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Old 06-21-2009, 08:33 PM   #51
Suru
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Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

Erick,

I have always heard that the strength suddenly harnessed in the cliched example of a parent lifting a car to release a child from underneath is an adrenaline rush. You believe this to be a misconception. Below is from a bodybuilding site I found on the web, and I am unaware of its accuracy. Will you post a link to the oxytocin reference?

"...a burst of epinephrine [adrenaline] at will, making the body's energy reserves kick in to high gear, this could really give you an incredible burst of strength for a maximum lift."

Drew
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Old 06-21-2009, 10:35 PM   #52
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

Quote:
Drew Gardner wrote: View Post
Erick,

I have always heard that the strength suddenly harnessed in the cliched example of a parent lifting a car to release a child from underneath is an adrenaline rush. You believe this to be a misconception. Below is from a bodybuilding site I found on the web, and I am unaware of its accuracy. Will you post a link to the oxytocin reference?

"...a burst of epinephrine [adrenaline] at will, making the body's energy reserves kick in to high gear, this could really give you an incredible burst of strength for a maximum lift."
I didn't say adrenaline was not involved, it simply does not appear to act on those tissues -- . oxytocin does, and anti-histamine and histamine do (inflammatory response causes fascial tissue to contract around a wound). See here:
and here. These tissues were unresponsive to epinephrine, acetylcholine, and adenosine.

And interestingly, oxytocin appears to modulate the HPA axis, diminishing expression of stress hormones such as cortisol, not the other way around -- so that it does not substitute for adrenal resources, but seems to command them, and chronic exposure to oxytocin seems to reduce HPA expression, presumably resulting in fewer of the negative cognitive aspects of adrenal surge in responding to threat, including tunnel vision, difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly and, decreased coordination.

An interesting speculation of the contractile fascia study is that the contractile force of the tissue is strong enough not only to reinforce structural joints, which I mentioned, but also possibly to regulate gamma motor neurons, that affect proprioception -- and more interestingly, for our purposes, the spinal monosynaptic stretch reflexes -- (the fast ones), and pre-potentiating them, as with the Jendrassik maneuver.

Some other research summarized

And new stuff on this fascia topic is coming soon, apparently.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 06-21-2009 at 10:41 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:03 AM   #53
David Orange
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Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
That was the reason for the question. Obtaining power is one thing, desiring it is something else, or so it seems to me....It is interesting to look at the fascial tissue studies discussed occasionally in the"internal strength" discussion and to note that the myofascial contraction of structural tissues (the same ones that fix your hands in clenched position after repetitive work like raking or shovelling) are activated by oxytocin -- the "love" hormone (but, even more interestingly, NOT by adrenaline, the "self-protection" hormone).....True budo is love...
In that post, I think we have gotten to the real heart of your question.

It seems it's not really about "desire" or "power" but some kind of passive-aggressive beef about the whole IS topic and people working hard to develop a kind of power that ordinary kata-based aikido training does not develop.

In these comments, you admit that "desiring" power is not wrong, but you seem still to ascribe the "wrong kind" of desire to those who are working hard to acquire internal strength.

And why all the talk about fascial contraction? What does it have to do with either "desire" or with IS? It seems you still think that the way to use the fascial layer of the body is through "contraction, as if it were another kind of muscle. But "contraction" of the fascia is only very tentatively related to internal strength development and use. Trying to contract the fascia like muscles is like trying to "hear" with your eyes. It's a different system and it works in a completely different way than the muscles. To try to use it in that way actually prevents using it as it really works. Contraction of the fascia is not relevant to IS for the most part--if anything, IS is more concerned with preventing reflexive fascial contraction through control of the emotions.

From what I've seen, maybe the biggest function of the fascia, apart from simply keeping the whole body knit together, is transmission of "intent" from the mind, to the hara and from there to the extremities. No contraction necessary. Unnecessary "clenching" of fascial tissue could prevent or distort the flow of intent and also hamper proper sequencing of muscle contraction.

Really, the topic seems to point along the lines of the aikikai's bad-mouthing of Sokaku Takeda: he wasn't "enlightened" like Morihei, so he was "bad". You seem to feel that those who are pursuing the development of demonstrable "power" are "bad" in some way--that acquiring the "power" of aiki actually diminishes the "goodness" of aiki.

But in the day when your actual ability really counts, you can't count on the "alarmed mother" syndrome to kick in and help you save your family. If you really want your "aiki" to work in an emergency, as budo is intended, you have to purposely develop deep and reliable physical power. Otherwise, training is really just wishful thinking.

FWIW

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
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Old 06-22-2009, 02:43 PM   #54
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Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

Random thought for the day ...

"transmit intention ..." along fascia and the impact of contraction.

Real loose analogy coming ... consider speed of a wave ( and attendant energy transmission) along a vibrating string. What happens to the speed as the tension goes up (as in a fascial contraction)? Speed goes up.

Maybe nothing, maybe something.

Last edited by Rob Watson : 06-22-2009 at 02:45 PM. Reason: spellcheck
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Old 06-22-2009, 02:54 PM   #55
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Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

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In that post, I think we have gotten to the real heart of your question.

It seems it's not really about "desire" or "power" but some kind of passive-aggressive beef about the whole IS topic and people working hard to develop a kind of power that ordinary kata-based aikido training does not develop.
I think you read far too much into my question. You see, the point of my departure was more complex than desiring to beat someone else in the dominance game. Really, the initial realization I had recounted at the beginning of this discussion was just how trivially easy it IS to beat someone at the dominance game -- as long as you simply give the killing urge free rein at the first inclination. Really -- it worked well for Capone, and many, many others throughout history, and for quite a long while. Disquiet at that aspect of power and dominance is the issue. Not envy. Distaste.

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David Orange wrote: View Post
In these comments, you admit that "desiring" power is not wrong, but you seem still to ascribe the "wrong kind" of desire to those who are working hard to acquire internal strength.
It is you who have said it. I mean to entertain no such blanket generalizations merely from choice of training methodology.

The question is as to motivation and its practical effects. I would note that those most dissatisifed with what has developed in aikido training -- seem to correlate with those who are frustrated in their seeking greater personal sense of power. It is not a criticism or an identity, as one's motivations are not so trivially judged. But the correlation, at least anecdotally, seems to be real -- which could be for any number of reasons. Accepting my premise for a moment, realize that the other edge of that blade is the (very reaL) decline in martial seriousness in some veins of aikido training, which I do not trivialize. This is not a a bludgeon at any training or particular approach, without acknowledging some serious defaults on all sides.

I think there are right and wrong kinds of desire and I think my position on this point is clear. I am following facts which seem to track a truly biological and mechanically fascinating distinction in the nature and effects of motivation in engaging combat. Read the comments of surviving Medal of Honor winners. Not one of them ascribes a motivation to kill the enemy, or abstractions like patriotic fervor -- they did it to save their brothers in arms. Those who succeed in their efforts adn died in the attempts are notable for the level of physical endurance and performance that they accomplished before they gave out -- bringing the child-under-car scenario to the fore. It is not an idle question -- practically speaking.

The question is whether these two motivations are MATERIALLY different in choice of preferred training methods and effects, not merely morally so. I simply assume without arguing that the one is inherently superior to the other, morally speaking (and you are free to disagree if you are so inclined) -- I am inquiring as to the practicalities of that moral distinction in approach -- because it is a defining standard for what the founder of Aikido intended -- and most clearly distinguishes it from its predecessor technical regime in DTR.

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And why all the talk about fascial contraction?
Because it is real. It is interesting and it connects to aspects of my training and the ability in which I am able to make it effective.

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What does it have to do with either "desire" or with IS? It seems you still think that the way to use the fascial layer of the body is through "contraction, as if it were another kind of muscle. But "contraction" of the fascia is only very tentatively related to internal strength development and use. Trying to contract the fascia like muscles is like trying to "hear" with your eyes. It's a different system and it works in a completely different way than the muscles. To try to use it in that way actually prevents using it as it really works. Contraction of the fascia is not relevant to IS for the most part--if anything, IS is more concerned with preventing reflexive fascial contraction through control of the emotions.
"Trying to contract" is your words, not mine -- I said nothing about "trying" to do anything - in fact I think that is part of the error of assumption I am trying to tease out. If the fascia primarily responds in an affective manner then all the trying in the world won't make it work.

The second issue is what it "does." By your response I think you have not studied the reflex potentiation of the Jendrassik maneuver -- or considered what a milder and perhaps only slight systemic "clench" in this fascial tissue might accomplish --- biomechanically speaking. A tin can telephone does not work if the string is slack, but works surprisingly well if tightened up. I know what I feel when I touch someone else-- I feel the gross disposition of my opponent's structure, like I know the direction of a sound I cannot see. I also feel my own, through similar means. Don't get me wrong, there are people who are far, far better, but then people have better hearing than me, too -- but if I hear it, I hear it, and I know what I hear.

As far as reflex is concerned, you seem bent on dominating your own reflexes. This seems understandable -- there are tricks that are demonstrated (indeed, I have done them), that trigger extensor reflexes (more commonplace - in sankyo) or flexor reflexes (nikkyo, kotegaeshi) to destabilize someone one. But just as these can be potentiated they also can be suppressed wholly or partially. So you have a point -- up to a point...

I am concerned with understanding and deploying them so that it matters not whether I potentiate them or an opponent does, they play equally to my advantage. They run off the same gamma motor neuron and muscle spindle system (tied to these fascia) which also provides the sensory pathway for my proprioceptive "sense" of my opponents' body through its structural resonance (furitama). It is rather a bit of "cutting out the middle man" in terms of martial efficiency.

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David Orange wrote: View Post
From what I've seen, maybe the biggest function of the fascia, apart from simply keeping the whole body knit together, is transmission of "intent" from the mind, to the hara and from there to the extremities. No contraction necessary. Unnecessary "clenching" of fascial tissue could prevent or distort the flow of intent and also hamper proper sequencing of muscle contraction.
Define "intent" -- biomechanically. I will respond in kind with my thoughts on exactly why I think it matters - but you go first. I did not say clenching was any part of aiki in the sense of the car lfit , or the case of heavy repetitive labor -- but I see the same system operating as I described -- but in a different way.

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David Orange wrote: View Post
Really, the topic seems to point along the lines of the aikikai's bad-mouthing of Sokaku Takeda: he wasn't "enlightened" like Morihei, so he was "bad". You seem to feel that those who are pursuing the development of demonstrable "power" are "bad" in some way--that acquiring the "power" of aiki actually diminishes the "goodness" of aiki.
This kind of caricature prevents a useful discussion, even if I agreed with the caricature -- and I don't ... Counter-caricature is no more helpful.

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David Orange wrote: View Post
But in the day when your actual ability really counts, you can't count on the "alarmed mother" syndrome to kick in and help you save your family. If you really want your "aiki" to work in an emergency, as budo is intended, you have to purposely develop deep and reliable physical power. Otherwise, training is really just wishful thinking.
I would not count out the "alarmed mother" so trivially, were I you.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:36 PM   #56
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Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

Most parents would not be concerned with specifics of neurotransmitters, biopsychology, and biology at the critical moments. They would just lift the damn car.

Drew
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:55 PM   #57
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Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
Random thought for the day ...

"transmit intention ..." along fascia and the impact of contraction.

Real loose analogy coming ... consider speed of a wave ( and attendant energy transmission) along a vibrating string. What happens to the speed as the tension goes up (as in a fascial contraction)? Speed goes up.

Maybe nothing, maybe something.
Something. Max speed of nerve transmission ~ 50-60 fps. Max speed of sound in bulk flesh ~1500 fps. Max speed of sound in tendon ~ 1650 fps. The speed of sound in a medium does not change, but more importantly -- harmonic frequency does change as tension becomes higher.(tighten a guitar string after you strum it).

The tautness of the body's drumskin, modulates its harmonic or fundamental frequency -- or to reverse the perspective -- the muscle spindles or Golgi tendon organs may sense departures above or below the fundamental harmonic (or critical amplitude thresholds -- which trigger reflex arcs). So a mechanism and an organ of kinesthetic sense for this kind of structural vibration is shown for (at the least) a plus/minus gradient around the harmonic. There is no clear evidence for what (if any) degree of resolution this perceptive faculty can be capable of in terms of the amount of frequency change or amplitude or acceleration of displacement ( beyond known reflexes It is known that it can be modulated -- potentiating or suppressing those reflexes .

Even if it is no more than the degree of sense discrimination we have of hot vs. cold with reference to the harmonic as zero or neutral, it is nevertheless useful. Those changes correspond to feeling where structural discontinuities exist in the opponent's structure -- which establish the "length" of the string we are connected from the point of our contact to the discontinuity -- and length determines harmonic -- just like tightness does- like holding a guitar string on a lower fret.

Playing one sensed frequency off of another one may allow one to "create" a more discriminating sense of that "external" harmonic with reference to our own baseline "internal" fundamental harmonic. Even people who can't sing can usually hear bad or good harmonies to some degree -- and they can usually be taught to modulate the voice to match them -- i.e. -- we have identified something that is cognitively common to voice manipulation (kotodama) and to structural manipulation (furitama and kokyu tanden ho).

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:39 PM   #58
David Orange
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Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
Random thought for the day ...

"transmit intention ..." along fascia and the impact of contraction.

Real loose analogy coming ... consider speed of a wave ( and attendant energy transmission) along a vibrating string. What happens to the speed as the tension goes up (as in a fascial contraction)? Speed goes up.

Maybe nothing, maybe something.
There's certainly something there. Ark and Mike both talk about tensioning the "suit" but it's not the same thing as "clenching" or contracting the fascial tissue as muscles contract. The fascia will contract and will absolutely "clench up", which is what's happening when people talk about their stomach being tied up in knots. And that's the kind of thing we would want to avoid happening involuntarily. One of the big effects of keeping the mind calm is that it prevents the visceral fascia from clenching up.

But, yeah, I think tensioning the fascia in a whole-body sense, as in "tuning" a guitar string, is one of the ways of working with that level of the body/mind structure.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

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Old 06-24-2009, 12:17 PM   #59
Dan Richards
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Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

Excellent treatise on The Dark Night of the Soul that very much relates to this topic.
http://www.themystic.org/dark-night/index.htm

It gives some insight into the ego and its role in our spiritual unfolding.
http://www.themystic.org/dark-night/ego2.htm
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Old 06-25-2009, 11:52 AM   #60
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Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

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Does desire for power help or impair the learning or operation of Aiki as O Sensei understood it?
Sometimes we think power means different things, so let me begin with a definition; Power is a noun which qualifies the ability to act without constraint. The greater one's ability to act without constraint, the greater power one possesses.

In aikido, we train to learn how better to free ourselves of constraints and learn to control how best to use that ability. Given the above definition, I believe that we strive to gain power and learn how to control that power. Aiki [unification] allows us to use our influence effectively, but aiki is not an ethical code

I think the logical continuation of this question is what ethical constraints bind powerful powerful people from abusing their abilities?
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Old 06-25-2009, 04:48 PM   #61
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Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

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Sometimes we think power means different things, so let me begin with a definition; Power is a noun which qualifies the ability to act without constraint. The greater one's ability to act without constraint, the greater power one possesses.

In aikido, we train to learn how better to free ourselves of constraints and learn to control how best to use that ability. Given the above definition, I believe that we strive to gain power and learn how to control that power. Aiki [unification] allows us to use our influence effectively, but aiki is not an ethical code

I think the logical continuation of this question is what ethical constraints bind powerful powerful people from abusing their abilities?
I like your definition of power. I don't think I quite agree with its application to aikido.

I am reminded of the episode of O Sensei pinning a guy with one finger. Now, I really do not believe, from practical experience and a modicum of physical insight after due study that O Sensei's finger was, in any material way, more powerful than my own -- in the way you define power -- his finger was no less constrained in its action than mine is. Rather, it seems to me,. that the effect obtained was not to remove the constraints holding back the otherwise limitless power of O Sensei's "Mighty Finger Technique (tm)" Instead, (and I think the balance of that and other accounts bears me out in this) -- he obtained no more power than he had to begin with -- what happened is that he used his finger in a way that reduced the opponent's effective power to zero.

So from that perspective then, study of Aikido is not what we do to obtain more power as against the power of others -- but rather what do we do when we realize that we can make another person powerless, regardless of how much power we personally have managed to obtain to set against theirs. In some sense, as against the prospect of zero effective power in the opponent, the question of relative power in the abstract or even in head to head contest -- is almost irrelevant. I am not saying that aiki is perfect, nor can be applied perfectlyby everyone at every time and that having some power to apply when one suddenly finds oneself overtorquing the tame canine -- power may well be a good wholesome, and indispensable thing.

Not that any of us are in the practice of conferring the "Mystical Jellyfish Reduction Touch (tm)," but even at relatively low levels with good training students experience being able to be in a position and in a manner of being and moving that enables the opponent do precisely not one single damn thing about whatever you do next.

That is the question. Is THAT really seeking power, and does seeking power according to the definition Jon gave (and I think it is a good one), impair the goal of reaching more facility in the use of aiki -- as I am describing it (and you are free to disagree with that description.)

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:50 PM   #62
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Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

About pinning with one finger, it's actually not such a feat. If nage throws uke so that uke winds up flat on his back, one finger into the base of the neck will render him absolutely pinned. Gentle added pressure if he tries to recover will keep him right where he is. Too much pressure here might be devastating, so during the few times I've used this pin, it has been with great caution. Try it on a friend or Aikido partner sometime. As uke tries to get up, even nage keeping his finger steady will result in added pressure to keep uke pinned.

Drew
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:58 AM   #63
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Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

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About pinning with one finger, it's actually not such a feat. If nage throws uke so that uke winds up flat on his back, one finger into the base of the neck will render him absolutely pinned. Gentle added pressure if he tries to recover will keep him right where he is. Too much pressure here might be devastating, so during the few times I've used this pin, it has been with great caution. Try it on a friend or Aikido partner sometime. As uke tries to get up, even nage keeping his finger steady will result in added pressure to keep uke pinned.
That may or may not have been his method in this instance -- the interview was quite unclear, but his overall point is much more general in character.

(Source is a newspaper interview included in Kisshomaru's "Aikido' [1957], pp. 198-219, [tr. -- Stanley Pranin and Katsuaki Terasawa].)
Quote:
Morihei Ueshiba wrote:
"Fine. I can pin you with my index finger alone," I answered. Then I let him push me while I was seated. This fellow capable of lifting huge weights huffed and puffed but could not push me over. After that, I redirected his power away from me and he went flying by. As he fell I pinned him with my index finger, and he remained totally immobilized. It was like an adult pinning a baby. Then I suggested that he try again and let him push against my forehead. However, he couldn't move me at all. Then I extended my legs forward, and, balancing myself, I lifted my legs off the floor and had him push me. Still he could not move me. He was surprised and began to study Aikido.

A: When you say you pin a person with one finger, do you push on a vital point?

O Sensei: I draw a circle around him. His power is contained inside that circle. No matter how strong a man he may be, he cannot extend his power outside of that circle. He becomes powerless. Thus, if you pin your opponent while you are outside of his circle, you can hold him with your index finger or your little finger. This is possible because the opponent has already become powerless.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:40 PM   #64
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the fingie

i'm guessing his finger was tremendously stronger. in every way. like this guys<
in fact; not just his finger; but everything else to which it is connected. not a weak link in the chain.
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:58 PM   #65
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Re: the fingie

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Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
i'm guessing his finger was tremendously stronger. in every way. like this guys<
in fact; not just his finger; but everything else to which it is connected. not a weak link in the chain.
I see. I shall stand on my head, shall I?

No! Wait! Pull my finger!

Besides 'at's cheatin'! -- 'E wuz leanin' onna wall!

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 06-26-2009, 03:11 PM   #66
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Re: the fingie

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
I see. I shall stand on my head, shall I?

No! Wait! Pull my finger!

Besides 'at's cheatin'! -- 'E wuz leanin' onna wall!
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5b...nce_shortfilms

David
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Old 06-26-2009, 04:27 PM   #67
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Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

Josh - Show that to a master Yogi and see if he or she can pull it off! Dhalsim doesn't count lol.

David - The real Spiderman, or camera tricks? It reminds me some of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the scene with the stewardess.

Drew
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Old 06-26-2009, 05:15 PM   #68
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Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

Quote:
Drew Gardner wrote: View Post
Josh - Show that to a master Yogi and see if he or she can pull it off! Dhalsim doesn't count lol.

David - The real Spiderman, or camera tricks? It reminds me some of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the scene with the stewardess.

Drew
Heh. The whole set was a box on a spindle and they rotated it with him in it.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 06-26-2009, 05:29 PM   #69
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Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

I was almost certain it was Velcro soles! Then again, that would have to be some kind of ultra-powerful Velcro that only NASA knows about. I'm headed toward Groom Lake right now...don't try to stop me! I'll be sure to make it through security with my yonkyu submission skills!

Drew
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:47 PM   #70
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Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

When I saw this video clip
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NExoT38sjj4)
I said, " Gee I thought Fred Astaire died, when did he became a chinese monk." Go figure.

David
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Old 06-29-2009, 01:15 PM   #71
jonreading
 
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Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
I like your definition of power. I don't think I quite agree with its application to aikido.

I am reminded of the episode of O Sensei pinning a guy with one finger. Now, I really do not believe, from practical experience and a modicum of physical insight after due study that O Sensei's finger was, in any material way, more powerful than my own -- in the way you define power -- his finger was no less constrained in its action than mine is. Rather, it seems to me,. that the effect obtained was not to remove the constraints holding back the otherwise limitless power of O Sensei's "Mighty Finger Technique (tm)" Instead, (and I think the balance of that and other accounts bears me out in this) -- he obtained no more power than he had to begin with -- what happened is that he used his finger in a way that reduced the opponent's effective power to zero.

So from that perspective then, study of Aikido is not what we do to obtain more power as against the power of others -- but rather what do we do when we realize that we can make another person powerless, regardless of how much power we personally have managed to obtain to set against theirs. In some sense, as against the prospect of zero effective power in the opponent, the question of relative power in the abstract or even in head to head contest -- is almost irrelevant. I am not saying that aiki is perfect, nor can be applied perfectlyby everyone at every time and that having some power to apply when one suddenly finds oneself overtorquing the tame canine -- power may well be a good wholesome, and indispensable thing.

Not that any of us are in the practice of conferring the "Mystical Jellyfish Reduction Touch (tm)," but even at relatively low levels with good training students experience being able to be in a position and in a manner of being and moving that enables the opponent do precisely not one single damn thing about whatever you do next.

That is the question. Is THAT really seeking power, and does seeking power according to the definition Jon gave (and I think it is a good one), impair the goal of reaching more facility in the use of aiki -- as I am describing it (and you are free to disagree with that description.)
Hey Erick!

I wrestled with that conclusion for years. A couple years back I was at Shindai dojo and Saotome Sensei was teaching a seminar. During instruction he says, "Want to fight?" and makes his hand into a gun shape. "Bang. You are dead. No more fight." This example and some other things got me thinking. What I concluded was I was training to control someone else. But in a situation when I could not control someone else, my training would break down. So I rethought how I could align my training to control the one person I could control at all times...me. In other words, instead of training how to control a person, I began training to control the situation in which I was placing myself.

Rather than training to learn how to take away something from someone else, I am [trying] to learn how to exist in a situation where someone else cannot take anything away from me. In your finger pin example, one view of the pin is, "my finger prevents uke from moving;" another view might be, "uke cannot push my finger out of the way to move."View one places the burden of action on nage (to use the finger to remove power from uke to rise), view two places the burden of action on uke (to move the finger to rise).

Does that help?
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Old 06-29-2009, 03:17 PM   #72
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I wrestled with that conclusion for years. A couple years back I was at Shindai dojo and Saotome Sensei was teaching a seminar. During instruction he says, "Want to fight?" and makes his hand into a gun shape. "Bang. You are dead. No more fight." This example and some other things got me thinking. What I concluded was I was training to control someone else. But in a situation when I could not control someone else, my training would break down. So I rethought how I could align my training to control the one person I could control at all times...me. In other words, instead of training how to control a person, I began training to control the situation in which I was placing myself.

Rather than training to learn how to take away something from someone else, I am [trying] to learn how to exist in a situation where someone else cannot take anything away from me. In your finger pin example, one view of the pin is, "my finger prevents uke from moving;" another view might be, "uke cannot push my finger out of the way to move."View one places the burden of action on nage (to use the finger to remove power from uke to rise), view two places the burden of action on uke (to move the finger to rise).

Does that help?
I see your thought process. What you are doing in your example is illustrating the shift of the center of action, which is preceded by the move of the center of intention. The shifting center is the key, it seems to me -- as it is in all of the aiki-taiso, or kokyu undo.

In my way of thinking, it is about controlling me, and not about controlling the other person, in any programmatic way. But it is still about making him powerless, in a special way, which takes nothing from him at all -- Aikido seems only ever additive -- whatever uke adds to the problem -- he gets to keep, but with added interest... . He still feels like he ought to have power, but it is all engine -- no transmission.

I like to analogize aikido to surfing. One cannot achieve any countervailing "power" in any meaningful sense in surfing -- but one can learn to achieve greater and greater art in the engagement of power that is not one's own. One learns to engage a steady progression leading to almost unimaginably disproportionate amounts of power in "opposition" to the exercise of the art, and without any harm. Surfing is not an art in "opposition" any more than Aikido is. This is more than analogy, but even so -- I actually have a set of 30-odd maxims applicable to surfing most of which seem to apply equally to aikido -- merely by substituting words.

The essential point is that I can neither control the wave, nor overpower it, nor indeed take anything away from or diminish it. I can only control a rather critical way of relating to it -- riding a cusp of action that is inherently transient, but eminently recognizable and distinct in both shape and dynamic. Upon the cusp -- there is great freedom of action -- but ahead, behind or off to the side of that cusp -- there is only chaos and getting trashed.

What we do and what the wave does -- the space of that cusp -- is a vortex (in mechanics) and the whipsaw effect we are so familiar with is a vortex shear. Of the mechanics found in nature, this is among the most destructive (tornado, hurricane, getting caught "inside"). It is also among the most subtle (vortex tube, aerodynamic lift, a mid-ocean tsunami rises inches -- moving at hundreds of miles an hour). In free rotation a vortex can tear apart rigid structures and in forced rotation it solidifies even completely fluid structures.

To me, therefore training is about seeing and riding this form of action and the shape of this cusp in as many varieties and variations as possible, and which are essentially limitless. I haven't gotten bored yet, anyway.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:03 PM   #73
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Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

I think this is alot like the characters RYU and AKUMA in street fighter Akuma, RYU is constantly having his powers drawn in by RYU to use them for darkness. When RYU uses his power to his full potential for good he is even more powerful then he is at his peak on the dark side. If you are in control of your power you are even more powerful then your max when using dark "hado" (energy) there has also been research done about this with snowflakes.. wikipedia "Hado" for more information

Remember like spiderman's uncle said
" with great power comes great responsibility"
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:43 AM   #74
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Thumbs down Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

Yes it does. Power is an illusion and unless you let it go, as well as the other egocentric ideas we grew up with, union with Ki becomes an unfulfilled dream. The desire for power is a more mature way of saying "this is MY ki" and that is just not true. Pick up a handful of water. How long is it "yours"? Well, unless you are Aqua man or part frog, not for long.

To experience Aiki or the flow of Ki in your life, "get out of the way."

Happy Shugyo,

John B. Davis
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Old 02-13-2010, 03:07 PM   #75
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Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

Quote:
Drew Gardner wrote: View Post
Erick,

I have always heard that the strength suddenly harnessed in the cliched example of a parent lifting a car to release a child from underneath is an adrenaline rush. You believe this to be a misconception. Below is from a bodybuilding site I found on the web, and I am unaware of its accuracy. Will you post a link to the oxytocin reference?

"...a burst of epinephrine [adrenaline] at will, making the body's energy reserves kick in to high gear, this could really give you an incredible burst of strength for a maximum lift."
I may be completely misremembering, since my very cursory study of endocrinology was years ago, but AFAIK adrenaline does not "burst" and it does not "rush". Hormones, in general, are not rapid-acting, at least not by the common definition of "rapid".
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