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Old 06-23-2008, 08:21 PM   #1
RonRagusa
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Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

It seems that the short road to the acquisition of ki power is a viable alternative to long years of study and sweaty practice on the mat. People with the ability to teach these things in a fraction of the time I have spent learning my skills post regularly here on AikiWeb. Their abilities have been regularly verified by aikidoka who have gone and trained with them. The debate of whether or not it is possible to develop very strong ki in a relatively short amount of time based on their training methods is pretty much settled in favor of the affirmative. In light of this a few questions for your consideration:

If you could supplement your aikido study with training in some other system and develop your ki power in a fraction of the time that it would take studying aikido alone, would you?

Do you see any value in the long road to ki development?

Is the short road always the preferred path?

Is there anything to be gained from deliberately slowing down the growth of your ki power?

Have the years you have spent in your exploration of aikido taught you anything about the necessity of tempering ki power with wisdom; the kind of wisdom that only comes with age and experience?

Do you feel that it's important for your students to have the time grow into their power in a responsible manner?

Do you feel any responsibility to insure that the skills you are passing along will be used appropriately?

Is Saotome Sensei's observation in The Principles of Aikido, page 4, that: "Gaining mere literal knowledge and technical skill and is not the goal of Aikido practice. You must work to improve your character and raise your consciousness to a higher level."; no longer relevant in today's world of fast food, teraflops computers and the insistence on instantaneous gratification?

Ron
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:21 PM   #2
HL1978
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Ron,

I don't want anyone to get the idea that learning internal skills is an easy short path. You have to train your body/mind like crazy in order to make this stuff work.

That being said, if one wants to take the longer path, thats of course their own decision. The problem is though, that few people are going to be able to put it all together on their own. I've felt some people who have some aspects, but its rare to find someone who has the whole package. If someone can at least show you what internal strength feels like, even if they don't teach you how to develop it, then you are in way better shape if you want to learn it on your own through years of repetition.

Otherwise, I think one will be fumbling around in the dark for a very long time simply because one doesnt have any point of reference.
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:04 PM   #3
Mike Sigman
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
It seems that the short road to the acquisition of ki power is a viable alternative to long years of study and sweaty practice on the mat. People with the ability to teach these things in a fraction of the time I have spent learning my skills post regularly here on AikiWeb. Their abilities have been regularly verified by aikidoka who have gone and trained with them. The debate of whether or not it is possible to develop very strong ki in a relatively short amount of time based on their training methods is pretty much settled in favor of the affirmative. In light of this a few questions for your consideration:

If you could supplement your aikido study with training in some other system and develop your ki power in a fraction of the time that it would take studying aikido alone, would you?

Do you see any value in the long road to ki development?

Is the short road always the preferred path?

Is there anything to be gained from deliberately slowing down the growth of your ki power?

Have the years you have spent in your exploration of aikido taught you anything about the necessity of tempering ki power with wisdom; the kind of wisdom that only comes with age and experience?

Do you feel that it's important for your students to have the time grow into their power in a responsible manner?

Do you feel any responsibility to insure that the skills you are passing along will be used appropriately?

Is Saotome Sensei's observation in The Principles of Aikido, page 4, that: "Gaining mere literal knowledge and technical skill and is not the goal of Aikido practice. You must work to improve your character and raise your consciousness to a higher level."; no longer relevant in today's world of fast food, teraflops computers and the insistence on instantaneous gratification?

Ron
Are those rhetorical questions?
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:39 PM   #4
rob_liberti
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

I think it is a fair question.

I plan to train my whole life. More depth faster will not shorten how long I train - just how well I train.

More depth faster challenges me to grow emotionally faster. I do not pretend to be all enlightened and wonderful. I'm a jerk. Never said otherwise. I'm less of a jerk today than I was yesterday, and that keeps continuing (but I have a LOT of jerkiness to go!). With the more depth faster approach I cannot BS myself as well due to being confronted with much more direct challenges. Less depth over a longer period of time doesn't seem a logical approach towards helping with such things if you ask me.

And frankly, I certainly see no evidence that less depth slower is producing any more enlightened people - or that the slow road is even going entirely the right direction. You opened the door here - frankly, there is nothing so "responsible" about frequent attempts at social coercesion for validation and approval.

We are all imperfect people - more depth faster just seems to go to the natural conclusion - if you are nervous about people with less compassion than power attaining even more power - you might want to jump on the band wagon and make sure you have enough power to protect yourself.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 06-23-2008 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:55 PM   #5
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Do you see any value in the long road to ki development?
Is the short road always the preferred path?
I think, all other things being equal, we all would choose to learn more efficiently than not, wouldn't we?

Quote:
Is there anything to be gained from deliberately slowing down the growth of your ki power?
I can see how I might forsake the study of one aspect for another, but I can't think of a reason to learn something slower.

Quote:
Do you feel that it's important for your students to have the time grow into their power in a responsible manner?
I can see a good reason to teach someone slower...particularly something potentially dangerous. I can see where in some cases a teacher might want to ensure the student has the strength of character to wield his or her new-found power wisely. I grew up knowing a number of wrestlers and boxers who didn't, for example. I don't know how they were taught, but i can see how a different sense of responsibility might have helped a few of them.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:21 AM   #6
RonRagusa
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Are those rhetorical questions?
Hi Mike -

Well, no, they're not. Think about it for a moment. You've been on this journey for the better part of your life. If you could have developed your internal skills to the point they are now earlier in life by simply meeting the right person with the skills to teach you to develop power in a much shorter time would you have? Would you have been able to deny yourself the opportunity?

I know that the person I was back then would have jumped at the chance. I also know, and isn't hindsight wonderful sometimes, that it would have been a mistake for me to do so. The much younger me just flat out was in no position to handle the power the older me has developed over my years of training. Recognizing this about myself has lead me to wonder if anyone else has given any thought to whether or not it's a good idea to acquire robust ki power relatively quickly.

Best,

Ron
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:13 AM   #7
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Ron,

I think Aikido and Budo, in general, are about much more than building internal skills. Albeit this is an important part of the total process.

There is a Mental, Spiritual, and Physical aspect to Aikido, as with most Do arts. Internal Skills I think do require and touch all three aspects, the skills themselves are purely a physical thing as taught by Mike and Ark. Although, again, it is not that easy to break down to simply physical as I think breathing and connection require you to be mentally and spiritually aligned in some regard, but that is getting somewhat philosophical now.

It also requires you to be receptive to learning them, and willing to put in the time. For most of us, that is a maturation process. I would not have been receptive or able to understand what these guys are teaching 10 years ago, nor have the background to even begin to evaluate or process that information.

So, it has taken me like 15 years to get to this point. I think you will find that most of us are on a similar path.

Rob John I think is the exception not the norm, but the Aunkai guys will have to speak on this themselves. Rob has been doing this like 4 years, and even he will tell you that he has a long way to go...so what is short?

Another observation, I don't believe any of us that have accepted Mike and Ark's training methods have abandoned what we are doing, so that should tell you something about the process and value of various components.

Also, O'Sensei's students that "got it" had a background in other arts. Keep in mind that they probably did many of the same exerccises and came to O'Sensei conditioned better than the average westerner.

I think what you are referring to "short" is in line with Einstein's definition of insanity. We have been practicing the same way over and over for 15 or 20 years and expect a different result.

Along comes a few guys that have us take a slightly different look at the same "family" of exercises and drills and allow us to develop skill now.

I see nothing "short" about the process at all.

Also the endstate in Aikido is not ultimately about developing internal skill, but about being a better person through realization of potential. It is quite possible to have internal training and not understand this, it is also quite possible to be successful in aikido to a degree and not ever learn the internal skills. Although I'd submit that you probably have not exploited all that it has to offer.

To me it is sort of a paradox. You explore this area because the DO demands that you search for everything that allows you to experience your body to it's fullest potential. However, Chasing the KI for the sake of chasing it, leads you down a path that is also incorrect.

I don't believe there are any shortcuts.

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Old 06-24-2008, 05:51 AM   #8
nekobaka
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

I have practiced under more effective and less effective teachers throughout my practice. My road could have been shorter than if I hadn't moved around(physically too far to go to my old dojo), and stayed with the teacher I found 10 years ago. But maybe I wouldn't have appreciated my teacher as much as I do now. I spent 3 years at a dojo where I didn't learn much of anything. It was basically lost time in my opinion. But the fact that I'm in a place where I am constantly learning now is a real motivator. In short, I don't believe in a short road. You are either someone who is on the track to being an aikido great, or one of the regular folk that practice all their lives, but probably won't be a great teacher or anything. It mostly depends on how much we are willing to put into our practice.

Also, I'm not sure why the development of ki and the practice of aikido are treated separately.

Last edited by nekobaka : 06-24-2008 at 05:53 AM.
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:07 AM   #9
rob_liberti
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Quote:
Ani Forbes wrote: View Post
I'm not sure why the development of ki and the practice of aikido are treated separately.
I believe the answer is that Osensei was disallowed from showing the solo exercises that he learned in DR. That kind of approach has made it to the States in various forms and has been producing impressive results.

The approach was good enough for him, but not for us? Not buying it.

Compassion and humanity will strengthen by conscious effort.
More depth in ego-free motion will certainly help more than hurt. Will some individuals go to the dark side of the force, of course. So we need more and more jedi. Go learn the faster track internal skills yourselves and raise up an army of powerful and compassionate people.

Rob
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:30 AM   #10
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I believe the answer is that Osensei was disallowed from showing the solo exercises that he learned in DR. That kind of approach has made it to the States in various forms and has been producing impressive results.
If that belief could be substantiated, that would be an impressive breakthrough in understanding the spread of aikido and its development as a MMA---mass martial art :-)

I for example still don't get what the difference is between aikido and its parent art: perhaps the answer is so simple---a "martially diminished" form that was permitted to be propagated to the public intertwined a spirituality in line with O-Sensei's philosophy of moral education? [aside: if O-Sensei was not permitted to reveal many things he had learnt, are his successors bound by the same mores?]

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
The approach was good enough for him, but not for us? Not buying
Sorry, I don't understand. What do you mean here?

Last edited by Gernot Hassenpflug : 06-24-2008 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:39 AM   #11
rob_liberti
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

I do not believe I can substantiate it without a time machine.

I can draw some conclusions based on my personal experience and critical thinking. I'm not going to convince anyone with that. But if you are looking for an explanation - you can try the Sherlock Holmes method.

My good friend in Japan just moved to Osaka. I won't be there for at least another year, but if I go maybe we can meet up and I'll have something I can show you myself by then. I'll even buy lunch/dinner...

Rob
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:45 AM   #12
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

I probably shouldn't reply to this, but I will anyway. You may have noticed that I've backed off a bit in responding to this topic, since

a) I've gotten a little tired of the back and forth

b) I've got bigger fish to fry at work

c) In my opinion, people who are interested have enough info to get out and feel what has been discussed. If you need to be convinced still, you probably aren't really interested. So move along, nothing to see here...

One more try...

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
It seems that the short road to the acquisition of ki power is a viable alternative to long years of study and sweaty practice on the mat. People with the ability to teach these things in a fraction of the time I have spent learning my skills post regularly here on AikiWeb. Their abilities have been regularly verified by aikidoka who have gone and trained with them. The debate of whether or not it is possible to develop very strong ki in a relatively short amount of time based on their training methods is pretty much settled in favor of the affirmative. In light of this a few questions for your consideration:
Whoa...I can't speak to time frames yet...and while it's good to know that you see your peer's feedback from these exposures as a positive thing, I'm not sure your summary is accurate. I don't think it is as simple as

a) long road to China
or
b) short road.

In some cases, I have to say it may be

a) no road at all
or
b) a lot of sweaty work, but at least you are working on some core skills that will have a benefit.

For you personally it may be long vs short. Maybe for me too, I don't know...but in trying to learn about this thing we do, I've kind of learned to seek as much as I can. I'm slow enough as it is.

Quote:
If you could supplement your aikido study with training in some other system and develop your ki power in a fraction of the time that it would take studying aikido alone, would you?
Depends. I think what I've been shown dovetails nicely with the best of what I've seen in aikido. **I** won't ever be the best. But I should try to be the best **I** can be. One thing that really makes a difference is that what I've been shown has not been from the perspective of faster, but rather, more direct. And the effort involved is daunting. I can now see why Dan Hardin told me once that "most people simply won't do the work".

Quote:
Do you see any value in the long road to ki development?
Again...is there really a "short" road? Or a "long" one? I see value in hard work. No matter how long it takes. I also don't think there is one end state.

Utada Sensei once told me that each person has possibilities and limitations. Think of it as circles of possibility.

There are the possibilities and limitations that you are born with. These are probably things you can't change.

There are the possibilities and limitations that chance brings you. Can't do much with that either.

There are the possibilities and limitations within reach for you to determine, for you to choose, that you can change with hard work.

What you achieve toward being your best is the sum of all these things. So, if I gave you the ability to be better, something in that area of things you could work on, wouldn't you choose it? Even if it means hard work on your part? This is the greatest area of opportunity for me to choose...it's not easy, but I hope for a high payoff. We'll see...

Quote:
Is the short road always the preferred path?
see above.

Quote:
Is there anything to be gained from deliberately slowing down the growth of your ki power?
Yes. I think some of these exercises I am learning can have adverse health issues; higher blood pressure, muscle and tendon strain, higher incidence of stroke, etc. If you push for too much too fast, there will be physical consequences. So as Mike cautioned us at his seminar, it's best to train some of these things softly...a little each day, and build up over time.

Quote:
Have the years you have spent in your exploration of aikido taught you anything about the necessity of tempering ki power with wisdom; the kind of wisdom that only comes with age and experience?
I've known 3rd Dans and higher who had the ethical development and moral character of a pea. So yes, temperance is a good thing. And?

Quote:
Do you feel that it's important for your students to have the time grow into their power in a responsible manner?
Don't have any students (thank God!).

Quote:
Do you feel any responsibility to insure that the skills you are passing along will be used appropriately?
I think Mike and Dan at least both feel a great responsiblity. I think they balance the responsibility to share what they have learned against how people might misuse it admirably. It's one of the reasons they don't give too much away on the net, it's one of the reasons Mike is so hard on some people, and it's one of the reasons Dan is so carefull about who get's in his door.

Akuzawa Sensei probably knows that whoever walks through the door, only the ones with a certain amount of determination and character will put up with doing minimum two years of hard work before they even learn a technique!

Quote:
Is Saotome Sensei's observation in The Principles of Aikido, page 4, that: "Gaining mere literal knowledge and technical skill and is not the goal of Aikido practice. You must work to improve your character and raise your consciousness to a higher level."; no longer relevant in today's world of fast food, teraflops computers and the insistence on instantaneous gratification?
I think it's a nice sentiment. Not that different from what Utada Sensei and some of my sempai tell me. But if I find a better way to train one of the facets of aikido, perhaps one of the most important physical facets, I'm going to take a shot at it.

I can't always be in a dojo because of family, work, and other issues. But the exercises that I've been shown I can do in many many more times and places. And if they make my aikido development significantly better (not necessarilly shorter), I'm going to do my best to incorporate them.

Best,
Ron

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 06-24-2008 at 07:48 AM.

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:03 AM   #13
MM
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Hello Ron,
Some astute questions, I think.

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
If you could supplement your aikido study with training in some other system and develop your ki power in a fraction of the time that it would take studying aikido alone, would you?
Hmmm ... Just by personal experience, I would say yes. But, that's a very loaded question and a very general answer. I know some of the backgrounds of the key people and those backgrounds include aikido and related martial arts. So, in essence, some of the training is directly, 100% related to aikido. In other words, the supplemental training isn't "some other system" at all. It is aikido training.

And in other aspects, yes, the training is from "some other system", but having hands-on time and training with the instructors, I have a theory that it doesn't really matter in this area. Mostly a theory because I'm a beginner and some of the skills are of a high level. Others aren't and can be deduced that they are aikido skills.

So, you see, while the question seems okay, it really should be reworded to note that some of the skills being talked about really are aikido training and not some other system. Now, if you want to talk about, let's say training in shaolin kung fu as a way to get "ki" skills to bring to aikido ... yeah, okay, your question would be valid. It is "some other system". At that point, I would have to really think about doing that.

But, in the case with your post here, you aren't really discussing that scenario. You mentioned people that post on AikiWeb. I think, then, that this first question is then, moot. The training and skills are aikido training and skills. At least the ones I have seen so far, anyway.

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Do you see any value in the long road to ki development?
Let me redefine this a bit so I can give an answer. Let's say your "long road" is the normal training methodology of most aikido schools. As opposed to the "aiki" training methodology that is being discussed on AikiWeb. Notice I didn't say it was a "short road".

Here is some of what I've found.
Relax completely. "Long road" approach = nothing concrete in terms of training to achieve this.
The "aiki" training approach = concrete, physical training to achieve this. Sounds weird, huh? But it works.

Extend ki. "Long road" approach = nothing concrete in terms of training to achieve this. It's a hit and miss training methodology using mental projections only.
The "aiki" training approach = Specific, physical conditioning *along with* specific mental focus/intent driven exercises to achieve this.

So, if I compare the two approaches in this manner, then, no, I really don't see any benefit from the "long road".

Now, if you're trying to get people to think about wisdom, spirituality, etc in a "long road" approach, then I would say that power and wisdom are separate entities. Power, wisdom, and spirituality are separate entities. And there are training environments for all of them. The School of Hard Knocks can train wisdom and sometimes it is the best approach. Or there's the oft spoken phrase that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. But, why do we have "sensei" in Budo? It is by their very nature that they have gone first. They are there to steer the way for those that come later. Pick them as wisely as you can and your Budo training will encompass wisdom, power, and spirituality whether on a "long road" or any other road.

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Is the short road always the preferred path?
Who knows? But, let's rearrange this question just a bit. Let's say that you have two choices in your life in regards to training. You have 40 years to spend on training.

In the first choice, you know that you will spend 20-30 years in training and your chances at becoming another "Shioda" or "Tomiki" or "Tohei" are slim. In the last 10 or so years, you might have a shot at it, but by then, you're well into old age. (And remember, Shioda, Tomiki, and Tohei were still relatively young when they were powerful.)

In the second choice, you know that in 10-20 years, you're likely to meet the level of Tohei, Tomiki, or Shioda. In another 10-20 years, you have a chance to be at the level of Ueshiba and Sagawa.

Which do *you* choose? Neither is a short or a long road because they both encompass training the same amount of time. The difference is in the training regimen, or just how training is accomplished.

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Is there anything to be gained from deliberately slowing down the growth of your ki power?
Dunno. Maybe. But wisdom isn't one of the answers. Neither is spirituality. I had more wisdom at 16 than most of my school peers and that wasn't gained from martial arts. I wasn't doing any at the time. I had more spirituality by then, too.

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Have the years you have spent in your exploration of aikido taught you anything about the necessity of tempering ki power with wisdom; the kind of wisdom that only comes with age and experience?
See above. Age and experience aren't necessarily equatable to wisdom. Age and experience can be equatable with being wiser. Budo is what teaches power and how to handle power. Else why do we read things like being skilled means you don't fight, etc. Stuff like that is found throughout all martial arts. If you have a teacher that isn't teaching Budo, you should find someone who does.

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Do you feel that it's important for your students to have the time grow into their power in a responsible manner?
This is Budo. The time, training, etc are dependent on both teacher and student. It isn't a one package fits all. This isn't spiderman and great power=great responsibility. That's a comic, this is real life. If anyone wants to spend 40 years training and never reach the skill level of the aikido giants, that's entirely his/her choice. But, it only takes a quick research check to see that people have spent that long and haven't even closely reached that skill level. It's a bit harder research but the next step is to get hands-on time with some of the people noted on AikiWeb to compare the training regimens and find out that there is a very pronounced difference -- even in 5 years.

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Do you feel any responsibility to insure that the skills you are passing along will be used appropriately?
That is what a Budo teacher does. No matter the years of training, the length of the road, the amount of knowledge, etc. It is important, yes. But, it is a very different area than the road to ki power.

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Is Saotome Sensei's observation in The Principles of Aikido, page 4, that: "Gaining mere literal knowledge and technical skill and is not the goal of Aikido practice. You must work to improve your character and raise your consciousness to a higher level."; no longer relevant in today's world of fast food, teraflops computers and the insistence on instantaneous gratification?
I think maybe you have a misunderstanding when it comes to this training. It isn't a "shorter" road in that view. In fact, if I had to classify it that way, I would say that it is a "better" road for training. The time put in for solo training might actually make it a longer road. Does it create better Budo people in a shorter time frame than what you consider the "long road"? Yes, it has that capacity to do so. It has the capacity to do in 5 years what would take 20 in your "long road". Is that too fast? Too instantaneous? We are who we make ourselves to be. We are a product of ourself and our teacher. It is Budo. That defines it, not how long a road of training.

Mark
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:25 AM   #14
Mike Sigman
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Hi Mike -

Well, no, they're not. Think about it for a moment. You've been on this journey for the better part of your life. If you could have developed your internal skills to the point they are now earlier in life by simply meeting the right person with the skills to teach you to develop power in a much shorter time would you have? Would you have been able to deny yourself the opportunity?

I know that the person I was back then would have jumped at the chance. I also know, and isn't hindsight wonderful sometimes, that it would have been a mistake for me to do so. The much younger me just flat out was in no position to handle the power the older me has developed over my years of training. Recognizing this about myself has lead me to wonder if anyone else has given any thought to whether or not it's a good idea to acquire robust ki power relatively quickly.
Ron, your initial questions (which are expressed in the subjunctive mood) indicate a couple of assumptions. First of all, I'm not convinced that you yourself have "robust ki power" (based on what you and your students have posted over several years), so the relationship between ki power and spiritual development becomes moot, insofar as your opinions go.

Bear in mind that there are all sorts of levels of these skills. I've met some Aikido people that can do a few kokyu/jin things, here and there, but I wouldn't say they have full-blown powers by any means. My first comment, in fact, would be that it's a *long* row to hoe to get to "robust ki power" that covers a wide spectrum. There is no shortcut that you have to worry about stunting the spiritual growth of students. As one of my teachers told me, "it is very deep", this study of the qi/ki skills. If you look at it, Ueshiba and others have commented how many years it took them to get to where they are. You might look at their spirituality, too.

Secondly, if your own powers are limited, perhaps it's too soon to speculate about spiritual development in others?

But to answer your question, sure... I'd take the shortest route to real knowledge (not superficial knowledge) that I could find. Because there's always more to do. I.e., this worry about a shortcut is misplaced. Even with direct information (and don't forget that there is no westerner who can give you all the information; they're all still looking, too) it's going to take a lot longer than most people seem to think. Frankly I'm astounded that so many people think there is some shortcut and that they're going to take a seminar or two and "be there".

And the ones who think they're safe making vague efforts every now and again? My comment several times has been... "time is flying; there is a good chance you're going to miss the boat".

You see my point, Ron.... there's not enough time. Worrying about "getting these skills too soon" is about as misplaced as a 4th-kyu guy posting his worry about whether the awesome power he has in Aikido might be used to harm some miscreant.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:27 AM   #15
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I do not believe I can substantiate it without a time machine.

I can draw some conclusions based on my personal experience and critical thinking. I'm not going to convince anyone with that. But if you are looking for an explanation - you can try the Sherlock Holmes method.
Well, I understand it is not an easy task, but consensus might be possible sometime in the future as more information is gotten out, and the value of existing but perhaps overseen data is recognized. A falsifiable hypothesis either way would be a start---in contrast to a conspiracy theory either way.

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
My good friend in Japan just moved to Osaka. I won't be there for at least another year, but if I go maybe we can meet up and I'll have something I can show you myself by then. I'll even buy lunch/dinner...
That would be great! Let's keep in touch, I used to be in Kyoto and am now in Tokyo. Still, a trip to Kansai is always good.
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:49 AM   #16
tuturuhan
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

A lifetime

When a very famous author was in his twenties he took it upon himself to cross the seas on a cruise to Europe. He had the great fortune to encounter a publisher from a "big house".

"Sir...what advice might you have for me. I hope to one day write the great american novel.

"Young man...my advice is that you wait until you are at least 45 before you write your book.

"That's a long time to wait," replied the young man.

"Well...by then you will have something significant to say." replied the publisher.

Today, I seem to encounter more and more young people (and unfortunately older people who are influenced by "instant gratification") that want to go to seminars where they will be given the "answers to everything".

Perhaps, "sound bites" and "google bytes" are training us to believe that "knowledge is at our fingertips". Perhaps, this is true. The transportation of data is now at lightening speed. But, there is no doubt in my mind that knowledge does not necessarily produce wisdom.

As such, I prefer the martial artist who intertwines his life experiences with his years on the mat. Anybody can get on the internet and parrot words such as "blending, koryu, internal energy, jin, jing etc etc. But, reciting definitions at lightening speed is a world away from the "utility" in actual combat (physical, intellectual and spiritual).

Sincerely
JosephT. Oliva Arriola

Joseph T. Oliva Arriola
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:06 AM   #17
Mike Sigman
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

By jingos... I think it's time to add another name to my Ignore list!
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:20 AM   #18
tuturuhan
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
By jingos... I think it's time to add another name to my Ignore list!
hey do you have any tapes of yourself???

Joseph T. Oliva Arriola
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:26 AM   #19
MM
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Quote:
Joseph Arriola wrote: View Post
Anybody can get on the internet and parrot words such as "blending, koryu, internal energy, jin, jing etc etc.

Sincerely
JosephT. Oliva Arriola
Yeah, I think we noticed.
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:32 AM   #20
tuturuhan
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Yeah, I think we noticed.
As a lawyer, I appreciate the first amendment...but, I prefer the guys who are willing to post tapes of their skills...rather than those who simply talk. Do you have any tapes Mark?

Joseph T. Oliva Arriola
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:37 AM   #21
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Quote:
Joseph Arriola wrote: View Post
A lifetime

When a very famous author was in his twenties he took it upon himself to cross the seas on a cruise to Europe. He had the great fortune to encounter a publisher from a "big house".

"Sir...what advice might you have for me. I hope to one day write the great american novel.

"Young man...my advice is that you wait until you are at least 45 before you write your book.

"That's a long time to wait," replied the young man.

"Well...by then you will have something significant to say." replied the publisher.

Today, I seem to encounter more and more young people (and unfortunately older people who are influenced by "instant gratification") that want to go to seminars where they will be given the "answers to everything".

Perhaps, "sound bites" and "google bytes" are training us to believe that "knowledge is at our fingertips". Perhaps, this is true. The transportation of data is now at lightening speed. But, there is no doubt in my mind that knowledge does not necessarily produce wisdom.

As such, I prefer the martial artist who intertwines his life experiences with his years on the mat. Anybody can get on the internet and parrot words such as "blending, koryu, internal energy, jin, jing etc etc. But, reciting definitions at lightening speed is a world away from the "utility" in actual combat (physical, intellectual and spiritual).

Sincerely
JosephT. Oliva Arriola
This is a beautiful post. Thank you for this.

I would like to turn the last paragraph you wrote around a little bit and add that there are also people who have significant and demonstrable 'utility' skills in their lives and in training and that quality ,many times, can not be adequately expresssed in words or explanation. No matter how long or short the post.

Thanks Joe.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:02 PM   #22
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I believe the answer is that Osensei was disallowed from showing the solo exercises that he learned in DR. That kind of approach has made it to the States in various forms and has been producing impressive results.
Hi Rob,

Disallowed...?

O-Sensei used the formalized path of Misogi-no-Gyo. He taught it, demonstrated it, lectured on it, all serving to pass it to the next generation. However, just like in any student/teacher scenario there is the top students in the class and everyone else. The top students may, in very short order, qualify as an assistant to the instructor, an instructor, themselves or even pass over the knowledge and abilities of the instructor. Of course, experience is another thing entirely and that comes with time.

When I encountered these concepts back in 1991 I was astounded, just as many here on Aikiweb who are now sensing something "different" from the IMA group who post here. O-Sensei, himself is quoted as having said something along the lines of, "...focusing on Misogi will enable you to discover in three months what others will spend a lifetime trying to discover..." Of course, discovering, attaining a basic understanding of, and mastering something are all very different things. While one may initially discover the value of a path in a few months, they may get an understanding of in a few years. Mastering these things may take three or four decades. I don't see that as unreasonable. However, given that only a few students stay in the game that long, and fewer, still, will be of proper mind and body to attain any depth of understanding or ability to stand out, it is quite unreasonable to think that there would be more than a few handfuls of people truly qualified to lead others on this path after all this time.

Of course, it is great that more than fifteen years after I had a chance to see these "missing" aikido elements that people are at least starting to pose the right questions to themselves. Those questions are
  1. who are these people?
  2. how do I get the proper introduction to these people?
  3. How do I set up my life in such a way to dedicate enough time and energy to have it make a real impact on my training.

When I returned to my dojo from my first real in-depth inquiry into these things I was lost on two very specific levels.
  1. Where do the techniques I have been learning all these years and the principles I have now been exposed to overlap?
  2. How do I integrate the principles with the techniques?

The second question lead me to two distinct paths, that being practicing and training in such a way where the two things were combined, or doing so separately as to allow for a more organic integration, over time. I tried the former method first. This was not such a good idea I came to find out. Doing so ostracized me from both my fellow students on a technical level, along with leading to me feeling alienated from the Aikido community as a whole. I just couldn't understand why anyone would train in empty techniques for years or even decades. It just wasn't Aikido for me without the ideas of O-Sensei's misogi-no-gyo with a focus on generating kokyu at the center of every single movement and technique. Years later, when my direct teacher embraced a similar path the other students of course followed along. I was already almost ten years ahead in my training. I was happy to have some more friends on the path with whom I could now seek out where the techniques we did, taught in the specific style of our group, met with the underlying principles.

As an anecdote:
One of my kohai began to go to Japan and seek these things out from a very deep perspective. Four trips later and so many years, and his Aikido jumped up leaps and bounds over everyone elses in the dojo short of one or two others. Basically, his foray into Misogi-no-Gyo and kokyu was like rocket fuel in his aikido chariot. This was undeniable to me and everyone else who he came in contact with. So when you say that O-Sensei did not show these things, I would beg to differ. However, I am sure that we both, along with many others who have come in contact with these concepts and training methods would agree that there is a concrete path leading to a concrete understanding and effect.

Now the question are:
  1. what of this contributes to what we call Aikido?
  2. What of it is outside of Aikido?
    and most importantly
  3. What else may be lurking right out there in the open that also needs to be focused on in the same manner - that of "GYO" or direct method of transmission without the interpretive effects of anecdotes, wordy concepts and the like?

It is safe to say that many on this very board will now make forays into IMA. I believe that this will serve them well on many levels. Although I have not met them personally, after years where the "war of words" has finally come to the mat and many Aikidoka who were formerly stuck in their own worlds have had a chance to meet with Dan, Akuzawa, Mike...etc. I have no doubt about their knowledge, level or ability. However, as with anything new (in terms of experience it, not in terms of proving its value) there needs to be a certain level of caution observed. Why? Well, we would all agree that it is pointless to practice empty techniques, (i.e those devoid of Kokyu or other internal elements). It may also be pointless to practice techniques where elements outside of the Aiki-paradigm are integrated into one's process. Just as we must learn to abate the use of muscle power in order to open up the door to a basic level of movement using Aiki, we may later find that we must also learn to remove some IMA elements from our process to maintain integrity with the art of Aikido. Additionally, going back to retrofit our movements by adding some additional elements and removing other elements may be just as ill-conceived and inefficient in terms of one's training process and development as ignoring them from the outset as many in our art are seemingly doing presently.

I have always said, and will continue to say we should seek out and train with the absolute highest level teacher within our art, as early in our training as possible. From there, no matter where we choose to go, our training will flow from that point forward without needing to backtrack or worse, invalidate considerable amounts of our training and effort.

To me it just makes sense to start with what O-Sensei laid out as his training methodology - Misogi-no-Gyo. It also makes sense that Misogi in and of itself is not the be all, end all when it comes to what anyone should choose to study in an effort to move forward martially, spiritually or what have you. Common sense also tells me that those who choose to emulate DRAJ, Anukai, or IMA concepts alone will one day need to explore Misogi-No-Gyo to truly have any level of understanding of the Art of the Founder. Whether their foray into these other things, martially wonderful as they are, results in someone moving forward into Misogi or results in someone having to backtrack to Misogi is another issue altogether.

.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:16 PM   #23
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Hi Shaun,

I would like to draw your attention to the bottom of a recent post of mine:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...ens#post209379

My opinion can be swayed.

Rob
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:28 PM   #24
HL1978
Dojo: Aunkai
Location: Fairfax, VA
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Quote:
Joseph Arriola wrote: View Post
hey do you have any tapes of yourself???
Thats actually pretty amusing, I think a number of people know why.
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:40 PM   #25
Aikibu
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
Hi Rob,

Disallowed...?

O-Sensei used the formalized path of Misogi-no-Gyo. He taught it, demonstrated it, lectured on it, all serving to pass it to the next generation. However, just like in any student/teacher scenario there is the top students in the class and everyone else. The top students may, in very short order, qualify as an assistant to the instructor, an instructor, themselves or even pass over the knowledge and abilities of the instructor. Of course, experience is another thing entirely and that comes with time.

I have always said, and will continue to say we should seek out and train with the absolute highest level teacher within our art, as early in our training as possible. From there, no matter where we choose to go, our training will flow from that point forward without needing to backtrack or worse, invalidate considerable amounts of our training and effort.

To me it just makes sense to start with what O-Sensei laid out as his training methodology - Misogi-no-Gyo. It also makes sense that Misogi in and of itself is not the be all, end all when it comes to what anyone should choose to study in an effort to move forward martially, spiritually or what have you. Common sense also tells me that those who choose to emulate DRAJ, Anukai, or IMA concepts alone will one day need to explore Misogi-No-Gyo to truly have any level of understanding of the Art of the Founder. Whether their foray into these other things, martially wonderful as they are, results in someone moving forward into Misogi or results in someone having to backtrack to Misogi is another issue altogether.

.
Beautiful Post Shaun and I especially loved what you said here. I could not have said it better.

William Hazen
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