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Old 08-10-2008, 10:18 PM   #76
Lee Salzman
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
If I am right, and I always acknowledge that I may be proved wrong in aspects of the whole or the parts, then aiki is NOT a conscious experience, no matter how you train it. The biomechanical limits of action mediated by spinal reflexes and some learned cerebellar patterning, does not leave time for cerebral appreciation in the moment of action. One recognizes that it HAS happened, but one is not consciously directing that it happen or be deployed in particular way. It may be restrained or leashed, in many regards, but that gets into the issues of the place of will in training, so I leave it there.

If so, then it cannot be a matter of common experience, because what is occurring is not within the realm of conscious experience. The brain has difficulty communicating the experience to other parts of the brain, much less symbolically to other people. These debates therefore will always recur. The variety of the ways that O Sensei's Deshi responded to their perceptions of the art are testament to that. Even if the repeat players in these debates all kicked off tomorrow, the debate would resume with new people and perspectives, because everyone of them is looking at an experience that must be reconstructed cerebrally, when it is primarily reflexive and cerebellar, and not within easy reach of our symbolic representation.

It is in the realm of conscious awareness to create training for improving such intuitive action, but only the training, not the action, is subject to the conscious will. But the critical view ofthe action sought, by whatever method, is always at one remove from the reality of the thing itself. It is in this sense (as much as the ethical sense, which I will leave aside as you request) that I address the place of the will in directing the body in training.
Is this really THAT profound an idea, though? When put in a violent, uncontrolled situation where events are happening and changing faster than the conscious mind can process, then the barrier to speed of action is conscious thought.

The only method I learned for training this is conditioning via automation and association, that movement must be drilled to a point where it can be executed, with reference to an actual observable event (via one of the senses), so that it just happens with as little conscious intervention as possible. Likewise, that the body has to be trained to deal with stresses in a variety of improvised situations, but this improvisation has to be done up front - by simply practicing movement from and to as varied a set of practical positions as possible - and that they have to be reinforced while being careful to remove all deliberate delay or habitual thinking preceding or interrupting action.

What other way would there be?
 
Old 08-10-2008, 10:45 PM   #77
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

Well, I believe that there is some degree of a common experience of:

- maintaining the central equalibrium which is the basic level of internal power. People training aiki all have experienced holding their lines of intention to the degree that they are able to resist random pushs and/or pulls without any conscious adjustments (that I am aware of).

- rotating your trunk around your spine to either dissapate stronger pushes or simply create instant center to center contact.

- holding those lines of intention and communicating them to someone pushing on you. For instance, your intention of "up" get _wierldly_ percieved by the pusher and they feel lifted as they push on you, you can instantly change your dominant mental line of intention to be "down" (without changing anything else) and that pusher starts feeling crushed. (People more experienced can achieve that degree of weird communication _instantly_ against strikes in real time with hardly any contact. There is at least a common experience of being on the receiving end of that.)

- combining the lines of intention up and/or down with power of rotating the trunk around the spine to completely mess up the "victum" of that.

- then using all of that stuff above to recover balance from absurd positions, to shut down/reverse throw attempts and attack with absurd amount of grounded power while feeling more "elastic" as opposed to "rigid".

I'm too much of a novice at this stuff to explain it better. But that's kind of my point. If you never even experienced it at all, how can you explain it better?

As far as the problem to be solved, I would say the problem statement would be what is the best/most efficient way to develop and teach aiki? So far for me - that answer has been Dan's training methodology.

Rob
 
Old 08-10-2008, 11:08 PM   #78
Erick Mead
 
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
Is this really THAT profound an idea, though?
I didn't say it was profound, I suggested it was overlooked in what we SAY we know about such things, intellectually or practically speaking.
Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
When put in a violent, uncontrolled situation where events are happening and changing faster than the conscious mind can process, then the barrier to speed of action is conscious thought.
Actually, I was suggesting that conscious thought is NOT a barrier to speed of action, but conscious thought is a barrier to understanding action taken at such speeds. Resources of the brain are wasted in vain trying keeping up with planning action that is already outrunning it. Mindfulness rather than planning is called for. The reflective mind can use its finite resources either to observe a greater density of the instant or to take up bandwidth with useless predictive modeling. Density of observation is perceived as slow-timing in action. There is still no time for the brain to plan, but there is more detail for the mind to reflect upon and to conform itself and the body to. If added to that, there is a certain form of action that by its nature always "fits" any dynamic presented, well, so much the better.

Because the action was unplanned, it is difficult to to reconstruct consciously. Without a plan there was no construct (and little bandwidth) to attach the typical associational memory data in the interaction. We don;t forget it, we just don't have an allocation table for it. The closest thing there is to a "plan" to help reconstruct is to study that form of action, which if course it is hard to recall without a planned action. If you see the chicken and egg problem, then you have it.

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The only method I learned for training this is conditioning via automation and association, that movement must be drilled to a point where it can be executed, with reference to an actual observable event (via one of the senses), so that it just happens with as little conscious intervention as possible. ... What other way would there be?
"That movement" or any linear set of movements -- I may be wrong, but seems to be what Dan et al. decry as "kata." Close order drill has a long and successful martial tradition, too. Boxing combinations do, too. But I think we are speaking of something else. What we are after is not that linear nor planned, even if some set forms give us good reference points on a more complex set of of paths.

The immediate course of contingent action in combat has no predictive possibility, nevertheless there is a spatial dynamic form within which efficient movement occurs --if looked at over the iteration of thousand of such encounters. ( if you know what a chaotic attractor is, that is one.) It is that shape which is the goal -- for any method.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 08-10-2008 at 11:14 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
 
Old 08-10-2008, 11:23 PM   #79
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

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Would you say that he's more powerful than Wang Hai Jun?
Dan will be able to answer that some day. They have met but no real exchange. Wang has amazing fa jin, greatest I have ever seen or felt.
How Dan will feel it we will just have to see, he will be a better judge.
Wang is coming this fall.

stan
 
Old 08-10-2008, 11:29 PM   #80
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

I will say that the small exchange we did have was telling in some limited ways. I think my exchange with Liu Cheng De was a hell of allot more...uhm... Dynamic! And fun, as well as informative.

I think Rob's return question is by far thee most important one of all. But Rob it isn't just one student or one WOW guy. The question is what guy can transmit to more people across the board. Say, on average, give them managable tools to gain replicable skills.
I don't know about you guys but being "wowed" has limited value to me if there is no way to acces the skills. I mean who gives a rip. Worse is getting sucked in, training for 20 years and finding out someone else could get you there in 5 or 6. Worse would standing in a room and publicly watching a guy "Not teach" people who were trusting him and counting on him, while he held back. Then hear him chuckle about it.
The bigger picture is- what can you "steal", be honestly taught, build on, cross train and compare with others/betters, not get sucked into a cult of personality while doing so, and best benefit your own training?

Last edited by DH : 08-10-2008 at 11:43 PM.
 
Old 08-10-2008, 11:36 PM   #81
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

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Wang has amazing fa jin, greatest I have ever seen or felt.
So you're saying Wang Hai Jun is more powerful, yes?
 
Old 08-10-2008, 11:37 PM   #82
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

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I will say that the small exchange we did have was telling in some limited ways. I think my exchange with Liu Cheng De was a hell of allot more...uhm... Dynamic and fun, as well as informative.
In what way? What was your experience of each?
 
Old 08-10-2008, 11:59 PM   #83
Lee Salzman
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

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I didn't say it was profound, I suggested it was overlooked in what we SAY we know about such things, intellectually or practically speaking.
Actually, I was suggesting that conscious thought is NOT a barrier to speed of action, but conscious thought is a barrier to understanding action taken at such speeds. Resources of the brain are wasted in vain trying keeping up with planning action that is already outrunning it. Mindfulness rather than planning is called for. The reflective mind can use its finite resources either to observe a greater density of the instant or to take up bandwidth with useless predictive modeling. Density of observation is perceived as slow-timing in action. There is still no time for the brain to plan, but there is more detail for the mind to reflect upon and to conform itself and the body to. If added to that, there is a certain form of action that by its nature always "fits" any dynamic presented, well, so much the better.

Because the action was unplanned, it is difficult to to reconstruct consciously. Without a plan there was no construct (and little bandwidth) to attach the typical associational memory data in the interaction. We don;t forget it, we just don't have an allocation table for it. The closest thing there is to a "plan" to help reconstruct is to study that form of action, which if course it is hard to recall without a planned action. If you see the chicken and egg problem, then you have it.
Doesn't that just point out that the biggest goal of any method is transmission? If I subjectively experience something, I must find some objective/agreed-upon way to induce this state in someone else's subjective experience. Once they have that seed experience, they can go and train it further, otherwise they are just grasping at random straws until they find some part of their own experience that reliably predicts what the other guy appeared to be doing. Even trying to "feel" someone else to "steal" technique has this same problem. I can feel someone's wound all I want, but I won't know what pain is till I just prick myself with a sharp object. If the training method can be built off inducing the state in the subject to begin with, then how this state really manifests in a more complex situations beyond one's momentary ability to understand is kinda moot, since it is a progression of that initial state.

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
"That movement" or any linear set of movements -- I may be wrong, but seems to be what Dan et al. decry as "kata." Close order drill has a long and successful martial tradition, too. Boxing combinations do, too. But I think we are speaking of something else. What we are after is not that linear nor planned, even if some set forms give us good reference points on a more complex set of of paths.

The immediate course of contingent action in combat has no predictive possibility, nevertheless there is a spatial dynamic form within which efficient movement occurs --if looked at over the iteration of thousand of such encounters. ( if you know what a chaotic attractor is, that is one.) It is that shape which is the goal -- for any method.
I am using "movement" REALLY loosely as a term - as in any mental intent that draws upon those faculties that organize movement, even if it doesn't manifest as movement - and even if these intents happen to be very simple such as singular or combinations of directions - i.e. Rob's "intention of up" would be one. You can't plan what you are going to do, but you can throw down some building blocks which your brain will later spontaneously organize, however it may, based on what it observes in the moment.
 
Old 08-11-2008, 01:56 AM   #84
Lee Salzman
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

Okay, some serious questions for you, Rob.

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Well, I believe that there is some degree of a common experience of:

- maintaining the central equalibrium which is the basic level of internal power. People training aiki all have experienced holding their lines of intention to the degree that they are able to resist random pushs and/or pulls without any conscious adjustments (that I am aware of).
Is this a resistance to deformation that is constantly maintained, or is it an awareness that is maintained that produces resistance to deformation on demand where it is needed?

Quote:
- rotating your trunk around your spine to either dissapate stronger pushes or simply create instant center to center contact.
What joint is the pivot anchored to? What about the rotation necessarily creates a center to center contact?

Quote:
- holding those lines of intention and communicating them to someone pushing on you. For instance, your intention of "up" get _wierldly_ percieved by the pusher and they feel lifted as they push on you, you can instantly change your dominant mental line of intention to be "down" (without changing anything else) and that pusher starts feeling crushed. (People more experienced can achieve that degree of weird communication _instantly_ against strikes in real time with hardly any contact. There is at least a common experience of being on the receiving end of that.)
How are the lines distinguished and what is their gross function - are they merely distinguished by side and reinforcing said sides, or something else? What is the subjective driver of the intention of up - is it an actual low level intention to move, is it an awareness placed along the line coupled with an idea of up, just a visualization of going up, or something else?

Quote:
- combining the lines of intention up and/or down with power of rotating the trunk around the spine to completely mess up the "victum" of that.
And/or... so it is possibly a combination of more than one intention at times, combined with overt movement in yet another intended direction (rotational)? If it's a combination, are they employed along the same lines of the body simultaneously, or must they be conveyed along separate ones?

Quote:
- then using all of that stuff above to recover balance from absurd positions, to shut down/reverse throw attempts and attack with absurd amount of grounded power while feeling more "elastic" as opposed to "rigid".
So the body is left deformed along these lines, while an intention remains to bring them back straight, or merely an awareness to keep the line active?
 
Old 08-11-2008, 07:08 AM   #85
Erick Mead
 
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Well, I believe that there is some degree of a common experience of:
Let me illustrate by highlighting what you are using as either terms of art or jargon -- which either have been or could be points of contention with other schemes of definition and use.

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
- maintaining the central equilibrium ... holding their lines of intention ... resist random pushs and/or pulls ... "dissapate stronger pushes ... instant center to center contact. ... communicating [lines of intention]
intention of "up" ... intention to be "down" ... (without changing anything else) ... grounded power ... more "elastic" ... "rigid".
Let nothing go unquestioned. I am quite sure that you understand what you all mean. I won't assume anything about such terms. I won't elaborate on the problems with the above unless you ask me to.

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I'm too much of a novice at this stuff to explain it better. But that's kind of my point. If you never even experienced it at all, how can you explain it better?
First of all I don't know that I can explain it better becasue better for one is not better for another. As for myself, I am fairly confident that I have an explanation, it just requires fully examining those conclusions.

As to the rest, I know there are unquestioned assumptions. How do you know what my experience revealed? How do I know that? Just because I haven't experienced THOSE GUYS? You yourself said that your primary teacher has "it", you simply had difficulty observing it in him consistently enough to learn from him. It is therefore in the realm of possibility that others also did, and that people like Dan, like you and others, flock together because your type of perception is similar.

Amdur's hidden in plain sight thesis is exactly the issue. To question what to others seems obvious is deemed mad, and often enough, highly exasperating to those who deal in what everyone agrees on from their "common experience." Hiding in plain sight is by definition something that few others see. Accepting that does not mean that those who have seen have all it perceived it in the same ways.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
 
Old 08-11-2008, 09:16 AM   #86
stan baker
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

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So you're saying Wang Hai Jun is more powerful, yes?
I think we have to come down to earth. Wang and Dan are some best guys out there. But what Dan Harden is saying is the main point. Dan has a clearer presentation on how to develop internal skills. He can explain things without all the mumbo jumbo and two he has methods that hone in on what to practice. Not to down play Wang Hai Jun he has amazing natural abilities and is also a good teacher but he is not as innovative as Dan when it comes to teaching.

stan
 
Old 08-11-2008, 09:32 AM   #87
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

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In what way? What was your experience of each?
Hi Dan
Both had power only one showed it in a dynamic mobile fashion. Not that WHJ couldn't we just didn't in that venue.
LCD
He was far more open, willing to go at it, and not be concerned with teaching as much as playing /testing. He also taught two of Sagawa’s students and could talk Daito ryu. That...was a stunner. He had me get pushed on by one of his guys and he had his hands all over me to see what I was doing. This went on for a while. Then he pushed on me and pulled. Then "I got the feeling" he decided he could play and unload. Which he did, over and over and over. There were several moments where he tried to trap me and I got out rather easily, and he was trying to unload these shoulder bombs on me, maybe you’d have to know taiji to know what these can deliver by way of power. When I absorbed them, he whacked me repeatedly very fast as a follow up. When I barely bounced, his eyes said it all. He also gave me some serous elbows, then, wham, wham!! At one point he tried to trap me in this odd wrist lock, when I pushed him off and got out of it, We had a moment-eye to eye. Stan asked him to show that technique but he said...the classic Japanese line. “He only does it once!”
Anyway, suffice to say I found his power, speed and mobility to be amazing. In him my respect for taiji was born. And he was 70 at the time. I am telling you that old man could kick ass.
What would have happened if we fought or -I- unloaded. I dunno. I don't care. I was there to learn from an expert not showboat my measely skills.
At the end of that exchange he started showing me some forms, again he had his hands all over me. I asked him some very explicit questions about his opinions of DR and I got them point blank. Good and bad. I then got two very fascinating things he taught two of Sagawa's men about Body work to strengthen an approach to DR that he believed DR was lacking. Again, he had his hands all over me having me do some things. We went back and forth like this for quite a while. We went way over our time limit, and at the end of the exchange through his interpreter he asked me if I would like to learn taiji. He said he had a very good feeling about me and we could share and be friends. The guy was radiating good will. The next thing that happened, I cannot explain clearly in writing. He asked me this question while beaming at me. Then, it was like his student didn't know how to react. He asked him to repeat it or something, then they exchanged some awkward moments and you could tell by inference that LCD more or less just said "Say what I told you!" The interpreter said "Sifu (sp) asked if you would come live with him in China for a while, that he would like to share his Taiji with you. Then the interpreter (which I found out later was a senior student) looked me in the eyes and asked me if I knew just what that meant? What he was really saying. I told him yes I had had this type of question before and I understood the implication.
As we were winding down His students told me they had never seen him do that or share like that with anyone. I was greatly impressed by his power (I really hadn't met any ICMA person that was willing to unload and offer some power), sensitivity, and mobility. I have to say, that more than any MA person I have ever met his spirit, demeanor, confidence and power just filled a room. Were I able to do so I would have gone to China and stayed with him. It is a profound regret to me that I couldn't. I think I would have formed a bond. It is not an exaggeration in any way to say we "hit off-big time." Did I say he had his hands all over me?
I think his students are lucky. I joke about his hands all over me but there were very specific reasons for it.

WHJ
We did allot of taking, discussed some ground work at a guys house with pride on the tube and me and another guy on the floor talking about peng from the knees, about the connection from knee to elbow on the gruund, how to press without popping, and various other things. He was laughing and seemed both surprised and amused. I couldn’t really tell if he was laughing with or at. but he did ask some questions. In private training I kept trying to engage him but all he wanted to do was stick to lessons. After a while he would answer some things, he was surprised when I told him I had never done taiji before. After an hour or so he finally let me get my hands on him to ask some questions. I was pushing on his chest 45deg up and backward and he tried to do the same to me. We tested back and forth but nothing dynamic where he showed power. So there was no play at the level I really wanted to do it at. It was more low key.
I have been told he has been asked from long time students about training this stuff and he insists that all he knows is forms. Do more correct forms
As you have heard me Say Dan, I dunno taiji from baji from Xing-I. I know they look different
I did play with another ICMA group with a grandmaster champion teacher that was less than impressive. I considered their guy both in feel and in movement to be a very good jujutsu guy, no more no less. I can only say if there were power to be had in that room-I didn't see it or feel it.
Again though the real key here is-their students. How is it transmitted. Is the group grwing as a group or not. Can the teacher point out things and actually figure your body out and help raise -you-up. Isn't that the key?

Of course there are men with power. So.....next.
It is more important to know who is surrounded by people with power on the rise, instead of students wandering and trying to figure it out but not showing much.

Last edited by DH : 08-11-2008 at 09:46 AM.
 
Old 08-11-2008, 09:51 AM   #88
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

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It is not meant to be. Let me summarize your accurate summation to get to the point of the criticism -- you notably take my comments, even the critical ones in a somewhat different spirit from, well, other people.

Indisputably, that is what is reported. Now the two themes of your observation are 1) faster results and 2) impressing others.

And then lastly:
None at all. Now, my points in kind. In most organic things, faster growth tends not to to be deep or durable growth. Your situation coming from a firm base is an entirely different matter when it arises from a simple desire to broaden experience.

Plateau stages of growth, everyone gets them, because it is the natural pattern of all growth. That is also an aspect of of In-Yo pattern.Vulnerability exists to such entreaties (faster, more impressive). Shifting to an accelerated mode may have its commendations, but let us not pretend they are without possible costs.

Impressing others is a door into the moral problem that troubles me seeming creeping more into aikido. It was always there, of course, people are still human, but it was a recognized fault and aberration -- not a sought for attribute of training or teaching. A number of those people you mention "impressed" many people without ever meeting them. As to the type of problem presented with this I suggest reading closely Prof. Goldsbury's most recent "transmission essay." about the role and the nature of the influence wielded by Deguchi.

Reputation is only as good as the critical opinions of a person with personal knowledge that form it. But when reputation is framed on how impressive person is, well, again read that portion of the essay.

If someone gets personality and reputation in front of the work it makes the person the issue and not the work. One may interpret that badly, of course, but only if one is wishing to be impressed rather than reading to see if something is simply true or useful. If reputation is the issue then even merely physical or conceptual criticisms is too easily perceived as tearing reputation down.

But if I am successful in my effort, reputation will not matter as much, -- more people will have the tools to be far more critical -- of themselves and what they are, and should be taught. And of what they are actually seeing in the videos that started the thread.
I would take impressing others simply to mean, that they skills that they have developed work on people who are unfamiliar with those skills. When you work on this stuff, you have to be careful that you are really training everything properly and not relying on muscle.

I would not take it as going out and impressing people for the sake of impressing people.
 
Old 08-11-2008, 03:43 PM   #89
rob_liberti
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

Lee,

I'll give you the best answers I can, but remember that I'm still a novice - and I brought that up because these are all ideas that I would assume are in common. (Also note I took the things I thought would be common in order from simple to more complex or at least more integrated.)

Initially, I was talking about "an awareness that is maintained that produces resistance to deformation on demand where it is needed" without any more sonscious thought about it.

About the central pivot, it seems you pivot around the spine. No idea what join that is. In terms of instant center to center contact the idea is if you say have your arm forward, and they grab it, when you do a bit of the pivoting (while maintaining your central equlibrium) you instantly contact their center. In my mind, "center on contact" is kind of a catch phrase for aikido.

I have no idea how to address you question about how the lines of intention are distinguished or what is their gross function is. They seems to be the 6 (arguably 8 directions) inward and outward from center. I really don't understand what you mean by "what is the subjective driver of the intention of up" but my guess is that it is more inline with "an awareness placed along the line coupled with an idea of up" which initially seems to be "just a visualization of going up" while you are visualizing the other directions as well - but I assume the idea is that you do that to train a feeling. Eventually the feeling is maintained and the visualizations are no longer as necessary. Maybe I'm wrong. Point here is that anyone reading this that trains this way most likely is following what I mean.

It is definately "a combination of more than one intention at times, combined with overt movement in yet another intended direction". I believe (and I couldbe wrong) that they can be "employed along the same lines of the body simultaneously" or "along separate ones".

About using aiki to recover. I think that "the body is left deformed" but is stays in line with the lines, while many intentions remain, and one is focused on to which communicates to the pusher, resulting in the bring the body back straight. At my level I have to keep my awareness to keep the lines active. I don't think that is the case with people more adept at this sort of training.

Rob
 
Old 08-11-2008, 05:20 PM   #90
Lee Salzman
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Lee,

I'll give you the best answers I can, but remember that I'm still a novice - and I brought that up because these are all ideas that I would assume are in common. (Also note I took the things I thought would be common in order from simple to more complex or at least more integrated.)
Thanks for the answers. Novice or no, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

Quote:
I have no idea how to address you question about how the lines of intention are distinguished or what is their gross function is. They seems to be the 6 (arguably 8 directions) inward and outward from center. I really don't understand what you mean by "what is the subjective driver of the intention of up" but my guess is that it is more inline with "an awareness placed along the line coupled with an idea of up" which initially seems to be "just a visualization of going up" while you are visualizing the other directions as well - but I assume the idea is that you do that to train a feeling. Eventually the feeling is maintained and the visualizations are no longer as necessary. Maybe I'm wrong. Point here is that anyone reading this that trains this way most likely is following what I mean.
By distinguishing lines, I mean if you had to identify new lines, or to evaluate the worth of a line you already have (to decide whether it is worth keeping), could you do this and how might you go about doing it?

I guess what I mean by subjective driver is what you feel you are doing to produce an effect. Kinda an example based on what I was taught - that one is to take an external object in the distance - a car, a tree, a house, etc. - and literally attempt to move it... without externally moving, and without trying to imagine it, but to produce a physical activation of the body. Eventually this association is to become so strong that it feels indistinguishable from actually really moving something, even though nothing really moved, so that any time I try to really move something, that the effect of the training carries directly over. So in this case, I am literally trying to move something so that it produces a physical effect in the body, but without external movement happening.

But okay, that is different from an awareness coupled with an idea. The idea can be "up" that I have labeled it, but if it is not an attempt at movement, then it is something other than actual "up", just that it feels "up". So what the mind feels it is doing to produce that "up" becomes a more important description of it. That still being different from visualization by itself, "imagined skill" to borrow a term from someone else, where there is visualization but without producing any physical effect that you can feel whatsoever.

Quote:
It is definately "a combination of more than one intention at times, combined with overt movement in yet another intended direction". I believe (and I couldbe wrong) that they can be "employed along the same lines of the body simultaneously" or "along separate ones".
And when they are combined, is sensation of the combined intentions distributed along the entirety of the body lines, or is it more a feeling of one end repelling the other end?
 
Old 08-11-2008, 07:59 PM   #91
rob_liberti
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

Lee,

Well there are times when I'm all lined up and I have all my intentions working so to speak, than my idea to walk without actually walking also seems to communicate. I don't really understand it all - at least WHY such things seem to communicate - but they do and it's just plain weird!

Again I think the visualization stuff will fade away eventually a bit and the feeling left behind is what will remain while I put my mental focus on the next aspect - like breath (which would be supported by that structured feeling and of course add what I assume would be the next level of power).

I don't know the answer to you last question. I only experience such things from the point of contact - so MAYBE - maybe not. I really don't know.

Erick,

My primary teacher certainly manifests "it" in some specific aikido waza - and better than most in my experience. But I've never seen him generalize it like Dan does - and never seen him specifically teach it like Dan does, and no one in his dojo learned as fast as people do in Dan's dojo. I do think that Gleason sensei offers insight into how to use "it", and what "it" means on a spiritual level that is not available many other places if at all.

I actually watched Gleason trying to do so at a knife seminar where he couldn't rely on his hand forms (because he was holding a knife!) and watched him basically re-wiring himself. The guy is awesome and all, but it hasn't been his focus to do or teach such things outside of aikido waza - and my opinion is that "it" is too well hidden in plain sight in aikido waza --- I'm just not brilliant enough or talented enough to figure it out from that way.

On the other hand, people subscribing to the conventions that Dan is using both in terminology and practice are making more progress than I did in literaly decades. So I'm a believer. And until people are making similar progress some "other" way or with some better explanation or using better weights and measures, there isn't going to be a mad rush to adopt such things - because we've all been down slower or unproven (or proven to be slower) paths before and no one wants to spend 1 second longer on such a thing. This is where all the resistance to your posts is coming from in my opinion.

Rob
 
Old 08-11-2008, 08:51 PM   #92
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

Quote:
Stan Baker wrote: View Post
I think we have to come down to earth. Wang and Dan are some best guys out there. But what Dan Harden is saying is the main point. Dan has a clearer presentation on how to develop internal skills. He can explain things without all the mumbo jumbo and two he has methods that hone in on what to practice. Not to down play Wang Hai Jun he has amazing natural abilities and is also a good teacher but he is not as innovative as Dan when it comes to teaching.

stan
Hi Stan,

I'm just trying to get a feel for what skill levels exist. It's been discussed many times before that lineage is not a reliable indicator of ability, so it's important to get eyewitness testimony about the skills of various teachers. I don't disagree with the general idea that it's not how good the teacher's skills are, it's how good he can make me. I'm not a fan of withholding information in general, particularly from people who are willing to put a lot of hard effort in, and in cases where hard work is the only way you'd get anything out of it anyway. I mean, why make someone search years for an exercise they have to do for years to get real benefits?
 
Old 08-11-2008, 09:13 PM   #93
Dan Austin
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hi Dan
Hi Dan,

Thanks for the extended response. Maybe there is something good from having Erick in a thread, people you actually want to read start typing more.

Quote:
What would have happened if we fought or -I- unloaded. I dunno. I don't care. I was there to learn from an expert not showboat my measely skills.
Not only that but you can never really win by beating a 70 yr old.

Quote:
As we were winding down His students told me they had never seen him do that or share like that with anyone. I was greatly impressed by his power (I really hadn't met any ICMA person that was willing to unload and offer some power), sensitivity, and mobility. I have to say, that more than any MA person I have ever met his spirit, demeanor, confidence and power just filled a room. Were I able to do so I would have gone to China and stayed with him. It is a profound regret to me that I couldn't.
Sounds like you made a very good impression indeed. I wouldn't want to move to China either, but with an offer like that I might have visited once in a while.

Quote:
WHJ
I have been told he has been asked from long time students about training this stuff and he insists that all he knows is forms. Do more correct forms
Sure.

Quote:
Again though the real key here is-their students. How is it transmitted. Is the group grwing as a group or not. Can the teacher point out things and actually figure your body out and help raise -you-up. Isn't that the key?
Absolutely, I'm no fan of teachers who are good but hold back from their students.

Quote:
Of course there are men with power. So.....next.
It is more important to know who is surrounded by people with power on the rise, instead of students wandering and trying to figure it out but not showing much.
To an extent I understand the reticence of some asian instructors to share the goods with westerners, particularly if teaching is the family business, although I've read various opinions to the effect that even formerly secretive methods are more likely to see the light of day now because the lineage holders are afraid the knowledge will simply die out. Then there's the question of relevance in the modern world. Most people are office workers and don't have time to dedicate years without some assurance of results.

Unfortunately the pool of native Enlish speakers who have a level of knowledge appears to be very small. I'm perfectly willing to perform traditional exercises if I can get good details on how to do them correctly at some point, and I suspect plenty of other people are as well. I agree with what you're saying, but I'm a little bit confused by your obvious enthusiasm for the method and getting the word out that it exists, yet I've never seen a description of Harden exercise #1, the most basic thing you would have people work on if they manage to meet up with you. There is either openness or secrecy. Rob L. is teaching three Aikido dojos, apparently, so either you're being open with him and he's being open with his students in turn, or else things are being held back. It sounds like you're clearly against the latter practice.

I guess my question is, given your enthusiasm and the fact that you are clearly not a fan of teachers who don't teach the authentic methods, why doesn't at least a wiki similar to Akuzawa's exist so that people don't have to wait years for a chance opportunity to gain an insight into your method? If for example I know that Akuzawa will be giving a seminar I can attend six months from now, I can work on his exercises even without technical feedback, and be that much better able to understand his corrections when I get the chance to train with him than if I walk in cold. Otherwise at best you'll succeed in creating a spike of demand without adequate supply. The more people that understand the rudiments, the more the asian masters will be forced to reveal as they realize people have the playbook if not the experience. For example without your existing base it's rather unlikely you would have gotten an enthusiastic reception with Liu Cheng De, from which you could have gained more knowledge under more favorable conditions. If it becomes generally known which teachers don't really teach, this is a clear benefit to serious enthusiasts as well. Ultimately secrecy has no benefit at all considering that it's a long hard road no matter what. While I haven't seen anyone visit you, Mike, Ark, or Rob and not be positively things, I don't think anyone has gained overnight superpowers either. A secret that takes years of sweat and toil to master is perfectly safe in the open.
 
Old 08-11-2008, 09:47 PM   #94
Lee Salzman
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Lee,

Well there are times when I'm all lined up and I have all my intentions working so to speak, than my idea to walk without actually walking also seems to communicate. I don't really understand it all - at least WHY such things seem to communicate - but they do and it's just plain weird!

Again I think the visualization stuff will fade away eventually a bit and the feeling left behind is what will remain while I put my mental focus on the next aspect - like breath (which would be supported by that structured feeling and of course add what I assume would be the next level of power).
Are there any simple examples you can think of that would allow one to replicate this feeling of communicating intention, or is it pretty much a situation where you just need to go feel someone who can do it (which would go back to square #1 - who, where, how, etc. )? Structure is one thing, as I have seen a few ways to handle that, but communicating intention with it in that sense is really alien to me, and I am very curious about it.
 
Old 08-11-2008, 09:52 PM   #95
rob_liberti
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

I can barely do it - and only with a lot of help getting all set up to do it! - Which I think addresses both Lee and Dan Austin.

Rob
 
Old 08-11-2008, 10:20 PM   #96
rob_liberti
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

I suppose I should follow up on this.
I trained Harden exercise #1 diligently for over a year before I felt that I made any progress. The issue was that I only went to see him to check out what I was doing and get correction about 5 or 6 times during that first year. I think the progress is a lot more to do with the hands on feedback than the solo exercises - at least initially. So I don't see a whole lot of value of training something - most likely wrong before you meet him. But then again, maybe I just learn better with hands on (but I think it is likely that it is more than just me).

So I don't think Dan is holding back once you touch him. It's like drinking from a fire hose. It takes _me_ a lot of daily work in processing, stretching, and solo exercises as well as more more frequent visits to Dan.

Rob
 
Old 08-12-2008, 09:30 PM   #97
Dan Austin
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I suppose I should follow up on this.
I trained Harden exercise #1 diligently for over a year before I felt that I made any progress. The issue was that I only went to see him to check out what I was doing and get correction about 5 or 6 times during that first year. I think the progress is a lot more to do with the hands on feedback than the solo exercises - at least initially. So I don't see a whole lot of value of training something - most likely wrong before you meet him. But then again, maybe I just learn better with hands on (but I think it is likely that it is more than just me).

So I don't think Dan is holding back once you touch him. It's like drinking from a fire hose. It takes _me_ a lot of daily work in processing, stretching, and solo exercises as well as more more frequent visits to Dan.

Rob
Perhaps, but people are different in how they process information. For some it would be useful to know the theory and/or goals of an exercise. For example what are the lines you're talking about, are they similar to the axes Akuzawa uses. Akuzawa and Chinese systems talk about six directions, etc. Seeing where there is overlap is useful in determining common principles. Ultimately to effectively teach you have to understand the principles at work and how what you're doing achieves a particular goal.
 
Old 08-13-2008, 09:23 AM   #98
DH
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

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Dan Austin wrote: View Post
Hi Dan,
Thanks for the extended response. Maybe there is something good from having Erick in a thread, people you actually want to read start typing more.
Really? It was -you-I replied to, Dan. Not Erick.
For this discussion Erick is a waste of time. Now he is reduced himself to debating the points of the debate.

Quote:
Then there's the question of relevance in the modern world. Most people are office workers and don't have time to dedicate years without some assurance of results.
I dunno, the people who train with me learn steadily. I don't have those problems. If you train here-you will improve. Most people are just going to get this, if you teach them and they train.
How long it takes and who has the ability to actually teach and or learn is a very worthy discussion. When I see a group, sacrificing and trusting I care more about them then the idiot at the front of the room. He is supposed to be serving them, not lording it over them. Sad to say, I keep ending up the idiot at the front of the room these days. But at least I am trying to serve those who come seeking..

Quote:
I agree with what you're saying, but I'm a little bit confused by your obvious enthusiasm for the method and getting the word out that it exists, yet I've never seen a description of Harden exercise #1, the most basic thing you would have people work on if they manage to meet up with you.
Ya. I don't talk much about things that really are meaningless to read on the net. I have people doing them in person who fail to get it right. Why go through loong explanations that guarantee to have them screw it up? Here’s an example,
When doing Shiko "Open your pelvis, put your intent from your left foot to your right hand. Cross-line body work is very important. Draw yourself over with your right hand, "pull yourself back upright with your left leg pulling your right side hand back up, while your left hand draws your right leg up and you right leg is pulling down. Maintain and hold these six contradicting lines in your body; up/ down, left / right, front/ back, and while you are doing that hold a connection from your feet to each opposite hand. If you can; try rising up in the back and sinking through the front, at the same time. Do it till your intent is so refined that "your will" pops you off your own feet when you go back upright. Oops I see your spine let your sort of slide over and your postural alignment broke!" Er...good luck with that.
At any one point- with people doing these things together with me- they are failing to maintain something or other all over the place. So why talk about it on the net when they can’t do it in person? Another point that I cannot stress enough is that when I work with people I work with them individually. Everyone has their own kinks or sticking points to work through. I had one guy who has trained in ICMA has trained with Ark and Mike, understood the exercises and was working his butt off. He made progress, but was falling apart at a certain point every time. Its only after working with him hands-on (yes I think Ark or Mike would have spotted it too) that I realized his problem was that-although he knew exactly what to do and could describe things better than I do-his connections were a mess due to the way he "broke" under stress in his upper center. He couldn't tell what was falling apart or how to fix it. So what point would outlining exercises on the net be?
I think a whole bunch of us have been led down merry little paths by people who don’t know what they're doing. Whether by design or by innocence we still have a bunch of people who didn't get the magic, they Asian arts were known for and we are ourselves kept hearing about. I want to make sure that at least in my small contribution, I put tools in their hands they can use. I talk "about it" on the net, not how to do it.

Quote:
I guess my question is, given your enthusiasm and the fact that you are clearly not a fan of teachers who don't teach the authentic methods, why doesn't at least a wiki similar to Akuzawa's exist so that people don't have to wait years for a chance opportunity to gain an insight into your method?For example I know that Akuzawa will be giving a seminar I can attend six months from now, I can work on his exercises even without technical feedback, and be that much better able to understand his corrections when I get the chance to train with him than if I walk in cold. Otherwise at best you'll succeed in creating a spike of demand without adequate supply. The more people that understand the rudiments, the more the Asian masters will be forced to reveal as they realize people have the playbook if not the experience. For example without your existing base it's rather unlikely you would have gotten an enthusiastic reception with Liu Cheng De, from which you could have gained more knowledge under more favorable conditions. If it becomes generally known which teachers don't really teach, this is a clear benefit to serious enthusiasts as well. Ultimately secrecy has no benefit at all considering that it's a long hard road no matter what. While I haven't seen anyone visit you, Mike, Ark, or Rob and not be positively things, I don't think anyone has gained overnight superpowers either. A secret that takes years of sweat and toil to master is perfectly safe in the open.
See above. I think Arks, mine or anyone else’s on-line descriptions are a waste of time.
That said, there are a couple of points I want to make in reply. First of all I don't think you will read of Mike, or Ark or me holding back "the secrets." Second I shudder at how that sounds. It implies we know everything to hold back!! I don't think anyone who trains this way is in expert yet either. How’s that?
I train very hard, and try to improve me, and if I can manage it I try to give back and share. Other than having some time to share with a community I am convinced by and large missed it and it training in the wrong direction most of the time, I have no vested interest in furthering a lineage, advertizing, or being someone’s “sensei.” I try to make sure I can show and then teach some clear, definitive ways for folks to start getting connected, and then to build on that, later to use those connections through applied skills. I enjoy what I do. If people continue to be fun to hang out with, I’ll continue sharing.

As for hiding, I'm not sure what "Asian masters are hiding" either. I think there are some who honestly don't know how to teach what they do outside of their forms. Others are just not showing, but a few of their students. I have seen it occur personally. It has been my experience that some teachers -flat out lie, others don't know any other way to teach. Then there are some teachers who. after I’ve watched them move, if they could articulate and tell me how they did what they do to make their body move like it does? I would remember it very carefully and avoid EVER doing it, so I didn't end up moving or looking like them.

Last regarding seminars, time and distance. I'm not a fan of training with someone once, then not seeing them for a year. I am -extremely- averse to being part of someone wasting even more of their precious time sweating their butts off somewhere, in the wrong direction. If I can't see someone more often -at least for the first year- then I don't even want to start. I turn down many seminar requests every week for just that reason. Everyone rightfully talks on and on about their needs and their wants to train. No one talks about what a bother it is to teach.
So to answer you question-no wiki, no big seminars for me. Just shugyo. Sweating it out in a barn. I am convinced that I suck, so I have a growing group of people who are letting me practice on them-the fools think I am teaching!!

Last edited by DH : 08-13-2008 at 09:27 AM.
 
Old 08-13-2008, 09:51 AM   #99
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

Dan,
That was a very informative post.
Your students are lucky to have you experimenting on them.
Ricky
 
Old 08-13-2008, 10:47 AM   #100
DH
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Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

Quote:
Dan,
That was a very informative post.
Your students are lucky to have you experimenting on them.
Ricky
Well I did make a mistake in stating "Erick was waste of time." Sorry Erick.
What I meant to say was "For purposes of this discussion Ericks attempts to detail and model what we are doing without any experience is a waste of time for those trying to learn or understand."
As I have noted in the past his contributions otherwise are substative and he is a hell of a good debater and thinker.
For that matter...as I outlined... I think my own descriptions are a waste of time.

Last edited by DH : 08-13-2008 at 10:50 AM.
 

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