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Old 04-16-2010, 11:59 AM   #251
David Orange
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post

Taking part 2 for example, the uke is maintaining a light perpendicular push into nage and adjusting with his circular movements. Nothing about nage's movements compels uke to do so.
I had two big surprises with Gleason Sensei last August: first is that he's so small. Second is that he's so strong.

I did the very exercise linked above with him and his movement does compel. The effects on uke are the result of his keeping a steady, light pressure on nage while nage moves.

It's not to say uke couldn't do something else, such as withdrawing the push, etc., but he has to have a reason to do something different. He has to feel that something is not right and that he has to withdraw, but in this case, he doesn't know what he feels. It's a very disorienting feeling to push on someone Gleason Sensei's size and feel that you're pushing on a post in the ground.

Likewise, when I took Rob John's wrists in suwari waza, I got zero sensory input when he raised his hands. I was trying to hold his hands down and he just went straight through my strength with no feeling of effort from him. And if he'd simply brought his hands back down, he could have given me whiplash because I could not have let go because I could not feel what he was doing.

The startling part about "it has to be felt" is that there's so little sense of effort behind powerful effects.

Best wishes.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
 
Old 04-16-2010, 12:11 PM   #252
Jonathan
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Something doesn’t sit right with me when I read all these comments about “One must feel, one must experience, to understand.” Certainly, I can agree with the idea that feeling someone’s ability to absorb and redirect your energy, to expand their energy so as to counter your own, to bring the ground up, etc, etc, might convince you of the legitimacy of the claims of the exponents of internal power. What I wonder about, though, is the claim that a personal experience of these abilities is vital to actually learning to do it yourself. For example, my shihan has done things to me physically that are astonishing. He has locked me up in nikyo in such a way as to totally freeze my entire body. I couldn’t move a muscle (this was before putting on nikyo osae)! Unfortunately, my shihan speaks English very poorly and couldn’t even begin to describe what it was he had done to me. This has happened to me a few times at his hands but never has he been able to explain what he was doing to make this paralyzing action possible. And simply feeling what he had done to me has not enabled me to replicate it. Without a verbal explanation, his physical skills remain largely a mystery. I saw some of what he did, and with these scant visual cues and an understanding of the underlying principles of Aikido, have been working to unlock the mystery of such incredible nikyo. I have, after some trial and error, been able to do so…somewhat.

So, what would my shihan have to do to communicate his skill effectively to me? Feeling his technique is only useful to a point; his ability to lock me up so completely convinces me that it can be done, but without verbally describing to me what he is doing, I cannot readily decipher his actions so as to reproduce them myself. Sure, I can observe his timing and gross motions, I can see how he stands, how his arm is angled, how his wrist action is performed – all the external, obvious things. How he organizes himself internally, however, to produce the total-body locking effect in me is something I cannot understand simply through feel, or sight alone. Essentially, I only experience the end-product of his ability, not the internal, physical process by which it is accomplished. For that, I must be instructed – verbally.

I guess the thing that I have a problem with is what appears to me to be an over-emphasis on feel as a means of imparting internal power skills. As I have explained, it is not by itself particularly useful for learning, or even absolutely necessary, I suspect. I seriously doubt that an intelligent person, with access to comprehensive visual aids and a careful verbal explanation could not, with dedicated practice, eventually reproduce the skills of Mike S., or Dan H., or Akuzawa sensei without ever actually feeling them do their internal power thing.

My experience in Aikido plays into this point of view, actually. As a result of circumstances beyond my control, I haven’t had a direct teacher of my own in Aikido since I was third kyu. I am now ranked sandan. For most of my training, I didn’t have someone guiding me through all the nuances of Aikido movement and technique. I didn’t get to feel how a technique was done whenever I wanted. I had to employ what I knew of the principles of the art and pour over videotapes and books and practice, practice, practice in order to achieve my present ability and rank. But I did it. I was able to advance in skill without regular opportunity to feel the Aikido of top-ranked aikidoka. Certainly, such opportunity would have been excellent and doubtless would have advanced my training faster than it has advanced, but the fact remains that it was still possible for me to develop skill in Aikido even though my circumstances did not allow me regular access to someone of higher skill than my own who could demonstrate the correct feel of technique. So, I wonder seriously about just how vital having hands-on training with an adept in the area of internal power actually is.

I wonder, too, if there isn’t some resistance to sharing the method of developing internal power openly because those who could share it have had to work hard to develop their own skill and don’t think, consequently, that it should be made readily available to others. Is there a sort of “if it cost me, it should cost you, too” attitude at play in the unwillingness of those who claim skill in this area to share openly and fully how to develop such skill? Maybe…The problem with this sort of thinking is that it doesn’t take into account those who really, truly can’t train directly with skilled teachers of Aiki, but who would very much like to learn how to manifest it. They are simply told, in essence, “You don’t have it and if you don’t come to me, you can’t have it. Tough nuts.” This kind of response makes all the posts by those who are skilled in Aiki that express concern about the loss of this martial element in Aikido quite disingenuous. Their interest can’t be in helping the art regain such an important part of its skill-set or they would be more willing to do all that they could to help any who practice Aikido who wish to develop Aiki to do so. Instead, they say, basically, “I am the mountain. You must come to me,” which seems to suggest, not concern for the development of Aiki in Aikido, but simple self-aggrandizement.

Anyway…I have gone on. Let me say that I would very much like to deepen my Aiki ability. Unfortunately, time and economics prevent me from being able to study with those who could help me to this end. Is there really no other option but to do without any instruction from these folk? It seems so. I guess I’ll have to figure it out on my own as best I can…Here I go again.

Jon.

Last edited by Jonathan : 04-16-2010 at 12:15 PM.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
 
Old 04-16-2010, 12:20 PM   #253
David Orange
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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The demonstration you are discussing is cooperative. Just because you don't "think" it is when you are doing it doesn't change that fact. Could he do that on someone with no Aikido training, who wasn't interested in playing along? From what I can see, no.
From what I've felt in person, the answer must be yes.

The only thing, if the partner were not "cooperating" it wouldn't "look" like that. All you would be able to say was that Gleason Sensei dominated the other guy. Because if the other guy is freely oppressing him, he would have to respond freely. A "cooperative" exercise is for the purpose of understanding something isolated and specific. Once that's been absorbed, it can be expressed freely and formlessly and from what I've felt, Gleason Sensei has absorbed it and he continues to seek deeper levels of it. In any case, if you exert strength on him, he can manipulate it along the general lines of the demo clip, but if you watch it on tape, you might be hard pressed to see how he did it.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
This could be shown on film very easily. Do it on a street corner, like David Blaine. Ask some passers by to try your "experiment". Sounds like a lot of work, and I wouldn't blame you for not trying it. But the door is open if you'd like to try.
It would work on people who kept up a steady pressure on him and it would look like the demo clip if the uke didn't try to get tricky or slick. If he did, it would still work, but it wouldn't look like the clip, obviously.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
The suggestion that this stuff is impossible to show on film leads me, as an objective person, to believe what you are talking about is false.
I don't think anyone meant to say it's impossible to show on film--just that very few people will understand what they're seeing. Further, many might think they understand what they're seeing and make videos that look very similar while lacking the inner content.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Again my video offer stands. If you can do something on video that I can't duplicate, I'd love to see it.
Please use that effort, instead, to visit some well-known names and lay hands on them. It will be a far better use of time and will do more for the aikido world as well.

Best wishes.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
 
Old 04-16-2010, 12:45 PM   #254
dps
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
Something doesn't sit right with me when I read all these comments about "One must feel, one must experience, to understand." Certainly, I can agree with the idea that feeling someone's ability to absorb and redirect your energy, to expand their energy so as to counter your own, to bring the ground up, etc, etc, might convince you of the legitimacy of the claims of the exponents of internal power. What I wonder about, though, is the claim that a personal experience of these abilities is vital to actually learning to do it yourself. For example, my shihan has done things to me physically that are astonishing. He has locked me up in nikyo in such a way as to totally freeze my entire body. I couldn't move a muscle (this was before putting on nikyo osae)! Unfortunately, my shihan speaks English very poorly and couldn't even begin to describe what it was he had done to me. This has happened to me a few times at his hands but never has he been able to explain what he was doing to make this paralyzing action possible. And simply feeling what he had done to me has not enabled me to replicate it. Without a verbal explanation, his physical skills remain largely a mystery. I saw some of what he did, and with these scant visual cues and an understanding of the underlying principles of Aikido, have been working to unlock the mystery of such incredible nikyo. I have, after some trial and error, been able to do so…somewhat.

So, what would my shihan have to do to communicate his skill effectively to me? Feeling his technique is only useful to a point; his ability to lock me up so completely convinces me that it can be done, but without verbally describing to me what he is doing, I cannot readily decipher his actions so as to reproduce them myself. Sure, I can observe his timing and gross motions, I can see how he stands, how his arm is angled, how his wrist action is performed -- all the external, obvious things. How he organizes himself internally, however, to produce the total-body locking effect in me is something I cannot understand simply through feel, or sight alone. Essentially, I only experience the end-product of his ability, not the internal, physical process by which it is accomplished. For that, I must be instructed -- verbally.

I guess the thing that I have a problem with is what appears to me to be an over-emphasis on feel as a means of imparting internal power skills. As I have explained, it is not by itself particularly useful for learning, or even absolutely necessary, I suspect. I seriously doubt that an intelligent person, with access to comprehensive visual aids and a careful verbal explanation could not, with dedicated practice, eventually reproduce the skills of Mike S., or Dan H., or Akuzawa sensei without ever actually feeling them do their internal power thing.

My experience in Aikido plays into this point of view, actually. As a result of circumstances beyond my control, I haven't had a direct teacher of my own in Aikido since I was third kyu. I am now ranked sandan. For most of my training, I didn't have someone guiding me through all the nuances of Aikido movement and technique. I didn't get to feel how a technique was done whenever I wanted. I had to employ what I knew of the principles of the art and pour over videotapes and books and practice, practice, practice in order to achieve my present ability and rank. But I did it. I was able to advance in skill without regular opportunity to feel the Aikido of top-ranked aikidoka. Certainly, such opportunity would have been excellent and doubtless would have advanced my training faster than it has advanced, but the fact remains that it was still possible for me to develop skill in Aikido even though my circumstances did not allow me regular access to someone of higher skill than my own who could demonstrate the correct feel of technique. So, I wonder seriously about just how vital having hands-on training with an adept in the area of internal power actually is.

I wonder, too, if there isn't some resistance to sharing the method of developing internal power openly because those who could share it have had to work hard to develop their own skill and don't think, consequently, that it should be made readily available to others. Is there a sort of "if it cost me, it should cost you, too" attitude at play in the unwillingness of those who claim skill in this area to share openly and fully how to develop such skill? Maybe…The problem with this sort of thinking is that it doesn't take into account those who really, truly can't train directly with skilled teachers of Aiki, but who would very much like to learn how to manifest it. They are simply told, in essence, "You don't have it and if you don't come to me, you can't have it. Tough nuts." This kind of response makes all the posts by those who are skilled in Aiki that express concern about the loss of this martial element in Aikido quite disingenuous. Their interest can't be in helping the art regain such an important part of its skill-set or they would be more willing to do all that they could to help any who practice Aikido who wish to develop Aiki to do so. Instead, they say, basically, "I am the mountain. You must come to me," which seems to suggest, not concern for the development of Aiki in Aikido, but simple self-aggrandizement.

Anyway…I have gone on. Let me say that I would very much like to deepen my Aiki ability. Unfortunately, time and economics prevent me from being able to study with those who could help me to this end. Is there really no other option but to do without any instruction from these folk? It seems so. I guess I'll have to figure it out on my own as best I can…Here I go again.

Jon.
Very well put Jonathan. The "it has to be felt" proponents presupposes lack of intelligent and ability to learn aiki other than with them.

Anyone whose Aikido is strongly influenced by Tohei has done these skills.

They are afraid that videos would show that these skills are not as special and more common than they imply.

David
 
Old 04-16-2010, 12:50 PM   #255
Mike Sigman
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
I seriously doubt that an intelligent person, with access to comprehensive visual aids and a careful verbal explanation could not, with dedicated practice, eventually reproduce the skills of Mike S., or Dan H., or Akuzawa sensei without ever actually feeling them do their internal power thing.
Hi Jon:

First of all, let me assure you that I have only moderate skills; I know some people that have really good skills and it would be presumptive of me to let people think that I'm in that class. I'm not. The world is full of people trying to leave the impression that they're much better than they are... and I don't want to be lumped in with that group of egomaniacs.

But back to your point about your Sensei, the things you say he can do, etc. Let's assume the way he does them and is indeed unique in, say, the way he does nikyo so that you can't move. I could be some schmoe who says, "Nikyo?.... pooh, I can put a nikyo on you that is godlike in its power, too". But you're talking about something different and until he feels it, you don't really have a common vernacular because the feel is crucial, right? Just using that nikyo as an example, I think you can get a feel for why there's little compulsion to try and put these things into words. I.e., trying to explain in writing how to ride a bicycle to someone who's never seen or been on a bicycle it theoretically possible, but communicating the idea is almost impossible.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
 
Old 04-16-2010, 01:03 PM   #256
C. David Henderson
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

BTW,

This link, http://www.iay.org.uk/internal-stren...e-1/how-to.htm, and related articles -- while posted to make a rhetorical point -- I found well worth reading on their own, although they are from the 90's.

Apologies for thread drift.

David Henderson
 
Old 04-16-2010, 01:07 PM   #257
dps
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Charles David Henderson wrote: View Post
BTW,

This link, http://www.iay.org.uk/internal-stren...e-1/how-to.htm, and related articles -- while posted to make a rhetorical point -- I found well worth reading on their own, although they are from the 90's.

Apologies for thread drift.
http://www.iay.org.uk/internal-strength/

David
 
Old 04-16-2010, 01:07 PM   #258
phitruong
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
For example, my shihan has done things to me physically that are astonishing. He has locked me up in nikyo in such a way as to totally freeze my entire body. I couldn't move a muscle (this was before putting on nikyo osae)! Unfortunately, my shihan speaks English very poorly and couldn't even begin to describe what it was he had done to me. This has happened to me a few times at his hands but never has he been able to explain what he was doing to make this paralyzing action possible. And simply feeling what he had done to me has not enabled me to replicate it. Without a verbal explanation, his physical skills remain largely a mystery.
Jon.
if you video the event, folks watched the video and would comment "that's fake!" however, to you, you felt it and it wasn't fake. you felt it first. you might not understand it, but you felt that it could be done. you have the baseline. folks didn't feel it first, have no baseline to work with or even to discuss. that's the point: go feel first, then discuss. with a common experience, a better discussion can take place. communication is difficult even face to face, misunderstanding happens all the time.
 
Old 04-16-2010, 01:12 PM   #259
MM
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

William Gleason
http://www.shobu.org/sensei.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William...%28aikidoka%29

Started training in aikido in 1970. That gives him, what, about 40 years of training experience. From hombu in Japan with Yamaguchi Seigo Shihan to Saotome Shihan here in the U.S.

I have the utmost respect for Bill Gleason as a highly ranked aikido instructor, as a very skilled aikido person, and even more respect for him as a person.

If you don't know of William Gleason, then start asking other high ranked aikido people in the ASU about him, because Gleason is one of the good people in the aikido world ... and he's training with Dan.

Now, I don't much care what you think of me. I post because I want to. Take it or leave it, you'll do what you want anyway. But, think twice about posting about those people who have gone first hand to meet one of the Internal guys and then started training with them because you're only making yourself look bad -- In the demands for your satisfactions to be met and in degrading the characters of the men who are training.

So, if you think you've been around the block enough to have the same experience, skill, and downright strength of character of people like Bill Gleason, well, go right on posting about how IP/aiki is already being done, isn't that hard to do, can be spotted in video easily, those IP/aiki guys should come to you, yada yada yada. You're just endearing yourselves to ... well, yourself.

Some advice -- dig around to find out just who those people are who are stating that IP/aiki is phenomenal, IHTBF, and is worth going halfway across the country to train. You might just find out that some of your organizations top seniors are doing just that.
 
Old 04-16-2010, 01:26 PM   #260
bkedelen
 
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I have done this sort of testing and much more stressful ones in gyms with power lifters, in gyms with College football players, in MMA schools, in Judo clubs, with ICMA teachers (who had no vested interest in me succeeding).
Now lets add seminars with oh...maybe 60 or so people who read these pages. ...
Now add twin sticks, knife and sword.
Now add Ark and others to the list who have also done similar things.
Dan, let me preface what I have to say by mentioning that I have been working with a subsection of the Internalati here in Aikiweb for a couple of years and I am in no way questioning the existence of internal skills or the fact that they really cannot be learned from video or explanation.
That said, I can understand why those who do not yet believe that these skills exist are disappointed in the apparent lack of video demonstrating the basics of these skills, the skills being used against the uncooperative, and the skills being used at speed. There are some, such as the Bing video, some good and some questionable stuff from Akuzawa, and some more demonstrative stuff that Mike has released. I am frankly disappointed (skeptical?) that during all of the above mentioned testing, demoing, and seminaring, no one was filming or no one is willing to release whatever footage was captured. Even though I have been working on these skills for a while, I would LOVE to see you or Ark or Mike or whoever else is qualified working some intermediate level skills on some resisting or fast opponents so that I can start to build a more comprehensive skillset. I would also love to see and hear you and others demonstrating preferred solo drills in these areas since the drills that the community are working seem to be diverse and nuanced despite having common themes and goals. In any case, I just wanted to say that I can understand why people are clamoring for more footage, even though I know that it will not do much to sway the contrarians.
 
Old 04-16-2010, 02:22 PM   #261
Budd
 
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I dunno - I don't get too worked up about it - just going to a seminar with one of the "names" doesn't mean that you no longer suck. Saying that you train with XYZ whether you do internal arts or not doesn't mean you have any abilities. Comes down to what can you do? But having said that, a couple things I do hold true about training in Internals are:

1) Seize opportunities to get hands on time with people of some ability because access to "this stuff" is very unlikely to be delivered to you on your own terms

2) There is an IQ component to training "this stuff" even after you get exposure to someone with ability and have exercises to work on. In addition, there's lots of room for "self perception disorder" with regard to your perceived abilities and actual abilities

YMMV

In addition, I also find it amusing hearing behind the scenes about how many people are scrambling to get their hands on "this stuff" and make improvements, get better, etc. That cat is out of the bag, so to speak, but what will remain to be seen is how much of this seeds back into mainstream practices versus being hoarded by "those in the know", versus blocked by seniors with limited-to-no abilities but status to protect . . interesting times to watch and witness, either way.

Then there's already the population that is already doing this stuff . . in which case there's nothing to see here, anyways, carry on, carry on . . .

Last edited by Budd : 04-16-2010 at 02:23 PM. Reason: caveat emptlect-o-o
 
Old 04-16-2010, 02:24 PM   #262
Mike Sigman
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Charles David Henderson wrote: View Post
BTW,

This link, http://www.iay.org.uk/internal-stren...e-1/how-to.htm, and related articles -- while posted to make a rhetorical point -- I found well worth reading on their own, although they are from the 90's.

Apologies for thread drift.
I always took pains to write, through the years, only what I knew was demonstrably true because I was well aware that things come back to haunt. However, as in any other skill, what I know now far exceeds what I knew then and I think that there are more concise, broader views of these skills than what I wrote back then. In other words, I don't recommend those old writings because while they're roughly true, they don't present the information that you need, very well. I toss out that caveat in the interests of trying to save people time.

In terms of "aiki" (various jin/kokyu skills and their use), there are various levels and my main suggestion is for people to first get their feet wet and experience what the skills look like. My second suggestion is that no one assume that what they now know is a final or polished view. I've seen a lot of people make the horrible mistake of thinking they already have it and it dooms not only them but the people they teach. This is why arts lose these skills.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
 
Old 04-16-2010, 03:05 PM   #263
Jonathan
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
But back to your point about your Sensei, the things you say he can do, etc. Let's assume the way he does them and is indeed unique in, say, the way he does nikyo so that you can't move. I could be some schmoe who says, "Nikyo?.... pooh, I can put a nikyo on you that is godlike in its power, too". But you're talking about something different and until he feels it, you don't really have a common vernacular because the feel is crucial, right?
My post was intended to express my great uncertainty about this. I am not convinced that feeling is absolutely necessary to clear understanding. Couldn't a few clarifying questions determine what people mean? People have done this very thing on this thread with Chris H's videos and his ideas about what constitutes Aiki. People were able, without ever feeling what he was doing, to declare that what he called Aiki actually was not. At the very least, it was made clear that what Chris was doing as far as Aiki was concerned and what others are doing are not the same. This was accomplished quite easily, it seemed to me.

Quote:
Just using that nikyo as an example, I think you can get a feel for why there's little compulsion to try and put these things into words. I.e., trying to explain in writing how to ride a bicycle to someone who's never seen or been on a bicycle it theoretically possible, but communicating the idea is almost impossible.
Well, I don't know. "Almost impossible" isn't the same as absolutely impossible, right? Sure, I think it would be much more difficult to accurately explain in writing the correct feel of an action or internal position - especially to someone who had no martial training or body awareness at all - than it would be to do so in tandem with something that could be felt, but I am pretty sure it can be done nonetheless. In particular, with those who have had martial training and as a result do understand something of the nature of structural alignment, balance of opposites within one's frame, the mental aspects of ki use, etc, it would likely be far easier to offer effective explanations.

Jon

Last edited by Jonathan : 04-16-2010 at 03:14 PM.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
 
Old 04-16-2010, 03:14 PM   #264
Jonathan
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
if you video the event, folks watched the video and would comment "that's fake!" however, to you, you felt it and it wasn't fake. you felt it first. you might not understand it, but you felt that it could be done. you have the baseline. folks didn't feel it first, have no baseline to work with or even to discuss. that's the point: go feel first, then discuss. with a common experience, a better discussion can take place. communication is difficult even face to face, misunderstanding happens all the time.
Hmmm...I think you missed my point. I don't think I said that feeling internal power skills wasn't helpful. I think it is. But I don't think it is absolutely necessary to understanding how to develop those internal skills. If you can't get to the folks who could give you a first-hand experience of these internal abilities, are you really completely unable to train to develop them? I seriously doubt it.

And, yes, misunderstanding happens all the time, which is why people ask questions, clarify statements, think things through, etc.

Jon.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
 
Old 04-16-2010, 03:33 PM   #265
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
I guess the thing that I have a problem with is what appears to me to be an over-emphasis on feel as a means of imparting internal power skills. As I have explained, it is not by itself particularly useful for learning, or even absolutely necessary, I suspect. I seriously doubt that an intelligent person, with access to comprehensive visual aids and a careful verbal explanation could not, with dedicated practice, eventually reproduce the skills of Mike S., or Dan H., or Akuzawa sensei without ever actually feeling them do their internal power thing.
A couple of things,

1) For most people, but not all, what you feel when you get to touch hands, with some of the "named" people is that it is outside most people's frame of reference. I have felt some guys who have elements, but not the whole picture, because they weren't explicitly training this sort of thing. It also made it difficult for them to explain what was going on.

2) Even with explicit instruction and hands on time with some of the "name" guys there is an extermely high chance of not doing it right. I've been totally off the mark myself, and met more than a few seminar participants who didn't improve, or didn't have a solid enough understanding. Regular hands on time with an instructor, or at least other people who have felt this sort of thing helps a lot.

3) There is a particular feeling you get when you do this stuff correctly (not just being on the receiving side), that one likely has not felt before. You might not even be aware of what that feeling is unless someone else you have trained with recognizes it. Once you know what it feels like, then you can differeniate when you were able to effect the other person with that skill instead of merely muscle or timing. The first time I got the pushout exercise to work, I had no idea that I was actually doing it right, Rob and Manabu simply told me I was doing it right.

4) As for video, there are certain things you can see in the video which will give you a clue if the person has an understanding of Internal Skills/Aiki, but there are lots of gradiations. It is possible to reverse engineer some of this stuff, Ark himself has stated as such, but with the pre-requiste that you are already on this path.

My personal opinion is that if you are really interested in learning this sort of skill, a seminar is a good starting point and saves a lot of fumbling around in the dark.

Last edited by HL1978 : 04-16-2010 at 03:38 PM.
 
Old 04-16-2010, 03:35 PM   #266
chillzATL
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
My post was really to express my great uncertainty about this. I am not convinced that feeling is absolutely necessary to clear understanding. Couldn't a few clarifying questions determine what people mean? People have done this very thing on this thread with Chris H's videos and his ideas about what constitutes Aiki. People were able, without ever feeling what he was doing, to declare that what he called Aiki actually was not. At the very least, it was made clear that what Chris was doing as far as Aiki was concerned and what others are doing are not the same. This was accomplished quite easily, it seemed to me.

Well, I don't know. "Almost impossible" isn't the same as absolutely impossible, right? Sure, I think it would be much more difficult to accurately explain in writing the correct feel of an action or internal position - especially to someone who had no martial training or body awareness at all - than it would be to do so in tandem with something that could be felt, but I am pretty sure it can be done nonetheless. In particular, with those who have had martial training and as a result do understand something of the nature of structural alignment, balance of opposites within one's frame, the mental aspects of ki use, etc, it would likely be far easier to offer effective explanations.

Jon
No, I agree that it has to be felt. I don't think you're going to get anywhere with this stuff by watching and mimicing what's being done and said in a video. You need someone who has a headstart on you to guide you through the rights wrongs.

Look, I was like just about everyone here when I started reading this stuff. I though "bs, this is just what i've already been doing". I also found it funny that there weren't any real videos out there. I mean if you can do it, then you can record it and we can see it right? I read every thread on Aikiweb and other sites from these guys (and others). I eventually noticed the pattern of high ranking martial arts people with decades of experience who, at one point, were exactly where I was, but eventually met with these guys and had a very clear change of attitude. They have no reason to prop up frauds and could have easily said "this is just more of the same", yet they didn't. NONE of them said that. Hell, instead, most of them wanted to start incorporating this into their own training. I'm a smart guy and I can follow the bouncing ball of logic and that ball was increasingly bouncing towards "you need to get off your ass and experience this".

So I started emailing around and asking questions and I eventually found a local group who had worked with several of those guys. It only took one visit for me to figure out that this was very different from what I had been doing. While there may be a lot of conceptual similarities, the actual application and practice is completely different. Depending on your style of aikido (or other martial art) it could be and entirely different universe to you. While none of the guys I met with had the ability of Mike, Dan or others, I didn't need to experience it on that level to feel the the power potential that it contained or see what it could do for my aikido, which is where my interests are.

It's pretty simple. If you're (you or anyone else reading) interested, start asking around and try to find some people near you who are working on this stuff. If you're semi-intelligent and have an open mind it won't be hard for you to see the value in what htey're showing you. I mean hell, if people with 30+ years in Aikido were able to empty their cups enough to see it, you can too. Then it's just a matter of putting in the work to get it for yourself. It's really that simple.

If you don't want to do that, no harm, no foul. Keep doing what you're doing. If what you're doing makes you happen, then it's the right thing for you.

Last edited by chillzATL : 04-16-2010 at 03:38 PM.
 
Old 04-16-2010, 04:26 PM   #267
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

I think this feeling thing is getting crazy.

If I see a video clip of a boxer knocking someone out, that doesn't mean I know all about it. But I did get to see the result. That doesn't mean I can punch better, or that I know how it feels to be knocked out, only that I can see a real result.

One could argue after seeing the clip that the guy being knocked out is faking it. That is the limitation of video. But it's a lot better then what we are currently using to convey our thoughts.

I can say, all day long, that I know what is really going on with these IP/IS/ICMA guys. And they can tell me all day that they know I have no idea, no matter what I "think" I know. On my part and theirs, it's really just a bunch of nonsense.

However video clips can get us to start seeing what we are talking about. I feel like the word "Aiki" has been hijacked. All I'm asking is for you to describe and show what you mean by "Aiki" when you say it. I feel like I've done that on my side.

 
Old 04-16-2010, 05:09 PM   #268
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I think this feeling thing is getting crazy.

If I see a video clip of a boxer knocking someone out, that doesn't mean I know all about it. But I did get to see the result. That doesn't mean I can punch better, or that I know how it feels to be knocked out, only that I can see a real result.

One could argue after seeing the clip that the guy being knocked out is faking it. That is the limitation of video. But it's a lot better then what we are currently using to convey our thoughts.

I can say, all day long, that I know what is really going on with these IP/IS/ICMA guys. And they can tell me all day that they know I have no idea, no matter what I "think" I know. On my part and theirs, it's really just a bunch of nonsense.

However video clips can get us to start seeing what we are talking about. I feel like the word "Aiki" has been hijacked. All I'm asking is for you to describe and show what you mean by "Aiki" when you say it. I feel like I've done that on my side.
Chris,

I just watched your videos, while I disagree with your video about aiki, I think your video about structure and alignment is a pretty good foot in the door into one approach. I think you should have expanded on what exactly is going on when you connected your hands back onto your partner and what your partner felt when you established that connection. You made it clear that you weren't resisting with muscle, but how do you effect the other guy?

A couple of questions. Anyone can feel free to chime in. Don't think I am trying to lead Chris on one way or the other because as I have said elsewhere there are different gradiations and approaches.

Can you input forces into your partner via structure?

Do you feel that you can manipulate your opponent soley through structure? If so how can you do it? If not what other elements could potentially be added? Are they muscular based or something different?

What does your partner feel when they apply pressure on you when you are using structure, what do you feel? How does this feel different than using muscles?

If you are using structure, how do you handle pushes and pulls which are on an angle on which your body is not aligned ? How do you re-route that force so that muscle does not engage? Is there a way for your opponent to feel as though your center of gravity is lower than theirs even if you haven't lowered your center of gravity by utilizing structure?
 
Old 04-16-2010, 05:18 PM   #269
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
However video clips can get us to start seeing what we are talking about. I feel like the word "Aiki" has been hijacked. All I'm asking is for you to describe and show what you mean by "Aiki" when you say it. I feel like I've done that on my side.
I wonder. Maybe forget about trying to define it and have them simply show the solo and partner drills used to establish a base upon which to build. If one is able to inspect the foundation and find it sound then the gables and spandrels really become irrelevant.

Ark has some on youtube and Mike has some on neijia. Dan has verbally described a little. If that is not enough to see the route to what they do (whatever the definition) then little else besides face time will help.

I like what Ellis Amdur has done ( amongst other stuff he has mentioned some of the basics on neijia - i'm not sure I'm supposed to share much more) and took it on the road. That his arts headmaster thinks it's important enough to work on really takes the cake, again. I don't want to be putting words in anyones mouths so read his postings yourself. Who cares what it's called - just show me how to do it!

All I've been able to do is confuse myself a whole bunch and that is just from a couple of 'simple' drills. I'll let others explain how much I suck.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

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Old 04-16-2010, 05:23 PM   #270
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

don't have video, but picture this scenario (should be simple enough). two person, one short and one tall.

short person: in forward stand, grab the tall person at the biceps with both hands (kind of like a judo grab), and push the tall person.

tall person: stand naturally, feet almost parallel, shoulder width, arms dangling down.

as you watch, short person keeps bending the knees and go lower and lower. tall person stood still, didn't move.

anyone can chime in and answer this question: what do you think happened?
 
Old 04-16-2010, 06:40 PM   #271
gregstec
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
No, I agree that it has to be felt. I don't think you're going to get anywhere with this stuff by watching and mimicing what's being done and said in a video. You need someone who has a headstart on you to guide you through the rights wrongs.

Look, I was like just about everyone here when I started reading this stuff. I though "bs, this is just what i've already been doing". I also found it funny that there weren't any real videos out there. I mean if you can do it, then you can record it and we can see it right? I read every thread on Aikiweb and other sites from these guys (and others). I eventually noticed the pattern of high ranking martial arts people with decades of experience who, at one point, were exactly where I was, but eventually met with these guys and had a very clear change of attitude. They have no reason to prop up frauds and could have easily said "this is just more of the same", yet they didn't. NONE of them said that. Hell, instead, most of them wanted to start incorporating this into their own training. I'm a smart guy and I can follow the bouncing ball of logic and that ball was increasingly bouncing towards "you need to get off your ass and experience this".

So I started emailing around and asking questions and I eventually found a local group who had worked with several of those guys. It only took one visit for me to figure out that this was very different from what I had been doing. While there may be a lot of conceptual similarities, the actual application and practice is completely different. Depending on your style of aikido (or other martial art) it could be and entirely different universe to you. While none of the guys I met with had the ability of Mike, Dan or others, I didn't need to experience it on that level to feel the the power potential that it contained or see what it could do for my aikido, which is where my interests are.

It's pretty simple. If you're (you or anyone else reading) interested, start asking around and try to find some people near you who are working on this stuff. If you're semi-intelligent and have an open mind it won't be hard for you to see the value in what htey're showing you. I mean hell, if people with 30+ years in Aikido were able to empty their cups enough to see it, you can too. Then it's just a matter of putting in the work to get it for yourself. It's really that simple.

If you don't want to do that, no harm, no foul. Keep doing what you're doing. If what you're doing makes you happen, then it's the right thing for you.
Wow, Jason has been a member of Aikiweb since 2000 and he only has 140 posts! - To me, this is a man that gives a lot of consideration to his thoughts and just does not shoot from the hip with his opinions - I think we all should just pause and listen; kind of like those old commercials about that investment broker, etc.

There has been a lot of good questions and responses in the last few posts that I won't elaborate on - but I just like to make a few comments.

1. Mike makes an excellent point about the learning is not stagnate - get on the path and don't stop developing - I believe Sagawa mentioned that he continued to develop his aiki up to the day he died. And why not; keep your focus on how you can learn more. As someone mentioned elsewhere, there is always someone ahead of you and behind you on the path - the important thing here is to get on the path!

2. Jonathan brings up some very good points, and Hunter as well as a few others, have provided some good comments accordingly. The only thing I would like to add here is that there are two sides to the 'feeling' point - one side is that you have to feel IS being applied to you and the other is you have to feel what it is like to apply - two sides of the same coin, but two totally different experiences. As to the comment that you can learn this without guidance, well yes and no. Yes, you can stumble on an aspect of it, and I think most of those studying IS today has had some weird experience in this that they could not explain, but no, at best, this can only motivate you to find out more; it will not lead you to a comprehensive understanding - you just just need to get with those of a like mind and interest, with some more experience, to learn more.

3. The last comment I like to make is to apologize for any inappropriate comment or personal attack I may have made in this thread - as those that truly know me will tell you, that next to Phi, I am the next most silly (and warped) person on aikiweb. However, I am a Scorpio, and I can be your best friend or your worst enemy - your choice Seriously, I just saw (IMO) some comments that appeared to be of a negative personal nature, and I responded accordingly - If I was wrong in my interpretation, than I am sorry - if not, then I will send a disruptive ki ball your way and you will have bad karma the rest of your life (short lived as it will be)

In summary, I think it is a testament to the intense interest of IS/IP that stimulates the motivation to express opinions in this thread - let's just try to keep the exchange informative, thought provoking, and considerate of opposing opions.

Sincerely,

Greg
 
Old 04-16-2010, 07:35 PM   #272
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

I'll bite...

Tall person - loosening, or basically dropping the force down to earth as such short guy is trying to push horizontally but force is going down. Its dynamic not like pushing a stone wall.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
 
Old 04-16-2010, 10:53 PM   #273
Jonathan
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
It's pretty simple. If you're (you or anyone else reading) interested, start asking around and try to find some people near you who are working on this stuff.
You're assuming that I haven't. You know what they say about assumptions?

Quote:
If you're semi-intelligent and have an open mind it won't be hard for you to see the value in what htey're showing you. I mean hell, if people with 30+ years in Aikido were able to empty their cups enough to see it, you can too.
My problem, if you'd read carefully what I wrote, was never with "emptying my cup," or doubting the reality and usefulness of Aiki skills, but with gaining access to such skills.

Quote:
Then it's just a matter of putting in the work to get it for yourself. It's really that simple
Yes, I know this. Why are you stating the obvious?

Jon.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
 
Old 04-16-2010, 11:49 PM   #274
Michael Varin
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Jonathan Hay wrote:
As a result of circumstances beyond my control, I haven't had a direct teacher of my own in Aikido since I was third kyu. I am now ranked sandan. For most of my training, I didn't have someone guiding me through all the nuances of Aikido movement and technique. I didn't get to feel how a technique was done whenever I wanted. I had to employ what I knew of the principles of the art and pour over videotapes and books and practice, practice, practice in order to achieve my present ability and rank. But I did it. I was able to advance in skill without regular opportunity to feel the Aikido of top-ranked aikidoka.
No? This is impossible

Quote:
Jonathan Hay wrote:
This kind of response makes all the posts by those who are skilled in Aiki that express concern about the loss of this martial element in Aikido quite disingenuous. Their interest can't be in helping the art regain such an important part of its skill-set or they would be more willing to do all that they could to help any who practice Aikido who wish to develop Aiki to do so. Instead, they say, basically, "I am the mountain. You must come to me," which seems to suggest, not concern for the development of Aiki in Aikido, but simple self-aggrandizement.
Very well said, Jonathan.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
 
Old 04-16-2010, 11:55 PM   #275
Michael Varin
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Regarding Bill Gleason's video part 2:
Quote:
David Orange wrote:
I did the very exercise linked above with him and his movement does compel. The effects on uke are the result of his keeping a steady, light pressure on nage while nage moves.
Hmm? I guess my perceptive abilities aren't that bad after a paltry 10 years.

And considering I was able to describe exactly how uke was being affected just by watching the video, I guess video isn't that useless after all.

Who would've thought?

-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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