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#414688 - 01/21/09 08:20 PM Links between Aikido and internal development
Ames Offline
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Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
I thought I would start a thread on this subject, rather than derail the 'kicks in aikido' thread. eyrie, I was wondering if you could expand on this:

Quote:

IOW, the question is not what other forms of practice (e.g. standing post etc.) that could be included, but WHAT is being practiced, and HOW to practice "it". It's kinda like saying the form of taiji is what develops the internal elements (which isn't true BTW), rather than developing the internal elements which are outwardly expressed in the form of one's taiji (or Aikido, or Karate, or insert other art).

I would suggest that the WHAT is already in Aikido, but the HOW is generally what's missing - and I appreciate the reasons WHY that may be.




a little more.

Theorizing, why do you think the 'how's' are missing (did I just write that, lol )?

This is a subject I've been thinking about a lot lately, and would love to hear yours, and anyone else's opinion.

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#414689 - 01/21/09 08:33 PM Re: Links between Aikido and internal development [Re: Ames]
iaibear Offline
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Registered: 08/24/05
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Loc: upstate New York
For openers, please clarify, what is a "standing post"?

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#414690 - 01/21/09 08:55 PM Re: Links between Aikido and internal development [Re: iaibear]
Ames Offline
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iaibear, a 'standing post' is the English translation of the Chinese 'Zhan Zhuang'. It's also called 'standing like a tree', or, even, my favorite (and the one I tell people in the park when they ask me what I'm doing) 'tree hugging'. They are a series of postures meant to develop internal strength. There are many different theories out there as to what precisely they are working: some say muscles, some the fascia, others say tendons and ligaments, some all of the above. In reality, from my small amount of knowledge on this subject, there are different 'sets' to work different things.

I only know a few postures, but I find them relaxing, and a good way to check your body for areas of tension.

As far as they relate to Aikido, there are pictures of O'sensei performing what looks like Standing Posts (for an easy to find source check out 'Secrets of Aikido', although there isn't anything actually said about them!).

Some Koryu styles seem to have these as well (like certain schools of Daito Ryu), and chances are O'sensei learned them from those sources.

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#414691 - 01/22/09 02:29 AM Re: Links between Aikido and internal development [Re: Ames]
eyrie Offline
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Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
As to why the HOW is missing - there are any number of reasons, from "secret" to "personal instruction" to "instruction by one-to-one and non-verbal transmission".

As for the WHAT and WHY, it's way to complicated to describe in a few short sentences. Check your PM.

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#414692 - 01/22/09 08:01 AM Re: Links between Aikido and internal development [Re: eyrie]
iaibear Offline
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<< iaibear, a 'standing post' is the English translation of the Chinese 'Zhan Zhuang'. It's also called 'standing like a tree' >>

Thank you. There was a bit in Google. The example they gave was "horse stance". (mangrove?)

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#414693 - 01/22/09 04:13 PM Re: Links between Aikido and internal development [Re: eyrie]
Ames Offline
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I guess what I'm wondering is do you feel there is a benifit to learning zhang zhuang, or other methods of internal cultivation for Aikido?

Could it help someone bring out aspects of the waza that are not easily grasped?

Or, on the other hand, do you think that all of this 'stuff', if present in the waza, will come to the surface through the current method of repetition?

iaibear: yes, horse stance would be one example of a posture. Keep in mind though that many of these postures can be done either 'internally' or 'externally'.

--Chris


Edited by Ames (01/22/09 04:17 PM)
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#414694 - 01/22/09 06:40 PM Re: Links between Aikido and internal development [Re: Ames]
eyrie Offline
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Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Quote:

I guess what I'm wondering is do you feel there is a benifit to learning zhang zhuang, or other methods of internal cultivation for Aikido?


To the extent it helps one discover the purpose and reasons for such methods... yes.

Quote:

Could it help someone bring out aspects of the waza that are not easily grasped?


To the extent that people understand and realize the difference between standing practice and moving practice, and how that pertains to waza... I'd say yes.

Quote:

Or, on the other hand, do you think that all of this 'stuff', if present in the waza, will come to the surface through the current method of repetition?


No. I don't think so. There's a lot more to it than mere repetition...

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#414695 - 01/22/09 07:35 PM Re: Links between Aikido and internal development [Re: eyrie]
Ames Offline
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Registered: 05/29/05
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Quote:

No. I don't think so. There's a lot more to it than mere repetition...




Yes, I guess 'repetition' wasn't the right word there.

I guess what I'm getting at is there crossover between the lessons learned through the standing that can inform the waza? And are those lessons easier to learn by being static and focusing on what's going on inside?

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#414696 - 01/22/09 08:42 PM Re: Links between Aikido and internal development [Re: Ames]
eyrie Offline
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Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
It's a very good question, but unfortunately, it starts to get really complicated. It's a heck of a lot more than just focusing on what's going on inside...

Suffice to say, both static and dynamic practice is required. But first learn what static practice aims to develop... then try to do it whilst moving!

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#414697 - 01/23/09 09:47 AM Re: Links between Aikido and internal development [Re: eyrie]
iaibear Offline
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Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
Quote:

It's a very good question, but unfortunately, it starts to get really complicated. It's a heck of a lot more than just focusing on what's going on inside...

Suffice to say, both static and dynamic practice is required. But first learn what static practice aims to develop... then try to do it whilst moving!



Sadly, it is becoming increasingly obvious that after 15 years of practicing what I think of a "aikido", I still know absolutely nothing about it.

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#414698 - 01/24/09 05:43 AM Re: Links between Aikido and internal development [Re: iaibear]
eyrie Offline
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Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
It's unfortunate... but it sounds like you need to find yourself a better teacher...

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#414699 - 01/24/09 07:33 PM Re: Links between Aikido and internal development [Re: Ames]
eyrie Offline
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Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Quote:

Keep in mind though that many of these postures can be done either 'internally' or 'externally'.


Insofar as "posture" connotates "structure" or "shape"... and to throw another spanner in the works... "posture" has nothing to do with it... have a look at this post http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=223981&postcount=199

Particularly, this paragraph:
[quote=Mike Sigman]But since you don't have to move to do these intention changes, there really is no "shape". I can lay on the ground and mentally change where and what direction forces are going through my body. I can lean over into odd positions and manipulate these same kinds of forces. So it's not "shape"; it's intention.



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#414700 - 01/24/09 09:31 PM Re: Links between Aikido and internal development [Re: eyrie]
Ames Offline
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Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Yeah, that's what I was trying to express there. What I meant was that just sitting in horse stance for an hour isn't necessarily an internal exercise--though it can be used as one.

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#414701 - 01/30/09 11:59 PM Re: Links between Aikido and internal development *DELETED* [Re: iaibear]
m9k Offline
Banned

Registered: 01/30/09
Posts: 12
Loc: USA
Post deleted by Ames.

Don't go through four threads advertising your site please!



Edited by Ames (01/31/09 09:40 AM)

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#414702 - 01/31/09 12:23 AM Re: Links between Aikido and internal development [Re: m9k]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Perhaps you'd like to explain in your own words, why it would be interesting to us and how it is relevant to what we're discussing here?

Because, personally, I don't see how Systema is relevant to this topic or forum - since there is nothing in Systema that is even remotely related to Aikido or internal development.

For starters, I don't believe the alleged breath practices of ancient Russian Orthodox monks are even the same thing. OK, so maybe Ryabko and Vasiliev can "do" some pretty kewl things, but I don't think they're quite the same thing. Perhaps, you could be more specific and say why you think they might be "of interest".

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#414703 - 03/11/09 08:44 AM Re: Links between Aikido and internal development [Re: eyrie]
karl314285 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 326
Loc: The Matrix, Serif is Teacher
hi,

thought to blend in with Aikido now that last series of posts is in a babycradle lock:)

In my time w/ Oshima Sensei, well we did some static exercises that were nearly identical to the internal development I've practiced with Gurudev Amrit Desai (of course with Oshima Sensei we were in seiza or tachi, in the dark cold mornings of winter wishing/praying to take ukemi).
Basically a type of guided meditation leading into continuing slowing breath.

Perhaps, as I am unfamiliar w/ standing bear in Aikido, there is a direct link to Zen Buddhism as such postures go...Attended several Sesshin in the Mountians and Rivers order Soto and Rinzai Monastery...Sitting, Standing and Walking all as positions for meditative practice.

Interesting possibility introduces idea O'Sensei vanished for a while and trained in India or China ( or with a Tengu in the Mts ) Also home of Dogen, Japanese Master who traveled to China and brought Zen to Japan leading to my brutally streched connection on internal development and Aikido....

****China-Chi Kung, Taoism, Zen, Chin-Na
India-Buddhism, eight arms of Yoga
O'Sensei--Life of Practice allows him to absorb the best of visit to or study w/ Indochinese and create Aikido and by learning realized the best of Indochinese MA always incorporated internal energy development.

cool?
P.S. I feel Aikido, like so much in life, can never be understood, I spent 6yrs w/ Oshima Senesi and had then just begun to see how deep the rabbithole was. I feel kinda positive that Changing instructors might only hinder "understanding" of Aikido. I dont even understand what I just said
_________________________
do not try to spork the post, for that is impossible, only realize there is no post to spork

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#414704 - 03/11/09 08:53 PM Re: Links between Aikido and internal development [Re: karl314285]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
I don't know if it's just me, but I found that hard to follow... It might help to edit/rephrase your post so that you're clearer about what you're trying to convey in a way the rest of us can understand....

Quote:

Sitting, Standing and Walking all as positions for meditative practice


You left out Lying (down)...

Modern Shinto is largely influenced by Buddhist (also Taoist and Confucian) philosophy, despite nationalistic attempts in 1868 (Meiji era), to separate certain aspects of Buddhist ideology from the prior syncretic attempts.

Many of Ueshiba's sayings (that were recounted by his son and students, and translated/interpreted by others), make heavy references to Buddhist iconography - the Jewel, the Sword, and the Mirror, for example.

The "chinkon-kishin" and kotodama practices that Ueshiba performed, have their origin in Buddhist teachings and philosophy - which quite likely originated from Ayurvedic and Yogic knowledge and practices. Since Siddharta Guatama was a prince, and a member of the highest caste, he would no doubt have had access to, and availed himself of such knowledge.

On Dan Penrod's exposition here, you can see Ueshiba making the "immovability" mudra (first image at top right of page) - a vestige of Vajrayana Buddhism.

But to say that such practices were merely and solely of a religious/spiritual nature is to belie the importance of such physical practices, as it relates to "internal development" - the original intent of which was to cultivate the "internal energy" [of course, I use that term colloquially] that could be derived from such physical practices, and to subsume them for the purposes of spiritual development and "enlightenment".

IOW, it's a developmental progression from the physical, to the mental to the spiritual. And I think that shows the genius of Ueshiba - the integration of such physical practices within the context of a martially-oriented practice.

However, I don't think it is necessary to slavishly follow in his path, but to instead seek what he sought. Aikido is merely one man's ideal of how to practice... and as students of the Way, we should also seek to understand what it is we're practising.

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#414705 - 03/11/09 10:51 PM Re: Links between Aikido and internal development [Re: eyrie]
karl314285 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 326
Loc: The Matrix, Serif is Teacher
hi,
eyrie, yeah teaching MA via demonstration and adjustment easier than didactic dissemination, as when I taught Nuclear Med or A&P (especially in this type of post and wait mode) lead me to a convoluted verbal vehicle.

So yeah, I am so obtuse and unfamiliar with this mode of communication, I apologize.

To my connection First: (lying down NOT a given option as it leads to sleep considered a lower level of consciousness)
(Also Siddhartha is not a god and not the only Buddha, currently we are blessed w/ HH the 14th Dalai Lama, Buddha of Compassion)

I agree and was emphasizing that O'Senesei had more Zen Buddhist, Indochinese influence during especially his later years where the man who used to smash bricks on his head (Plz Ref text "Abundant Peace") emphasized Love of others over destruction.

My connection could simply been...

1.) O'Sensei trained physically and mentally over his entire life (perhaps w/o having a particular goal in mind) and so made himself the perfect receptacle to receive
2.) The external techniques of Chin-Na and other locking and throwing techniques already assimilated AND
3.) Given #1 O'Sensei realized that these Varied Practices of Internal Energy Development (Yoga, Qi Gong etc.) came to fruition only if practiced in a healthy trained body (or invert concept:the inetrnal development requires a trained healthy body).
4.) He may have been misinterpreted as his level had surpassed any student but made sure that even without understanding internal development, the postures and practices would be passed on...and in the ultimate realize Love and Compassion can only bring "Abundant Peace" (Lets avoid the power of the proper Itemi O'Sensei can be seen executing for now...OR START A NEW Thread/stream/whateveryacallit)

Any better? I'm used to MA and future Allied Health Care Professionals in my face asking questions or halting digressions. Often my preamble, if absent, would only invoke what I'm typing NOW....I may not be so...eloquent?
PS


only yourself and everyone have replied to any of my posts, THANKS. Others have, but it was usally the orig poster, posting me a post to bend the spork

P.P.S.-give me feed back- does bulleting my opinions help??


Edited by karl314285 (03/11/09 11:07 PM)
_________________________
do not try to spork the post, for that is impossible, only realize there is no post to spork

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#414706 - 03/12/09 05:57 AM Re: Links between Aikido and internal development [Re: karl314285]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Well Karl, this IS a MA FORUM - not a class where one gets to prance and pony around in front of a bunch of adoring students. Therefore, the communication modality here, I think, is far less didactic than it is dialectic.

I suppose, bulleting your opinions does help, insofar as it enables you to better communicate your ideas and arguments. But not if it doesn't make logical sense or reinforce your argument.

Firstly, I doubt if Ueshiba ever had any direct Zen Buddhist or, as you say, "Indochinese" influence. There is certainly no record of him studying to any great depth with any teacher of Zen, when it is clear from various sources that his primary influence in that aspect has always been from Oomoto-kyo Shinto - itself a bastardization of various Shinto, esoteric Shingon and Shugendo philosophical practices.

As for "Indochinese", perhaps you meant Indian and Chinese - because Indochinese has quite a different connotation, and refers to a native or inhabitant of specific areas within the SE Asian peninsula. In any case, I don't think that's quite right either, Buddhist influences on Shintoism had occured during the Nara period, at least a millenium before Ueshiba's birth. Although there is evidence of Ueshiba's sojurns to China and Mongolia, there is no record of Ueshiba having travelled to India, much less travelling to either continent for the purpose of studying yoga or qigong.

So, how did he, who began life as a sickly and frail child, come to the realization of these varied internal practices, outside of such direct influences? No doubt he trained hard and physically, as evidenced by various accounts - but are you suggesting that one could simply become the perfect receptacle and acquire the essence of "internal energy development" through similar "physical training" - whatever that is?

Or, could the simple explanation be that something in Deguchi's teachings made it "click" for him (and for his nephew Inoue - who although not as well known as Ueshiba, was just as insightful a man of budo as Ueshiba was), and which enabled him to synthesize aspects of various martial arts that he had sporadically studied in his youth, and in the short time that he had studied with Sokaku Takeda?

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#414707 - 03/12/09 11:34 AM Re: Links between Aikido and internal development [Re: eyrie]
karl314285 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 326
Loc: The Matrix, Serif is Teacher
hi eyrie,

points taken. Thanks, sorry bout the semantic issues and my sucks syntax.

Knew about the Shinto mysticism, just tossing a concept as history is never fully correct, as with most things in life.

No such thing as a class of "Adoring" community college kids used to being spoon feed, more like a pack of wolves going for a kill (if they 'taint falling asleep @0700)

Soooo...new topic?/?

--karl
_________________________
do not try to spork the post, for that is impossible, only realize there is no post to spork

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#414708 - 03/12/09 07:37 PM Re: Links between Aikido and internal development [Re: karl314285]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Written history never is... but isn't that the whole purpose of a forum? To discuss and debate these things logically? To sort the wheat from the chaff?

New topic? Sure, why not... feel free to start a new one.

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#414709 - 03/12/09 10:32 PM Re: Links between Aikido and internal development [Re: eyrie]
karl314285 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 326
Loc: The Matrix, Serif is Teacher
hi eyrie,

(Promise not off Aikido topic, verbal sparring used to be fun)

Thanks, I'll pass for now, as I see what a forum can be involves changing variables not bound by the constraints of absolute logic, I am not worthy to propose a topic as it might involve Inductive Logic.
Thus automatically invalidating the topic as there is not way to Absolutely preclude the falsehood, and thus ensure the truth of the final conclusion via how you seem to see the absolute of what a forum IS (aint lookin for a dickshunary definition of forum niether;)
(as you seem to see it as a place for argument based on logical truths and logical falsehoods bound by the constraints of deductive logic where even a literal translation of another persons word choice is fair game to invalidate their premises and so the credibility of their conclusion even though we both know that an argument with false premisses and/or a false conclusion might nonetheless be valid and an argument with true premisses and conclusion might nonetheless be invalid) love Faulkner and that stream of consciousness writing style.

-respectfully remaining, Karl
_________________________
do not try to spork the post, for that is impossible, only realize there is no post to spork

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