Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Training

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-25-2011, 11:42 AM   #26
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,508
United_States
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Tim Cartmell is very open minded. So am I. I am just asking for someone who spends a lot of time doing the "IP" stuff as talked about here on Aikiweb to tell me how and why "IP" is better/different then athletics training.
Well, an athletic person (say, a fighter) will have good movement, etc., but he won't have developed the ability to use ki at the direction of the mind.

Note that this ability without physical conditioning is in itself worthless. You don't "hit" someone with your ki: you hit them with your body. But if the body is conditioned to move and strike with mind/ki as the primary motivators (instead of primarily by muscular manipulation), the quality is different. Note again that this mainly applies to human-human interaction: not to things like pulling boats, though it will undoubtedly improve even that performance. For internal arts, a big part of the mix is how your mind/ki interacts with the opponent's mind/ki to influence his perceptions, feelings, intentions and therefore his actions. Much of the long-bouncing from an effortless old man comes about because the qualities of the movements in relation (and the feelings/perceptions in the mind/ki of the opponent) cause certain reactions in the attacker that lead him into worse and worse positions, where his efforts to correct himself actually help to propel him away.

A well conditioned fighter can probably beat a poorly conditioned internal artist. Because the ki only works effectively in coordination with the muscles, bones, fascia, mind and breath. So an internal artist will get better results with better physical conditioning. But no amount of athletic conditioning affects the mind/ki development because most of it involves things that actually weaken or constrict the ki, as Rob explained that Ark's gymnastics actually hampered his ability to develop internal power. Ark also said that most people who get involved in Aunkai just drop weight training because they find that it works against them. Dan has said similar things.

Hope that helps.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 12:27 PM   #27
JW
 
JW's Avatar
Location: San Francisco CA USA
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 510
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Hi Michael, it was an honest probe for clarification of the question, because I wanted to know if we were supposed to be trying to convince him that the 2 are different, or if we were supposed to make a case for one being better.
But, I see we are supposed to do both-- since having an answer to one of those questions makes the other moot, I guess it was dumb to ask for clarification.

My answer: internal training teaches me to generate a different kind of force usage than I learned in normal life. I couldn't learn it from athletics, so that's why I see them as different. Of course it also could be because I am dumb, whereas if I was smart I could have learned this from athletics. Why is the new usage superior? Because it is teaching me aiki, which I failed to learn before.

So it's all in whether or not you are happy with your training (if you are getting what you want, then who is anyone to tell/convince you that something is superior?).
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 12:36 PM   #28
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,508
United_States
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
I will say, though, that your relationship to gravity is very different when your goal is to put an attacker on the ground than when your goal is to put a heavy weight over your head.
However, it's important to note that the primary goal of internal training is not "to put an attacker on the ground". It's simply to develop and unbreakable orientation of the body to the six directions of up/down (gravity), forward/backward and left/right. Akuzawa sensei was very firm in stating that his practice is to tune this orientation to a very high degree so that the body becomes self-correcting at all times and in response to any force that tries to move it within those six directions. "Whatever happens to the attacker," he said, "results not from an effort to do anything to him but because he has attached himself to you and your body's actions to correct its orientation take him out of his own orientation." (interpreted)

So the goal is not to put an attacker on the ground, but to maintain our own equilibrium despite any external efforts to break it.

And he further emphasized that our energy must not go out of our body, as we might ordinarily think of throwing or striking someone. The energy stays inside us and works to correct our orientation. We "choke-out" techniques from within and they stop at the boundaries of our own body. It's the attacker's relation to our body that causes him to absorb force from our movement.

Hoping that helps.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 02:18 PM   #29
HL1978
Dojo: Aunkai
Location: Fairfax, VA
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 424
United_States
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
So I'd like to ask, what is the perceived difference, and assumed superiority of internal martial arts over good athletics training?
Is this with respect to aikido training or martial arts in general?

I personally would hesistate to call one superior over the other, in particular because there are a wide range of skills and skillsets that result from internal training (with different levels of "purity") while good athletics training develops a second, useful skillset.

I do wonder why if you have had some time with someone with some skill why you might be asking the question. What are the attributes you usually tend to feel when working out with someone with "internal skills" and how are you able to replicate them via good athletic training?

Quote:
I am just asking for someone who spends a lot of time doing the "IP" stuff as talked about here on Aikiweb to tell me how and why "IP" is better/different then athletics training.
I think Rob gave a pretty good overview from a conditioning standpoint as to how the approaches differ, and how different schools/people might have mixes of internal/external. I certainly don't mind laying out some of the things typically associated with an internal approach that result in differences from good athletic training. I would be happy to do so in response to answering my question above.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 05:13 PM   #30
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 994
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
So the goal is not to put an attacker on the ground, but to maintain our own equilibrium despite any external efforts to break it.
Sure. From what I've read here, though, maintaining that equilibrium while in motion is yet another level of development, and I would imagine doing so while manipulating other objects or people is yet another step beyond that. Yet those two additional steps are the very core of athletics or, for that matter, practical martial arts.

So returning to the core of the thread, I can see how internal training is different, but agree with the OP that it is not necessarily better, depending on the individual's goals.

Katherine
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 06:11 PM   #31
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I find it strange that all the "internal people" who possess so much "internal power" are also athletes. Perhaps they are simply telling you that it's not athletics, but something else. Ark has more videos than any of the other internal people, he's also an ex gymnast and kickboxer (I'm sure he's done a few other athletic things as well). Strange that the more athletic they are, the more things they show.

As far as using the elastic nature of the body, sports people discuss this all the time. The language is different but they are talking about the same thing.

Athletics take less time to learn, are more clearly explained, more widely available, and demonstrate more effective ability.

Why is "internal" different then athletics? What can an internal martial artist do that a good athlete cannot?
It's a different usage of "athletics" though:

Ueshiba Sensei brought Mr. (Noriaki) Inoue with him. After they showed some techniques, Ueshiba Sensei said: "You are probably thinking that we cannot possibly do these techniques without some sort of collusion between us. Since you are all martial arts practitioners, if there is a man among you, come and test this old man." However, no one stepped forward. At 35 I was the youngest among them. I had recently arrived in Manchuria and several government officials were observing the demonstration. I thought that I should test my own ability and said, "Yes, I will try". Ueshiba Sensei replied: "You are Mr. Tenryu, aren't you? You too are probably imagining that an old man like me won't be able to throw you very well. However, budo is much more than what you think it is. He offered his left hand saying it was weaker than his right and continued: "You must be quite strong physically. I am not putting strength into my arm so you can do anything you want with it. Try!"

I thought that this old man was speaking nonsense and slapped his hand down as I grabbed it. But the moment I touched him I was startled. I felt as if I had taken hold of an iron bar. Of course, I knew very well from my experience in Sumo that it would be useless to struggle against him. I immediately knew I had been defeated. However, I couldn't just leave things like that and attempted to twist his arm up and out. He didn't move an inch. I tried again with both hands using all my might. But he used my strength against me and I fell down.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 06:59 PM   #32
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post

Rob John,
I find it strange that all the "internal people" who possess so much "internal power" are also athletes. Perhaps they are simply telling you that it's not athletics, but something else. Ark has more videos than any of the other internal people, he's also an ex gymnast and kickboxer (I'm sure he's done a few other athletic things as well). Strange that the more athletic they are, the more things they show.

As far as using the elastic nature of the body, sports people discuss this all the time. The language is different but they are talking about the same thing.

Athletics take less time to learn, are more clearly explained, more widely available, and demonstrate more effective ability.

Why is "internal" different then athletics? What can an internal martial artist do that a good athlete cannot?
Hi Chris,

Again we run into the language barrier where we aren't talking about the same usage. You say elastic, and to be sure, there's some overlap, but there's a specific way in which the elastic nature of the body is trained to obtain a specific result.

Let's take another example, the valsalva technique is used in sports, and to a certain degree there's overlap (I think) with the breath methods used in internals, in so far as you're raising the pressure inside your body. The problem is that there's a specific manner in which the breath/pressure is used in order to obtain a specific result. IE it's only a smaller part of the big picture.

But the way I just wrote the above, you'd say, sure a boxer exhales sharply when they punch, to maintain the pressure in their core, so they "must" be doing the same thing.

Yet if you and I were to get together it'd be fairly easy to show you that something different is going on.

I'd agree in a sense its "athletics" in that you have to train extremely hard, condition your body physically, but the end result is different.

I think someone else summed it up perfectly when they said, take a body builder and a power lifter, both lift weights, both are athletes,
but the methodology and results of their training are completely different. Same difference.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 07:49 PM   #33
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
I think someone else summed it up perfectly when they said, take a body builder and a power lifter, both lift weights, both are athletes,
but the methodology and results of their training are completely different. Same difference.

What else do we know for sure?
Does being a good fighter and winning competitions mean they have internal power? No.
Does going to live and train in China or Japan with the masters mean ypu learned nternal power or Aiki? No it doesn't.
Does knowing some very good and practical principles for fighting mean you have internal power? No it doesn't.
Does being a Chinese Master level teacher of the internal Chinese martial arts mean you have internal power...nope.
Does being a Japanese shihan mean you have aiki? Not on your life.
Would some people rather die than admit they don't know it and nether does their teacher whom they love?...you betcha
Have any number of people gotten up and gone out and met folks teaching it and came away understanding it is different than what they had thought and what they had trained their whole lives...yup..
And while not a requirement...friends have been made while doing so. Not such a bad deal I think.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-25-2011 at 07:54 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 08:02 PM   #34
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,508
United_States
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Sure. From what I've read here, though, maintaining that equilibrium while in motion is yet another level of development, and I would imagine doing so while manipulating other objects or people is yet another step beyond that. Yet those two additional steps are the very core of athletics or, for that matter, practical martial arts.
But athletes don't keep it all strictly inside. And athletics neither teaches nor has anything to do with using the ki with the mind. Plus, the muscular focus of athletics can seriously damage the ability to do those internal things. So...not really related.

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
So returning to the core of the thread, I can see how internal training is different, but agree with the OP that it is not necessarily better, depending on the individual's goals.
Still...better....for what? To develop bujutsu, it's the only true way. Martial arts that fail to include this element are just an outer appearance of what real martial artists actually do within the same form. And athleticism is just muscular development and exertion. They're better than getting no exercise, but they don't even enter the arena of real martial arts.

Best wishes.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 12:39 AM   #35
bkedelen
 
bkedelen's Avatar
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 446
United_States
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
And athleticism is just muscular development and exertion.
This is grievously incorrect. Athleticism is the characteristic of being prepared to undertake a broad range of physical tasks. Muscular development and exertion are incidental to the necessity to prepare oneself for a variety of circumstances. Developing athleticism simply requires addressing the areas in which you are weak, either physically or technically, and applying some of your training time to addressing these areas. Internal skills will be a tremendous asset when the task in front of you is physical conflict. All the internal power in the world will not help you, however, if the task in front of you is to quickly run a mile or lift a heavy object off your loved one. That athleticism is not taken more seriously as one of the roots of martial capability indicates that folks are seriously deluded. Training exclusively in internal power will result in you becoming a specialist, and when facing the unknown, the survival rate for specialists drops precipitously. Hopefully we all known what Heinlein has to say on the subject of specialization.

Last edited by bkedelen : 01-26-2011 at 12:52 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 01:04 AM   #36
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 994
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote: View Post
That athleticism is not taken more seriously as one of the roots of martial capability indicates that folks are seriously deluded.
Among other things, it completely dismisses the examples of both MMA fighters and professional military and law enforcement, both among the groups most likely to encounter actual martial situations.

Katherine
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 01:38 AM   #37
ChrisHein
 
ChrisHein's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Location: Fresno , CA
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,637
United_States
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

First I would like to say, the only way to move the body is by using intent to move the ki. It's not mysterious, that's the way we move. Our brain decides it wants to move (intent) sends a signal to the muscles (ki) and we start moving. This is normal, it does not take special training, well it does take the instinctual training that babies undertake.

Second, it seems to me that everyone here is talking about faith, not anything factual. If you look through the posts of the pro-IP people, you constantly see stuff like "so-and-so says, so it must be true", or "lot's of people do this stuff, so it must be something important". These are all statements of faith: I believe this person, so that must be so. It's not really an answer to the question.

I am asking a simple question, but let's make it simpler. What can an expert internal martial artist physically do that a good athlete couldn't do?

Mostly we get speculation, he said she said, elitist comments about how silly a question this is, but no real answers. Athletes are physically superior to those who don't practice athletics. I believe modern sport athletics encompass everything that internal training does, and then some.

I'm sure most of the replies to this will be along the line of, "nuh uh, your wrong", or "let me explain the theory of using (enter jargon here)". But let me save you the time. simply answer, what physical thing can an internal martial artist do better then a modern sport athlete?

  Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 05:11 AM   #38
Lorel Latorilla
Location: Osaka
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 311
Japan
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Chris, you win. We will never get to your level of athleticism in martial arts because we're doing sub-par athletics training.

Oh Lord help me see through the delusion that I'm doing something what might kill me in an actual situation! I'm a poor boy that doesn't know better.

Unless stated otherwise, all wisdom, follies, harshness, malice that may spring up from my writing are attributable only to me.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 05:44 AM   #39
Lorel Latorilla
Location: Osaka
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 311
Japan
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
Oh Lord help me see through the delusion that I'm doing something worthwhile when it fact it is what might kill me in an actual situation! I'm a poor boy that doesn't know better.
Corrected.

Unless stated otherwise, all wisdom, follies, harshness, malice that may spring up from my writing are attributable only to me.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 06:59 AM   #40
danielajames
 
danielajames's Avatar
Dojo: Brisbane Aikido Republic
Location: Brisbane
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 295
Australia
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post

So I'd like to ask, what is the perceived difference, and assumed superiority of internal martial arts over good athletics training?
"If the foot says, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body…" 1 Cor 12

my 0.02c after enjoying the dialogue and I hope mostly on topic and from perhaps the sidelines of IS, well till I can grab some wrists of the AW almost famous (and not states side till a Boston conference next year anyways).

No disciplines, East or West have a monopoly on understanding the body - on almost any topic. For the current topic, be it ground path, rooting or ground reaction forces or something else - there is so much complexity here it is very difficult to understand and/or articulate.

A sprinter/runner understands very well the ground path and how to develop ground reaction forces at the correct angle to break the 10 second barrier and the weight lifter also how to have optimal alignment. For the complexity of a 2 person interaction probably its the IS that have the understanding. Each is different knowledge about almost the same thing applied to a different field of endeavour.

The different approaches (East and West) can inform and I think they do (aikido as elite sport ) on a range of topics related to martial arts.From my own experiences simple things are explainable explainable in both paradigms (unraisable body experiment circa. 10yrs ago) - but anything more complex requires lots of time and resources. Given time and resources I suspect given these some really fruitful work could be undertaken. But to what end? Well some people learn better with an eastern paradigm and some with a western one, whatever camp your in or straddling somewhere in the middle, a fresh set of eyes or view point can really help.

So around the world there are lots of people in sports science/biomechanics labs that are looking at all kinds of things to make athletes stronger and faster so why not IS? The trouble is people time and resources need incentive to do so, be it funding, fame, publishing in peer reviewed press, personal intrest. Funding wise in Australia at least a gold medal is worth something like $50M to the local economy and i suspect in the world of professional sport this kind of amount is not unusual. Thus olympic or big money professional sport can be persued, when this kind of money and accompanying intrest is brought to the IS and martial arts communities then i suspect there'll be some intrest. Same to for fame or at least making a name in a professional field, you might find doing IS research to be a high risk career move for a graduate student hoping to work in professional sport or something more mainstream 'cause it don't look nearly as good on the CV as something like tendon stiffness or throwing arm injury in baseball pitchers.

Beyond the science aspects and assuming the science can be done for the athlete/IS, its may not be suitable to be taught to the athlete at detail and instead some paradigm or descriptor might be used instead. So to if IS can be described in scientific terms, its going to be a challenge to explain in an eastern paradigm and needs to be considered.

Finally science in a plodding behemoth, it gets results - albeit slowly, but when it does it carries a lot of cred and like the creation/evolution issue it can be a bit tender and people get excited about there being a fence and which side they are on and how everyone should joint them there

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
ph 0413 001 844, 1593 Logan Rd, Mt.Gravatt, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 07:06 AM   #41
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,719
United_States
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

IMHO, it really isn't a question (or statement) that internal (subtle/energetic) is superior to athleticism (external/muscular).

Truly they complement and supplement each other.

Given the context, they each have their superiority in effectiveness.

Training in both perhaps is the wisest choice.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 07:44 AM   #42
HL1978
Dojo: Aunkai
Location: Fairfax, VA
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 424
United_States
Offline
Talking Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I am asking a simple question, but let's make it simpler. What can an expert internal martial artist physically do that a good athlete couldn't do?

Mostly we get speculation, he said she said, elitist comments about how silly a question this is, but no real answers. Athletes are physically superior to those who don't practice athletics. I believe modern sport athletics encompass everything that internal training does, and then some.

I'm sure most of the replies to this will be along the line of, "nuh uh, your wrong", or "let me explain the theory of using (enter jargon here)". But let me save you the time. simply answer, what physical thing can an internal martial artist do better then a modern sport athlete?
Well since you didn't answer my question, I feel generious and will answer yours

It does not take much imagination for each of these to see how they can be martially applicable, so I will leave that up to you, Chris. These aren't "better" per se since if you are "fighting" having elements of both helps. Rather these are things that you don't tend to feel via people with exposure only via the athletic side of things. As Rob said earlier, power lifters may utilize some elements of this, just not in a martial manner.

1) Generate more power from positions which do not require structural alignment, or from positions in which optimal alignment is compromised.

2) Can drop their center of gravity without lowering their body.

3) Can take your balance on contact without any overt movement as they are already under your center of mass. They then manipulate you wherever they want. If it is a strike you loose your balance on contact.

4) Generate signifigant power/speed with no windup of the muscles or chain/kinetic linking. Rotation and weight shifts are not required.

5) Distribute loads taken through jointlocks into other portions of the body.

6) Make it very hard to read where they are generating power from.

7) Power can be "stored" via breathing and released. This isn't the same as merely generating power via grunting.

The above list is not all encompasing.

Last edited by HL1978 : 01-26-2011 at 07:48 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 08:05 AM   #43
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,811
United_States
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

just want to point out a few things. modern athletics are just as specialize as IS folks. runner trains differently, than weight lifter, than gymnast, than high jumper, and so on. they are as specifics at IS training.

training IS doesn't mean you don't need to train in term of athletic stuffs. folks who trained IS still run, but they do it with a slight different focus. they still lift weights but with a different approach. they still do other physical activity but with a different approach to it.

when you only trained and get your info from one person, there is an element of faith involved. when you trained and get info from more than one person, then the faith part dropped severely. if folks have not realized by now, many of the IS folks that contributed on this forum and others, have encouraged folks to go and tried and learned with as many folks with different IS training approaches as they can.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 08:37 AM   #44
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,508
United_States
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote: View Post
This is grievously incorrect. Athleticism is the characteristic of being prepared to undertake a broad range of physical tasks. Muscular development and exertion are incidental to the necessity to prepare oneself for a variety of circumstances. Developing athleticism simply requires addressing the areas in which you are weak, either physically or technically, and applying some of your training time to addressing these areas. Internal skills will be a tremendous asset when the task in front of you is physical conflict. All the internal power in the world will not help you, however, if the task in front of you is to quickly run a mile or lift a heavy object off your loved one.
These are true statements and I have supported these facts for decades. I remember all the aikidoka who used to hate to see me coming because if I led the class there would be squats, push-ups, sit-ups, leg-lifts, etc., by the truckload.

Further, as I've said repeatedly, simply "developing" ki leads nowhere but delusion. For actual use, the body, muscles, bones, connective tissue and breath must all be strong and well conditioned and the ki and mentality must be conditioned and coordinated. But for athleticism, only the physical aspects count, along with psychological factors of motivation, which usually consists of a relatively short-term goal of winning a given competition. Where long-term health is the goal, Jack Lalanne is a great example, but someone asked who would have come out on top in a match between Lalanne and Morihei Ueshiba when both were in their 80s. And like every other strong, athletic person who ever ran across Morihei, Lalanne would have been confounded. Why would we think Lalanne could do what a sumo giant could not?

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote: View Post
That athleticism is not taken more seriously as one of the roots of martial capability indicates that folks are seriously deluded.
Well, that is also one of my main criticisms of modern (especially American) aikido. Internal strength is not the only strength modern practitioners eschew. Without either external, athletic strength or internal power strength, they rely on collusive form and a philosophy found nowhere in serious martial artists.

But to think that athletic strength is any key to internal strength, especially when much of the athleticism improperly develops the body for internal strength is the same mistake that led so many to be embarrassed by people like Sokaku Takeda, Yukiyoshi Sagawa, Kodo Horikawa, Gozo Shioda and Minoru Mochizuki. Athleticism does not train what they trained and it does not prepare the practitioner to meet someone like the above.

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote: View Post
Training exclusively in internal power will result in you becoming a specialist, and when facing the unknown, the survival rate for specialists drops precipitously. Hopefully we all known what Heinlein has to say on the subject of specialization.
Well, when you find someone who has advocated "exclusively" training in internal strength with no physical conditioning, I want you to start a new thread with quotes from them. So far, I have seen no IP advocates suggest such a thing. But the tanren training they advocate is very significantly different from athleticism. Even excellent tanren training should be supplemented with cardio conditioning, but most of the serious IP advocates do that through fighting and sparring. Still, excellent physical condition does not necessarily mean "athletic" conditioning. And no amount of purely athletic conditioning will result in the kind of power we see in O Sensei and Shioda among the many, many other old-time masters of aikido.

Regards.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 08:38 AM   #45
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,508
United_States
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Among other things, it completely dismisses the examples of both MMA fighters and professional military and law enforcement, both among the groups most likely to encounter actual martial situations.
I will be excited to see the citations of any IP advocate suggesting abandonment of physical conditioning.

Thanks.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 08:54 AM   #46
thisisnotreal
 
thisisnotreal's Avatar
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 693
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

JW and Rob John nailed it.
/thread

M2C
The primary reason internal is better, in a MA setting, is that the way the body moves and carries itself is alien and confounds the way normal people move. even athletic normal people. Touch one; and you will know in an instant. It is different and words will not convey this understanding. Like the story of Tenryu touching Ueshiba's arm...and knowing in a split second he was undone..

Go see.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 09:08 AM   #47
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,508
United_States
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
First I would like to say, the only way to move the body is by using intent to move the ki. ... Our brain decides it wants to move (intent) sends a signal to the muscles (ki) and we start moving. This is normal, it does not take special training....
By no means correct. When the brain sends a signal to the muscles, it uses nerves. That is not ki. Ki does not travel through the nerves and nerve impulses cannot travel through the meridians of ki. So your first idea is in error because you still confuse 'mind' with 'ki,' as if you can't tell that your finger and your fingernail are different.

Ask any pro athlete how he directs his ki with his mind and he will look at you like you're insane. While it is true that a certain amount of ki will be involved in any movement, it will not be fully intentional since even as you say this you can't distinguish 'mind' and 'ki' or nerve impulses and ki. What "naturally" involves ki is incidental, but it's like confusing your arm for your leg. You're trying to "kick" with your hand or write with your ankle.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Second, it seems to me that everyone here is talking about faith, not anything factual.
Yet, you're claiming "I already do that."

So either you're doing what you decry or you just don't understand what we (and you) are talking about.

Several years ago, a friend gave me a copy of Peter Ralston's book, "The Principles of Internal Power" and I have tried to read it several times over those years but it never made a lick of sense. He seemed to be talking about shadows and clouds and nothing of any substance.

But since my ki Eureka, this book is incredibly clear and meaningful. Moreover, it follows exactly the things that Mike, Dan and Ark are saying. It's all there. And he is talking about something of no substance, but every bit of that is in the context of the body, the weight, the bones. The missing piece is ki and once I crossed the threshold and understood ki in myself, it all became clear and comprehensible. And that came about from listening to Mike, Dan and Ark and working with their tanren methods.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
If you look through the posts of the pro-IP people, you constantly see stuff like "so-and-so says, so it must be true", or "lot's of people do this stuff, so it must be something important". These are all statements of faith: I believe this person, so that must be so. It's not really an answer to the question.
Chris. What a distortion. People are not saying "So and so said such and such." We say "So and so did this thing. He hit me so hard, he shoved me so far with such little movement, no wind-up, no effort." We're saying "I did what he showed me and suddenly I can do this thing I could never do before."

What we say about what someone "said" is always in the context of what they did and the inescapable results they (and we) got.

Because you've never gotten those results and you still have no clear idea what we're talking about betrays one thing. Your failure to go and meet these people and verify what we say is quite another. How can you discuss something you've never experienced?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Athletes are physically superior to those who don't practice athletics. I believe modern sport athletics encompass everything that internal training does, and then some.
You believe?....Gee...that sounds like...faith? Minus facts?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I'm sure most of the replies to this will be along the line of, "nuh uh, your wrong", or "let me explain the theory of using (enter jargon here)". But let me save you the time. simply answer, what physical thing can an internal martial artist do better then a modern sport athlete?
Do you think any modern sport athlete could have thrown Tenryu down with one hand from a sitting position?

The problem is that you still haven't distinguished your own mind from your own ki. Modern athletics is excellent at distinguishing various parts of the body and their functions and isolating specific muscles and conditioning them to support the desired functions. But they still have not distinguished the difference between mind and ki. In order to direct ki with the mind, we must first distinguish the two, like an athletic trainer distinguishes one muscle from another. We have to develop them in different ways and use them according to their nature. And until that happens, any involvement of ki in movement will be incidental and any results from such action will be irreproducible because you won't understand how you did it.

Of course, if you had spent the last few years honestly thinking about what is being said instead of shutting it off with all your strength, you might have glimpsed some of this by now.

Regards.

David

Last edited by David Orange : 01-26-2011 at 09:18 AM.

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 09:12 AM   #48
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,508
United_States
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
IMHO, it really isn't a question (or statement) that internal (subtle/energetic) is superior to athleticism (external/muscular).

Truly they complement and supplement each other.

Given the context, they each have their superiority in effectiveness.

Training in both perhaps is the wisest choice.
And once the MMA man or LEO is as highly conditioned as athleticism can make him, IS is the final element that can take him through the gate into really superior action and results.

Best to you.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 09:14 AM   #49
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Well, when you find someone who has advocated "exclusively" training in internal strength with no physical conditioning, I want you to start a new thread with quotes from them. So far, I have seen no IP advocates suggest such a thing. But the tanren training they advocate is very significantly different from athleticism. Even excellent tanren training should be supplemented with cardio conditioning, but most of the serious IP advocates do that through fighting and sparring. Still, excellent physical condition does not necessarily mean "athletic" conditioning. And no amount of purely athletic conditioning will result in the kind of power we see in O Sensei and Shioda among the many, many other old-time masters of aikido.
I agree with the above comment, David. I spend a fair amount of time working on internal strength most days, but technically any physiologist is going to recognize that within my training there is inescapably embedded elements of muscle-tissue training, cardio, and so forth.

The "ki" I could define pretty accurately here, but rather than digress into a lengthy tangent, let me just say that "ki" involves a lot more than "fascia", but traditionally the ki and strength are considered to develop hand in hand. For instance, the ki of a weight-lifter increases as he strengthens. However, the weight-lifter may not have any of the 'ki-skills' that we're talking about in relation to 'internal strength'. Since ki does have a component related to the fascia tissues, you can see how this relationship regarding a weight-lifter developing ki but not having ki skills might work.

I do a workout that includes using circuit machines. To the casual eye it appears that I'm doing something close to a "circuit-machine workout", but I'm not. Even some of the local weight-lifters have come over and watched and asked me what I was doing because they spotted that I'm not doing anything normal.

The point is that I'm doing a workout that enhances my so-called "internal strength", but at the same time I of course must be getting some athletic development.

When I use ki/kokyu skills it is a combination of several factors, but it is not the same type of strength that a weight-lifter or other "athletic" person uses. The garbled Asian translation of this phenomenon usually comes out something like "use ki, not muscle", which in turn has many people thinking that you are not supposed to develop your muscles if you're using internal strength. It's not that you don't have muscles with I.S., it's how you use them in conjunction with the ki, kokyu, hara, breathing skills, and so on. The real problem is, as I've said many times, that it's very hard for someone who is athletically strong to give up that strength and learn a new way of moving and sourcing power.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Last edited by akiy : 01-26-2011 at 07:27 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 09:28 AM   #50
thisisnotreal
 
thisisnotreal's Avatar
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 693
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
The "ki" I could define pretty accurately here
Really?

Wei qi & Ying qi?

The feeling that movement of blood or 'Ying Qi' brings about.
Or seek the tingling sensations that come from moving 'Ying Qi' and 'Wei Qi' (which moves in the skin and the fascia).
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Aikido of Northern VA Seminars - Doran-sensei in Northern Virginia, March 2015



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:55 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate