashii, then you will be able to use your entire your body as if it was a sword and can enter into a state of "not being" (Mugano Kyochi). Budo can develop this profound internal spirit, in proportion to your own development from one (level) of satori to another."

Probably there are better translations. You can find the original paragraph in Budo Renshu.

 
Old 02-29-2008, 07:53 AM   #137
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
So I can only go by what happens on the mat. .
That is how O'Sensei learned it.

David
 
Old 03-01-2008, 01:53 PM   #138
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External, too

To me, it's not only internal, but external, too. Flows of intention, both from tori and uke.

Actually, I feel increasingly that what is going on in aikido is the whirling and turning of those flows of intention. The bodies and their movements are mere shadows of this.

The essence of an attack is the flow of intention from the attacker, and the essence of the defense is how the defender's flow blends with it, and redirects it. Their bodies follow.

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
 
Old 03-01-2008, 10:28 PM   #139
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Re: why focus on internal power

I think, as a matter of fact, I was discussing with a San Soo Choy Li Fut (excuse the spelling) Sifu at the Pub earlier tonight, that people must experience Ki/Qi even if they don't get it because we are all animated and created of it. We both were commiserating on how impossible it is to teach and explain ki, at times, to people who 'don't get it.' In this context I shared a way that I sometimes teach ki 'recognition'. I assist them in seeing, 'where is ki operating identifiably in my life or culture or understanding?'. I often work with young people and young adults and they flinch when you reach out to touch them even when they physically haven't seen you move.I use this as a way to show them they felt movement on an 'invisible' level. Now, I know that this is neural, but it is a stepping point to ki for people who don't know how to identify it. Folks like the sophisticated ( ahhh-hmmm) people on this website look for more or would like to see more evidence of ki, but simple everyday events provide opportunities where we can help peoplestart to make the most basic of ki connections.
I also use the 'ever get the feeling you were being watched and you were? question to help inspire the mind and the person into the 'unknown' aspects of connected energy ( ki musubi).
Anyhow, I'm just a hack, but that works for me and it does help my students perk up their senses.
Maybe they don't totally get it, but the little ground we break makes their instructor feel more hopeful for her practice and for others' at the end of the day. Plus, the students like it.

carry on.

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 03-01-2008 at 10:33 PM.

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Old 03-02-2008, 11:09 AM   #140
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Re: why focus on internal power

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Folks like the sophisticated ( ahhh-hmmm) people on this website look for more or would like to see more evidence of ki, but simple everyday events provide opportunities where we can help peoplestart to make the most basic of ki connections.
I also use the 'ever get the feeling you were being watched and you were? question to help inspire the mind and the person into the 'unknown' aspects of connected energy ( ki musubi).
Anyhow, I'm just a hack, but that works for me and it does help my students perk up their senses.
Maybe they don't totally get it, but the little ground we break makes their instructor feel more hopeful for her practice and for others' at the end of the day. Plus, the students like it.

carry on.
Jennifer,

It's really too bad that you couldn't make it to the Aunkai seminar at Stanford. I think it would have cleared up a lot of things for you.

Best,
Tim
 
Old 03-02-2008, 01:49 PM   #141
Dan Rubin
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Re: why focus on internal power

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Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Aikido is ours, I tell you. OURS! No one outside aikido could ever, ever have a clue, even if they come from the art from which aikido was directly derived. Because aikido is just too complex for your non-Aikidoka selves to ever, ever understand.

Oh, and you're not Japanese, so you couldn't possibly understand "things Japanese." It's just not in your being! So don't go thinking you could ever, ever understand aikido if you're not Japanese. Aikido is a Japanese Thang!

Why does this attitude disturb you, Cady? Why not just ignore us?
 
Old 03-02-2008, 02:08 PM   #142
Cady Goldfield
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Re: why focus on internal power

Doesn't disturb me at all. It's just the way 'tis. Hence, the "winkies." I once trained in aikido, many years ago, and saw a lot of good in the people I met and the earnestness of their practice, but it was hard not to note the irony of the Japanese cultural sense and what, among some, has become its Western equivalent.

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 03-02-2008 at 02:15 PM.
 
Old 03-02-2008, 02:22 PM   #143
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Re: why focus on internal power

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Dan Rubin wrote: View Post
Why does this attitude disturb you, Cady? Why not just ignore us?
Sic transit threadii mundi.
 
Old 03-02-2008, 02:42 PM   #144
Cady Goldfield
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Re: why focus on internal power

When you get sic in transit, they have those great little paper bags...
 
Old 03-02-2008, 02:46 PM   #145
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Re: why focus on internal power

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Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
When you get sic in transit, they have those great little paper bags...
In hoc signo winkies.
 
Old 03-02-2008, 02:51 PM   #146
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Re: why focus on internal power

Better winkies or vinces, than vonces (vonts/bedbugs)!

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 03-02-2008 at 02:57 PM. Reason: damned lack of Spellcheck! ;)
 
Old 03-02-2008, 03:11 PM   #147
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Re: why focus on internal power

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Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
I think, as a matter of fact, I was discussing with a San Soo Choy Li Fut (excuse the spelling) Sifu at the Pub earlier tonight, that people must experience Ki/Qi even if they don't get it because we are all animated and created of it. We both were commiserating on how impossible it is to teach and explain ki, at times, to people who 'don't get it.' In this context I shared a way that I sometimes teach ki 'recognition'. I assist them in seeing, 'where is ki operating identifiably in my life or culture or understanding?'. I often work with young people and young adults and they flinch when you reach out to touch them even when they physically haven't seen you move.I use this as a way to show them they felt movement on an 'invisible' level. Now, I know that this is neural, but it is a stepping point to ki for people who don't know how to identify it. Folks like the sophisticated ( ahhh-hmmm) people on this website look for more or would like to see more evidence of ki, but simple everyday events provide opportunities where we can help peoplestart to make the most basic of ki connections.
I also use the 'ever get the feeling you were being watched and you were? question to help inspire the mind and the person into the 'unknown' aspects of connected energy ( ki musubi).
Anyhow, I'm just a hack, but that works for me and it does help my students perk up their senses.
Maybe they don't totally get it, but the little ground we break makes their instructor feel more hopeful for her practice and for others' at the end of the day. Plus, the students like it.

carry on.
Jen your hack is beautiful. I forgot that Sifu John Woo told us much the same thing we he compared San Soo to Aikido. "The point of practice is to discover and reconnect with the Chi/Ki you already have"... That blends nicely with The "secret is right in front of you can you grasp it?"

Hope this post finds you nabbing a few at Indicators or Stockton Ave.

William Hazen
 
Old 03-02-2008, 05:32 PM   #148
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Re: why focus on internal power

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I would turn Aikido on its head if it were up to me. In fact that's what I am doing in my own dojo.
You and me both brother.

Larry Novick
Head Instructor
ACE Aikido
 
Old 03-02-2008, 08:22 PM   #149
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Post Re: why focus on internal power

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
You are absolutely right that it's ridiculous that most folks doing Aikido can't even tell you what Aiki is much less do their technique with aiki. I'm still looking at the various people whom I believe have the goods and trying to see what they have in common. You seem to have a very detailed descriptive set of terminology to outline the various elements of ki, internal power, aiki etc. I haven't directly encountered anyone in Aikido who has that.
There is a reason for this. In Chinese thought underlying the aspects of Ki we address, yin knowledge and yang knowledge are understood in certain ways. In our culture, our most powerful yang knowledge is (for lack of a better summary) -- rocket science -- the hard sciences are the yang aspects of what we know. For most people, they read what is written and hear what is said about aiki in traditional terms and it sounds very yin in our terminology. So they end up applying it that way, Of course it isn't: it is balanced knowledge, in-yo ho. And because it does not key into our quintessential yang sensibilities -- voila -- you get oodles of aiki-bunnies.

So, to avoid that problem, either one gets to the point of having a sufficiently in-depth knowledge of Eastern culture so as to be able to see the yang knowledge in balance with the yin knowledge, sans the Western cultural bias, or we find a way to transmute portions of the knowledge into Western hard science terms, making the yang aspects explicit in our terms.

Mike has done the former, it appears, and bully for him. I did my undergraduate thesis on Wang Yang-ming. So I see the value in that. It is not really approachable for most people since they have no foundaiton to work from. That is a problem.

The only other yang mode apart from hard science in our culture is the competitive one, which judo and jujitsu have adopted to great effect. Mike's approach does not lead there, Dan's I am not so sure, and Rob's is unclear in that regard. But some strains of thought in this debate do tend that way. That is fraught with problems, or so says the Founder, and I tend to agree. So that really leaves only the other two as working options. I am pursuing the latter.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
And maybe then it won't take 25 years for someone to start having a clue.
Or, maybe it will simply take that amount of time, no matter what one does ...

Quote:
Sagawa: 'Clear Power' wrote:
...Even if you train everyday all the while innovating yourself, it will take at least 20 years. Ten years or so isn't nearly enough time. Your body has to truly be ready; otherwise no matter what you do you won't be able to do "Aiki."
...

Last edited by Erick Mead : 03-02-2008 at 08:30 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
 
Old 03-02-2008, 09:35 PM   #150
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Re: why focus on internal power

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William Hazen wrote: View Post
Jen your hack is beautiful. I forgot that Sifu John Woo told us much the same thing we he compared San Soo to Aikido. "The point of practice is to discover and reconnect with the Chi/Ki you already have"... That blends nicely with The "secret is right in front of you can you grasp it?"

Hope this post finds you nabbing a few at Indicators or Stockton Ave.

William Hazen
Ha, Brilliant my friend.

Stockton is going offfffffffff! Hope the swell is pushing 'ocean qi' your direction.

Best to ya,
Jen

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