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Old 03-08-2005, 07:25 AM   #26
rob_liberti
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

Obviously, Tohei sensei decided to try to teach these things more directly. There are many other different aikido senseis who approached learning and teaching these things in their own way.

Pete Trimmer sensei had 20-25 years of Alexander Method training learning these kinds of complete re-training of body movements - and copied a shihan who naturally moved in that way already (Saotome sensei).

I've spoken to Dan Mesisco sensei about how he apprached re-training his body and he told me some interesting stories. He had a lot of training with Hwang Gee (Tang Soo Do grand master). Dan brought some friends from the aikido hombu dojo with him to one of his visits to Korea. His aikido-buddies felt that while the Tang Soo Do looked cool and all those guys couldn't have any real kokyu power. So they did kokyu tanten ho. Dan had to explain the whole idea to the senior Korean students. Needless to say, the aikido black belts couldn't budge the Korean martial artists an inch. Dan explained that these serious martial artists would spend 3 solid years doing "everything" moving from center - all day long. When Dan sensei stands, he lets the mat hold him up. He stands squarely over his center and while he can explode out with rediculous power he always feels gentile.

Whike I admit that I have never personally seen Henry Kono sensei enter an attack, I can say that the way he maintains a larger balance with him and the uke is inspirational. I'm certain that there is something to his words - as he got them directly from his talks about aikido with Osensei.

The Takeda sensei folks in AKI, seem to approach the whole thing by throwing so much that you get so physically exhausted that you cannot use your muscles in anything but the most optimal way. I've met some of these folks and that method works well and is very fun.

My teacher trained in Takeda sensei's dojo, as well as Yamaguchi sensei's private dojo, and hombu dojo a long while ago and continually developed his understanding based on his life-long research of the spiritual principles of aikido. What I have learned from his classes is generally the inspiration for me to completely deconstruct the movements I thought they were and re-think and re-train myself to initially copy his movments and eventually manifest the principles behind the technique my way. We actually have other tools to help as well. We have traditional Japanese sword training that helps us apparach the same thing from a different but similar way.

Where I train in Japan, the body re-training happens in class from sempai to kohai. It happens all class long and for a couple hours after each class.

I've also seen Ikeda sensei go through a major change in the way he does and shows aikido movements. His ikkyo when I first met him is completely different fropm what I saw and felt him doing last time I saw him in Boston.

I think all of these ways are good and valuable in developing some very real kokyu ryoku along the way. If there are drills that I can hijack from Tai-chi folks that will help me make more efficient use of my mat time then please, by all means, continue to share.

Rob
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Old 03-08-2005, 08:44 AM   #27
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
Obviously, Tohei sensei decided to try to teach these things more directly.
Well, to an extent he did, Rob. Problem is, I can't judge the actual extent that he is being "open" because I had limited exposure to Ki Aikido, etc. Knowing what I know about how to do these things, my opinion is that he's not as open as he can be, but more open than anyone I've seen (which ain't necessarily saying much, given how the topic is held close to the chest usually).
Quote:
Pete Trimmer sensei had 20-25 years of Alexander Method training learning these kinds of complete re-training of body movements - and copied a shihan who naturally moved in that way already (Saotome sensei).
Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, Modern Dance movement, etc., etc., have nothing to do with this, Rob. That's a New Age myth that doesn't even withstand casual scrutiny, although it's popular in some circles. The main difference is the required "mind intent" to do these things. "Proper body mechanics" and "proper posture", like in the aforementioned studies, will overlap each other and any good physical discipline, but they're not unique in the way this use of the body-mind is.
Quote:
I've spoken to Dan Mesisco sensei about how he apprached re-training his body and he told me some interesting stories.
Sorry, but I don't know him, Rob, so I can't comment. There are some real differences, once you get into the Qi/Ki topic, that delineate basically 2 different approaches to this kind of power/training. It's like the difference between good Shaolin and good Chen's Taiji, over which there's always some partisan bickering. My real problem is that I'm pretty sure the basic Aikido "technology" is actually more what would be from Shaolin basics, even though I hasten to note that there are a lot of overlaps. It's a tricky discussion and beyond the scope of a web discussion.
Quote:
Whike I admit that I have never personally seen Henry Kono sensei enter an attack, I can say that the way he maintains a larger balance with him and the uke is inspirational. I'm certain that there is something to his words - as he got them directly from his talks about aikido with Osensei.
Again, I don't know the man, so I can't intelligently make more than general observations which may or may not be germane. The only point I'll make here is that Tohei and others also studied directly with O-Sensei yet they appear to have had to go outside for some of the Ki stuff. I don't know the details of why this happened, but it puts a question mark on whether or not Kono Sensei was shown more about this particular topic we're discussing.
Quote:
The Takeda sensei folks in AKI, seem to approach the whole thing by throwing so much that you get so physically exhausted that you cannot use your muscles in anything but the most optimal way. I've met some of these folks and that method works well and is very fun.
I've never seen 'em, unfortunately. Saying the "Takeda folks" may or may not be any more valid than calling most Aikidoka the "Ueshiba folks".... given what the average Aikidoka does, it wouldn't reflect fairly on O-Sensei, would it?
Quote:
What I have learned from his classes is generally the inspiration for me to completely deconstruct the movements I thought they were and re-think and re-train myself to initially copy his movments and eventually manifest the principles behind the technique my way. We actually have other tools to help as well. We have traditional Japanese sword training that helps us apparach the same thing from a different but similar way.
I dunno, Rob, without seeing it. If you poll all the western Aikidoka, they'll pretty much assure you they're doing just what Ueshiba did, more or less, so it's a "show me" sort of thing. Just for starters, all the Tohei "ki tests" should be easy to replicate, since there is a singular body mechanics involved that has fixed rules. As I said, I'm a little fuzzy on the exact extent of what Ueshiba himself did, but I'm fairly OK on the parameters... enough to discuss it personally pretty well, I think.
Quote:
I've also seen Ikeda sensei go through a major change in the way he does and shows aikido movements. His ikkyo when I first met him is completely different fropm what I saw and felt him doing last time I saw him in Boston.
Hmmm. OK, but I'm not sure what that means. I've seen Ikeda Sensei a number of times and I've also discussed this topic about this form of strength with some of his students, so I'll pass, given my aversion to typing.
Quote:
I think all of these ways are good and valuable in developing some very real kokyu ryoku along the way. If there are drills that I can hijack from Tai-chi folks that will help me make more efficient use of my mat time then please, by all means, continue to share.
I think I left some good pointers, just in case there are AikiWeb readers who are stuck in Aikido the way I was and who want some hints about which way to go. Generally speaking, I don't think most Aikido practitioners really care much about this topic, though, because they're into Aikido for varying and different reasons. Aikido with the proper body strengths, I've learned, is a topic which irritates a lot of people and causes friction because it has an effect on the pecking order. God help me, I don't wanna get into that morass.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 03-08-2005, 09:10 AM   #28
rob_liberti
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

I'm getting bad about quoting. Sorry. I was addressing alternative methods of body movement re-training:

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I don't see it quite that way, although time and effort practicing is certainly a given. The point I'd make is that if you don't know how to practice or if you practice incorrectly, you either never get it or you only get a few bits and pieces.

~snip~

"Mat time" won't really give it to you, either. Learning how to honestly move using your center and the jin forces requires re-training the way you move over a long period of time so that this form of power is instinctive and the subconscious will carry it for you automatically.
My point was that many people learn how to do these things not using the ki-society or tai-chi to do it.

I'm not sure why the complete re-training of body posture and body movements to allow reflexive movement like they do in Alexander method is different than what you are talking about. Can you explain?

Rob

PS.
I don't really follow your comment on calling the AKI folks the Takeda sensei folks. I wouldn't consider it unfair to be labeled one of the Gleason sensei folks, or one of the Saotome sensei folks, or one of the Yamaguchi sensei folks (although I never trained directly with him). I know many of the AKI folks, and I don't think they would take offense.

Last edited by rob_liberti : 03-08-2005 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 03-08-2005, 09:49 AM   #29
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
My point was that many people learn how to do these things not using the ki-society or tai-chi to do it.
Rob, I seriously doubt that you and I are talking about the same "things", TBH. It's the sort of discussion that is easily clarified in person, but difficult to do via typed words.
Quote:
I'm not sure why the complete re-training of body posture and body movements to allow reflexive movement like they do in Alexander method is different than what you are talking about. Can you explain?
I can explain most easily in person without having to type a lot and then find out later that all that typing didn't convey things well because pre-conceptions blocked the message. I've met with some Alexander Technique people who thought they did "the same thing" and who even taught that idea to a lot of people... but it turns out they were far off base. It made one of them change what he was doing, but it only antagonized 2 others to have it demonstrated that they were doing something quite different. I simply don't want to go the antagonism route while I'm offering my comments. I'm too sensitive and my aura might get damaged if there is any conflict.
Quote:
I don't really follow your comment on calling the AKI folks the Takeda sensei folks. I wouldn't consider it unfair to be labeled one of the Gleason sensei folks, or one of the Saotome sensei folks, or one of the Yamaguchi sensei folks (although I never trained directly with him). I know many of the AKI folks, and I don't think they would take offense.
Like I said, I don't know the people. I can't assume anything about what they do, so I'm avoiding accepting comparisons that might possibly offend someone. When I offend people, I like to do it on purpose.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 03-08-2005, 10:22 AM   #30
rob_liberti
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
When I offend people, I like to do it on purpose.
No doubt there, but you are willing to share valuable information so I still like and appreciate your words.

-Rob
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Old 03-08-2005, 10:43 AM   #31
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
No doubt there, but you are willing to share valuable information so I still like and appreciate your words.
I admit it. However, to be fair, also think about my perspective, which I've mentioned obliquely. I practiced Aikido hard and fairly and made many good friends, but I also encountered a general arrogance that I've never encountered in any of the martial arts of Judo, Karate, and assorted Chinese martial arts, with the exception of Tai Chi. When from practical experience I KNOW that most people doing Aikido are doing incomplete Aikido and often a even a parody of that, it's difficult for me to listen to arrogance and assumption. What you misread a lot in my comments is often my uncontrollable instinct to not get too involved with people who have an attitude, who have limited skills, and who will attack viciously if their "knowledge" or place on the totem-pole is questioned in any way. Heck, they get all snitty if I challenge them to a real fight!

So if I'm "offensive" at times, I'll take the charge... but at the same time look at the comments and insinuations that almost always lead up to it. If you can take the time to highlight me being offensive, take the time to acknowledge the rest of the story.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 03-08-2005, 11:32 AM   #32
rob_liberti
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

Fair enough. I do understand that you must get very frustrated. Let's make pece.

Of course I don't agree that you need to be a bigger bully and challenge someone to a fight on a message board, but I really cannot take the morally superior position on this since I have to admit that when I was younger I got into a knock down drag out fist fight with one of my best friends - over sharing the ice from a soda I got from like McDonalds or Burger King. (I lost the fight so I suppose it turns out, it was his ice. Oh well.)

Regardless, as I've said, I'm willing to put up with all kinds of stuff if I can get something out of it. Not everyone is, and I would like to accomodate them too as they might have something useful to contribute but don't want to have to get into a battle with someone for daring to have an opposing opinion.

So, how about this functional ki skill. When I've attacked Saotome sensei or even Takeda sensei for that matter - I don't feel as if there is an opening to attack. They are just standing there and well I'm going for it anyway despite that uneasy feeling. Then it seems like the don't really move but there is something open - and I basically shift my attack a bit because of it. And then I'm spinning around, trying to maintain my posture, and recieve what they are doing to/with me or wondering where they are (and hoping it's not right behind me). I've attacked many other shihan, and no one's done that to do me. And ideas?
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Old 03-08-2005, 12:10 PM   #33
tedehara
 
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I don't see it quite that way, although time and effort practicing is certainly a given. The point I'd make is that if you don't know how to practice or if you practice incorrectly, you either never get it or you only get a few bits and pieces. A good part of my visiting this forum, in fact, was because I suddenly got another piece of curiosity about exactly how much the Japanese knowledge of these particular skills developed... regardless of how hard they practiced... because if they weren't shown how to do these things first, the practice didn't give them enough to discover more than the rudiments...But backing up a bit in that story, let me emphasize that because I couldn't get any information on what was obviously a core skill in "Real Aikido" (TM) I never had any illusions from the start that all the techniques and extended practice I did ever gave me claim to any real expertise in Aikido..."Mat time" won't really give it to you, either. Learning how to honestly move using your center and the jin forces requires re-training the way you move over a long period of time so that this form of power is instinctive and the subconscious will carry it for you automatically. The whole body, down to the fingers, is moved and controlled in 2 related ways by the power of the middle region. If you've spent years practicing moving "the normal way", it's not an aid... it's actually a hindrance to any real success. If you think about it, you'll understand why Taiji, Xingyi, Bagua, etc., are done so very slowly for the first few years... it's to re-train the body movement before getting into techniques done with the wrong movement basics, etc. And it's a lot more complex than I feel like writing about... that's why it's so highly valued as a prize to know and keep retricted in Asia. The fact that Tohei and Abe sensei's had to get a lot of their knowledge from someone other than O-Sensei tells you the importance of the information to those two and also to O-Sensei, I think. Frankly, seeing the importance of this part of it, I get a little irritated with the distractions so much of Aikido (and other arts, but Aikido is the worst in terms of extraneous distractions) has allowed itself to be drawn to. It's very difficult for me to listen patiently and "respectfully" to the peripheral noise in Aikido when I know for a fact that almost all (statistically) of what everyone is doing is in fact incomplete Aikido at best, if you can see my perspective. I.e., we're all beginners. Almost none of us are the experts we thought we were. We're better off stopping and then re-starting slowly while working on correct movement for a year or so than to spend umpteen more years frustratingly trying to "add in" minor things on top of wrong basic movement, IMO. Ultimately, results count. Do we want to do things wrong but that look good and impress beginners... or do we want to do things right and impress the real experts?

FWIW

Mike Sigman
As far as this rant goes, I basically agree with you.
eek

There are a few points I'd like to go over. The name Real Aikido is used by a Serbian based aikido organization. Their type of aikido is about 180 degrees different than what you are describing.

The four basic principles may seem simplistic, yet they have been used to teach people aikido with mind and body coordination for over fifty years. If you get into it, it is not "simple" at all.

K. Tohei took a different direction. He felt that mind and body coordination was just as important as the aikido. I've lived in the Chicago area for over fifty years. I've never used an aikido technique on the street. I do use things from ki development class daily.

Frankly, I'm not out to impress beginners or experts. I'm just out to impress myself.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 03-08-2005, 12:22 PM   #34
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
Fair enough. I do understand that you must get very frustrated. Let's make pece.
With olive oil and parmesan cheese?
Quote:
Of course I don't agree that you need to be a bigger bully and challenge someone to a fight on a message board, ...[snip]
Regardless, as I've said, I'm willing to put up with all kinds of stuff if I can get something out of it. Not everyone is, ..[snip]
I'm not willing to tolerate it too long. Generally, I'll only take offensive remarks so long and then I begin to escalate it to see who is willing to back it up and who is a keyboard kommando. Or I just drop out of the conversation. But I do it without getting emotional about it. I assume that anyone who wants to be offensive needs to think about just how serious they are because the world can be a harsh place when a bulldog mouth overloads a chihuahua brain.
Quote:
So, how about this functional ki skill. When I've attacked Saotome sensei or even Takeda sensei for that matter - I don't feel as if there is an opening to attack. They are just standing there and well I'm going for it anyway despite that uneasy feeling. Then it seems like the don't really move but there is something open - and I basically shift my attack a bit because of it. And then I'm spinning around, trying to maintain my posture, and recieve what they are doing to/with me or wondering where they are (and hoping it's not right behind me). I've attacked many other shihan, and no one's done that to do me. And ideas?
There are 2 basic things in Asian martial arts: (1.) How you condition the body and (2.) strategy and tactics. The Ki and Kokyu things are conditioning, mainly, although the rooting and power of them strongly affect the strategy and tactics you are able to apply. Most westerners are oblivious to the importance of the conditioning aspects and think that you just need to "work hard and fine-tune your technique". As I've said before, the fact that Tohei grabbed the Ki-power stuff and made it the banner of Shin-shin Toitsu should be enough to clue people how important it is. But the point is that the question you're asking is mainly one of tactics and strategy, not the core subject we're discussing at the moment. Remember that the essential power of Ki and Kokyu is used in its variations and gradations over a great many different martial arts that use completely different tactics and strategies.

I'd also mention that when you "attacked" you weren't really seriously attacking (if you really attack someone, you should attack like your body is on fire and they're stopping you from getting to water. ). Secondly I'd mention that your "attack" was comprised of one of a very few but well known Aikido Canards like Tsuki, Shomenuchi, Yokomenuchi, Munetsuki, etc., etc., and if you'd started your attack, relinquished the arm and struck with the shoulder or any other change-up, you might have had a different outcome and had your name moved higher up on someone's shit-list.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 03-08-2005, 12:30 PM   #35
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:
There are a few points I'd like to go over. The name Real Aikido is used by a Serbian based aikido organization. Their type of aikido is about 180 degrees different than what you are describing.
I didn't know that. I was essaying a jape.
Quote:
The four basic principles may seem simplistic, yet they have been used to teach people aikido with mind and body coordination for over fifty years. If you get into it, it is not "simple" at all.
They are simplistic and vague. Deliberately so. If they weren't so vague, more Ki-Aikido people would have quicker and more remarkable results, in my studied opinion.
Quote:
K. Tohei took a different direction. He felt that mind and body coordination was just as important as the aikido.
I do too. In fact, I consider mind and body coordination, as I understand it, to be more important than Aikido. The benefits of the mind-body coordination are far more useable for health and strength than Aikido is. There are many martial arts; there is only one real Ki (I say that to shrug off the bogus things people call "Ki").

FWIW

Mike
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Old 03-08-2005, 03:21 PM   #36
rob_liberti
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

I guess I'm thinking that sitting in my chair typing about my favorite past time - the world of aikiwebforums is just not too harsh. I'm thinking that the people starving on the streets have it harsh.

Regardless of whichever canine brain or mouth I am to you, Mike, I appreciate your opinion. I think that people who do aikido value shin-shin toistu - we just call that rank sandan and move on from there towards michi. No doubt that many people are not appropriately ranked - to that standard. I have high standards for myself, and if I can learn more about shin-shin toitsu from ki-society, or tai-chi or any other sources then great!

My question,is do you have insight into the feeling that is given off by these sensei regardless of the power with which I attack them. Does this happen to students of tai-chi sifus?

Rob
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Old 03-08-2005, 03:48 PM   #37
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
My question,is do you have insight into the feeling that is given off by these sensei regardless of the power with which I attack them. Does this happen to students of tai-chi sifus?
Rob, Rob, Rob. I am not an empath and I don't speculate on other peoples' "feelings" since I can't feel them myself. A couple of thoughts come to mind. One is how practical most of the Asian teachers I know are and how they are stunned with westerners' perception of pragmatic arts as being mystical. I heard a funny but unrepeatable anecdote about one of Saotome's replies in Japanese to a woman practitioner who came up and asked, "what is the meaning of Aikido?". I have heard a number of similar stories about the frustration some experts feel in re all the focus on "feelings", etc., from westerners.

That being said, I have to jump to the other side and say, as I've said elsewhere, that "Ki" actually is related to the subconscious, the central nervous system, and the myofascial network. Most of the feelings like the "magnetic" one between your hands, the "rabbit running across your grave" shiver, etc., etc., are considered to be pure aspects of "ki". As you build the power of your Ki through breathing, standing practices, etc., there is an adjunct growth in the strength of your "feelings" of that sort. In one sense, your own "field" (ack, I hate to admit this, but it's possible that the scattered but consistent world-wide belief in aura's may have some substance... Asians consider the "aura" to simply be the Ki field) grows stronger as you're developing your Ki and as a consequence your interactability with other peoples' fields increases. Qigong experts, etc., do "healing from a distance" (but not too far; a matter of feet or inches) with the strength of their "field".

The problem with "fields" and "feelings" gets tricky because there are some feelings that are considered "psychological" and some that are considered "real" (you supposedly can tell by using the Tiger's Mouth point, but that's another story). The vague point I'm trying to make is that somehow our susceptibility to suggestion has something to do with our "fields" and so sometimes it is difficult to separate a "field" feeling from a subjective feeling based on our desire to feel something.

So when you ask me about your feelings, I pass. It's complex and too likely to be subjective. Some people will strongly feel something from a qigong expert, some people will feel nothing. I usually feel nothing with the phonies, but I've felt some remarkable things from some of the real experts. However, I consider the phenomena of "field feelings" to be some not-too-important part of Ki development (maybe on a level with our ability to sense heat waves from the stove) where the main focus is our measureable strength and health.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 03-08-2005, 10:53 PM   #38
Moses
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

From the peanut gallery,
Interesting conversation, indeed. Not to split hairs, but I have a question about the word choice "sub-conscious?" I am trying to understand the context and related ideas. My understanding is that the "sub-conscious" pertains to Freudian terminology; specifically to the realm of the "Id" instinctual drives (i.e. killing, having sex, and eating of dead people [omophagia]). Conversely, from my understanding, Jung coined the term "un-conscious"; pertaining to the aspects with the mind, including body, normally not in a state of conscious awareness of the cognitive processes. Like I said, I don't mean to split hairs, but there seems to be a considerable implication between these two "usage" words. I am wondering if there is any implied/latent meaning in the use of the "sub-conscious," or if it is just an issue of semantics.
Thanks for the aside, Moses Jenkins
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Old 03-08-2005, 11:09 PM   #39
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

Quote:
Moses Jenkins wrote:
From the peanut gallery,
Interesting conversation, indeed. Not to split hairs, but I have a question about the word choice "sub-conscious?"
My mistake. I mean it as a general term indicating some specific or general group of functions we don't normally voluntarily control. A lot of the "mysticism of the East" involves using visualizations, clearing the mind, relaxing, etc., in order to strengthen the rapport and somewhat voluntary control of normally involuntary processes. Since I don't know everything involved here except the effects, I have to be vague about what is working behind the scenes.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 03-09-2005, 01:15 AM   #40
Moses
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

["quote" I don't know everything involved here except the effects "/quote"]

I tried to quote so lets see if it worked .

With a total of ten years within the Japanese and Chinese arts, I consider myself to be a novice at best. Here this is the crux of my situation, or I should say question; how does one differentiate between casual, i.e. implied visualizations (assumed to be of a minor significance / at best significant distractions), vs. natural visualizations (assumed to be of a functional significance). While it might seem obvious to some, from the position of discovery (which I believe I have made some progress in functionality) it is extremely disconcerting at times when looking at the available whole; i.e. there is all together too much information pertaining to, what I deem as being misleading.
Just my thought, Moses Jenkins

Last edited by Moses : 03-09-2005 at 01:21 AM.
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Old 03-09-2005, 01:18 AM   #41
Moses
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

Damn the foolishness, I didn't Quote corectly
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Old 03-09-2005, 03:28 AM   #42
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I've met with some Alexander Technique people who thought they did "the same thing" and who even taught that idea to a lot of people... but it turns out they were far off base. It made one of them change what he was doing, but it only antagonized 2 others to have it demonstrated that they were doing something quite different.
What was different, could you explain some of that?

curious kvaak
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Old 03-09-2005, 08:22 AM   #43
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

Quote:
Moses Jenkins wrote:
["quote" I don't know everything involved here except the effects "/quote"]

I tried to quote so lets see if it worked .
Leave out the quotation marks, square bracket at both ends, capitalize QUOTE. Or just punch the "quote" button at the bottom of the message you're quoting from and delete the parts you don't want.
Quote:
how does one differentiate between casual, i.e. implied visualizations (assumed to be of a minor significance / at best significant distractions), vs. natural visualizations (assumed to be of a functional significance).
One of the big problems in the martial arts, qigongs, etc., is that there is too much information, a lot of it being offered by people who don't really know. Never trust someone just because they're a "teacher" or "studied in the Orient" or "native Japanese or Chinese", etc. Get a handle on someone's actual credentials, their demonstrable ability (problem is newbies are too-easily impressed) and use common sense. If someone is teaching something, they need to be able to demonstrate it in such a way that you're satisfied they do it well. I can't tell you how many teachers I've seen who are teaching something they can't really do (like Aikido or Taiji, even?) but their excuse is that while they're not so hot they make a good coach and if you'll just keep practicing what they say, one day ability will arrive. Why didn't it arrive to them doing it the way they're doing it???

The useful visualizations always have a functional way of determining the results, not just "feelings". The "imagine a golden light" types should be left alone until much later because it's too easy to imagine things while not getting them to do anything. I can close my eyes and "imagine" that I am on Saturn right now, but that doesn't make it so.

Functional visualizations involve you "getting in touch" with a part of your body and then affecting it with a visualization and often an accompanying physical action (as you get better, the rule is that the physical action usually dwindles toward imperceptability). A good, useful, and simple example of this would be:

Relax and breathe in through your nose while imagining that the air is coming in through the fontanel/bai-hui at the top of the head and is flowing into the stomach/hara/tanden, pressurizing it slightly. Exhale the air from the stomach down the legs and out tiny holes in the soles of the feet and out the ends of the toes. Relax completely while you exhale, imagining the blood in your body dropping into the feet and lower legs. More factors could be attached to that "cleansing qigong" (new qi into the top of the head; dirty qi out through the feet), but if's functional enough as it stands. It will relax you... that's measureable. It will drop your blood pressure... it's been measured on a number of people. It will warm your feet (you can let a portion of the exhaled air flow out your fingertips and warm both hands and feet, to a degree). That's what I mean by a functional set of visualizations.

I tried to set up some functional visualization material on the "Functional Ki" thread that died a while back, for the few that would be interested in trying to move correctly. The problem is that it helps to actually feel what some of these things are like for the first few times and get corrections. But they're generally useable ideas for the thinkers and experimenters.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 03-09-2005, 08:33 AM   #44
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

Quote:
Pauliina Lievonen on correct Aikido and Alexander Technique wrote:
What was different, could you explain some of that?
Good posture and good mechanical body movements are important to good body function, but first of all, people moving with Ki and Kokyu do not move using the muscles used in Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, Modern Dance, etc., etc. They use radically different musculature and they "will" supporting force paths to do a lot of the work from the ground and down-paths from the weight and body closing. I can usually use the manipulation of these paths to effect things without having to do any Alexander type movements. Rarely but unavoidably, there may be some transitory overlap with Alexander or Feldenkrais, etc., but it would be the exception, not the rule.

Take a very simple example of me sitting on a bar-stool and you pushing against my forearm in an attempt to push me over. The reason you can't has nothing to do with any "movement", but in the mental way I arranged a path so that your push pushes my butt against the seat and I direct the vector to the bar-stool leg where it meets the floor. Naturally, relaxing the upper body so that your push doesn't immediately work on that is important in my being able to direct your push to the floor. Do you see my point? The important part in that example was the mind and the path it built through the body, regardless of the "posture", etc. Hope that's not too unclear.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-09-2005, 09:12 AM   #45
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

Okay, slightly different example. There is that "ki test" where you put your thumb and pointer finger together and someone tries to pull them apart. The fingers are being pulled directly away from each other - as opposed to using any twisting motions or sideways vectors.

It's easy to resist the pulls as long as your arm is resting comfortably in front of you in the position where you would hold a sword. If you stick you are out away from your body and bend your elbow 90% upwards so that your hand is in the position where you might signal "OK" from across the room to a friend - it's generally much more difficult to resist the same amount of pulling apart force.

However, if I lengthen and widen (especially the arms, but everywhere) I can resist with the same amount as I could when I was in the initial easier position. I'm not making a ground path anywhere - but it seems related to kokyu power.

Rob
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Old 03-09-2005, 11:20 AM   #46
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
Okay, slightly different example. There is that "ki test" where you put your thumb and pointer finger together and someone tries to pull them apart. The fingers are being pulled directly away from each other - as opposed to using any twisting motions or sideways vectors.

It's easy to resist the pulls as long as your arm is resting comfortably in front of you in the position where you would hold a sword. If you stick you are out away from your body and bend your elbow 90% upwards so that your hand is in the position where you might signal "OK" from across the room to a friend - it's generally much more difficult to resist the same amount of pulling apart force.

However, if I lengthen and widen (especially the arms, but everywhere) I can resist with the same amount as I could when I was in the initial easier position. I'm not making a ground path anywhere - but it seems related to kokyu power.
Well, it IS related to Kokyu power, Rob, but it's the reverse power, the yin power, as opposed to the yang power I described in my example. All I was trying to show Pauliina was why Alexander Technique and other methods don't apply to "how to do the power used in Aikido". The example I used was, in my opinion, pretty clear because I was able to use a bar-stool as part of the mind-body connection in a simplistic case.

The case you're talking about in a sense has more to do with "ki" than just kokyu and frankly it would take a gradual progression of demonstrations to bring it out to where you understand how it's done, when it's done correctly of course. I mentioned this sort of example in some earlier posts briefly, but the essence is that it would take too long for me to explain it clearly and besides, while I don't mind sharing a fair amount of information because it's what I wished people would have done for me, there're some alleyways I'm not going to discuss with people that I can't see personally and gauge their health, intentions, etc.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 03-09-2005, 12:10 PM   #47
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

Fair enough, and good response. Thanks. It kind of begs the side question - do you have any experience with people misusing ki/kokyu power?

Rob
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Old 03-09-2005, 12:31 PM   #48
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
Fair enough, and good response. Thanks. It kind of begs the side question - do you have any experience with people misusing ki/kokyu power?
For all practical purposes, insofar as Aikido goes, these kinds of powers are just a way to be strong without using a lot of muscle, etc. So what you're asking is akin to "do you have any experience with people misusing strength they've developed"? There are some sophisticated ways to develop this strength and apply it that I have not seen in Aikido, but you could still just consider them as "strengths" that are applied within a martial art... and any strength can be "misused".

For a rough idea what I mean "strength that needs less muscular effort", think of the example I gave of the person (the "pushee") sitting on a bar-stool while accepting a push to the forearm. The pusher feels a very solid, relaxed force. If the pushee carefully maintains (this becomes automatic with a little experience) the solid path to the ground that the pusher is feeling and bends his back a little he can "store energy" along the solid path to the ground. Then by straightening that path directly into the pusher's hands he can almost irresistably move the pusher backward. The thing that did most of the work in resisting the pusher's push was the solid but very relaxed path to the ground. A reasonably small person can feel irresistable using this sort of mind-formed path as the core of their strength; i.e., letting the ground do most of the work. There are many variations of how to use these things, but the bar-stool example I just fabricated is a good example of how the real power to do Ikkyo and many kokyu throws is formed. So a relatively weak person can feel exceedingly strong when trained well.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 03-09-2005, 12:59 PM   #49
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
The important part in that example was the mind and the path it built through the body, regardless of the "posture", etc. Hope that's not too unclear.
I think this was quite clear, thank you.

Just out of curiosity, do you happen to know how experienced the Alexander people were that you met? I was also curious about what you meant with an "Alexander movement"?

Interesting thread.
kvaak
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Old 03-09-2005, 01:23 PM   #50
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Re: Ki Usage and O-Sensei: A Question

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Pauliina Lievonen wrote:
Just out of curiosity, do you happen to know how experienced the Alexander people were that you met? I was also curious about what you meant with an "Alexander movement"?
Hmmmm.... I've met a few, but I only knew they were "Alexander Technique" practitioners. I've also met a number of Rolfers, Feldenkrais'ers, Modern Dance, etc., and when people have said "Such and such has a lot to do with the internal arts", I usually peruse a few books about them, just to get an idea. I slipped on the Alexander "movement" because I mentally shifted to Feldenkrais ... so pardon the slip. The point is that manipulating the body with these types of forces is not what Alexander technique, Feldenkrais, etc., do. It's hard enough to learn how to do these without adding complicating factors. Which reminds me.... a little off-topic from what you were asking... no one learns to do "mind-body" movement just by "relaxing" and "emptying the mind" or "just maintaining good posture" ... you have to learn how the mind is applied to the movement. And the movement is actually a little more complex than I've mentioned, as one goes through varying levels of acquired skills.

Regards,

Mike
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