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Old 07-17-2012, 05:04 AM   #51
Michael Varin
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Re: Aiki in MMA

Quote:
Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
How does this relate to the question? Just curious.
Lorel,

Clear out some space in your PMs, and you'll find out.

-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 07-17-2012, 06:54 AM   #52
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Re: Aiki in MMA

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Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Trouble with your approach is that everything gets flattened out into mush. The reason why some are insisting on a particular definition of "aiki" is because they care about what it signifies: a set of body skills which are not common, are not easy to come by, but were demonstrated and taught by Takeda Sokaku and Ueshiba Morihei. (Who called them "aiki." Hence the name.)

Allowing "aiki" to mean something like "martially effective movement", which appears to be all you mean by it, doesn't get you out of any boxes. It just makes it impossible to talk about the truly interesting distinctions: Does Silva win the same way Ueshiba won? Does he leverage the same skills or is he using different skills? How are they different? How does that show up in his movement?

It also makes it impossible for you to address Kevin's hypothesis on his own terms. Is it true that you can't get to a high level of martial performance without some level of aiki skills, as Ueshiba and Takeda defined them? Why or why not? What markers could we observe to provide evidence one way or the other? You can't even enter the conversation, because you've turned the distinctions that matter into mush.

Yeah, we can all join hands and sing kumbaya and declare your definition of aiki to be as good as anybody's. But then the word becomes useless, and the concept the word stands for is lost. This has already happened, almost completely. Which makes it a matter of some urgency to recover the word, the concept, and the skills they represent.
I think that deserves a repost.

Mark
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:54 AM   #53
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aiki in MMA

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I don't see these days how you can operate at a high level and not have some notions of what we label as aiki. Even Silva.

However, I think it is accidental most likely with only the best rising to the top and getting lucky, or maybe they have a really good coach that sets the conditions for these things to occur. Can they replicate it to a high degree, can they teach, can the isolate?

How do they ensure that large groups of those that apply the lessons, guidance, and formula achieve the same skills...or is it implicitly learned, or accidental?

If you do learn it...then how valuable is it realitive to other aspects of ability such as speed, strength, athleticism, or technique...how about the concepts of OODA, and experience...you know being able to think five moves ahead?
God, I'm a sucker for the OODA plug ....

"Let me explain. -- No. There is too much. -- Let me sum up."
Inigo Montoya.

The problem is this -- the proponents of their practices of IS/IT as the foundation of aiki are all about the "knowledge how" -- well and good. This is the "know it when you feel/sense it" or the ubiquitous IHTBF -- and I do not disagree that understanding requires having the sense data to comprehend.

But the proponents of this approach -- in their enthusiasms -- and casting no aspersions whatsoever on their personal recipes or "this has worked for me" modalities of training for that "knowledge how" -- tend to disregard (if not denigrate) the other kind of knowledge -- "knowledge about" or descriptive knowledge. The failure to BOTH to distinguish, AND to draw relationships between, the equally essential "knowledge how" and the "knowledge about" have caused fruitless, talking-past-one-another disputes in every area of learning you care to name -- including this one -- and which occurs on such a frequent basis that I have simply left all discussion on it for a good long while.

But this discussion is now looking at an important aspect of the problem. Legitimately, those for whom the "just--so stories" of supposed knowledge transmitted through the "plain-vanilla" aikido regimens failed -- whether by reason of a botched attempt to translate from one language and set of cultural assumptions into another -- or because of more accusatory explanations of idiosyncratic ego-satisfying evasions of persons who failed to "get it". -- the result is the same.

There is BOTH an understandable dissatisfaction among those seeking "knowledge how" and an understandable frustration in the apparent lack of comprehensible content in the "authoritative "knowledge about." And there is a failure to see how the two are both different and related.

Kevin, as you know from your military experience, the two are not really separate -- but they are importantly distinct, and too often confused and the cause of much conflict. The training of militaries that teach soldiers who are little more than cannon fodder teach them how to shoot weapons -- but not how to repair or modify them in the field -- The American Way of War holds that one cannot wield a weapon well without understanding its working principles, functional limitations and capacities, and how to disassemble and reassemble it under fire. IOW -- our way combines the "knowledge how" and "knowledge about" -- to a high degree, and at very low levels of authority and practice. The result is the most dominating fighting force on the planet and -- I would maintain -- for this very reason.

And for this reason, knowledge about what aiki IS -- in descriptive, functional, analytic terms -- not just what it can do -- or even just HOW it can be felt, learned and deployed -- cannot be disregarded. With "knowledge about" one can approach any issue to see if "there is aiki" or "there is not aiki" because a set of descriptive, observable qualities are known from which we can discriminate between "aiki" and "not aiki."

More importantly, with "knowledge about" one can adapt what one has learned "how" to do -- to do things one never anticipated in training. This "knowledge about" is absolutely critical to be able to extend the reach of one's "knowledge how" to do things you never did before. Without it, one is simply stuck with what you "know" -- even if that "knowledge how" is encoded in the frame of the body itself -- a point I do not dispute -- but is equally true of gymnasts and bicycle riders, and so is not really that exceptional in terms of the knowledge processes at issue.

None of this is unique to the topic here -- but this problem exists here without question.

This descriptive approach exists in the CMA in a very thorough way (pace Mike S.) -- but those ideas suffer the same language and cultural mismatch mapping problems as the ideas of aiki have already shown in our world-- and to tremendous disservice in disputes that have no real point to them, and simply confound knowledge by a failure to distinguish the KINDS of knowledge that are necessary for different aspects of the problem.

I will not belabor here my own efforts on the descriptive side of things -- it invites too-recurrent and undue conflict, likely for the reasons stated. I may be right or wrong on the content but that is irrelevant to the observation of the NEED for what I have attempted on this point.

But the tenor of discussion here plainly illustrates the same perceived need for the "something" you "know" you need -- but cannot quite lay your finger on -- that "pointing finger" is exactly what you need -- the "knowledge about" -- the descriptive framework that you need to tell what aiki IS -- and what aiki IS NOT in an explainable, coherent, and common set of of terms and concepts.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:34 AM   #54
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aiki in MMA

Hey Erick, welcome back. As always, I had to spend sometime thinking about your post! lol!

I agree mostly with your assessment.

Problem has already been well defined by many. 1. the definition of aiki. in the sense we are talking, it is a purely physical nature. That is developing physical structure to be able to do things. Not the other things in the spiritual or mental realm...which while connected in some fashion, not what we are talking about in this thread. Although you can argue that you cannot do the physical without the mental as all movement begins with thought.

Actually that is a good tranistion into what I want to comment on.

Isolation.

Aiki development involves isolation of conditions and factors in order to ehance/encourage development of "aiki". Much discussion has gone on about the whole myo-fascial development process...don't want to get into the science or discussion of that...it is not important to this conversation right now. So setting that aside. what I am addressing is methodology, perspective and/or observation.

So, as we do in anything, we isolate and control in order to acheive desired results or effects. We also develop "test" in order to gauge how well or not we are doing.

Nothing new...science right?

Problem is that we make a huge jump to integration, synergy, or function...and that is where we go wrong.

The whole "god particle" comes to mind. I see it as the same exact issue.

It exist...no it doesn't...yes it does.

lets develop a way to prove it....They have that HUGE machine in CERN that is doing that right??? again, setting the controls and conditions in a major way to prove that it is real.

So, lets move to Anderson Silva....

So once we agree the God Particle exist and does cool stuff and it is everywhere..we say. "hey check out the youtube of Silva...he demonstrates that he has good use of his God Particle".

I mean so if we all agree after the God Particle experiments are done that it exist...then what...how does this change anything on a daily basis??? what does it do for us driving to work? sure, it may have application, but in our daily functions...what does it change when we drive, fight in the UFC etc.

WTF???? how did we go from the classroom to application over night???

How subjective is the discussion, and how subjective can it be...ever?

IHTBF is frustrating, but I think it is appropriate too..having felt it. You can't see it, but you can feel it (or not...that is the dilemma lol).

For me, here is the dirty little secret in methodology and training.

it boils down to control and conditions.

On one end of the spectrum you have an IS guru...on the other end of the spectrum you have a fighter like Anderson Silva.

The IS Guru trains and teaches in an environment that sets the conditions for him to teach and demonstrate what he does. A good instructor KNOWs exactly how to do this very well. Not disparaging in anyway, but you certainly don't do things that make you look bad. A good instructor can set the conditions and transmit the information/knowledge to students in a way that can be reproduced.

The problem with this is that students make HUGE assumptions many times. Dan has constantly WARNED folks about this BTW...yet I believe few actually listen to him.

So you go to seminars, train at home and begin to understand your body, IS/IP to some X degree...you GET IHTBF and can begin to replicate it.

The problem is, how to you change the conditions or expand them towards the direction of non-compliance or "less control"? How do you integrate this into what you do?

As you change those conditions and remove isolation...other variables as you mention Erick, begin to become important. Things like OODA, speed, strength etc. So now things become relative and we have to assign priorities. My point has been the IS/IP are lesser important than some of thes other things. That is ONE issue.

The other issue deals with IHTBF.

The fact that Aiki deals with INTERNAL aspects such as myo-fascial networks and controls...much of what is changed cannot be seen...it simply has to be felt. A guy like Dan may be able to see it, but for most of us...probably not...and even if we could....what does that really mean? Doesn't mean we can do it, nor might it be that important in the "whole" of the situation like in a UFC fight.

Anyway, I have thoughts on this...and some of them are not coming out very clearly and I am starting to ramble some. There are many issues I have and many pyschological assumptions/perspectives that come into play with Teachers and Students.

stuff like....

1. teachers/seminar gurus have to make money or set conditions in order to convey and transmit what they have to convey effectively. There is not a thing wrong with that..it is just how the process works. That is a factor. An honest one will tell you the limitations and caveats. I see a guy like Dan doing this all the time...sigh, the student can't or won't get it.

2. Students. have made an emotional commitement to want to be successful in whatever they choose to invest their time in. If you've bought into the IS/IP as being the holy grail...then of course you will begin to see it everywhere and begin to filter all your information based on that. Marc Abrams or another psychologist can comment better on this...what is it Dissonance theory???? and THUS will tend to filter out stuff that appears to be contrary to what they want to hear...like Dan saying, his caveats.

The combination of #1 and #2 can lead to a type of pyschosis (right?). Where we have folks selectively applying stuff, pulling up youtube videos, over-emphasing priorities, putting emotions and hopes in areas that and outsider would simply scratch his head on.

For me, the real issue is "what do you want?" that is...what is your endstate/goal. I think for many in budo this is not well defined...especially in Aikido. We really have no clue why we do what we do.

Guys like Dan Harden, I respect. A specialist with a broad background. Dan I think understands what his endstates are and he is focused.

However, for many, I think we'd like to think about oursevles as being 80 years old and like O'sensei. We want to be like him, yet we don't fully grasp what it takes to get there, nor do we fully understand the conditions that allowed O'sensei to be O'sensei.

We have hope..we look for secrets and shortcuts. hence the issue I outlined with #1 and #2 above and the impending psychosis that develops. We look to associate and attach labels to things...look for hidden meanings. for example, like the relationship between Silva and Segal...BTW, what is that relationship really? Sensei, friendship, or convienent marketing??? who knows for sure???

Silva I am sure knows what he wants martially as well. I don't think he really cares if he is using IP/IT if he is or isn't....he does whatever he does and uses whatever seems to work for him.

Anyway, enough rambling about the sickness!

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Old 07-19-2012, 11:16 AM   #55
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Re: Aiki in MMA

It's funny that I can have conversations now with hundreds of aikido people on "knowledge how" and "knowledge about" aiki with no problems.

In fact, I recently had a great discussion with someone in aikido (who has never been to any seminar by Dan) about Ikeda and what he is doing internally. There was discussion of "knowledge how" and "knowledge about" without any issues.

Come to think of it ... it's really ironically funny that whenever there are issues regarding conversations of "knowledge how" and "knowledge about", it's usually with people who really haven't had good training experiences with aiki. (Note: Being an uke to a Japanese shihan and walking away wondering how said shihan did something is not a good training experience with aiki.)

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
So you go to seminars, train at home and begin to understand your body, IS/IP to some X degree...you GET IHTBF and can begin to replicate it.

The problem is, how to you change the conditions or expand them towards the direction of non-compliance or "less control"? How do you integrate this into what you do?

As you change those conditions and remove isolation...other variables as you mention Erick, begin to become important. Things like OODA, speed, strength etc. So now things become relative and we have to assign priorities. My point has been the IS/IP are lesser important than some of thes other things. That is ONE issue.
I may be misunderstanding your point ... but IP/aiki really is THE important thing. It is why Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa, Horikawa, etc all talked about it. They didn't equate techniques with it, didn't equate fighting with it, didn't equate jujutsu with it, etc. While those other things are important and are things that people can learn, it was IP/aiki that was the well-spring. It was why Ueshiba said, "We would do it this way with aiki" -- because aiki changed how the body functioned, whether in a compliant or non-compliant world.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
However, for many, I think we'd like to think about oursevles as being 80 years old and like O'sensei. We want to be like him, yet we don't fully grasp what it takes to get there, nor do we fully understand the conditions that allowed O'sensei to be O'sensei.
Perhaps for many, they don't grasp those things... but, for many, now training IP/aiki, they do. And that is an important point to consider ...

Regarding the topic at hand of aiki in MMA by pointing out specific people ... shall we also turn our attention to specific *aikido* teachers who may/may not have aiki? After all, if we decide to open the MMA door publicly, why not aikido?
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:58 AM   #56
Tim Fong
 
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Re: Aiki in MMA

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post

I may be misunderstanding your point ... but IP/aiki really is THE important thing. It is why Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa, Horikawa, etc all talked about it. They didn't equate techniques with it, didn't equate fighting with it, didn't equate jujutsu with it, etc. While those other things are important and are things that people can learn, it was IP/aiki that was the well-spring. It was why Ueshiba said, "We would do it this way with aiki" -- because aiki changed how the body functioned, whether in a compliant or non-compliant world.

Perhaps for many, they don't grasp those things... but, for many, now training IP/aiki, they do. And that is an important point to consider ...
IP/aiki provides an edge but it is not by any means complete on its own. Training for fighting requires other attributes as well, such as cardiovascular conditioning as well as raw strength. Both of those feed into and support the combative mindset, since without proper conditioning you gas out. As Vince Lombardi said, fatigue makes cowards of us all.

Layered on that is strategy for particular engagement parameters. As Kevin Leavitt said, it's about controls and parameters.

Let's take a look at this from a sport fighting point of view: judo is different from muay thai, which is different from sanda. To be really good at one, you have to optimize your training program. Even things that seem similar, like muay thai and sanda actually have different rules and therefore different strategies for victory. Last year I witnessed a match between two heavyweights under sanda rules. One of the fighters had fought on a K1 undercard. He lost. Different rules (parameters), and he fought a guy with a lot of experience in that ruleset. The fighters weren't allowed to throw knees, and it looked like his inside/clinch strategy was dependent on that. I should add that I have personally lost a match because of failure to adapt to a particular ruleset, and lulling myself into a false sense of confidence by improperly structuring my training.

Saying that IP/IT is THE important thing misses out on the fact that there are a lot of things that go into making a successful fighter. A person could have all the IS/IP they want and still get knocked out by a straight right hand if they don't know how to move their head or cover appropriately.

Maybe you say that sports isn't your thing and that you're training for the street or "real combat" whatever that is. Well still, the question is parameters. Training with impact, bladed or firearms? What are your goals?

Another thing to remember is that we know a lot more about certain types of physical training today, versus Ueshiba's time. Things like high intensity cardio and periodized strength training were not too well understood then. When Draeger brought modern weight training techniques to Japan, it revolutionized judo, as one of his weight training students said after he won a major competition.

As far as high intensity interval training, Tabata's work didn't rise to prominence until the 1990s. That stuff counts. I watched a couple of videos of Jigen Ryu and to me, it looks like they accidentally stumbled onto high intensity interval training with weapons. Looks silly right? Simplistic? Simplistic is good when it comes to training big groups of people.

I would bet that the reason they were feared is because they were in good shape to keep hitting hard even after exertion.

Look at MMA-- there are people with incredible levels of conditioning, and it's not just about "working hard" because everyone is working hard. It's about working smart-- eating the right diet, having the right periodized training, the right mix of skills etc.

My personal experience is that internal training can give an edge, but only in the context of 1) understanding the engagement parameters and 2) having the full suite of proper athletic conditioning in addition to IS/IP.
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:32 AM   #57
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Re: Aiki in MMA

Quote:
Tim Fong wrote: View Post
IP/aiki provides an edge but it is not by any means complete on its own. Training for fighting requires other attributes as well, such as cardiovascular conditioning as well as raw strength. Both of those feed into and support the combative mindset, since without proper conditioning you gas out. As Vince Lombardi said, fatigue makes cowards of us all.

Layered on that is strategy for particular engagement parameters. As Kevin Leavitt said, it's about controls and parameters.

Let's take a look at this from a sport fighting point of view: judo is different from muay thai, which is different from sanda. To be really good at one, you have to optimize your training program. Even things that seem similar, like muay thai and sanda actually have different rules and therefore different strategies for victory. Last year I witnessed a match between two heavyweights under sanda rules. One of the fighters had fought on a K1 undercard. He lost. Different rules (parameters), and he fought a guy with a lot of experience in that ruleset. The fighters weren't allowed to throw knees, and it looked like his inside/clinch strategy was dependent on that. I should add that I have personally lost a match because of failure to adapt to a particular ruleset, and lulling myself into a false sense of confidence by improperly structuring my training.

Saying that IP/IT is THE important thing misses out on the fact that there are a lot of things that go into making a successful fighter. A person could have all the IS/IP they want and still get knocked out by a straight right hand if they don't know how to move their head or cover appropriately.
If you reread my post, you'll note that I state " While those other things are important and are things that people can learn". Perhaps I should have put in bold " While those other things are important and are things that people can learn"? I really didn't know how to make that any clearer.

As for "THE". What was it that made Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa, Horikawa, etc all stand out from the rest of the other jujutsu guys? All the rest of the fighters? Boxers? Wrestlers? Etc? What was THE single thing that made them stand so far out from everyone else?

I had already stated that training in other things was important. If you wanted to be a judoka, you trained in judo. If you wanted to be a boxer, you trained for boxing. etc. But why was it that all these experienced martial artists with many years of training, pretty much all stated that Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa, Horikawa, etc were very different and doing something completely alien to them? Something that they either could not negate or had an extremely hard time doing so?

If training in judo, jujutusu, kenjutsu, sumo, boxing, fighting, etc were "THE" important thing, why didn't everyone who had 40 years training experience think Takeda, etc were all doing something that they understood and could do? Why couldn't they handle Takeda, etc?

That's not saying IP/aiki is the be all/end all to everything. We were comparing what was important regarding training and assigning priorities to training. In that regard, aiki is still THE important thing to train.
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:52 AM   #58
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Re: Aiki in MMA

Mark Murray wrote:

Quote:
I may be misunderstanding your point ... but IP/aiki really is THE important thing. It is why Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa, Horikawa, etc all talked about it. They didn't equate techniques with it, didn't equate fighting with it, didn't equate jujutsu with it, etc. While those other things are important and are things that people can learn, it was IP/aiki that was the well-spring. It was why Ueshiba said, "We would do it this way with aiki" -- because aiki changed how the body functioned, whether in a compliant or non-compliant world.
it might be THE point for you and it might have been THE point for Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa, Horikawa, etc. I don't know all these guys, but from what knowledge I have...I think they were specialist in their own right and decided to focus on a particular slice of the whole. Impressive and Powerful.

This takes nothing away from them, but everything I saw of (at least O'Sensei) were videos and demonstrations in which he had a high degree of control over the conditions. Not saying that he was not competent....just that in terms of his focus, he was not exactly putting himself out there like Yamashita, Maeda, Carl Gotch either.

So..yeah...agree....Aiki is a separate and distinct focus and is NOT jiu jitsu necessarily. However, where I'd draw the line is in application or priority. About integrating it back into the things that make it a martial art.

You guys know more about this than I do....are their examples out there of these guys or their senior students doing the stuff that was being done by guys like Yamashita, Maeda, or even that dirty american catch wrestler Carl Gotch? It would be interesting to explore. especially since Kano's protege's were so close and Kano and Ueshiba were contemporaries. I wonder if they had similar discussions as Ueshiba went one direction and Kano went another.

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Old 07-24-2012, 08:28 PM   #59
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Re: Aiki in MMA

Back after a little journey....I saw the Silva Sonnen fight and Steven Seagal was the first man to congratulate Silva when he stepped out of the octogon. I don't want to read into this too much... but during the fight I definitely agree with Mr Varin that something "Aiki" was going on there. You could feel it all through the contest and there was a marked difference from their first fight. At the very least there were some basic Aikido principles in play....

Now I'll let you guys get back to your regularly scheduled endless discussion about "Aiki". I am personally not going to comment on it anymore...I'll just keeping looking for ways to experience it and learn how to use it.

I sure hope James Williams comes on here one of these days and share his views on Aiki because that guy is five steps on the path past almost anyone else I've encountered so far.

William Hazen
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