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Old 07-08-2005, 07:59 AM   #26
Mike Sigman
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Lots of aikido folks in CO. Seems like a few of them would be willing to get with you and do a "mini seminar" or something where there is not a lot of risk in expenses, investment etc.

Certainly a few of them might be pro and a few might be con, because we all know what a dicey subject KI can be! It is largely experiencial (sp?) as you point out so what works for some might now work of all!
The real problem here is time. I once did a very short (one hour? 90 minutes? I forget) quick workshop at the Boulder Aikikai and I was not happy... trying to say something meaningful in a very short time is almost impossible. Although I did get across some static kokyu usages, IIRC. It takes a couple of days of work and repetition to get any good results and get into some of the subtleties. Insofar as results go, I don't think there's any real problem with that... everyone gets some pretty functional results.
Quote:
That said, some reputable individuals that are honest should be willing to get with you and then come back and say..."wow, good stuff!" This guy is the shizzle!
Or he gets the chance to say "this stuff is garbage." But I've never had anyone even remotely say that. For the most part, I try to stay very impersonal so that I don't get involved in any of the well-known spates of martial-arts personality quirks that arise so easily. It's all in the results, not the talk, not the uniform, not the lingo, not the color of the belt. As a matter of fact, statistically the younger and less "experienced" people often have an advantage because they don't have so many fixed bodily and mental preconceptions.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 07-08-2005, 09:13 AM   #27
kdj
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

If it means anything to anyone (and there are probably some people here who know me and my background well enough to give some credence to what I say):

I've known Mike for more than 10 years, since the early days on rec.martial-arts. I've spent a few weekends and many, many emails and discussions learning from his understanding of "Ki & Kokyu".

In my opinion, he is very genuine and knowledgeable. I don't know of any one else, in this space, who can get so much information across in a short space of time - and if you look at my background and the people I've studied with you'll see that this is saying a lot.

I intend to be at this workshop if I can possibly make it happen. While Mike doesn't need any one to defend him , I thought I'd say this to avoid this potentially interesting topic degenerating into erroneous suspicion of "trollism".

Mike should be encouraged to continue to offer to freely give up his time and hard work for our benefit where ever possible, so let's avoid making him think twice

Kevin

www.shugenkai.org
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Old 07-08-2005, 09:49 AM   #28
Mike Sigman
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

Quote:
Kevin Jones wrote:
Mike should be encouraged to continue to offer to freely give up his time and hard work for our benefit where ever possible, so let's avoid making him think twice
Well, thanks, Kevin. I didn't mean for anyone to come out of lurk for this. Besides, I have to note that while engaging in these discussions on AikiWeb, following up suggested leads from good Aikidoists, etc., I've learned things myself, so I feel the trade-off is worth it. Stirring up discussions can lead to bickering and unproductive discussions, but all too often it turns up very useful nuggets if you just stay with it long enough and keep asking the right questions, IMO. In other words, I have to say that these discussions aren't really all that one-sided. I've learned a few very valuable things in just a couple of months that have affected my personal training (by focusing it, etc.).

Regards,

Mike
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Old 07-08-2005, 12:44 PM   #29
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

I am glad to hear about your new discoveries. I wish I was in the area to participate!
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Old 07-08-2005, 05:17 PM   #30
Mike Sigman
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

Quote:
I'll work up a syllabus, although I have a few general things in mind:

*How to form relaxed but powerful kokyu strength
*Using this form of strength in movement and shifting all movement to "from the dantien"
*Using this form of strength in selected applications, "ki tests", ukemi, joint locks, and pins, and hitting.
*Starting to develop ki: how to do it, some practices, relevant qigongs and how they actually work, etc.
In response to a PM, I guess I forgot and left standing exercises off of the above general list. Yes, I'll cover both standing for health and standing for martial power. In terms of useable benefits, I think standing is probably the most beneficial thing anyone can do, particularly if you're beginning to lose your health and strength.... you'll get strong again if you do it correctly.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 07-11-2005, 11:29 AM   #31
BWells
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

Interesting Thread. Mike, have you decided on when and where. Durango would be beautiful place to have it, but having grown up in Silverton, the idea of being there in snow is not appealing

I've started doing YiQuan standing in the last year and would be very interested in how you approach this whole subject.

Take care,
Bruce Wells
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Old 07-11-2005, 11:55 AM   #32
kironin
 
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

if you google the keywords

" Mike Sigman Chi "

together, it's not hard to find some info.

for example

http://www.taichiunion.com/magazine/sigman.html


I certainly have no problem with a workshop except it probably would be more time efficient and economical for me anyway to check out his instruction videos if they are still available.
after reading Mke's post above...
assuming Mike updates them with what ever he has learned here.

I realize interacting at a workshop is better, there should be a lot of people in Colorado interested. Many just aren't on this list. There are four Ki Society dojos in the Denver area.
The people at CSU-Ft. Collins and Boulder Ki Aikido definitely would be open to it I think. But to the best of my knowledge none of them spend time on this BB so if you want me to chat with them, I am willing. Kevin's recommendation is good enough for me.

Last edited by kironin : 07-11-2005 at 12:10 PM.

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Old 07-11-2005, 12:03 PM   #33
Mike Sigman
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

Quote:
Bruce Wells wrote:
Interesting Thread. Mike, have you decided on when and where. Durango would be beautiful place to have it, but having grown up in Silverton, the idea of being there in snow is not appealing

I've started doing YiQuan standing in the last year and would be very interested in how you approach this whole subject.
Hi Bruce:

Actually, I was just getting ready to walk out the door and head up to Silverton to do some work on my house up there. I bought a house a couple of years ago at 1533 Reese across from the courthouse, between Zeke Zanoni and Ken Safranski. I wouldn't do a workshop up there on a bet... out-of-towners would take too long to acclimate to the elevation.

There's been some discussion of Chinese martial arts practices and how they apply to Japanese martial arts. Naturally, a lot of it devolved into the idea of Japanophile versus Sinophile, but that really misses the point... by a large margin, as I see it.

The methods of training the qi/ki, kokyu/jin, etc., actually go across a wide spectrum of martial arts. If anything, I tended to refuse at first to accept how wide that spectrum is. There are people on this list who think Japanese martial arts are somewhat separate *at core* from Chinese martial arts. I tend to see Japanese and Chinese martial arts as having somewhat of the same core.... but I get caught out being wrong and underestimating almost every time how wide that spectrum really is. In other words, there's still some "style loyalties" that I have that have slowed my grasp of the big picture.

Because of O-Sensei's "ki tricks" and how they're exactly like the Chinese ones, because of his writings, and so on, it's became clear to me a few months ago that I was way underestimating the amount of information that was common between Aikido and Chinese training of the ki-kokyu type. The "jo trick" is one of those that I kept rationalizing with "he couldn't have known this", but now it appears that he did. The thing about the "big toe" was another one that I tried to find another explanation for, but I see no way out of it... it must have come via knowledge of "standing" practices. And there are a number of other tricks and demo's that he did that just leave no doubt... it's impossible to have that many coincidences.

Yiquan standing supposedly derives from Xingyi practices, but after a number of years of exposure, I've begun to realize that the "secrets" of how to stand for power are actually fairly well known across a number of Chinese martial arts, both "internal" and "external". About the only thing in Yiquan that I think is an oddball datum is the sudden "shake" derived from Southern White Crane practices.

So my rejoinder to you would be that *IF* you know how to do yiquan standing correctly, you're not going to be doing much of anything that apparently O-Sensei didn't already know. I.e., it's a proper complement to your Aikido, even though most Aikido practitioners don't seem to have a clue about it due to the knowledge being limited in distribution.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 07-11-2005, 12:07 PM   #34
Mike Sigman
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote:
I certainly have no problem with a workshop except it probably would be more time efficient and economical for me anyway to check out his instruction videos if they are still available.
Except those tapes are 10 years old and at the time I avoided any discussion of breathing exercises due to fears about potential blood pressure problems (the too-exuberant do it all the time in China) and getting sued for putting it on a tape. Besides, there were things those tapes deliberately didn't cover. The main things I did cover turned out not to transmit very well via video... and since I only put out those tapes to disseminate some initial information, I pulled them, except for some I allowed Plum Flower Press to sell. In other words, what I was planning on covering in this workshop would be well beyond the scope of those old tapes.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 07-11-2005, 01:07 PM   #35
BWells
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

Thanks for the response Mike. You are right, trying to do any training at Silverton's 9,000 feet elevation would NOT be good for those of us use to lower elevations. I was last back 4 years ago and just walking down the street was tough. If you go to the other end of town from the road to Durango the old log house (now a church) was the one I grew up in, many many many years ago.

From my view on the styles, philosophies can be different and techniques can be different but the human body is the human body and while each art may approach internal strength from a different place, in the end the physics of how it works is still the same.

On YiQuan, I am a beginner, been doing standing for a year or more but have only been training with Fong Ha for a few months, so I am only an egg so to speak. I do feel it a bit in my Aikido and am really please to feel that. My personal struggle is that I spent 20 years as a power lifter and while my 10 years of Aikido has cured me most of the time from using my blocky strength sometime I revert. The standing really help here though, makes me much more aware of the power of the alternative.

Oh and Craig, thanks for the response as well.

Thanks,
Bruce
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Old 07-11-2005, 01:19 PM   #36
Mike Sigman
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

Quote:
Bruce Wells wrote:
Thanks for the response Mike. You are right, trying to do any training at Silverton's 9,000 feet elevation would NOT be good for those of us use to lower elevations. I was last back 4 years ago and just walking down the street was tough. If you go to the other end of town from the road to Durango the old log house (now a church) was the one I grew up in, many many many years ago.
Far out. Know it well.
Quote:
From my view on the styles, philosophies can be different and techniques can be different but the human body is the human body and while each art may approach internal strength from a different place, in the end the physics of how it works is still the same.
Absotively. Couldn't have said it better.
Quote:
On YiQuan, I am a beginner, been doing standing for a year or more but have only been training with Fong Ha for a few months, so I am only an egg so to speak. I do feel it a bit in my Aikido and am really please to feel that. My personal struggle is that I spent 20 years as a power lifter and while my 10 years of Aikido has cured me most of the time from using my blocky strength sometime I revert. The standing really help here though, makes me much more aware of the power of the alternative.
I've seen Ha Fong and his students a few times. Enjoy your practice, but keep looking for other inputs, as well. Sometimes people will needlessly prolong training because it's the Chinese thing to do or because they only have a few eggs to sell. You might enjoy the 3 DVD's by Bo Jia Cong and/or the "Way of Power" book by Lam Kam Chuen if you don't already have them.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 07-11-2005, 01:33 PM   #37
BWells
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

Thanks Mike, Ive got both books by Lam Kam Chuen and will look for the DVD's you referenced. I really enjoy the training with Fong but would love to find a good Zing Yi teacher that was reasonably close by. I know some are out there but is amazing to me how hard it is to find good internal arts teachers in the bay area of all places. May be looking in all the wrong place, who knows.

Enjoy the drive to Silverton, it is a great time of year to be there.

Thanks,
Bruce
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Old 01-31-2006, 11:11 AM   #38
dbotari
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

Mike,

Has there been any further development on this seminar? If so, what details have been firmed up? Or, alternatively, has this died a quiet death? Please update as I am interested in attending if it is feasable for me.

Thanks,

Dan Botari
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Old 01-31-2006, 07:49 PM   #39
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

Don't know how I missed this one... This is exactly the kind of thing I'd be interested in, Mike. I'd go out of my way to attend if it didn't comflict with my teaching schedule.
- George

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 02-01-2006, 07:33 AM   #40
SeiserL
 
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

When is this show coming to Southern California?

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 02-01-2006, 08:02 AM   #41
Mike Sigman
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

Holy smoke... I thought I was in a time warp when I saw this thread. ;^)))) At the time (last year) I was saying that I would put together an Aikido-only perspective on Kokyu and Jin and would contribute the 2 days for free if people would chip in on my travel expenses. And if I remember (too much of a rush this morning to spend the time looking back through the posts) I indicated that it would be better to have people with a certain level of experience and, hopefully, with a certain amount of geographic spread (if you knew how lazy I was about doing workshops, you'd understand why I try to do things in one fell swoop).

I've done a few Aikido-only things before and there's a slight problem that needs to be thought about beforehand. In some ways these things can be *talked* about fairly repidly, but even just talking about them involves a lot of complexities. When you're trying to show people how to do them in a logical sequence, making sure everyone more or less "gets it", there are two general choices:
(1.) Show the very important basic things and how to cultivate them, even after the instructor is gone. This keeps the people focused on what they *should* do and gives plenty of time to keep going over basics, their variations and applications.
(2.) Show everyone superficially (but as well as possible) how to do a larger area of the general skills and logic so that they can get an "overview" of the principles. This way, if they're working on their own (i.e., there is not going to be much future help in workshops), they can remember the big-picture and have a feel for which way they should go.


Generally, I take the #2 option because I don't do workshops for a living and I personally prefer sort of a big-picture approach because I'm one of these people that doesn't function well by rote learning. The problem with #2 is that in my experience the "one workshop" approach seldom imparts many lasting skills... far too many of the people focus on specific "cool things" and never work their basics.

So that's the problem I wanted to make clear.

Last time about 13 people indicated that they'd try to go to such a workshop, but I was trying to get a minimum of 20 (which is the ideal number for my workshops, I've found out over time). I stop at 30 because I can't get enough hands-on with everyone if it exceeds that.

Anyway, that was the offer and I'd still be willing to volunteer the weekend, once, assuming the general conditions are met.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 02-01-2006, 12:47 PM   #42
Scott Prath
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

Hello everyone,
I apologize for not seeing this thread earlier. A two-day seminar has been set for February 18th and 19th in Austin TX. We are a group of mixed martial artists here in central Texas and have invited Mike to instruct for a weekend. He has graciously accepted and will be leading a two day workshop on internal strength. I extend this invite to those of you in the Aikido community that would be willing to make the trip. I apologize again for the late posting on this site.

My name is Scott Prath. You can email me directly for more information. I will attempt to attach the information from a flyer in another reply.
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Old 02-01-2006, 02:35 PM   #43
SeiserL
 
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

Quote:
Scott Prath wrote:
A two-day seminar has been set for February 18th and 19th in Austin TX.
Please write a summary for those of us who cannot attend. Deepest appreciation.
I'd love to see Mike's Aikido.
I know Ki and Kokyu are very important, but often have trouble getting my mind to formulate the map for my body to follow from the words I read.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 02-01-2006, 03:05 PM   #44
Mike Sigman
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote:
Please write a summary for those of us who cannot attend. Deepest appreciation.
I'd love to see Mike's Aikido.
I know Ki and Kokyu are very important, but often have trouble getting my mind to formulate the map for my body to follow from the words I read.
Well, just to be clear, the Austin workshop is more on overall internal strength and is not as strong on the specific applications of internal strength to Aikido. The idea of a "Ki and Kokyu Workshop" that I offered to do in this thread was with the application of Ki and Kokyu specifically as it would apply to Aikido. So there will be some differences.

The general "internal strength" skills are, as I've said before, pretty much throughout Asian martial arts and are the foundation or many different martial arts.

Because these skills are used in so many different martial arts, it's justified in thinking of them as something of (1.) a way to move (from the center, yes that old trope) and (2.) a way to condition the body for greater strength around that unusual way to move.

In some martial-style cases, it's arguable that "well, if I go to Gold's Gym, run a lot, etc., I'm strong enough that I can use our techniques and applications well enough that I don't need to know this ki and kokyu stuff". And I'd have to agree that that's a true statement, with the only caveat being that it's not a true copy of the original art, if the original art had ki and kokyu skills built into it. I.e., it becomes a moot point about whether someone *needs* these skills.

In the case of Aikido, Taiji, Xingyi, and a number of others, there is no real way to argue that you can do the techniques, etc., without really needing ki and kokyu. In the cases where the whole theory of the art is built around ki, kokyu, the six directions, etc., anyone who has even a moderate grasp of the place of those skills in Asian martial arts will know that it's specious to argue the skills aren't needed.

Anyway, the lucky thing about the workshops is that they are intended only to teach the basics of movement and power, i.e., to get people started in those movements/skills/conditionings and not as a showcase for really high-level skills in Aikido, Karate, Taiji, Xingyi, etc.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 02-01-2006, 07:22 PM   #45
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Well, just to be clear, the Austin workshop is more on overall internal strength and is not as strong on the specific applications of internal strength to Aikido. The idea of a "Ki and Kokyu Workshop" that I offered to do in this thread was with the application of Ki and Kokyu specifically as it would apply to Aikido. So there will be some differences.

The general "internal strength" skills are, as I've said before, pretty much throughout Asian martial arts and are the foundation or many different martial arts.

Because these skills are used in so many different martial arts, it's justified in thinking of them as something of (1.) a way to move (from the center, yes that old trope) and (2.) a way to condition the body for greater strength around that unusual way to move.

In some martial-style cases, it's arguable that "well, if I go to Gold's Gym, run a lot, etc., I'm strong enough that I can use our techniques and applications well enough that I don't need to know this ki and kokyu stuff". And I'd have to agree that that's a true statement, with the only caveat being that it's not a true copy of the original art, if the original art had ki and kokyu skills built into it. I.e., it becomes a moot point about whether someone *needs* these skills.

In the case of Aikido, Taiji, Xingyi, and a number of others, there is no real way to argue that you can do the techniques, etc., without really needing ki and kokyu. In the cases where the whole theory of the art is built around ki, kokyu, the six directions, etc., anyone who has even a moderate grasp of the place of those skills in Asian martial arts will know that it's specious to argue the skills aren't needed.

Anyway, the lucky thing about the workshops is that they are intended only to teach the basics of movement and power, i.e., to get people started in those movements/skills/conditionings and not as a showcase for really high-level skills in Aikido, Karate, Taiji, Xingyi, etc.

FWIW

Mike
Hi Mkie,
As I feared, this date is right in between my return from the Aiki cruise and our seminar with Saotome Sensei... despite my desire to train I really do have to spend some time with my kids once in a while, other wise they'll forget who I am... Oh well, if I want to attend one of these AI'll proibabaly have to invite you myself so I can schedule it accirding to when I can actually do it... Have fun and I'll try to work something out for myself and my students at a later date.
- George,

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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Old 02-01-2006, 07:28 PM   #46
Mike Sigman
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

I appreciate the thought, George. My original thought was more along the lines of an Aikido-specific workshop for Aikidoists and while I appreciate Scott's posting about Austin, that's not really Aikido-specific enough for me to say much about it on this list. Maybe we can do something at another time.

Best.

Mike
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Old 02-02-2006, 07:10 AM   #47
Mato-san
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

Mike, your work shop sounds interesting.
If you are working on a ki-based workshop, my recommendation is to push it at businesses. I was blown out this morning when I was on the bus headed to Tokyo to attend to some stuff, I seen the local Toyota dealer, all staff where in the yard Suits, sales, mechanics office- everyone, the where doing what seemed to me ki orientated taiso, to kick off the day. I was smiling inside and out. Ki workshops are definately alive. And just from sight I think toyota may be appliing it as routine. Just an insight not a full forced opinion. But hey I was blown out!

Before you drive or steer your vehicle, you must first start the engine, release the brake and find gear!
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Old 02-02-2006, 07:14 AM   #48
Mike Sigman
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

Quote:
Mathew McDowell wrote:
If you are working on a ki-based workshop, my recommendation is to push it at businesses.
I'm far too lazy to ever do something like that, Mathew. It would interfere with my kayaking and motorcycling.

Mike
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Old 02-02-2006, 07:37 AM   #49
Mato-san
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Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop

lol

Before you drive or steer your vehicle, you must first start the engine, release the brake and find gear!
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Old 02-02-2006, 10:48 AM   #50
Scott Prath
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Austin Internal Strength Workshop

Thank you Mike for clarifying the intent of the workshop. Here is the flyer information which summarizes the material we hope to address.

INTERNAL STRENGTH WORKSHOP
Austin welcomes Mike Sigman, a martial artist dedicated to the underlying
principles of internal strength that serve as a foundation in many of the
traditional arts. This is a two day non-denominational workshop for martial
artists who are interested in understanding and developing internal strength.

This hands-on workshop will include:
€ ground path -- static
€ ground path -- 3 directions, (up/out/in)
€ closing connection -- static
€ ground path + closing -- 4 directions (up/down/out/in)
€ six harmonies -- parameters for using the ground path
€ storing -- storing in the bows along the ground path
€ storing -- storing in the connection of the fascia and "body suit"
€ releasing -- issuing power from the ground

Date: Saturday & Sunday February 18th and 19th
10am -1pm and 2:30pm to 5:30pm both days

Cost: $175 for both days

Location: Sarchen Somatic Arts
5515 Balcones Drive, Austin, Texas 78731
(at the intersection of 2222 and Balcones Drive)

Contact: For more information and to reserve a spot, please contact
Scott Prath at 512-423-7721 or scottwprath@hotmail.com
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