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  1. DCS is online now
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    Posted On:
    8/14/2009 9:12am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    As a start.

    From a guy who was uchi-deshi of Ueshiba at that time:

    As an Aikido instructor I cannot imagine telling a student that they were unable to understand the powers of “Ki” because they were lacking in someway. This is however a technique used by some instructors to make students feel inferior, and feel that they must join so that they too can “receive Ki”. I invite anyone to come to my dojo, and I will be able to show you in about ten minutes how typical “Ki” demonstrations are done. Preying on a student self image and sense of guilt is an underhanded manipulation, not a teaching technique.

    Real “Sensei power” is a culmination of a lifetime of learning. Imitation “Sensei power” can be seen in choreographed demonstrations where students fly through the air without being touched. This is of course not real. Remember that the “magic” you are seeing in these kinds of demonstrations is the skill of the ukes and their ability to take high flying rolls.

    Interestingly, audiences also bring a psychological component to the dynamics of a demonstration. At a demonstration, let’s say an instructor fairly slight in build, chooses a volunteer from the audience. One technique is to choose a volunteer who is much larger in stature than the demonstrator. The volunteer is naturally self-conscious and wants to do a good job. Usually these volunteers also have good hearts, therefore they do not try as hard as they can when asked to bend the arm of the demonstrator. What is disconcerting is if the instructor demonstrating these “Ki” techniques begins to believe in his or her own illusion of power, forgetting the other human dynamics involved. It reminds me of the old fable “The Emperors New Clothes”. It is actually relatively easy to resist “Ki” demonstration techniques. For example, to be able to lift up a demonstrator who claims he can’t be lifted, one just needs to bend his knees and get under the center of gravity of the demonstrator. From that position it is easy to lift anyone up. When these demonstrations are exposed, the power of these imitation Sensei disappears as well.

    If you watch a thin elderly instructor that seems to be able to defy anyone to bend his arm, it looks like magic. But there is another factor to examine in these demonstrations; that being the relationship between Sensei and student.

    Speaking from experience, I can relate my feelings about being an uchideshi and uke to the Founder, Morihei Ueshiba. Perhaps only those students who actually practiced with the Founder will truly understand my feelings. As full-time students of the Founder, our respect for him was of course paramount. Especially towards the end of his life, if the Founder asked his students to “push against him as hard as they could”, there was not one student among us who could do that. It was not that we were not able to physically push him, it was that we couldn’t.

    At the age of eighty-six, the Founder commanded so much respect for his life and accomplishments, that no student of any rank, even 7th or 8th dan, were able to breach this level of respect. Beyond the obvious differences in rank and experience, I feel this was part of the true “Ki” power the Founder possessed. It is understandable when looking at old photos of the Founder resisting the efforts of ten students pushing on his body to think it looks like magic. As one who was there, his power was derived from his presence, not from magic. At the height of his physical prowess, I have no doubt that he used technique to keep students from overpowering him. I attribute his powers at the age of 86 to real “Sensei power”, the personal power he possessed after a life time of hardships and accomplishments. Not only in the world of Martial arts, leaders world –wide who have reached this level command this type of respect from those around them.

    For the past ten years, I have been personally researching the life of my teacher, Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. I have followed his footsteps, traveling to Hokkaido and even Mongolia in order to understand the life that he led. I have conducted countless interviews, and collected volumes of information on the political and social conditions of the times of his youth, including who the Founder associated with, family histories, data on climate and geographical point of references. I have also collected artifacts from the same era and locations, including tools, clothing and utensils.

    I have conducted this research not to write a book, but to discover for myself what happened in the Founders life to give him the personal presence he possessed as I knew him later in his life. What gave him the powers that made it impossible to push him over when asked? I wanted proof for the real ‘”Sensei power” he possessed. For me personally, it is important to have correct historical information about the Founder. If not, it is very difficult for me to teach with whole- hearted conviction. If an instructor misunderstands this, then of course so will his students. I wish to know and teach the truth.
    Ki power and Sensei Power - Reflections from St. Andrews Scotland 2001. By Gaku Homma Sensei, Nippon Kan Kancho
  2. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/14/2009 9:12am

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    Quote Originally Posted by Da Pope View Post
    I remember a WC teacher comming over from HK. I remember chi sao-ing with him and hitting him smack in the jaw.

    Afterwards I was told I had no respect!!!!

    mmmmmmmm

    I go with some kinda institutionalised hyponosis but am liking the localised gravitational disturbances theory as well.
    "Institutionalised hypnosis" = social compliance, the intuition (subconscious understanding?) that certain things are expected to happen in particular ways, in a particular setting, especially if an authority figure says so or physically demonstrates so.

    Anyone care to take a crack at the physics and anatomy sides of things? Momentum, leverage, skeletal structure, etc.?
  3. It is Fake is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/14/2009 9:16am

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    Quote Originally Posted by Da Pope View Post
    I remember a WC teacher comming over from HK. I remember chi sao-ing with him and hitting him smack in the jaw.

    Afterwards I was told I had no respect!!!!

    mmmmmmmm

    I go with some kinda institutionalised hyponosis but am liking the localised gravitational disturbances theory as well.
    This is what many chuinners get mad at here. I call it cheating.

    Chi-Sao is a drill and people use it in many ways to make you look bad. They use "respect" to force you to feel shame for not "feeling" the power. The next time you hold back and then after much conditioning, you "feel" and see the things they want.

    Enough chun.
  4. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/14/2009 9:23am

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1point2 View Post

    Eventually, you know well enough to flip over when he moves his arm. If not, he'll do the wristlock HARD next time, and won't let you ukemi out of it. This is documented in Angry White Pyjamas, for Yoshinkan aikido.

    If the teacher continues to push the issue, and has the charisma, he can turn this into chi blasts and 10'-distance knockouts.

    It started as social pressure and willingness to help. It became hypnosis and ingrained behavior. Remember the experiment with monkeys that get shocked if they touch the bananas? Slowly replace all the monkeys, and remove the shock, and voila--a room full of monkeys that refuse to come near the bananas, with no idea why.
    Fear of pain/embarrassment/etc. and (flipside) social/personal rewards ("doing it right") as motivation, to the point where certain behaviors become ingrained and at least largely subconscious.
  5. It is Fake is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/14/2009 9:32am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I always want to get better. From a youngster I was always taught to train with people better than you not equal or less. I always trained with kids bigger and older.

    That carried over into Martial Arts.

    Thing was many Traditional schools are the opposite. You must not challenge your upper rank, you must not challenge your instructor etc etc etc.


    I'll never forget the lectures I'd get from people because, I wanted to spar the Masters of my old art. That's disrespectful. Blah Blah Blah.


    I remember when someone brought in some printed pages from people ripping my old art part. That's about two years before I joined bullshido. That's when I started noticing all the BS.
  6. DCS is online now
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    Posted On:
    8/14/2009 9:36am

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    Anyone care to take a crack at the physics and anatomy sides of things? Momentum, leverage, skeletal structure, etc.?
    The ones seen in the video clip or the real life ones.

    I ask because I have done some things similar to the ones you can see in Ueshiba clip, both with cooperative unresisting training partners and in also in mma sparring.

    All of them totally explainable with basic newtonian physics and psychology 101.
  7. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/14/2009 9:41am

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    Interestingly, audiences also bring a psychological component to the dynamics of a demonstration. At a demonstration, let’s say an instructor fairly slight in build, chooses a volunteer from the audience. One technique is to choose a volunteer who is much larger in stature than the demonstrator. The volunteer is naturally self-conscious and wants to do a good job. Usually these volunteers also have good hearts, therefore they do not try as hard as they can when asked to bend the arm of the demonstrator. What is disconcerting is if the instructor demonstrating these “Ki” techniques begins to believe in his or her own illusion of power, forgetting the other human dynamics involved. It reminds me of the old fable “The Emperors New Clothes”. It is actually relatively easy to resist “Ki” demonstration techniques. For example, to be able to lift up a demonstrator who claims he can’t be lifted, one just needs to bend his knees and get under the center of gravity of the demonstrator. From that position it is easy to lift anyone up. When these demonstrations are exposed, the power of these imitation Sensei disappears as well.
    An excellent point: the sense of "playing by the rules" or "playing along", or just good old compliance.

    At the age of eighty-six, the Founder commanded so much respect for his life and accomplishments, that no student of any rank, even 7th or 8th dan, were able to breach this level of respect. Beyond the obvious differences in rank and experience, I feel this was part of the true “Ki” power the Founder possessed. It is understandable when looking at old photos of the Founder resisting the efforts of ten students pushing on his body to think it looks like magic. As one who was there, his power was derived from his presence, not from magic. At the height of his physical prowess, I have no doubt that he used technique to keep students from overpowering him. I attribute his powers at the age of 86 to real “Sensei power”, the personal power he possessed after a life time of hardships and accomplishments.
    Again, Ueshiba really was a master; he had exceptional physical skills of co-ordination, sensing pressure, aligning his skeleton and bodyweight to resist and then collapse away from force, and (IMO) astounding core muscular strength. His timing was also exceptional; note that he almost always physically interrupted his students' movements at a moment when they'd committed their intention and momentum to an "attack", but before they were able to fully execute the "attack".

    In other cases, he literally leads them in by offering his wrist as a target.
  8. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/14/2009 9:43am

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    Quote Originally Posted by DCS View Post
    The ones seen in the video clip or the real life ones.

    I ask because I have done some things similar to the ones you can see in Ueshiba clip, both with cooperative unresisting training partners and in also in mma sparring.

    All of them totally explainable with basic newtonian physics and psychology 101.
    Sounds like you're in a good position to explain both the video and real-life examples.
  9. Da Pope is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/14/2009 9:43am


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    Quote Originally Posted by 1point2 View Post
    Remember the experiment with monkeys that get shocked if they touch the bananas? Slowly replace all the monkeys, and remove the shock, and voila--a room full of monkeys that refuse to come near the bananas, with no idea why.
    Yep sounds like a another version of this 8 Monkeys Experiment - No BS MMA and Martial Arts
  10. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/14/2009 10:17am

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    Not literally no-contact, but IMO a closely related phenomenon, was that of the "Georgia Magnet" or "Resistance" vaudeville act that was hugely popular during the 19th century. Typically, the performer would be an apparently frail young woman who would defy the biggest men in the audience to lift her off the ground, push her over, and similar stunts. They usually ended up staggering and falling all over the stage, ostensibly due to her "electric" or "magnetic" powers.

    Note that the physics and psychology of the "Georgia Magnet" act was very quickly debunked by doctors, engineers and by observant audience members, but the act persisted for decades and made the fortunes of several performers.

    Recommended background reading at http://www.illusiongenius.com/articles/11-2002-03.html .

    Here is one of the basic "Georgia Magnet" techniques performed by Derren Brown and an assistant. Note that the third boxer refuses to play by the rules, which breaks Brown up:

    YouTube - Derren Brown - Boxers lifting a girl
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