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Old 04-07-2011, 12:09 AM   #1
matty_mojo911
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No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

Genuinely interested in feedback on the following:

There is no doubt that O'Sensei was a great martial artist, skilled in several arts to the highest level and through the later part of his life he created Aikido.

If we are to assume that O'Senseis method of doing Aikido is the correct way, and I think it fair to say the founder has a good claim on that. Then as a starting point we should have a general look at how he got there.

He of course claims he had "enlightenment" but I agree with other writers on this subject that it was likely that this was far more to do with his spiritual fervour than his practicing of the martial arts.

Therefore if we believe that through his Aikido O'Sensei could throw people with a finger tip, or similar, then we can never know if that was due to his spiritual experience and spiritual enlightenment or simply his practicing of the martial arts.

Although I've been thrown by persons able to "find" my centre extremely well, and minimise the force they use I have yet to be influenced by Ki, or similar, flowing from someone and affecting me, in particular without them touching me.

When I have "felt" Ki it has always been through static exercises like the unbend able arm or similar, these are often referred to as Ki tricks, and taking this point further I'm sure that if I placed a speck of dust on a nearly frictionless table and placed my hand closeby, my "extending Ki" would not move that speck of dust even a micro millimetre, and I would suggest that nobody can or else they would be famous.

Ki always seems to involve yourself, or persons and because of this we can perhaps say that it has something to do with the inter-relationship between people. Perhaps when we change or direct our "ki" we are actually changing something between two persons. The fact that Ki is a human to human thing is important when we look at "no touch' throwing.

We should also remember that even after his enlightenment O'Senseis early forms of Aikido were very physical, it was really only later in his life that the "no touch" throwing came about.

I am of the opinion then that this simple fact shows that enlightenment was not the reason for his "no touch" throwing, or else it would have happened immediately.

Also from what I have viewed and been informed of those who do "no touch" throwing tend to do so in the later part of their Aikido lives, and they generally have a dedicated group of followers some looking for the "mystical."

To look for something spiritual is quite common whilst practicing a martial art.

Speaking for myself, when practicing Karate I remember thinking that there must be more to this than punching a bag? Hence I started Aikido as I was looking for something spiritual, or at least something with a greater philosophical base.

But perhaps the "danger" to a martial arts style/club is that it gets caught up in its own bubble of belief. This is indicative of what I have heard described as self indulgence. For example the easiest resolution to a certain attack might be a simple throw, but through a process of years of training we create "layers" to this - what if they did this? What about this as response to that response of yours? Before you know it the layers of techniques have become self perpetuating and no longer do you train in a simple resolution to the attack but are training in the development of an art form.

This is perfectly understandable as it is what eventually creates every art - the pursuit of excellence, and thorough understanding of what we do.

However, when you combine a group of "spiritual/philosophical" people who have all trained in this now self indulgent martial art, they are at risk of not realising it is such.

I would suggest that once a club reaches this state is when you start to get "no touch" throwing, and similar such things.

I have yet to see, no touch throwing, or similar, done on people outside of a clubs own students, or even outside of a style.

So is no touch throwing real? Or is it just a bunch of respectful muppets standing in a circle, not wishing to embarrass Sensei.

Your thoughts? Experiences?
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:54 AM   #2
graham christian
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

Hi Matt.
A well written post however a subject which has had much debate already.

I experienced it when I first went to Aikido back in 1981 and wondered what the hell was that? All I knew was I was thrown and it felt good. I hadn't even had time to learn what I was 'meant' to do.

Personally I don't see how anyone could not believe it. If you follow the principles of any art and get really comfortable with those principles and the use of them then to that degree you are needing to use less and less effort. It's obvious no?

It applies to all sports and activities.

Regards.G.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:56 AM   #3
carina reinhardt
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

Hi Matt,
Maybe this blogpost will interest you http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/moon-in...-defence-3959/
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:26 AM   #4
Hellis
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

Quote:
Matt Morris wrote: View Post
Genuinely interested in feedback on the following:

I have yet to see, no touch throwing, or similar, done on people outside of a clubs own students, or even outside of a style.

So is no touch throwing real? Or is it just a bunch of respectful muppets standing in a circle, not wishing to embarrass Sensei.

Your thoughts? Experiences?
Matt

In my 55yrs of Aikido I too have never seen these comic capers done on anyone other than a student and teacher ` working together `..I have never been subject to this - having studied with Kenshiro Abbe - Masahilo Nakazono - M Noro - T Abe - H Tada - K Chiba - N Tamura - H Ichamura.....

If this could be done on people other than ones own students then I could see TV and Stage appearances beckoning ...

I am sorry to say that I can't do ``it``

Henry Ellis
British Aikido History
http://www.british-aikido.com
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:33 AM   #5
Michael Varin
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

That post was a bit rambling, but I think I get the gist.

Although, the vast majority of no touch throws one sees in aikido are totally contrived and collusive, there is nothing mystical or impossibly difficult about no touch throws.

Aiki only exists between animate objects, because it involves a complex interaction of intention, expectation, and movement.

I have genuinely been thrown and thrown others with no touch. I have also colluded in both roles to perform no touch throws. It's a very different experience.

I'm curious. How do you know you felt ki in those static exercises, like the "unbendable arm"? Why would you describe it as such? What made it stand out to you? How was it different? How do you think the "unbendable arm" relates to no touch throws?

I think this is an interesting topic, which should receive more serious discussion. Maybe you can expand on your first post.

-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 04-07-2011, 04:50 AM   #6
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

Double post!

Last edited by GB-UK : 04-07-2011 at 04:55 AM. Reason: Double post
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Old 04-07-2011, 04:53 AM   #7
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

Personally speaking I would love to try these no touch throws, so if you can do them can you try to do one on me? Since it's no touch, how far apart do we need to be for it to work? Cm's, metres, in the same room? Maybe you could try from where you are now and see if you can throw me?
I could try and knock you down with my chi balls aswell if you want
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Old 04-07-2011, 05:17 AM   #8
Hellis
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

Quote:
Gornall Bell wrote: View Post
Personally speaking I would love to try these no touch throws, so if you can do them can you try to do one on me? Since it's no touch, how far apart do we need to be for it to work? Cm's, metres, in the same room? Maybe you could try from where you are now and see if you can throw me?
I could try and knock you down with my chi balls aswell if you want
Gornall

I note that you are based in the North and Graham is in London, I would suggest this could be achived by post - I hasten to recommend by ``registered post ``...for the best results.

Henry Ellis
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Old 04-07-2011, 05:34 AM   #9
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

Quote:
Matt Morris wrote: View Post
So is no touch throwing real? Or is it just a bunch of respectful muppets standing in a circle, not wishing to embarrass Sensei.

Your thoughts?
Sometimes is "real", in the sense there is not conscious collusion between people involved, sometimes is theatrics.

Quote:
Experiences?
I've done it, in heavy contact mma sparring against a Krav Maga guy. It's not rocket science. Happens every day in soccer, rugby, basketball...

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Old 04-07-2011, 06:21 AM   #10
Charles Hill
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

When my sister was in university many years ago, she saved a dog from the pound, Bonnie, who was big and a bit aggressive. Bonnie had a bad habit of chasing cats and my sister was worried what might happen if Bonnie ever caught one. One day, Bonnie saw a rather large cat sitting on a porch and took off after it. This cat not only didn't run, it stood up ready to fight. Bonnie saw this and hit the brakes, ending up tumbling into a bush. She then walked back to my sister with her tail between her legs. If this cat could do it, I imagine O'Sensei could too.

I recommend checking out the Systema teacher, Mikhail Ryabko's DVD, Beyond the Physical. Mr. Ryabko explains the "psychic" work eloquently and gives a bunch of drills to do.

Alex Kostic shows/explains some of it in the clip a couple of minutes in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_jboskipAI
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:29 AM   #11
lbb
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

Quote:
Matt Morris wrote: View Post
Speaking for myself, when practicing Karate I remember thinking that there must be more to this than punching a bag? Hence I started Aikido as I was looking for something spiritual, or at least something with a greater philosophical base.
If that was what you were after, why didn't you study philosophy or take up a spiritual practice? It seems like a much more direct and reliable way to find that "something" than to study a martial art in the vague hope that something "spiritual" or "philosophical" will rub off on you.
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:18 AM   #12
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

I was on a seminar in the US a good few years ago and Imaizumi sensei was the guest teacher, he demonstrated some no touch throws from shomenuchi but his point was something along the lines of this... My intent (ki, call it whatever you like) is in my hand, in my fist. I'm going to punch you in the face, either move and get out of the way, or, say hello to my fist.

I liked his explanation and it made sense - certainly didn't look like his uke was intentionally falling for some other wishy washy reason other than not wanting to get punched. So to me, the point was uke reacted to a fist all of a sudden appearing in front of his face, if uke hadn't have reacted it would have looked like iriminage but instead of the arm going around the neck, his fist would have punched the guy. Kind of simple really. Was good .

Marc can probably explain this one a lot better, he might have been there.

Best Regards,
John

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Old 04-07-2011, 08:00 AM   #13
chillzATL
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

John Burn's post explains no touch throws as far as I would ever be willing to go. I've done throws like that and seen them done and they weren't faked, though I would honeslty never depend on something like that in a confrontation. It's a good teaching tool and example of how your ki can affect another person without actually touching them.

IMO there are two ki's these days, much like there are several aikido's. You have the the whole "feel good" ki, ie, "he has very positive ki". And then there is what I would consider to be usable ki, aka, intent. If you put your hands up and mentally prepare yourself to receive a push to your hands, you are extending ki, extending your intent. There's really nothing mystical about that at all and you find that same type of thing being used in any number of sports or activities. If you condition your body and mind properly then you have a structure that can relaxedly support itself and via extending ki in all directions at all times, is always in balance and able to absorb (trying to avoid getting too long winded here) forces, regardless of their direction.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:24 AM   #14
Marc Abrams
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

Quote:
John Burn wrote: View Post
I was on a seminar in the US a good few years ago and Imaizumi sensei was the guest teacher, he demonstrated some no touch throws from shomenuchi but his point was something along the lines of this... My intent (ki, call it whatever you like) is in my hand, in my fist. I'm going to punch you in the face, either move and get out of the way, or, say hello to my fist.

I liked his explanation and it made sense - certainly didn't look like his uke was intentionally falling for some other wishy washy reason other than not wanting to get punched. So to me, the point was uke reacted to a fist all of a sudden appearing in front of his face, if uke hadn't have reacted it would have looked like iriminage but instead of the arm going around the neck, his fist would have punched the guy. Kind of simple really. Was good .

Marc can probably explain this one a lot better, he might have been there.
John:

My favorite quote from my teacher (Imaizumi Sensei) was that if you move properly, you do not need technique ! Most people have some desire to preserve their well-being and this even takes place at a preconscious level. If the fist is suddenly in your face, your body is typically adjusting to get out of the way before you even are consciously aware of the threat.

A good number of years ago (also!), Imaizumi Sensei was demonstrating a technique with one of my sempai. This guy is big, strong and a good fighter. He attacked Sensei so hard and determined that he kind of turned off that switch of self-preservation. He ran right into Sensei's knuckle. Sensei was pulling his fist back because he felt that this person was not attacking in the most sensible manner.... This guy was literally knocked out on his feet. He is standing in a daze while Sensei is yelling at him because he was a senior student and he should have been able to protect himself and respond appropriately to a real threat. The sempai was never aware of his being yelled at and when he came to, he knew to sit down right away. To this day, the sempai still does not remember the correct attack that he was doing..... It was both scary and funny to watch. I don't think that anybody at the dojo is stupid enough to take a fall for Imaizumi Sensei and expect to be used again as uke. We ALWAYS give it our best shot. The more senior of us, know how to protect ourselves. The amusing part is watching the young-bloods engage in futile resistance and/or the stupid "what if" only to find out that ukemi is about receiving energy safetly, rather than making yourself vulnerable to something worse coming down the pike....

The Systema video clip posted clearly points out how we can use the body's preconscious responses to certain types of movement to offset balance and attention so that a person is on the way down before contact is being made. Aikido done well, like Imaizumi Sensei does, uses alot of the same stuff as seen in that video clip.

Regards,

marc abrams
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:28 AM   #15
sakumeikan
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

Hi Folks,
If as uke I was intent on [for example ] on making jodan tsuki to Tori and Tori preempted my thrust and made an atemi to my face I think I would be inclined to bite the dust rather than have a non surgical nose job done on me with a fist .However in terms of maai I would not attempt to rearrange my partners nose if I am not within distance.Neither would I expect to be felled by Tori at a distance of ten /12 ft .Like Mr Ellis I have never been thrown in manner expressed by the no touch type Shihans. I have of course [as my nasal profile will tell you]been subjected to many a premptive clip on my classic John Barrymore nose.Hence my comments about doing a ukemi to escape a potential bash on the nose.Common sense I say.Better to bite the dust than to look like Rocky Balboa.
Cheers, Joe.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:31 AM   #16
Mark Freeman
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

Quote:
Gornall Bell wrote: View Post
Personally speaking I would love to try these no touch throws, so if you can do them can you try to do one on me? Since it's no touch, how far apart do we need to be for it to work? Cm's, metres, in the same room? Maybe you could try from where you are now and see if you can throw me?
I could try and knock you down with my chi balls aswell if you want
Hi Gornall,

No touch thows are a part of aikido practice as demonstrated by Ueshiba, if he was doing them, I'm unsure why there is so much controversy over them in the aikido community. They are not magical or mystical, just a result of intent, timing, correct movement, leading, aiki and uke's desire for self preservation and keeping co-ordinated.

Michael Varin's post above is correct, there can be collusion, of course (much of aikido practice has to be this way, otherwise how on earth would we learn anything?) but they can be real with no pretence.

However, they do rely on uke making a committed attack and following through with that attack, keeping their intention on the target they are going for. There is no way I could hope to 'throw' someone who is not actively giving me an attack to work with.

You are way too far away for me to throw you up there in the Northeast, but if you were down here in devon a matter of inches away, going full tilt for my centre, then I might be able to give you the experience

regards

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:44 PM   #17
Diana Frese
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

I am sooo going to get in trouble with this one, but hey, they mentioned the Muppets in the circle. I like the muppets, but I have not seen that many episodes. So here's one from the comics:
Lucy holding the football, Charlie Brown remembers that the year before Lucy moved the football just as he was trying to kick it from a running start -- and he went flying. (Nevertheless he tries it again every year)

Seriously, good discussion on both sides.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:16 PM   #18
matty_mojo911
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

Thanks everyone for taking the time to comment - and I'm sorry if this has been discussed before. But I'm guessing that everything gets discussed again at some point.

Thankyou for the various links.

In answer to various points:

I have studied philosophy - a lot.

There were some interesting points about "intent" and getting out of the way of a fist, or wearing it. That I understand. However in other styles (like BJJ for instance) if you did attack like that, we'd think you an idiot on the other side of the coin Aikido attacks should have energy, so there is a balancing act I guess.

Anyway - I was more talking about the line of Ukes all supporting each other, then Sensei (some feet away) waves his hand and the line falls over. Is it just me, or is this type of thing just painfull to watch.

Thanks for your comments, I find this topic very interesting, particulalry in this modern scientific world.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:21 PM   #19
matty_mojo911
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

Quote:
Diana Frese wrote: View Post
Lucy holding the football, Charlie Brown remembers that the year before Lucy moved the football just as he was trying to kick it from a running start -- and he went flying. (Nevertheless he tries it again every year)

Seriously, good discussion on both sides.
Well I guess Charlie had intent, and Lucy was demonstrating "no touch throwing' then. Love it - I'll remember this one.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:45 PM   #20
hughrbeyer
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

Quote:
Matt Morris wrote: View Post
I was more talking about the line of Ukes all supporting each other, then Sensei (some feet away) waves his hand and the line falls over. Is it just me, or is this type of thing just painfull to watch.
It's not just you.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:34 PM   #21
Charles Hill
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

Quote:
Matt Morris wrote: View Post
Anyway - I was more talking about the line of Ukes all supporting each other, then Sensei (some feet away) waves his hand and the line falls over. Is it just me, or is this type of thing just painfull to watch.
Then that means that the "Sensei" not only can effect his uke with a wave of his hand, he can effect you Matt and Hugh over massive amounts of space and time. If you realize that I am not joking or trying to be funny, you might realize the validity and usefulness of no touch, psychic work.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:55 PM   #22
matty_mojo911
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

Well maybe he has. I also watched a clip on Youtube the other night of a baby laughing, it made me laugh - that effected me.

Maybe it is the Quantum Effect whereby one particle despite having no physical conatct with another effects it. A proven scientific principle.

Perhaps we should enlist a quantum physicist to look at it all?
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:51 AM   #23
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

Quote:
Matt Morris wrote: View Post
Well maybe he has. I also watched a clip on Youtube the other night of a baby laughing, it made me laugh - that effected me.

Maybe it is the Quantum Effect whereby one particle despite having no physical conatct with another effects it. A proven scientific principle.

Perhaps we should enlist a quantum physicist to look at it all?
I'm a physics teacher by education. I have studies some quantum physics in my education and from personal interest. By no means I would call myself an expert, but I have some knowledge about it.

You don't need quantum physics for affecting without visible contact. Gravity and electromagnetic force also affect without visible contact. In reality there is contact at a submicroscopic level, because tiny particles travel between source and target to transfer energy and momentum, but we can't see them (like radio waves).

There's always some delay involved with transfer of energy and momentum, because these transfer particles cannot travel faster than the speed of light. Most of the time we don't notice this delay because light is extremely fast (it only takes a nanosecond to travel three meters).

One of the peculiarities of quantum physics is that some quantum effects occur without delay over large distances, ruling out submicroscopic contact by transfer particles. While this is an interesting and puzzling phenomenon, I don't think it helps to explain no touch throws. It would be very hard to measure whether there is a nanosecond delay in no touch throws or not. But I expect the delay exists because no touch throws would require a macroscopic transfer of energy and momentum, which is limited by the speed of light even in quantum physics.

That said, I think the only transfer of energy and momentum in no touch throws is the transfer of light and heat from nage's body to uke's eyes and body, which is hardly enough to throw uke. I believe uke moves himself, consiously or not.

Last edited by Dave de Vos : 04-08-2011 at 02:03 AM.
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:27 AM   #24
CarlRylander
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

Bruce Lee'one-inch punch has been filmed, and I know of someone who knocked someone out that way.

You've just got to move faster.
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:52 AM   #25
niall
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Re: No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?

Matt you mentioned enlightenment a few times and that O Sensei claimed to have it. Where exactly? Thanks.

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