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Old 04-20-2005, 04:57 AM   #51
Alex Megann
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Re: Tada lineage

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
I chose my approach based on the number of excellent students produced by that training methodology. Just curious, who are the notable students of Tada sensei? I don't know that lineage very well at all.
Rob
In Europe at least, Tada's notable students include Hideki Hosokawa (7 Dan), Masatomi Ikeda (7 Dan) and the late Giorgio Veneri (6 Dan).

Alex
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Old 04-20-2005, 05:11 AM   #52
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
I would agree that Yamaguchi sensei did not stress kokyu over aiki in his teaching of aikido and was quite awesome. Yet, he and his students certainly had/have kokyu power in abundance.

Saotome sensei's first teacher was Yamaguchi sensei. Some other notable students (for members of this forum) would be Endo sensei, Yasuno sensei, Takeda sensei, Gleason sensei, and I believe Christian Tissier sensei as well (not to mention some of their own students).

I chose my approach based on the number of excellent students produced by that training methodology. Just curious, who are the notable students of Tada sensei? I don't know that lineage very well at all.

Rob
I was not thinking in terms of lineage, so much as my own direct experience of these shihans over the twenty-odd years I have been here. Both have/had large numbers of senior students here in Japan. Yamaguchi Shihan had kokyuu but did not stress it: he was able to control uke's balance. Tada Shihan places great stress on kokyuu and on stranding exercises. Of course, when he was a deshi, he supplemented his aikido training with training under Tenpu Nakamura (as did Tohei) and others.

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Old 04-20-2005, 05:19 AM   #53
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Alex Megann wrote:
There is an Aikido Journal interview with Inaba here:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article...ighlight=inaba
Alex
It's a good article. Relevant to the thread topic of Ki Things, was this:
Quote:
Inaba Sensei wrote:
However, even if you grasp timing, if you don't focus your power or energy you cannot do anything. In the human body the area to focus power is the lower abdomen (kafuku tanden).

Power focused here is defensive power; power going out is offensive power.

How can you put forth offensive power? The first thing you have to do is to focus the power in your center. Offensive power will naturally flow if you focus your power in the center. That is forceful power (iryoku). It is a condition of focused energy that becomes center energy. In budo, people use the terms "bui" or "iryoku", don't they? Most important in martial arts is "iwoharu," showing this powerfully focused energy. It's not good to pretend that you have energy (karaibari). Try to use the energy in the lower abdomen. You can call this energy focused "ki" energy. If you don't have center energy, you are bluffing. Really, you have to develop this energy. The energy will flow naturally if you can focus it in the lower abdomen. If you understand this point, you will understand how to develop your body and mind and how you should train.

If you forget this essential point, you'll think only about winning, and you won't have the power to keep centered. This power won't be released and you will be destroyed.
What Inaba Sensei said is another stress on the importance of the ki and kokyu components. What I think happens is that everyone gets so used to hearing these terms (often from the mouthes of people with little or no real skills), that they automatically think of it as not too important (in comparison with technique) or as something a bit separate and which they already do enough of. But... each person has to see and choose their own way. Perhaps I'm too enamored with the recent (to me, with the perspective I have) revelation that there was a stronger undercurrent and knowledge of ki things in Aikido than I had thought. With today's sources of information (Aikido Journal, books, etc.) these things become more apparent.
Quote:
You do exercises to straighten up your back muscles and relax your shoulders. Drop your focus to your lower abdomen. If you do that, you'll find your center point and you will produce center energy. If your center is not developed, you won't have ki energy available to project through your fingers.

If you take excess energy from the upper body and train the lower body as in sumo wrestling, and if you train the energy of the lower abdomen, you will develop your center energy. You use that power wherever necessary.

Even though you focus the energy in your lower abdomen, you will not be able to move the energy to the area where you need it right away. You have to think about how you are going to move it. You have to think about two things, gathering and filling up the power, and then moving the power to where the opponent will attack. Also if you have a weapon, you have to project energy through the weapon. If you understand this point, you'll know how to train and what you need to develop. At the same moment you meet your opponent, you focus on your abdomen (hara) and project your ki where you need it. The result will be that you will shut down your opponent's power. I understand that as the power of "aiki."
Those last 3 sentences are interesting because they discuss our previous topic of "aiki" (the one I said that I found confusing due to the different way people were using it). IF I assume that Inaba Sensei's definition is correct (and I think it's a good working assumption) and I take into account the what I called "clever" and ""sophisticated" usages I saw Shioda do, then I know what he means and I can see a general definition that seems plausible to me. As Inaba use it, "Aiki" has to do with the use of kokyu in relation to what I called the "lightning fast feel for someone's empty spot" that Shioda demonstrates repeatedly in a segment of the DVD "Shingi Denju". And I agree... this is the essence of all good techniques when you know how to really use kokyu. Let me add one point to that last sentence... it's very common to meet a simple statement like that last one with an "Oh yeah, I know what he's talking about and I already do that", but I'm talking about a specific area of skill that I saw Shioda do that I doubt the average person knows how to do. I.e., it's probably worth the chase.

My opinion, FWIW

Mike
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Old 04-20-2005, 05:27 AM   #54
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Alex Megann wrote:
Kanetsuka Sensei had more a prolonged - although informal - influence from the Shiseikan in later years: for a while (in the late eighties, if I recall correctly) he had quite close contacts with Minoru Inaba, now head of the Shisekan, and would travel halfway across Europe to see him. I remember him speaking of Inaba as if he were some kind of prodigy - even though he is a little younger than Kanetsuka, the latter had great respect for his insights. I would guess the initial link with Inaba would have been through Sekiya Sensei.

There is an Aikido Journal interview with Inaba here:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article...ighlight=inaba

Alex
Hello Alex,

Yes, I know the article and have some stuff Inaba wrote in Japanese. There is a book called "Budo e no izanai: Nihon Seishin no Shuuyou". When you next meet KS, ask him if he My own connection with him is through my very first aikido teacher, who is a senior member of that dojo. This was before I met K. Chiba in Chiswick (in the days of the AGB). I remember Sekiya Sensei mentioning two powerful students, Inaba and Noguchi. Of course, they also trained with Yamaguchi Sensei.

Best regards,

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Old 04-20-2005, 06:05 AM   #55
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Hello Mike,

Compare, if you will, the "lightning fast feel for one's empty spot", with the 'explosive power' talked about earlier in this thread. In my opinion, Yamaguchi's trademark was the first and Tada's trademark is the second, though of course they are two sides of a larger whole.

Inaba was greatly influenced by Yamaguchi, who never divorced kokyuu training from aikido training in general. Tada Shihan, on the other hand, practised a whole load of standing exercises, which he called "Ki no Renma" and insisted that kokyuu power could come only via very intensive training. As I intimated in a previous post, Tada supplemented his aikido trainig at the Hombu with training outside.

In aikido taking ukemi is a good way to sense what is happening and I have done this regularly over the years with both shihans. With Yamaguchi it was like grabbing hold of water. He found the empty spot, but then allowed you to fill it and then controlled your own ki/kokyuu until the next empty spot, and so on. With Tada it is more like entering a whirlpool, since he controls the 'kokyuu field' from the very begining. Tada expects you to keep up with his kokyuu, whereas Yamaguchi matches yours and draws it out, at every step.

Does this make sense?

Best regards,

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Old 04-20-2005, 07:12 AM   #56
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
Hello Alex,

Yes, I know the article and have some stuff Inaba wrote in Japanese. There is a book called "Budo e no izanai: Nihon Seishin no Shuuyou". When you next meet KS, ask him if he My own connection with him is through my very first aikido teacher, who is a senior member of that dojo. This was before I met K. Chiba in Chiswick (in the days of the AGB). I remember Sekiya Sensei mentioning two powerful students, Inaba and Noguchi. Of course, they also trained with Yamaguchi Sensei.

Best regards,
I see that I sent the post without finishing a sentence. I meant that you should ask Kanetsuka Sensei when you next see him if he knows of the book.

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 04-20-2005, 07:19 AM   #57
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Peter,

It makes perfect sense to me! I can totally relate to the idea of the teacher matching you and drawing you out at every step. That is what Gleason sensei does and teaches quite well. You are constantly receiving as uke and nage.

I actually got to train with Sekiya Sensei as my partner in Boston once! When he visited the area (one of his deshi had originally come from the area) he came to the annual Saotome sensei seminar at Gleason sensei's dojo. He had a dark black mustache and a big white afro. It was just ridiculous getting thrown by him. I had no idea what he was doing! He was totally soft and totally powerful.

Also, I believe that Noguchi sensei was the person who taught Kashimashinryo to Gleason sensei. He always speaks very highly of them.

I'm sure that explosive power is very interesting and useful, and I will continue to research it as a side curiosity while I stick to Yamaguchi sensei's approach. It obviously works quite well without focusing on kokyu divorced from aikido training in general. If someone wants to focus primarily on kokyu, I hope it works for them. (Maybe they should call what they do kokyudo? )

Rob
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Old 04-20-2005, 07:29 AM   #58
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Jun, is there a way you can archive this thread in a prominent place on the board?

I'd really like to thank everyone for their contributions!

Best,
Ron

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Old 04-20-2005, 07:33 AM   #59
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
It obviously works quite well without focusing on kokyu divorced from aikido training in general. If someone wants to focus primarily on kokyu, I hope it works for them. (Maybe they should call what they do kokyudo? )
Hi Rob, isn't that a little close to saying what Tada Sensei does is not aikido? Or was that a slight shot across the bow to Mike? You know, Mike took quite a bit of flak coming here...but in the end, look at the thread it produced....

Best,
Ron

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Old 04-20-2005, 07:49 AM   #60
Mike Sigman
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
Compare, if you will, the "lightning fast feel for one's empty spot", with the 'explosive power' talked about earlier in this thread. In my opinion, Yamaguchi's trademark was the first and Tada's trademark is the second, though of course they are two sides of a larger whole.
Hi Peter:

Actually, this can be looked at on about 3 levels of understanding. At the moment I'm going through a "duh" phase with myself, but the real problem was that I hadn't had anyone actually define the specific part of "aiki" before, the way Inaba did. Using that, I go back and see that Shioda wasn't just "delighting in kokyu tricks", as I earlier said, he was focusing on what "aiki-do" actually meant to him. It's an honest epiphany for me. Not that I missed what he was doing, I missed what it meant in the grand scheme of things because we all get confused in trying to pick out what is the important information when so much is always being paraded in front of us (that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it). I had already decided that what Shioda did was like an exquisite riff on a guitar that I had never thought about, even though I'm a "guitar player" as well. And I was already beginning to concentrate on accomplishing the riff the way he did it.

What Shioda did was being missed by his students that attempted to emulate him. They saw it on the first level. The second level would be after you got some kokyu skills and you emulated it on a gross level. The third level would be an extension beyond just the kokyu skills but how you move them outside of your body. Suddenly I see a whole art built around that concept (well, I see it after reading Inaba's enlightening comment) and I see even more clearly than before why just a few techniques are necessary if you have that particular skill. In a way, it's the same basic idea in real Taiji, but I again missed the focus because I was engaged in developing the extent of my powers and overlooked the four-leaf clover. Duh.

The point being that "explosive power" is just one way you can apply this concept (or you can just use it to show off) and that's somewhat aside from "finding the empty spot" (which is important, but more complicated than I'm making it). Shioda did somewhat more than just "find the empty spot" but I figured that was accurate enough for the purposes of these discussions.
Quote:
Inaba was greatly influenced by Yamaguchi, who never divorced kokyuu training from aikido training in general. Tada Shihan, on the other hand, practised a whole load of standing exercises, which he called "Ki no Renma" and insisted that kokyuu power could come only via very intensive training. As I intimated in a previous post, Tada supplemented his aikido trainig at the Hombu with training outside.
The level of kokyu is, as I've said before, a matter of degree. It goes from the coarse "driving with the whole body" stuff that some people do (they're sure they've "arrived", though) to the fairly sophisticated levels. At the fairly sophisticated levels you can do what Shioda did without actually having a lot of the true "ki" (and it's quite possible that Shioda didn't really understand what that is, given his definitions) or you can do what Shioda did and have in addition the actual ki-things the body can do, the ones that Tohei likes to focus on. In terms of the essence of Aikido, as I'm seeing it now, it can be effected without going to the full limits that Tohei does, but it's not simple and it does take some practice. So it could be that Tada was going for the full boat in addition to the essence of Aiki and Yamaguchi was focused only on the essence of Aiki. If that makes sense to you. I only offer it as a possibility since I don't know either person.
Quote:
In aikido taking ukemi is a good way to sense what is happening and I have done this regularly over the years with both shihans. With Yamaguchi it was like grabbing hold of water. He found the empty spot, but then allowed you to fill it and then controlled your own ki/kokyuu until the next empty spot, and so on. With Tada it is more like entering a whirlpool, since he controls the 'kokyuu field' from the very begining. Tada expects you to keep up with his kokyuu, whereas Yamaguchi matches yours and draws it out, at every step.

Does this make sense?
Well, it makes sense, certainly, but it sounds like different usages of the same basic concept that Inaba called "aiki". I.e., once you understand it, you can play variations on the same theme. In fact, that's what Shioda was doing with his "riff".... it was a series of variations on the central theme; the way he did his ura, omote, leading, etc., would also be variations of that same theme, without a doubt. So someone being uke for Tsuki-Kotegaeshi with Shioda might have described a "whirlpool" or whatever feeling, but the essence of what Shioda did would have been this use of "aiki" throughout the throw, regardless of the feeling his particular variation of aiki induced on uke. IMO. Email me at mikesigman at earthlink.net so I can get your preferred email address and I'll try to lay it out more clearly, when I get a few minutes.

Regards,


Mike Sigman
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Old 04-20-2005, 08:05 AM   #61
Alex Megann
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
I see that I sent the post without finishing a sentence. I meant that you should ask Kanetsuka Sensei when you next see him if he knows of the book.

Best regards,
Thanks, Peter - I will do!

Alex
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Old 04-20-2005, 09:04 AM   #62
rob_liberti
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Hi Rob, isn't that a little close to saying what Tada Sensei does is not aikido? Or was that a slight shot across the bow to Mike?
Hi Ron.

I'm certain that what Tada sensei does is aikido. The point being made was about where to put your focus. My point doesn't have to be taken as a shot any more than say writing about how it would be an absurdity to study aikido and not focus on kokyu.

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
You know, Mike took quite a bit of flak coming here...but in the end, look at the thread it produced....
Now does that seem ... "Equitable?"

I do agree that this is a wonderful thread.

Rob
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Old 04-20-2005, 09:16 AM   #63
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

I'm reading the article posted earlier now, and I'm going to go back and re-read this entire thread afterward. The really cool thing is that I get to keiko this weekend with both Utada and Ikeda Sensei at the same time! I hope I can explore some of what is in this thread really soon...starting tonight, in fact!

Its funny, I've been reading Mike's writing off and on for quite sometime now, and trying to figure out some of this stuff and how it relates to my keiko here and there. But this is the most productive thread for me on this subject I can think of. In a sense, his 'challenge' to the art was very valid for me...I studied 'smash mouth' aikido for some time...not realizing that that wasn't what my teachers were teaching. Some of us just catch on slowly. I'm not convinced the problem is with the teachers so much as it is with the students (like me).

Good reading you again...

Best,
Ron

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Old 04-20-2005, 10:12 AM   #64
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Mike Sigman wrote:
>I would still point out that even O-Sensei stressed atemi, even >though many Aikidoists think everything can be done by magically
>"blending with your opponent". Every really good Aikidoist that I've
>ever seen uses checks and hits when he can't "blend" with even
>cooperative attacks, so I'd at least offer the opinion that the
>perhaps false goal of blending may not be totally on target.

Oh, yes, I agree with the atemi. I was just trying to explain that, as an uki, when you get "tossed around like a rag doll" by someone good, that they can use either a physical atemi or what some people call "ki". Right now in my understanding, I view them both as atemi (in the previous instance that I was talking about). One is physical and one is something else that I don't have a great understanding of yet, but I've been on the receiving end of both.

Mark
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Old 04-20-2005, 10:34 AM   #65
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Getting back to the idea of developing Kokyu power, I thought of the below-styled thought attributed to Tada Shihan. I also note that Tohei's instructions for ki and kokyu seem pretty vague, but added to Tohei's cloudiness was a similar obscure comment in "Aikido Shugyo" about just training and it will happen. Here's the Tada comment via Peter :
Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
Inaba was greatly influenced by Yamaguchi, who never divorced kokyuu training from aikido training in general. Tada Shihan, on the other hand, practised a whole load of standing exercises, which he called "Ki no Renma" and insisted that kokyuu power could come only via very intensive training. As I intimated in a previous post, Tada supplemented his aikido trainig at the Hombu with training outside.
But notice below that Inaba Sensei is fairly pragmatic in his suggestions:
Quote:
Inaba Sensei wrote:
However, even if you grasp timing, if you don't focus your power or energy you cannot do anything. In the human body the area to focus power is the lower abdomen (kafuku tanden).

Power focused here is defensive power; power going out is offensive power.

How can you put forth offensive power? The first thing you have to do is to focus the power in your center. Offensive power will naturally flow if you focus your power in the center. That is forceful power (iryoku). It is a condition of focused energy that becomes center energy..... Try to use the energy in the lower abdomen. You can call this energy focused "ki" energy. If you don't have center energy, you are bluffing. Really, you have to develop this energy. The energy will flow naturally if you can focus it in the lower abdomen. If you understand this point, you will understand how to develop your body and mind and how you should train.....Drop your focus to your lower abdomen. If you do that, you'll find your center point and you will produce center energy. If your center is not developed, you won't have ki energy available to project through your fingers.

If you take excess energy from the upper body and train the lower body as in sumo wrestling, and if you train the energy of the lower abdomen, you will develop your center energy. You use that power wherever necessary.

Even though you focus the energy in your lower abdomen, you will not be able to move the energy to the area where you need it right away. You have to think about how you are going to move it. ......At the same moment you meet your opponent, you focus on your abdomen (hara) and project your ki where you need it. The result will be that you will shut down your opponent's power. I understand that as the power of "aiki."
I just wanted to point out that it's not a hopeless or obscure task to develop kokyu skills, despite the traditionally voiced obscurities. O-Sensei talked obscurely about the "gods" being involved. Some people talk obscurely about "just relax". Others offer rituals. And so on. From the descriptions, it all sounds like they're doing different things or that they have special approaches that are somehow different, but at heart the steps of all the "different approaches" are the same. I like Inaba's very direct words, in this regard.

Like the development of any skill, you start out with simple steps and go forward (Inaba has some good recommendations involving Sumo, etc., but that's not much of an option to westerners). At first there's not much there (hence a lot of people miss something without immediate and obvious results), but after a while it blossoms into something extraordinary... and within reach of some of the manipulation skills that Shioda, Tohei, and others show.

Notice above in Inaba's comments which were translated at first as "power", but then shifted to "energy". Granted, after a while this skill seems unique and powerful and mysterious enough to perhaps warrant the use of the word "energy", but "power" is an adequate-enough term to start out with. Inaba goes on to recommend:

If you take excess energy from the upper body and train the lower body as in sumo wrestling, and if you train the energy of the lower abdomen, you will develop your center energy. You use that power wherever necessary.

That comment just above pretty much sums up what is probably the best approach and the most accurate comment of what ultimately happens, in the main (there are a number of other things that get involved, but this is the important part). In all kokyu training the basic idea is that the strength of the lower body is transmitted through the relaxed upper body and the "hara" or "Tanden" area is the control point. The trick is that the upper body must be very relaxed so that the mind learns how to handle this new way of movement and to assign "paths" by recruiting lots of small muscles (and the "ki", but that's a complexity we don't need for this suggestion of how to start on the road to this skill)... i.e., you want to avoid use of the strong upper-body primary musculature so the body-mind can re-train. Inaba Sensei suggests something like Sumo, but the idea is to train in a way that uses the lower body and not the upper body... in *all* your movements. So naturally this form of movement "with the center" is something you need to do full time in order to effect the most rapid transition to true "center-powered" movement. Also, if this power is truly to be powerful, you need to strengthen the legs and hips (suwari-waza, anyone?) and you need to learn to let the power flow up not only from the legs but from the ground on which the legs rest. You don't lift anything when you use this kind of power, you push things upward with the ground.

Anyway, that's the best place to start if you're like I was when I joined Aikido and wondered what the first step should be in order to develop this odd sort of power. Go back and re-learn your movements so that every bit of the power your upper body expresses is powered by the lower body. Pretend that your shoulders have been moved from where they are to just below the shoulderblades... i.e., to operate these new shoulders you'll have to use your middle and back rather than your current shoulder muscles. It feels weird and not very productive at first... but isn't that true of most attempts to learn a new skill?

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 04-20-2005, 12:16 PM   #66
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Just as an off-note -- what you posted that Inaba Sensei wrote is very close to the same thing that a friend of mine says. Only he studies Yoga. Weird.

Mark
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Old 04-20-2005, 12:29 PM   #67
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote:
Just as an off-note -- what you posted that Inaba Sensei wrote is very close to the same thing that a friend of mine says. Only he studies Yoga. Weird.
I don't know if your friend knows how to move like this or if he's just parroting some of the "energy" stuff. Anyone can talk the talk. However, this form of movement is very practical and the study of the flows of power from this sort of movement are the basis for acupuncture, etc.... and the original idea was brought to China (and thence to Japan) by people in India who thought this was a very important and practical form of movement. A "natural" form of movement that "puts you in harmony with the way the cosmos moves", in fact.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 04-20-2005, 02:30 PM   #68
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
...but the real problem was that I hadn't had anyone actually define the specific part of "aiki" before, the way Inaba did. Using that, I go back and see that Shioda wasn't just "delighting in kokyu tricks", as I earlier said, he was focusing on what "aiki-do" actually meant to him. It's an honest epiphany for me.


Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
...Suddenly I see a whole art built around that concept


Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
...and I see even more clearly than before why just a few techniques are necessary if you have that particular skill.


Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
...The point being that "explosive power" is just one way you can apply this concept (or you can just use it to show off) and that's somewhat aside from "finding the empty spot" (which is important, but more complicated than I'm making it).


Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
...Well, it makes sense, certainly, but it sounds like different usages of the same basic concept that Inaba called "aiki". I.e., once you understand it, you can play variations on the same theme.


Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
...So someone being uke for Tsuki-Kotegaeshi with Shioda might have described a "whirlpool" or whatever feeling, but the essence of what Shioda did would have been this use of "aiki" throughout the throw, regardless of the feeling his particular variation of aiki induced on uke.
...but I do believe that many would benefit if we clarify what is meant in the underlined portion of your last statement.

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Old 04-20-2005, 03:02 PM   #69
Mike Sigman
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Shaun, why don't you post something meaningful? Tell us something about your 'other ways to do it' rather than these silly posts with all the smileys. I.e., if you have something substantive to contribute, please do so.

Mike Sigman
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Old 04-20-2005, 03:13 PM   #70
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Shaun, why don't you post something meaningful. Tell us something about your 'other ways to do it' rather than these silly posts with all the smileys. I.e., if you have something substantive to contribute, please do so.

Mike Sigman

Hi Mike,

I was just acknowledging your conclusions. The smiley face is just agreement. As I have made the mistake in the past, in this case I just didn't want to add anything that had the potential to draw you into a conversation of semantics. As for if I have something substantive... Yes, that would be the part where I mentioned the benefit of clarifying what you meant in the last portion of your last quote in my post.

I liked the first part of what you said there, but felt that others would benefit by fleshing out the details of the latter part.



.


PS - might we see you at the Aiki-Expo?



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Old 04-20-2005, 03:32 PM   #71
Mike Sigman
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote:
As for if I have something substantive... Yes, that would be the part where I mentioned the benefit of clarifying what you meant in the last portion of your last quote in my post.

I liked the first part of what you said there, but felt that others would benefit by fleshing out the details of the latter part.
I don't see what the question is...you may be reading something into it that's not there.

If someone is taking a force and responding to it in a certain way (i.e., "aiki"), there are multiple variations of aiki or its immediate aftermath that various individuals might utilize. If they do a good aiki technique (as Inaba defined it), then their following and finishing moves may well differ, but that doesn't mean much about the propriety of the aiki technique. In other words, regardless of different feelings *within* the technique of Tada and Yamaguchi, it doesn't necessarily imply they do anything other than aiki.
Quote:
PS - might we see you at the Aiki-Expo?
I doubt it. L.A. traffic is not something I get involved in for pleasure. Maybe if it was in Denver or some smaller venue I'd be tempted, but not the major urban cities.

Mike
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Old 04-20-2005, 04:14 PM   #72
James Young
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I doubt it. L.A. traffic is not something I get involved in for pleasure. Maybe if it was in Denver or some smaller venue I'd be tempted, but not the major urban cities.
Don't let the traffic discourage you. The venue at CSU Dominguez Hills is very close to the airport (less than 15 miles I think). So you wouldn't have to really fight too much traffic, if any, to get there.

Getting back to the topic at hand I think I get what you are saying. That is that "aiki" (by the definition given earlier) can be manifested by individuals in various forms of techniques. One can witness someone like Abe-sensei utilizing it with his very subtle and hardly visible movements just as well as someone like Tada-sensei with his larger, sharper, and "explosive" movements utilizing it as well. It's more about what that power is and where it originates from more than the visible form it takes through an individual's technique.
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Old 04-20-2005, 04:38 PM   #73
Mike Sigman
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
James Young wrote:
Getting back to the topic at hand I think I get what you are saying. That is that "aiki" (by the definition given earlier) can be manifested by individuals in various forms of techniques. One can witness someone like Abe-sensei utilizing it with his very subtle and hardly visible movements just as well as someone like Tada-sensei with his larger, sharper, and "explosive" movements utilizing it as well. It's more about what that power is and where it originates from more than the visible form it takes through an individual's technique.
Yes, that's right. Let me try, just for the fun of it, to re-state what I'm trying to say:

1. If an Aikidoist has a strategy and tactic of "blending" with an attack and then converting the attack into a throw, etc., it is a nice strategy, but it's not particularly different from a number of other arts' strategies. It also does not explain the times when a punch, body-check, etc., is used. This is pretty low-level as a definition, but in actuality it is what you see most often.

2. If an Aikidoist knows how to generate and use kokyu strength in the above strategy and tactics, it is a lot better, although it really doesn't distinguish Aikido from a number of other martial arts, in principle.

3. If an Aikidoist can instantly manipulate or place his kokyu power in such a way that it combines with uke's force and negates it (as part of the start of the technique), it is a very high-level martial art and worth all the hoopla. Since kokyu and its manipulations would be the power behind checks and punches (in relation to timing, etc.), then the "aiki" is still there and the art is still a legitimately superior art.

My opinion, FWIW

Mike
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Old 04-21-2005, 12:33 AM   #74
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I don't see what the question is...you may be reading something into it that's not there.

If someone is taking a force and responding to it in a certain way (i.e., "aiki"), there are multiple variations of aiki or its immediate aftermath that various individuals might utilize. If they do a good aiki technique (as Inaba defined it), then their following and finishing moves may well differ, but that doesn't mean much about the propriety of the aiki technique. In other words, regardless of different feelings *within* the technique of Tada and Yamaguchi, it doesn't necessarily imply they do anything other than aiki.
Hi Mike,

Sorry I wasn't more specific in either of my first two attempts. You originally said,

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
...So someone being uke for Tsuki-Kotegaeshi with Shioda might have described a "whirlpool" or whatever feeling, but the essence of what Shioda did would have been this use of "aiki" throughout the throw, regardless of the feeling his particular variation of aiki induced on uke.
I have no questions about either the first part your comments which I quote, above or the more descriptive way you speak about it both in your reply to me, above, and in your response to James Young (hi James). As for the latter part (the underlined part) I wanted to better understand what you meant there. Specifically, I agree about what you say the nage is doing, in terms of aiki, is a continuous, unbroken approach. Therefore, my approach is to effect, or summarizing your words induce a particular feeling in or on uke. For me the effect - whatever that may be, must be maintained with the same continuous, unbroken methodology. I wasn't sure if you were implying that the state of aiki ended within nage or at the point of connection of nage and uke and is being maintained solely by the nage - meaning that the uke's experience might actually vary throughout any one given encounter. Or, perhaps you meant that uke's feeling is based upon any of a number of varying methods employed by individual practitioners each capable of expressing an aiki-response that they (the uke) feel is maintained throughout the encounter. I was wondering whether you agree, or disagree with either of the two, above, scenarios. I just couldn't tell by what you had written.

Looking at your further comments, something else came up for me that I wanted to talk about… Simply speaking, Aiki may be looked at as the relationship between things. It is true that being able to do this, in the manner you specified in your post is a rare and high level thing. It is also true that without this being present, there is no aikido - and on that you and I have never disagreed as far as I can tell, regardless of semantics, or our personal styles of writing. I guess my point is that while what you have pointed to is the precursor to aiki, it is only when it is extended out to include harmonizing with another that it actually becomes aiki. In many ways this may be looked at the next level of aiki, but I believe it is more accurate to state this is where the state of aiki actually begins. To illustrate my point, the moment that uke stops his attack, nage, seeking to maintain aiki, must also cease in his harmony of the attack. This is simply, "a mirror reflects what stands before it" or mushin, if you will. Of course, the nage can still harmonize with uke's new state and in doing so he preserves the state of aiki. However, it is just that there is no aikido in a vacuum, or in a cave, and by extension, one cannot practice aikido by himself.

This is a significant point along the path one must follow towards understanding where ki & kokyu end and aiki and ultimately aikido begin. One can have all the power of ki and kokyu harnessed within themselves to the Nth degree. But, so what? That doesn't mean that they can create a state of aiki, or be able to maintain that state throughout a particularly lengthy encounter with a determined attacker.

Of course, if you agree with me there, then I would be interested to get your thoughts on my next point. This is where I will take head on the question you have as to the originality, or uniqueness of aikido. I am certainly not out to prove it in that light, nor am I able to do so should I even choose to try. However, that doesn't mean that I don't feel that it is original and unique, or that regardless of my feeling, or yours for that matter, that it isn't original and unique.

You wrote:
Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
If an Aikidoist can instantly manipulate or place his kokyu power in such a way that it combines with uke's force and negates it (as part of the start of the technique), it is a very high-level martial art and worth all the hoopla. Since kokyu and its manipulations would be the power behind checks and punches (in relation to timing, etc.), then the "aiki" is still there and the art is still a legitimately superior art.
I am sure that everyone's experience of the art is dependent upon the source to which they go to experience it. I have seen some poor things done on the mat in the name of aikido, and enough has been said by others on this subject (aiki-bunnies, aikido doesn't work, is aikido a martial art…etc, etc.) that I don't need to comment here. However, I can honestly say that my experiences coming from the sources from which I sought it in the past, and seek it even now, have always been exactly the way you have described it, above. That is not to say anything about my particular sources. However, if you had that same experience, albeit from your own sources, and that had been your only experience of the art form, wouldn't you find it strange, as did I, when you encountered comments like (aiki-bunnies, aikido doesn't work, is aikido a martial art…etc, etc.)? Furthermore, had you had experienced aikido in said manner, what you might envision your most recent epiphany, having occurred years before, might have led you to in terms of your understanding of the art as it might very well have revealed itself?



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Old 04-21-2005, 02:54 AM   #75
Alex Megann
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
...Also, if this power is truly to be powerful, you need to strengthen the legs and hips (suwari-waza, anyone?) and you need to learn to let the power flow up not only from the legs but from the ground on which the legs rest. You don't lift anything when you use this kind of power, you push things upward with the ground.
Shioda Sensei is said to have taught that kokyu power comes from the toes.

I've found that when practising suwariwaza kokyu-ho, if I manage to tune everything out except the sensation of the contact of my toes with the tatami, the technique becomes almost effortless. I'm still working on extending this to standing practice.

Alex
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