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Old 02-17-2005, 03:10 PM   #126
Alfonso
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Re: Competition in Aikido

I thought that K Tohei lifted the can with his whole body, not just hand..

FWIW, I think what Mr. Sigman is saying is that there's a component to Aikido that is not necessary to be able to do what one could recognize as "Aikido technique". This component deals with the internal arrangement of a person in relation to the ground and with the way that musculature is used in that arrangement.

I think Mr. Sigman is saying that sparring won't be benefitial in developing this?

Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 02-17-2005, 03:16 PM   #127
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Mark Johnston wrote:
It seems to me, looking over your posts, that you are generally here to promote Ki Aikido as superior to the form of training being discussed in this thread. Surley that should have its own thread.
I haven't said a word about Ki Aikido, so as far as me trying to promote it, you're well off base. I probably visited Ki Aikido dojos 6-8 times in my whole career and I wasn't particularly impressed, good or bad, as far as Aikido goes. What I was discussing was the use of Ki and kokyu in relation to "realistic" fighting and competition. It makes a substantive contribution to the equation. The people who have actual Ki skills know that; the people who don't have Ki skills think I'm making a rhetorical claim of some sort.
Quote:
No-one, it has been repeatedly written, is trying to say that randori is a superior form of training. Only that it has its place. Is the problem that we all see Aikido so personally?
I totally agree with the idea of actual competition, whether randorii or otherwise. If you don't practice fighting or something close to it, you don't learn how to fight. Period. However, if you don't know how to develop and use the substantive skills of Ki and Kokyu, you are (1.) throwing away one of the advantages of Aikido and (2.) you're not doing Aikido in the way that O-Sensei demonstrated. You're doing something else... a physical copy of Aikido that leaves out the core strength, IMO.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-17-2005, 03:25 PM   #128
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Alfonso Adriasola wrote:
I thought that K Tohei lifted the can with his whole body, not just hand..
Exactly. Primarily he lifted it with his butt, assuming he was sitting in a chair.
Quote:
FWIW, I think what Mr. Sigman is saying is that there's a component to Aikido that is not necessary to be able to do what one could recognize as "Aikido technique". This component deals with the internal arrangement of a person in relation to the ground and with the way that musculature is used in that arrangement.

I think Mr. Sigman is saying that sparring won't be benefitial in developing this?
Pretty much what I was trying to say. The problem is that most people only get to see fairly rudimentary versions of what Ki is (I've been disappointed by the level in most Ki Aikido dojos, BTW), so they get the idea that Ki is a more or less negligible contribution to anything, particularly competition or fighting...or they have no idea what it really is, period. O-Sensei, Tohei, and others, weren't showing ki tricks because it helped pass the time. They were trying to make a point. The sad thing is that though they were making a point, they were also not going out of their way to tell people how to develop the actual skills and they cloaked the skills in mysticism.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 02-17-2005, 03:32 PM   #129
mj
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Yeah, like I said...that would be a new thread.

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Old 02-17-2005, 07:09 PM   #130
Aiki LV
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Mark- I suppose the only true way to test your physical skill would be to get mugged or pick a fight with someone. I wouldn't engage in either, but some people I know have. From what they have told me aikido works, but it isn't pretty.
Sorry to cut it short, but time to go train.
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Old 02-17-2005, 08:13 PM   #131
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Competition in Aikido

I wonder where some get the idea that some of the finer Ki applications are not used in competition. Especially if they have never trained using the method.

As far as knowledge of ki goes I personally look to the Chinese internal arts for advanced instruction, not the Japanese ones. Just my personal preference, I think they've been at it longer.

As far as the concept of Ki or kokyu in competitive practice goes, it is practiced under the Shodokan system and used for the application of all technique. We however practice it as toitsuryoku (focus of power) and kokyuryoku (power of breathing), and is part of the basics at the beginning of every class. It is designed to generate powerful technique without having to use excesses of upper body muscle power but by tapping into the power generated by the total integrated self.

As far as competition and ki goes, I think it actually does train aspects of sensitivity to movement and other signals (ki sensitivity?) that are precursors to an impending attack. It is often the method we instinctively use to apply techniques using sen and sensen no sen timing. We don't think of it so much as ki training however, it is just another aspect to get one better at perceiving and dealing with the attacker and the peculiarities of his attack.

From what I have seen it has been continually proven in competition that when one tries to muscle a technique or apply it without using "the internal arrangement of a person in relation to the ground and with the way that musculature is used in that arrangement" the technique often fails very easily. So contrary to what some may think (of course without having tried the method) deeper elements of ki training are used and useful in competition training and again competition serves to show your weak areas in this regard also.

The simple fact is - there is nothing found in cooperative Aikido that is not found in competitive Aikido in some way form or fashion. It's all there, they are all Aikido, just different takes on the same concepts.

LC

Last edited by L. Camejo : 02-17-2005 at 08:15 PM.

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Old 02-17-2005, 08:55 PM   #132
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote:
I wonder where some get the idea that some of the finer Ki applications are not used in competition. Especially if they have never trained using the method.

As far as knowledge of ki goes I personally look to the Chinese internal arts for advanced instruction, not the Japanese ones. Just my personal preference, I think they've been at it longer.
Well, can you explain to us how you develop kokyu with the Aiki-Taiso and how you use it in perhaps shihonage? Can you explain why fa-jin is not used in Aikido? Can you explain to us how Misogi breathing builds qi/ki? I'd be interested in hearing some explanations from an advanced practitioner, frankly. I was unaware that these sorts of advanced practices were in Shodokan although I've watched quite a few, so I'm interested in hearing what you have to say.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-17-2005, 09:16 PM   #133
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Well, can you explain to us how you develop kokyu with the Aiki-Taiso and how you use it in perhaps shihonage? Can you explain why fa-jin is not used in Aikido? Can you explain to us how Misogi breathing builds qi/ki? I'd be interested in hearing some explanations from an advanced practitioner, frankly. I was unaware that these sorts of advanced practices were in Shodokan although I've watched quite a few, so I'm interested in hearing what you have to say.
All that means is you don't know what you are looking for at least with respect to Shodokan practice.

And cut the sarcastic tone. Larry's explanation was very clear and its not up to him to describe your groups approach to the problem.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-17-2005, 09:29 PM   #134
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
All that means is you don't know what you are looking for at least with respect to Shodokan practice.

And cut the sarcastic tone. Larry's explanation was very clear and its not up to him to describe your groups approach to the problem.
It's impossible to go from posts where Larry clearly indicates that what he considers Ki and Kokyu to be different from the cast-in-stone definitions of Ki and Kokyu to suddenly claiming that he uses them correctly. He obviously needs to clarify. While a lot of people have their own private interpretations of Ki and kokyu, it's actually fairly fixed in what they really mean; it does not "fluctuate" among "groups". If he's saying there was some mistake in perceiving what he really knows, it's very easy to clarify, IMO, and I'm asking him to do so. Please notice that I didn't react to the inferences that if I don't do Shodokan I can't understand the real stuff.

I won't go into the tone issues, but suggest that you re-read some of his earlier replies to me. I.e., let's keep the discussion on issues as narrowly as we can an try to avoid making any reference to someone personally... it's always the best way to discuss things, IMO.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-17-2005, 10:02 PM   #135
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Re: Competition in Aikido

The thing is it does fluctuate and quite widely.

Where Tomiki discusses toitsuryoku (focus of power), kokyuryoku (power of breathing/timing), idoryoku (power of movement), muscle power and the more mystical ki another group might lump all of those into one and call it Ki. Variations abound and for sure the definitions are not cast in stone.

The "for those that understand, understand perfectly" quote that was not Larry but Tomiki himself and the context is clearly described. It does not mean that those who do not practice randori the Tomiki way have no understanding of Aikido but that those who sincerely make an attempt to understand the randori method will have a very clear understanding. There is nothing hidden or mysterious about it. He was basically telling the young Nariyama Shihan not to worry about those that don't want to even try. Perhaps Larry was becoming frustrated by dogmatic walls being put up inhibiting free discussion - you'll have to ask him.

I know of several Aikikai dojos that use Tomiki's randori method not to mention those that use a textbook produced by Shodokan Shihan for their highschool students. They don't see conflict between their Aikido and Tomiki's methods.

Last edited by PeterR : 02-17-2005 at 10:04 PM.

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Old 02-17-2005, 10:23 PM   #136
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Owen Matchim wrote:
I was under the impression that we were supposed to blend with situations, to achieve harmony. By fighting, haven't we already failed in Aikido? I suppose it could be argued that fighting and competition are two different things but it's still two opposing forces that should seek harmony.

But as for competition to curb egos, what about the guy that comes out on top? I doubt that'll deflat an ego and probably do the opposite.

As far as raw skill vs those who work hard, I'm of the opinion that those who work hard deserve the rewards they reap. Were I a Sensei, I'm sure I would pay more attention to those who showed up every class and gave it their all rather than the one who showed up when they felt like it because they believed themselves to be good enough not to have to practice as often.

Perhaps my own dojo is coloring my opinion. In our dojo, rank is unimportant. We are tested when our Sensei thinks it's time for us to be tested, we wear no colored belts other than white or a hakema. Our Sensei is currently a 3rd Dan (Sandan?) and I've been told he's declined to test for his 4th on multiple occasions, because rank to him means little. It's more about what one can personally do. When we have seminars guest instructors are often impressed we can adapt to their style with little difficulty (though that's mostly the others since I've only just passed my 6th kyu). No one really cares who's the best, we all help each other's technique whenever we can.

So when it boils down to it, who cares where you'd rank in your dojo, it's a personal development where the only competetion should be against oneself.

Just my two cents, if I'm way off I appreciate criticism and if I've hit close to the mark, I'd like to know as well.
This Newfie wrote what I would have said on this topic.

Newfie's is some smart, B'ye.
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Old 02-17-2005, 10:36 PM   #137
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Howard Dyke wrote:
This Newfie wrote what I would have said on this topic.

Newfie's is some smart, B'ye.
Hate to rain on your parade but guess who else is from the Rock.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-17-2005, 10:43 PM   #138
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
The thing is it does fluctuate and quite widely.

Where Tomiki discusses toitsuryoku (focus of power), kokyuryoku (power of breathing/timing), idoryoku (power of movement), muscle power and the more mystical ki another group might lump all of those into one and call it Ki. Variations abound and for sure the definitions are not cast in stone.

The "for those that understand, understand perfectly" quote that was not Larry but Tomiki himself...[snip for brevity]
Let me recapitulate for a moment. The comment arose about not using nikkyo in competition because it can be dangerous. I made the comment, without any extraneous details, that nikkyo can be easily blocked by ki. It can be. I know a number of people that can do so. I can do so and have done it many times. It's done by exactly the same physical principles that Tohei uses for his Ki tests and that O-Sensei used for letting people push on his head, head-push his stomach, the jo-trick, etc. Anyone that understands how real Ki and Kokyu work know immediately what I'm talking about and how it's done and that it can be effective in a number of real situations, including competition and fighting.

Larry's misconstruction and dismissal of what I was talking about immediately showed he didn't understand what I was saying. How those things are done is fairly simple and not something that can be confused... not only in Japan, but in China, across a wide spectrum of martial artists. What I took issue with was the coverup that contained oblique personal digs... there's no call for it in a civilized discussion.

As for all the other terms that people arbitrarily assign to "Ki", let me note that in a Ki-paradigm (which is quite different from the western-science paradigm), everything is technically "Ki"... but the specifics can trip you up in a conversation with someone who is actually familiar with Ki, what it means and where it came from. I.e., those that really understand would have understood my initial comments perfectly and we wouldn't be having this conversation, nor would I be listening to inferences that I'm an amateur when I'm simply discussing factual issues... "factual" not to be confused with "dogma".

So, back to where we were when I indicated to Larry that we're talking past each other, Peter. I feel that your response is somewhat allied to the same thing. Just understand that I am not selling Ki Aikido, Aikikai or anything else... I was talking about Ki/kokyu as it's understood by experienced practitioners. And I've got 45 years of martial experience. Let's move on. Let me say once again that I absolutely agree that no one really learns how to fight or compete without practicing in real fights or competitions, so I agree with the major thesis.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-17-2005, 11:03 PM   #139
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
Hate to rain on your parade but guess who else is from the Rock.
You too?
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Old 02-17-2005, 11:11 PM   #140
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
Where Tomiki discusses toitsuryoku (focus of power), kokyuryoku (power of breathing/timing), idoryoku (power of movement), muscle power and the more mystical ki another group might lump all of those into one and call it Ki.
Incidentally, Peter, I'm not positive, but I think you may be missing a subtlety of what kokyu means functionally. I mean kokyu in a sense that incorporates the innate power of the body as it would be used in those things as well as in a number of other things like calligraphy. Try this:
http://www.page.sannet.ne.jp/shun-q/INTERVIEW-E.html

'You once remarked that "the essence of calligraphy lies in kokyu. (lit. breath)." Is this the same sort of kokyu we find in aikido?'

"The very same."

For instance, some calligraphers feel that their innate power becomes so strong over time that people cannot pull the brush from their hand. This is somewhat different than the literal "breath/timing" you're referring to. If you extrapolate a substantive "innate strength" like that present if someone can't pull the brush from your hand, the idea of "kokyu" takes a different shade of meaning and it indeed becomes something that may have effect in competitions, etc.. A similar problem has evolved in discussions about Chinese martial arts where the term "energy" has been used to translate "jin"... it's literally correct, but it's misleading functionally and misses the point in many actual cases.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-17-2005, 11:28 PM   #141
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Ok.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
The comment arose about not using nikkyo in competition because it can be dangerous. I made the comment, without any extraneous details, that nikkyo can be easily blocked by ki. It can be. I know a number of people that can do so. I can do so and have done it many times. It's done by exactly the same physical principles that Tohei uses for his Ki tests and that O-Sensei used for letting people push on his head, head-push his stomach, the jo-trick, etc. Anyone that understands how real Ki and Kokyu work know immediately what I'm talking about and how it's done and that it can be effective in a number of real situations, including competition and fighting.
Exactly. And anyone who understands how uncooperative randori or shiai works will inform anyone that the sort of conditions where these "ki tests" may work do not exist in the competitive/uncooperative environment where constant movement and reaction to an attack (not an extension of the hand mind you) simply does not create a situation where the "grab my wrist let me show you my ki" scenario will develop. The idea of competition/resistance randori is that someone is constantly attacking, not standing up in a nice firm posture and sticking their hand out for someone to grab it and get thrown. I believe the folks referred to above can stop any wrist lock if they are allowed to just stand there and extend (hell my yellow belts can do it), but the fact is that this comfort and hence the situation is simply not allowed in competitive practice. Movement is created if there is none.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Larry's misconstruction and dismissal of what I was talking about immediately showed he didn't understand what I was saying. How those things are done is fairly simple and not something that can be confused... not only in Japan, but in China, across a wide spectrum of martial artists. What I took issue with was the coverup that contained oblique personal digs... there's no call for it in a civilized discussion.
Mike if you see personal digs, please indicate them. I am sorry if you feel somewhat dug by me and I can assure you that the intent to dig was never part of my discussion strategy. I sometimes forget that not all folks on discussion boards have the requisite "thick skin" that is necessary for this medium of communication. Again, apologies if I have dug you or have made you felt dug in any manner whatsoever.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
As for all the other terms that people arbitrarily assign to "Ki", let me note that in a Ki-paradigm (which is quite different from the western-science paradigm), everything is technically "Ki"... but the specifics can trip you up in a conversation with someone who is actually familiar with Ki, what it means and where it came from. I.e., those that really understand would have understood my initial comments perfectly and we wouldn't be having this conversation, nor would I be listening to inferences that I'm an amateur when I'm simply discussing factual issues... "factual" not to be confused with "dogma".
Yet you fail to give us examples and definitions of these "facts" that are not to be confused as dogma. Some of us are not so smart to read between the ki lines, so it may be best to define what you believe these stone cast concepts to be, so we can all learn.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I was talking about Ki/kokyu as it's understood by experienced practitioners.
I am very sorry that I do not understand the understanding of experienced practitioners. Maybe the concepts given to me by a former head coach of the Beijing Wushu Team who is now a Qigong master were incorrect. I will ask him again when I see him. It is also quite possible that the JAA Shihan I recently trained under had no idea what toitsuryoku, koykuryoku and idoryoku were really about. So I guess he should let you edit the book he wrote that the Aikikai folks are using as the textbook for their high school students. We are all human and we all make mistakes sometimes.

Oh wait a sec. I do remember an application of that nikkyo stopping ki extension thingy that those higher ups do - it happens when we relax and extend tegatana to shut down any joint lock that is not supported by proper body movement and kuzushi during uncooperative randori. But this is done while moving, not standing still. Of course this can be done by my yellow belts also, so I guess it must not be "ki" after all.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
So when there's a discussion about Aikido for competition, I sort of get lost because I realize that various people have assorted ideas of what "bona fide Aikido" really is.
I think this is the crux of the matter. Could not have said it better myself.

Gambatte.
LC

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Old 02-18-2005, 02:15 AM   #142
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Well, there is a superior form of Aikido... It's the style you are currently learning under the sensei who is currently teaching you. Otherwise, what are you doing there? Find another dojo!!!

Yes, not a serious post.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
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Old 02-18-2005, 02:59 AM   #143
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Re: Competition in Aikido

A couple of quick observations (but as they're from a decadent ki-aikido person, please feel free to ignore)

1. Ki "tricks" in competition etc. I've yet to read a convincing argument that anything can be achieved by ki alone (whatever your personal definition of ki actually is), even the best practitioners needed a good solid grounding in the more physical aspects of their arts. Ignoring the physical aspects of your art is just a good way to get a deserved thumping

2. Ki tests in ki-aikido - these are not meant to supplant normal vigorous training, they're meant as an aid to show how you're meant to feel and behave under controlled levels of stress. I've never heard it said that practitioners of other forms of aikido do not use or develop ki [insert personal theory on this here] - it's just a training method we use.

3. Competition in aikido - I'm with Ron here in that while I don't denigrate competition or find it abhorrent and against aikido principles, I also don't think it's the only way to introduce training with intent and non-cooperation. Whether it's the best attempt at mimicking a "real world" situation, I'm in two minds on, but I can see its attractions.

4. Knowing exactly what ki is and recognising it - I wish there was a handy booklet out there for this one as I have to say that those who "know" haven't really been that convincing so far, I could do with some documented examples and (ideally) a list of practitioners so I can understand what they mean.

Yours happily bumbling along and enjoying the thread
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Old 02-18-2005, 07:06 AM   #144
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote:
Exactly. And anyone who understands how uncooperative randori or shiai works will inform anyone that the sort of conditions where these "ki tests" may work do not exist in the competitive/uncooperative environment where constant movement and reaction to an attack (not an extension of the hand mind you) simply does not create a situation where the "grab my wrist let me show you my ki" scenario will develop. The idea of competition/resistance randori is that someone is constantly attacking, not standing up in a nice firm posture and sticking their hand out for someone to grab it and get thrown. I believe the folks referred to above can stop any wrist lock if they are allowed to just stand there and extend (hell my yellow belts can do it), but the fact is that this comfort and hence the situation is simply not allowed in competitive practice. Movement is created if there is none.
This may be part of the problem, Larry. You apparently envision me as practicing in some la-de-da situation where I don't really understand sparring or competitive practice when in reality most of the practice in my life has been pretty rugged and I've used my skills often in actual scenarios as a bouncer and security guard; not to mention martial competitions. I.e., you're assuming something wrong and being patronizing, to boot.
Quote:
Mike if you see personal digs, please indicate them. I am sorry if you feel somewhat dug by me and I can assure you that the intent to dig was never part of my discussion strategy. I sometimes forget that not all folks on discussion boards have the requisite "thick skin" that is necessary for this medium of communication. Again, apologies if I have dug you or have made you felt dug in any manner whatsoever.
Even making personal comments to me when you're trying to justify how you're not making personal remarks? Just drop any personal references, Larry, and discuss the issues without implying your superior understanding of competition or combat.
Quote:
Yet you fail to give us examples and definitions of these "facts" that are not to be confused as dogma. Some of us are not so smart to read between the ki lines, so it may be best to define what you believe these stone cast concepts to be, so we can all learn.
There's no reading between the lines, Larry, but there is a straightforward although complex relationship between the body and how it uses power in Ki and Kokyu. Either you know it or you don't. If you know it, you would have understood me immediately when I mentioned the nikkyo trick and you could explain how it's done right here. For me to start writing from basics would take too much time; if you're sure you have an advanced understanding of Ki and Kokyu, tell me how they would be used to halt nikkyo.
Quote:
I am very sorry that I do not understand the understanding of experienced practitioners. Maybe the concepts given to me by a former head coach of the Beijing Wushu Team who is now a Qigong master were incorrect. I will ask him again when I see him.
Larry, this is called an "appeal to authority" in a discussion and it's used to backhandedly insult someone. I've done Chinese traditional martial arts (i.e., "traditional wushu") for 23 years, on top of my Japanese martial arts. I don't know who this unnamed coach is, maybe Wu Bin, but the coach of a contemporary wushu team is not considered a necessarily a deep reservoir of traditional knowledge. How long did you study with him?
Quote:
It is also quite possible that the JAA Shihan I recently trained under had no idea what toitsuryoku, koykuryoku and idoryoku were really about. So I guess he should let you edit the book he wrote that the Aikikai folks are using as the textbook for their high school students. We are all human and we all make mistakes sometimes.
Maybe so. Is there a reason why you keep devolving to personalities, people you know, and implying that your knowledge is superior? Just explain how the nikkyo trick, to show it, and let's move on.
Quote:
Oh wait a sec. I do remember an application of that nikkyo stopping ki extension thingy that those higher ups do - it happens when we relax and extend tegatana to shut down any joint lock that is not supported by proper body movement and kuzushi during uncooperative randori. But this is done while moving, not standing still. Of course this can be done by my yellow belts also, so I guess it must not be "ki" after all.
Sounds interesting. But let's just stick with the simple example I mentioned and have you explain how something as simple as I described is done. I can do these things moving (the nikkyo thing is just a minor example) and yes there can be a number of additional factors like moving or me taking your center as we touch, etc., so let's just stick with the basic example and have you explain it, since you're indicating that you do understand these things.
Quote:
Getting lost about various peoples' use of the term "Ki" wrote:
I think this is the crux of the matter. Could not have said it better myself.
Well bear in mind I was talking about all the various uninformed discussions about Ki by people who really don't understand it. Let's just drop all this wasted discussion about personalities and who we know, Larry. Tell me what forces are involved and how they stop the nikkyo application. Then let's move on.

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-18-2005, 07:19 AM   #145
rob_liberti
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Re: Competition in Aikido

I don't know that Mike's definitions are *absolutely* correct, but since I don't have better ones, and my personal experience supports much of what he says I'm okay with using them for now.

I think Larry made the point I wanted to make about how to deal with people resisting nikyo. If there is no movement then create it. If you "block" my morotetori nikyo by extending your arm away from your body well then you might find yourself dealing with an elbow to the... chest (if I'm being nice). So within the bounds of 'the person takes ukemi and orients their body position in the safest way', I'll nikyo you and I don't care if you had steal rods surgicly impanted to support your wrists becuase my nikyo takes your balance primarily. If you have very strong wrists, you'll probably go start moving to the ground, smile, and say something like 'Well okay, but that's not how most people do nikyo' or some other excuse. But it is IMHO how some really good aikido shihan do it, and I've been pretty carefully trying to copy them. The funny thing is that I achieve it in pretty much the way Mike desribes. I move my whole body together and my arms create the function out of that movement more like a whip (I can't think of a better example). Larry's point is valid here, because the point of the technique part is that you get yourself into position to do it such that it happens before the person can set up their resistance properly. I'd say that is the very definition of technique. I spend a lot of time hunting down people who can move more like Mike is suggesting because they have some resistance set up pretty much all of the time, so it really challenges my technique (and I want to learn how to copy their really cool ukemi).

With katadori nikyo, it's a bit more interesting. I've had some very explicit instructions about how I need to orient my body to do that crushing nikyo. I still hate that one and I can block it by using my other hand - which make the person have to back up or turn - which I claim is the way it should always be done in the first place. Again, if Mike wants to grab my shoulder in a static and relaxed position then I'd go with "no attack, no aikido" - as in what the hell am I suppsoed to be blending with? But as long as he's willing to walk to go get my shoulder and I can lead that reaching and walking to set up a simple version of my nikyo, I'll take his balance or anyone elses. You are by very definition breaking balance to continue walking - and I can use that in nikyo technique period.

I also agree with Mike that you guys have been talking past each other. I see things in the following way:
1) good technique beats out strength every time
2) good movement from center combined with good technique beats out just technique every time

#1 can be a farily external thing. I'd call it great social coordination and adequate self coordination.
#2 is great self coordination combined with great social coordination.

To get to that higher level, I see no other way but to sacrifice a lot of the tricks you had been using to make up for your lack of internal self coordination (-- analogous to the chess example described earlier on this thread). One example, in particular is giving up excessive arm strength - and by that I do NOT mean EXTREME arm strength, just suprisingly less strength focused in the arm than most of the 2nd and 3rd dans are using (pretty much by definition of those levels).

When you give these tricks up, that you used to use, to get better you are suddenly WAY less effective while you're building towards something much more reliable and better. My question has been, do competing people do this? I've since learned that they apporach this kind of thing through kata practice, and I'd love to hear more about that. Is there a video I can watch? Or an individual you recommend that I go watch sometime?

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 02-18-2005 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 02-18-2005, 07:41 AM   #146
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Thanks Rob for bringing the discussion back on point.

Larry, I can pretty much 'vouch' for Mike's experience...he's been around a long time, and done quite a bit. While his discussion style can sometimes be a bit frustrating, I've just about always found it worthwhile to have the discussion...and believe me when I say I'm not trying to be patronizing to either party.

let me see if I'm getting where the hang up might be. Mike is suggesting a particular way of moving and staying connected to the ground during that movement...and that you probably don't learn that while *doing* competitive randori. He is not saying that you can't *use* it in competitve randori...just that it is difficult to learn and engrain the movement while under that kind of stress.

Larry is stressing the chaos of competitive training...and perhaps questioning that the kind of internal alignments and movement Mike is describing can be maintained while under that kind of pressure. While I am pretty darn sure Mike knows what is meant by competitive training, I'm not sure that Larry is aware of what Mikes ideas of internal are. I think if you read Mike's posts carefully in the Breath thread, it becomes a little clearer.

Personally, I did some push hands last night with some folks who seem to have a pretty good grasp of at least some of the internal principles...I could not do what they do under pressure...I could barely do it without preasure. That does not mean that they can't...I;ve already seen one of them do it when his back was against a garage door with a former judoka and jujutsu practisioner pushing him. I think the resulting push resulted in about 8 feet of air time.

Learning a lot these days...
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 02-18-2005, 07:47 AM   #147
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
A couple of quick observations (but as they're from a decadent ki-aikido person, please feel free to ignore)

1. Ki "tricks" in competition etc. I've yet to read a convincing argument that anything can be achieved by ki alone (whatever your personal definition of ki actually is), even the best practitioners needed a good solid grounding in the more physical aspects of their arts. Ignoring the physical aspects of your art is just a good way to get a deserved thumping

2. Ki tests in ki-aikido - these are not meant to supplant normal vigorous training, they're meant as an aid to show how you're meant to feel and behave under controlled levels of stress. I've never heard it said that practitioners of other forms of aikido do not use or develop ki [insert personal theory on this here] - it's just a training method we use.
I'll be in Harrogate in Yorkshire in April for about a week if you'd like to see more than the printed words, Ian. More than happy to meet up with you and chat.

The original idea in the Ki exercises and tests of Ki Aikido is for the practitioner to build up substantive ki. I.e., it's practice. If you don't practice and/or don't know how to do these things, you don't build up real Ki or Kokyu powers. And sure, I'm aware that most people, if they claim they use Ki, are arbitrarily assigning the term to various normal functions.... hence you hear a lot of "we use Ki, too", when they don't really know what they're talking about.

The only problem I have with the Ki Aikido schools that I've visited is that generally the Ki skills were pretty low. It's like Tohei et al were correct in the idea that this is the important keystone of Aikido, but they didn't want to show too much.
Quote:
Competition in aikido - I'm with Ron here in that while I don't denigrate competition or find it abhorrent and against aikido principles, I also don't think it's the only way to introduce training with intent and non-cooperation. Whether it's the best attempt at mimicking a "real world" situation, I'm in two minds on, but I can see its attractions.
I've got a lot of experience in this, so I'll mention my opinion. If you don't spend time building up your Ki, kokyu, etc., and re-training your body radically, you'll never get any real Ki. Maybe a few odd bits here and there, but nothing more.
Quote:
Knowing exactly what ki is and recognising it - I wish there was a handy booklet out there for this one as I have to say that those who "know" haven't really been that convincing so far, I could do with some documented examples and (ideally) a list of practitioners so I can understand what they mean.
Most of it really needs to be shown. This isn't the right thread for a Ki discussion; if you'll formulate and articulate your questions on another thread, I'll try to lay out what I know and hopefully others will join in.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 02-18-2005, 07:53 AM   #148
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Actually Rob's last post has pretty much summed up what I was trying to say all along, as well as the past talking that is apparently occuring. So forget whatever I said above Mike, listen to him, he puts it much simpler than I could.

Just for reference Mike, the ex Wushu instructor I was referring to is Li Jun Feng.

[quote]My question has been, do competing people do this? /QUOTE]

In a word, Yes.

Quote:
I've since learned that they apporach this kind of thing through kata practice, and I'd love to hear more about that. Is there a video I can watch?Or an individual you recommend that I go watch sometime?
Yep it's done in kata practice and during the practice of basics at the beginning of every class. A good book that shows it is Aikido: Tradition and the Competitive Edge which has been mentioned before in this thread somewhere. Videos are something I would not know about too much, I rarely use them. As far as individuals go an idea may be to check the www.tomiki.org site and see what Shodokan dojos are in your area. Ideally I'd say take a look at any footgae of T. Nariyama, F.Shishida or S. Tanaka Shihans. Maybe there are others who may have some resources in that regard.

Quote:
I'm not sure that Larry is aware of what Mikes ideas of internal are. I think if you read Mike's posts carefully in the Breath thread, it becomes a little clearer.
I think Ron does have a point here. But since Mike never actually defined any of his premises it's a bit hard to judge, hence the talking past each other. He may assume that what he knows of ki is standard knowledge for everyone when it in fact may not be. His "cast in stone" remark is attestment to this, the examples of Ki/Chi/Prana I have found in the various eastern arts and religions indicate similar principles but very diverse means of approaching and explaining the concepts. As I indicated before, give us a definition and we can find some common ground.

Train hard, train smart.
LC

Last edited by L. Camejo : 02-18-2005 at 08:02 AM.

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Old 02-18-2005, 08:00 AM   #149
happysod
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
I'll be in Harrogate in Yorkshire in April for about a week if you'd like to see more than the printed words, Ian. More than happy to meet up with you and chat
Yorkshire in April, hope you pack a heavy jumper... May be tricky as I'm supposed to be organising a course then, but I'll PM you closer to the time and hopefully try and meet up - sounds fun.
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Old 02-18-2005, 08:04 AM   #150
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
I don't know that Mike's definitions are *absolutely* correct, but since I don't have better ones, and my personal experience supports much of what he says I'm okay with using them for now.

I think Larry made the point I wanted to make about how to deal with people resisting nikyo. If there is no movement then create it. If you "block" my morotetori nikyo by extending your arm away from your body well then you might find yourself dealing with an elbow to the... chest (if I'm being nice). So within the bounds of 'the person takes ukemi and orients their body position in the safest way', I'll nikyo you and I don't care if you had steal rods surgicly impanted to support your wrists becuase my nikyo takes your balance primarily. If you have very strong wrists, you'll probably go start moving to the ground, smile, and say something like 'Well okay, but that's not how most people do nikyo' or some other excuse. But it is IMHO how some really good aikido shihan do it, and I've been pretty carefully trying to copy them. The funny thing is that I achieve it in pretty much the way Mike desribes. [snipsky]
Well, again, my comment was in line with the idea that nikkyo was outlawed and I don't think it's anymore dangerous than most pins and locks. I realize exactly what everyone is saying about using these things in competition... I've done a lot of competition... but I'm trying to restrict my comment to the simple proffered nikkyo (without extending the arm; easy to overcome that or to break the elbow, BTW). Generally, the best nikkyo someone is going to get in competition is going to be along those lines. Insofar as the things someone might do to me in competition, let's just leave that with the thought that there are things I might do to some amateur if they try to overstep themselves.... but it's pointless to talk about those things, in my experience.

One thing that's worth considering is how this trick is done and what it implies about the person trying to apply the nikkyo. I.e., I encourage everyone to think.

Regards,

Mike
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