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Old 01-15-2013, 08:53 AM   #1
Keith Larman
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Just a FWIW after a seminar...

Just wanted to first off thank the guys at Aikido of Diablo Valley or opening up their (cold darnit!) dojo for a seminar with Dan Harden last weekend. For once timing, finances, opportunity lined up for me so I caught a flight up, rented a car, found a hotel room and enjoyed a lovely weekend. Due to my own poor planning I missed the Friday evening session (what, traffic in San Francisco during rush hour on a Friday? Who would have guessed?) but at least that meant I got some rest before starting in on Saturday.

Second part is a big thanks to Dan for all the teaching, help and hands on. It is rare to find a teacher who is that accessible, that willing to test and train back and forth, and that open with what he is doing. Agree or disagree with the larger picture, Dan has a method, model, and coherence to his training and it produces results.

Finally, more on topic, I get home and have my daughter (12 years old) help me with a few of the exercises. I had already had the experience of moving stuff around in my middle just a bit. But after the seminar and even working on it as I sat in my seat on the plane on the flight home I managed to find myself able to do a whole lot more than before. It was like something finally loosened up, freed up, and I "found" the controls to start some basic movements. One of those revelation things. Using it, taking advantage of it, actually doing it in motion is going to be a challenge, of course, but it was really great to feel progress given the hard work I've put in over time between sessions. And I guess that's what this post is really about -- the work. In a way there is a simplicity to it all. And like most good things it seems so vexingly difficult right up until it becomes easy. Then you take the next tiny step and find the 1000 new things you have to do to suck at it less. And another incredibly thin layer of that gigantic onion falls away, exposing the next one.

For me it reminds me of many years ago first discovering the joys of budo. I remember someone telling me years ago that they remembered an answer I gave on one of my dan exams about why I studied Aikido. My answer was that because done right it is so easy to do, but so incredibly diffcult to learn. And that means I have something to work on for a very long time. These seminars I go to (Dan, Toby, a few years ago Mike, heck, the Aikiweb seminar with Aaron, George and Toby again) all reawaken that wonder. It gives me things to chew on. Things to work on. It challenges my preconceptions of what is right. It "rattles" my web of belief. And I've found that letting that web get rattled now and then is a very good thing. Some here put up a facade of questioning and sincere investigation. Yet underlying most of that there appears a very solid foundation of absolute certainty in what they already believe. Yeah, that's a comfortable place to be. To know you're in the comfortable place of being absolutely correct. A full cup of tea you can stare at and admire from a distance knowing it will always be there, full and warm.

To me the problem isn't asking questions of others. It's the willingness to ask even harder questions of yourself.

Sorry for the ramble, but sometimes the Dude channels through me... And I have found I need to abide.

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Old 01-15-2013, 09:09 AM   #2
chillzATL
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Re: Just a FWIW after a seminar...

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
For me it reminds me of many years ago first discovering the joys of budo. I remember someone telling me years ago that they remembered an answer I gave on one of my dan exams about why I studied Aikido. My answer was that because done right it is so easy to do, but so incredibly diffcult to learn. And that means I have something to work on for a very long time. These seminars I go to (Dan, Toby, a few years ago Mike, heck, the Aikiweb seminar with Aaron, George and Toby again) all reawaken that wonder. It gives me things to chew on. Things to work on. It challenges my preconceptions of what is right. It "rattles" my web of belief.
WELL SAID.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:08 PM   #3
Budd
 
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Re: Just a FWIW after a seminar...

Nice feedback, Keith. I think that's one of those "if, or" defining bits of why people train - some folks want a comfortable structure that is presented to them within an organization that has set rituals and evokes an "in the club" mentality - whereas for me martial arts has always been about seeking, testing, pushing at the edges of comfort zones so that you never quite get comfortable while continuing to develop and improve.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:55 PM   #4
phitruong
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Re: Just a FWIW after a seminar...

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
To me the problem isn't asking questions of others. It's the willingness to ask even harder questions of yourself.
exactly my sentiment too

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:26 PM   #5
Keith Larman
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Re: Just a FWIW after a seminar...

And fwiw, we spent some time working on combining the exercises we were doing with some rather conventional and classic aikido techniques such as tenchinage, iriminage, kokyunage, and ikkyo. So I'm hoping I'm posting this in the appropriate forum. I found the relationships intriguing and powerful. Useful for me but YMMV of course.

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Old 01-15-2013, 02:49 PM   #6
hughrbeyer
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Re: Just a FWIW after a seminar...

I think you used the letters "I" and "S" in the same post, so this is the right forum. </snark>

I find car seats and plane seats ideal for playing with dantien. Hips and shoulders are held in place so you know if anything's moving it's pretty much got to be all that stuff in between.

A lot of this stuff feels to me like one of those science museum boards where you have a row of buttons and row of lights and you have to press the button that goes with the right answer. I've got this panel of buttons in my brain, and they all hook up to something somewhere in my body, but finding the one that stimulates the result I want--and finding it reliably without fumbling over a dozen other buttons along the way--is a challenge.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:35 PM   #7
Janet Rosen
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Re: Just a FWIW after a seminar...

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
I find car seats and plane seats ideal for playing with dantien. Hips and shoulders are held in place so you know if anything's moving it's pretty much got to be all that stuff in between.
Yes, even this lazy, solo-exercise-hating gal finds herself doing things like that. Waiting for my tea water to heat at work is the time/place I'm likely to do a couple of minutes of standing stuff.

Janet Rosen
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:02 PM   #8
Keith Larman
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Re: Just a FWIW after a seminar...

Well, I mean no snark in my comments -- I sincerely wasn't sure where I should post this (non-aikido, seminars, whatever). I figured since we did do some aikido techniques utilizing the methods being taught it should probably go here. Honestly I don't want to shake a hornet's nest, but I would still like to talk about some of this stuff. Just want to be sure I'm in the appropriate place.

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Old 01-15-2013, 05:05 PM   #9
Keith Larman
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Re: Just a FWIW after a seminar...

Oh, and I left out something about why I brought up my daughter. I get home after playing with moving stuff around all weekend then suddenly getting a more solid understanding on the plane. So when I get home I have the kid come over and grab my belly. I start moving stuff around and she says "Ewww, freaky, dad. That's just wrong..." and runs away. If nothing else at least I freaked out my daughter. And that's worth the price of admission...

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Old 01-15-2013, 06:13 PM   #10
hughrbeyer
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Re: Just a FWIW after a seminar...

Kids make great ukes for this stuff. Especially daughters. :-)

I was in the British Museum with one of my daughters last fall. I'm standing around minding my own business when she comes up to me and hisses, "Dad! Stop it!"
Me: "Huh? Stop what?"
Her: "That thing you do! Stop it! That guy sitting on the bench over there just said to his wife, 'Why is that man standing in a Tai Chi stance?'"

I figure since Jun made this forum for the IS stuff, let's make it work, which I think means anytime you want to talk about internals practice it's appropriate here.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:42 AM   #11
Lorel Latorilla
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Re: Just a FWIW after a seminar...

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Kids make great ukes for this stuff. Especially daughters. :-)

I was in the British Museum with one of my daughters last fall. I'm standing around minding my own business when she comes up to me and hisses, "Dad! Stop it!"
Me: "Huh? Stop what?"
Her: "That thing you do! Stop it! That guy sitting on the bench over there just said to his wife, 'Why is that man standing in a Tai Chi stance?'"

I figure since Jun made this forum for the IS stuff, let's make it work, which I think means anytime you want to talk about internals practice it's appropriate here.
People make fun of me all the time for doing weird twirly things with my hands or doing the horstance or hugging imaginary trees and all that. whenever I do it, they just roll their eyes and are all "ugggh...hes at it again". lol

Unless stated otherwise, all wisdom, follies, harshness, malice that may spring up from my writing are attributable only to me.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:36 AM   #12
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Just a FWIW after a seminar...

The secret is to refine your internal machinations to the point that they are inperceptible from without. It's all about being able to "hug the tree," etc., without visibly doing so.

That way, you can train to your heart's content and none will be the wiser, and, more important, you will not embarrass your children in public.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:42 AM   #13
Keith Larman
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Re: Just a FWIW after a seminar...

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
The secret is to refine your internal machinations to the point that they are inperceptible from without. It's all about being able to "hug the tree," etc., without visibly doing so.

That way, you can train to your heart's content and none will be the wiser, and, more important, you will not embarrass your children in public.
No, I'm sorry, a dad's solemn duty is to embarass their children whenever possible. Keeps them grounded...

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Old 01-16-2013, 12:48 PM   #14
hughrbeyer
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Re: Just a FWIW after a seminar...

+1

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:02 PM   #15
Janet Rosen
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Re: Just a FWIW after a seminar...

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
No, I'm sorry, a dad's solemn duty is to embarass their children whenever possible. Keeps them grounded...
This well-into-middle-aged budobabe well remembers that part of being a teenager is that the mere EXISTENCE of one's parents is embarrassing

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Old 01-16-2013, 02:17 PM   #16
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Just a FWIW after a seminar...

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
This well-into-middle-aged budobabe well remembers that part of being a teenager is that the mere EXISTENCE of one's parents is embarrassing
Especially those "chauffeured" trips to the mall where we had to at least acknowledge the existance of the driver...
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