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Old 01-18-2013, 02:37 AM   #1
osaya
 
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easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

Hi all, I'm wondering if anyone is aware of any easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido practice? Whilst being conscious of the IHTBF concept, I'm wondering for those of you are doing Internal Training, if there are any online resources out there that can help illuminate the path for those of us who don't really have the opportunity to have direct contact with this type of work at this time?

I could may be completely way off-track here, but is this video by Endo Seishiro sensei an example of internal training in aikido? or is this something else completely? thoughts and links would be most welcome. thanks in advance.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:39 AM   #2
hughrbeyer
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

The trouble with internal training is that it is, in fact, internal. Anything you can see on a video is not what you're working for.

You can see videos of the various tests--O-Sensei popping someone off a knee or shoulder, people pushing on his head and unable to push him over--but that's the demonstration, not the training.

I don't want to comment on what Endo Sensei is doing, but what he is describing in the subtitles is not internals.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:01 AM   #3
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
I don't want to comment on what Endo Sensei is doing, but what he is describing in the subtitles is not internals.
When he teaches this during class he does not refer to internals. And he does not use words or terms that can be found when talking about internal practice.

Nevertheless: Feeling this, watching him when he just does it with his uke (not teaching but practicing himself) and teaching and practicing this at home myself made me listen up, when I read about internal training here.

So ...

... I think there is some relation ...

but I don't think, videos of Endo sensei will help to get into internal practice.
It's the other way round: When you get an idea of internal practice you will find things when practicing with Endo sensei or with some of his students.

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 01-18-2013 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:11 AM   #4
Marc Abrams
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
When he teaches this during class he does not refer to internals. And he does not use words or terms that can be found when talking about Internal Training.

Nevertheless: Feeling this, watching him when he just does it with his uke (not teaching but practicing himself) and teaching and practicing this at home myself made me listen up, when I read about internal training here.

So ...
... I think there is some connection ...
but I don't think, videos of Endo sensei will help to get into internal practice.
It's the other way round: When you get an idea of internal practice you will find things when practicing with Endo sensei or with some of his students.
Carsten:

I think that you make a very valuable point. If you are lucky enough to work with somebody who can accurately explain, teach and get you to do some internal stuff (eg.- Dan Harden) you suddenly become aware of what some people are doing. That is exactly how I have been able to decipher and better understand what Imaizumi Sensei is doing. It is not as though some people do not have some degree of internal "abilities/skills", it is that so few people can accurately describe it, teach it and help you do it.

Marc Abrams
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:12 AM   #5
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
When you get an idea of internal practice you will find things when practicing with Endo sensei or with some of his students.
Even further than this...when you get an idea (in my case just a very little).....you start to find things in all 'regular' aikido and see how sometimes with just a change in emphasis the work of O'Sensei ....and the Aiki/IP folks becomes the same.

(just seen Marc say something very similar...so consider that seconded)

Last edited by Dazzler : 01-18-2013 at 09:13 AM. Reason: marcs post
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:47 AM   #6
phitruong
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

here is a video of Ikeda sensei talking about using breathing to aid your movement http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hB-knlRDZ8 using close and open body through breath

or this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=St7I0M2fx1c for dantien/hara movement

or this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K3a9Z5DZnc - which sort of an SJT (stupid jin trick) where jin does not depend on structure. demo, not necessary training.

or this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epfWXEuEgYI - sort of basic "four-legged animal" and i am the control end. demo, not necessary training.

cross reference this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP9FoeyLjDo with the aiki-taiso exercises
first movement is similar to open-close body to Ikeda video (tekubikosa and johokosa undo)
second movement - funakogi undo
third movement - ikkyo undo
fourth - sayu undo

problem is video won't show you what all the gazillion things going on inside the person body that the person is focus his/her intention on.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:47 AM   #7
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

When I practiced with one of the very near students of Endo, I was struck, because he indeed did some things I knew from Dan ...
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:19 AM   #8
hughrbeyer
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

Seconding what Marc said.

I've often felt at Ikeda Sensei seminars that he's on to something real, but he's struggling with systematizing it and developing a clear language and set of concepts for teaching it. Like trying to do higher mathematics and having to develop calculus from scratch.

And in my (very brief--thank you, Marc!) exposure to Imaizumi Sensei I had the experience Marc describes. He did something magic--struggled to reproduce it--then suddenly the light bulb went on. Elbow power! 5+5=10! And uke starts nodding and saying, yeah, that's it.

But without the language and concepts that Dan's been teaching, I would have been lost. It's a way to see what was always there, HIPS.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:42 AM   #9
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

Hi folks,

Rather than talking about what people do in their classes/seminars, please 1) refrain from pointing towards what one does "on the mat" as a replacement for discussion and, instead, advance the discussion through your writings (as referenced in the "Rules of Conduct") and 2) move the discussion back on topic of "easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido"

PS: As before, I will be deleting posts that do not corresponding with the Rules of Conduct and may be handing out more moderation actions (especially to those with an already existing moderation history) which will include revocation of posting privileges, either temporary or permanent.

-- Jun

Last edited by akiy : 01-18-2013 at 10:48 AM. Reason: Added PS

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Old 01-18-2013, 11:11 AM   #10
Keith Larman
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

Mike Sigman had a series of three videos on "Internal Strength" years ago. I believe he pulled them from the market eventually (you'd have to clarify that with him, I'm going from a shaky memory). I do not know where you can find them today although I'm sure you could search around.

The Aunkai has a series of videos but those are really intended for their students. Like many things, without the larger context you would likely only be led astray. But I'm an academic at heart so I bought copies for myself. And I've subsequently had the luck to play with someone who had hand's on training. But without more context I'm not sure how helpful they'd be.

There are also dvd's out there showing some of Kuroda's stuff. But again they appear to be designed as supplements for practicing students. Hence again probably limited value at best for anyone outside the style.

And all things considered I suppose there's nothing else I can tell you other than wishing you luck.

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Old 01-18-2013, 12:36 PM   #11
Chris Li
 
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Mike Sigman had a series of three videos on "Internal Strength" years ago. I believe he pulled them from the market eventually (you'd have to clarify that with him, I'm going from a shaky memory). I do not know where you can find them today although I'm sure you could search around.
I have them, but even Mike himself is kind of ambivalent about them these days, IIRC.

I agree with Hugh, what you can see in video is generally not that useful unless you already know what to look for to some degree. We've got lots of video of Ueshiba and it doesn't seem to help folks all that much.

Best,

Chris

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Old 01-18-2013, 12:55 PM   #12
Cady Goldfield
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

A tangible lexicon for Internal Training, particularly for Western students, is only very recent, as in the past 10 years or so, largely thanks to a very small handful of individuals who have labored to create a comprehensive and transmittable language that is directly connected to physical training.

Earlier than the past decade, you had to go to Chinese systems, tai chi in particular, to get terminology that related to actual physical concepts and training methods that produce internal skills. And even then, if a teacher was not forthcoming in explaining and teaching what each of those terms represented, students came away with only partial or completely incorrect understanding.

The sayings and written teachings themselves are usually deeply couched in poetic, metaphoric language that is impossible to decipher without a guide who is willing to do so. Hence, all of the misunderstandings that have arisen from the doka and other sources of wisdom whose meanings have remained, until recently, largely hidden.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:30 PM   #13
Krystal Locke
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
problem is video won't show you what all the gazillion things going on inside the person body that the person is focus his/her intention on.
What could?
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:47 PM   #14
osaya
 
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
... I think there is some relation ... but I don't think, videos of Endo sensei will help to get into internal practice.
fair enough. i wasn't sure whether the 'atari and musubi' bits of his video was just a different terminology of describing internal practice. thanks for the clarification.

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
here is a video of Ikeda sensei talking about using breathing to aid your movement http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hB-knlRDZ8 using close and open body through breath

or this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=St7I0M2fx1c for dantien/hara movement

or this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K3a9Z5DZnc - which sort of an SJT (stupid jin trick) where jin does not depend on structure. demo, not necessary training.

or this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epfWXEuEgYI - sort of basic "four-legged animal" and i am the control end. demo, not necessary training.

cross reference this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP9FoeyLjDo with the aiki-taiso exercises
first movement is similar to open-close body to Ikeda video (tekubikosa and johokosa undo)
second movement - funakogi undo
third movement - ikkyo undo
fourth - sayu undo

problem is video won't show you what all the gazillion things going on inside the person body that the person is focus his/her intention on.
Thanks for so much for the list Phi! Videos and words may never compare to direct contact, but I hope to be able to integrate at least some bits of it together. Please feel free to add more here whenever you come across something else.

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
But without more context I'm not sure how helpful they'd be.
And all things considered I suppose there's nothing else I can tell you other than wishing you luck.
Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I agree with Hugh, what you can see in video is generally not that useful unless you already know what to look for to some degree. We've got lots of video of Ueshiba and it doesn't seem to help folks all that much.
sounds like there is an extremely strong consensus that IHTBF before any videos as such would be remotely of use. i'll certainly take that on board and just hoard as much as i can until i get some direct lessons and come back to my little treasure pile. thanks all.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:52 PM   #15
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
or this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epfWXEuEgYI - sort of basic "four-legged animal" and i am the control end. demo, not necessary training.
Hi Phi,

I'm going to take issue with that example for the purposes of bringing up a potential pitfall with assessing internal training methods and demonstrations.

The demo is interesting in that it illustrates one of the difficulties in internal training - differentiating what people say or think they are doing and what they are actually doing. Regardless of his level of internal development, what he is doing to move his uke requires no particular internal skill (if we are defining it as jin or ground force or some aspect of being able to use the ground and the entire body to transmit force), or perhaps minimal internal skill. When they grab his wrists, and he demonstrates how to move them using his body, what he is doing is a small movement of his own forearm (like you would do in suwariwaza kokyu-ho) to change the angle of their wrist so that it is physically impossible for them to be able to apply an effective force with their grip. Because they are trying to still hold on with strength, they have to disengage their shoulders (raising them) to try to maintain an angle with their arm that allows them to keep their grip. Disengaging the muscles that keep the shoulder blade down effectively nullifies your ability to transmit force between your arms and torso (unless, I suppose, you are freakishly flexible and strong). Coupled with the fact that the situation (demo being done by a shihan) calls for them to keep on trying to hold on no matter what, they have no choice but to be moved around.

I'm saying nothing about his actual level of skill, as I've never met him. I'm just saying that even if he is fantastically skilled, what he is demonstrating is not what he says he is demonstrating, and that what he is demonstrating does not require the use of the whole body as he says. He does say how you have to get their shoulder high but doesn't seem to connect that with "using your whole body". You achieve that by the small forearm movement coupled with your partner's agreement not to let their grip be broken.

Having said all that, if you actually have internal skill, the trick is probably easier to do, but it is not required. The "four-legged animal that you are in control of" skill would also be helpful, but again, not required if your partner a) can't apply an effective force due to the awkward angle of their wrist and shoulder, and b) is agreeing not to let go.

And of course the difficulty is this - does he know that what he is demonstrating is actually not what he says he is demonstrating?

Josh
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:20 PM   #16
Michael Varin
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

Great point, Josh.

I do this sort of thing all the time. I have had it done to me. Using multiple uke always gets smiles and head shaking, but I don't think this is anything special. As uke, I have never once felt that I couldn't let go. As nage, I have never felt that my uke could not possibly let go. I don't want to comment on any level of "IP/IT/IS" that I have, because I don't really understand what that is, and, besides, I am quite sure it is deficient. I have been to only one of Ikeda's seminars, and no disrespect, but I did not feel that he offered anything that was particularly special.

-Michael
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:57 PM   #17
phitruong
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

Quote:
Josh Lerner wrote: View Post
And of course the difficulty is this - does he know that what he is demonstrating is actually not what he says he is demonstrating?

Josh
alot of stuffs happened inside, so if folks just looked at the outer appearance, they would imitate the wrong things. I was on the receiving end of that sort of demonstration before. before the arms moved, he did the SJT #1 (sink the qi) then aikiage with his dantien/hara, then all the arm movements. folks observed would think that it was his arm rotations that made uke's shoulders did the crunching thingy. that wasn't the ki.

last year, Ikeda sensei was focus on the attack side in one session. he would reach out with both of his hands, grab my gi lapels, and yanked me forward and then pulled me straight down to me knees. that was what everyone at the seminar saw, because i looked around and everyone was doing it that way. Ikeda sensei did that to me three times. what folks didn't know was how i felt. it was as though someone reached inside my guts, almost like a punch from the inside out, pull me up, forward, then my guts drilled straight down into the floor. there were no yanking, jerking, pulling feeling from the lapels of my gi. I asked him to slow down on the fourth and fifth times. he did at 1/3 speed. i cracked up laughing. he smiled and walked on. i now knew how he did it. part of the answer i got from training with Howie Popkin. what you see is not what is.

if i haven't been exposed to IP/IS stuffs and worked on it for awhile to change my body, i wouldn't have felt what he did. most folks can't feel it. it is what it is.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:58 PM   #18
phitruong
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

Quote:
Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
What could?
please see my answer to Josh.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:02 PM   #19
hughrbeyer
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

Jun asked for a little more detail about what I was describing above rather than just a reference to it. Let me see what I can do.

I was on the mat with Imaizumi Sensei most recently. He showed a sort of morote-tori kokyu nage where nage responds with a tenkan and then (assuming uke grabbed the right wrist) a horizontal clockwise movement of the hand ending by sending uke outside, to nage's right. The hard parts were, how to keep connection throughout the clockwise movement and how to send uke off to the right without forcing the movement.

My partner and I struggled with this. Every time my partner tried, at the last part of the movement I just let go--not because I was trying to be a jerk, but because it was so obviously unnecessary to hold on. I'm not sure what I was doing, but it wasn't working any better. So I got Imaizumi Sensei to throw me and it was essentially magic--no force on the contact point, no opportunity for me to regain balance, and on the final throw no force into the point of contact and therefore no reason or opportunity for me to let go--and yet I was irresistibly taken off balance and thrown.

So my partner and I get back together and we're still struggling because what was that, anyway? And then it clicks--Imaizumi is not putting pressure on the point of contact (the wrist grab). In the concepts that Dan teaches, he's using elbow power (ki out the elbow, not along the line of contact). He's using yin/yang at the point of contact (as much as he's coming in on one side, he's taking back on the other so that the point remains neutral). He's using 5+5=10 (as much intent on one side of the point of contact as the other) and then rebalancing (7+3=10) to lead uke offline and into the throw. Once I started applying those concepts, the throw started to work.

Now, I have no idea if Imaizumi formulates what he's doing to himself at all like that. But those concepts, which I got from Dan, helped me to make sense of the throw in a way that my partner, one of his students, recognized as being closer to the mark.

BUT--to bring this back to the topic of the thread--a video wouldn't show any of that. You'd see me taking the fall for Imaizumi and not for my partner and say it must be Shihan syndrome.

I'd say the same thing about the Ikeda video, BTW. When people try to do what Josh describes, they put force on the thumb or little finger and letting go is easy--desirable, even. My sensei can do this to me when I'm attacking open palm, so all he has to work with is my pressure into his center. It's not about angles and leverage. But you can't prove that with a video.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:39 PM   #20
asiawide
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

Buy the first dvd from Aunkai (or the new one from BAB Japan)
There are some basic exercises. Try to pick some of them like Shiko
and do them frequently. 3 or 4 times a week and 10 mins a day is
enough. Keep this for some months. When you come back to dojo,
you should have feel something different or others will tell you you feel
different. If you have the confidience the direction you are going to,
then inveset some money and time for teachers who are very open
to public like Akuzawa sensei. One caution is don't go low too much.
My 20won~

Jaemin
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:34 AM   #21
Marc Abrams
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Jun asked for a little more detail about what I was describing above rather than just a reference to it. Let me see what I can do.

I was on the mat with Imaizumi Sensei most recently. He showed a sort of morote-tori kokyu nage where nage responds with a tenkan and then (assuming uke grabbed the right wrist) a horizontal clockwise movement of the hand ending by sending uke outside, to nage's right. The hard parts were, how to keep connection throughout the clockwise movement and how to send uke off to the right without forcing the movement.

My partner and I struggled with this. Every time my partner tried, at the last part of the movement I just let go--not because I was trying to be a jerk, but because it was so obviously unnecessary to hold on. I'm not sure what I was doing, but it wasn't working any better. So I got Imaizumi Sensei to throw me and it was essentially magic--no force on the contact point, no opportunity for me to regain balance, and on the final throw no force into the point of contact and therefore no reason or opportunity for me to let go--and yet I was irresistibly taken off balance and thrown.

So my partner and I get back together and we're still struggling because what was that, anyway? And then it clicks--Imaizumi is not putting pressure on the point of contact (the wrist grab). In the concepts that Dan teaches, he's using elbow power (ki out the elbow, not along the line of contact). He's using yin/yang at the point of contact (as much as he's coming in on one side, he's taking back on the other so that the point remains neutral). He's using 5+5=10 (as much intent on one side of the point of contact as the other) and then rebalancing (7+3=10) to lead uke offline and into the throw. Once I started applying those concepts, the throw started to work.

Now, I have no idea if Imaizumi formulates what he's doing to himself at all like that. But those concepts, which I got from Dan, helped me to make sense of the throw in a way that my partner, one of his students, recognized as being closer to the mark.

BUT--to bring this back to the topic of the thread--a video wouldn't show any of that. You'd see me taking the fall for Imaizumi and not for my partner and say it must be Shihan syndrome.

I'd say the same thing about the Ikeda video, BTW. When people try to do what Josh describes, they put force on the thumb or little finger and letting go is easy--desirable, even. My sensei can do this to me when I'm attacking open palm, so all he has to work with is my pressure into his center. It's not about angles and leverage. But you can't prove that with a video.
Hugh:



He's been hidden in plain sight in NYC for quite some time now....

Marc
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:46 PM   #22
Matt Fisher
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

Quote:
Josh Lerner wrote: View Post
And of course the difficulty is this - does he know that what he is demonstrating is actually not what he says he is demonstrating?

Josh
Josh and others,

Two quick thoughts as I watched the video clip and read the posts in this thread...
1) Judging from Ikeda Sensei's appearance in the video (I've been going to his seminars for 20+ years), I would say that the event filmed was not recent but a number of years ago, quite possibly before 2005/2006. That is important because Ikeda Sensei didn't encounter Ushiro Sensei until 2005, and he has commented several times that meeting Ushiro Sensei and participating in his classes gave him a new language/conceptual framework for what he was working on in his own aikido.

2) My own observation of Ikeda Sensei's teaching over the time I have known him is that his use of language changes as he keeps exploring a theme for a period of several years. So what he says during a seminar now is different and often clearer/closer to the mark than what he was saying back in 2007 or 2008 when his seminars underwent a significant shift to the IS/IP perspective.

So the answer to your question and others related to it may lie, in part, in placing this particular video clip in the context of when it was filmed.

My $0.02, for what they are worth...

Matt
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:35 PM   #23
Josh Lerner
 
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

In the spirit of trying to make my point as clear as I can about a topic that provokes massive amounts of heated debate and defensiveness on both sides, I'll repeat my points so as to avoid as many misunderstandings as is humanly possible.

The qualifiers -

1. I've drunk the internal Kool-Aide, I've experienced it from Dan, Mike, Ark, and many others, I practice it, I'm with you guys. This isn't an attack on any internal training premise or training method.

2. I'm not talking about Ikeda's abilities at all. Although I've never met him, I have no doubt that he is skilled in the way that people say he is.

3. What he is demonstrating is easier to do and more effective if you also have even a small amount of internal connection and "listening" ability.

4. I'm saying that what he is demonstrating is a different principle than the "whole body" principle he is describing, and that this is an important issue if you are using demonstrations to illustrate points.

My understanding of what Ikeda is saying is that if you don't use the whole body, it's very difficult to move someone if they are resisting you, but if you use your whole body, they will move easily. Adding a second uke seems to strengthen the point, because two ukes holding you down is in theory twice as much force as you have to deal with, so you would need to be able to generate twice as much force compared to working with just one uke.

So, my reading of what he is saying in simple terms:

Not using whole body = weak, can't move someone around.

Using whole body = strong, can easily handle or generate twice as much force, in the form of twice as many people.

IMPORTANT POINT: If that is not, in fact, what he is trying to demonstrate, then my point is moot and none of what follows is relevant.

My problem with the demonstration and explanation is that once you have disengaged the uke's shoulder like he does, they can no longer effectively apply any resistance and bring their body weight to bear on the wrist they are grabbing, which means that when you move them around it requires no particular strength or "whole body" usage on your part. Again, it helps if you do, but is not really required. I've had it done to me effectively by people who had little internal skill, and I did it long before I ever got into internal training.

Getting the connection through the wrist up into the shoulder is the key, and it is a distinct skill to be able to feel the pathway that allows you to unlock their shoulder, but it is a different thing than engaging whole body power and has only a minor connection to the amount of force you can absorb or generate through your body. And once you've unlocked the shoulder, it is easy to move them around.

Demonstrating with two people grabbing you is a demonstration of the fact that the force they are trying to apply is meaningless if they can't effectively apply it. It is not a meaningful demonstration of how whole body power allows you to be much stronger. It's like the demos that people love to do where you have a line of a dozen people pushing on you; all you have to do is deal with the first one, and then none of the force from the other dozen people matter. What it *looks*like is that you are magically able to deal with twelve times as much force, when it is really a demonstration of how easily your assumptions about what is going on will mislead you.

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
alot of stuffs happened inside, so if folks just looked at the outer appearance, they would imitate the wrong things. I was on the receiving end of that sort of demonstration before. before the arms moved, he did the SJT #1 (sink the qi) then aikiage with his dantien/hara, then all the arm movements. folks observed would think that it was his arm rotations that made uke's shoulders did the crunching thingy.
If the outer appearance is so misleading, though, why demonstrate that way? That would seem to be a very ineffective way of teaching, unless you are also acknowledging that point and explaining why the appearance is misleading. Although if that was just a public demonstration for the purpose of promoting the art or the teacher it is slightly more understandable. But it is an important point, especially when you are trying to teach a very subtle or difficult skill.

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post

So my partner and I get back together and we're still struggling because what was that, anyway? And then it clicks--Imaizumi is not putting pressure on the point of contact (the wrist grab). In the concepts that Dan teaches, he's using elbow power (ki out the elbow, not along the line of contact). He's using yin/yang at the point of contact (as much as he's coming in on one side, he's taking back on the other so that the point remains neutral). He's using 5+5=10 (as much intent on one side of the point of contact as the other) and then rebalancing (7+3=10) to lead uke offline and into the throw. Once I started applying those concepts, the throw started to work.
Exactly. And let's assume that what Ikeda is doing is something similar. Or maybe he is doing the trick that I learned decades ago from my first aikido instructor where you let someone grab you and you offer them some very brief, slight resistance, then relax and note where their grab naturally pushes you, and you keep following that line and redirect it where you want it to go. That one is a trick that you can't see being done and you can't really notice it being done to you either, unless you are looking for it (and even then it can be hard to detect), and it feels like you are magically being forced to follow the nage. None of that has anything to do with "whole body power", which seems to be the skill he is demonstrating based on what he says. So you could also rephrase what Phi was saying and instead say "If folks just listened to what the instructor is saying, they would imitate the wrong things."
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:51 PM   #24
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

Quote:
Josh Lerner wrote: View Post
The demo is interesting in that it illustrates one of the difficulties in internal training - differentiating what people say or think they are doing and what they are actually doing. Regardless of his level of internal development, what he is doing to move his uke requires no particular internal skill (if we are defining it as jin or ground force or some aspect of being able to use the ground and the entire body to transmit force), or perhaps minimal internal skill. When they grab his wrists, and he demonstrates how to move them using his body, what he is doing is a small movement of his own forearm (like you would do in suwariwaza kokyu-ho) to change the angle of their wrist so that it is physically impossible for them to be able to apply an effective force with their grip. Because they are trying to still hold on with strength, they have to disengage their shoulders (raising them) to try to maintain an angle with their arm that allows them to keep their grip. Disengaging the muscles that keep the shoulder blade down effectively nullifies your ability to transmit force between your arms and torso (unless, I suppose, you are freakishly flexible and strong). Coupled with the fact that the situation (demo being done by a shihan) calls for them to keep on trying to hold on no matter what, they have no choice but to be moved around.

I'm saying nothing about his actual level of skill, as I've never met him. I'm just saying that even if he is fantastically skilled, what he is demonstrating is not what he says he is demonstrating, and that what he is demonstrating does not require the use of the whole body as he says. He does say how you have to get their shoulder high but doesn't seem to connect that with "using your whole body". You achieve that by the small forearm movement coupled with your partner's agreement not to let their grip be broken.

Having said all that, if you actually have internal skill, the trick is probably easier to do, but it is not required. The "four-legged animal that you are in control of" skill would also be helpful, but again, not required if your partner a) can't apply an effective force due to the awkward angle of their wrist and shoulder, and b) is agreeing not to let go.

And of course the difficulty is this - does he know that what he is demonstrating is actually not what he says he is demonstrating?

Josh
I would like to take the discussion one step further and separate the matter of what is being demonstrated from the description of what is being demonstrated. You can imagine Mr Ikeda simply demonstrating what he is doing with no commentary, but it would still not necessarily be a demonstration of IP. My point is that even if you take away the commentary, you are still left with the problem of the gap between what people think they are doing and what they are actually doing and this would apply to others besides Mr Ikeda. It might apply to Morihei Ueshiba, for example.

Best wishes,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 01-19-2013 at 06:55 PM.

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Old 01-19-2013, 08:08 PM   #25
Josh Lerner
 
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Re: easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido?

Quote:
Matt Fisher wrote: View Post
Josh and others,

Two quick thoughts as I watched the video clip and read the posts in this thread...
1) Judging from Ikeda Sensei's appearance in the video (I've been going to his seminars for 20+ years), I would say that the event filmed was not recent but a number of years ago, quite possibly before 2005/2006. That is important because Ikeda Sensei didn't encounter Ushiro Sensei until 2005, and he has commented several times that meeting Ushiro Sensei and participating in his classes gave him a new language/conceptual framework for what he was working on in his own aikido.

2) My own observation of Ikeda Sensei's teaching over the time I have known him is that his use of language changes as he keeps exploring a theme for a period of several years. So what he says during a seminar now is different and often clearer/closer to the mark than what he was saying back in 2007 or 2008 when his seminars underwent a significant shift to the IS/IP perspective.

So the answer to your question and others related to it may lie, in part, in placing this particular video clip in the context of when it was filmed.

My $0.02, for what they are worth...

Matt
Hi Matt,

Excellent points, and to take them further, I've been contacted via PM by someone who wishes to remain anonymous but who was at that particular seminar, which was in 2000. They have given me permission to paraphrase their PM to use in this post.

The theme of the seminar was, in fact, how to change the angle at the point of contact to weaken the uke's upper body by either rotating (i.e. supinating and pronating) your forearm or by bending your elbow to disengage their shoulder. The point of this particular clip, from what they remember, was to then use that tactic (which was explicitly practiced right before the clip takes place) to move uke, using the whole body.

So this is now an even better illustration of the dangers of using out-of-context video clips; even though I was correct in my technical analysis of what he was physically doing, I was wrong about what he was trying to get across because I heard "use your whole body" in isolation from everything that went on for hours or days leading up to that moment, so both Phi and I misunderstood what point he was trying to make.

Dr. Goldsbury,

Also excellent points, but that is opening up a can of worms that probably deserves its own topic. Or its own dissertation. Thanks for adding to the thread.

Josh

Last edited by Josh Lerner : 01-19-2013 at 08:10 PM. Reason: Grammatical clarity
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