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Old 08-04-2011, 09:44 PM   #1
Mike Sigman
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"Internal Strength" versus Aikido Speak

Just as an observation: A lot of the talk about "Internal Strength" and "Aiki", etc., appears sort of new and exotic to a lot of Aikidoists, but I noticed in "This is Aikido" and other early publications, there was a lot of discussion about "ki strength", "kokyu", and so on. They were talking about the same thing.

In a lot of Asian martial arts it's been my experience that many westerners get confused by what appears to be different terms and think therefore it must be different topics. In many cases, as Shioda noted, they're talking about the same thing but with "different names". And often, when done correctly, there appears to be very different training methodologies when in fact all that is often seen (in correct training) is simply a different attempt to explain the same physical principle. What goes wrong is when someone grabs the buzzwords and attaches their own meaning to it; hence my caveat about 'when done correctly' (not to be confused with 'when done strongly enough to kick your butt', which is what basically hamstrung much of American and European Taiji).

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:56 PM   #2
mathewjgano
 
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Re: "Internal Strength" versus Aikido Speak

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Just as an observation: A lot of the talk about "Internal Strength" and "Aiki", etc., appears sort of new and exotic to a lot of Aikidoists, but I noticed in "This is Aikido" and other early publications, there was a lot of discussion about "ki strength", "kokyu", and so on. They were talking about the same thing.

In a lot of Asian martial arts it's been my experience that many westerners get confused by what appears to be different terms and think therefore it must be different topics. In many cases, as Shioda noted, they're talking about the same thing but with "different names". And often, when done correctly, there appears to be very different training methodologies when in fact all that is often seen (in correct training) is simply a different attempt to explain the same physical principle. What goes wrong is when someone grabs the buzzwords and attaches their own meaning to it; hence my caveat about 'when done correctly' (not to be confused with 'when done strongly enough to kick your butt', which is what basically hamstrung much of American and European Taiji).

FWIW

Mike Sigman
Therein lies the difficulty of describing the objective reality from our subjective perspective. Add to that the fact (I believe) that many (if not most) people take language for granted and it's no wonder we must sift through a huge pile of...er...hay, to find those valuable needles.
The problem with buzzwords is intrinsic to the problem of learning: how can one help but apply their own meaning (i.e. understanding)? The problem isn't that so much as the disregard for new information; the assumption that, "oh I got it now." The answer, as I see it, is Beginner Mind...or, put in more traditional terms, humility. On a side note this reminds me of a study I recently heard about in which Americans fell short in every aptitude (relatively speaking) except in self-confidence...which doesn't bode well for telling me and my fellow countrymen we're lacking in some way.
...and now to put my rose-colored glasses back on and feed the baby!
Take care,
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:30 AM   #3
dps
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Re: "Internal Strength" versus Aikido Speak

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Just as an observation: A lot of the talk about "Internal Strength" and "Aiki", etc., appears sort of new and exotic to a lot of Aikidoists, but I noticed in "This is Aikido" and other early publications, there was a lot of discussion about "ki strength", "kokyu", and so on. They were talking about the same thing.

In a lot of Asian martial arts it's been my experience that many westerners get confused by what appears to be different terms and think therefore it must be different topics. In many cases, as Shioda noted, they're talking about the same thing but with "different names". And often, when done correctly, there appears to be very different training methodologies when in fact all that is often seen (in correct training) is simply a different attempt to explain the same physical principle. What goes wrong is when someone grabs the buzzwords and attaches their own meaning to it; hence my caveat about 'when done correctly' (not to be confused with 'when done strongly enough to kick your butt', which is what basically hamstrung much of American and European Taiji).

FWIW

Mike Sigman
Such is the case in all endeavors in life and the largest impediment
in communications between people.

dps
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:27 PM   #4
Aikibu
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Re: "Internal Strength" versus Aikido Speak

Good Ol' Pathos,Ethos, and Logos...befuddling folks "explanations" since the dawn of civilization...

William Hazen
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:36 PM   #5
Erick Mead
 
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Re: "Internal Strength" versus Aikido Speak

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
Good Ol' Pathos,Ethos, and Logos...befuddling folks "explanations" since the dawn of civilization...
William Hazen
No, no no, ... it was Porthos, Athos and Aramis ...

Sheesh.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:48 PM   #6
Aikibu
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Re: "Internal Strength" versus Aikido Speak

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
No, no no, ... it was Porthos, Athos and Aramis ...

Sheesh.
LOL.
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Old 08-07-2011, 01:01 PM   #7
dps
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Re: "Internal Strength" versus Aikido Speak

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
No, no no, ... it was Porthos, Athos and Aramis ...

Sheesh.
http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Porthos

dps
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Old 08-07-2011, 01:27 PM   #8
mathewjgano
 
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Re: "Internal Strength" versus Aikido Speak

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
No, no no, ... it was Porthos, Athos and Aramis ...

Sheesh.

Great minds think alike! I almost wrote the same thing (reading the series right now).

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:03 AM   #9
HL1978
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Re: "Internal Strength" versus Aikido Speak

This sounds like a great opportunity to define Internal Strength terms in aiki speak and vice versa. Would be a great opportunity to have a reference post or "sticky thread".
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:09 AM   #10
Mike Sigman
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Re: "Internal Strength" versus Aikido Speak

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
This sounds like a great opportunity to define Internal Strength terms in aiki speak and vice versa. Would be a great opportunity to have a reference post or "sticky thread".
As I've noted elsewhere, the term "internal strength" comes almost directly from "neijin". Of course there are numerous ways to train "internally", hence a term like "Neigong" ("internal exercise"). But neigongs are really a subset of "qigongs" ("qi-developing exercises"), which you'll hear sometimes in Japanese as "Kiko".

"Kokyu" seems to be a more widely used term than just in Aikido because there are a few different other Japanese styles now offering videos on "Kokyu" and it seems doubtful that a number of unrelated styles got their information from Ueshiba, Takeda, etc. Ushiro Sensei seemed to use the term "Kokyu" often in as general a way as "Aiki" is being used by some people today.

BTW, internal strength is shown/demonstrated in a number of generally accepted ways in China. I listed them at least twice in posts in the past.

2 cents.

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:44 AM   #11
PhillyKiAikido
 
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Re: "Internal Strength" versus Aikido Speak

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Just as an observation: A lot of the talk about "Internal Strength" and "Aiki", etc., appears sort of new and exotic to a lot of Aikidoists, but I noticed in "This is Aikido" and other early publications, there was a lot of discussion about "ki strength", "kokyu", and so on. They were talking about the same thing.
Good post, Mike. It's easy to tell that you're always thinking and studying with a humble heart. The more I studied Ki, the more I found that they were talking about the same thing.
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