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Old 10-27-2008, 08:32 AM   #51
phitruong
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Re: Shane, come back

I could take the discussion to another forum. but... there is a big but (pun intended). If I had not seen the discussion on internal stuffs here, I would not have know about it. I would not have tried to track down IS folks. I would not have learn that my knowledge or lack thereof of IS was junk and the simple basic IS stuffs would rocket my aikido (providing that I work at it). Same thing with systema. if I didn't have a chance to do some hand-on with them, I would not have known all the good stuffs that they have to offer to improve my aikido.

I believed some of the IS discussion needs to be here on aiki-web for folks who are curious about it and for folks who wanted to dispute it. personally, it was the dispute that raised my interest. I will join other forum and participate in the discussion with folks who are working on IS for knowledge exchange. Here, there will be those who will not walk this path. but there will be those few who come to the cross road and wondering which path he/she/it wants to traverse. those are the few that might choose to walk the IS path and perhaps reach some place where they want to be.

you also heard folks who went and experience with systema, IS, DR and decided to abandon aikido and joined those practices. That is OK. but there are those who, like me, and at this place want to express ourselves through aikido and would love a chance to learn from systema, IS, DR and take those ideas and practices back into our aikido. it might not be the way O Sensei or his deshi's aikido, but in OUR PLACE and OUR TIME it will be OUR AIKIDO! O Sensei isn't my limit. Death is.
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:06 AM   #52
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Re: Shane, come back

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
I believed some of the IS discussion needs to be here on aiki-web for folks who are curious about it and for folks who wanted to dispute it.
I agree. I also don't see any reason why these discussions can't be a major part of the "General" and/or "Training" forums. And I mean straight-forward discussions in the hows, whys and application of this training, for aikido. Not that I care where an interesting discussion is placed. But if you train in aikido and want to take a stab at the aikido spin on internal training, then ... well ...
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:43 PM   #53
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Re: Shane, come back

Good points, guys. I'll be happy to see your discussions, logic, musings, etc.

Best.

Mike
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:08 AM   #54
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Re: Shane, come back

Quote:
Adam Bauder;218658I also don't see any reason why these discussions can't be a major part of the "General" and/or "Training" forums. And I mean straight-forward discussions in the hows, whys and application of this training, [I wrote:
for[/i] aikido. Not that I care where an interesting discussion is placed. But if you train in aikido and want to take a stab at the aikido spin on internal training, then ... well ...
You'll probably have to convince Jun first to allow this in the General or Training section. I've been thinking about his decision to create the 'Non-Aikido Martial Traditions' section and I think it was a wise decision. The people who felt Aikiweb was taken hostage by all the internal strength discussions have their old Aikiweb back and the others have their own section.
Besides that, there's also the fact that although we have exercises like aiki taiso whose main reason of existence is developing internal strength, no one has received transmission of how to specifically use them, so we need to reverse engineer the whole thing. That will lead us to discuss other arts and their ways in using internal strength. If discussions go in that direction (and I'm sure they will), the Non-Aikido section makes a lot of sense/

So in conclusion: although I don't disagree with your point as such, I doubt it will happen on Aikiweb. Of course, all you'd need to do is ask for Jun's opinion and see what he says.
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Old 10-28-2008, 08:43 AM   #55
phitruong
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Re: Shane, come back

personally i believed that the ki, in aikido, is IS stuffs. but this is Jun's house - every nation has its laws, every house has its rules. We can discuss the how here. if Jun think it should be somewhere else then he would let us know, and we pickup our tents and build the bonfire and dancing naked somewhere else.
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Old 10-28-2008, 09:34 AM   #56
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Re: Shane, come back

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Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
Besides that, there's also the fact that although we have exercises like aiki taiso whose main reason of existence is developing internal strength, no one has received transmission of how to specifically use them, so we need to reverse engineer the whole thing. ... I doubt it will happen on Aikiweb.
The debate foundered over two points, in my opinion. The first was an insistence on conducting an involved discussion of physical and physiological dynamics without a good vocabulary understood or agreed for the principles being discussed (not necessarily anyone's fault). It was asserted by some that "those that know" understood what they meant, so there was no need. That resulted in an adamant insistence that privileged their discussion in what were essentially ad hoc terms. It led to a recurrent events of simply talking past one another. It also tended to lead to the assertion that not engaging the debate in those ad hoc terms thus reflected poorly on those whose thinking is framed by received aikido. Since many of the terms at issue were ad hoc, the insistence was troubling; it seemed quite exclusionary in effect, if not intent.

It led to a basically vague and untethered discussion. This is not to say that any practice itself discussed here is vague and untethered, but that a discussion here requires more careful and critical thought into how we describe what we all do and what the performance we seek is ideally doing.

The result was inaccessible to anyone using using primarily the vocabulary of received aikido and its aiki taiso who did not have the interest or facility in critical observation and the physical experience to deal with other forms of description. The majority of folks on AikiWeb are expecting and looking for the vocabulary of received aikido, not this ad hoc form of discussion -- and that, standing alone, justifies Jun's approach to this topic.

The noted nature of the aiki taiso in this regard is a fair observation. e.g. -- http://www.internal-aiki.com/?CommentID=474. The point has been made before and by several, myself included. It would be a good place to resume practical discussion in the main forums, actually. One could take individual aiki taiso, describe them carefully, and compare or contrast them to other training forms or methods and ask for comment or criticism of the observations.

The second point is that while some in certain quarters tried to map out possibilities of a more generalized and physically consistent vocabulary,some in other quarters took this adversarially, and insistently ascribed without foundation, that such thinking out loud about various choices for the best terms of reference, somehow reflects a systemic lack in practical performance. That melded in to a premise of some disproof of that (unwarranted) assumption before even engaging the discussion, sometimes descending into a kind of "Did you stop beating your wife?" quality in the arguments.

It was not healthy, all around.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 10-28-2008, 09:47 AM   #57
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Re: Shane, come back

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
personally i believed that the ki, in aikido, is IS stuffs. but this is Jun's house - every nation has its laws, every house has its rules. We can discuss the how here. if Jun think it should be somewhere else then he would let us know, and we pickup our tents and build the bonfire and dancing naked somewhere else.
Jun has gone over this a number of times now, and has made his call. We should let it be.

And to clarify, Jun has said:
Quote:
I am very happy to have people discussing historical, technical, and other aspects of arts outside of aikido and how it relates to aikido in the general aikido forums here -- as long as those discussions are focused on their relationship to aikido.
I believe that means people can discuss internal methods that are either native to Aikido, or have some sort of direct connection to native Aikido methods.

The big problem with that, of course, is that Ueshiba did not leave a coherent internal training regiment, so that doesn't leave a whole lot for discussion.

The other issue is that, even though an increasing number of people have begun training this way, there are still only a small, small handful of people who have a real level of skill AND have incorporated it into an Aikido paradigm. So there isn't really anyone here who's qualified to talk about these skills---in the general forum---under the conditions Jun wants them to be discussed.

--Timothy Kleinert
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:32 AM   #58
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Re: Shane, come back

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
The result was inaccessible to anyone using using primarily the vocabulary of received aikido and its aiki taiso who did not have the interest or facility in critical observation and the physical experience to deal with other forms of description. The majority of folks on AikiWeb are expecting and looking for the vocabulary of received aikido, not this ad hoc form of discussion -- <snip>
But (imho) the majority of folks on Aikiweb have received the aikido terms, but not their meaning with regards to internal strength. So whether we chooses the aikido vocabulary or an ad-hoc vocabulary, we're screwed either way. Neither will faciliate communication easily.
Quote:
It led to a basically vague and untethered discussion. This is not to say that any practice itself discussed here is vague and untethered, but that a discussion here requires more careful and critical thought into how we describe what we all do and what the performance we seek is ideally doing.
That would be really cool, irrespective of the amount of internal strength one seeks to acquire, but I'm quite pessimistic about this actually happening. If we have this discussion, people are going to get hurt by the public dissection of their practice.
Quote:
The noted nature of the aiki taiso in this regard is a fair observation. e.g. -- http://www.internal-aiki.com/?CommentID=474. The point has been made before and by several, myself included. It would be a good place to resume practical discussion in the main forums, actually. One could take individual aiki taiso, describe them carefully, and compare or contrast them to other training forms or methods and ask for comment or criticism of the observations.
In my best Mike Sigman impression: "Be my guest!"
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:33 AM   #59
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Re: Shane, come back

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
The debate foundered over two points, in my opinion. The first was an insistence on conducting an involved discussion of physical and physiological dynamics without a good vocabulary understood or agreed for the principles being discussed (not necessarily anyone's fault).

The second point is that while some in certain quarters tried to map out possibilities of a more generalized and physically consistent vocabulary,some in other quarters took this adversarially ....

It was not healthy, all around.
Hi Erick,

As one who watched from the sidelines, I think the above is a fair summary of many but not all of the conflicts.

Ironically, I would note, it was not the basis for the problem that arose in using photos posted for other purposes as a basis to critique Aikido waza. (I use the phrase irony advisedly, given your recent post).

The irony to me is that use of photos potentially provides a tool to address your first point -- developing terms of description as to which there is what Habermas terms "intersubjective agreement."

I for one always was interested in your efforts to describe things in the language of physics. I also think, however, taking the role of observer, in the scientific sense of the term, does not necessarily generate an ideal language for participants, but still may create reference points that help make sense of any phenomenologocial description participants might agree makes sense of their experience.

Consider for example this site -- picked at random about modern Olymipic weightlifiting -- http://www.dynamic-eleiko.com/sporti...ticles010.html, where it says:

"The specific limitations of the human body to produce great muscular force quickly (because of the brevity of the snatch and the clean and jerk) and at the same time execute a movement of complex coordination structure compel the weightlifter unconsciously to rely heavily on employing the so called "reactive forces" to lift a maximum weight. The lifter has to rely on the body's innate mechanisms to utilize these forces. The speed with which force is applied to the barbell and the speed of the body's movement in the snatch and the clean and jerk involve actions that cannot be carried out effectively under conscious control.

Therefore, the coordination structure of the snatch and the clean and jerk with near maximum and maximum weights require the athlete's actions to be automatic, i.e., a motor program is formed to carry out a movement too quick to be under conscious control. The weightlifter not only switches muscle groups quickly in lifting a maximum weight but also switches the type of muscular contraction (from concentric to eccentric and so on). The high speed of muscular contraction and the speed with which the body and its individual links move from one position to the next during the snatch and the clean and jerk effectively limit conscious control.

According to Vorobeyev (2), 'An important peculiarity of weightlifting exercises is the brevity of performance, which makes it very difficult and even relatively impossible to implement conscious corrections during the lifting of the barbell,' and 'the possibility to implement corrections of motor acts during the lifting of maximum weights is extremely limited. It should be noted here that there would be less error if the movement were "automatized," from conscious control, in the opinion of N.A. Bernstein, and driven to a lower regulatory level to the lower neural stages.'"

Here, the scientific theory about the limits of conscious control help illuminate a phenomenon experienced by participants in performance, and provides very useful training information. The interesting thing about the information in this instance, however, is it points to the futility of trying to track performance consciously. From the same article:

"For instance, the trunk needs to be pretty much in a vertical position in order for the trapezius muscles (shrugging of the shoulders) to have a strictly vertical affect on the barbell (6). So, why does a coach (even at the international level) tell an athlete, "You didn't shrug at the top of your pull. On your next attempt, make sure you shrug your shoulders." The instructions to the athlete require him/her to remember to perform the aforementioned action approximately at the instant the trunk passes through the point of full extension for some 100 milliseconds."

As a mere lurker, I sometimes thought the conflict was exacerbated by a competition between points of view that each were incomplete, contingent works in progress to displace one another. Throwing no stones here; I merely thought if we look at how sicence is used in sports contexts to analyze action, A) it is recognized as helpful, and B) it may have implications as profound as "now, forget everything you know."

Your thoughts are appreciated, as always.

DH
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:51 AM   #60
Mike Sigman
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Re: Shane, come back

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Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote: View Post
I believe that means people can discuss internal methods that are either native to Aikido, or have some sort of direct connection to native Aikido methods.
Well, think of it like this.... There is a basic skillset that has to do with an odd way of movement/strength. That skillset is pretty much Asia-wide and has been around a long, long time. Traditionally, the "how-to's" for this skillset are kept relatively under wraps because the skillset gives a martial advantage. There are a number of variations and approaches to developing this skillset and many styles have developed their own preferred methodology for training and incorporation into techniques.

Aikido, as Ueshiba used it, had certain signature aspects of the skillset as he viewed it and also had certain signature levels of usage. Regardless, what Ueshiba, Tohei, and others used for their skillset and how they used it in the martial art, the skillset is essentially part of the same body/mind skills that are talked about and used all over Asia. So to be able to confine discussions to "only what is found in Aikido" is going to be very hard to do. Inevitably any truly accurate conversation is going to have to deal with the skillset as a part of the greater whole.
Quote:
The other issue is that, even though an increasing number of people have begun training this way, there are still only a small, small handful of people who have a real level of skill AND have incorporated it into an Aikido paradigm. So there isn't really anyone here who's qualified to talk about these skills---in the general forum---under the conditions Jun wants them to be discussed.
I dunno. Tohei recognized and allowed for the idea that there are actually two topics: (1.) Aikido Waza and (2.) the Ki/Kokyu skills. It's difficult to have a meaningful "high-level" discussion about waza even right now, so saying that it's difficult to have a meaningful "high-level" discussion about waza that utilizes I.S. ki/kokyu skills isn't any more or less of a problem. What's probably most important is to have a conversation that meaningfully discusses the what's, how-to's, how this works, etc., etc., of these skills, always keeping an eye to how it's all applied in relation to the goals of "aiki" when engaging an opponent.

In my experience, there's always going to be the problem of who actually knows what in a discussion. In many years on the internal-skills lists and forums I've found that often the people who are contributing *think* they know things that they don't know or that they have some skewed grasp of. That's why "meetups" and show-and-tells are so important. Many times I've been on a forum where someone hops in and starts giving advice to people and when someone on the forum meets them, there is often a bit of embarrassment (or worse). It would save a lot of problems, IMO, if there was some sort of baseline "test" that is agreed upon and if people met in a friendly way and started their show-and-tells with these tests. That keeps it all out in the open and honest and friendly.

I don't particularly care if someone is a "keeper of the koryu secrets" or was "sworn to secrecy by my Master" or etc., but at some point in the game there has to be a bit of open show-and-tell and discussion. Personally I don't want to be impious and not respect all Grand Poobah's and take their own word on their skills, but everyone needs to be involved in show and tells in addition to the discussions. Besides, it helps when you meet someone who can do an aspect of these skills better than you can and you immediately become motivated to practice harder so you can kick his butt in the same demo next time.

Tests (like standing up to a steady push, let's say, or being difficult to lift because you can bring jin to where you want it) are better than waza for the general discussions, IMO. The ki/kokyu skills can be checked separate of waza. How good someone incorporates their ki/kokyu skills into technique and "aiki" is a bona fide subject, but a difficult one. If I have to "attack shomenuchi" at a certain speed and you harshly drop me, that's cool, but it obscures the actual amount of and purity of the skills within the technique by adding a number of other factors. So my suggestion would be that for discussion purposes and cross-comparisons, etc., it's just a lot clearer if discussions only use "technique" in a limited sort of way.

BTW, and I've said this before.... you can "feel" the general amount of these skills that someone has in only a brief interaction. The better you get, the easier it is to "read" someone, read how much of their skills is jin or jin-muscle and/or uses the hara for control, and so on. I know when I'm around a skilled person like one of my teachers or a senior student of some other teacher, etc., that they can tell what level of skill I have. It's unavoidable and best of all it helps keep me from playing silly games about having something I don't really have. Potentially embarrassing? Yes. But it's a good thing to know. If you can really do it, another skilled person is going to know it; if you can't do it and you're pretending you can, it makes conversations awkward.

Those are just some of my thoughts, for whatever they're worth.

Best.

Mike Sigman
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:05 AM   #61
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Shane, come back

Quote:
David Henderson wrote: View Post
As one who watched from the sidelines, I think the above is a fair summary of many but not all of the conflicts.

Ironically, I would note, it was not the basis for the problem that arose in using photos posted for other purposes as a basis to critique Aikido waza. (I use the phrase irony advisedly, given your recent post).
The point is well-taken and the position has moved about on the use of videos, for instance, which have been demanded as sine qua non and alternately derided as useless and revealing nothing. The truth is somewhere between, but NOT in the sense of some half-baked compromise on any given point -- what they do tell is inarguable -- what they do miss is undemonstrable.

Quote:
David Henderson wrote: View Post
... taking the role of observer, in the scientific sense of the term, does not necessarily generate an ideal language for participants, but still may create reference points that help make sense of any phenomenologocial description participants might agree makes sense of their experience.
... [things that] involve actions that cannot be carried out effectively under conscious control.
... the limits of conscious control help illuminate a phenomenon experienced by participants in performance, and provides very useful training information.
As with many things in these "post-religious" days many arguments take on a quasi-theological cast, (in substitution, I would maintain, but leave that aside).

Things learned from such debates are equally applicable. Everyone needs to walk the inherent tight-rope strung between the opposed poles of "Question all that has been said." -- and yet also "Believe, that you might understand."

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:33 AM   #62
phitruong
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Re: Shane, come back

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post

BTW, and I've said this before.... you can "feel" the general amount of these skills that someone has in only a brief interaction. The better you get, the easier it is to "read" someone, read how much of their skills is jin or jin-muscle and/or uses the hara for control, and so on. I know when I'm around a skilled person like one of my teachers or a senior student of some other teacher, etc., that they can tell what level of skill I have. It's unavoidable and best of all it helps keep me from playing silly games about having something I don't really have. Potentially embarrassing? Yes. But it's a good thing to know. If you can really do it, another skilled person is going to know it; if you can't do it and you're pretending you can, it makes conversations awkward.
I was going to start from the awkward phase by stating my abilities sort of giving an authoritative point of view.

my abilities:
1. aikido - might be able to throw one or two persons on a good day if they are cooperative.
2. IS skills - got foot stuck in the door and being smashed by the door. if IS skills have grades like 1-12, I would be in the kindergarten section sucking on my thumbs.
2. other martial things - can run away when crap hits the fan
3. if someone built an idiot-proved thing, i usually could beat it.

here is a topic that i was going to start with, you guys can tell me if it worthwhile and should be here or not.

topic: how to relax where the ability to relax and knowing that you are really really relax would help to ground when being push or pull. tell someone to relax isn't a how-to.

also, i have a selfish reason for discussing the topics here to find out what others have done so i can steal from them. why reinvent the wheel, sort of.
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:34 AM   #63
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Re: Shane, come back

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
But (imho) the majority of folks on Aikiweb have received the aikido terms, but not their meaning with regards to internal strength. So whether we chooses the aikido vocabulary or an ad-hoc vocabulary, we're screwed either way. Neither will faciliate communication easily.
Not so. The presumption is that mindful practice of the received taiso and the set-piece studies of their application in defined waza is not effective to disclose their meaning by intuitive recognition. I contend otherwise. The willingness to have an ad hoc discussion shows otherwise, even if it is does not allow much categorical expansion or extension, or critical contrast or comparison with other practices. That recognition is what leads to the categorization that allows these things.

What is more likely lacking is not in the explanation of the methods -- which are everywhere repeated in more or less demonstrably related or similar forms (as Mike S. properly notes) -- what is more usually missing is the critical mindfulness in its practice according to well-accepted principles or its performance. Serious men of good repute say recognition of the intuitive aspects of such things takes serious study of years. Haste and impatience is a mark of unseriousness (but not necessarily a conviction of it, I hasten to add, and efficiencies are always possible.)

But any serious practice, conducted unseriously and uncritically, will produced trivial results, whether the unseriousness be a hurry-up impatience or a lackadaisical undirected "going through the motions." The latter is a valid criticism of much received aikido as it is practiced. That is still not an indictment of the effectiveness of proper practice of the received aikido body of practices. The problem (in all areas of endeavor) usually does not lie primarily in the nature of the practice -- but in the approach of the participants to it.

Pilot error is responsible for two-thirds of aircraft mishaps -- the problem causing failures in a reasonably functional platform are predominately NOT with the method or its mechanism.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:46 AM   #64
Mike Sigman
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Re: Shane, come back

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
I was going to start from the awkward phase by stating my abilities sort of giving an authoritative point of view.

my abilities:
1. aikido - might be able to throw one or two persons on a good day if they are cooperative.
2. IS skills - got foot stuck in the door and being smashed by the door. if IS skills have grades like 1-12, I would be in the kindergarten section sucking on my thumbs.
2. other martial things - can run away when crap hits the fan
3. if someone built an idiot-proved thing, i usually could beat it.

here is a topic that i was going to start with, you guys can tell me if it worthwhile and should be here or not.

topic: how to relax where the ability to relax and knowing that you are really really relax would help to ground when being push or pull. tell someone to relax isn't a how-to.

also, i have a selfish reason for discussing the topics here to find out what others have done so i can steal from them. why reinvent the wheel, sort of.
BTW, Phi, I should have made it crystal clear that I wasn't looking at the comments of expertise from the snobbery end, putdowns, etc. What I was trying to say was more of a caution to people about what happens in reality when you meet someone who indeed has some of these "listening" skills (an odd outgrowth of the ki/kokyu skills). It keeps the conversations more moderate if that is laid out in advance. As a general rule, most of the people I've ever met who develop these skills tend to be practical and more or nonchalant about people who think they have more skills than they do... because everyone does it and you get used to it. I've tried dumbass things against some of my teachers and they just placidly accepted it and then critiqued... they didn't get irritated at me. Worst case would have been if I'd been obnoxious and done the same things... I think they would have still been equally nice, but they wouldn't have showed me anything more, even though they continued to smile.

I think your topic sounds interesting. I'll keep checking for a new topic in the forum, started by you.

Best.

Mike
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:20 PM   #65
Timothy WK
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Re: Shane, come back

Hi Mike,

In general, I totally agree with you. I was only attempting to address the specific situation *here at Aikiweb*, where we have to follow Jun's rules. I don't agree with Jun's assessment that these topics are "Non-Aikido", but I respect his vision for the site.

--Timothy Kleinert
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:47 PM   #66
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Re: Shane, come back

Quote:
Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote: View Post
Hi Mike,

In general, I totally agree with you. I was only attempting to address the specific situation *here at Aikiweb*, where we have to follow Jun's rules. I don't agree with Jun's assessment that these topics are "Non-Aikido", but I respect his vision for the site.
Other than the fact that ki things are considered "non-Aikido" for a short time in history, I just think that it's humorous and slightly enjoyable as a situation. The longer it stays like that the more interesting it is because it's a sort of marker in history.

First of all, the fact that the ki things more or less got lost is an interesting aspect of history. Secondly, and we're all guilty of this (I fell into the trap also in my early Aikido days), we let Aikido politics convince us that what Tohei was doing was something that "was not the same real Aikido that O-Sensei did". Like we were better judges of Aikido than what the head-instructor at Hombu Dojo would have considered proper. So we didn't take a clue that Tohei began espousing 40 years ago. See the wry humor?

Without involving Jun or anyone else personally in the discussion, let me say that my *impression* (I could be wrong and welcome any corrections) is that there is still not a clarity at Ikeda's dojo about what is Aikido and what is that funny stuff Ikeda Sensei works on with people on Wednesday nights. In other words, I'm not sure that Ikeda Sensei has been able to clarify exactly what the ki aspects are and how they interpenetrate the whole, so his students still may not see a whole picture that includes the topics we're discussing in this separate forum. That makes it sort of a complex topic to address and I've been thinking about it recently (not just in relation to Ikeda's dojo, but his is a good example for me to use to myself as a thought-starter).

Generally the problem is similar to a problem I encountered one time when a woman Tai Chi teacher came to visit me so that I could help her... she was frustrated that after 14 years of doing Tai Chi she could never do any good in push-hands. So I worked with her some and showed her some basic jin things and said that she needed to learn to start moving with jin (think to yourself "fune-kogi undo", "happo-undo", furitama, etc., because that's what those things teach). I told her that she needed to go back and try to do all the movements in her Tai Chi form with jin/qi because if she didn't she'd miss the whole point of Tai Chi. She left the house in a huff saying that there was no way she'd believe that she had being doing Tai Chi for 14 years and wasn't doing *some* of it right. See the problem and how it relates also to Aikido and other arts as well?

If someone has been doing Aikido (or Taiji or any other art) for a number of years, they have it in their mind unequivocally that some certain percentage of what they know is correct (and some are... I'm not trying to imply complete ignorance). We would all do this. I mentioned sometime in the past that I had to go back and relearn my Taiji, Xingyi, etc., stuff from scratch more than a few times. It was humbling. But I'm not practicing in any school with any sort of rank, position, etc., that have become part of my persona, so I don't have a really set view of who I am, what I know, and so on.

The main point I'm getting at is that it's very difficult generally for people *not* to view the topic as two things: Aikido and these skills that are side issues. Viewing the skills as the foundation of Aikido (or any other art that has the ki/kokyu skills as foundational) is a very hard concept for most people to grasp. But if you think about it, Tohei grasped it while at the same time some of his concurrent peers did not. It happens. We need to accept that that's the way it is.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 10-28-2008, 02:26 PM   #67
C. David Henderson
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Re: Shane, come back

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
The main point I'm getting at is that it's very difficult generally for people *not* to view the topic as two things: Aikido and these skills that are side issues. Viewing the skills as the foundation of Aikido (or any other art that has the ki/kokyu skills as foundational) is a very hard concept for most people to grasp. But if you think about it, Tohei grasped it while at the same time some of his concurrent peers did not. It happens. We need to accept that that's the way it is.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
Hi Mike.

Question -- when these skills are treated as foundational,do you see a problem expressing these skills in traditional waza? Would you take the view they render traditional waza superfluous?

I am thinking here along the lines of a previous discussion -- http://aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15045 -- because your comment suggests you may see things somewhat differently.

Regards,

DH
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:58 PM   #68
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Re: Shane, come back

Quote:
David Henderson wrote: View Post
Hi Mike.

Question -- when these skills are treated as foundational,do you see a problem expressing these skills in traditional waza? Would you take the view they render traditional waza superfluous?
Well, let's use a simple example like a push and let it represent a technique in the discussion. And I think a push is often what many people do while calling it a "kokyunage", so it's not a real stretch to replace "waza" with "push" in this example.

Using jin-forces/kokyu/whatever I can do a pretty surprising "push", even with no room between me and the target. What I'm actually doing, even though it looks externally like a normal push, is to gather a series of force contributors that aren't obvious and I'm doing my "push" with those clever, unseen force contributors. But regardless of how cool the special push looks, an ordinary push (not as strong) is still a good technique/waza to use on an opponent, isn't it? What I'm trying to say is that the traditional waza are just fine, but they're enhanced by the ki/kokyu skills and if you want to learn the waza with "ki" in them, it's best to start off that way rather than try and come back later in an effort to override now-patterned muscular coordination.

As techniques, the waza are good ones. However they were designed (in any ki-focused art) to originally be built around the ki/kokyu skills. Will the waza work without the ki component? Sure. Does the guy who only has some ki/kokyu skills but no martial techniques beat a similar guy who has some martial skills? I would think not. They're complimentary. If all it took was ki/kokyu skills there wouldn't be so many martial arts and techniques.... people would just focus on ki/kokyu stuff and that's simply wrong.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 10-28-2008, 04:08 PM   #69
C. David Henderson
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Re: Shane, come back

Thanks, Mike.
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Old 10-28-2008, 04:27 PM   #70
Adman
 
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Re: Shane, come back

BTW, my comment concerning posting within other aikiweb forums, about internal training, was not meant as a challenge toward any of Jun's policies. Rather, it was a challenge for those starting and participating in discussions, to honor his policies. Doesn't mean you can't include internal training discussions in other forums, at least the way I interpret Jun's concerns.

I'm also not talking about shaking things up. Just moving on.
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Old 10-29-2008, 02:42 AM   #71
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Re: Shane, come back

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
The presumption is that mindful practice of the received taiso and the set-piece studies of their application in defined waza is not effective to disclose their meaning by intuitive recognition.
True.
Quote:
I contend otherwise. The willingness to have an ad hoc discussion shows otherwise, <snip>
I didn't see the need to get into this earlier, but made that discussion an ad hoc discussion? You mentioned the use of ad hoc terms. Well, most of the terms used were the ones coined by Dan Harden, Mike Sigman and Akuzawa/Rob John; they did not just made these up as they participated in the discussion.

Quote:
That recognition is what leads to the categorization that allows these things.
I don't understand this sentence (has as much to do with my English skills as your writing style, imho). Recognition of what? Categorization as what? What are 'these things'?

Quote:
What is more likely lacking is not in the explanation of the methods -- which are everywhere repeated in more or less demonstrably related or similar forms (as Mike S. properly notes) -- <snip>
The explanations that are found everywhere are not sufficient to understand these skills. They are clear enough to show 'Look, I know this stuff.' and vague enough to make sure that those who don't know, won't be able to figure it out.
Quote:
Serious men of good repute say recognition of the intuitive aspects of such things takes serious study of years.
How do you define 'intuitive'? I wouldn't say these skills are intuitive, unless explained as poorly as they often are.
You have no trouble with mentioning Mike Sigman to support your claims, so who are these men?
Speaking of which, Mike Sigman can teach the basic skill set and its logic in two days. So I see two options: Mike Sigman has found a faster way to explain these skills or what you're doing is something different from what Mike Sigman is doing.

Quote:
That is still not an indictment of the effectiveness of proper practice of the received aikido body of practices. The problem (in all areas of endeavor) usually does not lie primarily in the nature of the practice -- but in the approach of the participants to it.
So aikido just fails in getting people to practice properly? That's as big a defect in teaching methodology as is failing to transmit the contents of the practice.

Last edited by jss : 10-29-2008 at 02:47 AM.
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Old 10-29-2008, 04:15 AM   #72
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Re: Shane, come back

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
If someone has been doing Aikido (or Taiji or any other art) for a number of years, they have it in their mind unequivocally that some certain percentage of what they know is correct....
There's an easy (and far more humbling) way to find out how much of what you think you know is correct and how much is just plain wrong... go to several different MA venues and "ask for a (free) lesson".

And then go back and look at your MA (Aikido, or taiji or what-have-you) and start from scratch... all over again....

Ignatius
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:03 AM   #73
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Re: Shane, come back

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
There's an easy (and far more humbling) way to find out how much of what you think you know is correct and how much is just plain wrong... go to several different MA venues and "ask for a (free) lesson".
In the old Chinese days, asking for a lesson is equivalent of a challenge.
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Old 10-29-2008, 07:33 PM   #74
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Re: Shane, come back

Hey! I'm old, and I'm Chinese... what did you think I meant?

Ignatius
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:28 PM   #75
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Re: Shane, come back

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
You mentioned the use of ad hoc terms. Well, most of the terms used were the ones coined by Dan Harden, Mike Sigman and Akuzawa/Rob John; they did not just made these up as they participated in the discussion.
In the former case, that is actually pretty much the case, as he seems to have denied or strongly critiqued the usefulness of almost any verbal description. As to Akuzawa, his is ad hoc, but made up prior to any of these discussions, from his particular categorization based on his experience, and is fine as far as it goes. Mike prefers to rely on a more rigorous body of knowledge in the Chinese sources, for his descriptions, but that body of knowledge, while rich and useful, is not analytic, and so serves westerners perhaps less well.

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
Quote:
That recognition is what leads to the categorization that allows these things.
I don't understand this sentence (has as much to do with my English skills as your writing style, imho). Recognition of what? Categorization as what? What are 'these things'?
Sorry, too many transposed references in that sentence. Intuitive recognition of this form of action allows categorization of examples of their use for training purposes. The aikido waza syllabus is one such set of categories. Categories arrived at by any individual are based on individualized experience and therefore start from necessarily ad hoc foundations. At a conceptual level the description of their action need not remain ad hoc, and can be tied to a surer and well explored general set of categories -- whether this be mechanics, or Chinese traditional knowledge -- or mythological imagery from Kojiki, for that matter.

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
The explanations that are found everywhere are not sufficient to understand these skills. They are clear enough to show 'Look, I know this stuff.' and vague enough to make sure that those who don't know, won't be able to figure it out.
Both good reasons for a better system of description.

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
How do you define 'intuitive'? I wouldn't say these skills are intuitive, unless explained as poorly as they often are.
Intuition is knowledge sufficiently concrete to act upon, but not consciously categorized enough yet to articulate or explain.

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
Quote:
Serious men of good repute say recognition of the intuitive aspects of such things takes serious study of years.
You have no trouble with mentioning Mike Sigman to support your claims, so who are these men?
Sagawa, most notably, said twenty years were necessary. Morihei Ueshiba states his realization came in about ten, but most people recognize him as superlatively gifted.

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
Speaking of which, Mike Sigman can teach the basic skill set and its logic in two days. So I see two options: Mike Sigman has found a faster way to explain these skills or what you're doing is something different from what Mike Sigman is doing.
We are doing the same things as far as I can tell, and I have no desire to decide a contest with anyone. Faster is not necessarily better, depending on the purpose. Operative use requires intuitional grasp; expanding traing requires conceptual grasp to extend from what is known to what is unknown but suspected. I am not convinced that any conceptual explanation, in itself, leads to any swifter intuitional grasp. I do think that an analytic mechanical foundation gives a way to take points realized in isolation and stitch them in various patchworks, which may better point to the whole. I am more interested in finding a deeper way of exploring the nature of the thing, than finding a speedier way to introduce the rudiments.

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
So aikido just fails in getting people to practice properly? That's as big a defect in teaching methodology as is failing to transmit the contents of the practice.
Sturgeon's Law applies, as with everything else, unfortunately. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturgeons_law

Last edited by Erick Mead : 10-29-2008 at 09:33 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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