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Thread: Body Conditioning

  1. #1
    Dan Harden Guest

    Default Body Conditioning

    Aiki is…what?
    As defined …by whom?
    Defended by what?
    Is it a proprietary method of some single art’s execution of principle- to- technique? Or is it actually a way to physically train the body that makes Aiki..happen?
    Or is it, in the end for most…a word…with little meaning?


    If you think it is a set of principles and/or some single-arts deep understanding, then good luck to you. You will be surrounded by hordes of like minded folks. It's all over the internet in many teachers styles. If you want to learn then get out and meet people.

    The world is getting smaller year-by-year.
    Presently there are students of ;
    1.Daito ryu;
    The Kodo kai; Kiyama and Goldberg,
    The Roppokai; Okomoto and Quick,
    The Mainline; Kondo
    As well as students of;
    2.Aikido;
    Saotomae and Ikeda, and Chiba
    3. As well as students of the Japanese Koryu
    4. As well as Yanagi Aikibugei
    5. As well as students of the CMA
    Some have now trained in varying combinations of the above and have spent time and money to travel and meet people who “claim” to understand the deeper meaning and indoctrinations of various arts and their…Aiki. In so doing they have had their hands on combinations of the above..repeatedly.
    They have formed their own opinions as far as who has what and what and what all this talk about "Aiki" means..at least for them.

    While the internet remains a who’s who of many who don’t know much… you can help yourself. Again, get out and meet people. There is nothing more revealing than placing your hands on someone. In the end our understanding is in our hands.
    Cheers
    Dan
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 21st November 2007 at 17:16.

  2. #2
    Dan Harden Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by glad2bhere View Post
    Since noone has mentioned him, I point out that the late Donn Draeger identified the concept of "aiki-" as proceeding from the Aizu clan through a noted 18th century Confucian scholar. I mention this only because I am of the belief that the use the term "aiki-" as a method is of quite recent interpretation, with the use of the same term, as "attitude" is only of slighting older vintage.

    Hi Bruce

    In many ways Don's writing reflected knowledge and available information at that time. It was never meant to be THEE source for all things Japanese. Were he alive he would be correcting his own earlier works here and there.


    Quote Originally Posted by glad2bhere View Post
    By comparison, the idea of "balance" or "unbalance" as applied to a given technique may be a more recent attempt to lend concrete meaning to an otherwise ethereal subject. FWIW.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
    I can’t help but completely discount that take on things. It is only ethereal to those who don’t understand it or cannot do it themselves. The idea of Aiki is all over the place in Japan and in China (by act... not name) in many arts. It would do a disservice to anyone to just look for it in Daito ryu or in some arts techniques. As for modern ideas...actually the concept of Aiki as blending applied to a technique is the more modern concept. I think it's far better to research what "it" means... not what some art "says" it means.

    The power of Aiki in the body is not dependant on an art, not expressed in a technique. It comes from retained balance of In/yo ho, a trained relaxed power in your own body, not in trying to “do things” to someone. Its power is in softness/softness that comes from power. The search for power was the heart of the martial arts. The idea of martial training was to gain strength and power-even this is gravely misunderstood by the modern practitioner. What type of power were they referring to? Surely not the inverted triangle "Arny" type of isolated weight lifting. The "power" they were referring to was internal power or internal strength. This type of skill is best trained initially in solo practice. Solo training is documented in so many Asian writings, in so many places that it should go without challenge. Over and over we read of men practicing Solo in the mountains and coming back with "enlightenment." Yukioshi Sagawa -himself one of the greatest modern exponents of Aiki- was a huge proponent of Solo training. We...(meaning many-not all) just don't know what the heck solo training really means. That westerners read about the older Martial artists training, and discuss it, and continue to research deeper meaning in the Japanese arts …yet skip this invaluable type of training… brings the ridiculous to the sublime.
    It is unfortunate that many arts will not openly teach it and tell everyone to train for twenty years “getting it” from repetition of technique. It was and still can be gotten in a much shorter time frame, and without signing on to perpetuate an art. Once you have trained your body it exists in you and can be used in anything from Judo to jujutsu to MMA.
    But in the end Aiki is real and not ethereal, and is soft...power delivery to control or knockout. It will express itself in a throw, choke, or lock, and just as viable in not being able to to be thrown or locked, or in a kick or short distance kidney or headshot. And it comes from a trained body, not from practicing some martial art.
    Cheers
    Dan
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 23rd November 2007 at 17:59.

  3. #3
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    I agree, Dan, and my heartfelt thanks for not invoking Japanese culture as the sole point of reference and infallible defining authority regarding this subject. Like you I have held that Chinese and Korean traditions have also made reference to this characteristic and sought its mastery in the execution of their own martial traditions. Personally, I don't think anyone gets quite so anal-compulsive about such things as the Japanese practitioners, but that is a subject best addressed all by itself. I remember only that in times past Japanese nationals would babble the subject to death with contradictory and sometimes mutually exclusive rhetoric, only to determine, in the end, that only the Japanese culture was truely able to appreciate "aiki" in all its nuances. Since then, I am happy to report that an increasing number of practitioners of various arts have begun to discuss "aiki" in biomechanical terms, and I consider the MA World well advanced for it.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
    Bruce W Sims
    www.midwesthapkido.com

  4. #4
    Dan Harden Guest

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    Hi Bruce
    The conversation is a nonstarter with most of the Japanese and the Chinese- including teachers. I think you will find DR folks telling you they donlt care. DR is DR and the Chines will tell you that Japense arts don't get it and dont have internals. Most people are too invested in their systems to research. The best thing to do is train your internals and work on you, and then just show up. When they can't do much to you at all, they may or may not wish to talk. The best conversation I had was with an older, master level internal arts teacher, who taught in Japan. And get this...he taught some of Sagawa's guys who were looking for what Sagawa had. Here I was with an amazingly skilled guy, hands on and talking about Daito ryu; Aiki age, sage and fure aiki. You caouldn't have that discussion with any hundred CMA or DR folks. And you still can't. The saddest- almost comical-ones, are those who are helpess to do anything to you, and are uninterested as to why. If it isn't directly related from their teacher or lineage it isn't for them. And they...are all over the place. I've seen men incapable of pulling off any technique and then shy away from even trying again. In the end it is more important to many people to be part of a group. Even when it means they are not being taught how to do something, and even when it means after ten years... they suck.

    Here's another thought to offer those who may think Daito ryu alone owns the training method to creat aiki..think of this. Sagawa stated that only in his later years (80-90) did he finally start to teach "how."
    Turns out it wasn't in the techniques after all..there's a surprise.
    In his own words it was his internal training. His solo internal training to change his body that he credited for his skill.

    So, Ask yourself this. If DR does have a proprietary method
    1. Why is it that the things he describes for his bodywork is directly related to....Chinese Internal arts.

    While we're at it. Sagawa is interesting as most credit him with the absolute hghest level of skill. Examinng his words is telling in that he openly states he really never taught Aiki openly and that of his students only one trained his body (solo) properly.
    So...if the secret is not in paried waza practice but in solo training...what the hell has every one else been doing for twenty years? And...thanks for telling everyone at the end of your life and after twenty years of their training in the wrong direction.
    Take all that out for a spin with many DR or CMA practitioners and see how far you get.

    Keep training. If you get it, you got it. For anyone blinded or prejudiced by style, there isn't a damn thing they can say...to your face. Your bodyskill will end the debate on the spot.
    But on that day no one can stand for us. Not teachers, not style, not organization. Our understanding is in our own hands.
    You either can do, or you cannot.
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 1st December 2007 at 12:13.

  5. #5
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    Excluding evident fakes or fraudolent masters, is there some sort of Aiki system other than the Aiki studied in Daito Ryu?

    For a reference, I was reading Harrison's book about his Japanese experience during pre war period at the Kodokan. There is a chapter in which he met a master of a koryu system (it is not reported what school was) and the master gave a demonstration of some aiki.
    There isn't any evidence to support that any "aiki" system existed that predates Takeda Sokaku's use of the term - and as he defined it. There are MANY arts and instructors that have used the term since then, and yes, there were likely a number of systems back in the day that had methods similar to what Daito-ryu calls "aiki". There are a number of arts that used the term aiki prior to Sokaku using it, but as others have pointed out, the definition is very basic, suggesting either an alternate definition of the term or a very shallow understanding of the principle. So "aiki" is either a very common principle defined and understood at different levels, or is a term used commonly to refer to different concepts. Which one of these answers is correct is a matter of personal opinion.

    The book you are referring to is E.J. Harrison's 1955 book "The Fighting Spirit of Japan". The master you mention is a man by the name of Kunishige Nobuyuki of the Shinden Isshin-ryu. While there is an entry for Shinden Isshin-ryu in the Bugei Ryu-ha Daijiten, the listing simply has the name and "ju", indicating that it was primarily a jujutsu art (and apparently not very well known or preserved). It is unclear what time period the stories about Kunishige occured as they are recounted in Harrison's book, but the author does state he first met Kunishige during the time of the Russo-Japanese War, which was from 1904-1905, and that he returned from Japan some time before 1917. Kunishige's dojo was apparently very near Shimbashi Train Station (now Shiodome Station), which at that time was located in Minato, Tokyo. If Shinden Isshin-ryu was a developing art, then usage of the term aiki, or the principle of aiki, may have been included some time after the founding of the art. Being in Tokyo there would have been many opportunities for exposure to other arts. For example, one of Sokaku's students was someone named "Sato Kanmi" who began training in 1902. He received Kyoju Dairi and the Hiden Okugi, and according to the eimeiroku entry, will publish a book in 1906 that will include an entry on "aikijutsu".

    Though it appears Sokaku started using the term aiki in the name of his art following approximately 1922, oral tradition states the term "aiki on'yo-ho" was the old method that was passed down through the generations, and there are several references in regards to this aiki method in stories about Minamoto Yoshimitsu and Yoshiie, early Sumo, and the earliest reference within the Kojiki.

    All jujutsu/yawara/kumiuchi appears to have been derived or at least heavily influenced by early Sumo, so it would not be shocking to find that some of early methods or teachings exist within other koryu (such as Kashima shin-ryu). But what appears to be different now is the definition of the term and depth of understanding of it's potential.

    BTW, from what I read in Harrison's book, it appeared that Kunishige was demonstrating "resistance" to attacks rather than countering methods using "aiki". Ueshiba apparently referred to some of his "resistance" methods as being aiki as well, so perhaps this is a defensive application of the principle.

    No expert am I, but I think we must factor in Ueshiba Morihei. It was at the suggestion of Ueshiba's guru, Deguchi Onisaburo, that Takeda changed the name of his art to "aiki"-whatever.
    Aiki was added to jujutsu either at Deguchi's suggestion, or at Yoshida Kotaro's suggestion. I've heard both. Yoshida began studying with Sokaku in 1915, so as far as Yoshida's family style Yanagi-ryu, it is clear that Sokaku was using the term prior to meeting Yoshida.

    Regards,
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

  6. #6
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    Default The "MMA Aiki" thread

    The idea of Aiki is all over the place in Japan and in China (by act... not name) in many arts.
    Well, if you define the "the idea of aiki" as being any martial artist who uses the term to attract more students, then I agree. I think there were some Japanese arts that had the same or similar methods at one time, but on the other hand, I think that aiki as used and defined in Daito-ryu would not exist within extant Japanese arts these days if not for Takeda Sokaku spreading the DR teachings so widely.

    As far as aiki methods as defined by Daito-ryu being all over the place in China, I can't say yes or no with any authority. I'm sure there are some talented CMA's, but in these times CMA's with real ability in internal arts appears to be very rare, from what I've seen. And while CMA may have elements of what Daito-ryu defines as aiki, I've yet to hear or see anything that leads me to believe the exact same method is alive and well all over the place in China.

    On the other hand, it is quite possible that Daito-ryu aiki, or at least elements of it, were adapted at some point from Chinese internal methods. Fact is, a great deal of Japanese and Okinawan culture and martial arts was borrowed and then adapted from China. The problem though is that Japanese are famous for adapting things they borrow, so while CMA may have some amazing techniques and principles, they may not equate to what Daito-ryu now terms as "aiki".

    The problem is, from an art standpoint, mixing in R&D from CMA movements and principles to an operating system that is not complimentary to them. CMA and JMA move differently, and for the most part, generate power differently. Cross-cultural training can make an art better, or make an art worse, depending on the experience and understanding of the person doing it. Of course, of you don't care about the art but only inventing your own fighting method, then that is not a consideration.

    It is unfortunate that many arts will not openly teach it and tell everyone to train for twenty years “getting it” from repetition of technique. It was and still can be gotten in a much shorter time frame, and without signing on to perpetuate an art.
    This has been discussed here before. You call the historic Japanese resistance to spoon-feeding "unfortunate". I and other proponents of this method call it "allowing the student to develop critical learning skills" (aka: "you can give a man a fish and feed him for a day, or teach him how to fish and feed him for a lifetime"). The student develops slower in the beginning years, but advance exponentially in later years with little or no instruction. Even Sagawa, whom you quote in every post, taught that there was no substitute for repetitive practice.

    <snipped together> Most people are too invested in their systems to research. The best thing to do is train your internals and work on you, and then just show up ... If it isn't directly related from their teacher or lineage it isn't for them. In the end it is more important to many people to be part of a group. Even when it means they are not being taught how to do something, and even when it means after ten years... they suck.
    I disagree. SOME people may be too invested in their system to research, but many people simply have faith in their teacher and/or the instructional system of their given art. Daito-ryu, for example, has had exceptional martial artists teaching the art in every generation since the Meiji period. It is possible to learn the art, but it requires studying under an experienced and skilled instructor as well as the correct amount of dedication to training the art, both of which are achievable. Most people fail by either training under an unqualified instructor (or one who lacks the ability), or in not adhering to the teacher's instructions. Researching the methods of a given art is generally encouraged. However, researching the methods of other arts, especially those from other countries, is generally discouraged. At least in the earlier developmental years due to the likelihood of inappropriate cross-contamination.

    I find it ironic that you are posting to a Japanese martial arts forum condemning those that follow the instructions of their teacher and way of their art. The teacher-student relationship is built upon this trust. If you don't trust your teacher to guide you correctly through the art, then you may have the wrong teacher. But there is nothing wrong with the traditional system of transmission. What is true these days is that most people cannot tolerate the idea of submitting to the authority of another person. This is a society that encourages seeking the "easy way" through life, making as much money as possible, and fostering an ever-growing ego. People who were raised brain washed into this type of thinking are definitely not going to last in traditional Japanese arts.

    The importance of being a member of a group is probably the core teaching of koryu arts. When you are a member of a group you are expected to put forth a reasonable amount of time and energy to help sustain the group (ryu-ha). In return, you get "out of the art what you put into it". Not a bad deal, but it requires that you "give before you get" (another principle foreign to most of modern society). When you are a member of an art, you have access to generations of R&D of which you can build upon. This is much harder to from just seminar jumping or sampling the big shots of the day.

    I can't think of any reason why it is necessary to "suck" for 10 years though. For example, Daito-ryu has a jujutsu curriculum that is taught from the beginning. Many people study jujutsu their whole lives and are able to adapt them to self-defense applications. Many who study the basics of aikido (which are based on DR jujutsu) are able to make them effective in modern self-defense as well. Like every art, it depends on the person. The art works fine.

    Here's another thought to offer those who may think Daito ryu alone owns the training method to creat aiki..think of this. Sagawa stated that only in his later years (80-90) did he finally start to teach "how." Turns out it wasn't in the techniques after all..there's a surprise. In his own words it was his internal training. His solo internal training to change his body that he credited for his skill.
    If what you are proposing is true, then why does the Sagawa Dojo still use the traditional jujutsu techniques as it's foundation? Body conditioning may have elevated Sagawa's over all skill or aiki to a higher level, but no where has he or his three successors disregarded the Daito-ryu curriculum as the foundation for their aiki. I suppose there must be a reason. It is also worth mentioning that Sagawa himself says he stole Sokaku's aiki at 17 years old from training in a resistance exercise, but that later on he was not even sure if what he ended up doing was really the same as Sokaku's aiki. Sagawa may have developed Daito-ryu aiki to the next level of potential, or, he may have used Daito-ryu aiki as his spring board for the extensive cross-training and experience in other arts he had to develop something else. Either way it appears Sagawa Sensei gained some impressive skills, but all his views and opinions on aiki may not be identical to the views and opinions of other skilled Daito-ryu exponents following Sokaku's transmission.

    BTW, if CMA has all the elements of aiki - and then some - why didn't Sagawa just quit DR and immerse himself completely into CMA? He didn't seem to have any problem cross-training. Why not trade up? Or, why not take all that experience and make up his own MMA, like everyone else is doing?

    So, Ask yourself this. If DR does have a proprietary method
    1. Why is it that the things he describes for his bodywork is directly related to....Chinese Internal arts.
    Being "related" to CMA, which is your opinion, does not negate the possibility that Daito-ryu's aiki is proprietary. What is proprietary is the totality of the information that defiines DR aiki, not necessarily the originality of it. Besides, to make such authoritative statements comparing CMA and DR aiki implies that you have full understanding of what DR aiki is. If that is in fact your claim, then there will surely be a number of follow questions to follow.

    For anyone blinded or prejudiced by style, there isn't a damn thing they can say...to your face. Your bodyskill will end the debate on the spot.
    But on that day no one can stand for us. Not teachers, not style, not organization. Our understanding is in our own hands.
    Well, if you define "saying something" as throwing down every time you meet someone to prove his is stronger, has trained harder/longer, etc, then I guess you're right. I, for example, have a practical need for effective methods, but at the same time I gain much satisfaction and enjoyment from being a STUDENT of the arts. While it should be the goal of all martial arts to produce skilled martial artists, there is no reason why all martial arts need be nothing more than no-frills close quarters combatives.

    You either can do, or you cannot.
    There's no disagreeing with that. We will probably also agree that there are, and always will be, those that are well suited for koryu and those that are well suited for MMA. If there is room in this world for all the frauds, I'm sure there is room in the world for us as well.

    Regards,
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

  7. #7
    Dan Harden Guest

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    Nathan,
    I apologize for the length
    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Scott View Post
    Well, if you define the "the idea of aiki" as being any martial artist who uses the term to attract more students, then I agree. I think there were some Japanese arts that had the same or similar methods at one time, but on the other hand, I think that aiki as used and defined in Daito-ryu would not exist within extant Japanese arts these days if not for Takeda Sokaku spreading the DR teachings so widely. As far as aiki methods as defined by Daito-ryu being all over the place in China, I can't say yes or no with any authority. I'm sure there are some talented CMA's, but in these times CMA's with real ability in internal arts appears to be very rare, from what I've seen. And while CMA may have elements of what Daito-ryu defines as aiki, I've yet to hear or see anything that leads me to believe the exact same method is alive and well all over the place in China.
    Agreed. With the exception that I believe the foundations for the correct body method were and are in arts throughout India and Asia. And that it is, in fact the foundation that is the key to what is missing in many of the Practitioners in these arts.
    That Takeda was a hugely well known and capable…scratch that…immensely capable genius aided him in furthering his method. But it was, after all, a method which had its roots in other arts as well. As a side note, I believe you will find just as many poor students of the Chinese IMA as you will find poor students of Japanese arts, including DR. But I would not judge any art by poor, even mid-level students anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Scott View Post
    ... it is quite possible that Daito-ryu aiki, or at least elements of it, were adapted at some point from Chinese internal methods. Fact is, a great deal of Japanese and Okinawan culture and martial arts was borrowed and then adapted from China. The problem though is that Japanese are famous for adapting things they borrow, so while CMA may have some amazing techniques and principles, they may not equate to what Daito-ryu now terms as "aiki". The problem is, from an art standpoint, mixing in R&D from CMA movements and principles to an operating system that is not complimentary to them. CMA and JMA move differently, and for the most part, generate power differently.
    They do not have to look the same in use to be the same in source. I think you are correct in defining principles -of use- as different… in execution. But I contend you are incorrect regarding, source of movement, and power generation. What a DR adept is using to cause aiki-age, Aiki-sage and other aspects of the art are all well in keeping with CMA internals. One can go from one to the other. I take it at face value that you cannot see this, and do not agree. OK.
    To me its simply fact that Sagawa (in the little he does describe) describes as the basis for his body training the same basic tenants as the CMA. The breath power methods of in/yo ho are discussed in CMA as well. I suppose its a whole different thing to be training with a master level CMA teacher who trained in Japan for ten years, with him doing perfect Aiki-age, sage and fure-aiki and sharing notes on detailed methods of execution.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Scott View Post
    Cross-cultural training can make an art better, or make an art worse, depending on the experience and understanding of the person doing it. Of course, if you don't care about the art but only inventing your own fighting method, then that is not a consideration.
    Well, I think cross cultural training as a goal will only serve to degrade an art form. If the intent is to do… an art…, then one must preserve it- in its fullness. Even within the model of Shu-Ha-Ri, the art should not be lost in the process. If it were being lost, then call it something else entirely and walk away. To me that’s the real danger.
    1. Of folks claiming to teach an art when they are not qualified to do so.
    Or, worse still
    2. Being truly qualified and not really teaching much at all, only gaining students.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Scott View Post
    You call the historic Japanese resistance to spoon-feeding "unfortunate". I and other proponents of this method call it "allowing the student to develop critical learning skills" (aka: "you can give a man a fish and feed him for a day, or teach him how to fish and feed him for a lifetime").
    Hmmm. Don’t be so quick there pal. I didn’t mean that at all. What I said was.. It is unfortunate that many arts will not openly teach it and tell everyone to train for twenty years “getting it” from repetition of technique. It was and still can be gotten in a much shorter time frame, and without signing on to perpetuate an art. Yes, I know we dissagree on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Scott View Post
    …snip…combined into one point….
    If what you are proposing is true, then why does the Sagawa Dojo still use the traditional jujutsu techniques as it's foundation? Body conditioning may have elevated Sagawa's over all skill or aiki to a higher level, but no where has he or his three successors disregarded the Daito-ryu curriculum as the foundation for their aiki. I suppose there must be a reason. Even Sagawa, whom you quote in every post, taught that there was no substitute for repetitive practice.
    Hmm.. repetition in what? Please at least examine what I am saying before refuting it bud.. I meant training in endless repetition of techniques is not the way. It never was. But it’s the bread and butter of most Japanese arts. It is…since we were discussing DR- NOT- the quickest way to gain skill.

    Again Sagawa…..
    You can't get good at something simply by repetition….
    1. Many people would say back in the day that all you had to do is practice, and more practice! But after I became able to think for myself I found that this wasn't so.
    2.The reason practitioners from some styles are weak and no good is because they do not train (Tanren) their bodies. Only amateurs think that techniques are enough and that training the body is unnecessary. They understand nothing.
    3. The true execution of Aiki requires an enormous amount of solo training to condition the body (Tanren).
    4….It is not easy to attain….. I didn’t teach this myself until a little while ago. I waited for my students to discover this for themselves.


    I guess it’s a view, but my take is that he is telling you…my point was well made.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Scott View Post
    …snip I find it ironic that you are posting to a Japanese martial arts forum condemning those that follow the instructions of their teacher and way of their art. The teacher-student relationship is built upon this trust. If you don't trust your teacher to guide you correctly through the art, then you may have the wrong teacher. But there is nothing wrong with the traditional system of transmission.
    Hmm.. Here’s a thought.
    Sagawa admitted
    1. I myself have a method that no one else knows about, that I created on my own, and have done this for a long while. I am able to toss around most of my inner door students so easily by me no matter how much they trained. So I taught them a little on how to train their bodies. I didn’t even teach that until a couple of years ago. To have a method of training that no one else knows about leads to success that differentiates you from others. If you teach everyone everything, you’ll simply become like everyone else. You’ll lose motivation to become better. Tanren was supposed to be something you did quietly in the background. It’s part of bujutsu after all. You never spoke of it to another person.
    2..I didn’t teach this myself until a little while ago. I waited for my students to discover this for themselves.
    I am sure everyone had a blast finding all that out after following their leader.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Scott View Post
    What is true these days is that most people cannot tolerate the idea of submitting to the authority of another person. This is a society that encourages seeking the "easy way" through life, making as much money as possible, and fostering an ever-growing ego. People who were raised brain washed into this type of thinking are definitely not going to last in traditional Japanese arts.
    Nice speech. I agree. But I was talking about the fact that not all teachers…teach! You think I meant …what? I was discussing a narrow field of discussion ; Aiki within the arts. Not whole arts.
    While we’re on the topic. I don’t recall saying the traditional method is unfortunate. In fact, I didn’t say that. I said it is unfortunate that many arts do not openly –I should have said honestly teach..one aspect of the arts. In my view a very foundational aspect.
    Many Koryu have managed to be selective, secretive, proprietary and yet remain steadfastly… honest in their teaching methods. Others just simply lie, hold back real information and call it …a Koryu method.
    We can discuss student/ teacher methods and trust of a teacher all day long. Some are worthy of trust, others …not so much.
    I am enjoying my Koryu training and relationships, I hope you are as well. But if you think all Koryu teaching is straight forward, you are mistaken. In some arts you train and are taught honestly, other times you’re a fool for not stealing technique. It depends on where you are and who you are with. Some will even expect it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Scott View Post
    It is also worth mentioning that Sagawa himself says he stole Sokaku's aiki at 17 years old (insert- wasn’t that my point?) from training in a resistance exercise, but that later on he was not even sure if what he ended up doing was really the same as Sokaku's aiki. Sagawa may have developed Daito-ryu aiki to the next level of potential, or, he may have used Daito-ryu aiki as his spring board for the extensive cross-training and experience in other arts he had to develop something else. Either way it appears Sagawa Sensei gained some impressive skills, but all his views and opinions on aiki may not be identical to the views and opinions of other skilled Daito-ryu exponents following Sokaku's transmission.
    BTW, if CMA has all the elements of aiki - and then some - why didn't Sagawa just quit DR and immerse himself completely into CMA? He didn't seem to have any problem cross-training. Why not trade up? Or, why not take all that experience and make up his own MMA, like everyone else is doing?
    Well, now you’re being a bit sarcastic. First you made a marginal point that maybe Sagawa was diverting from Sokaku’s method and others in DR with his extensive background to the point of maybe being his own MMA researcher., then you allude that I am saying the CMAare better, then DR…sigh.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Scott View Post
    Being "related" to CMA, which is your opinion, does not negate the possibility that Daito-ryu's aiki is proprietary. What is proprietary is the totality of the information that defines DR aiki, not necessarily the originality of it. Besides, to make such authoritative statements comparing CMA and DR aiki implies that you have full understanding of what DR aiki is. If that is in fact your claim, then there will surely be a number of follow questions to follow.
    Nice. And if you are stating that they are proprietary in any way, you can qualify that just how? Lets be nice. We may disagree on just how proprietary it may be. But in kind-for you to make statements that DR and CMA are different in principle, use and power generation says exactly what? And since no one that I have met who was a teacher or I have read of ever…said they understood exactly what DR Aiki... is… where does that leave anyone to discuss anything? If you don’t think it should be discussed or are waiting for some imaginary recognized “expert” in both cultures to appear just to have a discussion, fine.
    At the end of the day our understanding is in our own hands to demonstrate. I guess you want to leave the rest to forever be speculation for just about every.. single… student.. who walks the earth and endlessly repeats technique.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Scott View Post
    Well, if you define "saying something" as throwing down every time you meet someone to prove his is stronger, has trained harder/longer, etc, then I guess you're right. I, for example, have a practical need for effective methods, but at the same time I gain much satisfaction and enjoyment from being a STUDENT of the arts. While it should be the goal of all martial arts to produce skilled martial artists, there is no reason why all martial arts need be nothing more than no-frills close quarters combatives.
    Whhaat?
    No, I define it as doing …aiki. We were discussing aiki were we not? I meant doing aiki with them trying to stop you. Say Aiki age, then Peng jin, or kokyu-ho. Anyone who can do them can define what they are doing. Then perhaps stopping them from doing anything to you, with you just standing there looking at them. With your hands extended. But “throwing down.” That’s a whole different kind of fun.. FWIW Fighting, was never mentioned, only artistic expressions. At the end of the day at various levels you either can or you can’t, and for me that remains a whole different qualifier for just who, really knows what, about what.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Scott View Post
    We will probably also agree that there are, and always will be, those that are well suited for koryu and those that are well suited for MMA. If there is room in this world for all the frauds, I'm sure there is room in the world for us as well.
    Regards,
    Well I train with and know more than a few from all over the country and in Japan who are still active members of Koryu and who train weekly in MMA. Maybe there are more than you think who found themselves well suited for both.
    I am sure you're in agreement with Seinfled in saying…”Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”
    Cheers
    Dan
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 11th December 2007 at 02:40.

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    Beer Here's to hoping this won't be as long as the last few posts

    Agreed. With the exception that I believe the foundations for the correct body method were and are in arts throughout India and Asia.
    I'm not talking about things like using the strictly internal aspects like tanden, breathing, or "rooting". Chinese and Western arts/sports tend to generate power through hip twisting, whipping into a technique. Traditional Japanese power is mostly generated through straight line leverage (movement from hanmi). Neither is better or worse, from what I can see, but they are different. These power generation is built into the forms/kata, and are characteristic of the differences. My experience is that practicing forms/kata from mixed cultures confuses one's operating system. Even by studying the internal elements of CMA would be of limited use if you did not utilize a delivery system (physical form) to apply it. Those practicing JMA would have to separate the CMA internal principles being taught from the physical forms if they intend to apply it to the JMA traditional movement method.

    The fact is, if there are skilled exponents of JMA doing aiki in this generation, then they know why it works. If you think about it, it's obvious. Thus, studying under such exponents should provide you the opportunity to be exposed to the correct principles, in the correct physical context. All you have to do is train seriously and conduct yourself in accordance with what is expected of students of a koryu art. Again,for some that is not difficult, but for others it is unbearable.

    I agree that correct understanding of how to use the body most efficiently is largely missing in martial artists these days. But in most cases it is because students do not study an art long enough. If a student cannot perform the friggin external forms with reasonable skill, correctly applying fundamentals like ma-ai, kuzushi, kansetsu, etc., then they are not ready to learn internal methods yet - and in fact, have shown that they probably are not serious enough about their studies yet to practice them yet even if they were taught them.

    As a side note, I believe you will find just as many poor students of the Chinese IMA as you will find poor students of Japanese arts, including DR. But I would not judge any art by poor, even mid-level students anyway.
    I wouldn't either, but my point was that I don't believe the "idea of aiki" (as is used by DR) is as widespread as you posted. From what I've seen, deep, real ability in it's methods are still held within a handful of senior exponents of the art.

    They do not have to look the same in use to be the same in source.
    Conversely, just because other arts have roots, or elements of what DR calls aiki, does not mean it is the same.

    To me its simply fact that Sagawa (in the little he does describe) describes as the basis for his body training the same basic tenants as the CMA. The breath power methods of in/yo ho are discussed in CMA as well.
    Though I don't have much knowledge of ICMA, that is quite possible. However, Sagawa stated he discounted any form of breathing method, so I'm not sure how you worked that into Sagawa's method. I am,however, aware that specific breathing methods are core to ICMA...

    I suppose its a whole different thing to be training with a master level CMA teacher who trained in Japan for ten years, with him doing perfect Aiki-age, sage and fure-aiki and sharing notes on detailed methods of execution.
    I suppose so. A CMA expert who trained in Japan for 10 years is also an expert on DR aiki? I can't speak for others, but one art I study (under very qualified instructors) took about 8 years just to reach 1st degree black belt. Up to 1st degree black belt (or 2nd, or 3rd, ...) is typically focused on fundamentals, not high level inner-teachings. But perhaps his experience was different.

    Being truly qualified and not really teaching much at all, only gaining students ... I was talking about the fact that not all teachers…teach!
    From what I understand, aiki IS taught at the appropriate level of initiation, however, by then I suspect most have already revealed much of what they need to know through their own practice. From what I understand, most of what aiki is in DR is "taught" physically. In TJMA students are encouraged to "steal" techniques through acquired learning skills developed at earlier stages of training. In that regard, aiki is taught the same way the rest of the art is "taught". The subject of how traditional Japanese MA are taught is where I think we have different views. I've specialized for years now in JMA only, and have seen a repeating pattern emphasizing students developing learning skills through "tough love". It is not the teacher's job to explain how to do the art, or in many cases, even to "explain" corrections in movement. It is the student's job to use their brain, body, eyes and ears to steal the methods. Sure, many teachers of koryu will explain things anyway, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that this was not the "traditional" way to guide the student. It's not that there is no verbal instruction, but usually verbal instruction is offered either when the student has been stumped for far too long or after they have already revealed the information themselves (as affirmation sort of). The student elevates *themselves* to the next level by being an active participant in the studies, not the other way around (although some arts do emphasize time-served these days).

    There surely are some who don't care if their students obtain real ability, but I have a feeling this attitude is often confused with the teacher *using self-discipline* not to say anything in the best interest of student development, even though they would like to. This is also mentioned in the Sagawa book.

    Speaking of the Sagawa book, the basic point he tries to make is not that it is bad to perform repetitive practice, but rather, it is bad to perform mindless repetitive practice. The basic thing he repeats over and over is that you must actively use your brain to reflect on the teachings and research the methods being repeated. It is this combination that is important. Repeating techniques is an important aspect to training the body to move correctly.

    Sagawa stated he began to teach more explicitly towards the end of his life because he felt his students were not developing fast enough. The impression I got was that he later regretted doing so.

    I am sure everyone had a blast finding all that out after following their leader.
    There are a couple of sides to that. It is clear that Sagawa lectured about using the brain, and that he provided an impressive example of dedication to the art and to life time training in martial arts. Is it his fault most his students didn't follow (copy) his way? It's kind of like Ueshiba. How many of his students "did what he did" to reach his level (input the sounds of crickets).

    When you've dedicate yourself to mastering an art like Sagawa Sensei did, what kind of expectations do you think you would have of your students? Probably pretty high - and simply showing up to class on a regular basis and saying "wow" during demonstrations of technique would be at the entry level of required dedication. Regardless, JMA can be "effective" at lower levels of initiation. They are just far more effective at higher levels. In most cases I doubt his students regretted their time training, or the impact Sagawa had on their life - even if they never learned the highest level teachings, aiki.

    Nice speech.
    Thanks. You don't think it was too philosophical do you?

    First you made a marginal point that maybe Sagawa was diverting from Sokaku’s method and others in DR with his extensive background to the point of maybe being his own MMA researcher., then you allude that I am saying the CMA are better, then DR…sigh.
    You are correct about my first point, but incorrect about what I was alluding to. An art is only made "better" by the quality of the person doing it. Let me quote sections of what you posted to clarify my reactions with my interpretations in brackets:

    Is it a proprietary method of some single art’s execution of principle- to- technique? Or is it actually a way to physically train the body that makes Aiki..happen? Or is it, in the end for most…a word…with little meaning? [read: aiki is an abstract term, and happens naturally through internal conditioning of the body] ... If you think [aiki] is a set of principles and/or some single-arts deep understanding, then good luck to you ... But in the end Aiki is real and not ethereal, and is soft...power delivery to control or knockout. It will express itself in a throw, choke, or lock, and just as viable in not being able to to be thrown or locked, or in a kick or short distance kidney or headshot. And it comes from a trained body, not from practicing some martial art.[read: I know what aiki is, and you won't get it from studying one art seriously] ... While the internet remains a who’s who of many who don’t know much, you can help yourself. Again, get out and meet people.[read: don't listen to others or follow "one way", but rather cross-train under exponents of various arts to learn "aiki"] ... The idea of Aiki is all over the place in Japan and in China (by act... not name) in many arts. It would do a disservice to anyone to just look for it in Daito ryu or in some arts techniques.[read: aiki is all over JMA and CMA, so don't limit yourself to putting in time in an art like Daito-ryu when you can learn the same thing faster elsewhere] ... It is unfortunate that many arts will not openly teach it [explain verbally] and tell everyone to train for twenty years “getting it” from repetition of technique. It was and still can be gotten in a much shorter time frame, and without signing on to perpetuate an art. Once you have trained your body it exists in you and can be used in anything from Judo to jujutsu to MMA.[read: you do not need to take the slow road studying by "signing on" to a TMA and "perpetuating" (keeping alive) an art like Daito-ryu. You can pick it up quicker by picking up bits and pieces elsewhere - many of whom, btw, are former students of DR of mixed levels of initiation]
    I'm sure you'll disagree with how I read your posts, but I have a feeling I'm not the only one who took your posts this way, thus my response.

    Nice. And if you are stating that they are proprietary in any way, you can qualify that just how? Lets be nice. We may disagree on just how proprietary it may be. But in kind-for you to make statements that DR and CMA are different in principle, use and power generation says exactly what?
    You originally implied that DR aiki can be found in other arts, and in CMA in particular. Why should readers of this forum believe you? Based on mixed experiences with various MA exponents, or through a deep, formal initiation into an aiki art (such as DR)? Even though I know you've been involved in MA for a long time, the fact is anyone can post opinions to the internet. My rebuttal to you was based mostly on my research of the art, which has been substantial (much of which I've posted to this forum). However, if that and my formal initiation into similar such arts (like aikido for example) are not at all compelling, I'm fine with withdrawing my opinion that DR has a proprietary aiki method (based on lack of qualifications) IF you either QUALIFY your statement publicly, or, withdraw it. How's that?

    And since no one that I have met who was a teacher or I have read of ever…said they understood exactly what DR Aiki... is… where does that leave anyone to discuss anything?
    Yeah, I've heard the same things. But as I said, do you think those with real ability seriously do not understand how it works, or is it possible they don't want to explain it based on their current level of understanding (hmmmm)? But you're right. Either way it doesn't leave much to discuss, does it?

    I guess you want to leave the rest to forever be speculation for just about every.. single… student.. who walks the earth and endlessly repeats technique.
    Those who study the art seriously will not *have to* speculate. But they probably will not want to discuss it either. The answer is not difficult. It is just that the vast majority of people don't want to study the art, even if there is an opportunity locally to do so. Many believe it's much easier to look for the answers by simply baiting others who study! The problem is, those who talk rarely know.

    Regards,
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

  9. #9
    Dan Harden Guest

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    You seem to be on a roll making a case for the traditional Japanese method of teaching. I’d be the last to stop you. I have been and am currently involved in TJMA as well. Since you are obviously talking to the wider reader, I think it is unwise to classify the JMA, even Koryu, as all of the same mindset in teaching. Its just not true. That said, I wish to stress again that I am talking about a topic within a topic. You, on the other hand tie everything in with the whole art.
    I don’t know where you got your idea about Chinese arts using a “whipping into technique” and hip twisting with Japanese power being in a straight line. But, it does help to explain your understanding and viewpoints.
    First and foremost the comparison isn’t correct, and the “delivery system” means little to nothing anyway, it’s merely an outer form, not the essence of real power and sensitivity. And the power generation isn’t “built into” a kata either. Were it so, there wouldn’t be so many terrible students out there who can be stopped rather easily. Solo Tanren changes your body to the point that your choice of expression is ancillary. Once your body is trained correctly Aiki is born through contact with you . Ultimately it is about training yourself, not kata with others. That’s an arts chosen form of expression and delivery. In and of itself its just another means to get the job done. One should be able to work within Chinese or Japanese or western arts with the same essence. I contend that Studying a delivery system as you put it is a completely different topic from body training. And the body training is the real gokui of both understanding and gaining power and sensitivity in all the Asian arts.
    I quote Sagawa as he was one of few to ever admit openly just what was being held back from most in the art. As stated by Sagawa
    1. Traditionally, One should not teach tanren to large foreigners as it would give them an unfair advantage.
    2. That he kept the real secret (which he clearly stated was solo tanren) to himself and suggests that the accepted thought was most should as well to maintain an advantage over their students. “You kept that secret, and didn’t tell people.”
    And he clearly wasn’t talking about technique.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Scott View Post
    I agree that correct understanding of how to use the body most efficiently is largely missing in martial artists these days. But in most cases it is because students do not study an art long enough. If a student cannot perform the friggin external forms with reasonable skill, correctly applying fundamentals like ma-ai, kuzushi, kansetsu, etc., then they are not ready to learn internal methods yet - and in fact, have shown that they probably are not serious enough about their studies yet to practice them yet even if they were taught them.
    But you are now stating my point for me. It isn’t taught to but a few. But it clearly exists. The choice to keep it back is fine. But stating it doesn’t exist which has been done, or is unique and proprietary as a tanren will not stand up to scrutiny.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Scott View Post
    Speaking of the Sagawa book, the basic point he tries to make is not that it is bad to perform repetitive practice, but rather, it is bad to perform mindless repetitive practice. The basic thing he repeats over and over is that you must actively use your brain to reflect on the teachings and research the methods being repeated. It is this combination that is important. Repeating techniques is an important aspect to training the body to move correctly.
    No....it is not. Most assuredly not. He stated categorically that the secret was… not...to be found in technique, repetitious or no.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Scott View Post
    Sagawa stated he began to teach more explicitly towards the end of his life because he felt his students were not developing fast enough.
    Really? I find this hilarious. And what does “more explicitly” mean to you? He stated categorically that his secret was not in technique. Flat out stated it wasn’t. Then stated he didn’t teach it. Who was to bemoan his students lack of progress other than the guy who kept secrets and didn’t offer real instruction to them? He stated his secret was in Solo work that he previously only rarely showed…not in technique. Makes your Repeating techniques is an important aspect to training the body to move correctly. seem like the slow…well trodden road… that it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Scott View Post
    There are a couple of sides to that. It is clear that Sagawa lectured about using the brain, and that he provided an impressive example of dedication to the art and to life time training in martial arts. Is it his fault most his students didn't follow (copy) his way? It's kind of like Ueshiba. How many of his students "did what he did" to reach his level (input the sounds of crickets).
    Seems obvious to me...they were suffering for lack of information from their teacher.
    Loyalty, works best when it is both ways.
    It's just as wise for students to keep their guard up, as it is for a teacher.
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 14th December 2007 at 02:01.

  10. #10
    Dan Harden Guest

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    Some of your responses are interesting but leave so many holes. DR leaves much to speculation. You say...not to its students. I have found that not to be true as well. Students and teachers within the art have doubts and speculations. Others have some very surprising stories to tell. The one thing we agree on is that no one in the art will talk about it publicly. Which is why Sagawa's comments at the end of his life were so revealing.

    Has any one ever questioned why it is that the art was taught to thousands, yet managed and carried forward -including the evolving scrolls of transmission- only by well connected and set-up men, like Sagawa Yukioshi, Ueshiba Morihei, Kodo Taiso, Yoshida Kotaro and Hisa Takuma?
    Where'd every one else go?
    And why is it that each of their syllabuses is so different?
    This strange disparity has been a topic of discussion behind the scenes to more than a few DR students researching- who went to different schools and realized it was a whole different art...based on common principles. Oddly each branch told these disparate students they should “Just train.” They never got an answer to their query.
    The teaching method, and decisions as to just what, will be shown to whom, is one thing truly proprietary. So while one may argue there is only one Aiki-jujutsu- and its proprietary. The question then remains "Just what...it...is?"
    Are there 5 or 6...it's's?
    I contend the real proprietary method to aiki is in tanren. I also speculate that the art never had a fixed syllabus in the first place. It was ever evolving among these men in the modern age. The body method, taught to only a few, made the adept profoundly different and singular among his peers. This is what Sagawa referred to when he said “traditionally you never told anyone what you were doing so you had the advantage.” He also states he was ever evolving an individual expression of body skills. In the same manner as Takeda travelled different people responded differently to his body, and this could be why nothing got repeated quite the same way, and people learned suc different skills. He was devleoping the art as we went along. Which again explains the different approaches and technical syllabus between the schools. Each trying to steal and record what they felt. It is a plausible explanation as to why the art really isn’t anything technically cohesive from school to school.
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 14th December 2007 at 14:30.

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    Gentlemen,

    Intriguing discussion! I have nothing worth adding, except that I hope you will continue. I am all ears (I know Nathan at least will probably sigh and shake his head at that ).

    Best,
    Ron

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    Default Now you've done it!

    Oh Ron, Ron, Ron!
    You must know that the surest and fastest way to doom a thread and guarantee that no one will post anything intriguing on it again, ever, is to write in and say how interesting the discussion is!

    Geez.

    Cady Goldfield

  13. #13
    Finny Guest

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    So, Ask yourself this. If DR does have a proprietary method
    1. Why is it that the things he describes for his bodywork is directly related to....Chinese Internal arts.
    Easy to say, but very vague Dan.

    related to which internal Chinese Arts?

    The CIMA don't even agree among themselves as to what constitutes 'internal'

    Are you saying DR's Aiki is related to Dai Shi Xinyi's dantien gong? Xingyiquan's zhan zhuang? Baguazhang's jibengong and circle walking?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finny View Post
    Easy to say, but very vague Dan.

    related to which internal Chinese Arts?

    The CIMA don't even agree among themselves as to what constitutes 'internal'

    Are you saying DR's Aiki is related to Dai Shi Xinyi's dantien gong? Xingyiquan's zhan zhuang? Baguazhang's jibengong and circle walking?
    Or better yet... whose baguazhang jibengong and circle walking? Honestly, though, at the level of nitpicking commonly seen on internet forums, I think it might be necessary to specify not only which teacher but also which day of the week!

    Does that mean that there can't be something that, say, Kodo Horikawa, for example, had in common with each of the more well-known practitioners of the Chinese "internal styles" (Feng Zhiqiang, Chen Xiaowang, Liang Kequan, etc.)? Of course not. But, considering the average amount of variation among teachers of even the same style, the commonalities that do exist (between even a specific teacher of daito-ryu and a representative sampling of the "internal styles") are likely to be of the most general sort--so general that the same or similar commonalities will likely be found if we were comparing Baryshnikov's movement to Daito-ryu or (heaven forbid) a Daito-ryu teacher to aikido.
    Richard Garrelts

  15. #15
    Dan Harden Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finny View Post
    Easy to say, but very vague Dan.

    related to which internal Chinese Arts?

    The CIMA don't even agree among themselves as to what constitutes 'internal'

    Are you saying DR's Aiki is related to Dai Shi Xinyi's dantien gong? Xingyiquan's zhan zhuang? Baguazhang's jibengong and circle walking?
    Yes the goal with each of those is basic body training to do what? Prepare the body. It isn’t technical expression or outer form. Tai chi does not look like Xing-I but the results from training the body are the same
    When you say “those in the CMA” can’t agree, I’d bet they are the same class as those who cannot see beyond their own arts everywhere. I have met staunch zealots who were well versed, utterly convinced of their arts uniqueness, and they are usually without skill. Fortunately there are students, and teachers who got the stuff who are starting to meet and compare notes. Some have come to realize they can talk and research and not do their art harm. For the most part though men will forever…forever!..think their art is unique, that some wizard from the past was unique in all the world to discover hitherto unknown ways to use the human mind and frame. There’s just no talking to these men.. .

    While training in single arts and learning their ways in order to preserve them, men can get lost in them. The wiser road is to stay in the art and still be willing to preserve it but to also be a preservationist beyond it and see it, in its place in the world, while still loving it. There is a truth that binds these arts, while still leaving them unique in expression. And that truth, is the truth of the internal aspects of the arts gained through tanren not technique. I don’t really expect many to agree. Some will always bury their head in the sand and only want to see what their teacher wants them, or allows them to see. But thankfully more of those who can really do what they say they can do, are now talking and meeting and sharing. And this is starting to involve, students, teachers and even master level teachers as well. It’s no longer going to work to be a teacher at a seminar and tell people only those in your art can do this or that. Teachers are now starting to encounter attendees who have felt men outside of their art who can do what they are doing…sometimes better.

    The truth of the matter is that a strengthened and retained central equilibrium, through tanren is the key to all the arts. Including Daito Ryu. No one really wants you to know that.. It is the same in the JMA as the CMA. They want you in, they will sift you, and they will decide who they will truly teach. Everyone else is doing kata and form and are along for the ride.

    Again Sagawa
    “The true execution of Aiki requires an enormous amount of solo training to condition the body (Tanren). It is not easy to attain… Your body has to truly be ready; otherwise no matter what you do you won’t be able to do “Aiki.”
    …This martial art is only powerful because it is secret. It is because I know what others do not.
    …Tanren was supposed to be something you did quietly in the background. You never spoke of it to another person.
    I am able to toss around most of my inner door students so easily no matter how much they trained. So I taught them a little on how to train their bodies. I didn’t even teach that until a couple of years ago.
    To have a method of training that no one else knows about leads to success that differentiates you from others. If you teach everyone everything, you’ll simply become like everyone else.
    But when I became ninety, I finally decided that I should teach. Unless I teach you now <it will be lost>. All of you became much stronger after I started to teach the things…
    which Takeda Sensei told me I should never reveal.

    In these Asian arts we need to study, and have a *measure* of faith, but even as the ones we look up to admonish and advise…think, and steal. Don’t waste time stealing technique, it isn’t it, and never was. Overall, listen to what they say about themselves, It is after all Bujutsu. It isn't too wise to be complacent and trusting...of them

    Cheers
    Dan

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