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Old 03-03-2008, 10:41 AM   #151
Mike Sigman
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
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.
Hi George:

I don't think there's anything special about any of us feeding information from the outside. Think of it more of a few hounds in the pack spotting the fox a little before the rest of the pack does and baying, trying to get the attention of the rest of the pack.

But I think you'll find that only a few people are going to respond and see the importance of these things. Already there's a lot of people trying to convince themselves and others that they already do and teach this stuff, and so on. It's to be expected.

The big difference with Aikido is that it has a number of representative Japanese teachers who are somewhat aware of these skills (I mean as in "in various degrees") and to whom the topic is not really alien. That's a better situation than in, say, some style of karate or other art where the main "name" practitioners are all westerners who think they know everything. Those guys are self-defeating and it's probably impossible with them.

What it boils down to is that enough people are beginning to see the basics of these things and how they tie in with all the old comments about "ki"... and suddenly they see that there's something substantive there. So some people are already beginning to work on it. Some are still in denial or are trying to bluff that they already have all that. Some people aren't sure what to do, so they do nothing... and the years are creeping by so many of them will end up with nothing. But each person makes his own choice. The information has gotten out there and that's about all anyone can ask for. It's a far better situation than 3 or 4 years ago. And as more of the skills are discovered and worked on, it's going to get better for the few who actively go that route.

Best.

Mike Sigman
 
Old 03-03-2008, 10:59 AM   #152
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Hi George:

I don't think there's anything special about any of us feeding information from the outside. Think of it more of a few hounds in the pack spotting the fox a little before the rest of the pack does and baying, trying to get the attention of the rest of the pack.

But I think you'll find that only a few people are going to respond and see the importance of these things. Already there's a lot of people trying to convince themselves and others that they already do and teach this stuff, and so on. It's to be expected.

The big difference with Aikido is that it has a number of representative Japanese teachers who are somewhat aware of these skills (I mean as in "in various degrees") and to whom the topic is not really alien. That's a better situation than in, say, some style of karate or other art where the main "name" practitioners are all westerners who think they know everything. Those guys are self-defeating and it's probably impossible with them.

What it boils down to is that enough people are beginning to see the basics of these things and how they tie in with all the old comments about "ki"... and suddenly they see that there's something substantive there. So some people are already beginning to work on it. Some are still in denial or are trying to bluff that they already have all that. Some people aren't sure what to do, so they do nothing... and the years are creeping by so many of them will end up with nothing. But each person makes his own choice. The information has gotten out there and that's about all anyone can ask for. It's a far better situation than 3 or 4 years ago. And as more of the skills are discovered and worked on, it's going to get better for the few who actively go that route.

Best.

Mike Sigman
Hi Mike,
You won't see any large scale change until a few of the senior folks in various organizations start to work on these things and the rank and file can see the results. Individuals will get stuff on their own but , sadly it can a threat to the seniors if someone below them starts to have more skills than they do. Initiative is not always rewards by established organizations.

But if a few seniors in each group start changing, then I think you will see the larger picture start to change. Not everyone of course... I think the average person already feels quite overwhelmed by what he or she has been shown, doesn't feel like he can train enough to master that, much less start thinking about things in a whole new way and add various new elements in to his training. But the seniors who have already made the commitment but whom are willing to change some things in order to be better, there you will see some results. And once that happens the juniors will get better training right from the start and things will change.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 03-03-2008, 11:10 AM   #153
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: why focus on internal power

And then aikido will become the SUPERPOWER of MA!
 
Old 03-03-2008, 12:23 PM   #154
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Hi Mike,
You won't see any large scale change until a few of the senior folks in various organizations start to work on these things and the rank and file can see the results. Individuals will get stuff on their own but , sadly it can a threat to the seniors if someone below them starts to have more skills than they do. Initiative is not always rewards by established organizations.

But if a few seniors in each group start changing, then I think you will see the larger picture start to change. Not everyone of course... I think the average person already feels quite overwhelmed by what he or she has been shown, doesn't feel like he can train enough to master that, much less start thinking about things in a whole new way and add various new elements in to his training. But the seniors who have already made the commitment but whom are willing to change some things in order to be better, there you will see some results. And once that happens the juniors will get better training right from the start and things will change.
I dunno, George. My take on it is that people will go around the current "seniors" at the drop of a hat, once it becomes clear what they have and don't have in the case of these skills. There are some pretty smart and savvy upcoming leaders who have already grasped what's going on and are beginning to move hard and fast. If I had to bet my chips, I bet that there will be some factionalization to some extent, but ultimately everyone will start trying to pick up these skills, if nothing else because they're so obvious that it's not really a choice. A lot of the outlying "independent" schools may be in for a bit of trouble, in terms of their longterm existence, but we'll all just have to wait and see. Ultimately, it will be a good thing, IMO.

Best.

Mike
 
Old 03-03-2008, 09:13 PM   #155
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Re: why focus on internal power

I think the pareto principle applies to aikido as well as everything else. 20% of those doing aikido may be interested in putting in the hard work necessary. The rest are happy showing up and putting in the mat time in a recreational manner, to feel good about themselves, spend some time in a social group of sorts, and to get "something" out of it. Nothing wrong with that,

I don't think we will see sweeping change throughout the art. Again, maybe that 20% that has been wanting "more" but didn't know where to look. Sure, some stuff will trickle down, out, over as these guys figure it out and take it into the norm.

But again, how many people are really willing to put in the time that this will take?

 
Old 03-03-2008, 09:26 PM   #156
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I think the pareto principle applies to aikido as well as everything else. 20% of those doing aikido may be interested in putting in the hard work necessary. The rest are happy showing up and putting in the mat time in a recreational manner, to feel good about themselves, spend some time in a social group of sorts, and to get "something" out of it. Nothing wrong with that,

I don't think we will see sweeping change throughout the art. Again, maybe that 20% that has been wanting "more" but didn't know where to look. Sure, some stuff will trickle down, out, over as these guys figure it out and take it into the norm.

But again, how many people are really willing to put in the time that this will take?
You know, it's an interesting question. For instance, my opinion is that Tohei's Ki-Society stuff would have changed Aikido as we know it, if there had been more people getting more substantive results, back in the day. As it was, the Ki-Society stuff was sort of underwhelming and/or tenuous, back in the early days, because there was nothing explicitly shown. It was more of a "feel your way" approach. And the waza at most of the Ki-Society dojo's was pretty loose, in addition. With a more explicit approach, more of Aikido than we might suppose could easily hop on board.

Certainly, I think that a lot of the "ki tests" are going to be far more accessible to newcomes, etc., so there will probably be a lot more retention of people due to that.

I also don't think that it's unreasonable to see some of the smart, younger crowd put in the time to become fairly formidable. More power can be generated than is obvious, Kevin, although I don't think that's what should be focused on so much at first. There is a real detriment in going to quickly for "power", rather than building up the basics over a couple-three (or more) years.

FWIW

Mike
 
Old 03-04-2008, 10:46 AM   #157
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Tim Fong wrote: View Post
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
When one is speaking of the left hand it doesn't mean they aren't aware of the right, as it were.
When contemplating the inner I often refer to the outer and vise-versa. It comes together at the center.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
 
Old 03-04-2008, 12:47 PM   #158
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Re: why focus on internal power

George & Mike:

Both of you have used the word "seniors."

George's usage had no quotes and included the conditioning phrase "in various organizations"

Mike put the word in quotes.

At the risk of triggering a digression, I wonder if each of you would take a moment to clarify what you meant by "seniors."

Best,

FL
 
Old 03-04-2008, 12:59 PM   #159
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
George & Mike:

Both of you have used the word "seniors."

George's usage had no quotes and included the conditioning phrase "in various organizations"

Mike put the word in quotes.

At the risk of triggering a digression, I wonder if each of you would take a moment to clarify what you meant by "seniors."

Best,

FL
Hi Fred,
Isn't seniors or "seniors" those old guys? You know, the ones over 30.
 
Old 03-04-2008, 07:26 PM   #160
Mike Sigman
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
George & Mike:

Both of you have used the word "seniors."

George's usage had no quotes and included the conditioning phrase "in various organizations"

Mike put the word in quotes.

At the risk of triggering a digression, I wonder if each of you would take a moment to clarify what you meant by "seniors."
Hi Fred:

Think of my use of the quotation marks to mean that "seniors" is a vague term and I reserve the right to say "I don't mean 'senior' in necessarily the same way you do". It's a common ideosycratic caveat that I use.

Best,

Mike
 
Old 03-05-2008, 08:21 PM   #161
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
When one is speaking of the left hand it doesn't mean they aren't aware of the right, as it were.
When contemplating the inner I often refer to the outer and vise-versa. It comes together at the center.
I dunno Jennifer,
You keep on coming into these discussions of Ki/Kokyu, but the fact is, like a lot of others you never bring up anything pertinent with relation to physical skill. (The silk reeling article comes to mind) Myself and a couple of other people that can do some of these things have seen video of you at work, and nothing you do would tip me off to the fact that you have ki/kokyu based movement, much less conditioned body.
Harsh as that sounds, for someone that can do this stuff its pretty tell tale.

Its not so much a "hey you don't have ki/kokyu! you don't belong here!" thing so much as, like Mike pointed out earlier, they're people that are trying to get a grasp on these things and way too many, otherwise bright people that have wasted years following the wrong track.
 
Old 03-06-2008, 04:24 AM   #162
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Myself and a couple of other people that can do some of these things have seen video of you at work, and nothing you do would tip me off to the fact that you have ki/kokyu based movement
Didn't you say the same thing about me?
(In this thread: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14073)

I must tell you that I find it rather rude, calling people incompetent with things that they themselves value in their training.

Also, it seems that you are attacking the person instead of the argument. Even if you regard us as unskilled, wouldn't it be much more intreresting if you could relate to what we say, instead of declaring us unfit to speak on the subject?

About videos, maybe you can give us some links to videos where you show ki and kokyu in what you regard as the right way? I am curious.
I promise not to be impolite about what I see in them

Last edited by Stefan Stenudd : 03-06-2008 at 04:27 AM.

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
 
Old 03-06-2008, 08:22 AM   #163
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Re: why focus on internal power

Uh, he was one of the first to provide video of himself and his teacher demonstrating what they speak of.

I was somewhat put off by some of the attitudes...until I looked under the hood, and discovered an attention to detail and success in teaching these methods, instead of the "train 20 more years", "you need to take more compliant ukemi", "everyone's opinion is valid" kind of arguement.

My own teacher had spoken in some of the same terms that they used, but it wasn't manifesting itself in my body at anywhere near the level that I've found by going around and feeling what others could do. So I set my own personal bar higher in terms of these skills, and I am working on it.

I think many people would benefit from a similar approach. Look under the hood, see if what you find is of value, get beyond the personal, and get to work.

Best,
Ron (platitudes are nice and all that, but in the end, as Mike once asked me...what can you do?)

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
 
Old 03-06-2008, 09:07 AM   #164
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
About videos, maybe you can give us some links to videos where you show ki and kokyu in what you regard as the right way? I am curious.
I promise not to be impolite about what I see in them
You have some here:

http://es.youtube.com/user/Upyu

And his master:

http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=UtYDJ_XDVRU

http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=MDCbZhTFAkU

 
Old 03-06-2008, 09:11 AM   #165
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Ron (platitudes are nice and all that, but in the end, as Mike once asked me...what can you do?)
Or: "What can I do?"
I would hesitate to make statements about what others can't do.

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
 
Old 03-06-2008, 09:40 AM   #166
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
Or: "What can I do?"
I would hesitate to make statements about what others can't do.
It's a good question/comment. I think someone has to earn the right to be taken seriously and to be considered competent. In that sense, I think a minimal first step would be the static ability to replicate Tohei's (Ki Society) "ki tests". That should be the threshold before someone can even talk about "expertise". Secondly would come moving well with ki. Lastly would be moving well, using the hara (and it's a lot more than just words and fantasy, to do that) *and* having Aikido skills that mesh with the ki/kokyu skills. Basics first... then you're qualified to discuss someone else's basics. Upward in skills from there.

YMMV

Mike Sigman
 
Old 03-06-2008, 10:23 AM   #167
Ron Tisdale
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
Or: "What can I do?"
I would hesitate to make statements about what others can't do.
Mike didn't make statements about what I **couldn't** do. He asked directly what I **could** do.

Completely different, in my opinion. Please also note, I don't make statements about what people **can't** do either. I will occationally note when something isn't apparent from their words, or in their documented movement. If they put evidence of such out in the public domain. I then assume they are open to intelligent commentary. Much like my own words.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
 
Old 03-06-2008, 11:12 AM   #168
Erick Mead
 
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
You won't see any large scale change until a few of the senior folks in various organizations start to work on these things and the rank and file can see the results. ... and things will change.
Ledyard Sensei: With respect, I happened across a comment you wrote just about two years ago to the date: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...9&postcount=36
Quote:
George Ledyard wrote:
I think that speculation combined with a lot of research is quite valuable in trying to understand this art which he created. Why? Because he was wise enough to create the art in the first place. Many of us care what he thought about it and what he intended for it. It matters to us what the individual contributions have been by the people who learned from the Founder and taken his art and made it their own.
If I may ask, what, if anything, changed for you between that time and this? I have on my own done just exactly what your earlier comment suggests be done -- to make the art more OUR own in a Western sense in terms of what KI is physically. I have a substantial foundation in three lineages, and a passing familiarity with a fourth (none of them in any Tohei branch, FWIW). I will be the first to declare that my effort at research and reasonably informed speculation remains a work in progress -- to ground Ki and aiki in a physical basis that is sensibly Western.

My approach seems "odd" to the ordinary physics sorts because only a less common, but more concrete convention of physics works across the board for all instance of use of "KI" in traditional Asian terms -- the fact of cyclic or rotational motion and the potential for such motion. The more commonly used abstracts of linear force/vector/energy in physics conventions do not work to describe what the Chinese and Japanese mean to describe by the use of Ki. Hence "ki" has been largely relegated, by Western minds that are technically inclined, to the bin of mystical nonsense. It would seem so if you start with the wrong physical convention. It is not nonsense for anyone who understands how the Chinese and Japanese understand and employ it. It is not nonsense when put into terms of cyclic or rotational action/potential. That is, quite simply, what the Taiji-Tu illustrates. That aside, it is still very much a work in progress, even though I have come to that one very important and well-founded conclusion on the physics, which I have stated here or elsewhere. I am now trying to refine better ways to express it, and to apply the understanding in practical training.

Despite the change in terms, I remain tied to O Sensei's direct expressions and actions as my guide posts, together with the teachings of his students. I am just trying to translate them into a Western physics paradigm in this manner, without doing any injury to the knowledge on either side.

My effort in that regard continues, but yours seems to have taken a different direction from your earlier comment. Perhaps you do not perceive it so, which is why I asked.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 03-06-2008 at 11:20 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
 
Old 03-06-2008, 11:32 AM   #169
Erick Mead
 
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
It's a good question/comment. I think someone has to earn the right to be taken seriously and to be considered competent. ... Basics first... then you're qualified to discuss someone else's basics. Upward in skills from there.
The topic is a martial art. If those here are anything like me, they ceased to care seriously about the unsupported criticism of others at just about the same time that I stopped caring so much if somebody took a swing with malice aforethought.

The only gate keeper here is Jun.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
 
Old 03-06-2008, 11:45 AM   #170
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Re: why focus on internal power

All due respect Eric, none of that is any issue the people here seen to have with you. Your writing is illegible and based on a false premise.
I state plainly and cearly that I believe you can not replicate anything that Ark, Rob, Mike or I do in any substative way. Why? You have openly stated you could not do the tests I outlined years ago and the rest of your models make little sense. The things I oultined were very basic stuff.
I believe you are hiding behind complex engineering models. I respectully challenge you to produce anything documented either on video or by the guys who have visited all of us, coming visitng you. You are no know as a person with these skills, by anyone. If you had them you would be known at least in your community. Let some pepople come down to test you.
Perosnally I think you theories are empty. Virtually without meaning or merit and not only do not benefit those in Aikido, they are a flase start leading to a dead end. I short you have no place on this conversation.
You contnual writing here states you know something others do not and can explain it and teach it. So...if you'r sure of your theories, how about trying to help then? But in a hands on substative way.
Step up, or shut up. Once you fail with those guys- And you will. Come up here. I'd be glad to stop you dead in your tracks and then actually show you how to do some things. I think your are a decent fellow, who just happens to be wrong about these things. I think we could have a llot of fun and great interraction with my group. Then you can go home and try to creat convulated models over what you felt, but then, over some good basic things you woud be doing to help yourself and others.
Hope to see ya soon.

Last edited by DH : 03-06-2008 at 11:53 AM.
 
Old 03-06-2008, 11:54 AM   #171
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: why focus on internal power

Remember this?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Whenever a discussion on internal power comes up it turns into a fight about personalities.
Why do people seek internal power? Are we trying to beat each other up in a new way?

Here is my answer why I train in a style that focuses on devoloping Ki.
It is the path I was introduced to for starters. I didn't know this path was exactly what I needed but it was.
Maruyama Sensei stressed that Ki was the co-ordination of mind and body. It is not some magical power. He said O'Sensei could do it, Tohei could do it, He could do it and so could I. I believe him. We practice Ki exercises every class. We develop strength.
Along with this strength comes a compassion and understanding because we are practicing Aikido with a partner.
Having internal strength for the sake of beating another seems to have lost the point.
We read the ideas. Ron and I try what we like. It makes us think differently about old ideas. I appreciate this.
The cult of personailty and ego is distracting and meaningless. But it also seems like people are missing the point. Why become very strong in body if your mind and spirit are staying mean?
Mary
Not gonna go there with you guys either.

Perhaps this is now another good thread for the non-aikido martial traditions.

peace

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
 
Old 03-06-2008, 12:04 PM   #172
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
Didn't you say the same thing about me?
(In this thread: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14073)

I must tell you that I find it rather rude, calling people incompetent with things that they themselves value in their training.

Also, it seems that you are attacking the person instead of the argument. Even if you regard us as unskilled, wouldn't it be much more intreresting if you could relate to what we say, instead of declaring us unfit to speak on the subject?

About videos, maybe you can give us some links to videos where you show ki and kokyu in what you regard as the right way? I am curious.
I promise not to be impolite about what I see in them
This is why I gave up these discussions. Some of the "experts" here seem to think that I or other serious students of Shoji Nishio know nothing about the "internal arts" as they are expresssed in Aikido so why bother. There are now more than a half dozen threads on the subject of "internal power" and all of them are running around in circles....

I sincerely respect those that expose this aspect of the Martial Arts but in my opinion that internet is not a good vehicle to get the "point" across.What the heck IS the point anyway? The only way that can be accomplished is to practice with these folks and to have them practice with me in the spirit of mutual respect and understanding and the hope that we can learn from each other.

and no... You Tube Does not cut it for me either though it does provide slight validation for visual proof of one's technique you cannot feel someones internal power visually. You have to experiance it.

One more thing....I don't think the Seniors of our style of Aikido have to change anything We continue to progress and are open minded towards all with regard to what they can teach us and how it can appy to our Aikido.

Have fun folks...

WIlliam Hazen
 
Old 03-06-2008, 12:27 PM   #173
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
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Re: why focus on internal power

Well it seems there is a 100% agreement from those in aikido that have felt internal power that it is the underlying foundationon of it.


I ty to avoid the nonsense and ugly stuff myself anymore, but there is no disounting of people happening here, just the traiining ideas. And I think everyone can and shoud remain level headed while discussing it.

Last edited by DH : 03-06-2008 at 12:33 PM.
 
Old 03-06-2008, 12:29 PM   #174
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
Didn't you say the same thing about me?
(In this thread: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14073)

I must tell you that I find it rather rude, calling people incompetent with things that they themselves value in their training.
Sorry if I hurt your feelings.
But I just call it like I see it. I'd rather someone be rude but honest, personally.

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
Also, it seems that you are attacking the person instead of the argument. Even if you regard us as unskilled, wouldn't it be much more intreresting if you could relate to what we say, instead of declaring us unfit to speak on the subject?
The problem is Stefan, that there's nothing to relate to. We are using a different way to move the body. Pure and simple.

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
I promise not to be impolite about what I see in them
Feel free to criticize what you see I promise I won't complain. Once those videos went up on the net, I accepted the fact that I'm open to criticism. Comes with the territory.
I will warn you that most vids up there are a) old (by a year and a half) and b) the good stuff is mostly in my private vid collection. If you want in, just subscribe to it and I'll hook you up.

If you ever make it to one of the seminars, and that goes for you too Jen, I'll at least buy you guys dinner to make up for putting you both on the spot and being a smart-ass.
And I promise training is completely free of Rob's smart-assedness (Not that I could get away with it with Ark there anyways ^^; )
 
Old 03-06-2008, 12:54 PM   #175
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
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Re: why focus on internal power

Billl, please provide a quote where someone has called themselves an "expert", or post a retraction of that slur...

Thanks,
Ron

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

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