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Old 04-01-2010, 08:34 PM   #26
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

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Conrad Gustafson wrote: View Post
I think we've reached the outer limits of the usefulness of internet discussion.
Not actually true. There are far horizons beyond that point, but few have the patience, and even fewer the charity, to go there.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:44 PM   #27
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

Budd, fair enough.

I am more about the feel and doing it than I am about trying to nail down the physics or nailing down exactly what is going on "scientifically".

Frankly I am really not smart enough to do that.

For example up at your dojo Mike Sigman "hit" me in the chest in such a way that it essentially provided no proprioceptive feedback until the point of impact which was a tremendous amount of force that went into my core. This, of course, was from minimal investment (economy) of force.

Other than from what I observed/felt, I cannot tell you really what is being done...only from what MIke was able to expain to me. He then tried to teach me how to do it, and of course, I could not, and he showed me why and where I was "bleeding" out energy.

That is all I can really say about it.

Same experiences from all the IS guys.

So, for me...I can imagine an application for that, say in a CQB situaiton where I want to maintain my balance/economy, yet deliver an efficient transfer of energy into my opponent.

What interest me, and my BJJ experiences are the same, is moving in the most efficient manner possible with the reduction of transmission of feedback to my opponent and with such economy that I can place energy/effort in the exact places I need to to effect the situation.

My experiences in BJJ says that if you can reduce feedback, then your opponent can't react to you or "orient" on you (OODA), and you can beat him.

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Old 04-01-2010, 09:58 PM   #28
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
For example up at your dojo Mike Sigman "hit" me in the chest in such a way that it essentially provided no proprioceptive feedback until the point of impact which was a tremendous amount of force
Hi Kevin, it might not be universally clear why you brought up the "hit" in relation to be asked about aiki. I'm sure we can all see the martial utility of that, and my personal opinion is that it is strongly related to aiki, but I doubt that I would have seen the relationship to aiki several years ago.
So do you also have any "experience reports" on more classically aiki ideas, like being made to lose balance on contact, or having your power base drained, or something like that?
Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:21 PM   #29
Budd
 
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

Hi Kevin - well and not even looking at it "scientifically" per se . . but you indicated that you could tell when people were using aiki in your previous post, so I'm curious - after getting hands on the various people . . and then the prior teachers that had glimpses of aiki . . is aiki . . as you say - the delivery of force - or the reduction of bleeding out energy/power?

Is it efficiency of movement - that reduces the bleed of energy/power? Is that the "harmony" of aiki? If so . . how is it trained to a level that is usable? I postulated above that it requires a massive and dedicated undertaking dedicated to just that . . independent of thoughts of application or martial art necessarily . . because . . you have to build up the abilities before you understand how you can apply it . .does that makes sense? (beyond moving efficiently and being able to withstand/return/deliver a lot of power)

Because what tends to happen is that people train towards the feats and application - BEFORE - building up the requisite conditioning of the body to move and behave appropriately. Then a complete martial art integrates that behavior into a delivery system that best exploits it.

My opinion - FWIW
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:41 PM   #30
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

Jonathan, yea sure. I mean, I think once you have the ability and experience to control yourself efficiently and once you can "read" your opponent in various orientations, then you have the ability to access and manipulate the core of your opponent...or respond in such a way that, if "behind", allows you to "get ahead" again.

I might look at things differently than many. I don't really concern myself anymore with "throwing" or off balancing anyone per se. Or focusing on the orientation of technique.

For me, it is all about what can be summed up in the concept of OODA. either I am "ahead" of my opponent, or "behind".

if I am ahead, then I am in control and he is reactive to me, and I am in a position to control his "center" and dominate. I can keep him disoriented and "off balance". This can be mentally or physically.

If I am behind, then he is doing it to me, and I need to "get back ahead".

What I see as the value of aiki is it allows me to maintain efficiently if I am ahead...giving him little or no feedback to "orient" on.

if I am behind, then it allows me to "hide" or reduce feedback and then access power in positions in which I am not in control or off balanced. I can then redirect that power and short circut the process and gain control again.

It can be translated into movement to gain a more dominate posture/position, or it can be translated into a return of power in which I can transfer energy through shoves, punches, grabs, etc that off balance, allowing me to gain control.

To me, it is not important any longer what I do to my opponent, in the sense that I am trying to do something to him such as throw him, off balance, or strike...but more important what I am doing with myself.

If I am doing right by me and moving correctly and working my body correctly...then things simply happen.

Sure, I have to "listen" to my opponent and respond appropriately. But the receptors of listening are in my own body and I have to listen to myself.

Making that switch to stop worrying about what I am doing to him and what I am doing inside myself was key I think.

Shit just "happens" now. Sometimes good...most of the time...meh....

But, I am finding as I go about training though that more good stuff is happening than bad.

Call it aiki or whatever else you want to call it....

I simply saw a common thread in all the guys that I felt moved well, and that had to do with what they were doing inside themselves and not so much what they were doing to the other guy.

A distinct difference and shift I think, than what I was focused on before.

Anyway, you see the utility I think when you do stuff like iriminage and especially kaeshi waza...and you realize that you can walk the edge much better and control or feel what nage is doing and play with it on a thread...it becomes fun...and you begin to read energy and when folks are doing a good job of using it efficiently and when they are not.

It has little or nothing, IMO, to do with throwing or moving your feet, or the position you are in..and everything to do with the FEEL.

well....I am just babbeling now, but I think maybe you see my perspective in here somewhere! lol!

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Old 04-01-2010, 11:24 PM   #31
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Hi Kevin - well and not even looking at it "scientifically" per se . . but you indicated that you could tell when people were using aiki in your previous post, so I'm curious - after getting hands on the various people . . and then the prior teachers that had glimpses of aiki . . is aiki . . as you say - the delivery of force - or the reduction of bleeding out energy/power?

Is it efficiency of movement - that reduces the bleed of energy/power? Is that the "harmony" of aiki? If so . . how is it trained to a level that is usable? I postulated above that it requires a massive and dedicated undertaking dedicated to just that . . independent of thoughts of application or martial art necessarily . . because . . you have to build up the abilities before you understand how you can apply it . .does that makes sense? (beyond moving efficiently and being able to withstand/return/deliver a lot of power)

Because what tends to happen is that people train towards the feats and application - BEFORE - building up the requisite conditioning of the body to move and behave appropriately. Then a complete martial art integrates that behavior into a delivery system that best exploits it.

My opinion - FWIW
Budd, I just spent about 15 minutes replying to this...and my damned browser jacked it up. I don't have the energy to retype it (sorry).

In short, I agree with your statement that sure, you have to condition yourself and buidl up to it to "generate alot of power".

However, I also don't believe that you can't train towards something and implement "some power" while you do so.

I am "more powerful" than I was before I did aiki. I DO train in AIki ways...and it has helped me.

However, I am NOT a purist, nor do I ever expect to perfect or obtain the level of training that guys like Mike Sigman or Ark have achieved.

No, my goals or much more immediate and pragmatic. I need to be able to F-up bad guys in a matter of months...so I personally don't have years to get there. If I can generate more power than I did two years ago..than I view myself as having achieved something worthwile.

I personally feel my training and exposure to IS has helped me.

Now, if I get back with Mike Sigman, I am sure he will say, meh...no progress.

Two different perspectives on things. I think most folks in Aiki/Aikido are concerned with perfection and the intellectual/theorteical pursuit of budo...which is a good thing...I am too.

However, I am not willing, nor can I personally risk "experimenting" with this stuff and delaying/retarding my training to the future.

I need to be better than I was yesterday....TODAY.

So while the purist will use Jo tricks, push hands, etc to fine tune and "judge" growth.....

I like to put on Blauer suits and have a non-compliant guy that weighs 250 or more try and jack me up.

Am I using Aiki do control him?

This thought does not enter my mind. I am trying to protect myself and jack him up instead.

So, I take a video camera or have a coach tell me how I am doing.

If I am doing better than I was last year...then I am happy with my training and something must be going right.

Aikido/Aiki training I believe has helped me in that area. That is all I can say about Aiki when you get down to it.

I do know I can feel and I am more sensitive to movement/pressure and feel than I used to be..and I fight very relaxed, slow, and can find center/core etc better in these situations...and I am able to move my opponents in tight situations better....the more Aiki like training I do...the better I seem to be do this.

So, to me, this is what matters and not much else.

Naw...my raw aiki abilities...they suck, I can't do much right really as maybe alot of guys can.

I'll have to wait until I get hands on with Dan Harden it looks like and have Dan give me the feedback of how aiki I am or not.

Budd, I really wish we had the time to get together and train some. It'd be cool to have this discussion and do some rolling etc so we could better communicate about what we are doing and what we are not doing.

I think I'd learn alot from you by doing this!

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Old 04-01-2010, 11:41 PM   #32
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

Kevin I think you bring up a valuable point about being ahead of your opponent. I think the ability to lead (to be ahead) of your opponent is what "Aiki", as I would call it, is all about.

However I don't think this has much to do with what I hear some people calling "Aiki". From what I hear, and again I've never "felt" any of these people, "it" sounds like power development methods. Which is useful and great, but not what I would call "Aiki".

The majority of what I call "Aiki" has to do with rhythm and timing. The ability to lead your attackers mind. Using his idea of what he thinks is happening against him. Staying "ahead" is key in a practice like this, and while efficiency in the way you develop power would help, it's only a small part of the puzzle.

Being able to bait your attacker, to make him feel as if he can commit full force to his attack is key. Being able to perceive what is happing in the larger picture, while under pressure, is extra important. To find the rhythm of your attacker, and use it against him, is at the heart of this kind of practice. These are the major skills I would say are important in order to achieve an "Aiki" interaction.

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Old 04-02-2010, 12:38 AM   #33
Michael Varin
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

I don't see why Kevin should have to define aiki or explain what he understands it to be.

Kevin is one of the guys who consistently wants to openly discuss things, train, and improve.

The burden is on the people who insist on equating "internal strength" or "internal training" with "aiki" to provide that definition, which I believe has yet to be provided.

I maintain that what is being described is more appropriately called "kokyu ryoku" or "kokyu" than aiki in aikido vernacular.

This is not to discredit the skills, but just to accurately discuss them.

There seems to be much confusion over the basic elements of our art: aiki, ki musubi, awase, kokyu, kiai, maai, mu shin, tai sabaki, etc.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 04-02-2010, 03:50 AM   #34
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

What should one do if he/she can't find any rhythm or timing against uke? And the worse(?) the uke isn't a 70 years old master but just an average joe/jane who began to learn a martial arts some years ago?

Some people might say, 'hey that's not a correct attack, you shouldn't do so in aikido. rush rush relax relax!' If I were the nage, I would ask, 'hey, where did you get that skill??'
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:01 AM   #35
Fred Little
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Having said that, there's people that are convinced they are "already doing that" after a seminar on internal strength as well. YMMV
Hey Budd!

I figure I was certainly always "already doing that"...as long as we don't define "that" too carefully and treat dabbling in general theoretical knowledge of electronics and radio waves as if it were exactly the same as really being able to build an FM transmission tower and then actually cranking the sucker up and broadcasting.

Best,

FL

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Old 04-02-2010, 07:07 AM   #36
Budd
 
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

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Fred Little wrote: View Post
Hey Budd!

I figure I was certainly always "already doing that"...as long as we don't define "that" too carefully and treat dabbling in general theoretical knowledge of electronics and radio waves as if it were exactly the same as really being able to build an FM transmission tower and then actually cranking the sucker up and broadcasting.

Best,

FL
Fred, clearly "that" is exactly "that" . . yannowhatahmsayin . .
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:12 AM   #37
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Some thoughts:
you got to stop put all my thoughts together like that. now we have nothing to discuss about.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:22 AM   #38
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

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Michael Varin wrote: View Post
The burden is on the people who insist on equating "internal strength" or "internal training" with "aiki" to provide that definition, which I believe has yet to be provided.

I maintain that what is being described is more appropriately called "kokyu ryoku" or "kokyu" than aiki in aikido vernacular.

This is not to discredit the skills, but just to accurately discuss them.

There seems to be much confusion over the basic elements of our art: aiki, ki musubi, awase, kokyu, kiai, maai, mu shin, tai sabaki, etc.
Here's what I've got on my scorecard:

1.) Ki/kokyu = Internal skill/strength/conditioning

2.) Aiki = Interaction with another while using #1.

2a.) Aiki = term used in place of definition #1, or as a sub-set of #2 in referring to "aiki" within oneself.

2b.) Aiki = Strategy of an encounter, not dependent on #1. Although it would be helpful to have a full toolbox.

Sorry for the numbered list thing. Budd got me started.

Adam
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:22 AM   #39
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
For me, it is all about what can be summed up in the concept of OODA. either I am "ahead" of my opponent, or "behind".

if I am ahead, then I am in control and he is reactive to me, and I am in a position to control his "center" and dominate. I can keep him disoriented and "off balance". This can be mentally or physically.
Put in terms of OODA, with aiki, you're going to be "ahead" and the opponent won't even know it. Well, unless the opponent has aiki.

Some of the common things I hear from people who work freestyle with someone who has aiki are:

I feel like I'm always behind.

I feel like I'm too slow.

He's too quick.

I can't get ahead of him.

Personally, I can attest to the "feelings", but mentally, I know they aren't exactly "right".

For example, it isn't a matter of speed, although with aiki the slack is removed so the body does move quicker. It's more to do with having an untrained, unstructured body which contacts an aiki body. That creates an affect on the un-aiki body which causes a host of issues in which one has to overcome before smooth movement is achieved.

As a very basic, ugly example of this, picture standing on just your right leg with your left leg up in the air. What do you have to do if you want to step forward with your *right* foot? You have to set your left foot down on the ground, shift weight to that foot, lift the right foot and move it forward.

Now imagine that your hips become just slightly out of alignment, that a light load is hitting your right side, and that your shoulders are tightening up ever so slightly -- all at the same time and all started just as you touched someone who has an aiki body.

If you want to deliver any kind of efficient attack, you have to readjust hips, settle weight, and relax tight shoulder muscles, even if it's in minute quantities. Even if that only takes 1/2 of a second, you're still behind the loop at the moment of contact. It spirals (pun intended) downhill from there. But the feeling is the same. Behind, not quick enough, etc. You are literally fighting your own body at the same time you are sparring/randori/whatever with someone else.

Where the "aiki" comes into it is that aiki doesn't require physical movement to create this affect in uke. Aiki is built entirely within one's body -- a truly internal skill. Whereas in a lot of aikido, it's a basic teaching that to create kuzushi/off balance/whatever in another person, one uses timing and physical movements.

Put another way, if you have to use some sort of timing and/or some sort of physical movement to gain off balance, kuzushi, capture center, etc, then it isn't aiki.

(Note: To make matters even more confusing, even if you have trained in some sort of internal training and you can affect an off balance, kuzushi, etc without moving, that doesn't mean you're using aiki either. But that's a completely different topic/thread entirely.)
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:27 AM   #40
Budd
 
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Budd, I just spent about 15 minutes replying to this...and my damned browser jacked it up. I don't have the energy to retype it (sorry).

In short, I agree with your statement that sure, you have to condition yourself and buidl up to it to "generate alot of power".

However, I also don't believe that you can't train towards something and implement "some power" while you do so.

I am "more powerful" than I was before I did aiki. I DO train in AIki ways...and it has helped me.

However, I am NOT a purist, nor do I ever expect to perfect or obtain the level of training that guys like Mike Sigman or Ark have achieved.

No, my goals or much more immediate and pragmatic. I need to be able to F-up bad guys in a matter of months...so I personally don't have years to get there. If I can generate more power than I did two years ago..than I view myself as having achieved something worthwile.

I personally feel my training and exposure to IS has helped me.

Now, if I get back with Mike Sigman, I am sure he will say, meh...no progress.

Two different perspectives on things. I think most folks in Aiki/Aikido are concerned with perfection and the intellectual/theorteical pursuit of budo...which is a good thing...I am too.

However, I am not willing, nor can I personally risk "experimenting" with this stuff and delaying/retarding my training to the future.

I need to be better than I was yesterday....TODAY.

So while the purist will use Jo tricks, push hands, etc to fine tune and "judge" growth.....

I like to put on Blauer suits and have a non-compliant guy that weighs 250 or more try and jack me up.

Am I using Aiki do control him?

This thought does not enter my mind. I am trying to protect myself and jack him up instead.

So, I take a video camera or have a coach tell me how I am doing.

If I am doing better than I was last year...then I am happy with my training and something must be going right.

Aikido/Aiki training I believe has helped me in that area. That is all I can say about Aiki when you get down to it.

I do know I can feel and I am more sensitive to movement/pressure and feel than I used to be..and I fight very relaxed, slow, and can find center/core etc better in these situations...and I am able to move my opponents in tight situations better....the more Aiki like training I do...the better I seem to be do this.

So, to me, this is what matters and not much else.

Naw...my raw aiki abilities...they suck, I can't do much right really as maybe alot of guys can.

I'll have to wait until I get hands on with Dan Harden it looks like and have Dan give me the feedback of how aiki I am or not.

Budd, I really wish we had the time to get together and train some. It'd be cool to have this discussion and do some rolling etc so we could better communicate about what we are doing and what we are not doing.

I think I'd learn alot from you by doing this!
Hey Kevin, I'm sorry we never got to get together when I was in Central PA and you were in DC. I hope you do get to work out with Dan - I think you'll really have a great time and he's a lot of fun to train with.

I don't argue with any of your points in terms of needing ability sooner rather than later . . and I think this will be a major impediment/encumbrance (though not insurmountable) to any dojo or organization embracing this from the top down in that you have to take a step back and be willing to be a beginner/researcher/experimenter for a few years . . while not being too quick to make assumptions in application .. or creating problems for yourself (that will arise later as skills develop) by over-complicating applications that you build to to deliver AND train "this stuff".

I generally like the jujutsu, aikijujutsu, aiki-no-jutsu model . . as I think there's overlap in application of the shu/ha/ri translation we often see (learn the form, be the form, break the form) - all the while assuming that the driver of this is rewiring and retraining your body to first exhibit the outward traits of the exercise in a way that will also allow you to more slowly build the inner wirings, then the inner wirings drive the outward form more completely until you are able to break away from being fixed to any outward form . . not seeing a conflict with any style and it's a general map up a mountain in terms of beginning, middle and end (at which you then discover more mountains, woo).

Where I get somewhat tunnel-visioned - and indeed this will be part of my struggle as I look at potentially starting my own study group 1) to get people to train with on the stuff I want to work on for myself 2) to see if the model of training I've been incorporating for me will function as something to get others involved in (and at what level is it appropriate - for beginners, medium or advanced practitioners - these are the questions) . . but where I simplify it is outer shape (the aikido as developed by Ellis Amdur at Itten Dojo and I've pressure tested and somewhat extended into some of the later side training I've done in grappling and pugilistic settings) and then the inside "driver" - which has been the last couple years training and conditioning my body to exhibit and move with internal strength.

It's a long, ongoing and most likely lifetime process. But ask anyone that knew me five years ago - I was a handful on the mat then thanks to some genetic attributes and lots of training time logged. So, to some extent, I care less about being as martially competent I can be and am working more on the "cultivation" aspects of budo as I see them. Of course, a side benefit has been that I've gotten (in my opinion) martially even more competent and walk around at 20 lbs less then I did three years ago. So there's been lots of benefits aside from just building internal strength.

And a key to that has been to continue to analyze, scrutinize and research how this stuff is functioning inside me as I train it - trying my best to be mindful not to fall into "self-perception-disorder" nor getting too attached to any right or wrong answer until I've collected enough data. But, putting in the time to (at least in my head - yeah, there's an IQ/sanity/self-delusion threshold most likely) to give myself the chance to make an as-objective-as-possible determination. Then when I get the chance to level-set with someone that knows more . . take it. Then get to more seminars with more people to expand the playground . . rinse repeat . . but these last few years have been invaluable as spending time burning in the basics . . getting itchy to get out and play with more peeps - but gotta wait until next kid is born *impatiently taps foot*.

And last thing . . the jo-tricks, push hands, etc. The feats mean very little. What's more important . . can you capture another person's center on contact? Can you receive/return/direct forces from/into another person via mentally directing your inner stuffs (ki/qi . .old saying, "the mind leads the ki" this manifests physically and can be felt - which is why to get a foot in the door, it must be felt by someone that can do it to you and show you how to do it)?

That's one reason I circle back and ask for definitions on what people mean by ki/kokyu, etc. Michael, I understand kokyu as something of an application - how you physically handle the combination of tenchi/jin (heaven and earth, ground gravity, etc. external forces naturally acting on your body) as well as pressurizing your body with breath, intent -- as opposed to aiki - mentally arranging your ki (the wrapping of the connective tissue that connects the body together enables us to move all or none of us as a single unit) to handle/distribute/return those same external forces. Aiki then becomes how you direct/coordinate/harmonize with the forces already acting on you - in addition to making any additional force someone brings (say, an uke) as part of the overall equation . . thereby nullifying the attack, directing it back into them, etc. They are both/all part of the one/same thing in terms of IS, but describe explicit and discrete facets - depending on context. Same goes for all the buzzwords, both Asian and English, that we bandy about.

And I reserve the right to revisit and modify explanations on these things as I learn more . . I'm no expert, just fortunate to have a foot in the door and making it a priority to keep working on these things. But I don't see timing and rhythm as the predominant things to having "aiki" . . they're necessary in any engagement for sure . . as well as building blocks to learn more . . but there's definitely more to it.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:40 AM   #41
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Put in terms of OODA, with aiki, you're going to be "ahead" and the opponent won't even know it. Well, unless the opponent has aiki.

Some of the common things I hear from people who work freestyle with someone who has aiki are:

I feel like I'm always behind.

I feel like I'm too slow.

He's too quick.

I can't get ahead of him.

Personally, I can attest to the "feelings", but mentally, I know they aren't exactly "right".

For example, it isn't a matter of speed, although with aiki the slack is removed so the body does move quicker. It's more to do with having an untrained, unstructured body which contacts an aiki body. That creates an affect on the un-aiki body which causes a host of issues in which one has to overcome before smooth movement is achieved.

As a very basic, ugly example of this, picture standing on just your right leg with your left leg up in the air. What do you have to do if you want to step forward with your *right* foot? You have to set your left foot down on the ground, shift weight to that foot, lift the right foot and move it forward.

Now imagine that your hips become just slightly out of alignment, that a light load is hitting your right side, and that your shoulders are tightening up ever so slightly -- all at the same time and all started just as you touched someone who has an aiki body.

If you want to deliver any kind of efficient attack, you have to readjust hips, settle weight, and relax tight shoulder muscles, even if it's in minute quantities. Even if that only takes 1/2 of a second, you're still behind the loop at the moment of contact. It spirals (pun intended) downhill from there. But the feeling is the same. Behind, not quick enough, etc. You are literally fighting your own body at the same time you are sparring/randori/whatever with someone else.

Where the "aiki" comes into it is that aiki doesn't require physical movement to create this affect in uke. Aiki is built entirely within one's body -- a truly internal skill. Whereas in a lot of aikido, it's a basic teaching that to create kuzushi/off balance/whatever in another person, one uses timing and physical movements.

Put another way, if you have to use some sort of timing and/or some sort of physical movement to gain off balance, kuzushi, capture center, etc, then it isn't aiki.

(Note: To make matters even more confusing, even if you have trained in some sort of internal training and you can affect an off balance, kuzushi, etc without moving, that doesn't mean you're using aiki either. But that's a completely different topic/thread entirely.)
Hmmmm Mark, I kinda want to push you to be more specific on that last point in this thread, but since I'm still developing all of my vocabulary around this I'll reserve arguing/debating it until some more time has passed or we can get hands on time in person.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:49 AM   #42
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

Mark and Budd, great posts there!
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:06 AM   #43
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

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Put in terms of OODA, with aiki, you're going to be "ahead" and the opponent won't even know it. Well, unless the opponent has aiki.
Some of the most interesting things Sensei used to say are "Aikido does not require physical strength of any sort to be effective" and "The fight is over the movement of the attack"

I have "felt" Sensei and he was a typical Japanese Postwar Male... 5 nothing and maybe 160 pounds...I am 6'2 250 with years of experience in other Martial Arts, Wrestling, and Boxing before I came to Aikido. I stayed because no matter what "attack" used the result was the same. back then I was in my prime and a handful if you sparred/fought with me. In fact I quit everything at one point until I came to Aikido because I fracking loved to brawl.

Anyway Aikido baffled me (well more like Sensei baffled me LOL) Now years later I understand what he meant.

I am sure Aiki is essential and very helpful part Mark....but I am not sure it's the only way to practice it...

I know some of you go on about how many years we poor Aikidoka have wasted blah blah blah...

There are times when Aikido just happens no matter what I do to understand it...Some dude comes after me hard.... I step and act and in the blink of an eye it's over... and my heartbeat has not bumped up an inch...Then there are other times where some dude and I get locked up in battle and in that moment I know I've lost because we're fighting and I am reacting not acting...

So I am with Chris Hein here...There is more to Aiki than just rigorous solo body training (which I practice most everyday by the way in the form of "mindful" Yoga and Kata) Aiki is a mindset and/or a "Martial Spirit" if you will. I eagerly welcome and await the opportunity to practice with the physical Aiki-Advocates....In the mean time... I guess I'll just plod along this path of self discovery trying to better understand the meaning behind Nishio Shihan's Aikido, and enjoying the company of everyone I meet along the way.

Lamenting what I can't experience or thinking others are less than because they don't practice the magic of Aiki is not Aiki at all... Nor is being jealous of someone who does...both are traps in which I choose not to waste my time... or as my Ranger Platoon Sargent used to say...

HAZEN! you don't have to be a Rock Star to play in the band...

Took me 20 years to figure that one out.

Let's see how many pages this goes...LOL

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 04-02-2010 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:15 AM   #44
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Budd, I just spent about 15 minutes replying to this...and my damned browser jacked it up. I don't have the energy to retype it (sorry).

In short, I agree with your statement that sure, you have to condition yourself and buidl up to it to "generate alot of power".

However, I also don't believe that you can't train towards something and implement "some power" while you do so.

I am "more powerful" than I was before I did aiki. I DO train in AIki ways...and it has helped me.

However, I am NOT a purist, nor do I ever expect to perfect or obtain the level of training that guys like Mike Sigman or Ark have achieved.

No, my goals or much more immediate and pragmatic. I need to be able to F-up bad guys in a matter of months...so I personally don't have years to get there. If I can generate more power than I did two years ago..than I view myself as having achieved something worthwile.

I personally feel my training and exposure to IS has helped me.

Now, if I get back with Mike Sigman, I am sure he will say, meh...no progress.

Two different perspectives on things. I think most folks in Aiki/Aikido are concerned with perfection and the intellectual/theorteical pursuit of budo...which is a good thing...I am too.

However, I am not willing, nor can I personally risk "experimenting" with this stuff and delaying/retarding my training to the future.

I need to be better than I was yesterday....TODAY.

So while the purist will use Jo tricks, push hands, etc to fine tune and "judge" growth.....

I like to put on Blauer suits and have a non-compliant guy that weighs 250 or more try and jack me up.

Am I using Aiki do control him?

This thought does not enter my mind. I am trying to protect myself and jack him up instead.

So, I take a video camera or have a coach tell me how I am doing.

If I am doing better than I was last year...then I am happy with my training and something must be going right.

Aikido/Aiki training I believe has helped me in that area. That is all I can say about Aiki when you get down to it.

I do know I can feel and I am more sensitive to movement/pressure and feel than I used to be..and I fight very relaxed, slow, and can find center/core etc better in these situations...and I am able to move my opponents in tight situations better....the more Aiki like training I do...the better I seem to be do this.

So, to me, this is what matters and not much else.

Naw...my raw aiki abilities...they suck, I can't do much right really as maybe alot of guys can.

I'll have to wait until I get hands on with Dan Harden it looks like and have Dan give me the feedback of how aiki I am or not.

Budd, I really wish we had the time to get together and train some. It'd be cool to have this discussion and do some rolling etc so we could better communicate about what we are doing and what we are not doing.

I think I'd learn alot from you by doing this!
Nice post Kevin.

Eric Joyce
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:09 AM   #45
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

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Adam Bauder wrote: View Post
Here's what I've got on my scorecard:

1.) Ki/kokyu = Internal skill/strength/conditioning

2.) Aiki = Interaction with another while using #1.

2a.) Aiki = term used in place of definition #1, or as a sub-set of #2 in referring to "aiki" within oneself.

2b.) Aiki = Strategy of an encounter, not dependent on #1. Although it would be helpful to have a full toolbox.

Sorry for the numbered list thing. Budd got me started.

Adam
I really liked this!

Mark,

From what I read, it sounds to me, like you are suggesting that "Aiki", as you call it, is some form of energy that emanates from your (nage's) mind, and goes into your attackers body, and does something (drains energy, disrupts balance, bad stuff). Is this correct?

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Old 04-02-2010, 10:26 AM   #46
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

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William Hazen wrote: View Post
Some of the most interesting things Sensei used to say are "Aikido does not require physical strength of any sort to be effective" and "The fight is over the movement of the attack"

I have "felt" Sensei and he was a typical Japanese Postwar Male... 5 nothing and maybe 160 pounds...I am 6'2 250 with years of experience in other Martial Arts, Wrestling, and Boxing before I came to Aikido. I stayed because no matter what "attack" used the result was the same. back then I was in my prime and a handful if you sparred/fought with me. In fact I quit everything at one point until I came to Aikido because I fracking loved to brawl.

Anyway Aikido baffled me (well more like Sensei baffled me LOL) Now years later I understand what he meant.

I am sure Aiki is essential and very helpful part Mark....but I am not sure it's the only way to practice it...

I know some of you go on about how many years we poor Aikidoka have wasted blah blah blah...
Not wasted. I don't think you'll find anywhere in my posts where I say the time was wasted. In fact, in some posts, I specifically state there is more to aikido than just the physical aiki body skill.

I look at it in this way ... there are students of Takeda who went their own way. There are students of Ueshiba who went their own way. In the Japanese arts, there are more facets and aspects than just purely physical.

For followers of Shioda, why did Shioda manifest his aikido the way he did? What spirituality did he hold? What aspects of jujutsu did he keep? Repeat for Tomiki, Tohei, etc. There is a vast body of knowledge fractured down from Ueshiba that each student propagated.

Ueshiba himself said that you don't have to follow his spirituality exactly.

What I put forth is that aiki is a very complex internal body skill that was withheld from a lot of people -- Japanese and non-Japanese. Aiki is an internal body skill that makes a phenomenally vast difference in a martial encounter.

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
Lamenting what I can't experience or thinking others are less than because they don't practice the magic of Aiki is not Aiki at all... Nor is being jealous of someone who does...both are traps in which I choose not to waste my time... or as my Ranger Platoon Sargent used to say...

HAZEN! you don't have to be a Rock Star to play in the band...

Took me 20 years to figure that one out.

Let's see how many pages this goes...LOL

William Hazen
It's why I post, William. Not lamenting, not thinking less of others, not jealousy, not any of that. It's to get people to open their minds to the concept that maybe, just maybe, what they are doing is not really "aiki". To get people to open their minds that maybe, just maybe, the old adage of "20 year technique" is a rationalization because aiki is missing. To get people to question why history of Ueshiba and his students who were considered great is so different than the rest of aikido history. That aiki might be something completely different than what has been accepted as the "norm".
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:18 AM   #47
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

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I really liked this!

Mark,

From what I read, it sounds to me, like you are suggesting that "Aiki", as you call it, is some form of energy that emanates from your (nage's) mind, and goes into your attackers body, and does something (drains energy, disrupts balance, bad stuff). Is this correct?
Hi Chris,

Not quite what I'd describe it as. Aiki is about you and not about uke or the attacker.

Aiki is maintaining self in a central equilibrium of infinite opposing spirals with no dedicated movements.

Or ... my spine is straight in the middle of me. When energy comes in from some point, say my wrist, then I have the appropriate spiraling energy going not only with that energy but also opposite it while maintaining multiple vectors of opposing spirals all around me. When I move, I am moving my feet from my mid-lower-spine connection and not my quad muscles so that I negate any dedicated weight shifts (loading the opposite foot for the step). The grabbed hand may move, but it does so connected to my centrally held body, which includes my opposite hand so that I negate any localized, dedicated muscular contractions in my arms or shoulders. It is my mind, my intent, and my focus which creates appropriate and subtle changes within my body to keep all of this going. It is my trained body which allows me to handle more and more energy which in turn allows my mind to create stronger and cleaner intent and focus. I am motion in stillness and stillness in motion.

And of course, after about 3 seconds, I lose it all. Or when I implement the motion part. But, hey, that's better than the 0.1 second of a year ago.
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:42 AM   #48
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

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Hi Chris,

Not quite what I'd describe it as. Aiki is about you and not about uke or the attacker.

Aiki is maintaining self in a central equilibrium of infinite opposing spirals with no dedicated movements.

Or ... my spine is straight in the middle of me. When energy comes in from some point, say my wrist, then I have the appropriate spiraling energy going not only with that energy but also opposite it while maintaining multiple vectors of opposing spirals all around me. When I move, I am moving my feet from my mid-lower-spine connection and not my quad muscles so that I negate any dedicated weight shifts (loading the opposite foot for the step). The grabbed hand may move, but it does so connected to my centrally held body, which includes my opposite hand so that I negate any localized, dedicated muscular contractions in my arms or shoulders. It is my mind, my intent, and my focus which creates appropriate and subtle changes within my body to keep all of this going. It is my trained body which allows me to handle more and more energy which in turn allows my mind to create stronger and cleaner intent and focus. I am motion in stillness and stillness in motion.

And of course, after about 3 seconds, I lose it all. Or when I implement the motion part. But, hey, that's better than the 0.1 second of a year ago.
Mark,

Explain what you meant when you said:

"Where the "aiki" comes into it is that aiki doesn't require physical movement to create this affect in uke. Aiki is built entirely within one's body -- a truly internal skill. Whereas in a lot of aikido, it's a basic teaching that to create kuzushi/off balance/whatever in another person, one uses timing and physical movements.

Put another way, if you have to use some sort of timing and/or some sort of physical movement to gain off balance, kuzushi, capture center, etc, then it isn't aiki."

I understand spiraling energy, intent, etc, but i'm not so sure I agree that with the above as it relates to "using physical movement" and that not being aiki.
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:11 PM   #49
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

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Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
Mark,

Explain what you meant when you said:

"Where the "aiki" comes into it is that aiki doesn't require physical movement to create this affect in uke. Aiki is built entirely within one's body -- a truly internal skill. Whereas in a lot of aikido, it's a basic teaching that to create kuzushi/off balance/whatever in another person, one uses timing and physical movements.

Put another way, if you have to use some sort of timing and/or some sort of physical movement to gain off balance, kuzushi, capture center, etc, then it isn't aiki."

I understand spiraling energy, intent, etc, but i'm not so sure I agree that with the above as it relates to "using physical movement" and that not being aiki.
Let me take an example from history. When Ueshiba talked about his meeting with Tenryu and Tenryu not being able to push him over and Ueshiba pinning Tenryu -- Ueshiba credited this to knowing the secret of aiki. When Ueshiba demonstrated his abilities by having people push on him, he wasn't doing techniques or moving. When asked about defining aiki by one of his students, Ueshiba shouted, "I am aiki!", not "it is in the techniques". When waxing eloquent about spirituality, one of his doka say something about when he didn't know where to go forward in his training, he turned to Izu and Mizu (spiraling,contradictory forces), not to more techniques.

Aiki isn't about the physical movement of the techniques. Aiki is about the individual self. Of course, if you want to use the double meanings of aiki, you still have to have the very first, most basic definition -- that of Daito ryu aiki. It is what allows one to be the center of a maelstrom of energy from one's self and from uke/attacker. It is this aiki that provides the foundation for being able to *be* the spiritual duality/singularity of uke/tori in aikido. In other words, being the bridge between heaven and earth and guiding other people across the bridge. You open upwards to become heaven and delve downwards to become earth while still maintaining you in a centrally held spirituality between them. When others encounter your physical body, they are then merged appropriately with your harmonious being.

But, it wasn't about physically moving, using timing and specific body placement to get an off balance or kuzushi and capture uke's center.

Not moving or moving didn't matter to Ueshiba. He was aiki. If he moved, it was aiki in motion. If he didn't move, it was still aiki (pun intended).

So, if one is *required* to move to gain an off-balance and capture center or to blend, one isn't using aiki. They are, most likely, using jujutsu principles. Aiki does not require that movement.

While aiki doesn't require the movement, that doesn't mean there are no movements in aikido. Takemusu aiki is about spontaneous techniques, so there obviously is movement in aikido. It's just that movement is not a requirement of aiki, but rather it is what happens when aiki is in motion.
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:24 PM   #50
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Re: Internal Power (AIKI?)-- Players and Haters

Mark, that sounds more philosophical than than "how it works" and I think can be part of the problem when trying to communicate to help peeps understand how "this stuff" is different (as is talking about feats more than what you're doing to produce the feat in plain language). In the end it's a balancing trick merged with an unusual kind of strength around conditioned skills inside the body. There's different levels of expertise and areas within the skillset that are emphasized depending on the approach (which of course is hearkening me back to that Baseline skillset thread monstrosity of years back *shudder*).
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