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Old 06-18-2008, 10:13 AM   #26
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Skip the memorization,
Cut to the chase find someone that can teach you how to train "what" is "supposed" to be trained in the techniques and you'll find all that rote memorization to have been a major waste of neuron space
That may be putting the cart before the horse-

They say Leonardo Da Vinci painted 1,000 hands before he painted The Last Supper. That may not seem related to Aikido, but the point is that you have to master the basics before you can really get down to doing any "art".

Extending that metaphor, you can see how artists spend years studying and working before they can even really say, "I'm an oil painter." As opposed to watercolors, pastels, etc. Then settle on a style, such as impressionism or cubist. Eventually they develop their own way of expressing their subject matter. Van Gough and Monet rendered scenes in completly different ways, and you might personally like one more, but neither is better.

Boy, I really wore out that simile, didn't I?
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:30 AM   #27
rob_liberti
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

I'm not with you on this one Bill. The saying goes "Get off the slow elevator and run up the stairs."

There is power and finesse. I believe Rob J is saying find power - right now. Then learn finesse. Consider that finesse before power seems a lot more like cart before the horse. Feel free to disagree.

Rob
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Old 06-18-2008, 11:29 AM   #28
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Art

Quote:
Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
They say Leonardo Da Vinci painted 1,000 hands before he painted The Last Supper.
I love the comparison. Aikido is art.
There's nothing as difficult to draw or paint, as hands. I wonder why.

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
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Old 06-18-2008, 01:30 PM   #29
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

I've seen two different approaches to this...train the generic patterns first, then work training internally. Or, train the body structure first, then either learn "technique", or better yet, your body will manifest technique naturally.

I really have no clue which is best, or even if one truly is best. I think people pick what is available in their area, and go with that approach (most often). Most often, the waza approach is what is available. Are rote patterns a waste of space? I don't know...I kind of like them, they make a pretty dance...

Best,
Ron

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Old 06-18-2008, 04:08 PM   #30
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

Two ends of the same sandwich. Doesn't matter which end you start with. You're hungry. Eat.
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Old 06-18-2008, 04:56 PM   #31
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

Anakin eventually came back from the dark side. There's hope for you.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 06-18-2008, 07:12 PM   #32
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

Quote:
Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
but the point is that you have to master the basics before you can really get down to doing any "art".
I believe Rob is saying that understanding the basis of applied power IS "the basics".

IOW, the "what" is "supposed" to be trained in techniques...is the basis of ALL techniques. So you can indeed skip the memorization part and really get down to doing the art. Mastery is simply being able to perform the basics "better".

Ignatius
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Old 06-18-2008, 07:14 PM   #33
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I'm not with you on this one Bill. The saying goes "Get off the slow elevator and run up the stairs."

There is power and finesse. I believe Rob J is saying find power - right now. Then learn finesse. Consider that finesse before power seems a lot more like cart before the horse. Feel free to disagree.

Rob
Gwan Jang Nim always said, "We only get better at what we practice right."
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Old 06-18-2008, 07:40 PM   #34
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

Correct. so if you isolated, static, well defined techniques then that is what you will be good at. If you practice core body movements against a flowing, dynamic, and resistant opponent...then this is what you will get good at.

It all depends on what you want to be good at.

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Old 06-18-2008, 08:38 PM   #35
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

Or if you want to be really good, well defined techniques against dynamic, resistant opponents.

Aiki powers, activate!
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Old 06-18-2008, 08:59 PM   #36
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

Quote:
Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
They say Leonardo Da Vinci painted 1,000 hands before he painted The Last Supper. That may not seem related to Aikido, but the point is that you have to master the basics before you can really get down to doing any "art".
Sure, but that's my point, most people don't even realize what "basics" they're supposed to be mastering.

It's like calligraphy.
They have you draw tons of reps of straight lines, both vertical and horizontal before you even touch your first character.
Why? So you can get good at drawing lines?


Incidentally calligraphy (at least asian) has everything to do the body skills being discussed.
It's why they make you do thousands of reps drawing lines. (Not that I understood this when I was 13 in bum"#$ck Nagasaki, I was too busy flipping paint at the girl next to me )
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:36 PM   #37
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I'm not with you on this one Bill. The saying goes "Get off the slow elevator and run up the stairs."

There is power and finesse. I believe Rob J is saying find power - right now. Then learn finesse. Consider that finesse before power seems a lot more like cart before the horse. Feel free to disagree.

Rob
Rob,

I disagree, unless I'm misunderstanding. I'm 6'3", I weigh 235 lbs, and I've only recently switched from power lifting to yoga and circuit training.

If I look for power first, I'll never find finesse, or Aikido!

Gellum Sensei, Mink Sensei will not be joining us on the trip, but I'll be tagging along with one or two of my sempai. If you make it, we'll see you there. Just look for the big clumsy hispanic guy with the big smile on his face!
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:41 PM   #38
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

Dathan, I think we have VERY different ideas about power. There is a power lifter training internal skills with us at Dan Harden's dojo/barn. He could probably squat the building off its foundation. And he is NOWHERE near the level of power Rob John and I are talking about. The poor guy's legs shake to the point he can't stand and pretty quickly because its just not about muscle power. In fact that kind of muscle power works against your learning internal power. (I'm certain that he won't be like this for very long as long as he stays with it.)

As far as shodo is concerned: I tried shodo (maybe shoji) and had no clue. A shihan at the art put her hand and her hara on my hand and did one of the practice lessons with me. A new world opened up to me. It was years ago now. I basically instantly gave up. I realized how deep the practice was and that I wouldn't have time to do both aikido and that (and everything else I was doing). I can recall that feeling vividly. I totally agree that it is all about internal skills. Now that I train them much more directly, I think I may get to go back to that in this life time after all!

As far as this thread is concerned, the possible is hard enough, why waste time practicing the impossible so much? I like waza too; it gets all of the stress I had been aware of out. I LOVE that. But, the internal skills applied to waza gets stress I had been unaware I had out. YMMV

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 06-18-2008 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:12 PM   #39
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

Nah... forget waza...

It's a whole different way of moving and being.... you don't need waza...

Ignatius
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:45 PM   #40
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
There is a power lifter training internal skills with us at Dan Harden's dojo/barn. He could probably squat the building off its foundation. And he is NOWHERE near the level of power Rob John and I are talking about.
No, I'm pretty sure I heard somewhere that if you power lift it makes all your techniques more powerful. Who was it that said that?
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Old 06-18-2008, 11:22 PM   #41
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

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Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
No, I'm pretty sure I heard somewhere that if you power lift it makes all your techniques more powerful. Who was it that said that?
I don't know. It wasn't me. I was responding to Dathan in post 37. No idea where you are going with this. -Rob
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:03 AM   #42
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
Nah... forget waza...

It's a whole different way of moving and being.... you don't need waza...
To be perfectly frank, I do agree with this statement ***IF*** you are really training the higher levels of internal work with someone directly.

But that is NOT the situation most of us are in. So we do the best we can.

I also LIKE the formality, the structure, the organization, and the physical and emotional contact in aikido waza. So I personally wouldn't give any of that up, even though the utility of that in a modern combative setting is questionable WITHOUT the internal engine we are currently discussing (in my opinion).

Best,
Ron

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Old 06-19-2008, 10:19 AM   #43
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I don't know. It wasn't me. I was responding to Dathan in post 37. No idea where you are going with this. -Rob
Yes, I know it wasn't you, so no accusation there. It was Dan A. responding to my statement of belief that power comes from perfected technique and nothing else.

If you are into the Internal Power training, can you say what the best demonstration of it's existence is? I'm actually open to the idea but I've never seen anybody prove there's more to it than talk. They say Koichi Tohei could make it pretty apparent, and of course there's O Sensei.

Probably I just have to go to the Emerald City and see if there really is a Great and Powerful Oz or just a man behind a curtain. Who comes to Central Illinois?
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:27 AM   #44
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

I'm not sure what the best proof there is, but I'll be happy to show you what I can do these days. Just one touch is pretty much all it takes. There is nothing magical about it - just uncommon body skills. What proved it to me? Well I'll tell you the whole story as I recall it.

- Gleason sensei touchs my arm, his hands go in an entirely different direction from where I feel "pressure" (for lack of a better word) on my body. For years I thought he must thrust then slice between my head and attacking arm for shomenuchi because that is where I felt him. However, it is abundantly clear to me that he is not do that physically at all. His mind is there (eventually) for sure but his arms are not doing anything near that area of my body, in fact one is generally leading me out in a spiral, and the other is just resting on top of my elbow. Still that wasn't clear enough for me.

- Then he would say things like when you do kotegaeshi do this, but cut them with your mind. I felt it, but it seemed plausable that the ukes were just prone to the power of suggestion, so being a doubting thomas myself, I still couldn't whole-heartedly believe it - so I never truly embraced (until recently) making that part of my own practice.

- When Gleason sensei did tenchi nage, I noticed that once I grabbed him I could not let go. I STILL just assumed that I had allowed myself to be part of the whole power of suggestion business and instead of thinking about how he was doing that, I tried literally for years to work out to to screw him up in some way. (I haven't been able to do it yet - but I still have some new ideas! )

- During these almost 20 years I've been trying to understand Gleason sensei, I spoke online often with Mike Signman many times (off and on for at least 10 of them anyway) - intially about the jo trick - which is an impressive demonstration even if with only 1 person pushing on the jo. I read his words and they all seemed to map to potential explanations for some of the bizzare things that Gleason sensei (and some of his students to a lesser degreee) can do - but I wasn't convinced they were neccessarily the same thing (and neither was Mike) so we talked past each other a lot (before we started getting annoyed with each other's online personalites - which certainly didn't help in believeing or understanding).

- It should be also noted that Saotome sensei has aiki power too, BUT his ability to wrong foot ukes almost made me dismiss his internal power/skills since if I could get people that wrong footed I wouldn't need anything but normal technique from there for 99.99% of the potential attackers.

- As I mentioned with Mike and my personalities clashing there was little chance of being persuaded into his way of thinking. I never argued with him about his internal skill explanations - just maybe how important they were to aikido (given my impression of what Saotome sensei could do in aikido with just wrong-footing movement). We argued too much about nonsense that had nothing to do with internal skills and/or aikido and unfortunately, it just got me ego-driven to dismiss him. But I recognized too much truth in what he had been saying so I looked for other sources.

- Rob John came on the scene and I was literally planning to go to Japan and meet Aukusawa (who Rob John) trains with - thinking that I want to investigate these skills from someone different. However, I met Dan Harden through various friends. He showed me internal skills and power in such a direct way and related it to fighting that I was a believer. I wasn't convinced that I could learn from him yet (since I was having so much trouble learning aiki power from Gleason sensei - I just assumed I may not have been wired to pick up such things).

What did Dan show me that started proving internal skills?
- he showed me his trendous stability
- his students had trendous stability to a certain degree (way past mine)
- he demonstrated heavy hands, rediculous power - and it was free - fast and loose power
- I pushed into him and felt myself being lifted up ,and then he switched his intention and all of a sudden without him moving in any perceptable way I was being crushed down by my own pushing into him - that was pretty convincing
- I had him hit me (not to destroy me but powerfully without breaking me - I learn that way for some reason) and it was real power from no wind up.
- I wrestled with him, and he hit me from the ground with the same no wind up and it literally threw me up and off him and I ended up having to get my ribs reset a bit - not too bad. (and he was _clearly_ holding back power trying not to hurt me)
- he did nikkyo and held me down with just touch in such a way I could not let go (I kept relating these experiences to the feelings I was familiar with with Gleason sensei doing such things to me in different situations)
- and most importantly - he showed me how I could do these things - not as well as him yet, but I could do them to a degree as long as he was guiding me through holding the right structure and setting my mind in all of the various intentions

As I started to make some progress in this method - I started to notice how much this mental intention jived with everything Gleason sensei has been showing me and telling me all this time. I started being able to do his aikido a LOT better. I'm on the cusp of really getting it now. I think I need another year or so.

- Fortunately, I grew up a bit, I was able to appreciate what Mike Sigman was trying to tell us. I was never going to agree with him on many of his non-internal skills posts but those seemed to have stopped to a great degree and I just decided to let go and just apologize for my side of the online fighting. (It helped me for some reason to get the impression that he was a Vet) He was gratious enough to bury the hatchet and welcome me to any of his seminars provided I was truly inline with his desire to work out how to best teach/learn these skills. I am truly grateful for this.

I haven't yet attended one of his seminars but I will. I bring it up becuase his words jive with my direct experince with Dan, Gleason sensei, Rob John's, and Saotome sensei.

Then I learned that Ikeda sensei got interested in Ushiro sensei's karate because of his internal skills training. I heard that Ledyard sensei was interested in Systema and other similar practices for the same reason(s). These are all people for which I have a lot of respect in terms of their training and dedication to aikido.

At a certain point, it becomes the only reasonable explanation. It's not a mathematical proof by any means, but that is what best proved it to me.

Sorry for the long post. I hope this helps convince you to investigate such things for yourself. - Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 06-19-2008 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:44 AM   #45
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

I ran out of editing time, but I would like to change:

I haven't yet attended one of his seminars but I will. I bring it up becuase his words jive with my direct experince with Dan, Gleason sensei, Rob John's, and Saotome sensei.

to be:

I haven't yet attended one of his seminars but I will. I bring it up becuase his words (and Rob John's) jive with my direct experince with Dan, Gleason sensei, and Saotome sensei.
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:20 PM   #46
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

Having Kevin Leavitt and William Hazen endorse it gives me the inclination to look into it. I think Kit Leblanc has even mentioned that it's more than possible and he's a realist. So the next step is to get some hands on proof before I take it too seriously.

I think if I want a one stop shop for the truth I probably need to go see Mike Sigman. After all that's been said, I think if he doesn't have the goods nobody does. I dunno how soon I'll be getting out to Colorado, but maybe he's coming around here someday soon.
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:00 PM   #47
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

I endorse it, but I caution you, because of the way I seem to read your perception or paradigm of tactical application, you might be disappointed if you go in there expecting to come out with any new skill at all.

At best I walked out of Mike's seminar with a better understanding of many of the exercises that we do in aikido and why it is important to do them, and a better concept of how to do them right.

I walked out with an appreciation for what Mike and all have been talking about for years.

I walked out with a new perspective on what internal training is about.

I walked out with some exercises that Mike told us needed to be done to improve.

I walked out understanding that it was doing it everyday a little that was important.

I did not walk out with any better skills, or an understanding of applicability martially.

Just make sure you go in with the right mind set or you may miss the whole reason of why it is important.

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Old 06-19-2008, 11:47 PM   #48
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

Nah, I just want to finally know if it's B.S. or not. Robert Mustard and Jim Jeannette can do the same stuff that Mike, Dan and Rob are describing but they say ki is not really Internal Power- just thorough knowlege of applicable physiology, timing, balance, etc. and years of practice. No magic, just skill.

It probably doesn't even matter which it is. If the endstate is that you can do these tricks I'm just as well off learning it from Chida Sensei and company. Everybody says Aikido is weak against MMA but I've never heard the Internal crowd make any claims that they're taking on all comers (like Koichi Tohei did). Just that there is this energy that helps them do some powerful things. That seems honest enough to believe.
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Old 06-20-2008, 12:53 AM   #49
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

Quote:
Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
Nah, I just want to finally know if it's B.S. or not. Robert Mustard and Jim Jeannette can do the same stuff that Mike, Dan and Rob are describing but they say ki is not really Internal Power- just thorough knowlege of applicable physiology, timing, balance, etc. and years of practice. No magic, just skill.
I don't think these folks are saying anything different one must tender to the garden if one expects thier efforts to bear fruit.

Quote:
It probably doesn't even matter which it is. If the endstate is that you can do these tricks I'm just as well off learning it from Chida Sensei and company. Everybody says Aikido is weak against MMA but I've never heard the Internal crowd make any claims that they're taking on all comers (like Koichi Tohei did). Just that there is this energy that helps them do some powerful things. That seems honest enough to believe.
Some aspects of Aikido need to change perhaps like the way it is taught However our Martial "System" of Aikido (and a few others) can be effective against MMA at least in my experiance. I think the fault lies in the fact that your basic MMA Student learns to fight a heck of allot of faster than your basic Aikido student.

Folks (including me at one time) love to around the mulberry bush about Aikido not being about fighting and that IME is the reason some Aikido has a bad rap and for good reasons...It's been dumbed down to the point in some Aikido circles that it is no longer Martially Effective using the "excuse" that "aikido is not about fighting" aka putting the cart before the horse...

William Hazen
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Old 06-20-2008, 05:55 AM   #50
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Re: Am I turning to the dark side?

A word of caution about having the "same skills". The difference from my perspective is:
a- the time involved to acquire such skills. Dan's approach is very direct.
b- due to the direct nature of that approach, - and this is my opinion - I would say that if Tohei sensei himself or Moriyama sensei were to come into contact with Dan Harden that they wouldn't know whether to sh*t or go blind (as the saying goes).

The other difference is that Dan is all about MMA which is great - but that's not aikido proper per se. I have to take what he shows me and apply it to the other things I'm interested in. My opinion is that this is fantastic because I wanted to know aikido and MMA. Others might not like this approach. To each his own. YMMV

Rob
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