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Old 07-12-2005, 12:08 AM   #151
PeterR
 
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I recently read a post that raised an interesting speculation about Tomiki and Ueshiba, so I'm unwilling to be drawn into a discussion which assumes Tomiki-derived Aikido is precisely the same as Hombu Aikido, etc
Can you point to the post but why would it be. Just like Shioda is not precisely the same as "Aikikai" Hombu Aikido, nor is Iwama, nor Ki Society, nor for that matter a good number of Aikikai dojos.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-12-2005, 06:56 AM   #152
rob_liberti
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

I have seen kokyu translated as breath = rhythm = form. That makes the most sense to me out of all the translations I have seen so far.

Doing easy kokyu tests like the iron-ring (where someone tries to pull your thumb and pointer apart first in front of your center where you are relaxed and strong as opposed to out to your side where the untrained generally have trouble maintaining that relaxed, lengthened and widened state) doesn't show much - until I decided to re-learn how to take ukemi - where I remained connected and flexible like before but also organized my body to maintain the level of relaxed, lengthened and widened state I needed for the silly iron ring test throughout all of the ukemi movements. I think this is a nice static teaches something tothe dynamic example. From there, the assumption is that as I train myselfto integrate that feeling into all of my movements (I don't know if I would call them involuntary, but hopefully consciously directed reflexives) I will be able to use that improved body movement on the nage side.

There are of course, other examples.

About teachers misleading. I think that as long as the teacher is continuing to go back and improve their fundamentals/basics there should be no problems like haveing someone spend 54 years or whatever to find out they didn't learn anything beyond the mundane. I suppose I have more faith in the process. I do agree that the students should be constantly pushing the teacher to improve by getting themselves as good as possible, I suppose that is an important part too!

Rob
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Old 07-12-2005, 07:13 AM   #153
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote:
The idea for a seminar - the 'other' thread - is a good one. To me, it would be good to share: I'll show you mine if you show me yours etc. Everyone shows a 'trick' or two - for want of a better word - and then they show how such a 'trick' enhances their martial movement. Of course, if they fail to impress, there's always someone else to check out. People should approach this logically and rationally and collect and categorise stuff.
Yeah, a workshop like I proposed pretty much lays it out into reality and out of the talk domain. Part of my position in debate has been that there are some real and viable skills that are masked under the heading of 'ki". Some people are peripherally aware this may be true and a willing to look and discuss further. Some people reject the possibility that there is anything that they're not aware of or body skills of some strange sort that are of any value in Aikido.

Generally speaking, a workshop like I'm discussing will go one of two ways: (1.) there's really nothing new there and/or whatever is there is of not-very-great importance. Mike Sigman looks like another too-enthusiastic reader of fantasy comix; (2.) There's something there and the majority of people at the workshop see/learn some skills that will be valuable in their Aikido practice, the skills fit all the descriptive lore of "ki", etc., etc. Mike makes a substantive point; most people learn skills that will apply directly to their Aikido and "high level" Aikido will be understood. People who took the "contra" position stand revealed as missing the same basic material that a lot of other people are missing. ;^) Incidentally, it needs to be noted that some of this material is already out there and some people in the Aikido community (more in a few other communities) are already off the blocks and running.

So a workshop would basically lay a lot of the discussion to rest and would, in my opinion, open a very real area of discussion and research in a lot of the Aikido community.

It's just interesting to watch the interplay, IMO.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 07-12-2005, 07:34 AM   #154
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Michael Stuempel wrote:
Just for the record...even if Shioda G. did something that looked like a *ki test* it was probably never called a *ki test*. I am not saying that some of the parlour tricks that these guys did as crowd teasers weren't real and I can see how some people might want to call them *ki tests* but I know for a fact that when you ask at least one of the senior instructors at the Yoshinkan Hombu about KI he will pull out his house keys and jingle-jangle them at you.
Hi Michael:

I'd be happier with perhaps "demonstration", but since Tohei calls a particular set of these demonstrations "ki tests", I just used the convenient.

Besides, even though I keep mentioning that Ueshiba did the same and/or the same sorts of things, you and Peter aren't discussing that part. As I suggested, let's drop the valid example of Tohei's demonstrations and move directly to Ueshiba's demonstrations in order to focus the discussion. All Tohei and others' demonstrations do, in reality, focus on the fact that it wasn't just O-Sensei that did these "parlour tricks" anyway.
Quote:
I think I have to go with Peter on the looking at the timing and dynamic feel of the demonstration rather than some static crowd pleasers gives me a better indication of someone's ability.

Its unfortunate how some of these things that look impressive really are quite easy and how the difficult stuff looks easy <sigh>
Fair enough as a perspective. Using demonstrations where Tohei, Ueshiba, and others withstood pushes while in unusually "natural" positions (Ueshiba apparently demonstrated on one leg, long before Tohei ever did, according to accounts). Ueshiba demonstrated great power using "kokyu" throws. While "timing" is a portion of such a throw, it should only take someone a moment to realize that the obverse of being able to stand solidly ... being able to generate unusually strong power while relaxed... is an obvious step.

My point is that we're not talking about "crowd pleasers"... we're talking about a set of skills that add substantively to someone's power in martial arts. And we're not even discussing the complete spectrum contained in these skills.

As I originally indicated, if someone really has appreciable kokyu power, they should be able to demonstrate the "parlor trick" varieties without any great difficulty. Using the same powers within your Aikido is, of course, the next step up. What's interesting is to see these very widespread and common powers and demonstrations within many Asian martial arts being dismissed as "crowd pleasers" and "parlour tricks". There's more to it. Just because some people have made "ki" into some sort of "woo woo" topic shouldn't stop anyone from looking around their wrong perspective and taking a look at why so many generations of martial artists in Asia have considered "ki" things so important.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 07-12-2005, 07:47 AM   #155
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
Can you point to the post but why would it be. Just like Shioda is not precisely the same as "Aikikai" Hombu Aikido, nor is Iwama, nor Ki Society, nor for that matter a good number of Aikikai dojos.
I *think* it was something on Aikido Journal with a comment by Chiba Sensei saying that Ueshiba didn't think judo and Aikido were compatible or something along those lines. If that's true, I'm uncertain about the relationship of Ueshiba to Tomiki, how much of the "core" things Ueshiba showed Tomiki (remember Ueshiba deliberately didn't show Tohei things, either... and other people as well), so a discussion of what Tomiki was shown by Ueshiba begins to get complex and I just don't want to go there. It gets too far off topic. Ueshiba didn't show everyone everything. Tohei doesn't show everyone everything. Abe, Sunadomari, Shioda, etc., didn't show everyone everything. But because Tomiki's Aikido is considered to be "a combination of judo and Aikido", that means that it is not pure Aikido... and that's outside of the discussion I'm interested in.

You've avoided my direct comments about Ueshiba's demonstrations of kokyu. Why do you think he did them and can you explain how he did them?

Regards,

Mike
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Old 07-12-2005, 07:50 AM   #156
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

I sincerely wish you success in your attempt to share your approach to understanding jin and kokyu with others. I think your approach would be very helpful and interesting, and I doubt such a workshop would hurt anyone's aikido progress.

I hope that the "interplay" isn't being interpretted as everyone who disagrees must have an invalid or incomplete alternate approach and therefore their disagreement must be them covering up their own inadequicies. I've had enough measureable results and witnessed enough results in my seniors to have some degree of faith in my current approach. I wouldn't say my disagreement with any of your comments of conclusions were based on my blind faith/loyalty or my relatively non-existant position as just another sandan in aikido. And I would suggest that might be the same of others in disagreement with you on some of your comments.

Now that I consider it, as a matter of fact, I'm quite fond of my aikido inadequicies. I think that if I figured it all out I would probably quit, and start something new. But I still wouldn't purposely avoid your workshop for that reason. I hope it goes well.

Rob
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Old 07-12-2005, 07:53 AM   #157
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
I have seen kokyu translated as breath = rhythm = form. That makes the most sense to me out of all the translations I have seen so far.
It's difficult to get a direct one-to-one translation from an Asian concept/paradigm into a western-science paradigm because they don't have the same one-to-one concepts. "Kokyu Power" is perhaps a closer way to get at the power I'm talking about. There was an interview with Abe Sensei at http://www.page.sannet.ne.jp/shun-q/INTERVIEW-E.html that discusses kokyu in calligraphy, etc., using kokyu "power" more in the root sense that I mean it. Good calligraphers use the manipulation of kokyu by the dantien... it's not "timing" and their actual "breath" that they're talking about.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 07-12-2005, 08:04 AM   #158
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
I hope that the "interplay" isn't being interpretted as everyone who disagrees must have an invalid or incomplete alternate approach and therefore their disagreement must be them covering up their own inadequicies.
Well, we could also discuss from the other side and consider why ki and kokyu are being dismissed as parlour tricks and other implications of expertise. Trust me, I have no animus and I'm simply having fun with something I (and a number of other people) know I can't really lose at. As I said in the past, there's no way to avoid these things since they're gradually coming out. I'm in an extremely tenable position, can demonstrate these things, and so forth. I feel like one of a few of the hounds in a pack that have seen the fox and am trying to get the major pack to turn and look... nothing special, since I'm in the pack, too, but it certainly is funny to watch. If you understand that little comparison, then you'll have a more accurate idea of my real attitude in a lot of these discussions. I'm not *guessing* that there's a fox... I've seen him, smelled him, and chased him. And it turns out that in the real world of experienced martial arts, none of what I'm saying is particularly unique or curious.

What's curious is how many clues were laid out by Ueshiba and many others and yet there's a denial that such things exist or are important.

Mike
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Old 07-12-2005, 08:06 AM   #159
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Mike,

How is your calligraphy? I bet that if you added an aspect of calligraphy to your workshop you'd get more interest.

Rob
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Old 07-12-2005, 08:11 AM   #160
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Please consider that 'denying the importance of a parlour trick' might be your misunderstanding. Take the classic example of a when you look at the finger which is pointing at the moon; the finger isn't all that important. My saying so isn't 'denial' of a moon. I can't imagine that one person on the thread wouldn't be interested in better movement.

Rob
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Old 07-12-2005, 08:32 AM   #161
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
I bet that if you added an aspect of calligraphy to your workshop you'd get more interest.
Kokyu IS an aspect of calligraphy. Of course you can do calligraphy without kokyu, just like you can do external Aikido techniques. Rob, I'm trying to be fairly neutral about the workshop. It's offered for what it is, nothing more. If it doesn't come off because there's not enough interest, c'est la vie... it just means I get to keep my weekend for myself. If enough people are interested, I'll go in good humour. But the interplay is interesting to watch.

Mike
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Old 07-12-2005, 08:43 AM   #162
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
I can't imagine that one person on the thread wouldn't be interested in better movement.
I can imagine it quite easily, if someone is fairly convinced that their current movement is pretty near as good as you can get. When people toss off the ki and kokyu demonstrations by Ueshiba and others as "parlour tricks", etc., they're essentially trivializing those demonstrations as being of little consequence or contributive value to Aikido as they understand it. If they understood that Ueshiba, Tohei, Abe, and a number of others were not just throwing out a few parlour tricks but were saying something important (in an oblique way), then yes, they would probably be interested.

Notice the dismissal of Tohei's approach... Tohei was the top instructor for Ueshiba. If someone was really interested, they'd be looking into what Tohei was doing (out of simple curiositiy and intellectual caution, if nothing else), not trivializing his approach. The same relaxed power that Tohei demonstrates is the same relaxed power that is supposed to be practiced in fune kogi undo and all the Aiki-taiso... and ALL Aikido techniques. There is nothing "parlour tricks" about the demonstrations Ueshiba, Tohei, and others. Just because you can't obviously see this kind of power (it's called "the concealed strength" in some places), many people don't grasp it.

Again, I'm just making a statement. I don't have any dog in the fight; I'm more of a bemused spectator yelling encouragement, etc.

Mike
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Old 07-12-2005, 09:13 AM   #163
rob_liberti
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Of course kokyu is an aspect of calligraphy (as least some Japanese calligraphy I have seen and tried to do). I wonder what their process for developing kokyu is in their students? I would imagine they start with the external forms and continue to practice with deep introspection, and help from their teacher(s). I wonder if any calligraphy masters can do the jo trick? or would it be the brush trick?!

Anyway, when someone talks about what some 10th degree black belt can do, I think wow cool trick, I'll keep practicing. I don't think I should be able to do that today (as I'm not 10th dan), and that certainly doesn't mean I think my movement is perfect. Regardless, if you are shaking up some people who actually think there movement is already perfect then good for you. I have personally never met anyone in aikido who said that there current movement is pretty near as good as you can get.

Rob
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Old 07-12-2005, 09:36 AM   #164
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
Of course kokyu is an aspect of calligraphy (as least some Japanese calligraphy I have seen and tried to do). I wonder what their process for developing kokyu is in their students? I would imagine they start with the external forms and continue to practice with deep introspection, and help from their teacher(s). I wonder if any calligraphy masters can do the jo trick? or would it be the brush trick?!
Well you suggested some aspect of calligraphy and I gave it. There have been quite a few stories of calligraphies experts doing "ki tricks", Rob. One I particularly remember was challenging onlookers to try and pull the brush from the calligraphers hand while he brushed. As I've said, there are gradations of power and usage. The jo trick was what got me onto AikiWeb because I was looking for a certain picture. Although I tried various ways to rationalize in my mind how O-Sensei may have trained for that trick (i.e., a *portion* of what would be the standard practice), I think it's now fairly obvious that he knew the full method and it puts Aikido in a very different light from how I viewed it previously.
Quote:
Regardless, if you are shaking up some people who actually think there movement is already perfect then good for you. I have personally never met anyone in aikido who said that there current movement is pretty near as good as you can get.
Well, I was referring to their "movement mechanics being as complete possible", not that they were nearly perfect. In other words, I'm talking about some added mechanics and some people don't think there are any added mechanics that they're not aware of.

FWIW


Mike
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:35 AM   #165
Alfonso
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Hi, just for fun I thought some of these quotes may be relevant for the discussion..

Quote:
O-Sensei, especially in his later years, would often talk about the concept of Takemusu Aiki...
Sensei understood the word "takemusu" as the revelation of one of the kami. "Takemusu" is the basis for the creation of all things. Aikido represents the form which creates all things through the body. O-Sensei said, "Aiki is to teach the basis for the creation of budo in which techniques are born as one moves." So you have to understand the basis for the creation of techniques. The basis is kokyu power. There is nothing else. When you develop kokyu power, countless techniques emerge. You can't create techniques only by doing the forms of the past. They only represent one form. A practice of these old forms alone will not lead to the development of the next higher techniques. You can make your opponent's power as your own power freely according to his movements, whether he pushes, pulls, or raises up. This is not possible unless you become one with your partner.
(...)
The basis of Aikido is "kokyu power". The term "kokyu power" existed before the word Aikido began to be used. Therefore, unless you are able to employ your own kokyu power completely and demonstrate, explain and teach it clearly, it is nothing but a mysterious term.
- Kanshu Sunadomari (2)
Aiki News #65 (December 1984)

Quote:
Saito Sensei has three things that he always does during training. Tai No Henko, the basic blending exercise, then he does Kokyuho from the two-hand grab, and finally Kokyudosa. He considers those to be the three basic exercises that you should always do. He always finishes the practice with Kokyudosa and begins the practice with Tai No Henko and Kokyuho.
- Interview with Bill Witt shihan

Quote:
The subtle uses of ki is the parent that causes one's kokyu (breath or breathing) to change intricately. This is indeed the main source of bu with Love. When one unifies his mind and body by means of "the subtle uses of ki" and practices the Way of Aiki, the subtle changes of his breathing naturally start flowing out from this unity and technique appears freely...
- Founder of Aikido (26): Martial Way - Human Way
by Kisshomaru Ueshiba
Aiki News #55 (June 1983) quoting Morihei Ueshiba in Aikikai bulletin 1950 - 1960

Quote:
Do you remember any episodes in particular from your younger years of training involving 0-Sensei?
There are many people who talk about how strong Ueshiba Sensei was. There was the time when he taught at the naval academy - I also would accompany him - at that time His Imperial Highness Prince Takamatsu was a student of the academy. Ueshiba Sensei took great care in instruct ing the class. Other officers came saying they would like to see his strength since they heard that he was very strong. At that time we had already finished training and Ueshiba Sensei and I had finished dressing and were about to go home. Sensei stood at the very edge of the tatami of the dojo and told us to push against him using our whole bodies. First, one, then two and then three of us pushed against him but he didn't move at all. Then, the officers said they wanted to try pushing him. Even though they were students they were about 30 years old. About ten of them push ed against us from behind with all their might but Ueshiba Sensei didn't move at all. The tatami on which we were standing on started to slip backwards, but the tatami on which Ueshiba Sensei was stand ing didn't move. Usually, if you push both the person and the tatami will move, but that wasn't the case with Ueshiba Sensei. We were standing on the inside tatami push ing but they started slipping back wards. As usual, when he gave a kiai (shout) they all fell flat. It was unbelievable! It was a very profound mystery! It was completely different from the normal case where someone is strong at budo or good at techniques. It was a completely different dimension. Mind and body unification, kokyu, ki spirit-body unification and the unification of the universe and humankind - these states exist just on the verge of becoming real.
Interview with Rinjiro Shirata (2)
Aiki News #63 (September 1984)

Quote:
Let me quote from the "Aikido Newspaper" of November and December 1964, in which Tenryu wrote about their 1942 match.

(Partially quoted) ...I thought to myself, "This old man isn't much of anything." As you know he is a small-built person. However, as soon as I casually took hold of his arm. I could sense from my experience in Sumo that this man was really something. It felt as if I had grabbed an iron bar. I wanted to acknowledge defeat right away, despite the fact that everybody was watching. Then Sensei said, "You go ahead and do anything you want with my hand. You can twist it, push it or wrench it. I am not putting any strength in it." So I again went to grab it with all my might. Sensei then instantaneously evaded and before I realized it I said, "I'm beaten. Till now I had harbored a little doubt about your ability but your kokyu and the power you just showed have made me realize everything. Please allow me to become your student.' Sensei then replied, 'I appreciate a person like you asking in such a frank way. I will allow you to be my student.

In his memoirs, Tenryu wrote more:

In those days I was a bit too proud and nonchalant but my ego shrank when I faced the inexplicably strong, secret martial arts technique of Moritaka Ueshiba Sensei. He was already past sixty and I faced him with some confidence in my ability at empty-handed technique. However, the moment Sensei's hand touched my arm, my whole body was paralyzed, and I asked for permission to join the Kobukan dojo in Ushigome Wakamatsu-cho.

Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:56 AM   #166
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Great quotes, Alfonso. As Tohei noted in his Aikido Journal interview, O-Sensei described his kokyu in esoteric terms; Tohei is closer in most instances to biomechanical terms. We're talking about biomechanics, even though some of it is a bit odd. If someone is indicating they can demonstrate consistent and reasonably-accomplished kokyu, they're saying they can demonstrate a certain kind of body mechanics. The so-called "ki tests" of Tohei are just simple demonstrations of kokyu power, so someone with kokyu skills should be able to do them.

I will caveat by noting that I've said in the past that there are gradations of this power and some of it can exist without the particular ki-association that Tohei likes to add. Other than that, all things are the same thing and there is only one real technique in Aikido.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 07-12-2005, 12:08 PM   #167
rob_liberti
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Great quotes. Are there any quotes on what Kanshu Sunadomari sensei (or Bill Witt shihan, or Rinjiro Shirata sensei, or Tenryu) has to say about developing kokyu power?

Rob
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Old 07-12-2005, 01:13 PM   #168
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

The discussion about calligraphy/shodo are actually pretty good comparisons with Aikido except for at the "highest level", IMO. There's an application of kokyu at the "highest level" of Aikido that may be the quintessential "aiki" and I don't know if there's any comparable usage of kokyu at the highest level of Shodo.

But here's a thought-starter. Who is more accomplished at Shodo: the person who doesn't use kokyu but has done Shodo the longest, knows the most intricacies about forming the characters, etc., or the person who has only moderate amounts of Shodo but knows how to use kokyu well in writing his pieces?

Mike
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Old 07-12-2005, 01:23 PM   #169
Alfonso
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

:-) I'm very sure that I'm missing more than a little on those interviews..
I was thinking , at the time of looking for the quotes, that I've heard more than once, that there's only one technique in Aikido (kokyu)
so that has to be built into the practice..

I'm bigger than the few well known Shihan/Sensei I've taken ukemi for (well Ledyard sensei , is an exception, but he was showing the 6-12 kumitachi with Kevin Lam sensei and if that level of connection , intent, fliudity and speed is not part of the package then I'm really lost) and none have had any problems to apply what to me has felt like really much more power than is reasonable to expect from their body types.

I've yet to see a musclebound shihan ala WWF. So, I'm still not convinced that Aikido has "lost" the inner strength or that it is not known..

Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 07-12-2005, 02:21 PM   #170
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Its certainly an interesting question...but I have no clue what the answer is...It may well depend on your perspective. Great conversation, Thanks,
Ron

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Old 07-12-2005, 02:42 PM   #171
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Alfonso Adriasola wrote:
:-)I've yet to see a musclebound shihan ala WWF. So, I'm still not convinced that Aikido has "lost" the inner strength or that it is not known..
Well of course there are always some Aikidoists who know all there is to know about kokyu *as it is used in Aikido*. And there are people that use nothing but normal strength... when you become skillful using normal strength with Aikido throws, it takes less effort, just like when you become expert at racketball it takes a lot less effort, etc. And there are people who naturally develop *some* ki/kokyu abilities, but not high enough to really be credible in terms of excellent controls, etc. In other words, there are gradations.

My comment would be that although there are gradations, there are far too many people who don't really know how to do or use kokyu and far too few who really know. Kokyu isn't "lost", it's just scarce as hell, even among teachers, IMO. That's just an observation, not a complaint... however, it's a bit of a concern that so many "teachers" actually don't know what kokyu power is or they dismiss the importance of it. It's not a concern for me, but it's certainly a concern for students to consider. Perhaps it's a topic that should be openly discussed, not dismissed or trivialized or attacked.... even though I suspect that most people "doing Aikido" don't really care whether they really have kokyu power or not. Just that few.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 07-12-2005, 05:01 PM   #172
Alfonso
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

.. someone over here told me once that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink..

at least for me I'd like to find a way to discuss this matter intelligibly beyond the "just train" conversation stopper.

It seems to me that the chinese terminology is more sophisticated in analysis. Maybe that solo work that is not typically found in Aikido is conducive to understanding something... ?

Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 07-12-2005, 05:14 PM   #173
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Alfonso Adriasola wrote:
at least for me I'd like to find a way to discuss this matter intelligibly beyond the "just train" conversation stopper.

It seems to me that the chinese terminology is more sophisticated in analysis. Maybe that solo work that is not typically found in Aikido is conducive to understanding something... ?
Actually, I think the training in Aikido is just fine, as long as it's explained well by the instructor... aye, there's the rub. Fune Kogi Undo is such a direct copy of a common jin/kokyu practice in China that I have trouble thinking it's anything other than a copy. Fune Kogi Undo is practice pushing away with the middle and pulling back in with the middle, letting the connection to the middle grow. Bokken swinging is at heart a vertical practice of the same thing (although there's a bit more to it, as I see it). All that's missing is a bit more side to side practice and you will have covered all the practice directions. Analysis helps in understanding the exercises, but the exercises are certainly there in Aikido. Unfortunately they're not done enough and too many people think they're "rituals" like "wearing a hakama".

Mike
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Old 07-12-2005, 05:33 PM   #174
tedehara
 
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

As a point of information:

The "ki testing" also called "parlor tricks" would be considered demonstrations of mind and body coordination according to the Ki Society. It might also be called ki demonstrations.

Ki testing among the Ki Society is quite different than the public demonstrations described on this thread. Its done very simply, usually with just two fingers. Passing these tests will allow the student a rank in ki development.

In the Ki Society, students need ranks in ki development in order to be eligible for ranks in aikido grades. In this kind of testing, the tester is as important as the student who is being tested, since the testing has to be done in an exact manner. There are also several levels of difficulty in the ki testing.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 07-12-2005, 06:55 PM   #175
PeterR
 
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Not particularly avoiding Ueshiba M.'s demonstrations or putting down Tohei. In both cases the ability to do these "Ki performances" had very little to do with their ability to do good Aikido.

Both men did them on occasion - there is even one story of Tomiki demonstrating one of them to show it was no big deal. And Tomiki, his history speaks for itself. Joined Ueshiba M. in 1925 and was his first 8th Dan in 1942. Far senior to either Chiba and Tohei and one could argue that his exposure to Ueshiba M. exceeded both men but definitely Chiba. At his main dojo you practice Aikido not a combination of Judo and Aikido.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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