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Old 11-07-2012, 04:39 PM   #76
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

Doesn't exist is hard for me to agree with. Not what it seems, or not "Aiki" might be more like what I'm getting at. If we compare my athletic outline to "C" and "D". I might say that 2. is like "C" and 3. is like "D". But I'm not really sure to be honest.

I personally feel that "Aiki" is something much larger then a body skill. I think it is a way of understanding the mind, definition "B". I feel that the ability to understand the mind is something that Aiki is getting at, that we really don't see in other systems/methods of study. But that is simply my view point, it could certainly be wrong or short sighted. I'm open to other definitions, but those definitions should be logical.

My main problem with "C" is that no one is really explaining it, what are we talking about? If it's a body skill, what makes the phenomenon it produces different then modern athletic training? If it is the same idea as modern athletic training, then why would we have to learn it from a very limited group of people? There are lot's of great athletic coaches out there.

People seem to be attached to this idea of unexplainable phenomenon. I don't yet see a need to believe anything that has been produced is unexplainable. But rather, is normal and widely available. If you can't explain something, investigate it. Talk about it openly, and let's hash it out. I am in the business (quite literally) of training myself and others in "Aiki". This is an important subject to me.

If we look at "C" and "D" who is our proof of something different then athletic training? We could make some historical guesses, but they are simply guesses, none of us were there, and stories tend to get bigger as time goes on. So we have to look at modern people who say they have "C" and/or "D" as far as I've seen, none of them have dominated any physical competitions, baffled scientists, or even presented something that I myself can't duplicate on some level. So naturally I believe that there is nothing more to "C" and "D" then athletic training can produce- except modern athletic training does a better job.

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Old 11-07-2012, 06:24 PM   #77
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Doesn't exist is hard for me to agree with. Not what it seems, or not "Aiki" might be more like what I'm getting at. If we compare my athletic outline to "C" and "D". I might say that 2. is like "C" and 3. is like "D". But I'm not really sure to be honest.
I'm not really sure either, if only because I'm not sure how much we agree on the meaning of C and D.
I'd say that 3 is waza. I think D / aiki would be proto-waza, perhaps between 2 and 3? I think C / internal power would be 1 and 2.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I personally feel that "Aiki" is something much larger then a body skill. I think it is a way of understanding the mind, definition "B". I feel that the ability to understand the mind is something that Aiki is getting at, that we really don't see in other systems/methods of study. But that is simply my view point, it could certainly be wrong or short sighted. I'm open to other definitions, but those definitions should be logical.

My main problem with "C" is that no one is really explaining it, what are we talking about? If it's a body skill, what makes the phenomenon it produces different then modern athletic training? If it is the same idea as modern athletic training, then why would we have to learn it from a very limited group of people? There are lot's of great athletic coaches out there.
I'm unconvinced that modern athletic training is really the same idea as internal training. Yes it is also about training the body and training how to use it, like your number 1 and 2. But I think the training methods are different. It's only the same idea in a very general sense. For example, internal training involves the mind a lot, already in point 1.

Yes, the number of good teachers teaching in the west is small. It will probably grow, but it takes time. Apparently there never were many good teachers and it's probably harder to transmit than athletic training.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
People seem to be attached to this idea of unexplainable phenomenon. I don't yet see a need to believe anything that has been produced is unexplainable. But rather, is normal and widely available. If you can't explain something, investigate it. Talk about it openly, and let's hash it out. I am in the business (quite literally) of training myself and others in "Aiki". This is an important subject to me.

If we look at "C" and "D" who is our proof of something different then athletic training? We could make some historical guesses, but they are simply guesses, none of us were there, and stories tend to get bigger as time goes on. So we have to look at modern people who say they have "C" and/or "D" as far as I've seen, none of them have dominated any physical competitions, baffled scientists, or even presented something that I myself can't duplicate on some level. So naturally I believe that there is nothing more to "C" and "D" then athletic training can produce- except modern athletic training does a better job.
I understand your line of reasoning that you haven't personally encountered phenomena that cannot be explained by athletic training and therefore you see no reason to assume it exists. After all, believing every eyewitness account ever made means accepting UFOs and what have you.
On the other hand, only believing your personal experience means rejecting most of science. Where to draw the line is different for every person.

So I hope that one day the opportunity arises where you can get in physical contact with someone "vetted" and find out for yourself if your training produces something comparable (or better).
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:47 AM   #78
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I think internal training, and modern Athletic training are getting at many of the same things. I believe what you would find lot's of modern athletes doing, and the results they are looking to achieve similar in goal, if sometimes different in method. I would go a step further and say modern athletic training is better then most methods found in internal, at least as far as developing the structure and aligning that structure goes.
If that's what you learned in your "internal training", then you missed out on a lot of stuff.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
By modern athletic training, I mean a process, not exercises (running, calisthenics, wight training)
If I were to outline the process modern athletic training takes, I would say it goes something like this:

1. develop the physical body- this is where your exercises come it. The first goal is to make the body strong. Improve strength, endurance, agility, explosiveness.

2. Learn how to properly use the body. Best ways to move, push, resist force. This is where we learn about structure and alignment.

3. Build procedural memory, sometimes called muscle memory. This is the process of making the actions needed for your physical pursuit automatic and second nature. If you were learning to box, how to cover and punch. If you were learning to wrestle, the holds you would use, and how to get into them etc.

4. Increase calm in the mind and relaxation in the body. This allows the athlete to deal with stressful situations without getting tunnel vision or physically over stressing the body (due to tension)

5. Improve overall awareness and attention. This is so our athlete can "see the entire field" and "stay in the game".


This is is a kind of example of what modern athletic training does. sound familiar? If you study Chinese internal it does. Although most modern methods are better.

When I say "athletic" I know most people picture sitting in a gym all day and getting buff, but athletics at least good athletics is much much more then this!
I added bold to emphasize the point. You're broad brush of including all Chinese internal is wrong. In fact, at least one school's lineage from Chen Fake has written and taught about internal principles that go in a different direction than what you've posted. Your 1-5 cover more of the external principles than the internal. Nothing wrong with training like that. Most good athletes and martial artists do. But, it's external compared to the IP/aiki internal training we talk about.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:13 AM   #79
gregstec
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

I think too many people are trying to understand internal training by applying external concepts and principles as a baseline then looking in from the outside. IMO, you need to apply internal concepts and principles as the baseline and then look from the inside to the outside. If you want a little clue as to what I am talking about, just look at my tag line

Greg
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:01 PM   #80
HL1978
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

Lets look at some differences and similarities between internal and external and whether or not aiki arises. This is a high level (30,000 foot) approach to both internal and external,and specific implementations may or may not include each element, nor might each element be in play at a given level of experience. That is to say this is not a be all and end all, and written by someone with relatively little experience, skill and conditioning. What is written below is applicable to striking as well as grappling type arts and weapons.

Aiki in this sense meaning a mix of ones own weight/energy rather than clashing between the energy of two opponents.

Relaxation:

External/athletic approaches recognize the benefits of relaxing the upper body, to let loads be carried by other major muscle groups and chain muscle movements together to exert onto an opponent.

Internal recognizes relaxation to so that other muscles may take up the loads (mainly in the middle of the body/hip, and not pushing back with the legs), and to let support structures of the body take up and transmit loads, by focusing on these sensations. This is not pushing back with the portions taking up the loads, rather they are taking up the load of the portions of the body above them.

The external approach results in pushing back against the opponent, even if in an direction an opponent is weak and thus there is no mixing of expended energy and no aiki. The internal approach allows for input of the opponents energy plus their own weight added to it and transmitted to/reflected off the ground, and meets a definition of aiki.

Hips:

External and internal approaches recognize the value of using the hips, but usually little instruction on how to use the hips is explicitly given in external approaches. What often results is using the waist and dragging the hips along, thus using a higher point in the body for a center of motion/gravity. This is particularly evident when seeing someone turn with the feet in a fixed position.

Internals use the hips, but unlike good external movement, the movement is not initiated from the hips. Movement is initiated from the middle which in turn moves the hips. The upper body is stacked onto the hips so that the upper and lower body is united together. Body movement is unified via open and close motions initiated on out through the hips and body rather than chained (sequential ) movements.

The External approach is a less efficient use of ones own weight and isn't as balanced due to a higher center of mass. Pushing back with the hips is a clash and not aiki. The internal approach unifies the body together, and allows one to push/pull within themselves in the same direction as the received push (and not against it), thus energy is mixed together and aiki is achieved. Energy can be returned to the opponent in alternate directions than what is received, but it is not required.

Body weight:

External approaches don't tend to consider body weight all that much except perhaps for targeting muscle groups for training purposes or physically dropping the body downwards to use gravity. They are interested in being stable, but the degree of stability is not achieved to the extent of an internal approach.

Internal approaches use body weight to make there movements heavy. Further they direct their bodies in such a way that they are extremely stable even in positions normally considered structurally weak. They don't rest their weight on their opponent, but since they are relaxed, the opponent they provide no committed weight for the opponent to use against them. Thus they feel very heavy to move and their movements are more penetrating and tend to unbalance the opponent on contact. Alternatively, the opponent gets zero feedback because they can't apply their own strength against the internal practicioner.

The external approach does use mass combined with ones own energy to create power (f=ma), but this is generally clashes with the opponent and is not used in the same direction. The internal approach adds weight, mixes with what is received and achieves aiki.

Being underneath:

External approaches recognize the value of a lower center of gravity, and will drop physically lower to apply body weight or to achieve a lower center of gravity. Those with a lower center of gravity have an inherent advantage. Some might push back with the legs or hips.

Internal approaches don't physically drop lower. They drop "internally" and don't try and push back from the legs or progressively lower areas of the body. They recognize the lowest point which force can be concentrated from is the ground. Some approaches mix an incoming force and push in the same direction as the received force to add to it and reflect it off the ground (its a wierd sensation if you can do it, normal pushing makes you lighter and fights against this incoming push, a clash and not aiki). A lower center of gravity due to shorter legs can have its advantage negated by an internal person as they are pushing directly on the ground.

The external physical drop is a clash between you and your opponent. The internal connection to the ground allows one to take the opponents energy and direct it into the ground thus it is taken within them, no clash results, and the opponent is pushed back as a result of "aiki."

Walking/ dynamic movement:

External movements result in limbs having all their weight on it and the opposite limb going light. Keeping all limbs heavy is not focused on. This results in movements which aren't penetrating and unbalanced movements which get taken advantage of and a constantly shifting center of gravity which teeter totters. In general, most people walk as a series of controlled falls where their weight is committed forwards.

Since internal movement has such fine control of balance, all the limbs are "heavy" and connected at all times to the ground and to each component of the body. This results in a penetrating impact as their weight is committed downwards at all time, and thus the whole body is connected to the ground at any moment.

The external approach leads to a lot of unbalance within ones self and thus rarely is an opponents energy able to be combined with the entirety of ones own. Big motions which rely on momentum may be required to effect an opponent and thus aiki is not achieved as momentum is a clash. Internal is always has the weight component/pushing off the ground (even in motion) due to extreme stability, thus aiki is achieved.

Pushing/pulling/momentum:

When pushed or pulled, external approaches do the opposite i.e. you push, I pull to take your balance. Alternatively, big circular movements or other forward body movements may be used to take an opponents balance.

Internal proponents don't rely on forwards momentum. When pushed or pulled, they may be moved or might not be moved, but as the opponent's energy is added to their own weight and directed into the ground, the opponent pushes and pulls themselves offbalance.

The external approach of momentum and big circular movements don't allow for the entire use of the body and result in a clash by pushing off in a different direction. The push/pull motion is a clash which relies on momentum to take balance and thus no aiki is achieved (and the middle is never used). The internal approach leaves one balanced and weight committed downwards (thus connected to the ground), adds to the received inputted energy, mixing results and you have aiki.

Breathing:

External approaches recognize the power of exhalation as an additive usually with a grunt. Inhalation is minimized and viewed as a suki (weakness).

Internal approaches use both an inhalation and exhalation to condition support tissues of the body, and to drive/initiate movement throughout the body. These support tissues may become stronger to take up loads, and apparently conscious control over them can be achieved with sufficient effort via solo training.

The external approach does not lead to aiki as it adds to a collision between you and the opponent. The internal approach is used to drive opening and closings of the body which add weight in the same direction as the opponent is directing energy. Thus their power is mixed with yours and aiki results.

Entering:

External approaches generally use "explosive" power generated view the hips and legs to enter and unbalance an opponent.

Internal approaches can "Explode" if they choose, but "explosive" or sudden movement is not required to unbalance. Internal body usage causes the opponent to effectively push themselves away (a feeling of lightness or no feedback).

The external approach requires explosive power to work, which is a clash as they overcome the opponent and no mixing occurs. The internal approach, causes a mixing and the opponent pushes themselves away.

Summary:

The internal approach results in the opponent doing all the work and moving themselves as their energy mixes with the internal guys weight/energy (hence why there is no feedback, heaviness etc). The external approach results in ones self doing all the work onto the opponent as they are using momentum, major muscle groups etc.

The vast majority of marital artists use a clash to move the opponent.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:45 PM   #81
HL1978
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

oops too late to edit, but aiki should be defined as Aiki a mix of ones own weight/energy with that of the opponent rather than clashing between the energy of two opponents.
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