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Old 04-10-2010, 08:33 AM   #126
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
..because Ueshiba didn't teach the skills openly... and he's not from 1656 Japan.
I wondered about that for a long time; I kind of thought that was cause there was probably a promise to Takeda Sokaku not to (much like Sagawa mentions he was told). Any thoughts?
If there wasn't, and he didn't....why didn't he? Cause it's hard? But he came so close by teaching Aikido to so many worldwide. It's puzzling
Josh

edit: you know what; i take this back. it is no different than any martial art. the best is kept secret, is it not. and only shown to the deserving few.
as it always was, i can only assume.
what in life, isn't like that?

Last edited by thisisnotreal : 04-10-2010 at 08:47 AM. Reason: foolishly thinking aloud
 
Old 04-10-2010, 08:34 AM   #127
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Does understanding how the sails and stays work using the incoming energy of the wind and distributing it throughout the sailboat causing the boat to move through the water (outgoing energy) make you a better sailor?

David
Actually, yes! - I have seen captains out on the water get into a bit of trouble when the wind kicks up make the wrong adjustment because they did not a have a good understanding of how those relationships work in their boat.
 
Old 04-10-2010, 08:37 AM   #128
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Or would you rather use an explanation that the ki of the boat pushes against the ki of the air to overcome the ki of the earth to move the boat? Thus we have aiki.

David
now we are getting somewhere
 
Old 04-10-2010, 08:47 AM   #129
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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I know you are being tongue-in-cheek, but I think about it this way (yes thats' M 2 C):
the words and thoughts come to us through time, from a different place, social context, and way of thinking of...almost everything. it is a different way of mapping -the same physical things- to descriptions/view of how and why it works. I do not think there are always one-to-one correspondences of concepts from the world-view of one to the other. Isn't there that saying; "Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet."
Yes but thousands of years ago, hundreds of years ago even 40 years ago the access to knowledge and the ability to communicate between people has vastly improved. Forty years ago I could not ( from Youngstown, Ohio, USA ) post a video on the Internet and someone from Japan, China, England, etc view it almost immediately . So the separation of place, culture, social context and way of thinking is diminishing at a rapid rate meaning a move toward the twain meeting more often.

David
 
Old 04-10-2010, 08:48 AM   #130
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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Are we talking about aiki, or really kinky sex?
Sorry. joke... but it is a clever analogy. or...after thinking.... is it...an analogy?
I mean, aren't we ultimately networked atoms, molecules, cells, electrical and chemical energy, nerves, organs, software/body patterns?. I can definitely see how the esoteric terms/phrases/philosophies stuff starts to creep in here when you try to talk about *everything*. The network thing is a neat idea, guys. thanks.
Interesting - instead of being packet switched like in an IP network or label switched in a MPLS network, we are atom or molecule switched in the body network - no, I got it, we are ki switched in the body
 
Old 04-10-2010, 08:52 AM   #131
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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So the separation of place, culture, social context and way of thinking is diminishing at a rapid rate meaning a move toward the twain meeting more often.
i disagree.
and I disagree with your comments on videos too, since i'm being disagreeable (albeit disagreeably (yeah i stole it mike))

what is increasing at a rapid rate is the amount of superficiality. that is not a slam on you; but a slam on society's use of all these wonderful modes of communication. fluff; no content mostly.

adverts and porn
 
Old 04-10-2010, 08:54 AM   #132
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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Or would you rather use an explanation that the ki of the boat pushes against the ki of the air to overcome the ki of the earth to move the boat? Thus we have aiki.

David
I'm sorry, I forgot about the water ki between the boat ki and the earth ki.

David
 
Old 04-10-2010, 08:58 AM   #133
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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i disagree.
and I disagree with your comments on videos too, since i'm being disagreeable (albeit disagreeably (yeah i stole it mike))

what is increasing at a rapid rate is the amount of superficiality. that is not a slam on you; but a slam on society's use of all these wonderful modes of communication. fluff; no content mostly.

adverts and porn
In communications when you turn the gain up you not only amply the carrier signal that carries the information wanted but also the noise that is not wanted.
That is what filters are for, to diminish the noise.

David
 
Old 04-10-2010, 09:02 AM   #134
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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In communications when you turn the gain up you not only amply the carrier signal that carries the information wanted but also the noise that is not wanted.
That is what filters are for, to diminish the noise.

David
sorry; didn't see that post. you were still on my ignore list.:]
 
Old 04-10-2010, 09:04 AM   #135
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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Interesting - instead of being packet switched like in an IP network or label switched in a MPLS network, we are atom or molecule switched in the body network - no, I got it, we are ki switched in the body
You mean there is an intelligent/controlling energy within the human body? That's what i was thinking. Some would say: Isn't that obvious? Isn't that 'life' itself? interesting
 
Old 04-10-2010, 09:06 AM   #136
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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I'm sorry, I forgot about the water ki between the boat ki and the earth ki.

David
Yes, the water is a 'ki' component in keeping your boat afloat
 
Old 04-10-2010, 09:19 AM   #137
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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You mean there is an intelligent/controlling energy within the human body? That's what i was thinking. Some would say: Isn't that obvious? Isn't that 'life' itself? interesting
I am rapidly moving into the realm of silly with a lot of tongue in cheek comments this morning - I would not take them all that seriously at the moment - but then again, maybe there is some stuff 'hidden in plain sight' being masked in some esoteric form but, then again, maybe not - you decide for yourself

Would love to stay and chat, but it is a beautiful day here in central PA and I need to go out and disrupt the ki of my lawn (cut the grass)
 
Old 04-10-2010, 09:20 AM   #138
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me too. was fun. thanks for the
 
Old 04-10-2010, 09:21 AM   #139
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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Hopefully this will give a place for those who are trying to push their ideas about "Aiki" to post some videos, to help clear up what it is that they are talking about.
Great Idea.

I will try to contribute a video in the near future but don't expect much.

If the experts are reluctant to share a video here then maybe some of their students can, unless they are forbidden to.

David
 
Old 04-10-2010, 10:25 AM   #140
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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Great Idea.

I will try to contribute a video in the near future but don't expect much.

If the experts are reluctant to share a video here then maybe some of their students can, unless they are forbidden to.

David
I like your ki boat, on ki water with ki wind analogy. I think that is the way Ueshiba would have described it as well!

 
Old 04-10-2010, 11:27 AM   #141
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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I wondered about that for a long time;
FWIW it is a concept that has never bothered me all that much. I tend to think that the information has always been there "hidden in plain sight" to steal Mr. Amdur's wonderful title. Some of the direct students picked up on it quite well for as varied reasons as their backgrounds. Some didn't. Some got the gift while the rest just got the gift wrap. Not that the gift wasn't always there -- they just weren't able/willing/ready/whatever to find it.

In part I think this happens because of difficulty in explaining *what* precisely was going on with those who "got it". They had trouble. Tohei, I think, put out a rather comprehensive approach with his ki tests, aiki taiso, etc. I remember hearing things like curving the fingers down in funakogi to keep ki flowing. Okay, didn't get it then, but if I'm "listening" to my body now I can feel a difference in my internal connections now if I do it correctly. Heck, I find I can get that feeling without curving my fingers now. So what is that feeling? Something new? Something that was always there? Something I built?

I don't know. I just keep training to hopefully feel it more.

Some people today are arguing that they've come up with a better way to teach this stuff. Some are going back to the Chinese arts with the argument that China was where that special "whatever" came from. Others are doing their own thing in training the body (Ark et al). I've not had the pleasure of working with Dan, but he's apparently got his version of windings, grounding, balanced spirals, etc. going as well. To some of us wandering about intersecting some of these things there is a familiarity. But it is still devilishly difficult to describe in words. Difficult to show in video if you don't already know what you're looking for.

Compound all of that with the normal and natural expansion of terminology as Aikido became a phenomena that transcended simple martial arts. In some ways it became all things to all people, at least all people of a certain mindset. And that would further obscure some of those basic foundations.

Me, I'm just training more. I'll get out to see Toby again soon. And hopefully Mike will be out again here later in the year again. And I'll keep pestering my sensei about experiences with Tohei, Kobayashi, etc. All while things I've heard from those who've come before who seemed to have something different and powerful seem to jibe quite well with what I'm hearing now. Just maybe a better explanation, more fleshed out ideas, etc. all making it easier to approach. Not necessarily easier to *do* or necessarily easier to demonstrate on-line, but easier when you get together and feel a few things, get a few corrections, then work on it for a while. Kinda like all martial arts training. Or most any non-trivial training.

So was it all hidden? Or were those who had it just had varied success putting it into words and communicating it to their students. The lack of a good teaching method doesn't mean the subject is invalid...

Just a train of consciousness post after rereading most of this stuff...

 
Old 04-10-2010, 01:34 PM   #142
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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I don't know. I just keep training to hopefully feel it more.
Most of us will agree there is something there worth finding. In the effort to make the art our own we wrap it in terms and concepts we find best suited to our abilities and comprehension. Those who refuse to look will not find it despite hard training. Even if we to find it and attempt to make it our own but still use the wrappings and trappings of our teacher we may find ourselves unable to transmit the gifts and soon the gift fades upon passing.

Those who are satisfied with their progress soon fade as well. Never be satisfied and always question what one knows (this itself is a high art) and progress will never cease.

It doesn't matter if you call it long muscle, ki waves or fascia unless it aids in understanding and transmission but it does help if it is also right (whatever that means). If the understanding is there then it should be able to be conveyed in writing, spoken word and also in video as well as in person. Usually the fault can also be found in the audience simply not understanding the presentation. Maybe it is all right there in the doka but we just don't understand. I prefer the gift wrapping to be less spectacular/flashy than the gift - the trappings become a trap.

I'm with Mr. Larman, I don't know, so I keep looking and I'm never satisfied. Even if I don't know I am able to detect BS pretty well-hopefully that is enough to keep me from straying too far afield.

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

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
 
Old 04-10-2010, 03:54 PM   #143
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
It doesn't matter if you call it long muscle, ki waves or fascia unless it aids in understanding and transmission but it does help if it is also right (whatever that means).
In Aikido Shugyo, Gozo Shioda tends to talk about kokyu power, although I think that some ideas probably got a little frazzled by the compilers and translators of the book. Technically kokyu power is a physical manifestation of ki, so I would prefer 'kokyu power' to 'aiki' because 'aiki' is technically a usage of kokyu ('jin' in Chinese).

Regardless of the terminology, Shioda says at one point in his book that these types of trainings are an investment for old age. This saying about old age is a common saying in Asia and while it somewhat refers to the strength issues that stay with you into old age, the strength issues are really an adjunct of some of the training mechanisms which have a positive effect on your health well into old age. So there's a lot more to it than just the strength issues... yet a lot of these discussions focus on "aiki"/jin/kokyu/ki/fascia/etc like it is primarily a strength skill. Just thought I'd toss that in for the record.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
 
Old 04-10-2010, 05:50 PM   #144
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
That would be at odds; not only with his many quotes about martial use- including many comments about his atemi being deadly- but also from his actions; including going to judo dojos and dislocating someone's hip with an atemi, and his training of military people-including ultra right wing types. Were his message meant to be purely spiritual he would never have lived his entire life in...martial arts! You would also never have known his name in the first place. It was his martial prowess that gave him fame, and not his spiritual beliefs, which none of his students ever claimed to truly understand.
I think all the spiritual jargon was greatly misunderstood and among some people in Aikido it is become something of a new age, animistic, add your own quasy-spiritual belief, add-on at your pleasure, type deal that it never really was meant to be in the first place.

Dan
Yet without the existence of the network of Omoto Kyo believers, Aikido would never have gotten off the ground in the first place. My point about the 'Aiki' definition was an attempt to insert a touch of historical perspective into the discussion. It would not be helpful to deny the influence of the Omoto Kyo religion and Deguchi himself on O Sensei in those days. Furtehrmore, just a cursory glance at O Sensei's doka will reveal that his use of the term 'Aiki' was applied to spiritual/mystical experiences. Your points about the new age, quasi-spiritual misunderstandings of the present day cannot be disagreed with - but that is a different topic.

When I read the various discussions in this thread, it struck me that what is being defined would be more likely termed Kokyu Ryoku by Japanese Aikido people.

Apologies to the OP for a semantic thread drift.
 
Old 04-10-2010, 06:00 PM   #145
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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In Aikido Shugyo, Gozo Shioda tends to talk about kokyu power, although I think that some ideas probably got a little frazzled by the compilers and translators of the book. Technically kokyu power is a physical manifestation of ki, so I would prefer 'kokyu power' to 'aiki' because 'aiki' is technically a usage of kokyu ('jin' in Chinese).

Regardless of the terminology, Shioda says at one point in his book that these types of trainings are an investment for old age. This saying about old age is a common saying in Asia and while it somewhat refers to the strength issues that stay with you into old age, the strength issues are really an adjunct of some of the training mechanisms which have a positive effect on your health well into old age. So there's a lot more to it than just the strength issues... yet a lot of these discussions focus on "aiki"/jin/kokyu/ki/fascia/etc like it is primarily a strength skill. Just thought I'd toss that in for the record.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
Hello all - back from the yard work and some hot tub and beer misogi (hot tub external and beer internal )

Nice smooth shift into the TCM arena, Mike I will bite on your comment. Although I have some training in this area (Tohei's kiatsu) I have found less success with it than with Tohei's approach to martial application. However, with that said, it does not mean I have not had positive experience in this area. I just do not have empirical evidence that would meet scientific standards - it is very personal and I do not talk much about it - unless, of course, it is well passed midnight and we are sitting at the bar together and you say you want to know me better ( Navy training 101: when in a foreign port (or any bar) just tell them what they want to hear so you can achieve your objective)

Seriously, IMO, I believe there is something going on there, but I just do not know enough to provide any logical insight into it.

As others have already mentioned elsewhere, "Your mileage may vary"

Greg
 
Old 04-10-2010, 06:03 PM   #146
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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Apologies to the OP for a semantic thread drift.
If any thread needed a semantic drift, this is it Great comments, and very welcome...

Greg
 
Old 04-10-2010, 06:35 PM   #147
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Since this thread is about aiki definitions, let me just throw this out for some thought.

Aiki - let's just break this up into a very high level view.
Ai: harmonious, join, blend, synchronize, be one, etc.
Ki: energy, force, etc.

So, at a very basic level, we have energy being NOT conflicted with, but more agreed with and more being aware of, etc.

In this very high level viewpoint, everyone posting in this thread has a legitimate view point on aiki - Chis with his view of timing with the energy in an external environment (chair thing) and the others with their view of dealing with the blending in an internal manner. Neither perspective is wrong, but neither perspective is authoritative as well since neither perspective developed the term aiki, nor owns it.

So, in the words of an innocent victim: "Why can't we all just get along" (that sounds like aiki to me as well )

Greg
 
Old 04-10-2010, 07:19 PM   #148
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Greg, This!<
 
Old 04-10-2010, 08:28 PM   #149
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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In this very high level viewpoint, everyone posting in this thread has a legitimate view point on aiki -
I disagree with this viewpoint. When people start thinking that "all views are legitimate" then there is something very wrong.

Ki/kokyu/jin/qi skills work under a fairly rigorous logic. I.e., everyone's viewpoint cannot be 'legitimate'. If you go back a few years, there are a number of posts by various high-ranking dans, 'experts', etc., that are pretty telling *in light of the few steps forward a number of people have made*. In the next few years, even more people will realize that they have put themselves into various untenable positions that are now archived in the forums.

My point is not to trivialize but to encourage people to think very hard and to realize that each thing they say is archived and therefore they should really put a lot of thought into what they say, plus have what Dale Carnegie used to call "the right to speak" (i.e., you should know the subject you're opining about) ... as opposed to thinking that each observation they make is just as valid as anyone else's.

I can remember being in a discussion with a number of Asian martial-arts teachers of various levels and one comment made was that the better teachers tended to be very clinical and oriented toward the physical sciences... while the average western student seems to be a liberal-arts type who thinks that all feelings are valid.

O-Sensei, as well as his precursors, tended to be of the stricter, "martial-arts has precise definitions" type than the "all viewpoints are legitimate" framing, IMO.

The current threa topic is about definitions, in a sense (video), of 'aiki'. I agree with Takahama that the actual subject is kokyu-power (as people are discussing it), but regardless, let's all remember Dale Carnegie's admonition about having "the right to speak". Even Dale was aware that there are a lot of people in this world who will speak knowledgeably about a topic without having the least ability to show it. My recommendation would be to opine, but to opine with specifics rather than to speak with the assumption of authority.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
 
Old 04-10-2010, 08:54 PM   #150
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

personally, i can't define aiki or even demonstrate it. haven't been around the block (stay mainly in my own yard most of the time) nor have the experiences most martial artists. my thoughts run along the line, if you have never being punch in the face, i can describe with every terms known to man along with every communication methods, you won't know what it feel like until you actually get punch in the face. thus, the terms It Has To Be Felt. Ikeda sensei said many times that if folks see video of him or even watch with their own eyes, they would think that what he does is fake. as someone who has been on the receiving end of him, there is nothing fake about it. same goes to Mike Sigman, Howard Popkin and Endo sensei who i had the honor of being on the receiving end of their aiki (or whatever). i can honestly say that they feel the same and different from the rest of aikido folks that i have encountered. i like the feel of these few teachers where each brought to the table different aspects of the same aiki (or whatever that they do).

now if you want to discuss the basic training of such thing (the undefined stuffs), then i might be able to contribute to the discussion or maybe not.

*just a padawan (you have to figure out of jedi or sith)*
 

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