Likes Likes:  0
Results 1 to 15 of 527

Thread: Body Conditioning

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  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 18:16.

  2. #2
    Dan Harden Guest

    Default

    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 18:59.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Lindenhurst, Illinois
    Posts
    1,114
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    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

    Default

    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 13:13.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    Posts
    2,565
    Likes (received)
    46

    Default

    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
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    Posts
    2,565
    Likes (received)
    46

    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

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Murray View Post
    Back to being on-topic, just where did Takeda learn his "aiki" skills? Knowing that might help to answer the question of is there other aiki besides Daito ryu aiki?
    As a matter of historical curiosity maybe. Ellis is publishing some interesting ideas. IMO none of it means diddly to those on the ground training. Hell, it doesn't mean anything to those in the art now who really can't do squat with it. Most are going to continue to try to "do" things to people through "feeeling" it from more kata for the thousadnth time.
    How is the knowledge of Takeda's teacher going to matter...When many folks in Budo...with a teacher... still can't do much of anything against real resistence? Just who is teaching what...to whom?
    Without the true teaching, the essence of Daito ryu being shown to them- which is a profoundly connected body, with a strengthened central equilibrium, gained through solo tanren- students are not going to make Aiki happen in the first place. It will be parts and pieces slowly gained-if at all. For many it will forever remain in their waza and in their hand shapes and body positioning and their shoulders will be too involved, and everyone will be focused on Maai and timing, and waza and every other thing that is incidental to real control.
    Learning the outer...to capture the inner...is the slow boat to China.
    Ask your teacher for the truth, If they won't teach you, smile at them...to their face... like they have to you...and go get it from someone else. Stay in the art though and help others. We need to start getting smart and think for ourselves and help each other. Hell, I know of Japanese shihan and Menkyo's who went elsewhere for help and their students were so brainwashed they didn't go with them in oder to learn. They thought "Our teacher is the only one smart enough to glean what is essential from that for me to know in our art."
    Happy holidays
    Dan
    Aiki requires an enormous amount of solo training. Only amateurs think that techniques are enough. They understand nothing. Sagawa Yukiyoshi
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 19th December 2007 at 14:54.

  8. #8
    Dan Harden Guest

    Default

    To those writing me privately. Get a clue.
    Sending short requests like.."send me the city and street address of your dojo and I'll make arrangments to come according to my schedule...
    or, ...Can tell me who your teacher are so I can go there...
    Why should I come and train there?...what do you teach...how much do you charge?
    Or even ...Can you tell me where to go, in ____________this area, cause I want to learn
    This is not the way to do things. I give more care in my replies then most do in their requests. Where were you raised? Introduce yourself, be expansive and questioning, state why you are looking for something, what you think or hope to gain.
    Listen up, even if one doesn't really care about being polite in the first place, and both feels and is expressing dripping disdain and dismissal...be a budo guy...pretend, and lie... on the surface, in order to gain what you want.
    I hear it's perfectly acceptable, even considered wise and waay cool in some circles.
    In either case if for some strange reason you actually want a reply, and honestly are thinking of facing me on a mat. Ya might want to question both why I would respond in the first place, and the nature of any possible meeting. Not all are driven by profit, not all will freely share with just anyone.

    Dan

  9. #9
    Mark Murray Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    As a matter of historical curiosity maybe. Ellis is publishing some interesting ideas. IMO none of it means diddly to those on the ground training.
    I was thinking in regards to all the people who have questioned whether this "aiki" is related to "internal skills" or related to that other "aiki" or related to CIMA, etc.

    If you think about it, if Takeda learned through someone who had some Chinese martial background skills, it certainly deflates some people's argument that DR aiki is different/unique. Of course, the flip side is also true, if Takeda learned from someone who had mostly Japanese training in some other art, then those people would use that as proof that DR aiki and CIMA internals are different.

    So, yeah, historically it can be an important piece of information.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    Hell, it doesn't mean anything to those in the art now who really can't do squat with it. Most are going to continue to try to "do" things to people through "feeeling" it from more kata for the thousadnth time.
    How is the knowledge of Takeda's teacher going to matter...When many folks in Budo...with a teacher... still can't do much of anything against real resistence? Just who is teaching what...to whom?

    Happy holidays
    Dan
    Aiki requires an enormous amount of solo training. Only amateurs think that techniques are enough. They understand nothing. Sagawa Yukiyoshi
    You know I don't disagree. After feeling the skills, it's hard to not accept that things are related, that technique driven work isn't the path to aiki, and solo training is very important.

    Eh, maybe we can discuss more in detail over dinner one day.

    Mark

  10. #10
    Dan Harden Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Murray View Post
    I was thinking in regards to all the people who have questioned whether this "aiki" is related to "internal skills" or related to that other "aiki" or related to CIMA, etc.

    If you think about it, if Takeda learned through someone who had some Chinese martial background skills, it certainly deflates some people's argument that DR aiki is different/unique. Of course, the flip side is also true, if Takeda learned from someone who had mostly Japanese training in some other art, then those people would use that as proof that DR aiki and CIMA internals are different.
    So, yeah, historically it can be an important piece of information.
    Well I don't think that will ever be addressed on the internet or in person. The greats debated, and made chastizing comments about each other. There may be too much invested in any given method for folks to want to try to figure out a common binding underlying path to aiki. DR schools argue among themselves about who really has got what in the same way the CMA do, and have for a while now. Odd that there are some seriously skilled DR Shihan who have gone to Sagawa and have commented on his skills and how he...changed them.. Hell I have seen them change their approach to aiki after training with him. So its odd to then read him getting downplayed or his words marginalized by lessor lights. I know one prominant, very accomplished and skilled Shihan who was absolutely stunned by Sagawa's skill. Stands to reason that Sagawa's open sharing of just what he was doing or thought to be critical training to create it should prove interesting.

    As for how they are the same? I guess you would have to know, to know. And then see that blown up and debated just like the greats debated. One thing is for sure, everyone needs a measuring rod something which they can use to measure their skills and improvements. You yourself know you are training in a way you never did, and never heard of, but can read some of Sagawas words and recognize things right off the bat as truths to your training. Get out and meet certain CMA teachers who know their stuff and you are going to be pleasantly surprised to stand there and without prompting here them start to outline training methods and ideals that you are now learning as well. It's the reason two of Sagawa's men were non-plussed meeting the Taiji master and seeing him do DR waza with little prompting...oh Aiki age..hmmm peng jin. Like dis way...blam!!! there they were up on theor toes captured! They were unaware there was a way to train it...outside their own art, and pissed they were not shown by Sagawa.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Murray View Post
    You know I don't disagree. After feeling the skills, it's hard to not accept that things are related, that technique driven work isn't the path to aiki, and solo training is very important.

    Eh, maybe we can discuss more in detail over dinner one day.

    Mark
    Yeah well, I think there are a few DR people who would disagree with you on that. Those who have been in the art for years and taken a lot of Ukemi for high ranked DR teachers know exactly what it feels like to have it applied to them. They know the solo training works and it is strengthening, and increasing their ability to do their arts Aiki.
    Yeah we can talk about it when you come up.
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 19th December 2007 at 23:23.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    824
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default Following Up...

    To follow up on this thread, I'd like to go back to the beginning, with Dan's opening questions:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    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?
    After reading this whole thread thoroughly and making my own comments with the last post here (#411), I'm convinced that there is more than one "aiki". In particular, I now believe that there are at least two types, one characterized by movement and the other by touch. We could probably also identify other types, but I will give some examples of these two types as follows:

    Aiki by touch has been called "fure aiki," of which I had never heard until I read this thread. In fact, I had heard of it, but never knew there was a special term for it. It's illustrated by people such as Ueshiba when Tenryu grabbed him and Sagawa when Kimura grabbed him: with no apparent movement from the aiki man, the attacker is thrown on contact, often traveling some distance before falling, often with a feeling of being electorcuted. This sounds like what has been shown in videos of taiji masters or yichuan masters. It would be highly desireable, I think anyone would agree, to be able to express this kind of aiki. But the fact that it has a special name seems to indicate that it is a variation of aiki and not the "only" or "source" or "original" aiki.

    The other major kind of aiki would be the aiki of moving the body in such a way that the attacker misses in his attack, loses his balance and either falls or remains open to technical manipulation so that he falls or ends up in a lock or hold of some kind. This is the "ordinary" aiki that virtually all modern aikido refers to with the term. Rather than resisting or fighting the strength of the attack, as is omote for human nature, aiki accesses the omote of the attacker's kiai attack by moving to where the attack is not: in some cases, this can mean moving straight into the attack to disrupt it while it is still forming. In others, it means moving off the line of the attack so that the fully formed attack misses its mark and causes the attacker to expend all his energy unsuccessfully. Many recognized masters, who trained directly with Morihei Ueshiba, define aiki in that way.

    With many years' experience of that conventional type of aiki, I am nonetheless convinced that the other kind of aiki is also desireable and that the fullness of aiki includes both approaches. Mochizuki spoke of "yin aiki" and "yang aiki". Clearly, to be able to do only one of the two would be a major limitation, so we should try to find and develop both.

    On the other hand, I can see how "movement" aiki has prevented (and would undoubtedly have continued to prevent) my learning the kind of thing Dan describes: everything in the moving approach is on the balls of the feet. My first teacher, in fact, rigorously taught us that we should always keep the knees bent and the weight on the balls of the feet. So maybe he could have used some training in the other approach as well.

    Which brings us to this thread and the many, many threads very much like it on the aiki message boards all over the internet. The big problem with these threads is the very tiny amount of real information contained in the massive numbers of posts and words on the subject. Even on this thread, I think all the truly meaningful content can be included in a single page--out of 28 pages actually in it. I took the time to go through this thread carefully and record some of the most meaningful posts in a separate document, which includes:

    Posts # 162, 228, 303, 304, 305, 312, 336, 337, 347, 359, 373, 401.

    Okay, that's 12 posts out of 411--nine pages in MS Word (8.5X11") but as my browser displays them, e-budo gives 14-15 posts per page, so these 12 should fit in two or three pages, at most.

    In fact, I think #162 is where Dan almost started laying the whole thing out, but the very next post was somewhat insulting ("There is way too much lofty abstract talk in this thread and not enough talk about functional ways to supposedly gain 'aiki' or whatever you choose to call this skill. ") and the thread went awry for some pages. Fortunately, it got back on track enough that I was able (through the posts listed above) to learn to stand in shizentai against a push without being moved.

    So now I want to take that learned ability to the next level, so I'm asking for more comment on some of these statements:

    From #162: (Dan Harden) "The body works best when it is supported by opposing tensions. These work in front and back, and side and side and up and down. People do not move this way naturally, neither do most martial artists. You can watch it on video and see it, and feel it , in an instant, at a touch or moment in time."

    These are the same "contradictory tensions" described in Aunkai. And as I have said before, they're the same balance of forces that one has to overcome to do any physical work, such as an overhead barbell press or taking a heavy box down from a closet shelf. The difference, however, is subtle and from reading many comments on the Aunkai method and experimenting with some of their exercises, I realize that they are developing fine sensitivity, which most people don't have. On the other hand, as I've also said, laborers who work with heavy loads and power tools either develop that sensitivity to a higher-than-average degree or lose a hand (or worse). Still, what Aunkai, Dan and Mike are talking about is "all" about that sensititivity and balancing those forces, and what I'd like to know more about is quite "how" they develop that.

    The obvious and oft-repeated answer is to "go out and meet people" and get hands-on experience, but I have more interest in the subject than I have funds to do that. I'd like to get up to Dan's and the Aunkai seminar and the Roppokai seminars and several others, but I'm paying for having done too much of that kind of thing when I was younger. So I have to read very carefully and ask questions. Most people refer to it, but few actually describe how it's done. This thread has been a big exception.

    So I'd like to request more. And, since Dan says "You can watch it on video and see it..." I'd like to request some more clips from the various exponents. We have Shioda on tape, after all, and Ueshiba and others. So why not a little more from Dan, Rob and Mike?

    Best to all.

    David
    David Orange, Jr.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    "That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
    Lao Tzu

  12. #12
    Mark Murray Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kimiwane View Post
    The obvious and oft-repeated answer is to "go out and meet people" and get hands-on experience, but I have more interest in the subject than I have funds to do that. I'd like to get up to Dan's and the Aunkai seminar and the Roppokai seminars and several others, but I'm paying for having done too much of that kind of thing when I was younger. So I have to read very carefully and ask questions. Most people refer to it, but few actually describe how it's done. This thread has been a big exception.
    Hi David,
    IMO, you have a few things that aren't really on track in your post. And, again, it's been my experience that the only way to get on track is to visit someone in person. Reading about it, trying to understand it, watching video, etc won't get you anywhere near "it".

    Quote Originally Posted by kimiwane View Post
    So I'd like to request more. And, since Dan says "You can watch it on video and see it..." I'd like to request some more clips from the various exponents. We have Shioda on tape, after all, and Ueshiba and others. So why not a little more from Dan, Rob and Mike?

    Best to all.

    David
    Seeing indications of this kind of skill is a far cry from being able to train it. So, let's say you can see indications. How does that help training it in the body? And just to make sure I'm staying honest, ask those that have gone and met people just how much they could have trained this stuff from the Internet and video? I remember reading someone from one of Akuzawa's seminars posting that one minute adjustment in their position made a world of difference.

    This stuff just isn't "natural" in the sense that it isn't something "laborers who work with heavy loads" will ever pick up from their work.

    Mark

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    824
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Murray View Post
    it's been my experience that the only way to get on track is to visit someone in person. Reading about it, trying to understand it, watching video, etc won't get you anywhere near "it".
    That's what I've read a lot. But I've also read that "being able to do it" is the real thing. Now, from reading this thread, I've learned how to stand in shizentai and be unmoveable to someone pushing my chest from a strong forward stance, with increasing pressure. So I must have gotten something, wouldn't you say? I couldn't do it before I read this thread, but now I can. So apparently there is some value in the written word.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Murray View Post
    Seeing indications of this kind of skill is a far cry from being able to train it. So, let's say you can see indications. How does that help training it in the body?
    Well, how does it help to see a clip of Shioda doing something? If nothing else, it's a reference point. And some of the things described are explained very intricately while still being rather confusing, so being able to watch someone do it may dispell many misapprehensions in just a moment. It may provide some inspiration. What do Shioda's and Ueshiba's videos provide?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Murray View Post
    And just to make sure I'm staying honest, ask those that have gone and met people just how much they could have trained this stuff from the Internet and video?
    I don't know about others, but I know that I couldn't stand in shizentai against a strong push a few weeks ago, but now I can. That's quite a bit to learn from reading. And I'm sure that if I can learn that, I can also learn something of how to progress beyond that with some further hints. For instance, my next effort is suggested in Dan's post #228: "So can we have someone push on our hand as we bend the elbow, and squat and move around at odd angles -say 90 deg to the pusher -all while transmitting force through the body?"

    I'm also interested in things he says such as "Breathing-them-in, or just sending power right through them (an odd feeling folks will tell you) is accomplished due to training fascia." and "the effect that the opposite hand/foot has is enhanced in many ways throughout training connections in all aspects. Its not a single idea, but part of a whole way to move." Dan's post #336 proves dramatically that a great amount can be conveyed via the internet through words. Posts that don't share this level of information (either those that wastefully complain that this isn't part of the arts or those that repeat that "you have to feel it") are really noise in the system. Only posts like #336 are worth taking the time to post, aren't they?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Murray View Post
    I remember reading someone from one of Akuzawa's seminars posting that one minute adjustment in their position made a world of difference.
    I'm sure that's true, but as I said, I'm really not in a position to jet around going to seminars right now: three kids and a mortgage with a rather intense job to keep up. Just can't do it. I'm sure going to a seminar would be a lot faster than reading on the internet, but if every post contained as much information as #336, I know I could learn a lot more by reading.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Murray View Post
    This stuff just isn't "natural" in the sense that it isn't something "laborers who work with heavy loads" will ever pick up from their work.
    True, but laborers working like that seem to develop skills much closer to it than people who do "standard" martial arts training. They have to move the load without letting it move them. If a power saw kicks back, they have to be able to move, or let go, to respond in the appropriate way against a lot of force without hesitation--or they may lose a limb or their life. Give someone like that the training and I'm sure he'll pick it up faster than a desk worker for whom martial arts is a part-time pursuit.

    As Dan says in #304: "You either can do or you cannot." Well, now I can do more than I could recently and I'd like to build on that. I'd like more posts with information (and maybe a few video clips) rather than any more posts complaining about how this topic offends tradition or how you can only learn it by touch.

    Thanks.

    David
    David Orange, Jr.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    "That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
    Lao Tzu

  14. #14
    Mark Murray Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kimiwane View Post
    Now, from reading this thread, I've learned how to stand in shizentai and be unmoveable to someone pushing my chest from a strong forward stance, with increasing pressure. So I must have gotten something, wouldn't you say? I couldn't do it before I read this thread, but now I can. So apparently there is some value in the written word.

    Well, how does it help to see a clip of Shioda doing something? If nothing else, it's a reference point. And some of the things described are explained very intricately while still being rather confusing, so being able to watch someone do it may dispell many misapprehensions in just a moment. It may provide some inspiration. What do Shioda's and Ueshiba's videos provide?

    I don't know about others, but I know that I couldn't stand in shizentai against a strong push a few weeks ago, but now I can. That's quite a bit to learn from reading. And I'm sure that if I can learn that, I can also learn something of how to progress beyond that with some further hints. For instance, my next effort is suggested in Dan's post #228: "So can we have someone push on our hand as we bend the elbow, and squat and move around at odd angles -say 90 deg to the pusher -all while transmitting force through the body?"

    As Dan says in #304: "You either can do or you cannot." Well, now I can do more than I could recently and I'd like to build on that. I'd like more posts with information (and maybe a few video clips) rather than any more posts complaining about how this topic offends tradition or how you can only learn it by touch.

    Thanks.

    David
    Hmmm ... I guess the best advice I can come up with in regards to your situation is to post a video of you doing some of the above and have people take a look at it. You might get some valuable pointers that way. Dunno.

    Mark

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    824
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Murray View Post
    Hmmm ... I guess the best advice I can come up with in regards to your situation is to post a video of you doing some of the above and have people take a look at it. You might get some valuable pointers that way. Dunno.
    Well, I plan to do that, but.....didn't you say videos are pointless?

    I think we could benefit by several more video clips, at least of small things. The aunkai has provided many good clips of Akuzawa showing his nyuryoku, tenchijin and others. They don't really show how to do it, but at least you can see what they're talking about: AND with a lot of careful reading of their posted comments and things on their website, you can put two and two together and get something out of the exercises on the clips. I don't ask for video clips as "proof" that someone can do what they say, but I would like to see "what" they're talking about.

    Another thing I'd like is some clarification of terms that remain vague. Dan often talks about "slack" and "winding," both of which are evocative, but don't really mean much, especially as they are referring to very specific ideas in the precise context of internal training, so to the uninitiated, they don't really provide any information. However, with a little explanation, I'm sure they would provide much more useful information.

    So, for the betterment of the discussion, I'd like to request more detailed information, some video clips and some definition of terms--also, less confusion of the topic with complaints that it doesn't relate to traditional martial arts and less posts simply telling us that we have to feel it. Post #336 is proof that a tremendous amount of this esoteric knowledge can be transmitted verbally. We just need a lot more posts like that.

    Best.

    David
    David Orange, Jr.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    "That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
    Lao Tzu

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •