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Old 06-06-2005, 05:06 PM   #51
Alfonso
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

:-) you're too kind sir, I'm not even dan ranked yet, and I do owe you thanks for your posts the last few months for making a lot of things click, things that my teachers (both american aikidoists BTW) have been really patient at teaching and they actually do and I get to experience at every class.
Of course it's usually something out of the ordinary that makes me see what Rick and Shari teach ( I can already hear them say.. hey I've been telling that to you for years! ). I'd be more than glad to meet you if you come over, my teachers are very friendly too. I even have a sempai (hi Bruce) who's supplementing his aikido with Yi-Quan , so I get to ask someone with practical experience about the standing postures (he's really hard to throw BTW) .

I have a theory, that this all hangs together. I'm pretty sure it does , when despite politics,.styles, age ,personality and talking points things hinge together and fit. It can't be coincidence, and the chinese arts thought different seem to be working with similar tools

Again, I don't think this stuff should be foreign to Aikidoists.. I admit I don't go out much, but a lot of excellent teachers have given seminars at my school, and none of the technical points you bring up seem outrageously different to me.. language maybe the biggest problem.

Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 06-06-2005, 06:01 PM   #52
bkedelen
 
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

It always amazes me that either at the end or the beginning of every post I make, I somehow manage to make a statement that either keeps me posting to the thread long after I have anything to contribute, or sounds asinine in retrospect, humiliating me. I apologize to everyone for getting this thread so far off track. I need a way to gray out the "Post" button so that after I type anything up I will remember to delete it rather than foist it on everyone here.
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Old 06-06-2005, 06:08 PM   #53
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Alfonso Adriasola wrote:
:-)I'm not even dan ranked yet, and I do owe you thanks for your posts the last few months for making a lot of things click, things that my teachers (both american aikidoists BTW) have been really patient at teaching and they actually do and I get to experience at every class.
Well good... you're part of the next generation. Already this generation has a reasonable segment of people who are beginning to spot the role of ki and kokyu in the rest of their Aikido; your generation will be a lot more knowledgeable about these factors.
Quote:
I even have a sempai (hi Bruce) who's supplementing his aikido with Yi-Quan , so I get to ask someone with practical experience about the standing postures (he's really hard to throw BTW) .
Yiquan standing postures, *when done correctly* (harder than most people think) are actually pretty standard standing postures. The basic theory of standing postures is the same throughout all the arts, both "external" and "internal". But then again, the basic theories of ki and kokyu are the same.... hmmmm.... let me just say the basic principles are the same; some people have some weird theories, but they can't escape the fact that the principles are the same.
Quote:
I have a theory, that this all hangs together. I'm pretty sure it does , when despite politics,.styles, age ,personality and talking points things hinge together and fit. It can't be coincidence, and the chinese arts thought different seem to be working with similar tools
I said something similar to a teacher of mine once and all he said was, "Of course". You're right. Occam's Razor prevails.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 06-07-2005, 12:07 PM   #54
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Mike (re: POst 43):

You're testing my memory. Check, "Secrets of Aikido" and the, "Art of Peace"? Both are good books.
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Old 06-07-2005, 12:13 PM   #55
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote:
Mike (re: POst 43):

You're testing my memory. Check, "Secrets of Aikido" and the, "Art of Peace"? Both are good books.
Well, pooh.... I don't have those books, unfortunately. Does anyone with those books mind looking for a reference(s) to the motion-stillness concept? Thanks.

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-07-2005, 06:50 PM   #56
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Ack... forget it. I found it in "The Essence of Aikido". John Stevens just mistranslated it because he picked the wrong words out of the possible translations (and it looks like one of them was inverted either in the original or by Stevens). On page 33 of the book is "The Eight Powers", which are also called "The Eight Powers" in Chinese, but also they're called "The Four Polarities".

Stevens translates them thus:

Movement-Calm
Release-Solidification (inverted?)
Retraction-Extension
Unification-Division


Perhaps more helpfully would be this translation from the Chinese:

Motion-Stillness
Powerful-Relaxed
Contraction-Extension
Hard-Soft


I cannot claim to be a translator of any sort, but the "Eight Powers" are pretty well known. They look cryptic and useless, but they are the basis of Ki training.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 06-09-2005, 09:28 AM   #57
rob_liberti
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

In an aikido context, I have heard these expressed as:

Unification-Separation
tension-release
holding in-pushing out
movement-rest

compared to:

Motion-Stillness
Powerful-Relaxed
Contraction-Extension
Hard-Soft

I am curious how you might try to connect the expressions.

Obviously,
movement-rest ==> Motion-Stillness
how about the others?

holding in-pushing out ==>? Contraction-Extension ?

tension-release ==>? Powerful-Relaxed or Hard-Soft ?

Unification-Separation ==>?

They are basically all shades of Unification-Separation in my opinion. It is interesting to get the Chinese interpretation of these.

Rob
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Old 06-09-2005, 10:44 AM   #58
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
Motion-Stillness
Powerful-Relaxed
Contraction-Extension
Hard-Soft

They are basically all shades of Unification-Separation in my opinion. It is interesting to get the Chinese interpretation of these.
Well, actually, they are pretty specific to the training of the body. I already mentioned what motion and stillness refer to generally; in a training context you use various held kokyu forces to train the body in standing (stillness trains motion)... "Aiki" as Shioda did it is the obverse of motion returning to stillness. The other 3 "polarities" are different things you physically do with the body. For instance, someone previously (in a different thread) mentioned how he learned part of an exercise where they raise the hands over the and then pull down and in the arms and hands tightly making fists... I knew right away that he was describing the outward appearance of one of the "contraction-extension" trainings that go with traditonal martial qigongs. In other words, these 4 polarities (8 powers) are pointing out the 4 major components of martial qigong training.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 06-09-2005, 11:00 AM   #59
rob_liberti
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Do they come from chen style tai-chi? Where can these qigongs be more thoroughly explored?

Rob
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Old 06-09-2005, 11:09 AM   #60
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
Do they come from chen style tai-chi? Where can these qigongs be more thoroughly explored?
No, it's not specific to Chen-style. The use of ki and kokyu things is across the spectrum of martial arts. These sayings are known by all martial styles, insofar as I know. I realize it's sort of a stunner that the basic information is used by everyone, but it's a fact. I saw a post on Aikido Journal's forum where there was a discussion about some karate teacher (at Aiki Expo, I think) using kokyu.... sure, both "hard" and "soft" arts use these basic principles. It's the basis of the higher levels of all Asian martial arts that have been around a while. I tried to say it before... what Ueshiba was using was basic to Asian martial arts, it's just that he did it along the way that is considered the most sophisticated (if you do it in the direction of "motion approaches stillness" and you use that ability to "harmonize" with anything an opponent throws at you).

And as I've said before, it's really weird that this more or less "secret" information is still kept secret while at the same time it's so widespread across the arts.

Mike
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Old 06-09-2005, 11:14 AM   #61
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
For instance, someone previously (in a different thread) mentioned how he learned part of an exercise where they raise the hands over the and then pull down and in the arms and hands tightly making fists...
This is one way the AKI often ends class while sitting in seiza....it seems to have a specific breathing pattern that goes with it. Next time I do it I'll have more of a clue...thanks!

While we're here...there is an exercise at the beginning of class they often do while seated in seiza, where the hands scoop away the air in front of you to either side...does this resemble any traditional chigongs?

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 06-09-2005, 11:43 AM   #62
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
This is one way the AKI often ends class while sitting in seiza....it seems to have a specific breathing pattern that goes with it. Next time I do it I'll have more of a clue...thanks!

While we're here...there is an exercise at the beginning of class they often do while seated in seiza, where the hands scoop away the air in front of you to either side...does this resemble any traditional chigongs?
I'd have to see it, since just telling me they "scoop" it doesn't give me much of a picture, Ron. It's bad enough that there are always "style wars" of a sort between the various martial arts ("is Taiji better than Xingyi or Shaolin Long Fist", "is karate better than judo", etc.) but there's also a "style wars" of sorts that goes on about the best way to train ki and kokyu powers. The qigong (Neigongs, "internal exercises", are a subset of qigongs) approaches range from sort of "hard" to very "soft and relaxed". Some are more mental (kokyu and "field" manipulation). So what I'm saying is that there are numerous "qigongs" because of the varying approaches and everyones' preferred training methods.

The point is that the basic principles are immutable. My discussion with a couple of the Ki-Society members was more so I could get a handle on what approach they are being shown, what visualizations, etc. If they understood the principles, we wouldn't have to feel around like this, because the priniciples will always be the same, regardless of the preferred approach. And BTW, I'm just being clinical and literal, not "personal" in comments about the Ki Society. I look at these sorts of studies in the same way I would look at and discuss how to do good woodworking.

"Scooping" the air would be normal and in line with the voiced "breathe the qi" that is stated so often in qigongs, but functionally it always involves more that has to do with the "contraction-extension" and the "movement-stillness" basics. The applicable saying in terms of sort of scooping or pulling the air in is that someone is bringing in the ki *with external movements*... i.e., it's a giveaway that the body is being trained in movement in addition to pressure movements within the body being done.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 06-09-2005, 12:46 PM   #63
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
No, it's not specific to Chen-style. The use of ki and kokyu things is across the spectrum of martial arts.
I never thought otherwise. I suppose my question should have been which system would you recommend to teach those specific qigongs best?

Rob
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Old 06-09-2005, 01:09 PM   #64
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
I suppose my question should have been which system would you recommend to teach those specific qigongs best?
Whichever one will teach you. That's the problem... finding someone who (1.) knows and (2.) will teach you the real way to do it. Just as an example, look how many Aikidoists have been led through various breathing exercises and other exercises and yet haven't really been shown how to do them in relation to ki and kokyu things? If you ask them, they "learned" something, right? It's sort of like Tai Chi..... lots of people "teach" it, few really know it, the ones that know it are careful how much information they give out. You should learn something that produces tangible results of some definable sort within a year or you're wasting time.

I know *some* things, but certainly not all... and I started looking in the mid-1970's, so you can see that it's not just a case of going somewhere and learning it. Although lots of people will take your money and *say* they're going to show you (and that's why I have this pet peeve about who's a teacher). So if you find someone in some style that is willing and will really teach you, I'd suggest that's the style to go for. The basic principles are pretty close, but you should go for one of the softer styles of qigongs.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 06-09-2005, 08:34 PM   #65
Brion Toss
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Hello,
Getting back to the original metaphor, the saying, "All paths lead to the top of the mountain" can be interpreted as "wrong headed", or it can be seen as what it is: metaphor. Kind of like, "Every cloud has a silver lining," or, "All roads lead to Rome," sayings that are obviously untrue from a strictly objective perspective, but which are useful nonetheless. Metaphor can be Zen whacky, like, "Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like figs." Or political, like, "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent." They are there to get the readers attention, engage the mind. You could say, "All paths that lead to the top of a given mountain do, by definition reach the top of that mountain." This would be precise, but far less useful. It might be worth noting that, except for the last, all of the above examples form either a whole, or multiple, or half line of iambic pentameter; they are poetry.
I say all of this because martial arts aren't the only ones that seek to do more with less. Engineers are big on this (Fuller called it "ephemeralization"), and wordsmiths can employ it as well. This can take the form of Elmore Leonard's prose (he has expressed a tongue-in-cheek desire to write an entire book using no adjectives), or Hemmingway's famously spare prose. And so on. Poetry in general, and metaphor in particular, are ways to approach stillness.
Relating this to the idea of two types of martial arts, I'd have to say that the distinction might be wrongheaded, that all paths do indeed lead to the top of the mountain. To stay with the metaphor, one can stop anywhere along the path, but it's not up to me to say if the path stops there. A student at a stripmall TKD school might not be getting helicoptered to the peak, but it can be a step, at least, just as English 101 can be a step on the road to a Pulitzer, or just a way to deal with computer manuals. It might be more useful to examine how we can promote growth, promote hunger for the next step, than to distinguish types of arts. Or, as someone once said, "There are two types of people: people who divide people into two groups, and people who don't."
Yours,
Brion Toss
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Old 06-09-2005, 08:40 PM   #66
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Brion... what are you trying to say???? Or were you just stretching your fingers on the keyboard? Insofar as that "there are two kinds of people", all I can reply is that 90% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

Mike
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Old 06-10-2005, 11:36 AM   #67
rob_liberti
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

I think he is pointing out a bit of irony here in that
a) in the realm of "motion approaches stillness" - where a lot can be done with a little perceptive movement (the do more with less idea);
b) the expression "all paths lead to the top the mountain" (and "motion approaches stillness") is poetry which say a lot with relatively fewer words (another do more with less idea).

Quote:
Whichever one will teach you. That's the problem... finding someone who (1.) knows and (2.) will teach you the real way to do it.
I fully appreciate that. I was wondering if you had some personal recommendations out there in the world of people, their books or videos, etc. No is okay, just curious.

Rob
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Old 06-10-2005, 12:00 PM   #68
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
I was wondering if you had some personal recommendations out there in the world of people, their books or videos, etc. No is okay, just curious.
I've been involved in a number side-discussions over the years about who is most qualified in the U.S. and who shows you enough to really put you on the road to acquiring those skills. The people that really know (there are gradations of "really know") don't really let it out. You can get varying degrees of information from people with lesser accomplishment.

Another discussion that I've recently been engaged in was a friend of mine commenting that a very high-level expert was a bit taken-aback at the skill-level of my friend's female partner... the comment was that a glass ceiling seemed to drop immediately into place. The training methods and the real skills are simply not openly taught. I'm still getting over the stunning impact of finding out that the Chinese let the cat out of the bag with the Japanese (and they in their turn are witholding it, etc.).

I recommended a video (DVD) trio by Bo Jia Cang
( http://www.plumpub.com/sales/dvd/dvdcoll_yiquqan.htm ) and I would recommend a book by Lam Kam Chuen called "The Way of Power" (these are both Yiquan-related, but yiquan tends to focus on developing this power more directly than any other art). The problem is that while the DVD's and book are helpful, they really don't do you a lot of good if you haven't been shown a few other things. That's the problem... although there is more information getting out, there's always something witheld. In fact, there's a couple of things on the Yiquan DVD's that are obviously witheld if you know what to look for, but there's also something that *may* be witheld or that Bo simply doesn't know.... but I can't decide which it is because I KNOW he's witholding some things (and surely a few things that I simply don't know myself).

FWIW

Mike
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Old 06-12-2005, 06:40 AM   #69
Quanping
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
No, it's not specific to Chen-style. The use of ki and kokyu things is across the spectrum of martial arts. These sayings are known by all martial styles, insofar as I know. I realize it's sort of a stunner that the basic information is used by everyone, but it's a fact. I saw a post on Aikido Journal's forum where there was a discussion about some karate teacher (at Aiki Expo, I think) using kokyu.... sure, both "hard" and "soft" arts use these basic principles. It's the basis of the higher levels of all Asian martial arts that have been around a while. I tried to say it before... what Ueshiba was using was basic to Asian martial arts, it's just that he did it along the way that is considered the most sophisticated (if you do it in the direction of "motion approaches stillness" and you use that ability to "harmonize" with anything an opponent throws at you).

And as I've said before, it's really weird that this more or less "secret" information is still kept secret while at the same time it's so widespread across the arts.

Mike
Hi Mike,

I've enjoyed reading your posts here.

Your theory that there's a kind of unified theory encompassing a whole range of 'high level' martial arts like Aikido, Taiji, XingYi, Bagua, etc... is quite tempting... but as you say it would be remarkable or 'weird', especially considering the secretive nature of most martial styles, especially the further you go back.

That's what I can't get.

The sense I get from your posts is that you think all these arts have drawn from a same pot, so to speak.

To use the analogy of a 'pot' futher. In reality all Asian martial arts styles have a separte pot that they guard quite feircely.. isn't it therefore more likely that the 'famous' people in these styles innovated and developed their own methods for, basically, 'doing things more efficiently' and that since we all share a human body the best way for doing these things 'efficiently' will be, essentially the same or similar.

Perhaps these things, like Aikido, were developed to very 'high levels' without outside influence from this pot, and it is our human desire to see connections and meaning in isolated events that sees a 'pattern' start to emerge, when in fact there is none?
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Old 06-12-2005, 09:29 AM   #70
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Bryan Bowman wrote:
Your theory that there's a kind of unified theory encompassing a whole range of 'high level' martial arts like Aikido, Taiji, XingYi, Bagua, etc... is quite tempting... but as you say it would be remarkable or 'weird', especially considering the secretive nature of most martial styles, especially the further you go back.

That's what I can't get.

The sense I get from your posts is that you think all these arts have drawn from a same pot, so to speak.

To use the analogy of a 'pot' futher. In reality all Asian martial arts styles have a separte pot that they guard quite feircely.. isn't it therefore more likely that the 'famous' people in these styles innovated and developed their own methods for, basically, 'doing things more efficiently' and that since we all share a human body the best way for doing these things 'efficiently' will be, essentially the same or similar.

Perhaps these things, like Aikido, were developed to very 'high levels' without outside influence from this pot, and it is our human desire to see connections and meaning in isolated events that sees a 'pattern' start to emerge, when in fact there is none?
Hi Bryan:

Well, you're making some good points. In fact, I'd be arguing your guess at the most reasonable development of these skills in martial arts, except for a few things that pop to my mind (not in any order):

1. If there were many different developments of essentially different body skills, etc., they wouldn't all be based on the ki/qi paradigm... which they are.

2. In about 1982 I helped edit a translation of the "basics" of Chinese martial arts... weirdly, it turns out that these "basics" and the sayings and poems around them are pretty much accepted throughout all the martial art styles. I don't know why, but this unifying and codifying seems to recur in various areas of Chinese studies. Just to mention an example, Tai Chi has a famous saying that many practitioners talk about as if it were the hallmark of Tai Chi: "Using one ounce to deflect a thousand pounds".... that saying is common throughout almost all Chinese martial arts in relation to high level of skill.

3. The old "poems" etc., show up as markers ... perhaps a skill could have been "re-discovered", but if the skill shows up and the person showing it also knows the standard terminology (As Ueshiba did), that pretty much lays the question to rest. This is the main killer to your thesis... the recurrence of the well-known sayings and admonitions of ki development using the same or similar words.

4. There is only one way to do some of these skills correctly. The whole sets of skills took many generations to develop and it would be simply impossible for any one person to happen on the same skills or putative similar skills that I've never seen in a *grouping* that is like the standard grouping. Mathematically almost impossible.

5. Given the trading and cultural position of the Chinese in earlier days, it seems pretty natural that the countries who also acquired these skills got them from China.

Another point worth noting is that we are beyond the peak days of martial arts. Few people try to maintain the old traditions in the old styles and there is no new developments of skills driven by the need for martial arts, as it was in the old days. In other words, any suggestions of innovations since the peak days would require scrutiny... the probability actually leans in favor of most martial arts following a pattern when they exhibit similar characteristics (and if you've ever watched the qi and qigong demonstrations of a Chinese martial arts tournament, you'd know that the martial demonstrations fall always into certain well-known things that can be done with qi... nothing more.

The more troubling thing to consider is that there is a strong possibility that some of the old martial styles, the ones that are now currently called "external" styles, may have incorporated the more sophisticated techniqes of six-harmonies movement, but they have lost them. The way these things get lost is because the teacher is too sparing of what students he teaches these "secret" methods", and it doesn't take more that one generation of lousey students to lose things, if a martial art is fairly small. "Liu He Tanglang" (Six Harmonies Mantis) is an example of a martial art that probably was a sophisticated internal art at one time, but is now a more "external" martial art.... but one which still uses basic ki and kokyu skills. The basic ki and kokyu skills are the next thing to go, if they're not passed on. Ultimately you wind up with a "normal-strength" martial art, regardless of how effective it is, that has lost all but the rudimentary and easily-discovered aspects of kokyu skills. Aw.... I'm rambling. Too early in the morning.

Mike
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Old 06-12-2005, 10:41 AM   #71
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Mike,

Good thoughts. I wonder if we are currently seeing a breaking down of Martial arts within the MMA paradigm that is prevalent today. It would seem that maybe a few of the really good guys as they get older and gain experience (like a few of the Gracies???) might assimilate their art back to an internal style. Could it be that the art would waiver from internal, to external, to internal? as tacit knowledge is lost and "rediscovered"?
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Old 06-12-2005, 01:24 PM   #72
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the reply - here's my thoughts on the various aspects you mention:

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Hi Bryan:

Well, you're making some good points. In fact, I'd be arguing your guess at the most reasonable development of these skills in martial arts, except for a few things that pop to my mind (not in any order):

1. If there were many different developments of essentially different body skills, etc., they wouldn't all be based on the ki/qi paradigm... which they are.
Well, it could just be that since ki/qi is a catch-all phrase for essentially unknown phenomina, as you've been arguing on the forum, that it's therefore not a surprise that all these developements are based on the ki/qi paradigm, since they all occur in Asian countries?

Interestingly it makes me wonder if Western arts had anything like this before we lost them all (presumably because of the industrial revolution). However while I'm not very familiar with accounts of Western boxers and fencers, etc, there appears to be *very little* reporting of feats of unusual strength... I'm curious as to why that is. Maybe the church's culture of burning witches during the middle ages kin of made any motion towards the 'unusual' less attractive...?


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2. In about 1982 I helped edit a translation of the "basics" of Chinese martial arts... weirdly, it turns out that these "basics" and the sayings and poems around them are pretty much accepted throughout all the martial art styles. I don't know why, but this unifying and codifying seems to recur in various areas of Chinese studies. Just to mention an example, Tai Chi has a famous saying that many practitioners talk about as if it were the hallmark of Tai Chi: "Using one ounce to deflect a thousand pounds".... that saying is common throughout almost all Chinese martial arts in relation to high level of skill.
Well, if I remember rightly.... even in the Tai Chi classic this phrase is quoted as if it was a phrase that already existed. It should be no surprise that it comes from an earlier time. Marnix Well's upcoming book 'Scholar Boxer' about Chang Family boxing (don't worry, not Chang Seng Feng - family ) as possible pre-curser to TCC may have more information here.

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3. The old "poems" etc., show up as markers ... perhaps a skill could have been "re-discovered", but if the skill shows up and the person showing it also knows the standard terminology (As Ueshiba did), that pretty much lays the question to rest. This is the main killer to your thesis... the recurrence of the well-known sayings and admonitions of ki development using the same or similar words.
Well, if there's only one way to do somethig with a human body with a goal of efficiencey in mind.... and while looking into this with your martial art in mind you read an old 'classic' that points the way - you might rediscover this method for yourself, based on the 'pointer' from the past?

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4. There is only one way to do some of these skills correctly. The whole sets of skills took many generations to develop and it would be simply impossible for any one person to happen on the same skills or putative similar skills that I've never seen in a *grouping* that is like the standard grouping. Mathematically almost impossible.
This is a powerful argument against my thesis I think. Would it actually be possible to discover *everything* that had been discovered before yourself? Well... as you say mathematically impossible.

Ask yourself this though - could the founder of Aikido, great though he was, have broken that stack of brings that Ku Yu Chang broke with a palm slap using iron palm? Probably not, I'd have ventured.

Of course, we have no way of knowing. My point being that while OSensi had developed ki skills extensively in one area - harmonising, and motion towards stillness, he may have had very little ability in other areas of what are also ki skills.

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5. Given the trading and cultural position of the Chinese in earlier days, it seems pretty natural that the countries who also acquired these skills got them from China.
I'd agree - there can be little doubt about this.

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Another point worth noting is that we are beyond the peak days of martial arts. Few people try to maintain the old traditions in the old styles and there is no new developments of skills driven by the need for martial arts, as it was in the old days. In other words, any suggestions of innovations since the peak days would require scrutiny...
I'm often in 2 minds about this. I guess it depends on when exactly in the 'old days' we were talking. For somebody practicing these sorts of skills a hundred years ago life expectancy would possibly be very short - they may have been expected to die on a battlefield, while these days we have all this leasure time and longer life times to persue these activities. Hard to say.

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the probability actually leans in favor of most martial arts following a pattern when they exhibit similar characteristics (and if you've ever watched the qi and qigong demonstrations of a Chinese martial arts tournament, you'd know that the martial demonstrations fall always into certain well-known things that can be done with qi... nothing more.

The more troubling thing to consider is that there is a strong possibility that some of the old martial styles, the ones that are now currently called "external" styles, may have incorporated the more sophisticated techniqes of six-harmonies movement, but they have lost them. The way these things get lost is because the teacher is too sparing of what students he teaches these "secret" methods", and it doesn't take more that one generation of lousey students to lose things, if a martial art is fairly small. "Liu He Tanglang" (Six Harmonies Mantis) is an example of a martial art that probably was a sophisticated internal art at one time, but is now a more "external" martial art.... but one which still uses basic ki and kokyu skills. The basic ki and kokyu skills are the next thing to go, if they're not passed on. Ultimately you wind up with a "normal-strength" martial art, regardless of how effective it is, that has lost all but the rudimentary and easily-discovered aspects of kokyu skills. Aw.... I'm rambling. Too early in the morning.

Mike
Nice, I like your ramblings. Perhaps equally likely that somebody in Six Harmonies Mantis may, in fact, 'rediscover' many of these skills, especailly now martial arts teachers are more open to sharing.

Great talking. I really think it's about time you produced a 'how to' book Mike

Bryan.
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Old 06-12-2005, 03:01 PM   #73
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Bryan Bowman wrote:
Well, it could just be that since ki/qi is a catch-all phrase for essentially unknown phenomina, as you've been arguing on the forum, that it's therefore not a surprise that all these developements are based on the ki/qi paradigm, since they all occur in Asian countries?
Although qi/ki is a catchall term, it's contents are more specifically delineated than that. There is a set correlation between ki, acupuncture meridians, strength, and so on. It's not a shotgun term to the "anything goes" extent.
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Of course, we have no way of knowing. My point being that while OSensi had developed ki skills extensively in one area - harmonising, and motion towards stillness, he may have had very little ability in other areas of what are also ki skills.
Very true. However, that's not uncommon.... if often occurs, because of all the secrecy, that some people know the basics and a few unusual aspects; other people know also the basics, but their addititive aspects are different.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 06-12-2005, 04:39 PM   #74
Quanping
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

I think the compliment 'good wok qi' to show appreciation for a good meal has little to do with accupuncture meridians and internal strength

Bryan
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Old 06-12-2005, 05:06 PM   #75
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Bryan Bowman wrote:
I think the compliment 'good wok qi' to show appreciation for a good meal has little to do with accupuncture meridians and internal strength
"Good Wok Qi" is an extension of food qi and not the focused body aspects we were talking about. However, even food qi has a demonstrable link to the physical-skills qi of the body and the "etheric" qi that some people consider so mysterious (and they also focus on it as the meaning of ki/qi).

Mike
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