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Old 08-01-2008, 03:34 PM   #326
Allen Beebe
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Yet most many of the arts being discussed rely on sticking, stickyness, . . .
What? You mean to say that the toupee DOES stay on with Aiki?

I suspect there is probably a lot more in common within the IMAs than there are differences. This would account for the mutual recognition of attributes, and the general similarity in approach. On the other hand, I suspect that there is something to the "singular" approaches as well. This would explain why "art specific" internal practices have remained in tact over very long periods of time even though there has been ample opportunity for "cross pollination," synthesis, and uniformity.

Now, does specificity trump generality? I kind of doubt it because the generality is probably foundational. (Horse power is horse power) Could specificity trump generality if the generalities were equal? I suppose so. Still, it quickly starts to sound like one of those inane "Who's art can beat up who's art?" sorts of conversations . . . yawn!

Anyway, what do I know?

. . . sticking . . . . stickiness . . . I wonder how many of those old IMA guys use Aiki to keep their dentures in?

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:56 PM   #327
Walker
 
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
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To think that certain things only work in your waza. or need to be trained-in your waza only- to get internal power expresses a certain level of realization that speaks for itself.
Right... and you seem to be the one bringing it up. See Allen's post.

If you want to reinvent the wheel each and every time, more power to you, but I seem to remember another "high level" CMA teacher who was quoted as saying something like, "What I am showing seems simple after I show it to you, but you could work for two lifetimes and not discover it." I'm sure he was just trying to set the hook.

And Dan, we all have all thought many things over the years and perhaps have been mistaken about various things including sword lineages and whatnot. So many contexts and nuances that get lost in the retelling. So much water under the bridge...

BTW- Grammar, spelling and syntax were getting a bit choppy in your post and I really can't say for certain I followed everything you were saying. You may think it is incidental, but it would be far clearer and more efficient if you cleaned that up a bit.

-Doug Walker
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Old 08-01-2008, 06:17 PM   #328
Upyu
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post

I don't have to have Rob's skill to know that if he joined an aikido class, not many could throw him or get him off balanced. So, then, he either has to purposefully let his balance be taken or be seen as a problem. At some point in their training, Akuzawa, Mike, and Dan had to have come across something like that. What did they do?
Part of it is that Ark was never really affiliated with any organization.
Sure he was part of the "IMA research association" club whatever, but the instructor there pretty much gave him free reign to do whatever he wanted since he was part of their fight team and being coached by the JSDF instructor.

Even when he was in Daitoryu, he spent the first year or so letting himself get tossed around in order to figure out what Sagawa was trying to teach. (beyond basic jin paths etc)

Let's put it this way, going into a place and making yourself hard to throw isn't to difficult, but making yourself hard to throw, while being able to throw others with ease takes a lot of getting yourself dumped on your ass. Not because you're "taking" ukemi for the other guy, but simply because for a while, you'll mess up while trying to use the "other strength" to throw people, and end up getting dumped yourself.

Probably why these chinese said "invest in loss"

Short answer to your question:
Easiest way might be to leave the organization
Or goto a place where doing what you do is acceptable.

Personally I never cared much for ranks or orgs...and come to think of it, none of the guys that taught me and were good ever gave out any ranks
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Old 08-03-2008, 06:11 AM   #329
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

On one side, there is something to the notion about a concentration on formality in lack of substance.

It rings true to me. The most important things I learned from aikido and from aiki...do were not during any kind of formal class. Generally, some sempai/sensei and I just worked something out by ourselves.

However, rank and other notions of formality help when things get bigger and bigger. I'm all about balance in this regard. YMMV

Rob
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Old 08-03-2008, 09:27 AM   #330
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Boy, I feel that I my eyeballs ran a marathon whoo...am I tired.

The debate is interesting for me to a point. There is a lot of mental exercises with discussion to internal things, finite concepts, etc. all relating to power that I find myself wrestling with during practice and off the mat thinking about over a cup of iced coffee from McDonalds.

This is what I have come to. The internal things put out on the table. Either you have it or you don't. If you have it to what level. And do you really need it at high level- in terms of effectiveness. Either your technique is going to work or it isn't, and within that there has to be some internal principle working. Whether you know it or not, or purposely doing or it just is happening. I don't know if you need to intellectualize it so much, you know proving it on paper, well the net.

Internal principles are not exclusive knowledge. I mean people did them before they identified them with terms and other language. If you can do it, do you have to communicate it. Those who can do it, almost have a million different ways to communicated what they do in all sorts of different terms and langauge.

We also have to consider those who communicate internal principle, how good are they at doing them, and how good are they and communicating them to others. Here is the old looking for a sensei dilemma. Some senseis are good teachers and communicate well what they know and understand principles well, but can't do it as well. Then there are those who are the opposite, who are good technically, but not good teachers. And if your lucky you will find someone who is both.

How does someone with no or little knowledge of internal skills really know if someone directly is teaching them really does understand or has good internal skills? It is really easy to fool those novices seeking intensely internal skills to improve their skills- there is some kind of psychological thing that happens in that, that people will drop critical thinking and judgement accepting whole heartily anything taught to them at the real deal. They do this because they hear a good line and convinced by it, and thus that is what they want to hear. They really want internal skills so badly, they accept what they hears as the facts easily convince who they hear it from is an expert in internal skills because they talk a good talk. There is no one else or background knowledge/experience to make comparison to determine what is real and what isn't.

My point is we as humans and Aikidokas desire knowledge that leads to skill. I think we depend too much on others for that information and we don't depend on ourselves to discover internal principles- which are the result of discovery through practice. That practice is valuable in discovery being both incorrect and correct when we are attentive to it. What we need is attentiveness to our practice and the confidence that we can improve on our own, on what we do- good instruction is needed yes, but it is the dependence on that instruction. That is why Aikido is a challenge, and it takes so long to learn well.

FWIW
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Old 08-03-2008, 09:59 AM   #331
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

I think there is value in discovery, in working to get something. I mean there really are no secrets other then hard work which will eventually get you there. But many of us are in a rush, and want all the knowledge now, handed on a plate. But, we don't realize that those who are giving us knowledge of the internal principles didn't get them over night. It took them time to get them too. Anyone who is good at Aikido and understands the internal stuff, it took them time.

I believe the internal stuff that is suppose to make it all work isn't all that exclusive. Or it isn't all that important because from what I can tell it is more a matter of awareness, mindfulness in your practice to make things work better, and never being satisfied- you always are improving on your skill. This really is the same mind set of all serious athletes. Aikido isn't so much different when it comes to training, hard, dedicated, determined relentless practice to get to the top. We have that model to follow in O'Sensei, he made it to the top.


I enjoy Aikido for many reasons. I am really comfortable at being mediocre. I can't and iam not all that interested in doing all the work and sacrifice (getting the internal stuff), and I am not interested either in by-passing that and seeking out someone who will hand it to me - about me personally. I am too lazy to do either.

Last edited by Buck : 08-03-2008 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 08-03-2008, 07:51 PM   #332
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
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How does someone with no or little knowledge of internal skills really know if someone directly is teaching them really does understand or has good internal skills? It is really easy to fool those novices seeking intensely internal skills to improve their skills- there is some kind of psychological thing that happens in that, that people will drop critical thinking and judgement accepting whole heartily anything taught to them at the real deal. They do this because they hear a good line and convinced by it, and thus that is what they want to hear. They really want internal skills so badly, they accept what they hears as the facts easily convince who they hear it from is an expert in internal skills because they talk a good talk. There is no one else or background knowledge/experience to make comparison to determine what is real and what isn't.
I think this was answered best in this post:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...ate#post209299

After you find someone to "hand it to you" you have to put in the blood and sweat. It's not like the Matrix...

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 08-03-2008 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 08-03-2008, 09:58 PM   #333
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I think this was answered best in this post:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...ate#post209299

After you find someone to "hand it to you" you have to put in the blood and sweat. It's not like the Matrix...

Rob
Rob
You may have hit on it...it is just like the matrix. The construct that most Aikido folks are comfortable with is the view they have now, with the agreements and social structure currently in place. They like things as they are and who is to say this isn't ok? For folks like you and others it is not enough. I have been following this discussion now for years, with generally the same set of people involved. It doesn't appear that any kind of critical mass has been reached to drive a shift in the existing paradigm. Just recently I watched a couple of hours of a seminar by a quest instructor from Japan and his instruction was directed at this existing construct. Only once during the time I watched did he do anything (in my limited understanding of anything) that I would consider a key to understanding how the lower body should be functioning and he didn't talk to it as such.

I agree with you that there is more and that it can be achieved. I agree that it takes solo work to reach a base for achieving the goals that you talk of reaching. Once you re-program your body to accept the Aiki tools you still have to have them transmitted to you. Have fun and good luck with your journey.
Gary
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:04 PM   #334
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

I wouldn't go it to this normally, but I what I was getting at is that it is easy to sound good, to pick up a few tricks and con those unknowing poor souls into thinking they need to learn something special that is being offered. These poor souls not having anything at that time to tell them differently, believe it. Or they want to believe it.

How many people in sports use the term internal power. I mean the word internal power is really out dated, I mean really it is out dated. It is so obscure in our modern world as well. That lends to the "mystery of it" being the magic bullet.

Is there something we are really missing in Aikido, internal power? I don't think what ever is missing in Aikido isn't something that doesn't exists and in explained in modern sports. What we are missing (if we are) something if someone works hard enough won't find. The problem for some is that takes time and effort, and it is much easier than to be handed it.

The other thing I think is that some of use are accustom to be given information and we are not use to getting information another way. I remember a Professor in my 2nd year that say at the start of his class that there are two ways of teaching, one is to spoon feed the students. They other way is to get them to think on their own. He didn't like spoon feeding the students information, he felt that in this method you had to brake the information down into a mush that was palatable as baby food. This inhibits the natural thinking process because someone is already thinking for you. Honestly, that was the most important classes I took. Applied to Aikido it translates a guiding the student into discovery through practice, trail and error, and not braking down the information and spoon feeding,or dumbing it down it to the student. The student becomes solely dependent on the teacher for any and all information. The student isn't independent, the student is unable to learn and develop on their own from their own practice because they are dependent on outside instruction. When it is right there in front of them.

What I mean by that is, I remember this story, not too good, where this guy goes up a mountain and asks the wise man sitting at the top what is the meaning of life. The wiseman ponders and says something like you have the answer, it is inside of you. The guy is confused and frustrated with the answer because he wanted to be told the answer by the wiseman.

I wanted to expand on that I felt it is important.

Last edited by Buck : 08-03-2008 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:25 PM   #335
Upyu
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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How many people in sports use the term internal power. I mean the word internal power is really out dated, I mean really it is out dated. It is so obscure in our modern world as well. That lends to the "mystery of it" being the magic bullet.
Er... how is it outdated?
The term has never really been used in western sports, except for the occasional reference to "core strength," "inner muscles," and the like. While those touch on some components that overlap on the "internal strength" that Rob L. is talking about, its still fundamentally a different thing.
I work out with a pro shooto guy over here in Tokyo. The guy could literally maul me on the ground, but I mean, that's been his bread and butter for the past 10 years. But does he have these skills? Nope. First words out of his mouth when I showed him some of the basic skills I have myself was "woah...that's weird, that feels totally different."
The mechanics with which you move the body, and consequently execute techniques through use of internal strength/mechanics are a complete 180 from how you normally use the body.

Anyone that says that the "top athletes" also have it, probably don't have a good idea of what internal mechanics are comprised of.

To put it in a more modern perspective:
Sure there's a couple of top athletes out there, one up and coming baseball pitcher out of Washington state comes to mind, that use key components that overlap with internal mechanics, but no one with the whole picture.
Interestingly, the article in sports illustrated that covered the pitcher was also quick to point out that supposedly no one else is pitching like this right now, and that the coaches generally don't "coach" the guy since they don't understand how he does the mechanics he uses.
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:41 PM   #336
eyrie
 
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

What? They don't know how standing on one leg and projecting ki works?

Ignatius
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:46 PM   #337
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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Er... how is it outdated?
I don't want to get into an and I appreciate what you said, am not going to argue. What I mean by "out dated" is that the term of internal power isn't used by or in major professional sports, it is the language ancients that has been translated into our language as internal power. Rather then the scientific terms used in major modern professional sports for the same principle. Sure it isn't outdate in martial arts, I mean it is a buzz word.

It is noted that you said internal mechanics. I am sure sports physiologists etc. have a modern language and research to explain so much of what is obscure langauge like internal power. The point of that is that obscure language used in martial arts related to principles are not easily understood by the average educated person, because it isn't in the modern scientific language. Because of that, internal power can be anything anyone wants it to be, and it is, and it can be anything to anyone. And some like it that way. If you are going to teach me internal power, put it in a more precise language of science, in established sports science. I don't want slight references to the human body mechanics or abstract mystical language. That is great for some. But it doesn't tell me much. I want to hear it from a professional sports physiologist, trainers or other professionals that study how the human body moves and its physics, who deal with professional major Athletes. But too sophisticated, I don't have a Ph.D. . The problem with that is, is how many Pros in these fields are Aikidoka?

Last edited by Buck : 08-03-2008 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:49 PM   #338
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

I'm far less concerned about the terms. I am more interested with what someone can do and how well they have developed it. Even guys all on the same path have varying degrees of it and how to build it and use it (two different topics)
I never new or used the term internal power in my life until someone told me 'I had it."
Funny knowing the term didn't change me one bit.

FWIW I called it "Aiki."

Mark
I am still working on an answer to your post. I had a very busy weekend.
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Old 08-04-2008, 01:02 AM   #339
Upyu
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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<snip> I don't want slight references to the human body mechanics or abstract mystical language. That is great for some. But it doesn't tell me much. I want to hear it from a professional sports physiologist, trainers or other professionals that study how the human body moves and its physics, who deal with professional major Athletes.
Wait a sec, so do you want to hear it from people that can actually "do" these skills, or people that can "speak" in kinese terminology?

I already addressed part of that problem with Kevin in an earlier post. Specifyung exactly which muscles I activate in order to activate other things doesn't do you any good. You need to find someone that can actually show you this stuff. Until then, everything you've said up until this point is pretty moot

Seriously, the first reaction I get if I explain this stuff in depth is "omg that's so complicated," then I show them how to do basic stuff, how it differs from the "normal" paradigm of movement, and it's like "oh...ok I get it".
I suggest you get your ass up to someone that actually has these skills to show you some basic stuff, then maybe you can come back and have a coherent debate on this subject.
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Old 08-04-2008, 02:36 AM   #340
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
But it doesn't tell me much. I want to hear it from a professional sports physiologist, trainers or other professionals that study how the human body moves and its physics, who deal with professional major Athletes. But too sophisticated, I don't have a Ph.D. . The problem with that is, is how many Pros in these fields are Aikidoka?
You assume that sports science folks have adequately documented the phenomena already. That's a big assumption. And if they have, you're assuming that it's material accessible in English.
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:09 AM   #341
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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Mark
I am still working on an answer to your post. I had a very busy weekend.
Yeah, busy here, too. Will keep an eye out for the reply.
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:39 AM   #342
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
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Wait a sec, so do you want to hear it from people that can actually "do" these skills, or people that can "speak" in kinese terminology?

I already addressed part of that problem with Kevin in an earlier post. Specifyung exactly which muscles I activate in order to activate other things doesn't do you any good. You need to find someone that can actually show you this stuff. Until then, everything you've said up until this point is pretty moot

Seriously, the first reaction I get if I explain this stuff in depth is "omg that's so complicated," then I show them how to do basic stuff, how it differs from the "normal" paradigm of movement, and it's like "oh...ok I get it".
I suggest you get your ass up to someone that actually has these skills to show you some basic stuff, then maybe you can come back and have a coherent debate on this subject.
Plus, the OP seems to assume---not that this is somehow unnatural---that s/he will understand what it means when someone highly expert in physics of the body cares to explain something in a particular way. The fact that one contributor---I use the term magnanimously [1]---on this forum already tries to do that, no matter how mistakenly, shows that it is no easy task either to understand the topic well enough to give a coherent explanation, and even harder to do so convincingly to others not yet on the same page.

There's no shame in being wrong, or ignorant, or less expert than others, the only real issue is can we progress if we find or are given the right tools, and can we change ourselves in a way that we make better and more efficient use of the tools that do exist for these tasks.

So, seconding what Rob said.

[1] that's just a joke, no insult intended
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Old 08-04-2008, 10:14 AM   #343
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
To put it in a more modern perspective:
Sure there's a couple of top athletes out there, one up and coming baseball pitcher out of Washington state comes to mind, that use key components that overlap with internal mechanics, but no one with the whole picture.
Interestingly, the article in sports illustrated that covered the pitcher was also quick to point out that supposedly no one else is pitching like this right now, and that the coaches generally don't "coach" the guy since they don't understand how he does the mechanics he uses.
Rob,
Would you be so kind as to tell me which issue of sports illustrated that article is in. I'd like to read it.
Ricky
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:01 PM   #344
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

As I recall there have been a couple of kinesiology type people who have gone out and seen various IMA guys including a few on this forum, and none of them really have any understanding of how this stuff works. If anyone cares to back search they should find references to who and when.

Echoing Gernot, even if they did describe it I have my doubts how it would help one understand how to use the skillset.

Ricky:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200.../lincecum0707/
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:44 PM   #345
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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Thanks Hunter!
"My body comes, and [my arm] is just kind of along for the ride."
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:07 PM   #346
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
Rob,
Would you be so kind as to tell me which issue of sports illustrated that article is in. I'd like to read it.
Ricky
Googling "sports illustrated baseball pitcher" got me THIS at the TOP of the first page ;
http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.c...9283/index.htm

You're welcome, if that's the guy you wanted.
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:38 PM   #347
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Ooh, different guy to mine, and yesterdays posts didn't appear ... until now, or I wouldn't have posted that link.
I'm glad I did, it's a fascinating story.
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Old 08-05-2008, 03:06 PM   #348
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Michael Douglas wrote: View Post
Ooh, different guy to mine, and yesterdays posts didn't appear ... until now, or I wouldn't have posted that link.
I'm glad I did, it's a fascinating story.
It was a more fascinating DAY.

Gotta love George Plimpton.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:51 PM   #349
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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Michael Douglas wrote: View Post
Googling "sports illustrated baseball pitcher" got me THIS at the TOP of the first page ;
http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.c...9283/index.htm

You're welcome, if that's the guy you wanted.
If it sounds too good to be true it probably is

"Sports Illustrated received almost 2000 letters in response to the article, and it became one of their most famous stories ever. On April 8 they declared that Finch had held a press conference in which he said that he had lost the accuracy needed to throw his fastball and would therefore not be pursuing a career with the Mets. On April 15 they admitted that the story was a hoax."
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Old 08-05-2008, 09:31 PM   #350
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
I don't want to get into an and I appreciate what you said, am not going to argue. What I mean by "out dated" is that the term of internal power isn't used by or in major professional sports, it is the language ancients that has been translated into our language as internal power. Rather then the scientific terms used in major modern professional sports for the same principle. Sure it isn't outdate in martial arts, I mean it is a buzz word.

It is noted that you said internal mechanics. I am sure sports physiologists etc. have a modern language and research to explain so much of what is obscure langauge like internal power. The point of that is that obscure language used in martial arts related to principles are not easily understood by the average educated person, because it isn't in the modern scientific language. Because of that, internal power can be anything anyone wants it to be, and it is, and it can be anything to anyone. And some like it that way. If you are going to teach me internal power, put it in a more precise language of science, in established sports science. I don't want slight references to the human body mechanics or abstract mystical language. That is great for some. But it doesn't tell me much. I want to hear it from a professional sports physiologist, trainers or other professionals that study how the human body moves and its physics, who deal with professional major Athletes. But too sophisticated, I don't have a Ph.D. . The problem with that is, is how many Pros in these fields are Aikidoka?
As far as I ever read, the term "internal" was a fairly modern thing (relative to the age of the Chinese arts in question) coined by Sun Lu Tang or at least someone of around his time, so it is probably a stretch to call it ancient. I think it's just terribly non-descriptive, beyond being a loaded term.

Someone handed me a model of what the human body might be capable of which more or less went: "Imagine the majority of all voluntary muscles in your body simultaneously contracting to the fullest of their abilities in a single direction and then instantaneously relaxing." That sure as hell sounded a lot more compelling to me than "ki" or "chi". Sounds like a theoretically crazy amount of power and speed just on the surface, no? And when it is put that way, it becomes more a question of, "what modern sport doesn't have some piece of that?", rather than "why aren't they using our terminology?" It's tangible, and it's out there.

It's just applied all rather specifically in a sport, and question is how to generalize it into much less controlled situations of martial arts, and how to maximize it. It opens up a ton of subject areas about coordination, leverage, and muscle contraction, and the overarching theme of how to identity it, how to quantify it, and how to progress it.

But all that stuff is damned confusing if you have to make stuff up to get you there, rather than using it to predict what won't work at all. Most exercise research seems to be along the lines of, "Well, gee, if we put sedentary ungraduate students or senior citizens on a weight lifting or endurance regimen, they get more fit!", let alone how to maximize the body for use in a particular activity like Aikido. It's totally an art to how to coach all that stuff, and why even after you have an idea what your end-goal is, you are still going to be hunting down people looking for methods of how to get there, and pretty much explains why I still spend a lot of time searching. A few simple "duh!" exercises for working all this stuff are worth more than entire volumes of research, and probably harder to produce!
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