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Old 02-04-2011, 05:36 PM   #426
Mike Sigman
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
Since this thread isn't about you or me, though,
Then think about that the next time you mention my name in a post.

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Old 02-04-2011, 05:40 PM   #427
Thomas Campbell
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Those are two very different clips. Chen ZiQiang is demonstrating internal strength within a shuai jiao type context and the partner isn't stooging for him (although of course he's only playing his role in a filmed demonstration). CZQ's jin skills are pretty obvious. The second clip of Wei has a partner who is noticeably reacting after the fact, although Wei is certainly using jin. What we can't tell is how powerful Wei really is because of the cooperation by the partner. If you compare to the way Chris throws his partner away (look at the arm/shoulder/torso), it's pretty obviously different. What Chris is now asking to be convinced is why one way is "superior" to another.

Mike Sigman
I know they are two very different clips--that's why I posted them together.

You're correct about the noticeable time lag in the reaction of WSR's partner. The explanation I've heard from students of WSR in Beijing and Singapore is that the comparative (with CZQ's clip) lack of physical engagement is because WSR is directly affecting his partner's intent or yi. The time lag is due to the disorientation of WSR's partner.

With CZQ the physical connection (to his partner) is much more immediate. I think there are moments in the clip when CZQ is muscling with his shoulders but there are other moments when his whole-body power and taking of his partner's center is just beautifully evident--even to a relatively unskilled eye like mine.
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Old 02-04-2011, 05:45 PM   #428
Thomas Campbell
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Then think about that the next time you mention my name in a post.

Mike Sigman
I did. Mentioning your name doesn't make the thread about you, Mike. If I post something about myself or maybe one of these days offer up a fresh video example of my own lack of skill, it doesn't make the thread about me. Let's get back on topic, shall we?

Sorry for the detour, Chris. Although WSR is considered "internal" by many, I only used his clip as an example of the broad range of what is talked about as "internal" martial art--and as a relatively clear contrast to CZQ's clip, which I think is closer to what you may be looking for. I'll go back over CZQ's clip and point out some moments of CZQ's internal skill that to my eye are distinct from "athleticism."
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Old 02-04-2011, 05:51 PM   #429
Mike Sigman
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
The explanation I've heard from students of WSR in Beijing and Singapore is that the comparative (with CZQ's clip) lack of physical engagement is because WSR is directly affecting his partner's intent or yi. The time lag is due to the disorientation of WSR's partner.
OK, so the clip itself wasn't worth showing firstly because Wei's skill is questionable due to his use of an overly-compliant partner. When a bizarre explanation is offered on top of such a demonstration, it becomes horse manure and it's pointless bringing such a person into the discussion. In my personal opinion, any teacher who consistently uses compliant partners in filmed demonstrations of his skills is putting his reputation on the line because such a device is meant to sell his abilities to the ignorant and not to his peers or better.

YMMV

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-04-2011, 05:55 PM   #430
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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I'll go back over CZQ's clip and point out some moments of CZQ's internal skill that to my eye are distinct from "athleticism."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAicu-IPjMw

At 0:24, 1:32 and 1:40, I see whole-body power and connection in CZQ and his partner completely in his control without overt "muscling" by CZQ to dominate.
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:48 PM   #431
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

I don't know why this thread has run its course. Nobody is saying that internal training is superior than athleticism.

For me, a small guy, internal training is my preferred choice of training (in C2C at least), because using my normal strength on a big guy will never work. So, I do what I can to learn how to acquire skills in getting 'under' a guy, and unbalancing him without overt external movements and my own strength, and also incorporating that into strikes, etc. Bodyskill encompasses those range of skills, and 'promises' the practitioner that they would acquire those skills if they train.

Unless someone who is a proponent that "all athletics incorporate internal training" can show me that modern athletics (like Crossfit) can incorporate these skills, then I'm willing to drop whatever I know, escape the 36th ch4mb3lr of death, and do crossfit, as I will be getting both the benefit of training internal aspects, and also excellent cardio-vascular and functional strength training.

Tell me Chris, does Crossfit or other forms of training incorporate getting 'under' the applied weight of an opponent? How do they train it?

Unless stated otherwise, all wisdom, follies, harshness, malice that may spring up from my writing are attributable only to me.
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:52 PM   #432
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
I don't know why this thread has run its course. Nobody is saying that internal training is superior than athleticism.
I am. It has some definitive advantages in actual fighting over athleticism; among which. It is much harder to feel coming as there is far less telegraphing, much harder to be thrown, big power in small spaces, less energy expended for yield. much better control, much better for potential for smaller people, and it remains thee best way to wield weapons...period.
The fact that most people who know a few things either can't fight for ______ or don't really know how it translates into more practical fields just hurts the overall message. The good news is that there is more direct teaching happening. Budo people are pretty sharp when given information. They will figure it out and not only start using it effectively, they will experiment as well .

Just say'n
Dan

Last edited by DH : 02-04-2011 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:03 PM   #433
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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I am. It has some definitive advantages in actual fighting over athleticism; among which. It is much harder to feel coming as there is far less telegraphing, much harder to be thrown, big power in small spaces, less energy expended for yield. much better control, much better for potential for smaller people,
Dan
Well, I can't speak much about that, since I'm still a beginner. All I know is that training in this way is 'better' for me as a small guy as far C2C goes so I'm going to continue training it. I could probably kick hard, inflict knock outs, etc. if I were to train Muay Thai, but I wouldn't know how to get under the guy.

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Old 02-05-2011, 04:26 AM   #434
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Hunter Lonsberry wrote:
You might have missed it earlier, but you can try some of demos on this video too

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXsMS...ailpage#t=123s

See if you can do what he is doing without your partner regarding weight transfer/flexon, plus pinky wrestling (at 4:27) is always fun too. Cordelli's comments are interesting at 5:25. I have never felt the final demo, so I have no clue how that one works.
Hunter,

I saw your earlier post. I'd like to know what you find is so incredible or useful about the way Kuroda is stepping?

I originally saw this clip a few years ago, and was fascinated by it. I think Kuroda is excellent, and by the way, Kuroda appears to actually focus on aiki. But I taught myself how to step like that in only a matter of minutes. When I say "like that," I mean without any dorsiflexion of the weight bearing foot. Now let me be clear, I don't really understand this practice and may be missing some key components.

I really want to know, do you see some value in that type of movement, or do you just think it is difficult to do? Why?

On a different note:

If I remember correctly (and I'd like to think I do), you were going to post some videos of your own.

What happened with that?

-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 02-07-2011, 08:00 AM   #435
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Hunter,

I saw your earlier post. I'd like to know what you find is so incredible or useful about the way Kuroda is stepping?

I originally saw this clip a few years ago, and was fascinated by it. I think Kuroda is excellent, and by the way, Kuroda appears to actually focus on aiki. But I taught myself how to step like that in only a matter of minutes. When I say "like that," I mean without any dorsiflexion of the weight bearing foot. Now let me be clear, I don't really understand this practice and may be missing some key components.

I really want to know, do you see some value in that type of movement, or do you just think it is difficult to do? Why?
I've never worked on it myself, nor will I go out on a limb and say it is a required part of IS as I honestly do not know . I tend to expereince it due to kendo footwork as the toes are generally raised to enable pushing off the balls of the feet. When Kuroda switches his feet he doesn't seem to be pushing off the balls of his feel in the same manner as a kendoka might.

Kuroda's movement is very quick and relaxed. Perhaps that is one reason why it is so.

Quote:
On a different note:

If I remember correctly (and I'd like to think I do), you were going to post some videos of your own.

What happened with that?
I filmed one with an explanation for the putting the weight of your hands into your crotch, but it was just with me in it. I didn't find it very helpful with only one person in it. I'll be meeting up with some people tomorrow morning and can film it then.

I don't know if I would call that explicit IS. Perhaps, "pre-IS" would be more appropriate. Either way, it winds up being a similar "effortless" sensation for both participants as what you get in some of the other videos shown.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:08 AM   #436
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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I believe that it was Michael Varin that made the point about teaching limited aspects of "internal strength" (read "ki" if you want to stay traditional) to golf and baseball players. To my eye, Chris did a somewhat muscular version of tying his body together as a unit to kick (as an example) and there is a lot more of the spectrum of internal strength that wasn't developed very well. His "explosive power" is pretty far off the mark, IMO, but who cares, he might say, he launched Uke... he laid it out there. Great discussion material if someone wants to provide a counter-video.... like some of the people who told him he did it wrong.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
I can do a video of course, but it won't look like Akuzawa. I use my shoulders way more than he does
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:13 AM   #437
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
I can do a video of course, but it won't look like Akuzawa. I use my shoulders way more than he does
Yeah, but (and I'm really talking to everyone, not just you, Hunter), imagine how good you'd get if you had to put up occasional videos trying to show specific criteria. Chris, whether right or wrong in whatever he does, shows to me that he thinks a lot about things and he works with videos quite often to reinforce his comments and his thinking. I may disagree with Chris on some things, but I have to admire his grit.

Mike
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:01 AM   #438
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Yeah, but (and I'm really talking to everyone, not just you, Hunter), imagine how good you'd get if you had to put up occasional videos trying to show specific criteria. Chris, whether right or wrong in whatever he does, shows to me that he thinks a lot about things and he works with videos quite often to reinforce his comments and his thinking. I may disagree with Chris on some things, but I have to admire his grit.

Mike
How about letting people admire your grit and post some videos, Mike? Imagine how good you'd get if you had to put up videos to show specific criteria, whether you were right or wrong.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:54 AM   #439
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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How about letting people admire your grit and post some videos, Mike? Imagine how good you'd get if you had to put up videos to show specific criteria, whether you were right or wrong.
I've seen one of him doing nikkyo, though I do wish we'd see more videos in general from a variety of people. I understand "it has to be felt" but it does give some idea of the more external aspects...plus from what I gather, people in the know can tell certain things simply by watching.
I always find it interesting to see how people move. In my very beginner stages of body study I've found it somewhat useful...certainly from an "athletic" standpoint at any rate.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:27 AM   #440
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I've seen one of him doing nikkyo, though I do wish we'd see more videos in general from a variety of people. I understand "it has to be felt" but it does give some idea of the more external aspects...plus from what I gather, people in the know can tell certain things simply by watching.
I always find it interesting to see how people move. In my very beginner stages of body study I've found it somewhat useful...certainly from an "athletic" standpoint at any rate.
Others have said this before, and it seems to be true. It seems much easier to learn from what someone with an intermediate level of IS than someone with a highly refined level of IS is doing via video. It seems to be a lot more obvious as to what they are doing or what they are trying to do as the motions appear a lot more exaggerated.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:47 AM   #441
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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.. It seems much easier to learn from what someone with an intermediate level of IS than someone with a highly refined level of IS is doing via video. It seems to be a lot more obvious as to what they are doing or what they are trying to do as the motions appear a lot more exaggerated.
Here are some ideas about why that may be. And hints at what they are training (in going from 1 to 2)
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:43 PM   #442
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
Others have said this before, and it seems to be true. It seems much easier to learn from what someone with an intermediate level of IS than someone with a highly refined level of IS is doing via video. It seems to be a lot more obvious as to what they are doing or what they are trying to do as the motions appear a lot more exaggerated.
That fits with what ever can be said of my own training...and makes sense that we might be more able to pick up on what someone is doing when they're focusing on specific parts of the whole. Once the parts are more intertwined as a cohesive unit, it seems like it would harder to pinpoint any particular aspect of movement.

Also, Josh, thanks for that link! It was very interesting and seems to mesh with whatever sense I've come to think I have for what to focus on in my own study...though I'm not so sure of the "five" aspects ("internal" and "external"). My guess is that they might pertain to the "lines/locations" in the body related to the fingers/thumb (?)...which I'm fairly sure are important to the mudras used in different meditation practices...for example, the difference in feeling when extending ki out one finger more than another.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:53 PM   #443
Michael Varin
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Regarding Kuroda's stepping without dorsiflexion:
Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote:
I've never worked on it myself, nor will I go out on a limb and say it is a required part of IS as I honestly do not know . I tend to expereince it due to kendo footwork as the toes are generally raised to enable pushing off the balls of the feet. When Kuroda switches his feet he doesn't seem to be pushing off the balls of his feel in the same manner as a kendoka might.

Kuroda's movement is very quick and relaxed. Perhaps that is one reason why it is so.
Hunter,

I don't mean to single you out, because you seem to be coming from a genuine place, but I think this perfectly illustrates the importance of thoroughly, openly, and honestly discussing this material.

Twice you asked someone if they could perform a specific feat without having ever tried it yourself, or even understanding its significance or usefulness.

Earlier in this thread you were listed (admittedly, not by your own doing) as someone whose commentary supposedly added weight to the "IP/IT/IS" side of the argument.

If that doesn't raise some serious questions I don't know what would.

-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 02-09-2011, 06:53 AM   #444
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Michael Varin wrote: View Post
Regarding Kuroda's stepping without dorsiflexion:

Hunter,

I don't mean to single you out, because you seem to be coming from a genuine place, but I think this perfectly illustrates the importance of thoroughly, openly, and honestly discussing this material.

Twice you asked someone if they could perform a specific feat without having ever tried it yourself, or even understanding its significance or usefulness.

Earlier in this thread you were listed (admittedly, not by your own doing) as someone whose commentary supposedly added weight to the "IP/IT/IS" side of the argument.

If that doesn't raise some serious questions I don't know what would.
As much as I love talking about myself, this thread isn't about me.

I would certainly argue that I have been open about the extent of my abilities, what I can or can not do, as well what I am currently doing wrong in my own practice. I would certainly hope that no one would construe that I consider myself to be a teacher of internal strength, more like a hobbyist. I've been involved in these discussions for 5-6 years though so of course my name will come up as someone who has exposure to and has some knowledge of the theory of these skills.

I will go on the record, as there are plenty of people on this thread who have seen or felt me do all of the things shown in Akuzawa's video with the exception of the version of Shiko with someone on their back. Those with any degree of IS knowledge would likely note, as I have, that I am not preforming them in the way that Akuzawa does and that the way I would do it would unfortunately includes too much use of the shoulder. It would not feel the same as what is shown in Chris's video. While I have applauded Chris's video, he did do many of the things I listed as being "different" from an IS perspective.

When I listed some of Kuroda's demonstrations, I noted that they are typical of the types of things shown in internal martial arts demonstrations. Ellis Amdur discusses doing something similar the last part of Kuroda's demo for example Now that I think of it, Alex Lee did do some of those to me.

If one wants to see videos of me, there are a ton on Qijin on my training thread. Regretably, I no longer have access to the links so I can not present them on aikiweb. Most of them are flat out wrong in terms of movement, mainly utilizing structure supplemented by the quads, lower back and disconnected shoulders to initiate movement. Having to start over, has probably given me a better idea of what movement is correct and allows me to see when someone might not be moving correctly from an IS perspective.

I see no problem with presenting material to someone who has requested examples of IS skills that they can try to replicate externally. I don't think its dishonest or misleading to do so, if I can not or have not done all of those examples myself. I think I have been honest in doing so throughout this thread.
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Old 02-18-2011, 03:25 PM   #445
David Orange
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

One good thing about athleticism is that there are clear winners and losers. In judo, for instance, we learn what it is to lose. This is something sorely missing in aikido since, never facing real resistance, many aikido people come to believe that they can't be resisted and that they can't lose. But we learn something valuable from losing and judo lets us experience that without having to die to learn it.

Another very important aspect of athleticism is record keeping. Through this means, we can compare athletes of various generations--though with changing rules and social conditions as well as equipment and training, the comparisons may not be strictly relevant.

Still, referring again to judo, we have well over 100 years of records of matches and a judo player can know just where he fits among the judo players of history.

Also, the ranks of judo allow a pretty fair reading of a person's strength. A shodan, for example, is a beginner. He may or may not have strength, but so far he has only demonstrated it to the shodan level. Likewise, a 6th dan in judo can be considered a pretty strong person. He or she has had to earn that rank against numerous other people of that rank or higher. And this standardization makes a judo 6th dan's opinion on matters of strength pretty strong. And this makes a judoka an excellent reference on matters of strength.

Anyone who can throw a judo 6th dan, in other words, must be considered pretty strong. And if he can do it over and again, without ever having seen the 6th dan in question, with no knowledge of the judoka's skill or style, we have to consider that person very powerful.

So when we hear of people like Sokaku Takeda, Morihei Ueshiba, Kodo Horikawa, Yukiyoshi Sagawa and others throwing multiple judo black belts, we can gauge quite a bit of strength.

But when people of judo 6th dan or higher universally say of those people that their strength was unlike anything he had ever encountered, we have to accept that the masters in question are doing something far different than athletics. Judo is based on Western physics and physical education methods, after all.

Does that negate the idea that "modern" athletic conditioning does not now teach the same kinds of things that the masters referenced were doing?

I think it fully negates it because judo is probably the world's most complete all-round athletic conditioning, requiring mastery of movement and technique from the toes to the top of the head. And most modern athletic conditioning falls far short of that whole-body complete athletic development because modern athletic training--especially for football--is highly specialized for specific activities. So modern athletic conditioning must lead people ever further away from the kind of full-body conditioning + internal conditioning and development found in the internal arts and internal strength development methods.

Even an internal master needs good cardio conditioning and good whole-body strength, but it does not follow that someone with good cardio and strength can even imagine what goes into internal strength development.

Best to all.

David

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Lao Tzu

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Old 02-18-2011, 05:32 PM   #446
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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I think it fully negates it because judo is probably the world's most complete all-round athletic conditioning, requiring mastery of movement and technique from the toes to the top of the head. And most modern athletic conditioning falls far short of that whole-body complete athletic development...
Hi David -

I suspect there's a bunch of amateur wrestlers who'd take issue with that statement.

Best,

Ron
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Old 02-18-2011, 06:19 PM   #447
David Orange
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Hi David -

I suspect there's a bunch of amateur wrestlers who'd take issue with that statement.

Best,

Ron
I agree. However, judo and wrestling are pretty much cousins and Chris specified football players as his model of athletic conditioning. I almost said "judo and wrestling" but went for "most modern athletic conditioning." Wrestling certainly is up there with judo for all-round conditioning. And there may be an element of internal strength in wrestling, but if so, I think it's from the ancient roots and not from the modern scientific conditioning. But it's a point well taken. I consider wrestling, judo, gymnastics and soccer probably the best all around athletics that I will encourage my boy to pursue as he gets old enough. Certainly not football.

Best to you.

David

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

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Old 02-18-2011, 06:49 PM   #448
David Orange
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Hi David -

I suspect there's a bunch of amateur wrestlers who'd take issue with that statement.
Another point, though, is that there is no standard ranking in wrestling as in judo. So wrestlers don't fall into classes where you can judge their levels except by their win/loss records, which was part of my point about judo. If you can beat a judo shodan, you're probably pretty strong, but maybe a nidan can beat you. But if you can beat a 6th dan, you can probably handle most people of a lower rank. And the dan rank of judo can give you an objective idea of the individual's power because he's had to fight his way through lower power levels to that rank.

So if Horikawa could take on judo 6th dans regularly, you have to say he's pretty good. And if a judo 6th dan says Horikawa's (or Takeda's or Sagawa's) power is "like nothing he ever felt before," it's a good indication that Horikawa is doing something markedly different from high-level judo.

Also, we have lots of accounts of high-level judoka meeting the referenced masters and we have those judokas' accounts of it. We could surmise that most wrestlers would have the same reaction, but I'm not aware of any such accounts--meaning only that I'm not aware that those men encountered wrestlers.

It's not to say that judo is superior to wrestling (though didn't Kano take on a wrestler on a sea voyage once?) but I point it out because of the standardization of rank as an objective measure of strength for comparison to the aiki men.

Thanks.

David

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Old 06-21-2011, 03:25 PM   #449
DodgingRain
 
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Hmm this 'internal' training is different, so its hard to explain through words. If your looking for better looking abs, arms, or legs or something you will not find it here. Each part of the body is slowly developed to connect to the power of the rest of the body in a very slow, systematic way. That is why your biceps will not look big and sexy, because different muscles are being developed - specific muscles needed to transmit and convey the power of the rest of the body to the tips of the fingers. Your biceps may not get that much bigger, but stabilizing back/lat/tricep muscles may be strengthened to be able to transmit force from the lower body out to the hands efficiently. While bigger biceps get more girls, they get in the way of this clean route of power.
So instead of disjointly making random parts of your body strong and powerful, each part of the body is systematically trained to connect to the strength of the whole body. So rather than that one isolated area being developed, the structure and connection of the whole body is what is being developed and strengthened. That is kind of more difficult to see, but can definitely be felt. So individual parts of the body are not strenghtened individually, but rather strengthened to connect to the power of the whole body. Structure is developed, connection of the whole body is strenghthened, not individual areas piece by piece.
There also seems to be a progression of where the power is genereated from. As the body is conditioned and connected, you can begin to develop and strengthen areas of control for movement. Im not connected and conditioned yet, so Im still working on that for now.
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Old 06-23-2011, 10:47 PM   #450
hughrbeyer
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

I'm not sure you're convincingly making the case for why internal training is different from standard athletics. Try to convince a powerlifter that a 700# squat doesn't require integrating the force of the whole body. Listen in to them talking about leg drive in the bench press. Look at Olympic weightlifters and tell me that pulling more than bodyweight overhead in one movement doesn't require that every part of the body be integrated and working together.

The big difference I'm finding is that the internal training works on strength and sensitivity together. Weights can be pretty much counted on to always push down (or in dynamic lifts, down modulated by momentum). Weights generally don't turn around and try to sock you--except when you forget and unload one entire side of the bar before the other.

So with weights you pretty much just have to worry about pushing or pulling harder. If you get stuck out of the hole in a squat, you grit your teeth and do your damnedest to push through it. Try that with a half-decent uke, and they're suddenly not there and their fist is in your face.

So as I see it, it's not just power, it's power with the flexibility and sensitivity to respond to a dynamic uke who is actively trying to do you harm. And it's power that doesn't just push out, but receives an active push (or pull) on you without allowing it to affect your balance or structure.
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