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Old 02-18-2005, 08:23 AM   #151
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote:
Just for reference Mike, the ex Wushu instructor I was referring to is Li Jun Feng.
I know who he is and even have a movie he starred in. The qigongs he teaches are not martial qigongs. He is a nice person from all accounts, but he mainly taught contemporary wushu, not traditional wushu.
Quote:
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.
Ki/Chi/Prana indeed have similar principles... in fact the basic principles are the same. The same basic principles that allow a beginning ki-aikidoka to first learn to stand against a push are the same principles that O-Sensei did his jo trick with or that I use to release power to break bones. I.e., it's all the same thing. Even the "unconditional love" stuff that Li Jun Heng teaches is related to the same basic priniciples, but there are circles within circles and there are many people who are only involved with the superficial aspects and not what goes on inside. Regardless, if someone really understands Ki, kokyu, and the rest, all of these things are obvious and related. My point was and is that there is a functional component to these practices that shouldn't be dismissed when the topic of competition arises. If these were negligible practices, so many oriental martial arts wouldn't have them, right?

FWIW

Mike
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Old 02-18-2005, 08:25 AM   #152
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Competition in Aikido

My problem with blocking nikkyo is that even if I can ground the other person's power, if they break my balance suddenly, or are powerful enough in a variety of ways, if my block breaks, all of that power does go into the wrist. Which is a major owie! Mike, does your method account for someone who is able to manipulate the control through the block?

Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 02-18-2005, 08:25 AM   #153
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
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.
Great.

All the Best.

Mike
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Old 02-18-2005, 08:34 AM   #154
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
My problem with blocking nikkyo is that even if I can ground the other person's power, if they break my balance suddenly, or are powerful enough in a variety of ways, if my block breaks, all of that power does go into the wrist. Which is a major owie! Mike, does your method account for someone who is able to manipulate the control through the block?
Yes. But since I haven't felt exactly what you're doing, Ron, I'm reluctant to tell you what to do. If you're doing something different (high probability of that), then my telling you what I do won't do you a lot of good. The essential point, if you understand Ki and kokyu is that when someone "has" you, you also have them. The one with mental control of jin or kokyu has the upper hand.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 02-18-2005, 08:41 AM   #155
rob_liberti
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Re: Competition in Aikido

My beliefs - which I consistently test out as much as possible are that:
1) If you are attacking then you are open.
2) If I maintain my freedom of movement and you try to resist technique born out of that freedom then you are more open and I might just exploit that as well - but you should be taking somewhat standard ukemi in aikido class.
3) If I go to exploit that and if I over commit and you can take advantage of that I'll immediate take ukemi regardless of whether we are in aikido class or not - because I believe that's the best thing for me to do.
4) If I can encourage you to over commit your reversal, maybe I can reverse what you are doing, or maybe I just need to get out of there...

Mike, I've seen your tapes, and my experiences agree with most of your words. I believe that you can do many things from the static position. I have no experience with you being able to do things well while moving - but I'm more than willing to go find out. You are very generous with your knowledge and I will go meet you someday if you'll have me. (I have a few more pressing commitments going on right now, but I'm still farily young so there is plently of time on my end.)

I understand that you are talking about being able to block the 'simple preffered nikkyo' - really I do. Pretty much we all can BY DESIGN! I am even positive that you can block someone who has a little bit more experience who might be able to force their surface level nonsense on a yellow belt or a shodan or many nidans - me too. I kind of feel like I can probably block a hydyrolic machine set up to put pressure on me in the initial way that most folks learn these techniques! (As I'm not a limp wristed flower lover either.)

What I'm trying to get to is that I think you fail to grasp the methology that Osensei gave us. These techniques were brilliantly designed to NOT WORK with surface level understanding. They don't work well with excellent surface level understanding (which I certainly have) against someone with depth to their understanding in how to deal with that kind of thing (- which I know is what you are saying). My point about this, however, is that this doesn't mean nikyo is bad or that aikido fails, it means that nikyo needs to be practiced in such a way that you can do it with the depth of understanding to pin a grisley bear. So you should say that you can block the surface level nikyo if you are going to make the claim. Otherwise, come try to block Gleason sensei's nikyo and survive or Nishida san's nikyo with me when I visit Japan next time, etc...

I don't mean to keep beating a dead horse here but it seems like I need to say this again. The name "aiki" was chosen - because it was used for okuden (or level of DEPTH).

The only examples of people who I know of that are way beyond me, had to give up quite a bit of effecacy for quite a long amount of time to break through. I want to break through and I'm looking for as much insight into how to do this in a shorter amount of time (the whole train smarter thing!).

Larry and Ron, I really appreciate your posts here. I am learning a lot from you and I don't really mean to be putting you guys on the defensive about your methodology.

It does not logically follow (to me so far!) that people who are competing can really be doing this (droping arm strength, etc.) at all because by the very nature of that process is 'chosing to not win to improve' which is the definition of cooperative practice. That in a nutshell is my hangup about competing. Maybe it's terminology. The whole kata practice to make the break through is facinating. I have only one good friend I know who did tomiki to any degree of proficiency (sandan level) and he left that organization to find folks to work out with in our cooperative model. I'll ask him next chance I get to see him. If there is any home video of the kata practice, or of the individuals mentioned, I'd gladly pay the shipping and buy the tape. (Since I can't travel as much as I used to right now.)

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 02-18-2005 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 02-18-2005, 09:08 AM   #156
Yann Golanski
 
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Mike Sigman,

Harrogate is about an hour drive's from York. If you want, feel free to come and train with us.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
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Old 02-18-2005, 09:24 AM   #157
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
I understand that you are talking about being able to block the 'simple preffered nikkyo' - really I do. Pretty much we all can BY DESIGN! I am even positive that you can block someone who has a little bit more experience who might be able to force their surface level nonsense on a yellow belt or a shodan or many nidans - me too. I kind of feel like I can probably block a hydyrolic machine set up to put pressure on me in the initial way that most folks learn these techniques! (As I'm not a limp wristed flower lover either.)

What I'm trying to get to is that I think you fail to grasp the methology that Osensei gave us. These techniques were brilliantly designed to NOT WORK with surface level understanding. They don't work well with excellent surface level understanding (which I certainly have) against someone with depth to their understanding in how to deal with that kind of thing (- which I know is what you are saying).
Let me just note for the record, Rob, that if I attempt to apply nikkyo to someone and they attempt to block me, I'm going to immediately change techniques and assert more control over their body... unless they're skillful, in which case I'll probably disengage and re-engage almost immediately. I.e., I know quite well what you're saying. However, instead of glossing over the thing I'm telling you about and telling me how you might beat it, why not consider the ramifications of what this kind of power imply? I.e., I laugh sometimes at how many Aikido people simply shrug off the demonstrations of Ki by O-Sensei and Tohei because they don't seem to grasp that these sorts of powers can be used changeably and innovatively in the middle of Aikido, whether practice or competition.
Quote:
I want to break through and I'm looking for as much insight into how to do this in a shorter amount of time (the whole train smarter thing!). It does not logically follow (to me so far!) that people who are competing can really be doing this at all because by the very nature of that process is 'chosing to not win to improve' which is the definition of cooperative practice. That in a nutshell is my hangup about competing.
I said it before and I'll say it again, perhaps a little differently. To gain Ki powers you have to practice a lot and practice correctly over a period of time. You don't just decide that you're "using your hara" and you're doing it... in most cases you're just imagining something. It takes work and thinking. It takes doing all those Aiki-Taiso, Taisabaki, Fune-kogi-undo, Kokyu-ho-doso, etc., and doing them slowly and well (after you know how) to imbue this form of movement into your system. While you're trying to learn to move like this, you need to try to make it part of the way you're moving in all your daily life. Everything. If you try to learn to move this way, but at the same time you continue to practice moving with major muscles and normal strength, like everyone does in "competition", you'll never get there (sure some of them develop some rudimentary Ki, but that's all). I.e..... you're right. Stick with the cooperative practice. However, the problem I see with cooperative practice in most Aikido dojo's is that no one really knows how to develop and train these forms of strengths, so they wind up being a bunch of guys/girls that wear black skirts and do role-playing games for 20 years without ever really being good in a fight. The disconnect is the Ki strength, IMO. Practice until you have good technique AND good Ki skills. Don't make technique a way of life and don't make "competition" a way of life. And for god's sake, don't make "pretending I'm Japanese" a way of life.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 02-18-2005, 09:33 AM   #158
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Yann Golanski wrote:
Harrogate is about an hour drive's from York. If you want, feel free to come and train with us.
Thank you. I try never to drive anywhere in England... my reflexes might get me killed. I'm going to be working with some Xingyi, Bagua, and Taiji (and maybe some Aikido types) people in the Harrogate area on the weekends of April 9-10 and 16-17, so I'm not exactly sure what my free time is going to be like. If the chance arises, I'll take up your kind offer.

Kind Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-18-2005, 09:46 AM   #159
rob_liberti
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Re: Competition in Aikido

My intention wasn't to gloss over anything, in fact I thought I was supporting your views more than anything else. However, in your desire to get to what you wanted to talk about you made the claim that you can block nikyo, and I'd prefer if you either prove that against all nikyos or simply, in the future change your claim to be that you can block the surface level nikyo.

I understand that there is a slow way to break through - I think it sounds an aweful lot like taichi - which I'm fine with. I think it can be done in aikido class, but I agree that sempai who help show the way are highly desireable. I have a shortage of them in my location, so any ancillary exercises, drills, or katas would be very helpful. I guess it seems to me that since I know the surface level social coordination so well, I am able to set up classes to help get people there in a linear, incremental (iterative maybe?) way. It seems like someone who knows the self coordination side should have been able to set up classes to help get people there in a linear, incremental (iterative maybe?) way. I assumed that is was Tohei (and Moriama sp?) sensei's tried to do. I think that since they didn't continue to do the basic waza (to my knowledge) it didn't transfer very well to those students without any background in basic waza - this is just from my very limited experience with Ki society in my area. I keep hoping that someone comes up with a list of principles I can follow about this area to help keep me on track (and spin my wheels less). So far I haven't seen many beyond 'relax, extend ki, weight underside, keep center' or whatever they are. Training to eventually grasp the meaning of these ideas is one (very long) way. It seems like someone who has already done this work and who is also very articulate might be able to express these ideas in an even more helpful way and speed the procress along. That's always my hope.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 02-18-2005 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 02-18-2005, 10:06 AM   #160
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
My intention wasn't to gloss over anything, in fact I thought I was supporting your views more than anything else. However, in your desire to get to what you wanted to talk about you made the claim that you can block nikyo, and I'd prefer if you either prove that against all nikyos or simply, in the future change your claim to be that you can block the surface level nikyo.
Well, I can do more than just block the application of nikkyo, Rob. In many cases I can block the attempt of nage to do anything, period... but not necessarily always. So I'd rather stick to the simple example I was using and not overanalyze it.

Quote:
I understand that there is a slow way to break through - I think it sounds an aweful lot like taichi - which I'm fine with. I think it can be done in aikido class, but I agree that sempai who help show the way are highly desireable. I have a shortage of them in my location, so any ancillary exercises, drills, or katas would be very helpful. I guess it seems to me that since I know the surface level social coordination so well, I am able to set up classes to help get people there in a linear, incremental (iterative maybe?) way. It seems like someone who knows the self coordination side should have been able to set up classes to help get people there in a linear, incremental (iterative maybe?) way. I assumed that is was Tohei (and Moriama sp?) sensei's tried to do. I think that since they didn't continue to do the basic waza (to my knowledge) it didn't transfer very well to those students without any background in basic waza - this is just from my very limited experience with Ki society in my area. I keep hoping that someone comes up with a list of principles I can follow about this area to help keep me on track (and spin my wheels less). So far I haven't seen many beyond 'relax, extend ki, weight underside, keep center' or whatever they are. Training to eventually grasp the meaning of these ideas is one (very long) way. It seems like someone who has already done this work and who is also very articulate might be able to express these ideas in an even more helpful way and speed the procress along.
Well, you can always come down to Durango some weekend and I'll show you what I think is the big picture and the what's and how's of practice. You're smart enough to work out the rest over time.

I think I'll move your last paragraph above and start a new thread in order to not distract the competition thread.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 02-18-2005, 05:24 PM   #161
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Hi Rob,

Quote:
Larry and Ron, I really appreciate your posts here. I am learning a lot from you and I don't really mean to be putting you guys on the defensive about your methodology.
It's cool Rob. Everyone walks the path that best suits them as a human being.

Quote:
It does not logically follow (to me so far!) that people who are competing can really be doing this (droping arm strength, etc.) at all because by the very nature of that process is 'chosing to not win to improve' which is the definition of cooperative practice. That in a nutshell is my hangup about competing. Maybe it's terminology.
The reason it does not logically follow Rob is that like many others you may not be privy to the cooperative practices our group may particularly utilise to develop the things you and Mike have been going on about. You probably have already done your own style's version of the same exercises many times however, and our style is not about "only competing", many of the cooperative practices (which makes up the majority of training) we use are found in cooperative Aikido schools as well. They all came from the same place.

By allowing you two to speak more on this thread and on the new thread you created you have convinced me that we are in fact speaking of exactly the same principles of energy and conscious movement. The only thing is that we approach it from different perspectives and that the language is different. As you so rightly said - terminology. The development and practice of these inner factors are not done in competitive training, but in cooperative training in our system. Competitive trainnig merely reveals how much we have yet to learn in how to apply it well under pressure, much like everything else in our Aikido. Kata forms randori, randori forms kata. As you and Mike indicate this utilisation of energy (and the requisite understanding of it) is critical to effective technique in all arts like Aikido, Tai Chi etc. that utilises conscious mind/body coordinated movement along certain patterns that are most efficient.

You guys have some good points. It's just that it takes a while to understand the delivery when folks are speaking in parables and in indirect lines. But that is cool, your new thread helped with explanations of your premises.

Please understand, in the end of it all, competitive practice in Aikido the way we do it is ultimately cooperative practice, since it is about improving oneself with the help of an honest antagonist (Devil's advocate if you will) and not about who wins or who loses.

Happy training folks. Wynand I hope you got something out of all of this.
LC

Last edited by L. Camejo : 02-18-2005 at 05:26 PM.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 02-18-2005, 09:53 PM   #162
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote:
The reason it does not logically follow Rob is that like many others you may not be privy to the cooperative practices our group may particularly utilise to develop the things you and Mike have been going on about. You probably have already done your own style's version of the same exercises many times however, and our style is not about "only competing", many of the cooperative practices (which makes up the majority of training) we use are found in cooperative Aikido schools as well. They all came from the same place.
Larry, instead of telling everyone how they don't understand the depths of Shodokan, why don't you display a little knowledge that shows us what you know on the "how to" thread about functional Ki? This stuff about different terminology is nice, but as you implied, those that really understand should understand perfectly. This isn't mystic ritual... if you have something to contribute, contribute. Telling everyone they don't understand your depths is not good form. Surely "real Aikido" is beyond this?

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-19-2005, 03:27 AM   #163
mj
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Does AikiWeb have a new owner then?

Mike although Ron has spoken up for you, and Ron's word is good imo, I have to say the way you are addressing people leaves a great deal to be desired.

Your functional Ki thread is inhabited by yourself and one other person, I'm sure if anyone wants to join in there they won't be too scared to give an opinion. This site has a plethora of practitioners of all levels and all schools. You'll just have to get along.

Peace.

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Old 02-19-2005, 06:26 AM   #164
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Telling everyone they don't understand your depths is not good form.
Honestly I don't get where Mike is getting this. If anyone else is seeing where he is getting this, please let me know. Really.

All I have said is that many people may not have trained in the Shodokan system (i.e. experienced the totality of it), hence may not know what is done in areas where cooperative practices are utilised. Often folks have a lot of assumptions about Shodokan training methods, competition, it's methods of randori etc. and they are many times incorrect because of those assumptions. In fact they often hope and expect to find things that make them feel superior in some form - it goes well with the "they don't do "real" Aikido" position and helps them sleep better at night I guess. So for some, we are condemned from the very beginning. If this is how it is, fine. I am merely trying to show similarities that bind instead of differences that divide. But I guess people will always see what they want to see in the end.

I made no indications regarding which method is deeper than which etc. or that I (or we) possess some hidden knowledge or something or that I am a master of anything. In fact I have made indications that we are all pretty much following the same path but from different perspectives and that we do the same things, just in different ways with different degrees of emphasis. In fact I agree with exactly what Mike was saying, now that it had been properly explained in another thread (even though I humbly asked him to explain his position clearly in this one). But again I guess you see what you want to see and respond to what you want to respond to.

Generally I refrain from speaking on Ki topics on any forum, simply because there are many people out there who truly believe they know what they are talking about and believe it to be "cast in stone immovable, infallible truths" in the way their Sifu or Sensei or Guru or whoever taught them. From my research into these things I have found that this is simply not the case, there may be some things cast in stone (at least so far), but they are not as many as some may think imho. As understanding evolves so do definitions and expressions of that which is defined. So I don't even try to get into these conversations since the playing field is so very unbalanced and incongruent (as we can see with the pass talking that occurred here on a very simple subject). The only reason I got caught this time is because the thread was initially about competition in Aikido, which is something we do a lot and we do apply the inner aspects that some call "Ki". But after your obvious inability to understand simple language, I would not bother to try to discuss something as oft misconstrued as Ki applications with you Mike. I am sorry, but you honestly give me no reason to share thoughts on anything with you. On a final note I'd say listen to what Mark says above.

As I said folks, if I have appeared overly judgemental, getting on a high horse about things, talking down to folks as if they don't know etc. I hope you let me know either by PM or on this thread. Though I think the thread has already gone astray, so maybe PM is best.

Wynand: Competiton or resistance training is to apply what you learn in kata and cooperative practice imho. It applies to everything one learns in Aikido, from the most subtle to the most obvious. Resistance training and competition allows you to express these things in a more "real life" manner than cooperative training can because of the antagonist/resistance factor testing what you know all the way. If you think it's a good way for you to find out if your Aikido works, then I say go for it, but remember to keep a modicum of safety in whatever you decide. It's a constant learning process for all of us and when you learn something new no one loses, everyone wins.

Onegaishimasu.
LC

Last edited by L. Camejo : 02-19-2005 at 06:31 AM.

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Old 02-19-2005, 08:27 AM   #165
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Mark Johnston wrote:
Does AikiWeb have a new owner then?

Mike although Ron has spoken up for you, and Ron's word is good imo, I have to say the way you are addressing people leaves a great deal to be desired.

Your functional Ki thread is inhabited by yourself and one other person, I'm sure if anyone wants to join in there they won't be too scared to give an opinion. This site has a plethora of practitioners of all levels and all schools. You'll just have to get along.

Peace.
More personal remarks, Mark? What it looks like is that several Shodokan guys like to drag every conversation, either through innuendo or direct comments, like yours, into the personal level. And while I can appreciate the pride in the competitive nature of Shodokan, I don't think an aggressive pack mentality is necessarily the way to conduct a discussion on a web-board. If you have some things to say on the issues, why not address them instead of attempting to smear someone? If you don't have anything to say about the thread topic, the general rule in most discussions is to pass. If I say something you disagree with on the topic, challenge it, certainly. Ball's in your court.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-19-2005, 09:40 AM   #166
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
More personal remarks, Mark? What it looks like is that several Shodokan guys like to drag every conversation, either through innuendo or direct comments, like yours, into the personal level. And while I can appreciate the pride in the competitive nature of Shodokan, I don't think an aggressive pack mentality is necessarily the way to conduct a discussion on a web-board. If you have some things to say on the issues, why not address them instead of attempting to smear someone? If you don't have anything to say about the thread topic, the general rule in most discussions is to pass. If I say something you disagree with on the topic, challenge it, certainly. Ball's in your court.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
You're on a different planet mate.

pack mentality? personal remarks? comeptitive nature of Shodokan? smearing you? I end my post with 'peace' and all you can do is keep trying to wind people up with your......misplaced attitude.

Here...have your ball back...go find someone else to 'play' with. I've got more productive ways of spending my net time.

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Old 02-19-2005, 10:15 AM   #167
Roy Dean
 
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Wow. Easy there Mike. I know that you feel secure in your position, but please understand that we all feel secure in our positions and perspectives, and a little verbal blending will go a long way here. Many have tried blending with you already, even if you don't see it...

So...do you think that functional ki skills would make a difference in an open format grappling competition (i.e. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu rules, where almost all locks are allowed, including wrist locks)?

The ability to withstand a specific lock, nikyo or otherwise, is definitely of martial value, but how much value is it in relation to your opponents ability to change attacks spontaneously? Can you withstand all joint locks and chokes through Ki? Others have claimed this (even in the UFC, although I doubt they had perfect understanding) and lost their fights. We've all heard of Tohei's marvelous demonstrations where he threw several high ranking Judoka that attacked him, and murmers of Ki swept through the audience, but I've also heard of at least one demonstration where things did not go as he expected them to. Nothing against Tohei, just trying to be realistic.

I understand that Ki development cannot take place unless a practitioner slows down, and becomes sensitive to relaxed movement and total body integration. But that tempo should by counterbalanced, IMHO, by sparring, and occasional competitions, to test how their new integrated way of moving from center stacks up against people that could care less about Ki and are superb martial athletes.

I'm a rank amateur when it comes to internal energy, I'll readily admit. I've had a few interesting ki and kundalini experiences, but nothing I can claim to have had control over. I recognize that you are an expert in this field, and an experienced competitor, so I look forward to reading your response to my questions.

What are the martial benefits of this training? How would an internal master fare against one of today's top competitors, say Vanderlai Silva or Randy Couture, or any of the fighters in Pride or the UFC? And since martial athletes enter competitions at the height of their physical, mental, and energetic powers, isn't Ki already factored into the competition equation?

Sincerely,

Roy Dean
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Old 02-19-2005, 11:12 AM   #168
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Roy Dean wrote:
Wow. Easy there Mike. I know that you feel secure in your position, but please understand that we all feel secure in our positions and perspectives, and a little verbal blending will go a long way here. Many have tried blending with you already, even if you don't see it...
Is it necessary to go off on these personal tangents to discuss martial arts, do you think?
Quote:
So...do you think that functional ki skills would make a difference in an open format grappling competition (i.e. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu rules, where almost all locks are allowed, including wrist locks)?
Yes, I think it would make a tremendous difference, but I think that you're misconstruing my comment about one technique, which I only used for a narrow-spectrum example. The full spectrum of internal strength is apparently (I've studied these things for a lot of years, but bear in mind this is an opinion and not an attempt to mock anyone's quasi-religious beliefs) outside of what Aikido ever did or is expected to do. I.e., when you ask the question, you're thinking of what you know and when I answer it, I'm thinking of what I know.

Let me give a couple of examples. In Chen-style Taiji, the last great master (before the Chinese government locked down most martial arts in order to prevent uprisings, etc.) had an altercation with a bandit and using his staff (not a spear), he punched a hole through the bandit's chest and out his back with a sudden release of internal power. In another instance, a Chen-stylist spun and knocked a charging bull over with a shoulder strike. There are many instances of great power being used. Personally, and I don't think I'm all that bad, TBH, I couldn't apply even kotegaeshi on the current Chen leader... he can somehow just relax and let his wrist flop and neutralize my attempts. Those are just informational anecdotes. From those anecdotes, the things that should be of interest are not in relation to joint locks (although that is considered the forte' of Chen style), but how tremendous the power is they can generate. When you look at most MMA fights, you realize that if punches, etc., worked the way they did in the movies, the hits to a shooter would end the fight. They don't... no one of the MMA fighters can hit that hard. Someone who really does Chen-style, Bajiquan (like the high-level bodyguards the government uses), etc., can end fights without even getting to that point. It would be fun to see. Just take my answer as a "yes". What I'm suggesting is that accomplished Chinese martial artists who train as hard or harder than MMA fighters shouldn't be written off by any means.[QUOTE}The ability to withstand a specific lock, nikyo or otherwise, is definitely of martial value, but how much value is it in relation to your opponents ability to change attacks spontaneously? Can you withstand all joint locks and chokes through Ki? Others have claimed this (even in the UFC, although I doubt they had perfect understanding) and lost their fights.[/quote]Good point... there's several things about Ki, in fact, I think of it as 3 things. I mentioned some of those things to do with the most obviously applicable to Aikido, but I haven't mentioned the other 2 where anyone would understand what they really involve. The thing Ryan Parker tried to use in his UFC match was something to do with one of the other parts and that's another story.
Quote:
We've all heard of Tohei's marvelous demonstrations where he threw several high ranking Judoka that attacked him, and murmers of Ki swept through the audience, but I've also heard of at least one demonstration where things did not go as he expected them to. Nothing against Tohei, just trying to be realistic.
Then there is hope for you. Being realistic is important and I admire you for it. Seriously. Stay that way. There is a saying to the effect that technique without internal power is no good; internal power without good technique is no good. Internal power does not make you invincible.
Quote:
I understand that Ki development cannot take place unless a practitioner slows down, and becomes sensitive to relaxed movement and total body integration. But that tempo should by counterbalanced, IMHO, by sparring, and occasional competitions, to test how their new integrated way of moving from center stacks up against people that could care less about Ki and are superb martial athletes.

[snip]
What are the martial benefits of this training? How would an internal master fare against one of today's top competitors, say Vanderlai Silva or Randy Couture, or any of the fighters in Pride or the UFC? And since martial athletes enter competitions at the height of their physical, mental, and energetic powers, isn't Ki already factored into the competition equation?
In answer to your first question, I think sparring and fighting is necessary practice, but only AFTER your internal movement, etc., is ingrained. If you try to do it too soon, you never really get internal power because you'll move counter-productively. In answer to your last part, I think someone doing a shoot on a person who can generate enormous power could get hurt badly. But, until we see it, we don't know, do we?
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Old 02-19-2005, 11:34 AM   #169
Roy Dean
 
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Mike,

Thank you for your thoughtful response. I look foward to the day when an internal stylist DOES take out a top ranked fighter, on camera, for all the world to see.

Internal stylist > Vanderlai Silva = 6 figure paycheck

One would think this would be tempting to the masters: Instant wealth and fame for utilizing their skill. Until then, we'll just have to imagine!

Sincerely,

Roy Dean
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Old 02-19-2005, 04:31 PM   #170
rob_liberti
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Sorry that this turned so weirdly ugly (is that a term?!).

Roy - Top athletes tend to natually have quite a bit of things going for them like being squarely over their center without having to go learn how to do that like the rest of us. I would imagine the cream rises to the top paradigm, as in professional baskestball, will always have some Michael Jordan types - but that doesn't mean the coaching of the NBA really produces that (or everyone would be like Michael Jordan which is just not the case...). I think the same can be said for some of these MMA tournaments. Those people who just have a fantastic innate ability to move much more like we've been discussing here win and win a lot more than the other folks. So Roy, I'm not certain that your point really dismisses Mike Sigman's claims. This is not a personal attack, I've just heard this kind of reasoning before and I've never agreed with the idea that 'if it hasn't won the UFC is can't be real or valuable' - and although you don't come out and state that, it's close enough.

Personally, if I were more like Michael Jordan in terms of athletic ability, I wouldn't be spending my time trying to figure out ways to get like that, I'd probably be one of those annoying shihan that keeps showing us stuff, saying how simple it is, and kind of picking on all of those present who can't just copy me. (You've all been there, admit it!).

Since I'm not naturally gifted like that, I want to work towards continuing to develop myself. Any help towards that end is always considered very valuable to me at least...

Rob
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Old 02-20-2005, 01:51 AM   #171
Chris Birke
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Re: Competition in Aikido

"Roy - Top athletes tend to natually have quite a bit of things going for them like being squarely over their center without having to go learn how to do that like the rest of us. I would imagine the cream rises to the top paradigm, as in professional baskestball, will always have some Michael Jordan types - but that doesn't mean the coaching of the NBA really produces that (or everyone would be like Michael Jordan which is just not the case...)."

I think this sounds very true. However, does not the same apply to people like Osensei? I have specifically heard that "naturals" are the worst sort of teachers (as it is difficult to express what came to them without any logical (muchless linguistic) process). Are most masters naturals?

At the same time, I find it highly unlikely that the sort of martial artist Mike describes would entirely avoid the UFC (or Pride) or even any sort of widely known challenge match situation.

If all you have to do in order to spread the wisdom and truth that comes with understanding ki is to beat a willing opponent around for a little bit, why not? You're likely to get paid top notch for it too. Hell, you needn't even beat him, just display some of this remarkable prowess.

Why hasn't such a person stepped forward?

Religious(or related) beliefs prevent them from using ki/advanced skills/art except in dire need (or perhaps as a bodyguard)?

The techniques are too deadly for the ring?

These people are actually not as good as they claim?
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Old 02-20-2005, 11:43 AM   #172
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Chris Birke wrote:
At the same time, I find it highly unlikely that the sort of martial artist Mike describes would entirely avoid the UFC (or Pride) or even any sort of widely known challenge match situation.

If all you have to do in order to spread the wisdom and truth that comes with understanding ki is to beat a willing opponent around for a little bit, why not? You're likely to get paid top notch for it too. Hell, you needn't even beat him, just display some of this remarkable prowess.

Why hasn't such a person stepped forward?

Religious(or related) beliefs prevent them from using ki/advanced skills/art except in dire need (or perhaps as a bodyguard)?

The techniques are too deadly for the ring?

These people are actually not as good as they claim?
Insofar as China goes, it hasn't been open all that long to the West. We have enough problems getting good instructors of various Chinese martial arts to western countries, as of yet. Weirdly enough, really good instructors from China are in high demand in Japan, where they're paid a lot more money than they can make in the US, often.

Secondly, there's a stigma to fighting for a purse among good Chinese martial artists.... IF they've ever heard of the UFC and the like. Those of us who watch those kinds of martial arts often forget that the percentage of people who are aware of MMA is still not all that high. Not to mention that "submission fighting" is a specialized endeavor that is probably puzzling to some of the practitioners of Chinese martial arts. For instance, really good Eagle Claw people specialize in strengthening and toughening their hands, in addition to learning a repertoire of other aspects.... their forte is in ripping flesh off people who get too close. This is one of the reasons why grappling is certainly important to the Chinese, but it's not considered the end-all of end-alls. Basically, my stance is "it's still early yet", so maybe we'll see down the road what happens. I suspect that shoot-fighting and submission skills will be the hot trend for a while and then something else will happen.

Just for grins, here's a too-gushy account of a 60-year-old Baji expert taking on a European hotshot in a friendly match:
http://crane.50megs.com/index6ze.htm

FWIW

Mike
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Old 02-20-2005, 01:14 PM   #173
Chris Birke
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Re: Competition in Aikido

The story does not fill me with confidence.
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Old 02-20-2005, 10:26 PM   #174
rob_liberti
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Chris.

When I read your reply to my last post, all I could think of was: if you feel Osensei was just a natural and a bad teacher, and presuming that you are not a natural yourself, then why would you bother training aikido at all? I'm now guessing you don't train aikido...

As far as I'm concerned, the term Osensei ("great teacher") speaks for itself. He produced quite a few excellent students. I'm not convinced that he produced many great teachers. However, the people he trained had certain aspects of martial arts directly transmitted to them by a master - and some of them in turn, have been able to transmit aspects of what they got to their students and so on. Since most people - now a days - cannot spend 8 hours or more per day on training like many of the original students of Osensei, we are now forced to try to train smarter if we want to continue the art given our time contraints. That's the only reason why I would spend my free time sharing information on a forum about aikido.

While I agree that Osensei must have had quite a few natual gifts, it is pretty well known that he spent a great deal of time practicing fanatically - and that he specifically focused on hours of micro-movements. I simply believe that it is possible for me to get some additional insight on how to train smarter from people who know about any of the ki/kokyu drills Osensei focused on, or from Chinese MA stylists, or from principles learned from MMA folks, or from the folks that do 'aikido with competition', etc.

As far as masters showing up in MMA tournaments, I'd love to see it too. Maybe you can clear something up for me. I was told that no one 5th degree blackbelt or higher was allowed in the UFC because they were considered masters. Is that true? If so, then we have an obvious answer to your question. If not, then all we can do is speculate things like maybe people who train to the point they have really mastered some internal power have to by the nature of their training eliminated any need to participate in such a competition. Maybe to defend their distance, they'd have to kill the attacker - and they are just not too interested in doing that for sport... And maybe, as you suggest, there simply are no people who have anything worth while that don't compete in MMA. I don't honestly know. But, I've trained with people on both sides of the fence, and based on my experience, it seems reasonable to me to extrapolate that some of these people do exist and have existed in history and that with hard, dedicated, and *smart* training I can be like them. Hopefully, I'll also be able to do it and stay true to the michi aspect of aiki"do".

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 02-20-2005 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 02-21-2005, 01:17 AM   #175
Chris Birke
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Actually, you're incorrect in assuming I don't train Aikido. You also misunderstood my reasons for pointing out the claim that naturals make the worst teachers. Sometimes I am not entirely direct in my communications, so I'll try to be clearer.

I'll quote some things and try to explain what I was thinking:

"Roy - Top athletes tend to natually have quite a bit of things going for them like being squarely over their center without having to go learn how to do that like the rest of us. I would imagine the cream rises to the top paradigm, as in professional baskestball, will always have some Michael Jordan types - but that doesn't mean the coaching of the NBA really produces that (or everyone would be like Michael Jordan which is just not the case...)."

By this I assume you mean : although those in the ufc may display great talent, does not mean we should attempt to emulate them. What works for them may not be what works for us. Nor should we assume their training methods are valuable, they are naturals after all.

In response, I said:

"I think this sounds very true. However, does not the same apply to people like Osensei? I have specifically heard that "naturals" are the worst sort of teachers (as it is difficult to express what came to them without any logical (muchless linguistic) process). Are most masters naturals?"

This is a question I left unanswered because I feel the answer is rhetorical. However, I will explore it.

Yes, most masters are naturals. And yes, it is to them that we often look for our training. Perhaps we wish to become naturals ourselves. It's inconvienient that "training to become a natural" is so near a paradox, but it's what we live with. It is illogical to dismiss training like a ufc fighter on the grounds that they are naturals for to follow that logic we must disavow training like Osensi.

"I was told that no one 5th degree blackbelt or higher was allowed in the UFC because they were considered masters. Is that true?" No, this is a myth today, if it ever was true. Belts do not make good fighters. We are always playing catch up trying to assign the best belts to the best people. Never will the belt preceed.

The thing you have to remember about the UFC is not to buy into the mythos. Especially the earliest ones, they were pretty naive and were launching off new ignorant ideas as quickly as they dispelled the old. The more down to earth you see it, the closer you are to the truth. And the truth (in so far as I have seen) is nothing astounding, except in the very fact that it's all so completely sensible. I think often the same may be true for most martial arts, but people don't like to be that close to the ground.
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