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Old 11-17-2009, 08:36 PM   #276
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
Hi Budd, that's a good point, and I know where you're going with it, but let's not confuse power development methods with technical application - even if they are co-dependent.

The corollary to your same question would be: is one chasing internal power development from various outside sources to better see what one is missing from within one's chosen art/style? And would one be able to discern the subtleties and differences in other approaches? Or whether such methods are indeed compatible with the art, or would significant re-wiring/re-learning be required?
Well I think what happens is in when you are doing your "art" you tend to do those things that you are comfortable with. If you want to continue to progress you will invest in failure. The problem is, that most of us will invest just enough in failure to "get by" and once we improve we will stop doing those things and then get compliacent again.

What I am finding is that the IT is definitely helping me improve my BJJ and Aikido, just studying and investing a little time in it is helping and I am improving. However, even though I am improving, I am not using IT skills directly...just improving as my balance, posture, sensitivity etc are getting better. As such, It is easy to be happy with those things and then begin to coast again.

Nothing wrong with that of course, but wanting to take my training to higher and higher levels of mastery are going to require me to invest in a great deal more failure and stepping outside of my comfort zone...it is not easy to do.

I think alot of what we see are many of us (most) are struggling with letting go of what we know and it gets scary and lonely when you do this. Then we attempt to define, pinpoint, measure, and quantify what it is that we are doing to maintain some degree of sanity and positive reinforcement.

For some, I think it is taken to an extreme and comes across as fundamentalism, dogmatic, and exclusionary unfortunately.

I think it would be best if we all simply realize that what we are trying to do is not done by very many people in the world, that we are a very unique and specailized group, let go of our differences and work together to help each other out, vice bickering back and forth trying to nail down what arts have it, who has it, who doesn't etc.

At the same time, it also requires us to be brutally honest with each other and not blow smoke up each others wazoo when what we think we are doing is getting us somewhere when it is not....that requires a great deal of trust and thick skin to be able to handle this...some can and some can't.

Sure we get mad and frustrated with each other from time to time, I think that is natural. That said, I personally, have no problems training with anyone here on aikiweb, even those I have disagreements with, because in the bigger scheme of things, I think that the differences are petty and minor and natural to go through....that is, if the other person can let go of this crap and train honestly without the ego crap.

Anyway, it has been a good discussion! Not sure if it is what Rob Liberti intended, but it certainly has proven very enlightening to me! Thanks Rob.

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Old 11-17-2009, 09:12 PM   #277
Thomas Campbell
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
This interview with the head of a Chinese system is quite apropos, methinks, in that the students are led through methods in such a way to have a framework for expressing internal strength in a martial context . . might just be me, but I definitely see some relevance towards an application-based method of developing Takemusu Aiki:

http://www.yichuankungfu.com/cheuk-fung/hunyuan/
Budd--

The art of yiquan (i-chuan) itself is not a bunch of crap, just the particular teacher/teaching referenced. The methods developed by Wang Xiangzhai are clear, understandable, and logically ordered. But a clear, rational path of training does not necessarily mean a high percentage of practitioners of the path achieve significant internal skill. The simple can be just as difficult to make progress with as the vague and mysterious.

I've trained yiquan and dipped a little into Aunkai's methods. Both demand much of the student to make real progress, and there is no substitute for hands-on correction and plenty of IHTBF time in either art.

Here are some articles that provide a good introduction to Yiquan:

http://www.yiquan-academy.eu/articles.php

The basic training path is

(1) zhan zhuang / mojin (holding stances and postures, with specific visualization and contradictory tensions maintained to varying degrees)
(2) shili (friction stepping, or stepping with resistance, derived from baguazhang's tangnibu or mud stepping)
(3) fali (training and testing of release of power, often with a shaking kind of energy, the basis for strikes)
(4) push hands (with a fair amount of resistance, more than taiji push-hands)
(5) san shou (sparring)
(6) pole (moving and shaking a long pole, usually wood, in different patterns, used to develop whole-body coordination and power).

There are also other related practices, including voice/sound training, eye training, and other things. The actual order of training is fairly flexible, depending on the teacher's predilection and the student's abilities.

Wang specifically developed Yiquan to be a direct path to internal power and fighting skill using internal power. Whether he succeeded . . . well Wang himself by most independent accounts was very capable and demonstrated a high level of internal skill. Some of his students and grand-students have reached decent levels, too. Again, whether it's a higher percentage than other Chinese internal martial arts like taijiquan, or than Daito ryu or aikido . . . well that's difficult to say.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:23 PM   #278
Mike Sigman
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

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Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
I was asking if you had any video footage demonstrating or explaining what "down power" is, since that's not a term I am familiar with, nor would I want to assume that I knew what you meant. I also don't train ILC and have not met and felt Sam Chin.
I'm decidedly not a fan of Cheuk Fong's, but his interview that you panned actually refers pretty clearly to down-power, if you read it. As a matter of fact, the idea is found all throughout Yiquan literature. So is "groundpath" to anyone who already has an idea of how these things work.

Best.

Mike Sigman
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:28 PM   #279
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Except that it's a bunch of crap...

Magnetic auras???
Just for the fun of it, I sometimes show one of the "external qi" qigongs at some workshops in order to show that there's actually something behind a lot of the old traditional comments about qi as a magnetic feeling, etc. (or at least a facet thereof). It's not just a bunch of crap, but actually an interesting phenomenon to think about. "Fascia" and "magnetic auras" are interrelated. However, I expect it'll take some time for people to begin to take in the whole picture, rather than scoff as they did about the whole concept of what I.S. is.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:29 PM   #280
Thomas Campbell
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I'm decidedly not a fan of Cheuk Fong's, but his interview that you panned actually refers pretty clearly to down-power, if you read it. As a matter of fact, the idea is found all throughout Yiquan literature. So is "groundpath" to anyone who already has an idea of how these things work.

Best.

Mike Sigman
I didn't pan Cheuk's interview, Mike. I panned the teacher/teaching, based on personal experience with certain aspects of it that are also alluded to in the account linked in Chris Moses' previous post.

Curiously, though, the term "down-power" is not used in the interview--if you read it. Neither is the term "ground path."

"Ground-path" is a common term in martial and movement arts generally--for anyone who already has an idea of how these things work. My Pilates and jazz dance teachers used it.

Now I will hazard a guess as to what you mean by "down-power," and I'm happy to be corrected as to your understanding of the term. In Yiquan we speak of Zheng Li, 争力, the strength cultivated and conditioned by use of visualization to develop contradictory tension (of varying degrees) in opposite directions: front/back, left/right, up/down. The ultimate goal is to develop the Hunyuan li, or balanced power in six directions--one of which is down.

Back to "ground-path": I don't find that specific term commonly used in the Yiquan literature I'm familiar with (let alone "all throughout Yiquan literature"), nor in translations of terms by Chinese teachers of Yiquan I've worked with. That's not to say the concept isn't there--it is, I think in somewhat different terms. I did find one piece of Yiquan literature (below) that specifically references the term "ground path"--and he attributes it to you.

J. P. Lau's synopsis of Hunyuan zhuang is very detailed:

http://mysite.verizon.net/reswv21m/s...tepposture.pdf

Whether or not someone already has an idea of how these things work, Lau's article is worth reading for a good description of an important piece of Yiquan training that encapsulates much of the essence of the art.
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:56 PM   #281
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

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Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
Curiously, though, the term "down-power" is not used in the interview--if you read it. Neither is the term "ground path." [snip] That's not to say the concept isn't there--it is, I think in somewhat different terms.
Exactly. Notice how both Rob and Dan, as simple examples to prove my point, caught on to what I meant by "groundpath", even if they used different terms or concepts to envision it. If you know how to do it, the term is self-evident.

Notice how Wang XiangZhai, who admittedly borrowed the basic principles from arts including Taiji, never cavilled about "groundpath" (the jin which starts from the feet, is controlled by the waist, and is expressed in the fingers" by any name. It is the core strength; it is the basis of Tohei's "ki tests", and so on. I don't think it's a discussion of "what is it.... never heard of the concept" unless the conversation is kept to simple worries about semantics. For some reason, a number of westerners keep arguing about *words*, but the people who understand the concepts seem to have a common vocabulary. There is no Chinese word that means "groundpath" literally: it's just jin based on the support of the earth.
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:56 AM   #282
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Just for the fun of it, I sometimes show one of the "external qi" qigongs at some workshops in order to show that there's actually something behind a lot of the old traditional comments about qi as a magnetic feeling, etc. (or at least a facet thereof). It's not just a bunch of crap, but actually an interesting phenomenon to think about. "Fascia" and "magnetic auras" are interrelated. However, I expect it'll take some time for people to begin to take in the whole picture, rather than scoff as they did about the whole concept of what I.S. is.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
To be clear, my comments were about that guy, not Yi Chuan. If I see a bunch of videos that are clearly crap, I'm not going to listen to the guy.

As for magnetism, something can 'feel' like magnetism. In a portion of the solo stuff we do, it is very clear when you coordinate the breath that it *feels* like magnetic repulsion that drives your arms apart. It is a similar feeling. It's not magnetism, if it was magnetism, you would be able to measure the effect. No one has ever measured this. You can stand in a doorway and press your arms out into the walls for a minute, and when you let go it will *feel* like your arms float up without you trying. It *feels* like magnetism, it isn't. There is a huge difference between the analogy of magnetic attraction/repulsion and actually generating a magnetic field of that intensity. In order for a magnetic field of that intensity to exist (such that moved the iron in the blood) steel would be flying across the room. It's NOT magnetism.

Chris Moses
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:23 AM   #283
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

If there is magnetism going on, why won't a gauss meter show it? Or will it? Would love to see it if that is what is happening.
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:01 AM   #284
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Nothing wrong with that of course, but wanting to take my training to higher and higher levels of mastery are going to require me to invest in a great deal more failure and stepping outside of my comfort zone...it is not easy to do.

I think alot of what we see are many of us (most) are struggling with letting go of what we know and it gets scary and lonely when you do this. Then we attempt to define, pinpoint, measure, and quantify what it is that we are doing to maintain some degree of sanity and positive reinforcement.

For some, I think it is taken to an extreme and comes across as fundamentalism, dogmatic, and exclusionary unfortunately.

I think it would be best if we all simply realize that what we are trying to do is not done by very many people in the world, that we are a very unique and specailized group, let go of our differences and work together to help each other out, vice bickering back and forth trying to nail down what arts have it, who has it, who doesn't etc.

At the same time, it also requires us to be brutally honest with each other and not blow smoke up each others wazoo when what we think we are doing is getting us somewhere when it is not....that requires a great deal of trust and thick skin to be able to handle this...some can and some can't.
For those looking to put aiki back into aikido, I think we're to a point that, at times, we have to become a bit exclusionary. I mean look at the history. We've had people cross train in different aikido schools, cross train in different arts, etc. And still the aikido world lacks aiki. At this point in time, we have to be diligent in our efforts.

If someone is looking to put Internal Power (IP)/aiki/Internal Skills(IS) back into their aikido, we should be looking to those skills that were contained in the body of knowledge that Ueshiba had. Not every system, school, dojo, teacher will have them. And I'm sure people don't want to spend 20 more years in some system only to find out it didn't have IP/aiki.**

And it's my opinion that you won't find them in BJJ or GJJ or judo. I don't believe that there is IP/aiki in the BJJ world ... but I'm always open to the possibility that there might be one or two who could have learned it somewhere. However, that's a possibility, not a probability. ***

For those out there who think what I'm saying is a bad thing, please don't read it that way. As many here have pointed out, BJJ, etc can teach some very good skills. Skills most definitely worth having. And as the Gracies (and others) have proven, you don't need IP/aiki to be martial, effective, good, etc. High level jujutsu isn't to be dismissed. It can be very effective, soft, flowing, centered, and structured. But it is completely different from the aiki versions of those qualities.

We're talking about IP development methods in this thread and the BJJ world won't have it.

So, while I would recommend people to train in some style of BJJ, I would do so for all the very good qualities that have been posted here and elsewhere. But, I would not recommend training in some style of BJJ for developing IP/aiki. IMO, it just isn't there.

---
** It shouldn't take 20 anyway. You should see very defining differences by 5 years provided you are putting in the work.

*** As a side note here, we can look to the Judo world where most in the Kodokan in Kano's time lacked IP/aiki. More to the point, those few from the Kodokan who went out into the world and started mixing it up with other people most likely did not have IP/aiki. And if they didn't have it, then the people they taught most likely didn't have it. But, there were singular individuals at the Kodokan who had exemplary skills, such as Mifune. However, Mifune was a rarity.
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:03 AM   #285
Mike Sigman
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
As for magnetism, something can 'feel' like magnetism. In a portion of the solo stuff we do, it is very clear when you coordinate the breath that it *feels* like magnetic repulsion that drives your arms apart. It is a similar feeling. It's not magnetism, if it was magnetism, you would be able to measure the effect. No one has ever measured this.
It might be worth your time to read "Energy Medicine" by James L. Oschman. As Cheuk Fong mentions, there is a "field effect", meaning something in the electromagnetic spectrum, not specifically a magnetic field. I agree; there's something like that. Oschman's book gives notes and references on measurements, experiments, etc., about these effects as they have been studied in the West for, what, around a 100 years. He also discusses the relationship of these effects to the fascial tissues of the body.

Traditionally, as someone's "qi" skills (in the I.S. area) increase, the related fascia tissues increase in development, etc., so it would be reasonable to expect some growth of the "magnetic feeling" effect, and in fact many traditional teachers all for that in evaluating someone's progress. Is it something other than a noticeable phenomenon? I personally don't think you can meditate on it and become one of the X-Men and most CMA experts I know don't treat it as more than an odd phenomenon, either. But there's something there that is interesting to observe (without dwelling on it).

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:05 AM   #286
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Mark Murray wrote:

Quote:
For those looking to put aiki back into aikido, I think we're to a point that, at times, we have to become a bit exclusionary. I mean look at the history. We've had people cross train in different aikido schools, cross train in different arts, etc. And still the aikido world lacks aiki. At this point in time, we have to be diligent in our efforts.
At the sake of what? friends, family, martial ability, functionality, sanity? I train with a few folks in Aikido that are very interested in "putting the aiki back in aiki", that said, we are not throwing the baby out with the bath water either. That was my only point. I don't believe devisiveness gets us anywhere. Maybe exclusionary is not the best word?

Quote:
And it's my opinion that you won't find them in BJJ or GJJ or judo. I don't believe that there is IP/aiki in the BJJ world ... but I'm always open to the possibility that there might be one or two who could have learned it somewhere. However, that's a possibility, not a probability. ***
Again, I think you missed the whole logic point of what this was orignially stated. No one, ever stated that BJJ randori and waza that is commonly done is the best way to study this stuff, and just like every other martial art, you have the mainstream that is concerned with a very fundamental and basic practice.

However, if you pay attention to what Rickson does, says, and is...you will see that there is alot more than what is out there that you could include. Ever think that maybe Rickson thinks like you? Ever think that maybe he wants to "put aiki in BJJ". Are you familar with how he trains? Are you familiar with every practicioner? Everyone who studies BJJ?

It is no different than Aikido, Tai Chi, or any other practice.

All I can say is I lay hands on guys like Rickson (whom I haven't), Saulo and Xande Riberiro, who I have and others and feel what they are doing and I say..."hey I want that too". They steer me to develop baseline skills through Ginastica Natural, Yoga and other things. hmmm. Lots of the same advice, same form, same type of conditioning that I see in say...Ark's practice, albeit slightly different.

All I can say is I look at Rickson at 50 years old and say...hey I wanna be like him. Wow.

I see others out there...hmmmm not so much.

Quote:
And as the Gracies (and others) have proven, you don't need IP/aiki to be martial, effective, good, etc. High level jujutsu isn't to be dismissed. It can be very effective, soft, flowing, centered, and structured. But it is completely different from the aiki versions of those qualities.
How is it different? what is different about it? what does Aiki do for you that is different?

No you don't need aiki to be effective, but again..what is it that you are trying to do with all this accumulated training?

Quote:
As a side note here, we can look to the Judo world where most in the Kodokan in Kano's time lacked IP/aiki. More to the point, those few from the Kodokan who went out into the world and started mixing it up with other people most likely did not have IP/aiki. And if they didn't have it, then the people they taught most likely didn't have it. But, there were singular individuals at the Kodokan who had exemplary skills, such as Mifune. However, Mifune was a rarity.
So how is the fact that they had a few people such as Mifune any different than say....aikido, tai chi...or anything else? I think it is pretty well established that very few people actually pick this stuff up, can teach it, and can integrate it. In any given system worth it's weight in gold...I think this statisitic pretty much holds true...very few.

I wrote:

Quote:
Sure we get mad and frustrated with each other from time to time, I think that is natural. That said, I personally, have no problems training with anyone here on aikiweb, even those I have disagreements with, because in the bigger scheme of things, I think that the differences are petty and minor and natural to go through....that is, if the other person can let go of this crap and train honestly without the ego crap.
I still stand by this, so if you can set this aside, I can and I would welcome the opportunity to train any time.

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Old 11-18-2009, 09:37 AM   #287
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

"All I can say is I lay hands on guys like Rickson (whom I haven't), Saulo and Xande Riberiro, who I have and others and feel what they are doing and I say..."hey I want that too". They steer me to develop baseline skills through Ginastica Natural, Yoga and other things. hmmm. Lots of the same advice, same form, same type of conditioning that I see in say...Ark's practice, albeit slightly different."

I find this interesting Kevin. What kind of conditioning methods, advice, and forms do these guys give/offer that are similar to Ark's practise? Do you think that by practising BJJ you are somewhat practising Aunkai? Is this only limited to the names you've given above or are the methods widespread in the BJJ world?

"No you don't need aiki to be effective, but again..what is it that you are trying to do with all this accumulated training?"

You practise aiki because it simply gives you an upperhand. All things considered, a BJJ guy can still beat a guy who has aiki. But if you were to put two men who are equal in will, experience, drive, speed, strength, etc. ...the guy with aiki will definitely beat him. For one, the guy who doesn't have the aiki body quality wouldn't know how to deal with aiki--it would be something new to him. It's just another weapon in your arsenal, and it's quite a formidable one too, one that made guys like Takeda, Sagawa, and Ueshiba stand out in the budo world.

Unless stated otherwise, all wisdom, follies, harshness, malice that may spring up from my writing are attributable only to me.
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Old 11-18-2009, 10:32 AM   #288
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
I find this interesting Kevin. What kind of conditioning methods, advice, and forms do these guys give/offer that are similar to Ark's practise? Do you think that by practising BJJ you are somewhat practising Aunkai? Is this only limited to the names you've given above or are the methods widespread in the BJJ world
Hey Lorel. No I am not saying it is the same, nor am I saying you will get the same benefits, as Ark has developed a very specific practice designed to enhance some very specific skills.

G.N. is specific towards developing and conditioning the body for grappling, jiu jitsu, so it will be slightly different as they work in a different plane of orientation.

Again, I am only pointing out parallels that I have identified in training.

One thing I am noted when training with Ark is that I had not even developed the baseline that was needed to make much use of the stuff he was teaching us at the seminar.

So, I think that level of core building, wiring, and conditioning needs to be done first...however you do it...developing a strong, connected and feeling body.

Once you have the frame, I think you can then specialize and do whatever you want with it.

As G.N. is geared towards grappling, of course they are going to have specificity in that as well.

Then you have to layer on the relative value of skills etc that are needed to do whatever it is that you want to do.

For sake of illustration, a BJJ guy might depend 70% of timing, speed, and technique and 30% of internal skills.

Whereas a Aikido guy doing aikido in a demonstration might inverse this and use 70% internal skills and 30% timing, speed, and technique.

I think it all depends on what your goals of training are and the degree of specialization you want to obtain.

Quote:
You practise aiki because it simply gives you an upperhand. All things considered, a BJJ guy can still beat a guy who has aiki. But if you were to put two men who are equal in will, experience, drive, speed, strength, etc. ...the guy with aiki will definitely beat him. For one, the guy who doesn't have the aiki body quality wouldn't know how to deal with aiki--it would be something new to him. It's just another weapon in your arsenal, and it's quite a formidable one too, one that made guys like Takeda, Sagawa, and Ueshiba stand out in the budo world.
Absolutely, I agree, which is why I think balance is key and why I hang around and try and spend time doing this stuff.

I have rolled with a few top guys and their BJJ is different than others. VERY different.

Talk about hidden in plan sight....I then ask them, "hey, how do I do that?"

In all cases they didn't point me to learning more techniques, running, lifting weights, drills...no they pointed me to things like Yoga, Ginastica natural...etc.

So, when I then get hands on the impressive guys with IT skills, and feel them and go to the seminar...they are stressing alot of the same fundamental base line things...albeit with all of them with a slightly different take and degree of specialization.

I can't really do a frame by frame or blow by blow..."hey check this out, it is exactly what ark is doing". As none of it is exactly the same, but when you look at it from a macroscopic Kineseiology view of what is going on...fundamentally it is all based on the same principles.

Does that a guy like Rickson can do the Jo trick? Probably not, he hasn't probably ever done it. No more than Ark can show you the fundamentals of the guard and the use of IP.

But I bet if you put those two guys in the room together within an hour they'd have each other doing a pretty damn good job of each of those things...better than say you or I with that same amount of time!

If Rickson can't do the Jo trick...it doesn't necessarily mean that he doesn't have IT....as that is a test based on specialization.

But, if Ark and Rickson layed hands on each other, I'd bet they'd both get a smile on their face with what they felt once they were able to communicate internally.

However, it could be that Rickson has also only devleoped his skills enough to suit his purposes...I don't know. It could be that Ark has chosen to specialize so much that he has alot more ability in this area than Rickson....Okay...so what?

I am also betting that Rickson would learn alot from Ark if he wanted/needed to.

and Vice Versa.

See my point?

It is all relatvie I think to what you want to do and/or what interest you.

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Old 11-18-2009, 10:51 AM   #289
ChrisMoses
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

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It might be worth your time to read "Energy Medicine" by James L. Oschman. As Cheuk Fong mentions, there is a "field effect", meaning something in the electromagnetic spectrum, not specifically a magnetic field. I agree; there's something like that. Oschman's book gives notes and references on measurements, experiments, etc., about these effects as they have been studied in the West for, what, around a 100 years. He also discusses the relationship of these effects to the fascial tissues of the body.
The Cliff's Notes are pretty interesting.

Chris Moses
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:11 AM   #290
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

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Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post

J. P. Lau's synopsis of Hunyuan zhuang is very detailed:

http://mysite.verizon.net/reswv21m/s...tepposture.pdf

Whether or not someone already has an idea of how these things work, Lau's article is worth reading for a good description of an important piece of Yiquan training that encapsulates much of the essence of the art.
Excellent article that brings together in one place many core points on IT posture and mental intent that I have picked up from Tohei's Ki development, Dan, Mike, as well as other sources.

Greg Steckel
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:14 AM   #291
Lorel Latorilla
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

It's recommended by some of the IT guys that you stop fighting altogether and focus on re-wiring your movement for some time. I did BJJ for a couple of months last year, but it did not help me at all with what I was trying to develop, so I stopped (granted the BJJ guys said I was really strong and fast). Maybe you're smarter than I am, but for me, 'balance' as you define it is not key.

"So, when I then get hands on the impressive guys with IT skills, and feel them and go to the seminar...they are stressing alot of the same fundamental base line things...albeit with all of them with a slightly different take and degree of specialization.

I can't really do a frame by frame or blow by blow..."hey check this out, it is exactly what ark is doing". As none of it is exactly the same, but when you look at it from a macroscopic Kineseiology view of what is going on...fundamentally it is all based on the same principles"

This is where I don't follow you. In the same paragraph, there is a contradiction. You're saying these things are not the same, but yet they are all fundamentally based on the same principles. In any case, if we are to take the idea that BJJ is based on the same fundamental principles (whatever they are) as Daito-Ryu but is different from, it in terms of specialization, then it's possible that you're suggesting that aiki is being worked and trained in BJJ methods, only it is reserved/limited strictly to the ground whereas Daito-Ryu uses aiki in stand-up grappling. In that case, the aiki that you acquire in BJJ should be translatable to striking, to stand up grappling. I think it would be a worthwhile experiment to teach high-level BJJ guys (black belts) some aiki-age and aiki-sage dynamics in punches and also hand lifting. If they already had aiki, a little tweaking here and there would make these guys the best fighters in the world. They wouldn't need Muay Thai for stand-up.

Also, if it is in BJJ, for guys who are interested in MMA/freestyle grappling/sparring, I think it would be worthless to study IT discretely. For the reason that you can develop IT in BJJ while learning how to fight with it. Wouldn't it be more efficient to just train BJJ, learning IT and learning how to fight at the same time, instead of focusing on just IT? Who cares about the jo trick when you can learn aiki by choking someone out?

Unless stated otherwise, all wisdom, follies, harshness, malice that may spring up from my writing are attributable only to me.
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:20 AM   #292
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

WRT to the idea of aiki within arts of varied types... I think it was Ellis Amdur who wrote (and I'm paraphrasing as I can't find the original -- all apologies and mistakes are mine solely) "Aiki is like a fine spirit. But without a container it's all over the floor." (again, paraphrased -- blame me for any screwups).

I really liked that comment because it pointed out that for many of us the aiki thing is part of a vastly larger context. I've grappled a bit with a friend who is highly ranked in BJJ. One day from the clinch I felt him essentially do a sort of internal tenchinage on me. I felt him take my center and start to drop it. It felt very much like a tenchinage we do in our style but also like what I felt from George Ledyard at the aikiweb seminar. I just laughed because in the clinch I could feel the probing of the center going on at both a gross but also at a very subtle level. It wasn't just strength or "mechanical advantage". We were connected structurally and he used it.

So I showed him how we do tenchinage and then he laughed as well...

The only point here is that I think a few develop these skills to some extent or another accidentally. Or maybe it is more accurate to say that after sufficient time being involved in grappling and ukemi with sufficient intent and having the problem of not always being the stronger guy, sometimes these skills start to develop. Especially among some who are "apt" to do so. Our lineage (offshoot from Tohei) focused on aiki taiso and ki as fundamental. That said I've learned a lot by training with, listening to, and simply watching guys like Toby Threadgill, Mike Sigman, et al. Much of it has caused me to "reposition" and reconsider much of what I thought I knew. But nothing has been "throw what you know away" as much as clarifying, expanding, and clearing up missing detail. It's like having a theory to explain a phenomena for a long time. Then suddenly seeing new details and being told something from a different perspective that causes you to "reconstruct" your web of belief. The web is much the same, but stronger, wider, more nuanced and as a result suddenly much more useful. You jump a plateau.

So all that said... Speaking for myself I'm *very* interested in this stuff. I've been doing a lot of exercises lately I learned from Mike Sigman and Toby Threadgill with a promise to myself to stay relatively quiet and open minded for a while as I practice. I.e., my motto for myself with respect to this stuff is "shut up and train". But I'm also integrating this understanding into my aikido. Expanding my understanding of my aikido. And coming to grips with the very profound title of Mr. Amdur's book -- hidden in plain sight. Yes. Always there but always slightly out of reach. Seems closer now. But... For me it is about improving a vastly larger picture of the art I love. And improving my own abilities.

So I fully respect those who work solely in developing IS. Cool. But I think it is naive at best to think that only a few hold the keys or that the skills are a sort of binary absolutely have it/absolutely don't have it proposition. It is a continuum. Some teach it overtly and well. Others teach something that looks like it but is total BS and empty (confusing the external movement with the internal action). And then there are those who don't talk about it at all but where at the highest levels you find evidence of the same stuff (my BJJ friend essentially locking up my structure and sending me to the ground -- to him it wasn't IS or "aiki" or whatever you want to call it -- it was just good, subtle, high level grappling -- I'm the one who said it was something different.).

So for me, as my health permits, it is "Damatte keikoshiro". Shut up and train. I make the time to see the guys who've got good stuff, regardless of what that good stuff is. And I try to integrate it into my practice. Is that Aikido? Seems a semantics question to me. It is what I do, however.

As an aside, if my life were different, if I were single without a wife and daughter I would have moved to Colorado years ago to train as often as possible with Toby Threadgill. I'm still trying to figure out a way to convince my wife that I'd really like to drive out to visit Elias and Lovato regularly and join up with them. But life, time and family simply don't permit me to give the focus *they* would deserve. I don't believe in doing something half-assed. But the bigger point for this thread is that I'm not interested in the IS as an end in and of itself. I'm interested in the bigger picture. The arts themselves, the whole deal -- the big banana. Which is of course defined by my interests, wants and needs.

Rambling, meandering, probably off topic post has now concluded...

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Old 11-18-2009, 12:12 PM   #293
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
WRT to the idea of aiki within arts of varied types... I think it was Ellis Amdur who wrote (and I'm paraphrasing as I can't find the original -- all apologies and mistakes are mine solely) "Aiki is like a fine spirit. But without a container it's all over the floor." (again, paraphrased -- blame me for any screwups).

[snip]

Much of it has caused me to "reposition" and reconsider much of what I thought I knew. But nothing has been "throw what you know away" as much as clarifying, expanding, and clearing up missing detail. It's like having a theory to explain a phenomena for a long time. Then suddenly seeing new details and being told something from a different perspective that causes you to "reconstruct" your web of belief. The web is much the same, but stronger, wider, more nuanced and as a result suddenly much more useful. You jump a plateau.

[snip]

So for me, as my health permits, it is "Damatte keikoshiro". Shut up and train. I make the time to see the guys who've got good stuff, regardless of what that good stuff is. And I try to integrate it into my practice. Is that Aikido? Seems a semantics question to me. It is what I do, however.

[snip]

Rambling, meandering, probably off topic post has now concluded...
Very on-topic post, Keith. Well-stated, and I really like that perspective. Thanks.
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:38 PM   #294
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Well, my somewhat counter to Keith's post above (without disagreeing with his choice for him) is that if your goal is to train internal strength, then you need to be doing that and seeing measurable results. If your goal is to train a martial art and add components of internal strength, then I think it's worth considering and working out exactly how you're doing it - especially since it seems that there's different approaches . .

So, if there's an optimal IS approach for say . .aikido . . what are you concretely doing to develop your IS for aikido? Is it integrated right into your aikido practice? (if so, how?) Is it a collection of exercises you've picked up that are training different things, the same? (if so, how are you measuring progress)

If your objective is to just train and enjoy the process of training, then maybe it doesn't matter so much as long as you kinda seem like you're making progress . . To each their own . . but if you have concrete goals, then it seems to me to make sense to have as close to a concrete methodology as possible (and making sure that your training adheres to the latter and enables the former).

I tend to agree with the "shuddup and train" method when it comes to people wondering aloud about this or that . . or spending too much time around the campfire telling stories or offering their assertion based on how they "feel" about something . . but I think this is a different beast . . there's a core logic that a number of people are following or working towards, but different ways of talking around it. If the intent of this thread (as well sorta as Kevin's in the Off-Topic area) is to give a sounding board for peeps to articulate what they are doing . . I think that's an important part of the training process as well (and different from offering your "take").
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:36 PM   #295
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Keith, your my long lost brother. Amen!

Budd,

I honestly thought you were gonna offer something counter? I don't see it that way at all.

I agree that you need a feedback process.

The feedback process is important when training so you can feel and learn as you do these things.

I flip back and forth between IT/IS training, "normal" aikido waza, BJJ, and Yoga.

In each of these methods the training conditions and feeback mechanisms are different, some more subtle than others, and each offers there own ways of helping you become better at whatever it is you want to do.

Quote:
So, if there's an optimal IS approach for say . .aikido . . what are you concretely doing to develop your IS for aikido? Is it integrated right into your aikido practice? (if so, how?) Is it a collection of exercises you've picked up that are training different things, the same? (if so, how are you measuring progress)
Well, I think aikido is pretty much all about this. I can't really think what else it is for. On this issue, ironically, I agree with Mark Murray.

Where I might differ is on the degree or assessment of what is missing and the relative importance it plays in the over all practice, which is Budo, not IT/IS development. I believe there is a difference.

So, if our aikido practice has somewhat lost this abilty for whatever reason thruogh failure to properly transmit, then I think getting help is warranted to get us back on track. All in due time, and not at the expense of damaging relationships, friends, losing sight of priorities.

Quote:
If your objective is to just train and enjoy the process of training, then maybe it doesn't matter so much as long as you kinda seem like you're making progress . . To each their own . . but if you have concrete goals, then it seems to me to make sense to have as close to a concrete methodology as possible (and making sure that your training adheres to the latter and enables the former
I agree. I also think that you have as many goals as you have people studying, many of these goals are personal and private. I think all we can really do is present possibilities, a framework, and encourage people to explore the realm of possibilities. Most people I think find what they are looking for (or maybe they don't), but whatever....I think, like you do, to eaches own.

Along that line, I think we have to be careful to keep the fundamentalism and Parochialism out of the mix and all will be well in aikiland!

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Old 11-18-2009, 02:07 PM   #296
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Pre-script: I keep thinking about the book Freakanomics as I am writing here. Worth a read if you are interested at what is really going on with paradigms, assumptions, and inferences.

Lorel wrote:

Quote:
You're saying these things are not the same, but yet they are all fundamentally based on the same principles
Like the difference between a duck and a woodpecker. Both have feathers, both can fly..but a duck can't drill holes in a tree and a woodpecker can't swim! It depends on the level of categorization you want to impose.

Quote:
It's recommended by some of the IT guys that you stop fighting altogether and focus on re-wiring your movement for some time. I did BJJ for a couple of months last year, but it did not help me at all with what I was trying to develop, so I stopped (granted the BJJ guys said I was really strong and fast). Maybe you're smarter than I am, but for me, 'balance' as you define it is not key.
How long did you have under your belt in BJJ Lorel?

I have like 5 solid years of on average about 8 hours of training per week, with a few major competitions and a fair amount of stick time with some quality guys. This is not to mention the "full time" training I recieved through the Army over the past few years.

This is not alot of time either mind you, but enough I think to begin understanding it.

I bring this up, not to say...you don't know anything son....but to illustrate that I'd make the same recommendation to you concerning investment of time.

With a little bit of time in BJJ, or any MA for that matter, the learning curve is steep and investment cost is high. Whereas I won't abandon it...i'd also probably recommend that you not start it either if your goals are what the are.

Kinda goes hand in hand with that whole 20 years of mastery thing that people talk about.

Toby Threadgill is a wonderful instructor, impressive at what he does and like Keith, I'd love to have the opportunity to drop what I am doing and spend time learning TYSR from him. However, I can't and studying from a distance, not fully committed is not gonna do me much good as I would have to put a great deal of time in this in order to get out of it what Toby has today....for the same reasons, I'd recommend not doing TYSR!

So how can you achieve balance with BJJ unless you are gonna devote the time necessary to learn it...it is a huge, huge investment...BJJ is not easy! Not only do you have to spend time in class, but you have to work out on your own, and do lots of reading, video watching, visualization, meditation, diet...

BJJ gets a bad rap just like AIkido does because some guy goes to a dojo rolls with a Blue Belt and thinks that is BJJ and draws his conclusion there based on a guy that has studied for about 2 years.

So, no, BJJ will not help your internal development what-so-ever! The learning curve is so steep for you to develop the baseline framework, that until you get through that initial investment time....you'd be better off doing something else in your IT training.

That is, unless your goal is to be a good BJJ guy.

Quote:
I think it would be a worthwhile experiment to teach high-level BJJ guys (black belts) some aiki-age and aiki-sage dynamics in punches and also hand lifting. If they already had aiki, a little tweaking here and there would make these guys the best fighters in the world. They wouldn't need Muay Thai for stand-up.
I agree that would be cool. Again, back to the whole Freakanomics thing....

I think there are simply some exceptional people in the world. The rest of us are just normal and can rise to do some exceptional things every once in a while if we work hard at it.

It could be that we want to be O Sensei, Rickson Gracie, Ark, Ushiro or any number of people we hold in high regard.

The fact of the matter is we will probably never get there for any number of reasons that are beyond our control.

You could throw Ark and Rickson together and I am betting you'd see some amazing stuff happen.

You could throw any other IT guy and a BJJ black belt in the same room and maybe not have the same experience.

Tim Fong and Takeo Eda took Ark out to shoot skeet. From the account it was interesting to watch how quickly he picked this up. Why? is it because of his training or is it because he is just Ark.

We sometimes need to let ourselves off the hook and just be happy sometimes. We can only be the best you can be, and that should be good enough!

Quote:
Also, if it is in BJJ, for guys who are interested in MMA/freestyle grappling/sparring, I think it would be worthless to study IT discretely. For the reason that you can develop IT in BJJ while learning how to fight with it. Wouldn't it be more efficient to just train BJJ, learning IT and learning how to fight at the same time, instead of focusing on just IT? Who cares about the jo trick when you can learn aiki by choking someone out?
I agree with your assessment here for the most part. This is something I struggle with. Somedays I feel like I should just drop my aikdo studies all together and do BJJ. At the same time, my experiences have taught me that it is easy to crawl inside one paradigm and get comfortable.

No, I think there is more to all this than the concrete physical skills. Alot of it has to do with a different way of learning, progressing, and growing. I have yet to find a complete art, practice, methodology or teacher.

For me, it has never been an issue on the training, simply finding a midway to balance my life out. I want to grow old and have a great quality of life. As such, I think doing things maybe my own way is a way to do this. I think each one of us will find a slightly different way to do all this stuff, which is fine and wonderful.

It is an investment of time and effort, but each of us has to figure out what the right mix is for ourselves.

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Old 11-18-2009, 02:13 PM   #297
Budd
 
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

I did say "somewhat" counter and implied that I didn't necessarily disagree . .

And of course, Kevin, the other things you reference are definitely important . . but I think one of the things you reference and has been implied elsewhere by others is the idea that you do some IS . .then "normal" aikido, then yoga, BJJ . .etc. Are you doing completely different practices when you do them? How much does one enable another? How much can they potentially conflict? Have you resolved them in your approach so that they are all kinda "one thing" that is expressed differently (based on activity format). . or do you practice them segmentedly as each being their own thing . .

More to the point when you do IS . .are you doing some of Akuzawa's exercises . . some of what you learned from Mike Sigman, some of what you learned from Toby Threadgill, Ushiro, etc.? Do you see them all as one and the same? How are you measuring progress made in IS as it's own thing . . versus how you apply it in other endeavors (aikido, bjj, yoga, etc.) . .

I think those kinds of considerations are pretty critical when you talk about Internal Power Development "methods".
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:35 PM   #298
Keith Larman
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

To Budd, Kevin, et al.

I'm really not disagreeing with various takes on how to get from point A to B. I will point out, however, that I've met people doing Aikido who are amazing technically (crisp waza, movement, etc.) that seem to have virtually zero of the IS stuff, what we would call aiki in my style. We begin every class with 20 minutes of solo exercises. Our late sensei, Rod Kobayashi, used Tohei's aiki taiso but made changes. And he had his own way of teaching it. His senior students now teaching in his school have their own way as well. We have ways of testing the aiki taiso at every point within the exercises. We test for all the principles we work on. One-point, ki "flowing", weight settled down, controlled relaxation, etc. And I'll say within our school we have a people who exhibit these things at various levels as well. Some are better than others. The point here is that we've had visitors from other styles who move beautifully, have that crisp waza and are quite effective martially but who really can't do many of those things we consider basic.

So the idea here is that there is a really big domain of what we call "aikido". And I am completely open to the idea that for some it *will* be a complete overhaul. For others it might be a "major" change. For some it may be more of an expansion, elucidation and maybe "enlightenment" experience to be exposed to the direct methods some of these guys like Mike and Toby are doing (I used them because I have direct, hands-on with them).

Sure, I might be completely deluded as well. I think before I first met up with Toby and Mike I wasn't so sure about the whole "develop the IS body" deal. Now, I really don't have much of a doubt in that area and I work on various exercises daily and I've seen/felt the results within my own body and work. And given our style had such a strong focus on aiki as defined in the way Tohei taught it as modified by Kobayashi sensei I have found it fairly amenable to directly utilizing the ideas. They're not so much "revolutionary" as they are expansive and explanatory to what we were already doing. Sort of like the differenced between a reading popular science book on quantum mechanics and then really sitting down and taking a formal set of courses at a high level. It's not that the topics are new, but the depth and richness has expanded, filling holes, making things apparent that weren't obvious before, but also greatly enlarging the possibilities. So where I'm at as both a student and an instructor I find it exhilarating to say the least.

I guess what I'm saying is that for some they may be in a position where they're already in a position to take this stuff and run with it. That does not mean going out and teaching IS. But I think each person will find that the integration of this stuff into what they're doing will be unique to that person, their experiences, their training and their aptitudes to begin with. So all the discussion about the "right" way to go about this seems to me to be somewhat simplistic.

Heck, I had been puzzling for years about feelings in my arms and back with ushirotori zenponage movements. I remember years ago feeling this weird connection in my arms from pinky to pinky. I remember realizing I could feel this right across my back as well. Then I remember realizing I could attach that in a sense to my center making the throw so much more smooth and powerful all while I relaxed more. Taking Mike's seminar he started demonstrating suit and the universal exercise and voila, bells go off. Yeah, that's the exact same feeling but explained with new metaphors and images. Suddenly a bunch of things make sense.

Toby spent time talking about how funakogi was done years ago in other styles. Another light bulb. Another insight about things I have been taught that maybe lacked some of that insight due either to my lack of knowledge and imagination or maybe just that the explanation was never given to me.

So anyway, the long ramble is to say that it is a complex issue. And I find those that say "this is the only way to learn -- you must drop all and focus exclusively on this or that" is a bit too rigid a point of view. For some (many?) I would probably agree. But not for all. And I think the view that someone out there like a Rickson can't have IS because they don't do these things the same way is really quite silly. Maybe it wouldn't be as overtly developed as someone else, but there is little doubt the dude is tremendously effective. And his ability to do things with stronger, younger opponents certainly points to a level of skill and subtlety that suggests there's a lot going on in there.

But... Like I said before... Damatte keikoshiro. Talking is easy. The hard part is going out and doing exercises and focusing on where this stuff would have been. I see it in all of our waza. I see how it applies and have little doubt about it. I think in many ways the "loss" of this stuff was more about many of the greats not being able to communicate it that well along with many of their students seeing the outside but missing the soft, chewy and delicious creamy filling. To a great extent it in part explains why aikido broke up into so many different "styles".

So to come full circle... It seems to me that in a few years the question won't be about whether this stuff is valuable. The question then is going to be "okay, fine, but now how valuable is this stuff if we can't figure out how to do it at full speed against committed attackers. This is back to Mr. Amdur's comment about the container. There's a lot involved here. And everyone's experience and level being different will mean there will be a lot of "optimal" paths.

So all that said... Gotta go do the three routines Toby demonstrated. Amazingly subtle. Then it is the universal exercise and some pool noodling compliments of Mike Sigman. And maybe a little time outside with my subarito just practicing cuts generated from my hara/one-point/dantien/....

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Old 11-18-2009, 02:42 PM   #299
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Basically Budd, I am confused and talk alot.

I have gone through a couple of stages as it relates to IT stuff.

Denial. I debated ad nausem from a paradigm of "well if this is any good, then why don't we see it in the UFC?" Why hasn't a fat old Chinese guy gone into the ring to show his superior ability.

Mike spent alot of time on getting me straight on the issue here.

Early Acceptance: "Okay, I see it, haven't felt it, but it looks just like X...so I do it."

Acceptance: Went and felt Mike at your dojo and said, okay..I get it now get it, and no I am not able to do this stuff...but cool.

Early enthuaism: Way cool...took back exercises started doing them...got frustrated, distracted...more time goes by...stopped doing them.

Midpoint enthuasm: Went to Arks Seminar. re-energized. "wow" I really need to get in shape man great if I want to do this stuff. Did them...frustrated, distracted, time goes by...stopped.

late enthusaism: "you know, the little bit I was doing seemed to pay off some...wow...if I invested the time...wow".

Let Down: "man this sutff is tough, I wish I had someone to push me give me help".

Wife drags me to Yoga class: Wow, this I can do, and I think it will help me...hmmm that is what my old MMA coach was telling me...do yoga. Feels very complimentary and I can do it...better to do something than nothing...so I will do this for a while.

After several months of doing yoga I start noticing improvement in the way I move. back pain, gone, core strength rising, becoming aware not to use my shoulders..that I have ability to access power elsewhere, getting more stable etc.

Getting back with Toby and Ushiro. Notice that I am able to at least grasp some basic things and replicate them that I could not do a year prior.

BJJ game is improving...how do I know?...I get two promotions in a six month period and great counseling to keep doing my training I am doing from my coach.

Quote:
Have you resolved them in your approach so that they are all kinda "one thing" that is expressed differently (based on activity format). . or do you practice them segmentedly as each being their own thing .
Good question Budd. One I personally struggle with as there are only so many hours in the day to train so I have to set priorities. I am constantly concerned I don't have the right mix of training.

I segment my training. If I am doing BJJ, then that is what I do. Same with Yoga, Aikido, or IT training. You have to.

Each of them require the exact same proper kineseology, structure, and alignment. So, for example, if I am working on my IT skills, feel, and proprioception, I try and do those things in my BJJ practice to see if I can maintain that.

It is hard to do, of course as there are so many other things going on and I am at the point were my IT skills are very, very low. I have to try like 10 times and have alot of coaching to get something right, but that is an improvement from not being able to do anything at all!

So, how do you integrate something in an alive environment that you can't do in a very controlled environment. You can't...holistically.

However, there are alot of things that I think begin to fix themselves and I think you get some immediate gains simply through core building, posture, maintaining the cross...even though you may not be able to fully do a IT test.

What I do with the material from Ark, Toby, Ushiro, and Mike is I try to review it and as I am ready to see and understand it, I integrate it as I can into my base. Keep in mind...we are talking very, very small things. I have never said I have any IT abilities what-so-ever, and I am probably not the example to follow...just sharing my experiences, frustrations, and discoveries.

From my own hardheaded experiences...I will look back 10 years later and say "if I'd have only listened to ____". Well, unfortunately, I am hardheaded.....it is probably why I am an Infantryman.

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Old 11-18-2009, 03:33 PM   #300
Budd
 
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Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Kevin, I totally understand where you are coming from (I'm a relatively new parent and work loooooong hours - so limited hours in a day) . . I think - especially as we get some years in of training and develop our own methods or approaches, we look to our own kinds of reinforcement as a comfort .. which in some ways is a bit antithetical to getting the foot in the door with IS, because - at least in my little experience - you're asked to work on things based on visualizations, intent . . and told flat out that it takes a lot of work and time to get anywhere . . so we get pumped up, work on it for a bit . . at this point - to what you said, a number fall off the wagon, others go down tangents, others get sucked into SPD (self perception disorder), others just train (at least a little bit) every day and see what happens, others set specific goals and train towards them . .

Like any other activity, really . . Here's the rub, I think . .and it is not that I'm particularly interested in applying a stringent set of "you must do it this way!!" (even if I mean lean a bit in that direction ;P ) . . I think that there is a core, fundamental logic of "how to's" that has been laid out in very eloquently flowing language for many, many years . . deciphering them can be tricky and just because something that your (anyone's) teacher said years ago or you did an exercise that feels different, now . . doesn't mean that it is exhibiting the very basic principles of your center and connective tissue managing the relationship between gravity and the solidity of the ground . . see . . that reads very simple . . training to do this . . starts basic, requires lots of time and effort to recondition the body. . And . . there's the foot in the door to IS, methinks. I really don't think I've said anything particularly controversial (at least I hope I haven't).

And I agree, there's going to be lots of ways/approaches that work towards doing this (held tensions, emphasis on breathing, stretching, pressurization) . . but at the end of the day . . if your training is addressing this as a primary goal then you should at least be fulfilling the requirements as outlined by the VERY BASICS of the approach . . and as of yet, I haven't heard of anyone revealing very much beyond the very basics of IS/foot in the door type stuff (not saying at all it hasn't happened, just going off of reviews and recollections from people posting here and side convos) at the public seminars. . soooo if you're just training like you've always been training and then spending some time working on IS as a separate thing . . does it logically follow that the progress is going to be slower . . just to get a foot in the door?

If they integrate nicely (as in Keith's discussion of how he relates what he's gotten from Mike and Toby back to the stuff derived originally from Tohei's ki-society approach), then that certainly would seem to help . . and I would add on to that there needs to be some objective benchmarks (a la Tohei's ki tests, but perhaps less "feat" driven and more "feat and feel" driven, ha, try making that objective - gets hard, dammit!) . . for peer testing as well as getting level set by someone that knows more than you do. With an eventual goal being able to apply them in a progressively more live environment.

But then like we keep saying . . it depends on what your goals are . . Perhaps for those most interested in this thread (presumably with a goal of developing Internal Strength and the resulting methods to get there) . . I would think something that integrates and pushes you in a coordinated fashion towards being able to progressively manifest purer (less discernibley driven by local muscle) applications with increasingly resulting power (not necessarily someone's end goal, but should be part of the skillset - especially in a martial context) . . it should be something you'd at least want to keep an eye on and work towards . . if you (not you YOU, but you, person training to develop internal strength) are doing the work and the method is failing to get you there in a reasonable amount of time . . at some point it may be worth rethinking.

YMMV
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