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Old 08-05-2008, 11:09 PM   #351
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
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".
Hmm, the human body is such a complex instrument (as are almost all life-forms, and we are naturally largely similar to the others) that generations of scientists and doctors have specialized in attempting to understand and deal with even so-called minor components of it. Yes somehow a vastly simplified view of any aspect is going to give on insight into all the complexities, with no further effort needed? I don't buy it.

So, while certain basics might be fairly easy to convey to someone and get them started on doing their own research (the "ease" of such conveyance should not detract from the difficulty of getting such insight on one's own), such an elementary beginning (analogous to perhaps the letter "A") does not allow such a beginner to even see what might be possible at the letter "Z", let alone do that kind of stuff, not to even speak of putting the various components together into a synthesis to do other vastly more complex and sophisticated stuff. A simple summary might be: If your body is not ready for "B", work at "A" until it is, and progress in understanding from there on that practical basis.
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:25 PM   #352
Buck
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
How many of the Aikidoka seminar attendees, or those who have gone beyond to regularly train internal skills- now possibly numbering somewhere in the low hundreds- have reconsidered their view of what aiki is and what they used to think it was in their aikido ™ V Aiki…do?

There was at one point in time, no end of contention, disbelief, and even anger discussing internals as aiki. The discussion were sent off to the NON aikido related wonderland. Something which I found as accurate as saying gravity is unrelated to the discusions of Physics.

I recently read this reply by Kevin Leavitt and it seems to address some of my recent thoughts regarding Aikido™ and Aiki…do.

I found Kevins comments (an Aikidoka) echoing some of my own expressed here:

I most certainly do not and have not ever considered Aikido™ as expressing aiki in any meaningful way, with much or most of what I have seen being either completely wrong in its approach, or just marginally in the right direction.
It reminds me of wondering how you set off from N.Y. trying to get to England and ended up in west Africa.
Time and distance.
All you need do, is give someone a compass just a few degrees off and have them set sail.

If Kevin, Mark, Rob, and others can now more or less say the same things I and others have been saying for years-where do others in Aikido ™ now stand on the issue?
Is the community which has been traveling in large numbers in the wrong direction still behind relegating these discussions to Non-Aikido Martial Traditions Discussions of all non-aikido-specific martial traditions
Or is it finally realizing- by the witness of an ever increasing number of ranked Aikido™ teachers- that this is and was in fact Aiki…do all along and just that many people in Aikido™ missed it.
I have discuss it, and I haven't changed too much. I think Aikido is a complete art in the sense it grows as you grow. It develops as you develop. It is something you don't grow out of . Of course there is rethinking, as you grow you don't see things in the same way. If you go outside of Aikido looking for the Holy "Aiki" Grail and happen to come across someone so says they have the Grail, keep in mind, the Grail isn't out side of Aikido, it is inside Aikido. Aikido is a complete art, it grows with you, it is something as vast a the universe that you can explore for a lifetime. Here I am thinking of how similar that is to Star Treks where exploring yourself is a final frontier, the internal sprirtual- universe. Our map is written not is absract archic phrases, but in the languge of science that can be understood clearer in our modern times.

Thanks for asking that question.

Last edited by Buck : 08-05-2008 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:49 PM   #353
DH
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
have discuss it, and I haven't changed too much. I think Aikido is a complete art in the sense it grows as you grow....
If you go outside of Aikido looking for the Holy "Aiki" Grail and happen to come across someone so says they have the Grail, keep in mind, the Grail isn't out side of Aikido, it is inside Aikido. Aikido is a complete art, it grows with you, it is something as vast a the universe that you can explore for a lifetime.
Well thats -your- view. Apparently many within aikido who have felt it-completely dissagree with you.
As an Aikidoka I left and found it in Daito ryu. Yet It works perfectly fine in Aikido. Why not? It's where it came from.
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Old 08-06-2008, 12:58 AM   #354
Lee Salzman
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Gernot Hassenpflug wrote: View Post
Hmm, the human body is such a complex instrument (as are almost all life-forms, and we are naturally largely similar to the others) that generations of scientists and doctors have specialized in attempting to understand and deal with even so-called minor components of it. Yes somehow a vastly simplified view of any aspect is going to give on insight into all the complexities, with no further effort needed? I don't buy it.

So, while certain basics might be fairly easy to convey to someone and get them started on doing their own research (the "ease" of such conveyance should not detract from the difficulty of getting such insight on one's own), such an elementary beginning (analogous to perhaps the letter "A") does not allow such a beginner to even see what might be possible at the letter "Z", let alone do that kind of stuff, not to even speak of putting the various components together into a synthesis to do other vastly more complex and sophisticated stuff. A simple summary might be: If your body is not ready for "B", work at "A" until it is, and progress in understanding from there on that practical basis.
Is it really vastly simplified? Already in this model you have the following things to master: maximality and minimality of tension, coordination and simultaneity of tension throughout the body, the direction and transference of force from one joint to the next, the timescales on which you are capable of sensing and controlling these attributes and removing conscious interference thereof, and the applicability of all of these things to situations one encounters in martial arts. It's a load of confusing stuff already with a bunch of ways to train it, and it's only just from breaking down a simple model of how far a single human movement can go. Simple philosophy, complex break-down!

And if you can draw parallels to what existing athletes are already capable of without even focusing on specifics like this in their training, it only points out how hard and cleverly you need to work if you want mastery above and beyond what they are capable of.

And yeah, it is like learning an alphabet in martial terms, and writing novels is something you do later. But isn't that the premise here? That there is "Aikido" and "aiki-do", one which is concerned with martial expertise beyond our present ability to express, and one which is concerned with working out the basics of what the body can really do first, after which the expression is a much simplified and less dogmatic issue? So isn't the trouble then finding the way through the basics?

But you can look at the term "internal", and it's totally opaque. Doesn't much hint at qualities you need to work on, how hard you need to work on them, and how they finally combine into athletic performance. When the term "internal" was all I had to go on, I was lost with no information, and now by comparison I am just lost with some information.

But at least with a simple working model, you can distinguish between "Aikido", execution of waza fundamentally linked to an operating model of the body, and maybe in the extreme even conjure "aiki-do".
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:34 AM   #355
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Gernot Hassenpflug wrote: View Post
Hmm, the human body is such a complex instrument (as are almost all life-forms, and we are naturally largely similar to the others) that generations of scientists and doctors have specialized in attempting to understand and deal with even so-called minor components of it. Yes somehow a vastly simplified view of any aspect is going to give on insight into all the complexities, with no further effort needed? I don't buy it.
And yet -- it is precisely so, although effort is still required. Systems which are too chaotic to be predicted nevertheless have demonstrable, if devilishly complex rhythms and patterns that obey VERY simple iterative laws. The intricate complexity of resulting behavior does not imply complexity of the cause or principle that produces it.

The following bifurcation diagram can be generated by the simple linear increase of the rate of flow to a dripping faucet, each point representing the time between drops (y axis) at the rate of flow (x axis).
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ionDiagram.png

So do not disregard the reality of simple causes underlying complex events.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:36 AM   #356
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

I have been trianing with Dan a bit now, and I would not say that aikido is NOT a complete art. I simply just want to progress much further in aikido and his training method is clearly working well towards that end.

I remember when I started being able to copy _most_ of the shihan I encountered and when I found that I could shut down _most_ of the teachers I encountered while they couldn't shut me down. I'm not saying I am all that great - but it happened and it happened before I met Dan. I just trained harder and in what I suspect was a more efficient way than most of those people.

Having trained with Dan a while now, I was faced with a way to train that I found to be much more efficient towards my end goal (which is to manifest the principles of aikido physically so well that I can relate them to the spiritual principles of the kotodama - like I assume Osensei did and have fun growing in martial arts in general along the way) that the choice was clear. I looked for how to encorporate this kind of training into my daily life, how to get correction and guidance as much as possible, and how to figure out how to apply it to what I am doing in aikido class directly.

Much like what I am hearing from my new friends in the Nishio camp, my (our) opinion is that aikido can encorporate anythng else that helps you progress. So my aikido students do some standing exercises with me before and after normal class. I don't tell anyone they have to - they just all felt my power go WAY up, and figured it would be smart to copy me. If they ask me what I'm doing, I do my best to explain.

During normal class, when I do ushiro waza, I teach a wristy-twisty version to help the beginners do the classic aikido type thing where you move in such a way to avoid giving uke a superior angle/leverage. When I go around and help people, I tend to practice myself a bit. I show the people the simple way if they need, and if not, I just practice totally giving uke a 90 degree angle on my arms and doing the technique anyway against their progressive resistance. The progressive resistance approach of aikido rocks becuase if I am sucking at manifesting the internal skill then they instantly feel it and lighten up and let me train where I am at power wise. If I "got it" then they push with all their might and I look for where else I can put my mental intention to make power additives.

But I'm not doing naything absurdly different in my classes. It's not like I'm standing on my head now. I think you'd have to really look for the internal skills I'm encorporating to know I'm doing them in my aikido class. We talked about where you put your mind during say kotegaeshi way before I met Dan. Gleason sensei used to correct my posture all the time too. The difference now, is that I have much better proprioception after training with Dan to the point that I don't get corrected in how I stand all that much anymore - and further I can give people much MUCH more detailed explainations in how they can improve their structure to pull off kotegaeshi in Gleason sensei's way where the uke just seems to magically drop (like his iriminage).

Gleason sensei's experience was something like getting to train in Yamaguchi sensei's private dojo for 10 years where all he would ever get to work out with was people 4th-7th dan every day for hours. And then also going to Takeda sensei's dojo and Honbu dojo as well. We just don't have that kind of kinestetic feedback available to us for relatively long periods of time. My opinion is that that is the only other way you can make such progress efficiently. "Where we are at" is that this kind of thing isn't available to most of us right now! (I still suspect that Dan's approach is even more efficient. At least for the way I seem to learn.)

Where I am at is that the main change in what I do now with aiki-do in my aikido is that a lot of the "magic" is gone replaced with understanding that I proprobably wouldn't have figured out myself for a much longer time if at all - and now I have a lot more time dedicated to working on improving my skills as opposed to spending so much time guessing what they most efficient way to approach my goals might be.

Also, my students are a lot more fun to train with now that they can pretty instantly connect to peoples centers in katatetori techniques. They are going through the frustration period of re-learning how to walk and all - but so am I.

I can write volumes about "where we are at" but I need to get to work!

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 08-06-2008 at 04:49 AM.
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:58 AM   #357
Aikibu
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Hey Rob (and Dan ),

Good Stuff...I am curious though...The phrase "shut down" is used allot to describe how well this "aiki" works in a training environment. I have no doubt that it does but that does not interest me as much as how well it works against another fighter in an (for lack of a better phrase) "alive" environment

To be blunt anyone with any modicum of skill can "shutdown" almost anyone else in a training environment but that's because most Aikido folks thinking grabbing someone's wrist is what Aikido is all about. It is to a point I guess but what about when an Aikidoka progresses to more advanced practice?

William Hazen
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:41 PM   #358
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Well, I agree; when I used the term shut down I was talking about what I could do before I met Dan and started working on aiki directly (and I'm willing to believe you can do such things too).

Here are 2 quotes from Dan on a different thread that seem to relate to your question:

Quote:
I think managing opposing forces and lines in your body, makes the addition of their force just an 'addition" to the forces you are already managing. This is the "why" in why you don't feel you have to do much to manage them. The better and more efficient you become at it, the less you worry about their force. I think that is an easier way to "say it" or see what is happening. When they think they have you-you have them, sort of thing. This is of course, without starting to discuss enhanced manipulations of forces and directive forces. Zero balance or central equilibrium is just the start of some interesting fun down the road.
(The bold was added by me.)

and, more directly:

Quote:
As for Aiki power (internal power), it is the best way to express action with the body in virtually any fighting style known. Train the mind body first, the expression or art specific "action / tactic / strategy, come later. All that said, finding the ways and means to train the mind /body connection and to develop internal power, and then to learn to develop internal skill "in use” all happen before you should learn or try to fight with it. Your levels of "fighting” may lead to an ability to "not-fight" many people and handle their force expeditiously enough to be considered handling them without harm, but, I'd never-the-less hesitate to make it a declarative statement any time soon. There are hard men that could hand the best teachers in the world the fight of their lives.
Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 08-06-2008 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:00 PM   #359
Buck
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Well thats -your- view. Apparently many within aikido who have felt it-completely dissagree with you.
As an Aikidoka I left and found it in Daito ryu. Yet It works perfectly fine in Aikido. Why not? It's where it came from.
I am sorry, it is my view and it was something you asked of Aikidoka. I gave it. I like Aikido as it is. It may be great for others to add after market their Aikido, but I don't find Aikido lacking. I guess you did, and you looked somewhere else for what you lacked that was to your satisfaction. But everyone does things the same to get results. Some people are left handed and they have problems in the right handed world with some things, and they have to adjust. Maybe that was your situation, maybe your like a left hander, who found what you needed for your adjustment. And there are other "left-handers" that can benefit from your experience.

I find Aikido is fine just the way it is, cause am still learning and am not at a level where finite tweaking, and splitting hairs matters. Maybe someday, but not today. Aikido like I said is vast, unlike many things there are no instant solutions. Aikido is like golf, a difficult game, and no matter what new designed clubs you have, or what real or virtual lessons you take it really all boils down to the player. A trendy new driver isn't going to make you a good golfer if your not. Nor is all the tips in the world going to improve your swing. It is up to you, the golfer, to get out and play the course and develop your skills. Golf is a frustrating and challenging game, like Aikido is an art. Golf is a complete sport as Aikido is a complete art.

Nothing is going to make you instantly better at your game,there is not that special piece of knowledge that will instant to really improve your handicap. Sure a tip here or there will help, but it really doesn't make an amateur into a pro. It just helps marginally, it will only at best take a few strokes off your game. Well if your me two strokes off my game is cause for me to jump up and down in scream for joy.

Internal skills, golf is full of them. Golf is the aiki sport. Maybe people who are looking to improve their Aikido should take up golf, take some lessons and play. Or keep working at Aikido until it happens.

I think if someone is looking to find something they feel they lack in Aikido, maybe what they lack has nothing to do with Aikido. It might have to do with themselves. They may need to be taught differently, not that there is any special hidden knowledge out there that someone has and is teaching it, but rather they are not comprehending what they are being taught in the traditional manner and feel they need outside help - Aikido principles told to them in a different way. They might do well with a good tutor. Or need to learn golf, or something like that. There are lots of ways to improve your Aikido outside of Aikido. I just prefer to stick with Aikido and not go outside of it. I don't blame those who go outside and I expect not to have a finger wagged at me for not going outside of Aikido, because I have faith and confidence in Aikido, and myself.



Please explain part
What is "it" my apology, but I need more details on what "it" is. Cause I don't understand the disagreement you mention.

My apologies once again, I am confused, you didn't find it in Aikido and found "it" (?) in Daito ryu, and "it" works in Aikido? Then with a rhetorical question you follow with a contradicting with what you said above that. Your last statement is really vague, I think I know what your saying, but I don't want to assume it.

I don't write the clearest things in the world either. It would be great if you would humor me and ease my confusion my helping me out and providing more details and stuff

thanks in advance.

Last edited by Buck : 08-06-2008 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:46 PM   #360
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Please explain part
What is "it" my apology, but I need more details on what "it" is. Cause I don't understand the disagreement you mention.
... It would be great if you would humor me and ease my confusion my helping me out and providing more details and stuff
After a few thousand posts on "it" let me cheekily summarize the positions I have heard which, with surprising consistency, run thus:

"You need it. We have it"

"What is it?"

"If you have it, you would know it."

"Is this it?"

"No, that's not it."

"Is this is it?"

"No, that's not it."

[After much reflection & training ]

"I have come to the considered conclusion that [name principle here] plays a part in it"

"That's not it; The fact that you do not understand it when we have repeatedly discussed it means that you do not have it.
... And you need it. We have it ."

ad infinitum

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-07-2008, 04:19 AM   #361
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

I didn't even know that was in question.

it is refering to internal power, internal skills, and the use of them to the degree that Osensei had developed and hopefully beyond. A good description of internal power was just quoted:

Quote:
I think managing opposing forces and lines in your body, makes the addition of their force just an 'addition" to the forces you are already managing. This is the "why" in why you don't feel you have to do much to manage them. The better and more efficient you become at it, the less you worry about their force. I think that is an easier way to "say it" or see what is happening. When they think they have you-you have them, sort of thing. This is of course, without starting to discuss enhanced manipulations of forces and directive forces. Zero balance or central equilibrium is just the start of some interesting fun down the road.
and a description of how to be qualified to say you have it to some degree was given (I linked to it in a previous post in this thread) as well:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...ate#post209299

The thread is "where we are at" - and the answer is starting to look like the various levels of grief. I can almost pick out each post and assign: anger, depression, bargaining, denial, or acceptance.

where anger is: how dare you say what I'm doing isn't valid enough or whatever flavor of that

depression is: I can't believe I wasted 30 years of my life training so hard and I missed it

bargaining is:
a) Well, we do some breathing in our classes, and that is part of internal power - can we say we are do the same thing as you?
reply: no.
b) Well, we also have unbendable arm! Now can we say we are doing the same thing as you?
reply: no.
c) Well, I'm looking at this from some other angle maybe we are talking past each other.
eventual reply: okay what can you do and how long does it take your students to be able to do it too?
... generally no much of a response to that....
followed with: forget it lets meet

denial is:
a) You are not defining things well enough in writing!
reply: You have to feel it for the same reasons you yourself most likely would have told someone else you can't learn aikido in a book
b) Well if you can't define it perfectly, it doesn't exist
reply: but I can do all these things I never could do before training this way, and look at what the people who've been training this way longer than me can do...
c) well, what about that is necessarily aikido?!
best reply to that so far: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...ate#post209299

and acceptance is:
a) wow thanks! how come no one showed me this stuff
or see depression...

I thought the point of this thread was for the people who made it to acceptance, and we were going to argue the various other options in other threads. But, maybe I got it wrong.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 08-07-2008 at 04:24 AM.
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Old 08-07-2008, 05:32 AM   #362
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post

I thought the point of this thread was for the people who made it to acceptance, and we were going to argue the various other options in other threads. But, maybe I got it wrong.

Rob
No, you have it right. Other people seem to want to argue about whether it exists or not and if it fits their physics. Other threads are there for that.
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Old 08-07-2008, 05:42 AM   #363
Lee Salzman
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I thought the point of this thread was for the people who made it to acceptance, and we were going to argue the various other options in other threads. But, maybe I got it wrong.

Rob
Acceptance is one thing, but we need to be careful about replacing one unquestionable dogma with another, especially when waving the banner of "internal skill", something far less specific a classification than "aiki". We were implored to go out and feel stuff and see what it got us - but no doubt few if anyone will come back with the same experiences or even conclusions, especially on a subject where many are holding cards close to their chest.

I know I sure went out in search of the Arctic and found the Antarctic instead - a different side of training the same body to do some different but interconnected things. I'm still really curious about what's going on up at the opposite pole, but I know there was some cool (pun?) stuff down on the other side too.

But even then I had to broaden my view beyond what the discussion has been on these forums up to now to see that and accept what I found for what it was. So if I found a different side to the same subject area, who is to say the subject area is flat and only has two sides, nevermind one? There's probably a limit to how faceted training of body movement can get, but it's probably closer to a dodecahedron than a flat plane.
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:06 AM   #364
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I didn't even know that was in question.
If you have forgotten there was a question -- should you be so sure of the answer?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
---it is refering to internal power, internal skills, and the use of them to the degree that Osensei had developed and hopefully beyond. A good description of internal power was just quoted:
Your link was truncated and does not work. His question illustrates my point that those who are doing what you have moved into, discuss things in their own vague idiom (actually several) and thus do not articulate their points well at all. They are an echo chamber so they sound hollow -- whether they are or not.

The point of my effort is not to tear them down but to refine the articulation of these points. They are worthwhile, worthwhile enough they need a better level of discussion so it can be objectively examined by people unfamiliar with their idiomatic terms of discussion. That way the other people can decide their opinions for themselves on reason and fact, not loaded discussion dripping with innuendo and accusation paired with braggadocio and assurances of trust. (most definitively NOT you ).

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I thought the point of this thread was for the people who made it to acceptance, and we were going to argue the various other options in other threads. But, maybe I got it wrong.
In any discussion there is the following of the logic of the discussion, but also a questioning of assumptions on which the logic is based. In fact the whole topic is founded on questioning some assumptions on which the formulation of training is based -- which is a healthy thing. I accept there is a basis for some criticism of the way training is done in some places. But acknowledging symptoms does not equate with agreement on diagnosis, much less treatment. But it cuts both ways, and while the salutary criticism is good, people need to be willing to take as good as they give when it comes to questioning assumptions.
-
I am one of those guys. When somebody rebuts a point of observation or criticism I have made, without the tiresome resorting to reflexive ad hom. ( again, not from you ), I'll quit questioning. As things stand now, not so much.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:28 AM   #365
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Phil
Its been gone over many times in the threads. We -meaning dozens of guys who are now training-sometimes tire of repeating the details. In fairness your question is a solid one though.
The general idea is that you need to work on your body. There are ways to train that strengthen your held balance- your central equilibrium or zero balance state. Think of it like being suspended between managed lines of opposing forces you control. Because they support each other, and leave you stable and relaxed anyone who interacts with you becomes part of a line of force you already manage. Once your body is trained you can begin to use it to make aiki happen on contact.

Some wierd effects that are consistent with an idea folks may have of aiki-that being blending: I can send a line of force that wants to push me up and over 45 deg to my rear by actually agreeing with it (not moving on the outside) with a managed line of force in me that is natural while sinking down through me on its opposite. There is a whole other aspect of "polishing the mirror" but thats not for here. Thus they wind up pushing down, while they swear they are attempting to push up and over. This works great for arm to arm grappling where they have to close the distance or shoot.

You train to failure statically and then of course in waza then in motion or freestyle. Always the same; static, waza, motion.
Some of the benefits are when you touch someone they are like a spider touching your held web. You can find their center instantly and control it. If they move, you move. There are so many side benefits; speed in motion due to lack of slack in the body, very substantial striking power, and an extremely difficult body to throw or lock, and heightened sensitivity to positioning and change.
After all of that, there are ways to use your newly trained body in different martial applications that are fairly common in the arts. The art doesn't matter. It is your choice. Kata is NOT the way to train aiki, Kata are the result of aiki in changing and controlling force.It takes years to do.
Thats just some very basic concepts to consider.
It expresses itself in any grappling art- where there is an on going and rapid interchange of force and postional change coupled with power strikes, rather well.

The reason you will find so many converts is that it is the heart of what aiki is. Once you feel it-there is no debate. The ones who debate here have not felt it and some are just bitter that it is stated so flatly and confidently. Where I might disagree with you about aikido being complete in that
a)all of this knowledge is there
b) Where there is some ,whether it is taught

What we are doing is to teach openly. People train their bodies specifically for aiki in a manner that is clear, decisive and demonstrative. You may want to take note that many are reporting results from still short periods of time. More good news? We actually have students with demonstrable skills that you can find.

There are very few left over, naysayers here. Most rational people have looked past us and fairly and intelligently accepted the words of so many of their own at face value. A few are hanging on and denying the consistent testimony of many experienced aikidoka and debate for debate sake.
Good luck in your training

Last edited by DH : 08-07-2008 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:05 AM   #366
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
Hey Rob (and Dan ),

Good Stuff...I am curious though...The phrase "shut down" is used allot to describe how well this "aiki" works in a training environment. I have no doubt that it does but that does not interest me as much as how well it works against another fighter in an (for lack of a better phrase) "alive" environment

To be blunt anyone with any modicum of skill can "shutdown" almost anyone else in a training environment but that's because most Aikido folks thinking grabbing someone's wrist is what Aikido is all about. It is to a point I guess but what about when an Aikidoka progresses to more advanced practice?

William Hazen
Personally, I just feel that there's a different quality in the kind of "shutdown" I used to be able to do relative to what I think Dan and Rob (and others) are talking about here (and what I can now do).

It's kind of a difference between active resistance and sort of a structural tone (for lack of a better term). Example? I'll try...

A) Old way: someone tries to put kotegaeshi on you, but you're able to adjust the angle and your balance so that they're not able to get enough leverage to really get the throw, or maybe you slip the lock before they can really get it set up. Either way, you're doing something, meaning there's some strategy/technique that you're using. Traditionally this is where the whole kaeshiwaza reverse-reverse-reverse-reverse back and forth happens (if you're playing that).

B) New way: someone tries to put kotegaeshi on you but they just run into a freakin' wall. They can't even get it started but from their vantage point, you're not doing anything. From uke's side, you're not having to coordinate or do much of anything to keep the technique from happening, it's just like the pressure on you (through the technique) just kind of dissipates all across your body (at least that's how it feels to me). Nage typically shoots you a weird look like, WTF is that? BUT (and here's an important distinction) you're not tense or resisting the technique, so you're able to move at full speed along whatever lines you choose, because you haven't had to adjust yourself to block the technique, it just kind of feels like it bounces off, or dissipates around/through you.

Don't know if that helps (or if it's what Rob, Dan, etc were actually talking about, but it's how things are working for me these days).

Chris Moses
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:16 AM   #367
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Personally, I just feel that there's a different quality in the kind of "shutdown" I used to be able to do relative to what I think Dan and Rob (and others) are talking about here (and what I can now do).

It's kind of a difference between active resistance and sort of a structural tone (for lack of a better term). Example? I'll try...

A) Old way: someone tries to put kotegaeshi on you, but you're able to adjust the angle and your balance so that they're not able to get enough leverage to really get the throw, or maybe you slip the lock before they can really get it set up. Either way, you're doing something, meaning there's some strategy/technique that you're using. Traditionally this is where the whole kaeshiwaza reverse-reverse-reverse-reverse back and forth happens (if you're playing that).

B) New way: someone tries to put kotegaeshi on you but they just run into a freakin' wall. They can't even get it started but from their vantage point, you're not doing anything. From uke's side, you're not having to coordinate or do much of anything to keep the technique from happening, it's just like the pressure on you (through the technique) just kind of dissipates all across your body (at least that's how it feels to me). Nage typically shoots you a weird look like, WTF is that? BUT (and here's an important distinction) you're not tense or resisting the technique, so you're able to move at full speed along whatever lines you choose, because you haven't had to adjust yourself to block the technique, it just kind of feels like it bounces off, or dissipates around/through you.

Don't know if that helps (or if it's what Rob, Dan, etc were actually talking about, but it's how things are working for me these days).
Hi Chris,

Great post and example. Ditto for me. The only difference I'd note for me is that when working with joint locks, I seem to be able to "store" the force coming into my body in my lower back and then send it back out again. Weird feeling.
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Old 08-07-2008, 12:00 PM   #368
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Personally, I just feel that there's a different quality in the kind of "shutdown" I used to be able to do relative to what I think Dan and Rob (and others) are talking about here (and what I can now do).

It's kind of a difference between active resistance and sort of a structural tone (for lack of a better term). Example? I'll try...

A) Old way: someone tries to put kotegaeshi on you, but you're able to adjust the angle and your balance so that they're not able to get enough leverage to really get the throw, or maybe you slip the lock before they can really get it set up. Either way, you're doing something, meaning there's some strategy/technique that you're using. Traditionally this is where the whole kaeshiwaza reverse-reverse-reverse-reverse back and forth happens (if you're playing that).

B) New way: someone tries to put kotegaeshi on you but they just run into a freakin' wall. They can't even get it started but from their vantage point, you're not doing anything. From uke's side, you're not having to coordinate or do much of anything to keep the technique from happening, it's just like the pressure on you (through the technique) just kind of dissipates all across your body (at least that's how it feels to me). Nage typically shoots you a weird look like, WTF is that? BUT (and here's an important distinction) you're not tense or resisting the technique, so you're able to move at full speed along whatever lines you choose, because you haven't had to adjust yourself to block the technique, it just kind of feels like it bounces off, or dissipates around/through you.

Don't know if that helps (or if it's what Rob, Dan, etc were actually talking about, but it's how things are working for me these days).
I understand what you're saying Chris but "B" seems kind of garbled to me in the sense that Uke attacks Nage tries KG in most training paradigms unless kaeshiwaza comes into play. As far as application goes I feel I have experienced both Aiki and Non Aiki; I am sure not to the degree you guys have but Aiki is there...It just a matter of discovering understanding and applying it.

Which brings up another point The use of Aiki by both Uke and Nage.

A long time Aikido guy who has experienced a few of you came out to our Dojo. One thing we both agreed on...Aiki is good for old folks in the sense that it should be used to finish the conflict as we old guys don't have the physical acumen to out fight younger quicker dudes LOL.

William Hazen
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Old 08-07-2008, 04:45 PM   #369
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Not knowing something is still even in question doesn't mean I "forgot".

Here is the link that didn't work that I thought would be helpful:
(not taking any chances, no fancy links this time!)
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...9&postcount=21

Here is a copy paste:

Mary Malmros wrote:
So -- please point me to a FAQ if there is one -- exactly what is "internal skill"? Or "internal power"? Maybe there's a coherent, consensus answer to that, but I expect what I'll hear is more like the blind men describing the elephant.

Hi Mary:

I don't know of any accredited "FAQ", but Koichi Tohei's book "This Is Aikido, With Mind and Body Coordinated" was written under the auspices of Hombu Dojo and so Tohei's comments and particularly his (and his students) demonstrations would qualify as a Rosetta Stone from which to derive the basis of something like a FAQ. In other words, Tohei's "Ki Tests" and demonstrations in that book were done at the time when he was still the chief instructor and the book was approved by Ueshiba M.... so the physical demonstrations of "ki" (aka "internal strength", etc.) are pretty concrete starting points. Of course a lot of people are going to offer opinions of what they think ki is, but my comment would be that before someone has the right to claim they know what ki is, they should be able to demonstrate all those simple examples in Tohei's book.

Based on conversations and my own experiences with a few of the regual AikiWeb posters who I consider credible about at least some aspects of internal strength, I don't think that baseline of "be able to do Tohei's ki tests" would be questioned by any of them. So maybe that's a good starting point? I don't know if Tohei ever had a baby, so I'll have to demur on that point of the discussion.

Best.

Mike Sigman

-----end of the cut and paste ----

Hope it helps. Sorry for my poor aikiweb skills!

Rob
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Old 08-07-2008, 04:50 PM   #370
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Kata is NOT the way to train aiki, Kata are the result of aiki in changing and controlling force.It takes years to do.
Kata without bunkai have never been the way to train ANYTHING. 分解 ? "untie/unravel + small piece" i.e. -- "analysis." Without bunkai there is no basis to extend the principle/concept/body structure/form of movement beyond the constraint of the precise kata form or exercise used to develop it. What Kenji Ushiro calls "useability."

Tohei's ki exercises that Rob was referring to in his broken link are his version of bunkai. The "body structuring" movement that Mike S. relates to the ki tests and kokyu undo are another way to the same functional end. That's a large part of what you are doing --you, Ark, Mike and the rest -- various methods of bunkai without the kata/waza/whatever you choose -- to use as a reference form. Tohei's effort was no different in purpose and effect -- just a different method to breakdown what is going on in more general terms in the specific instances of set waza. It allows variations on the waza and novel movements to express the same things. Saotome's insistence on seeking "principles" are also bunkai in this same way. In a more subtle way, so is Saito's ki-no-nagare progression method and its openness to examine inevitable "mistakes" resulting from the contingencies of action at speed without impeding smooth, stable movement All bunkai -- all different methods of breaking down the parts.

While bunkai is not intellectual in action it is an intellectual exercise to structure training in an attempt to encompass representative aspects of the entire space of possible interactions with the sketch marks of set movements. Understanding mechanics is just another form of bunkai and not a replacement for sound physical training.

Some people along the way may have forgotten the aspect of bunkai in their aikido training, but there are many versions and approaches to doing the bunkai work.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-07-2008, 05:06 PM   #371
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Okay, I only mention that because it directly relates a way to demonstrate the skills we practice in aiki-do with aikido. My point is that I've made more progress towards being able to demonstrate such things by training aiki-do. -Rob
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Old 08-07-2008, 05:49 PM   #372
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
You train to failure statically and then of course in waza then in motion or freestyle. Always the same; static, waza, motion.
Dan,
Would you please explain what you mean when you say "train to failure?"
Thank You,
Ricky
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Old 08-07-2008, 07:00 PM   #373
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Phil
Its been gone over many times in the threads. We -meaning dozens of guys who are now training-sometimes tire of repeating the details. In fairness your question is a solid one though.
The general idea is that you need to work on your body. There are ways to train that strengthen your held balance- your central equilibrium or zero balance state. Think of it like being suspended between managed lines of opposing forces you control. Because they support each other, and leave you stable and relaxed anyone who interacts with you becomes part of a line of force you already manage. Once your body is trained you can begin to use it to make aiki happen on contact.

Some wierd effects that are consistent with an idea folks may have of aiki-that being blending: I can send a line of force that wants to push me up and over 45 deg to my rear by actually agreeing with it (not moving on the outside) with a managed line of force in me that is natural while sinking down through me on its opposite. There is a whole other aspect of "polishing the mirror" but thats not for here. Thus they wind up pushing down, while they swear they are attempting to push up and over. This works great for arm to arm grappling where they have to close the distance or shoot.

You train to failure statically and then of course in waza then in motion or freestyle. Always the same; static, waza, motion.
Some of the benefits are when you touch someone they are like a spider touching your held web. You can find their center instantly and control it. If they move, you move. There are so many side benefits; speed in motion due to lack of slack in the body, very substantial striking power, and an extremely difficult body to throw or lock, and heightened sensitivity to positioning and change.
After all of that, there are ways to use your newly trained body in different martial applications that are fairly common in the arts. The art doesn't matter. It is your choice. Kata is NOT the way to train aiki, Kata are the result of aiki in changing and controlling force.It takes years to do.
Thats just some very basic concepts to consider.
It expresses itself in any grappling art- where there is an on going and rapid interchange of force and postional change coupled with power strikes, rather well.

The reason you will find so many converts is that it is the heart of what aiki is. Once you feel it-there is no debate. The ones who debate here have not felt it and some are just bitter that it is stated so flatly and confidently. Where I might disagree with you about aikido being complete in that
a)all of this knowledge is there
b) Where there is some ,whether it is taught

What we are doing is to teach openly. People train their bodies specifically for aiki in a manner that is clear, decisive and demonstrative. You may want to take note that many are reporting results from still short periods of time. More good news? We actually have students with demonstrable skills that you can find.

There are very few left over, naysayers here. Most rational people have looked past us and fairly and intelligently accepted the words of so many of their own at face value. A few are hanging on and denying the consistent testimony of many experienced aikidoka and debate for debate sake.
Good luck in your training
I understand what you are saying. I respect your disagreement with me. I was taught what you laid out to be something you develop over time and practice. That is the hard part. That is the explanation for why everyone is not at the same level.

We are talking about a natural law, that I don't know the scientific name, but it is universal and functions Aikido and other stuff, right. If you think it isn't in Aikido then it can be applied.

Training the body then is a matter likened to conditioning in sports? Conditioning exercises practice for the specific sport is what I am saying.

I do agree that if it is about conditioning that enhances performance , with the addition of the natural law then there will be noticeable results, more so if without any of that. Applying scientific principles and laws will only enhance Aikido. I see that those laws already exist in Aikido. I see Aikido as a adventure to explore, a universe. Sure it isn't easy to do train this way, and sure some people like me don't have the time or resourse to be that devote, but really it is the journey that is most important, and not the journey's end. Peace.

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Old 08-08-2008, 03:54 AM   #374
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
but really it is the journey that is most important, and not the journey's end. Peace.
I am glad we are discussing things at this point as THE same journey.

Just to be clear, training what Dan is teaching is not the journey's end either - it just makes the journey a much more interesting journey. Further, what has been the issue on other threads is if the various paths on "the journey" all go to the same place, and really if the typical path of aikido has any realistic chance of ever getting anywhere near where you are trying to go in comparison to the path of someone directly studying aiki...do along side of aikido.

I believe discussing the path of someone directly studying aiki...do along side of aikido is more the intent of this thread as opposed to any more debates about the theories (which can be done and have already been done to death in many many other threads).

Rob
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:23 AM   #375
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
I understand what you're saying Chris but "B" seems kind of garbled to me in the sense that Uke attacks Nage tries KG in most training paradigms unless kaeshiwaza comes into play. As far as application goes I feel I have experienced both Aiki and Non Aiki; I am sure not to the degree you guys have but Aiki is there...It just a matter of discovering understanding and applying it.

Which brings up another point The use of Aiki by both Uke and Nage.
Hmm, I think we're missing each other in the verbage. I don't think you got my comments (based on your reply) but I'm not sure what you're getting at here either... I was trying to illustrate the kind of shutdown that I have experienced with someone who has the kind of internal dynamics/structure that I think we're talking about here, and how it's qualitatively different from when you get shutdown by someone using either muscular strength or some overt mechanical strategy.

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
A long time Aikido guy who has experienced a few of you came out to our Dojo.
There's MORE of me??? No wonder I feel so scattered all the time...

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
One thing we both agreed on...Aiki is good for old folks in the sense that it should be used to finish the conflict as we old guys don't have the physical acumen to out fight younger quicker dudes LOL.

William Hazen
True dat. In my Thursday classes I've been teaching, I've really been trying to bring forward the very different feelings that arise from doing things with 'aiki' vs. even skillful leverage or timing. It's just qualitatively different, and a lot of folks who I've showed the stuff I'm working on have found it different from what they've felt before. I really believe that the vast majority of people in Aikido, have never felt real aiki as I use the term. And just to be completely clear, I've never felt you, William, or seen you or your students so I'm not saying or implying anything about your abilities or exposures, I'm talking in VERY general terms here... I didn't want you any of my comments to be taken personally as that was not my intent.

Chris Moses
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