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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 1999 3:39 pm 
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I am posting this for Mike to get a fresh start on this thread.

Bill

*******************************************

Uh guys and gals,

Could we get back to the point at hand?
Before we were so rudely interrupted I was asking what differentiates an internal system from an external system.


To Dave:

Your point regarding mind-set is well-taken. I refer you back to Van Cann's forum for discussion of this topic.

To Rick Wilson:

The connection betweeen min-dbody sounds intriguing but my problem is that this verbiage is still vague and doesn't help me to understand just what the difference is between Internal and External arts.

To Doctor X:

And you accuse me of lack of tact????
But I enjoy your tirades.

To Mr. Askteter:

I am a Finance manager. In the business world we seek to eliminate what is generally referred to as "non- value added activities". These are activities which add to the cost of producing and distributing a product or a service but which don't add any value to the form, function, fit or purpose of the product or service being sold. An example would be movement of raw materials from one site to another site, if in fact, the raw material should have been stored at the point at which it is consumed. The movement would add additional cost to the production of the item but no real value.

i would argue that your post was a non-valued added item. Instead of addressing any of the substantive issues in this thread you chose to spit invective and ridicule. Is that how you treat other martial artists in person? If so, then you may have learned technique in your 23 years but you certainly have not internalized the martial principles which we all aspire to.

To Bill G.

Your practical description of deflecting energy has caused further reflection on my own part.

My previous post dealt with the generation of power. Your post dealt with the neutralizaion of power.

I had another conversation with my erudite and articulate martial arts comprade and he remnded me that acceleration is a derivative of velocity, time and distance. The formula is as follows:

Where d is distance, v is velocity, a is acceleration, t is time.

For constant acceleration
d = d0 + vt + .5at^2
v = v0 + at
v^2 = 2ad

Ok, I'll admit that my calculus days are long behind me so the most I can get out of this equation is that an increase in velocity, a shortening of distance or a shortening of time will increase the generation of power.

The time I am referring to is the amount of time a fist or foot is in contact with a target. It appears to me that increasing velocity over a short distance with momentary contact with the target will generate a whole lot of force.

Am I right about this?

Now let us turn our attention to deflection of energy. From your post I gathered that there are four ways to neutrlaize an opponent's power.

1: Avoid
2: Deflect
3. Misdirect
3: Block it "dead in its tracks"

Does this sound right?

If so, then I would argue that any and all systems have devloped a certain emphasis on some of these options to neutralize power. So what distinguishes an internal system's emphasis from an external system's emphasis?

Mr. Sigman, please feel free to jump in here at any time.

I also understand that deflection, misdirection or (for want of a better wortd),a stop-hit will be succesful depending on a numer of variablesa. Going back to the physics issues, There are all sorts of variables to be considered including vectoring, distance, timing, etc.

So now I am back to my original query? using the above rules of physics, what is the difference between internal and external arts? Mr. Askteter, i would appreciate any and all value-added comments concerning this matter.

To Lori:

Rest asssured that your honour yet remains unsullied by these deprecations and innuendos.

Best Regards,

Mike


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 1999 3:41 pm 
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This was David Elkins' reply to Mike's post

Bill

***********************************************

Hi Mike - I think Rick and I were attempting to address your question. The mind set is an important component of "internal" arts. As mind set is an important component of "external" styles also, I would invite you to entertain the possibility that the distinction is artificial. Henning makes a damn good case for that possibility using copious historical reference material.
Nagamine Sensei of Shorin-Ryu stated at a banquet that when he began his study of the arts he considered his path very distinct from others. As he approached the higher elevations of the mountain, he saw that the various paths tended to converge.
I would submit that advanced practitioners of almost any martial art will tend to embrace similar concepts, movements, and strategies. Some start out "hard" and become "softer" and some start out "soft" and hopefully become "harder" (if they are attracted to the martial aspect of the "internal arts" and if they have a knowledgeable sifu.
Ultimately the synthesis of mind ("yi"), muscular power ("li") and intrinsic energy ("qi") must be present for any martial artist or champion athlete. I think of qi as the neurological raw material from which conditioned response patterns are forged in the furnace of repetitive focused training.
I've heard it said that to know the house of Chen one must quake. This refers to the uncontrolled shaking of the extremities as one stands in low postures for long periods of time in an "internal" style. In a traditional Hung Gar school guess what the first order of business is for the first year or so...you got it - stand in low ma bu (horse stance.) You tell me, what's internal and what's external?
I think (from what I've seen - not the last word in anything) that if you took an advanced practitioner of one of the Taoist internal traditions, a Wing Chun fighter, a Uechika, a practitioner of Silat, etc, etc. and placed them in real combative situations not sport application, no visible denotation of their style - you would have a hard time telling who trained what.
You would be able to identify specific strategic choices based upon their perceptions of their opponent, i.e., bigger, smaller, stronger, weaker, fiercer, more frightened, slower, faster, good with kicks, no kicks, etc, etc, however, the "stuff" won't look that different. What is always different however, is the mind set. It is the "36th Chamber" where the real issues are settled. To that extent, I will always visit Canna Sensei's forum as he is a strong spokesperson for that reality.
I have a Wing Chun brother who really doesn't train very much and is overweight. He has decided that he will ALWAYS go home to his wife and kids though - NOTHING will ever stand in the way of that. This captures my attention and diminishes the relative importance of a debate over what is internal and what is external.
I think you would really enjoy Frantzis' book that Rick mentioned. He is very biased but gives a down to earth rap on the subject.
Good training,
David


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 1999 3:59 pm 
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This is now my own response to Mike.

From now on it is 'live".

Bill

****************************************

Mike

First, it is my personal opinion that there is a "yang" and a "yin" to this interal vs external. I may be all off base on this, but that's never stopped me from talking before :-). What I was referring to in the internal vs external debate was the defensive or receiving end of what makes soft styles and internal styles what they are. Yes, that is VERY different from the generation of power mindset. Perhaps there are hugh problems here in definitions. If so, clarification is sought and appreciated.

So here is my response to your specific query, Mike.

Scenario 1: Meeting force with force. What is happening here is a dissipation of the energy of an attack.

Scenario 2: Avoiding the force completely. Here one makes no attempt whatsoever to even touch the attacker.

Scenario 3: Redirecting the force. When a person does a jumping kick, there are two components to the attack: a) the momentum of the center of mass, and b) the energy generated by the kicking motion. As an aside, b does indeed affect a here since one cannot "ground" the attack. Anyhow the attacker's center follows a parabolic path when he jumps. It is the same second order polynomial that describes the path of a ball that is thrown. What the defender is doing is adding energy to the person so that the parabolic path of the attacker's center of mass is changed.

Scenario 4: Adding energy but not interfering with the original energy. We can view the end result of manipulating the person as having a translational component (parabolic path of the center) and a rotational component (rotation of the person around his center). What I was suggesting is that it is possible to leave the translational component alone and add a rotational component. The end result is that the person follows the same path, but they rotate so that the head instead of the legs hit the ground.

There is indeed a fifth scenario that I did not even add here.

Scenario 5: Use the energy of the attacker to activate neuromuscular activity in the defender. This is merely an application of a plyometric motion. When you do a vertical leap, it is best done by first rapidly squatting and then jumping. This "plyometric" motion activates the stretch reflex. It is possible (and ideed quite common in my aikido experience) to tap into that force coming into you and have it trigger completely "mind free" stretch reflexes that add energy to the attack coming to you. With years of practicel and the right intent, you add energy with very little conscious action.

This is indeed different from de novo energy generation. I know that!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 1999 4:02 pm 
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There was a guy once who came to our Kyokushin dojo. Nice fellow, but Kyokushin wasn't for him. I ran into him a few months later and he had found the art for him, Tai Chi (ji, ki, qi, etc). Since I take any chance I get to learn about the martial arts I eagerly discussed Tai Chi with him, both on that occasion and afterwards. Tai Chi, as he explained it was about discipline of the mind, and was no different then the discipline sought by Kyokushin practicioners. Only the methods were different. As he explained it, the slow, controlled movement of Tai Chi were a method of building controlled discipline of the mind. The power of Tai Chi came from this disciplined and controlled movement.

In Kyokushin, we strive to build such discipline through hard work. By pushing, and perserving, and pushing, and fighting, and etc. OSU! And if you think this makes Kyokushin and "external" art than you are sadly mistaken. The study of the martial arts (and not particular styles) is not the study of an "internal" or "external" art. You see I know some Kyokushin karatemen who are interested in developing strong kicks and punches, and they want to be able to do them by knowing how to do them and developing the physical ability to do it. They are not interested in having the technique become a natural extension of them, they see it as being apart, seperate ... external.

I know some Tai Chi people who are interested in finding the deadly secrets of Tai Chi (ooohhh ... twelve fists of the monkey). The same applies to them. It is not a matter for them to adopt the grace and discipline of Tai Chi, just the technique as something they know.

Both these types of people are external martial artists.

But if the goal is to learn the martial arts, to adopt the techniques and style into your heart so that you just do the technique so that your technique becomes a part of you, if the goal is to develop a strong spirit (whatever that means for you) then your journey is along an internal path.

Granted I will admit that there are some particular styles that will always be rooted in externals, mainly because their leaders are external martial artists. Likewise some martial arts lend themselves more to the development of internalization (like Tai Chi).

Finally, since I managed to miss all the fun and excitement of the previous thread. Concerning this "it cannot be explained". Frankly that is a bunch of "phooey" for lack of a better word. I had an instructor once. She was a decent martial artist, she clearly knew her stuff ... she couldn't teach it. She was not able ti impart her knowledge. Is this the fault of the student or the teacher? If somebody lacks the ability to teach something the know and know well, then there is something wrong. Either:

a) they are truly incompetent.
b) they are looking to do some ego stroking by pretending that what they do is better or more complex than what others are doing.
c) they have aren't trying hard enough. (which was the case for this instructor).

I am not saying which of these apply, because I honestly don't know and frankly don't care which it is. But if you find that you are unable to teach something to a group of experienced people in the same field ... it may be something to think about. And I want to make it clear that having this apply to you is not evilness and damnation. God knows b) above used to apply to me especially when I first started Kyokushin (you know you hear all this stuff about Strongest Karate, Oyama fighting hundreds of men, killing bulls, etc it is bound to get your ego going ... even though the fact that Oyama did it has nothing to do with your ability). So, I guess don't take it as an insult, just something to consider.

OSU!
Jason


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 1999 4:04 pm 
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Mike

About acceleration...

This issue is perhaps a little more complex than you think.

The simple scenario is firing a bullet into a target. You have a rapid acceleration (change in velocity) of the bullet when the gun powder fires. The bullet goes with relatively constant velocity to the target. Then the bullet decelerates (negative change in velocity) when it hits the target. This gets converted to destructive energy.

When a person fires an attack, they can be accelerating all the way from start to the contact. And they can continue to add energy when the fist or whatever hits the target.

Hope this helps.

Bill


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 1999 4:50 pm 
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I think the key to this entire issue is the bird noises. If we could somehow get the bird noises down that Bruce Lee made all of these questions would be moot.
Seriously, I love Bill's description of the various reception scenarios. #4 particularly is fascinating. I've had the good fortune of playing Dan #4 (coincidence?) with Bruce Hirabayashi and it was a real "eye opener" to say the least. My first Uechi Sensei, Reza Taher, had a great skill for borrowing power in this fashion. He would receive your technique with what seemed at the time to be little waving motions and your technique would seem to accelerate, he would establish facing superiority and you would be hit. The feeling when it is done properly is that of having your hand or foot caught in an old fashioned washing machine wringer and pulled in.
Great stuff!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 1999 8:35 pm 
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Mr. Aksteter

The major problem with your first post is that it added nothing to the discussion. The sole purpose was to tell everyone they were wrong and then insult. If you do not believe me, please reread it.

This post is different. Obviously you still have non-value-added issues, but you approached them in a less capricious manner. I will let others address these issues further if they wish. As moderator, I will merely state that I hear your comments and concerns, and ask that the title of the discussion remain the dominant theme in the thread.

Your contributions are appreciated.

Bill (Glasheen)

[This message has been edited by Bill Glasheen (edited 01-20-99).]


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 1999 8:37 pm 
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I just wanted to address one point raised by Mr. Aksteter:

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
. . .The main problem you got on this list is that your tolerant of rude behavior by your own members yet you set different standards for other people. . .


Our forums have been active for a number of years. We have lively and spirited discussions which involve the full range of emotions. With the exception of a couple of people, participants followed an unwritten but common sense form of protocol. They got to know the people involved by lurking for awhile, then allowed the group to get to know them by submitting introductory type posts, without sarcasm, flames or humor that might be misinterpreted by the group.

Once people become familiar with your cyber-personality, you will be treated with respect. . . and from my experience, will be given your share of Pie in the face humor. You will also be forgiven for any mistakes in spelling, grammer and misdirected blows, unintentionally thrown in a post.

Unfortunately, when a person first visits our cyber-home and intentionally or unintentionally insults a family member, chances are they will be given a verbal thrashing.

Few of us would go to a stranger's home and begin knocking the host's cooking, terrible decor and size of the bathroom before taking our hat and coat off.

You may not like all the seasoning on the stew Mr.Aksteter, but the wine is vintage!

------------------
GEM


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 1999 9:11 pm 
posted 01-20-99 03:37 PM ET (US)by G.Mattson:

** I just wanted to address one point raised by Mr. Aksteter:

quote:

. . .The main problem you got on this list is that your tolerant of rude
behavior by your own members yet you set different standards for other
people. . .


Our forums have been active for a number of years. We have lively and spirited
discussions which involve the full range of emotions. With the exception of a couple of
people, participants followed an unwritten but common sense form of protocol. They
got to know the people involved by lurking for awhile, then allowed the group to get
to know them by submitting introductory type posts, without sarcasm, flames or
humor that might be misinterpreted by the group.

Once people become familiar with your cyber-personality, you will be treated with
respect. . . and from my experience, will be given your share of Pie in the face humor.
You will also be forgiven for any mistakes in spelling, grammer and misdirected blows,
unintentionally thrown in a post.

Unfortunately, when a person first visits our cyber-home and intentionally or
unintentionally insults a family member, chances are they will be given a verbal
thrashing.

Few of us would go to a stranger's home and begin knocking the host's cooking,
terrible decor and size of the bathroom before taking our hat and coat off.

You may not like all the seasoning on the stew Mr.Aksteter, but the wine is vintage!**


OK. Have it your way. Everybody has a problem but the normal posters to this list. That's what I pointed out.

Yet when I read the threads that Mike Sigman directed me to I saw a bunch of guys using his private email and his personal name for funnsies. Before he even got on the list. You started the trashing, in other words.

Your doing the same thing. Taking shots and justifying how your always right in doing it and how other people can't do it unless they meet certain "unwritten" criteria.

I was simply trying to tell you that a lot of the responsibility for the BS rests with some of your acidic posters and your basically telling me that's right. So why complain if people are rude in return? Makes no sense. OK, it's your list.

I'll go to a couple of other lists and trash your list. Where does all of this lead? I tried to tell you how to lead it in a more constructive direction, but that's not apparently what you want to do.

If you want to learn about Pa Kua, go to the Pa Kua list and don't reason it out with a couple of wannabe karate experts who think they know something.

If you want to learn about Hsing-I, go to one of the several Hsing-I lists. Some of the lists have honest to god experts; some don't. If you stick with your local little group who quote from books you'll never learn anything.

If you want to learn about Tai Chi, go talk to real experts.

If you want to sit on this self-congratulatory "vintage wine" list go ahead. But don't complain about your real martial artists getting offended by your rudeness.

Look at my last post. There was more straight and usable information than in any of your posts. Yet the first two responses did nothing but get right back into personality and pecking order.

Bill Aksteter


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 1999 9:27 pm 
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Mr. Aksteter

You may trash our list on other lists. That's your prerogative, and I don't really care. The outside world can come in and judge the behavior - including yours - themselves.

If you wish to start a SEPARATE thread on decorum, feel free to do so. We've had a few such threads in the past. There is much that can be said on both sides to this issue (there usually are two sides) but that's not germane to this thread.

You may also take this discussion to private e-mail. Mr. Sigman and I have already had at least a dozen e-mail back and forth. They haven't all been pleasant, but the discussion served a purpose and diffused an otherwise out-of-control situation. And I think we are now in agreement about our respective positions on the "relevant" issues.

You need not come to the defense of Mr. Sigman. He can handle himself quite well.

You may NOT continue the decorum issue on this thread. There is a constructive dialogue going on and we wish to continue. You are welcome to post more in this thread on the subject of internal vs external - AND NOTHING MORE.

Bill (with the moderator cap on) Glasheen
glasheen@uechi-ryu.com



[This message has been edited by Bill Glasheen (edited 01-20-99).]


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 1999 9:46 pm 
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Mr. Aksteter,

A number of points.

c) "External is considered to use 'normal' strength. Internal manipulates structural alignments so that the final force is in your fist or shoulder or elbow or leg but it would take a force diagram to show you what goes on in the internal arts."

An example of what you mean by "structural alignments so that the final force is in your fist, etc". For example, in your fist, as opposed to where? Structural alignments, what does that mean? Your arm, body, etc is in a particular shape?

d) "The movement of the force endpoints is done with the mind and sometimes very small adjustments."

What exactly is a "force endpoint"? When you say it is moved with the mind what do you mean? I guess I might understand that more when I know what a "force endpoint" is.

e) "My girlfriend would clock you if you patronized her that way."

And if you knew the people of this list you would understand better.

f) "Get Sigman to show you."

Maybe some of us can't get to Mr. Sigman. Perhaps an explanation and such might be worthwhile and then the listener can decide if they don't get it, rather than the teacher deciding that the material is too complex or the learned to novice.

g) "And your thinking about qi is completely wrong."

So what is the proper thinking about qi? Please explain it. I find the topic to be facsinating, I would love to hear another explanation, presumably a right one. Although one must wonder, with a non-measurable, and as far as I have seen undefinable element like qi how can any thinking be completely wrong, except from a certain point of view (i.e. yours in the case). Again, a good solid definition would be great.

h) "**I've heard it said that to know the house of Chen one must quake. This refers to the uncontrolled shaking of the extremities as one stands in low postures for long periods of time in an "internal" style. **

Jesus. Quake means more like shake. The Chen-style (what Sigman and some of the others do) uses enormous "shaking power" which is commonly called fajing. See how distortions creep in? ;>)"

Then correct it. How great of you to tell us that distortions have crept in? Okay, you say what the person said is somehow wrong, it what way? What is the correction? Do you train your students like this? "No no no you fool, you don't do technique X that way" and then walk away.

i) "You tell me, what's internal and what's external? **

You tell me. Whats so interesting is how many people from the outside go by what they know and insist they're the same as something they don't know much about. Incredibubble. ;>)"

Remember the list of three things that explain when somebody can't explain what they are talking about. A sure sign of type a) & b) is when somebody answers a question with some smart remark like "You tell me". Come on, you think we aren't smart enough to follow your explanation? Either you don't know the answer, or you are just trying to look like some mystical "I-know-the-answer-but-I-cannot-share-it".

I think I have asked some legitimate questions as others have. Either you can answer them or you can't. If you can great. If not ... well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

OSU!
Jason

[This message has been edited by Jason Bernard (edited 01-20-99).]


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 1999 10:58 pm 
Mr. Aksteter,

A number of points.

Let me make a point and mainly because at the bottom of your message you put something fairly snide, which is where all the trouble starts. In my message I encouraged that you go ask an expert whom you already antagonized , but I did it because he can explain the most clearly. You say:

"Either you can answer
them or you can't. If you can great. If not ... well, we'll cross that bridge when we..." etc. This is the sort of tone that starts the fights yet I never see it called by "the moderators". You want to go see or you want to reject it based on the experts in the internal arts on this list? You got an invitation and it wasn't to some crap like "come to Sicily....", etc.

I can answer your questions to a degree, but I'm not. Sigman, Chan, and a number of others can easily answer, but nobody is going to tell you how to do anything when this list continues to approach everything in a verbally confrontational way. Your Van Canna -- go look at that post. Tell you what, and it's been suggested before, go to a more open list and try your confrontation there. You either honestly want answers or you don't. You can't have it both ways.

Some of the questions in Jason's post were OK, but he had to blow it for appearances sake. You wanna know, Jason? Go see Sigman or someone who can really do the stuff, like Chen Xiao Wang and others. You want to put people down, either go see em in person or post your address.

Bill Aksteter


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 1999 11:07 pm 
Dr. X wrote:
**I have heard that when you point a finger at someone you point three at yourself.

One can no more teach manners to a cretin than martial arts to the unwilling. Perhaps
this belongs under "Decorum;" however, I would ask interested parties to read my
previous postings on the matter. Other than the whinning protestations of the
individual in question, it seems that everyone else on the forum has mastered the
basics of civilized behavior.

To dissect such ravings may give vent to my spleen, may prove amusing to the
audience; however, it would serve no further purpose. I gain little satisfaction
crushing an insect, and given his previous manefest inability to comport himself with
honor or respect--two qualities I had until this time assumed all martial artists
pursued--I remain skeptical that he could learn better emotional continence.

Perhaps he finds failure of the hosts and family to applaude his borish behavior an
insult to his sensibilities. They are, then, sadly base sensibilities which exist only to
vex us.

We have suffered fools enough. It is time for him to return to the gutter than spawn
him.**

Yeah, I've read all your supercilious putdowns, JD. You seem to be one of these guys that takes a shot a someone but won't sign your name and address.

I watched your slams at Sigman's name while you wouldn't sign your own. Keyboard Courage. Now you want to slam me. Either sign your name or shut up. No man and certainly no martial artist would do that. Email me with your name and address. I'll come let you tell me face to face.

Bill Aksteter
baksteter@home.com


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 1999 11:16 pm 
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Please pardon me. My reply as to internal vs. external was inadvertently posted under decorum..

I study Tai Chi and Uechi and if I can contribute, I would be happy to.

J. Thurston


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 1999 12:50 am 
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In the midst of all the finger-pointing and rude rejections to polite invitations to stick to the issue - some interesting points have been raised in the internal vs. external debate. Especially in posts by Jason-san and Mike-san. Despite the consistent efforts of our esteemed moderator, unfortunately the thread topic has become quite clouded with slurs and insults. "Too bad."

Glasheen Sensei:
My sympathies. In your ardor to pursue the right to free speech and your interest in open discussion, it seems that you have attracted a bunch of time-wasting "trash." Stick to your guns Mr. Moderator - eventually a few pearls may emerge from under the swine's feet.

Mr. Aksteter:
Your attempt to make slurs at me and draw me out is beneath my contempt and not worthy of the dignity of further response from me. I do not seek your respect - from what I can see of how you express yourself here, you don't know the meaning of the word anyway.

John-san:
Welcome to the forum! I am interested in hearing more of your views on Tai Chi - and it's relationship to Uechi-ryu. I learned the yang style short form last year and am currently exploring the form further and find many complementary aspects between the two styles. I am however just a beginner in Tai Chi and would like to hear comments from someone else exploring these two styles.

Peace,
Lori


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