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Old 05-08-2010, 08:22 PM   #1
Rabih Shanshiry
 
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Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

To all those interested in internal strength....

What are the "must read" books on the subject? Specifically, books that have helped you train (how to) or conceptualize what you are training (theory).

So - for example - I wouldn't consider Transparent Power or Hidden in Plain Sight to be on this list - although both are excellent reads in their own right. They are more historical/biographical/anecdotal than practical.

...rab
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:51 PM   #2
Michael Varin
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

Can we stop conclusively equating internal strength/skills to aiki?

They are not the same thing. It's lazy and/or dishonest to use the terms interchangeably.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:02 PM   #3
Upyu
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
Can we stop conclusively equating internal strength/skills to aiki?

They are not the same thing. It's lazy and/or dishonest to use the terms interchangeably.
Dunno, most of the quotes by Ueshiba, Takeda etc seem to point to it.
Seems someone is conveniently forgetting Ueshiba's quote about Tenryu
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:26 PM   #4
DH
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
Can we stop conclusively equating internal strength/skills to aiki?

They are not the same thing. It's lazy and/or dishonest to use the terms interchangeably.
We could say
Discounting the lackluster majority and middlings opinions and sticking to the few living legends in the aiki arts...........they all pointed to it as the source. Not to mention that we now know that Takeda thought it so important, that he told people NOT to teach the solo training and the idea of conditioning the body openly.

So we coud arrive at the following idea.
1. Can we finally conclusively equate internal strength/skills to aiki?

2. They are the same thing. It's lazy and/or dishonest not to use the terms interchangeably.

Dan
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Old 05-09-2010, 07:46 AM   #5
Rabih Shanshiry
 
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
Can we stop conclusively equating internal strength/skills to aiki?

They are not the same thing. It's lazy and/or dishonest to use the terms interchangeably.
Michael, I meant no offense. That is what aiki is to me. If you have a different understanding, then by all means you are entitled to it. We could discuss that in a separate thread if you'd like (though I think they've been already quite a few of those!).

Now if we could please return to the OP regarding recommended reading...
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:02 AM   #6
niall
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

My first aikido teacher told me there were no good books on aikido and he gave me Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel and I still have it. I really liked it (and by chance just a couple of days ago I happened to mention it to someone on here). This is the Wikipedia link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_in_the_Art_of_Archery

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Old 05-09-2010, 09:23 AM   #7
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

Quote:
Rabih Shanshiry wrote: View Post
To all those interested in internal strength....

What are the "must read" books on the subject? Specifically, books that have helped you train (how to) or conceptualize what you are training (theory).
in Books
So - for example - I wouldn't consider Transparent Power or Hidden in Plain Sight to be on this list - although both are excellent reads in their own right. They are more historical/biographical/anecdotal than practical.

...rab
Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists by Thomas W. Myers

(....Myers explains how patterns of strain communicate through the myofascial 'webbing', contributing to postural compensation and movement stability.}

http://www.google.com/products/catal...wAg#ps-sellers

David
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:51 AM   #8
DH
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists by Thomas W. Myers

(....Myers explains how patterns of strain communicate through the myofascial 'webbing', contributing to postural compensation and movement stability.}

http://www.google.com/products/catal...wAg#ps-sellers

David
Will not help you in how to train to involve what and how.
Dan
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Old 05-09-2010, 07:45 PM   #9
Rabih Shanshiry
 
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

Quote:
Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
My first aikido teacher told me there were no good books on aikido and he gave me Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel and I still have it. I really liked it (and by chance just a couple of days ago I happened to mention it to someone on here). This is the Wikipedia link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_in_the_Art_of_Archery
I'm not sure how relevent this will be to IT, but it looks like a good read. Just grabbed it from Amazon. Thanks!

...rab
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Old 05-09-2010, 07:52 PM   #10
asiawide
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

Well... if you didn't read what Rob(Upyu) posts, I think it's a good start. Then go to Japan to see Akuzawa or some others in the states like Mike Sigman or Dan Harden.
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:39 PM   #11
Thomas Campbell
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

Quote:
Rabih Shanshiry wrote: View Post
To all those interested in internal strength....

What are the "must read" books on the subject? Specifically, books that have helped you train (how to) or conceptualize what you are training (theory).
There are none. In over 12 years of study and practice around the world with IMAs, I built a library of literally hundreds of titles, in English, translated from English, commissioned translations of parts of others . . . out of which perhaps a handful of paragraphs even began to hint or suggest at the right direction for training the qualities of internal strength as I've experienced (in some others) in the last few years.

You are best off not wasting time reading about this shit. Every second spent reading is potential training time, irreplaceably lost. Every dollar spent on a book is money you could have spent traveling to train with people who actually have these skills.

Why, rab, when you are only an hour away from someone who not only can demonstrate these skills, but can show others how to train them, are you asking about books? Do you think Dan or Mike or Ark read books before they engaged in the shugyo level of training needed to glimpse even basic levels of internal connection? Do you think Takeda Sokaku read books?

The academic impulse is poison to this kind of training. Hard, systematic work, intuitive feeling, and most of all time is fundamental to making any sort of real progress.

If you absolutely must let others fill your mind with their incomplete understanding incompletely expressed, then browse this forum and e-budo.com for starters. Go back to 2006, maybe a little before. Take notes.

DVDs may help you a little more. Try Aunkai's DVDs for a beginning look at what is involved.

Contact people. Go see the ones who make the most sense to you. Get some hands-on time, be willing to make friends with the ground and sustain some bruises in order to understand the lesson.

Don't just settle for the famous names in this game. Buy Rob John a bagel sandwich. Suggest a really good fantasy novel to Mark Murray. Ask Alex Lee whether space really is the final frontier.

Keep in mind that any training approach has its limitations, and even if the proponent is personally capable of demonstrating internal strength at a high level, it does not mean that his/her understanding of what they do is correct, nor that they can effectively teach what they can do.

But practice. Find some people who will patiently work on these skills with you. Put in the time.

Why the hell are you still reading this post? You just lost 60 seconds you could have been training. Every moment--standing, sitting, even lying down--every breath is an opportunity to work on this stuff.
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Old 05-09-2010, 10:32 PM   #12
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

Quote:
Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
My first aikido teacher told me there were no good books on aikido and he gave me Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel and I still have it. I really liked it (and by chance just a couple of days ago I happened to mention it to someone on here). This is the Wikipedia link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_in_the_Art_of_Archery
You should read this for a different perspective. http://www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/...rs/pdf/586.pdf

Ignatius
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Old 05-09-2010, 10:57 PM   #13
Tim Fong
 
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post

Do you think Takeda Sokaku read books?

The academic impulse is poison to this kind of training. Hard, systematic work, intuitive feeling, and most of all time is fundamental to making any sort of real progress.
I think that the late Li Shuwen was, like Takeda, illiterate. He seemed to develop some skills nonetheless.
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:09 AM   #14
MM
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

One of the best posts I've read. Well worth quoting again.

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
There are none. In over 12 years of study and practice around the world with IMAs, I built a library of literally hundreds of titles, in English, translated from English, commissioned translations of parts of others . . . out of which perhaps a handful of paragraphs even began to hint or suggest at the right direction for training the qualities of internal strength as I've experienced (in some others) in the last few years.

You are best off not wasting time reading about this shit. Every second spent reading is potential training time, irreplaceably lost. Every dollar spent on a book is money you could have spent traveling to train with people who actually have these skills.

Why, rab, when you are only an hour away from someone who not only can demonstrate these skills, but can show others how to train them, are you asking about books? Do you think Dan or Mike or Ark read books before they engaged in the shugyo level of training needed to glimpse even basic levels of internal connection? Do you think Takeda Sokaku read books?

The academic impulse is poison to this kind of training. Hard, systematic work, intuitive feeling, and most of all time is fundamental to making any sort of real progress.

If you absolutely must let others fill your mind with their incomplete understanding incompletely expressed, then browse this forum and e-budo.com for starters. Go back to 2006, maybe a little before. Take notes.

DVDs may help you a little more. Try Aunkai's DVDs for a beginning look at what is involved.

Contact people. Go see the ones who make the most sense to you. Get some hands-on time, be willing to make friends with the ground and sustain some bruises in order to understand the lesson.

Don't just settle for the famous names in this game. Buy Rob John a bagel sandwich. Suggest a really good fantasy novel to Mark Murray. Ask Alex Lee whether space really is the final frontier.

Keep in mind that any training approach has its limitations, and even if the proponent is personally capable of demonstrating internal strength at a high level, it does not mean that his/her understanding of what they do is correct, nor that they can effectively teach what they can do.

But practice. Find some people who will patiently work on these skills with you. Put in the time.

Why the hell are you still reading this post? You just lost 60 seconds you could have been training. Every moment--standing, sitting, even lying down--every breath is an opportunity to work on this stuff.
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:38 AM   #15
Rabih Shanshiry
 
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
There are none...

You are best off not wasting time reading about this shit. Every second spent reading is potential training time, irreplaceably lost...
I was waiting for this post! I can't argue with it and appreciate the spirit in which the advice was given. On the other hand, I do enjoy a good read - especially on the plane when I travel for work. Anything to better deepen my understanding and inform my training would be valuable and lot more interesting than your typical inflight magazine.

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
Why, rab, when you are only an hour away from someone who not only can demonstrate these skills, but can show others how to train them, are you asking about books?
Books are no substitute for training or learning from a qualified teacher. I totally agree! I am doing what I can in that regard as well.

I have come across some books which seem to reinforce some of the basic ideas that I have been exposed to in training (Way of Power, Warriors of Stillness, etc.). I can't speak for Ark but it's apparent from their posts that Dan and Mike are both very well read. I'd put you, Mark, and a few other seekers in the same category too based on your posts. So at least it seems to be a common vice.
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:42 AM   #16
phitruong
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post

Why the hell are you still reading this post? You just lost 60 seconds you could have been training. Every moment--standing, sitting, even lying down--every breath is an opportunity to work on this stuff.
we are professional IS folks, not amateurs! we can train and discuss on aikiweb at the same time.
i am practicing as we speak or type or whatever. i am using my kokyu power to type, move my mouse, drink coffee/tea, and eat snacks. only amateurs need to go and train.
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:50 AM   #17
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
Why, rab, when you are only an hour away from someone who not only can demonstrate these skills, but can show others how to train them, are you asking about books?
whoa! Rab, you are a hour away from Dan and you sit here and asked about reading books? what wrong with you, dude?
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:03 AM   #18
Rabih Shanshiry
 
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
whoa! Rab, you are a hour away from Dan and you sit here and asked about reading books? what wrong with you, dude?
Thanks Tom - see what you started!
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:02 AM   #19
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
You should read this for a different perspective. http://www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/...rs/pdf/586.pdf
Thanks very much for this ... so many parallels.

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Old 05-10-2010, 10:43 AM   #20
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

Ignatius,
Thanks for posting that, I was looking for it and couldn't find it. Always good to keep orientalism in check.

Tim
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:06 AM   #21
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
You are best off not wasting time reading about this shit. Every second spent reading is potential training time, irreplaceably lost.
Why the hell are you still reading this post?
Simple.




Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:14 PM   #22
MM
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

Quote:
Rabih Shanshiry wrote: View Post
To all those interested in internal strength....

What are the "must read" books on the subject? Specifically, books that have helped you train (how to) or conceptualize what you are training (theory).

So - for example - I wouldn't consider Transparent Power or Hidden in Plain Sight to be on this list - although both are excellent reads in their own right. They are more historical/biographical/anecdotal than practical.

...rab
Considering the string of posts, how about if we change the question? Instead of "must read" and "how to", how about books that are relevant to internal skills/aiki? I consider the below books as having interesting information but none of them are "how to" books.

If you have the time and want to spend the money, in no particular order ...

Get the Aikido Journal Back Issues and read them all. There are some jewels amidst all the reading (For example, some of Ueshiba's exploits). As Peter Goldsbury has pointed out, it's anecdotal so can't be construed as "proof".

Research AikiWeb Posts ...
Tons of information, including some "how to" posts. To narrow things a bit, most of the posts are probably within the last 4 years. Don't forget about becoming a contributing member and supporting AikiWeb.

Hidden in Plain Sight and Transparent Power ...
I haven't read TP yet. It's on my list. But HIPS is well worth reading.

Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method Vol 1 by Hong Junsheng ...
Another excellent book filled with jewels and gems.

A Life in Aikido: The Biography of Founder Morihei Ueshiba ...
Referred to me by Peter Goldsbury. Some interesting correlations and historical information.

One of the reprinted books, Budo, either 1933 or 1938ish ...
I forget which one it is, but one has quite a few photographs. Worth some detailed looks at Ueshiba's kamae/posture throughout.

... gotta cut this short ...
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:05 PM   #23
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

Hi Mark

Have you finished reading "Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method Vol 1 by Hong Junsheng"?

If so i would be very interested in hearing what you have to say about the English version. I have the Chinese copy but as my reading of Chinese isn't so good it has been hard going. My wife is not too enthusiastic to translate books on taiji.

Allan
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:33 PM   #24
Rabih Shanshiry
 
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Instead of "must read" and "how to", how about books that are relevant to internal skills/aiki?
Great suggestion - probably should have worded the OP better.

...rab
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:16 PM   #25
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Re: Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training

Quote:
Rabih Shanshiry wrote: View Post

I have come across some books which seem to reinforce some of the basic ideas that I have been exposed to in training (Way of Power, Warriors of Stillness, etc.). I can't speak for Ark but it's apparent from their posts that Dan and Mike are both very well read. I'd put you, Mark, and a few other seekers in the same category too based on your posts. So at least it seems to be a common vice.
I would not recommend Warriors of Stillness. It is out of print and I hope it stays that way. It is full of pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo and strange computer-generated imagery that is very unclear. When I looked at the figures they all looked like they had extremely compromised structure...
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