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Old 04-17-2010, 04:21 AM   #276
gregstec
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
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.
In this exercise the amount of pressure on uke is very subjective. You may have presented a light push, but when I did it, it was more moderate to heavy - the result was no different, I was being moved by nage and my movements were not exaggerated at all. However, you hit the nail on the head with the comment that uke had to keep the pressure up if the exercise was to work.

Greg
 
Old 04-17-2010, 05:28 AM   #277
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post

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.

Jon.
There is a flip side to all of this too. In my experience, I have found those skilled in this area have been more than willing to freely share what they know, but not at their own expense. These people are not messiahs with a mission in life to spread the word of aiki - they are normal people (well almost normal ) with family, jobs, and other things going on in their lives. They are not in it for the money. When you go see Dan, there is no cost other than your own expenses. When Dan did a workshop at my place, the only cost was his expenses - he did not make money on the deal.

I believe 'Come to the Mountain' is not an ego thing, but just simply a matter of economics and practicality since this stuff truly can not be learned effectively from words and videos. Personally, I am grateful that they do post what their aiki is about and do offer to allow you to come to them for more - if they did not, we truly would not know what we don't know, and would just continue down the path of ignorance.

When I go back over this thread and look at it objectively, I see that there are essentially two types of groups posting - those that have some hands on experience in IS/IP from Dan, Mike, or the Ark and those that have not. Those that have not, want to see videos with explanations of how to do this and what it looks like so they can believe it's real. On the other side, there are those with first hand knowledge saying that videos are not the way to teach nor train IS/IP, and that at best, a video could only provide a minor glimpse into what is going on. So, their preferred method of transmission is in person; which is pretty traditional for most (if not all) JMA and CMA. What I find interesting is that no one from the experienced group has ever said what these people are doing is not real, and that most of the people in the experienced group are very accomplished within their own arts and some are very senior ranking members of their arts - and they all are saying the same thing. So, that just begs the question, how can all these people be wrong in exactly the same way? The laws of probability tells me that they are not and that it would be wise to listen them. If those in the other group keep insisting that these people in the know just hand deliver their knowledge to their doorstep because they are part of the I want generation, the experienced people will just fade away and all that would be left is a bunch of people jabbering on the net about what ever happened to those aiki folks? I wish they would come back because I want to learn more...

To me it is pretty simple - if someone has something I want, and I want it for nothing, and the other person is willing to give it to me for nothing, I am going to accept it on their terms - the last thing I am going to do is to insist they give it to me on my terms. Bottom line here folks is that we all need to get real on this issue and just accept it for what it is.

Greg
 
Old 04-17-2010, 06:15 AM   #278
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
Regarding Bill Gleason's video part 2:

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?
Looking at video #2 presented earlier. its not so much whether one can see if there is a push or pressure, its understanding or seeing some of the following:

How is the push being generated?
From where does it originate?
What would happen if they were to disconnect to one another? Would one of them move forwards, if so who and why?
Is Gleason sensei actively pushing or is his partners energy reflecting back into the partner? What would happen if he is actively pushing? What would happen if he is merely reflecting?
What would happen if both people were using the body in the same way?

There can be multiple answers for the above.
 
Old 04-17-2010, 06:37 AM   #279
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
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.
NOPE, wrong direction.

i was going to drag this out by giving hints and stuffs like that, but this is a long thread already.

consider a few things first: short person never lost his structure, short person doing the pushing, and (the obvious) short person has center of gravity lower than tall person.

the exercise is a game (also a training scenario) - how to get your center below the other person (internally). the reason the short person kept bending his knee is to get lower and lower (obvious, no?), because every time he pushed the tall person, the short person felt he was pushed from below and floated up, while the whole time the tall person didn't move at all. so, the direction is up, not down (down is too easy considering the height different). if any of you folks got a chance to play with Ikeda sensei, the words of his description is "I pick" *with an accent and a smile* thing to consider, as long as the short person pushed, he went up, but if he stopped pushing, then nothing happen. btw, this is a very basic scenario. if you know how to do this, then you know how to apply it in kokyu dosa for aikido folks. for judo/jujutsu folks, this is a silver bullet, to be able to float your opponent at will.

to me this is aiki in static mode, to move another person energy in any direction at will.

*just another traveler on the muddy road of aiki*
 
Old 04-17-2010, 07:54 AM   #280
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
NOPE, wrong direction.

i was going to drag this out by giving hints and stuffs like that, but this is a long thread already.
Why not post a video?

David
 
Old 04-17-2010, 08:39 AM   #281
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
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.
There are a couple of points I would qualify. What is occurring is below the level of conscious perception. That is what makes it martially useful to deploy and likewise difficult to grasp. It is a classic "black box" problem -- you can only directly see the input and the result -- not the process. There are various ways of trying to solve this problem

Way the one-half (not even rising to a proper way) -- You have lots of people trying to simply imitate the input and output respectively -- which is not only wrong but not even useful -- and largely explains the over-compliance tendency -- not some grand collective ego trip on the part of teachers -- but simply uke imitating what he sees "happening" -- regardless whether what actually happened ( which he cannot see) actually occurred to him. Imitation is a very powerful force in human psychology -- and very few people break out of the simple imitative mode.

Way the first -- Other fairly common efforts try to refine one's sense of correlation of various inputs to respective outputs inductively through many examples to infer a process by analogy or allegory to known a process, and then use that as your training guide. That is what we see most people trying to do, either on their own -- or, more profitably, IMO, from traditional sources of collected correlations -- and which Tohei did at a very high level. Problem being that the traditional sources for these correlations translate exceedingly badly into Western thought in their intended function -- both Chinese and Japanese. But making it even worse -- the process in question is not linear -- so one analogy or even a closely related set of analogies cannot fully capture all the known instances. There are many different types of analogy necessary, even mutually contradictory ones, in order to capture a large range of seemingly different observed actions.

Way the second -- The body will learn through its own intuition -- if -- and only if -- it is left completely unguided by the interfering mind... But most people are not capable of letting the body do its learning without the mind mucking it up -- and avoiding that, in the purest sense, is the "Zen" approach, for lack of a better description.

Way the third and fourth (or as I see it, Ways 3a and 3b) -- In addition, we can also use one or both of the only other parts of our mental faculties that can actually enter the black box in a meaningful way -- our mind and its ability to conceive concrete realities that it cannot directly perceive. This takes two forms -- the mystical frame of mind (which Morihei Ueshiba operated from), which uses powerful but VERY concrete natural imagery in deeply relational ways -- or applied mechanical intuition, which generalizes from related phenomena a rule of concrete action that necessarily describes aspects of the process we cannot directly perceive, based on the nature of the structures and actions involved.

People look at the mystical poetic language and think if as woo-hoo, new-agey crap, -- and thus miss that it is just chock full of deeply consistent concrete relational images -- images that map very closely onto a physical reality of mechanics and biomechanical processes of a more general sort and are in agreement with each other when put to this application.

The latter is what I'm doing. DOING -- I emphasize.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
 
Old 04-17-2010, 08:46 AM   #282
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Hmm I thought you said short person has his knees buckling under him. Not floating. Ah well...

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
 
Old 04-17-2010, 08:59 AM   #283
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
Looking at video #2 presented earlier. its not so much whether one can see if there is a push or pressure, its understanding or seeing some of the following:

How is the push being generated?
From where does it originate?
What would happen if they were to disconnect to one another? Would one of them move forwards, if so who and why?
Is Gleason sensei actively pushing or is his partners energy reflecting back into the partner? What would happen if he is actively pushing? What would happen if he is merely reflecting?
What would happen if both people were using the body in the same way?

There can be multiple answers for the above.
It is not a push -- if by push you mean a linear extension.
It originates everywhere or nowhere -- i.e.-- it is throughout both bodies in connection or it is not truly present.
Disconnect ? -- And that depends on how you define "forward."
Etc. etc.

It is all in this, statically:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/attach...9&d=1215185239

And dynamically in this:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/attach...8&d=1215184421

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
 
Old 04-17-2010, 09:29 AM   #284
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
Those that have not, want to see videos with explanations of how to do this and what it looks like so they can believe it's real.
Nope, I have not read anywhere on this thread that anyone thinks aiki or the use of the inner workings of the body to do aiki not real.
David

Last edited by dps : 04-17-2010 at 09:32 AM.
 
Old 04-17-2010, 12:58 PM   #285
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
Hmm I thought you said short person has his knees buckling under him. Not floating. Ah well...
no. i said the short person bending his knees, not buckling. bending knees = he's doing it himself to get better leverage. buckling = something forcing him. two different things.
 
Old 04-17-2010, 02:12 PM   #286
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
There is a flip side to all of this too. In my experience, I have found those skilled in this area have been more than willing to freely share what they know, but not at their own expense. These people are not messiahs with a mission in life to spread the word of aiki - they are normal people (well almost normal ) with family, jobs, and other things going on in their lives. They are not in it for the money. When you go see Dan, there is no cost other than your own expenses. When Dan did a workshop at my place, the only cost was his expenses - he did not make money on the deal.
I didn't intend to suggest that it was solely the hope of making money that was motivating these guys to promote Aiki to the Aikido community. I've never thought this. When I mentioned "cost," I meant the personal sacrifices, the expense of time and effort (and perhaps money, too) required to obtain their skills. Perhaps using an analogy might explain my thinking better. Imagine a guy who has discovered a hidden, jungle paradise filled with natural wonders. He tells others of the incredible place he's found and urges them to see it for themselves. Naturally, they ask him the way. Instead of simply drawing them a map of the path he has already blazed through the jungle, he says, "Oh no! I had to toil miserably for weeks to find this place! If you want to see it, only I can show you the way." Now, it is possible for people to find the paradise without having this fellow guide them there - a well-blazed path now exists - but he is insistent that only if he shows the way will they ever be able to reach his secret garden of wonders. When people suggest that they might find the way if he were to simply provide instructions for doing so, he responds by saying, "The way is complex and difficult and there is no way I could just draw a map that would properly lead you to the paradise. A map would be almost impossible to create. It would be simpler and better if I just showed you the way myself." There is a major problem with this, however. The adventurer can only lead people to his paradise at certain times and there are many who wish to see the paradise but cannot join him at these times. Although he is very strong in his encouragement of people to see his jungle garden of wonders, if they can't journey with him to where it is, well, too bad for them. Naturally, those who haven't been to the paradise but would very much like to visit it, begin to resent the constant urging of this fellow to see the paradise while at the same time throwing up impediments to doing so. They suspect very strongly that a map could be made and that more could thereby enjoy the jungle paradise without the need for a personal guide to it. As a result, the suspicion grows that the fellow urging them to see the paradise isn't really as interested in people reaching the paradise as he is in leading them there.

Quote:
When I go back over this thread and look at it objectively, I see that there are essentially two types of groups posting - those that have some hands on experience in IS/IP from Dan, Mike, or the Ark and those that have not. Those that have not, want to see videos with explanations of how to do this and what it looks like so they can believe it's real.
I guess I'm part of third group, then, since I haven't had any hands-on experience with Dan, Mike, or Ark and yet am quite convinced that Aiki skills are real.

Quote:
To me it is pretty simple - if someone has something I want, and I want it for nothing, and the other person is willing to give it to me for nothing, I am going to accept it on their terms - the last thing I am going to do is to insist they give it to me on my terms.
Well, as I tried to explain above, I cannot meet "their terms." I live too far away, and have other responsibilities that greatly limit my time and finances. Also, it hasn't been that I just looked over and saw Mike and Dan and others with Aiki skills that I didn't have and insisted they give them to me for nothing. No, these guys have been pushing the Aiki stuff fairly strongly at aikidoka, going so far as to suggest that most Aikido today is devoid of any real martial power and effectiveness because it lacks Aiki. Okay. But don't tell me there's a problem and then shut the door on finding a way to resolve it.

Jon.

Last edited by Jonathan : 04-17-2010 at 02:15 PM.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
 
Old 04-17-2010, 06:24 PM   #287
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post

I guess I'm part of third group, then, since I haven't had any hands-on experience with Dan, Mike, or Ark and yet am quite convinced that Aiki skills are real.

Well, as I tried to explain above, I cannot meet "their terms." I live too far away, and have other responsibilities that greatly limit my time and finances. Also, it hasn't been that I just looked over and saw Mike and Dan and others with Aiki skills that I didn't have and insisted they give them to me for nothing. No, these guys have been pushing the Aiki stuff fairly strongly at aikidoka, going so far as to suggest that most Aikido today is devoid of any real martial power and effectiveness because it lacks Aiki. Okay. But don't tell me there's a problem and then shut the door on finding a way to resolve it.

Jon.
I don't think that you can say it much better.

I for one am certain that Saito sensei and the Iwama crowd are not talking about "Aiki" in the same respect as the IP/IS/ICMA crowd. I don't think the Aikikai is talking about the same thing when they say "Aiki" either. Both of those groups have a very legitimate claim the the word "Aiki".

 
Old 04-17-2010, 06:48 PM   #288
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I don't think that you can say it much better.

I for one am certain that Saito sensei and the Iwama crowd are not talking about "Aiki" in the same respect as the IP/IS/ICMA crowd. I don't think the Aikikai is talking about the same thing when they say "Aiki" either. Both of those groups have a very legitimate claim the the word "Aiki".
Well, I can appreciate that viewpoint and have more or less looked into it in the past. In return, I'd ask that people look at my viewpoint:

I encountered an unusual form of strength in 1974 and (as an engineering major) I couldn't quite explain it, even though I had a number of years of Judo and Uechi Ryu Karate behind me. I later realized that my Uechi-Ryu Karate instructor had shown me a few clues one night in the mid-late 1960's, but I didn't know what he was trying to tell me at the time.

After a number of years of looking into this unusual strength after 1974, I'd researched things back into the Chinese martial arts and had gathered information that made this sort of an interesting holistic view. I later attempted to tell some of the nicer people I'd met in Aikido that "there was more to the ki stuff than is obvious".

Since then, I've met further 'nice guys' and a very great number of self-absorbed people who already know all the answers or who want me to "prove it" (as opposed to "hmmmmm... let's talk about it"). I try to show the harder-working 'nice guys' what little I know. I tend to greet the "prove it" crowd with "good attitude, but shouldn't you first just go and see, given all the Aikido literature that you're tossing aside as 'ki-tricks'?".

To cut to the chase, I spent a lot of time chasing things down and while I'm open to answering honest questions, a lot of those written questions have been answered and are archived in the AikiWeb archives. They're there to look at.

Taking the other viewpoint, there are a lot of people who already know all the answers and who can't be shown anything new or who are "already practicing that stuff" and all I can say is good luck. Some of those people are the ones posting the "you gotta tell me the answers or there's something wrong with you" people on this very thread. To them I say "good luck with that approach".

BTW... some of those people now have more than 5 years of posting the "I'm a sceptic and you must prove it to me in writing" posts. To them I must post my thanks for making my day.... you just wasted 5 years.

Best.

Mike Sigman

Last edited by Mike Sigman : 04-17-2010 at 06:52 PM.
 
Old 04-17-2010, 08:10 PM   #289
Michael Varin
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Mike,

I appreciate your post. It seems timely, and your last point is hard to argue. I stayed away from the internal strength threads for a long time, because I saw a distinct pattern to them. Unfortunately, this thread has followed that same pattern.

I don't believe the purpose of this thread was to debunk, minimize, or even be skeptical of internal strength. I personally, believe it is important to aikido. Nor was the purpose of this thread to assess the level of internal strength anyone has, or how impressive it can be.

What is at issue here is the characterization of aiki -- particularly, the use of video to illustrate and help define aiki.

This discussion has been largely ignored.

After 12 pages and 288 posts, only Mark and Chris posted videos.

Maybe this is a very difficult discussion to have. Maybe the definition is elusive. But far too much of the "discussion" is premised on the conclusion that "aiki" = internal strength = structure.

In my opinion, based on my experience and knowledge, acquired in person from various instructors, my own training, and from research about Morihei Ueshiba, aikido, and daito ryu, and related arts and philosophies, I believe that definition to be incorrect, and actually counter to the weight of the evidence.

I would say that most of what has been described should be referred to as kokyu or kokyu ryoku. I understand that there may not be a clean line between these concepts, and that there is most definitely relation and overlap.

If I'm not mistaken, I believe you (Mike Sigman) even said kokyu is more appropriate, although you prefer to use the Chinese terms when discussing these things.

As for aiki = timing, that is clearly an incomplete definition. What is not so clear is whether timing was all that was being conveyed.

Does the definition, no matter what you think it is, affect the manifestation of the physical skills being described? No. Does it affect our (as aikidoists) art? Absolutely. It is the "way of aiki" -- whatever that is.

-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 04-17-2010, 09:05 PM   #290
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
After 12 pages and 288 posts, only Mark and Chris posted videos.
I dunno... IIRC I have put out to the public at least 6 or 7 videos on how to get started with at least the jin (kokyu) side of things. Far more complete and "how-to" than anything on this forum. And the vids I put out don't even begin to approach the whole topic that I think is relevant to the I.S. topic.
Quote:

Maybe this is a very difficult discussion to have. Maybe the definition is elusive. But far too much of the "discussion" is premised on the conclusion that "aiki" = internal strength = structure.
I've never made such a premise. Those topics are related, but they certainly don't deserve the "=" (equal sign) that you're asserting.
Quote:

In my opinion, based on my experience and knowledge, acquired in person from various instructors, my own training, and from research about Morihei Ueshiba, aikido, and daito ryu, and related arts and philosophies, I believe that definition to be incorrect, and actually counter to the weight of the evidence.

I would say that most of what has been described should be referred to as kokyu or kokyu ryoku. I understand that there may not be a clean line between these concepts, and that there is most definitely relation and overlap.

If I'm not mistaken, I believe you (Mike Sigman) even said kokyu is more appropriate, although you prefer to use the Chinese terms when discussing these things.
I stand by that, BTW.
Quote:

As for aiki = timing, that is clearly an incomplete definition. What is not so clear is whether timing was all that was being conveyed.

Does the definition, no matter what you think it is, affect the manifestation of the physical skills being described? No. Does it affect our (as aikidoists) art? Absolutely. It is the "way of aiki" -- whatever that is.
Just as a note:.... don't forget that I did Aikido for around 7 years (not a negligible amount of time, really), so the reference to authority about "our.... as Aikidoists" doesn't really fly. If western Aikido had given me the part of Aikido that I was interested in and could see proof of, I'd still be in Aikido.

I'm sure that some people will disagree with me, but those people are rightfully the subject of some of Dan Harden's comments about how many people go quiet after they see what the topic is. Me.... I met many people that I thought were worthwhile when I did Aikido, back in the old days. My comments about internal strength have *always* been more along the lines of "Guys... I think that here's an important datum we've been missing". In terms of proselityzing other people, I couldn't care less. I actively looked; if they aren't actively looking, screw'em.

Best.

Mike
 
Old 04-17-2010, 10:17 PM   #291
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

i just thought it was fun to talk about all this stuff.
the human body is amazing; and the 'body-technologies' people came up with are truly fantastic.
i thought the best part of aiki was sharing, that, loosely paraphrased in a douka, was that you had what you needed right here with you, right now, to train, and that you could build your power using relatively simple things, if you knew how to make it hard on yourself.
Thought the exchange of ideas on how to 'build power' or strengthen yourself, or how to move properlike was the best stuffs. The discussion of details on how to train.etc.etc. What should be defined, delineated, how to communicate it,what stuff would help your health, how to bring aiki back into your dojo, without creating havoc/being fun, body changes, etc, etc.

Now; as per the people who think you should get aiki via drive-thru... or whatever : ], well, i wonder how far do you think you should travel to meet Sokaku.

Mike, as to your whormwholes; this is what i have to say; here<. re; aiki. your writings and stuff were great, and helpful i agree. i was wondering why sometimes you don't step up more (you say you do, but i challenge that) than you do. if anything good changes in aiki and aikido; for sure you had an important part in it. thanks for what you did help with though. I, for one, definitely am grateful for the information you shared, and your point of view. Definitely the engineering way to go is it, i believe. Not so far as the Erick goes; cause that's just blind jibberjabber tomfoolery. And i do challenge your point of view on oschmann's stuffs. emitted / at-a-distance stuff.. it is the fantasy lie that speaks to the human spirit that enshrines the possibility of godhood, and elevating myth to gnostic proportions.

Rob,
As per how much you should say? It's like the first rule of fightclub. You should have known that. To even insinuate the existence of an IP/Aiki/Qi/Jin black hole (or even it's event horizon within which all IS/ information disappears, to an outside observer) is anathema. : ]

just joking. i'm just jealous of the cool stuffs, Mikey

"Have fun storming the castle"
 
Old 04-17-2010, 11:39 PM   #292
Michael Varin
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Hey Mike,

I just wanted to be clarify, most of my last post wasn't directed to you specifically.

I just looked at it and I don't think that was clear. . . My fault.

Most of it was just pertaining to this thread in general.

-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 04-18-2010, 01:29 AM   #293
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Mike Sigman,
You've been an open person with me, thanks for that. I also believe that you are calling the IP/IS stuff jin or kokyu, I believe that this is an important thing for the Aikido community to learn about. I personally don't think that kokyu is "Aiki", that doesn't mean that I think kokyu/jin is unimportant. Or that the Aikido community doesn't have much to learn from people like yourself who have spent a large amount of time really getting a firm grip on this stuff.

General,
The problem I have, and how this all got started in the tread before this one, is the forgone conclusion that when we are talking about "Aiki" we all mean the IP/IS/ICMA thing.

Perhaps the Tohei crowd is. There are also some new groups arising that are. However there is a lot of Aikido out there. Many of them referring to something different when they say "Aiki". This can get confusing.

I wanted to get a clear definition of what everyone was talking about, so all the cards would be on the table.

 
Old 04-18-2010, 07:40 AM   #294
C. David Henderson
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

FWIW

I understand the conceptual relationship between "internal strength/power" and "skills" as often used in these discussions to be roughly analogous to that between "kokyu" and "aiki."

That is, they are related, but not identical, and while one concept in each pair of concepts refers to ways of generating power in movement, the other relates to employing power in a martial encounter in an effective way.

What I understand some of the "IP/IS" advocates to say about the difference between "aiki" and "ju" stems from whether the method of employing power in an encounter relies on/springs from an internal manipulation of structure, or in applying techique (waza) that manipulate the structure of uke through timing, leverage, etc.

This is where it seems the perception takes hold that timing, leverage, ma ai, etc., are of less value, since they relate to the "ju" level of the art and not what is treated as the higher, "aiki" level, despite the acknowledgement by virtually all that "jujustu" is a powerful and subtle thing.

W/ respect

David Henderson
 
Old 04-18-2010, 08:58 AM   #295
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

The method of setting up a jin path is the basis for a lot of the skills. "Jin" basically means something along the lines of a "trained force skill or force path"; hence it's a basic building block for the power of a "kokyu nage", for the blending of forces in an "aiki", and it's also a basic building block for power-releases like "fa jin". The saying is that "there are many jins (specialized ways of expressing power), but there is only one basic jin."

This basic jin derives it's power from either the solid support of the ground (up, opening power) or from the weight of the body (down, closing power). It's why you'll see people like Kuroda and other Japanese talk about how power comes from gravity, because gravity is what gives you a solid support from the earth and gravity is what pulls your body downward.

"Kokyu" is a term that's actually a little closer to the real full-blown use of the word as a "breath power", but it opens such a complex discussion that it's far beyond anything meant for this type of thread. Let's just leave it that Kokyu is the basic jin power that is augmented by body-training that involves the breath.

"Aiki" is a way of using the same basic jin/kokyu force to vector-add with an opponent's incoming force in such a way that his power is negated (they like to say 'brought to nothing') or his power is used to add to your own power in such a way that he is thrown, etc. His power can help throw him away or it can help pull him forward: you "borrow" his incoming energy to boost your own. Opponent effectively throws himself, in many cases.

Technically you can call just grounding a push as "aiki" because you are essentially blending your intent-derived force with uke's. Kokyu-ho is technically "aiki" if you reply back to uke's push (the techniques and wrist turns, etc., aren't really part of the pure discussion about the forces). Regardless, a lot of the basic-seeming applications of jin will involve "blending" with the opponent's force, making the application an "aiki", but the core power is not "aiki"... it's just the trained force of jin/kokyu.

Incidentally, it's worth noting that there are usually at least three levels to what a word means, but let me just take "aiki" or the english-term "blend" and note that you can "blend" with an opponent with just technique and no jin. That would be the lowest level of the term "blend" or "aiki". If you can "blend" by using intent to manipulate your forces in response to uke's attack, that is the higher level. But technically, "aiki" can denote simple techniqe and external strength or it can denote the higher level with the jin/kokyu forces.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
 
Old 04-18-2010, 10:34 AM   #296
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Two Great posts!

Quote:
Charles David Henderson wrote: View Post
FWIW

I understand the conceptual relationship between "internal strength/power" and "skills" as often used in these discussions to be roughly analogous to that between "kokyu" and "aiki."

That is, they are related, but not identical, and while one concept in each pair of concepts refers to ways of generating power in movement, the other relates to employing power in a martial encounter in an effective way.

What I understand some of the "IP/IS" advocates to say about the difference between "aiki" and "ju" stems from whether the method of employing power in an encounter relies on/springs from an internal manipulation of structure, or in applying techique (waza) that manipulate the structure of uke through timing, leverage, etc.

This is where it seems the perception takes hold that timing, leverage, ma ai, etc., are of less value, since they relate to the "ju" level of the art and not what is treated as the higher, "aiki" level, despite the acknowledgement by virtually all that "jujustu" is a powerful and subtle thing.

W/ respect
Beautiful!

I think this is a great summery Charles. I personally would like to assert that "Ju" is it's own principle, like "Aiki". Things like leverage, ma ai, timing etc. are things all martial art systems have. However the principle of "Aiki" and "Ju" are more unique to internal martial arts (if we want to umbrella them in such a way).

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
This basic jin derives it's power from either the solid support of the ground (up, opening power) or from the weight of the body (down, closing power). It's why you'll see people like Kuroda and other Japanese talk about how power comes from gravity, because gravity is what gives you a solid support from the earth and gravity is what pulls your body downward.
Not only do I agree with you, I think this is very nicely said. It's also what Tim Cartmell, and all other good internal teachers (that I'm aware of) say this stuff is. I think we are in complete agreeance here!

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:

"Kokyu" is a term that's actually a little closer to the real full-blown use of the word as a "breath power", but it opens such a complex discussion that it's far beyond anything meant for this type of thread. Let's just leave it that Kokyu is the basic jin power that is augmented by body-training that involves the breath.
Fair enough, and I agree.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:

"Aiki" is a way of using the same basic jin/kokyu force to vector-add with an opponent's incoming force in such a way that his power is negated (they like to say 'brought to nothing') or his power is used to add to your own power in such a way that he is thrown, etc. His power can help throw him away or it can help pull him forward: you "borrow" his incoming energy to boost your own. Opponent effectively throws himself, in many cases.
I think I have no argument here. I would add that "Aiki" can be done from a distance as well, as "Aiki" can be used to lead the mind, and not just the body. But I don't see why my chair analogy, or any other definition of "Aiki" I have read doesn't agree with this one.

Aiki is the way we interact, in relationship, with another person. The main focus of "Aiki" in my opinion is to understand the rhythms of another person, and be able to interact with the rhythms. I would say time them, but you could also "root" them, avoid them, or anything else you would like. "Aiki" and "Ki Musubi" are very closely related.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Incidentally, it's worth noting that there are usually at least three levels to what a word means, but let me just take "aiki" or the english-term "blend" and note that you can "blend" with an opponent with just technique and no jin. That would be the lowest level of the term "blend" or "aiki". If you can "blend" by using intent to manipulate your forces in response to uke's attack, that is the higher level. But technically, "aiki" can denote simple techniqe and external strength or it can denote the higher level with the jin/kokyu forces.
I don't think there is anything incidental about this! I think this is basically what I have been trying to say from the beginning! You could use external strength to make an "Aiki" interaction, however that is not as refined as "high level" as using good body methods (IP/IS). Structure and alignment are a key foundation to this. I'm sure the well goes much deeper also. This is where experts in this area, like Mike Sigman, come in!

I'm so glad I've stuck with this thread!! Thank you!

 
Old 04-18-2010, 11:03 AM   #297
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
I didn't intend to suggest that it was solely the hope of making money that was motivating these guys to promote Aiki to the Aikido community. I've never thought this. When I mentioned "cost," I meant the personal sacrifices, the expense of time and effort (and perhaps money, too) required to obtain their skills. Perhaps using an analogy might explain my thinking better. Imagine a guy who has discovered a hidden, jungle paradise filled with natural wonders. He tells others of the incredible place he's found and urges them to see it for themselves. Naturally, they ask him the way. Instead of simply drawing them a map of the path he has already blazed through the jungle, he says, "Oh no! I had to toil miserably for weeks to find this place! If you want to see it, only I can show you the way." Now, it is possible for people to find the paradise without having this fellow guide them there - a well-blazed path now exists - but he is insistent that only if he shows the way will they ever be able to reach his secret garden of wonders. When people suggest that they might find the way if he were to simply provide instructions for doing so, he responds by saying, "The way is complex and difficult and there is no way I could just draw a map that would properly lead you to the paradise. A map would be almost impossible to create. It would be simpler and better if I just showed you the way myself." There is a major problem with this, however. The adventurer can only lead people to his paradise at certain times and there are many who wish to see the paradise but cannot join him at these times. Although he is very strong in his encouragement of people to see his jungle garden of wonders, if they can't journey with him to where it is, well, too bad for them. Naturally, those who haven't been to the paradise but would very much like to visit it, begin to resent the constant urging of this fellow to see the paradise while at the same time throwing up impediments to doing so. They suspect very strongly that a map could be made and that more could thereby enjoy the jungle paradise without the need for a personal guide to it. As a result, the suspicion grows that the fellow urging them to see the paradise isn't really as interested in people reaching the paradise as he is in leading them there.

I guess I'm part of third group, then, since I haven't had any hands-on experience with Dan, Mike, or Ark and yet am quite convinced that Aiki skills are real.

Well, as I tried to explain above, I cannot meet "their terms." I live too far away, and have other responsibilities that greatly limit my time and finances. Also, it hasn't been that I just looked over and saw Mike and Dan and others with Aiki skills that I didn't have and insisted they give them to me for nothing. No, these guys have been pushing the Aiki stuff fairly strongly at aikidoka, going so far as to suggest that most Aikido today is devoid of any real martial power and effectiveness because it lacks Aiki. Okay. But don't tell me there's a problem and then shut the door on finding a way to resolve it.

Jon.
Jonathan,

I appreciate your points and I can understand your position on all of this and I wish I had a good answer for you, but I don't. Unfortunately, it is what it is. However, I do have a suggestion that may help for you to get a foot in the door on this stuff. By the way, I decided to personally call this stuff,"Stuff" since it appears that there will never be any universally agreed upon term for it - although Mike just made an excellent post that goes into a lot more detail on the different terms as they relate on various levels, IMO, it will always be viewed differently by different people - but Stuff is Stuff and nobody can say it is not Stuff

Anyway, back on track with my initial thought to you. To get a foot in the door, I recommend that you may want to consider Tohei's model on Mind and Body coordination - Although some people may think this is not the direction to go, both Dan and Mike have mentioned that Tohei was on the right track, but he did not take it further. Although most of his books are out of print, used ones are available and I believe Ki in Daily Life is still in publication. In addition, there are videos of him out there as well. These resources can provide you will all the detail on his approach along with basic exercises and tests to measure your progress. However, I believe it is still crucial to get with someone in person with the skills so you can receive supportive and/or corrective feedback on where your skills are at. Also, as mentioned, Tohei did not take this 'Stuff' to the next level, so at some point, if you want to continue your development, you will need to get with someone like Dan ,Mike, or the Ark. Good luck in you pursuit.

Greg
 
Old 04-18-2010, 11:09 AM   #298
gregstec
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Charles David Henderson wrote: View Post
FWIW

I understand the conceptual relationship between "internal strength/power" and "skills" as often used in these discussions to be roughly analogous to that between "kokyu" and "aiki."

That is, they are related, but not identical, and while one concept in each pair of concepts refers to ways of generating power in movement, the other relates to employing power in a martial encounter in an effective way.

What I understand some of the "IP/IS" advocates to say about the difference between "aiki" and "ju" stems from whether the method of employing power in an encounter relies on/springs from an internal manipulation of structure, or in applying techique (waza) that manipulate the structure of uke through timing, leverage, etc.

This is where it seems the perception takes hold that timing, leverage, ma ai, etc., are of less value, since they relate to the "ju" level of the art and not what is treated as the higher, "aiki" level, despite the acknowledgement by virtually all that "jujustu" is a powerful and subtle thing.

W/ respect
All very good points and well presented.

Greg
 
Old 04-18-2010, 11:09 AM   #299
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Not only do I agree with you, I think this is very nicely said. It's also what Tim Cartmell, and all other good internal teachers (that I'm aware of) say this stuff is. I think we are in complete agreeance here!
Chris, I'm just trying to show how the terminology is sorted. People who are experts are going to understand immediately the "aiki" is usage whereas it's not really the core/basic strength.

I have no idea what Tim Cartmell knows, although I know a couple of people who studied in the same classes with him. Would you say that what you showed on the video agrees with Tim Cartmell's understanding of how internal mechanics work?
Quote:
I think I have no argument here. I would add that "Aiki" can be done from a distance as well, as "Aiki" can be used to lead the mind, and not just the body. But I don't see why my chair analogy, or any other definition of "Aiki" I have read doesn't agree with this one.

Aiki is the way we interact, in relationship, with another person. The main focus of "Aiki" in my opinion is to understand the rhythms of another person, and be able to interact with the rhythms. I would say time them, but you could also "root" them, avoid them, or anything else you would like. "Aiki" and "Ki Musubi" are very closely related.
Well, bear in mind that Ueshiba called his distance throws "ki throws", not aiki. There's a reason for that. So I would disagree with you about aiki being done from a distance because it causes a conflict with the root definitions again.
Quote:
I don't think there is anything incidental about this! I think this is basically what I have been trying to say from the beginning! You could use external strength to make an "Aiki" interaction, however that is not as refined as "high level" as using good body methods (IP/IS). Structure and alignment are a key foundation to this.
My only comment would be to point out that Ueshiba himself pointed to the higher-level jin manipulation as the true secret of Aikido. If someone is using the baser definition of aiki/blending (i.e., physical technique), then Aikido becomes mainly undifferentiated from many other martial-arts.

Best.

Mike Sigman

Last edited by Mike Sigman : 04-18-2010 at 11:12 AM.
 
Old 04-18-2010, 01:55 PM   #300
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
Definitely the engineering way to go is it, i believe. Not so far as the Erick goes; cause that's just blind jibberjabber tomfoolery.
If it is as difficult to grasp as you admit in other terms -- what possible reason could you have to believe that is simplistic in mechanical terms...? If you believe that -- put a hole in it. Whether I am right or wrong -- you might learn something by trying -- and who knows, you might even put a hole in it, for which I would actually thank you... that's how things progress.

Mike's point about vectors (though perhaps useful by analogy) I have disagreed with because it is quite demonstrably wrong. The key thing about aiki mechanics is that they are NOT reversible by merely opposing when applied. If it were merely vectors, as Mike's training image suggests, they would be reversible -- because vectors commute ( i.e. -- it does not matter in which order they are applied -- the end result does not change) A larger vector can always counter or reverse another vector. Aiki cannot be countered that way, hence, aiki does not involve vectors.

I understand why he uses them, and analogy is useful, as long as it remains analogy. Having said all of that, the concept of jin path tracks very closely to the idea of a funicular load curve.

Real world loads and movements are more subtle, and in critical ways do not commute -- they are not linearly reversible. Though video game designers have only recently had the processing power to rediscover the importance of this point for discrete movement and the limits of linear vector matrices -- this problem has been known since 1843, when Hamilton carved the formula into a stone bridge in Dublin.

One does not have to calculate maths on the mat to understand the consequence of this fact practically and conceptually -- when a bridge column buckles it is not reversible -- and when the applied dynamic is cyclic (a bouncing truck over the bridge, for example) its angle of departure from the centerline is not trivially predictable (i.e. -- Mike's use of pure statics has a similarly limited utility -- not useless -- but limited.). Mike studied engineering -- I was an naval aviator with a physics background. The thing is -- things really are different in a dynamic frame of reference. Hamilton's point confirms something about practical uses of relative motion in the real world -- because even "static" frames of reference are affected by related dynamic problems at critical junctures. And martial art is nothing if not interested in critical junctures.

The difference is YOU can actually check up on the concepts that I use, from independent sources that are in general agreement as to what they mean. I can't hide behind jargon -- because it is not MY jargon -- it is straightforward mechanical vocabulary -- if you trouble to understand it -- or not, as you prefer -- it is perfectly accessible.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
 

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