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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 1999 2:31 pm 
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So you wanted to start the thread again from the top? Done. 60 posts does get to be way too much to get through.

I do have some (rather obvious) comments to make about "sensitive" grapplers (NOT sensitive in the way that the women prefer).

First, the name "judo" means gentle way. The description is built into the name.
Second, I too have seen these sensitivity drills in grappling arts. A local "zen judo" rokudan has used me as an uke on occasion for demonstrations. He's not very large at all, and eschews "athleticism" as a necessary component of his art. Sometimes when I know what he's going to demonstrate on me, he still surprises me. In one simple exercise he does (sort of the equivalent of our arm rubbing), two people face each other diagonally in shallow stances and clasp hands. The goal is to get the other off balance. He is so good with this, in spite of his modest size and strength, that it can be exasperating.

Finally, I can remember my days of working with Clyde Takaguchi, an aikido artist. Clyde loved to get folks from all different kinds of arts in his classes. Instead of being threatened by the broad array of talent around him, he found it energizing. One day a really bright artist came to Clyde asking him about the "practical" use of a particular throw. He pointed out how easily he could foil his tori. Clyde took this person and then subsequently me and demonstrated how quickly he could "read" a person from the slightest movement. Yes, Clyde could make it work with shocking ease. And yes, Clyde is not that large a man.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 1999 3:54 am 
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Scaramouche:


Are you sure that you are not a curmudgeon?
Image

Perhaps you could condense your own thoughts on exactly what defines internal/external. You seemed particularly adept at critiquing what they are Not or in articulating countervailing points.

It still seems we are further along with the points that the external arts actually contain internal aspects, and vice versa, than a really concise, cogent concenus on what defines them.


JohnC


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 1999 6:47 am 
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Oh boy, here we go again.
Bill Sensei, my understanding of the translation of Judo is that Ju represents yielding rather than gentle. When I played Judo (as a live dummy for the F.S.U. team) it certainly wasn't gentle. I have seen wonderful Judoka in person, on the tatemi, and in videos and I think achieving a high level of "gentleness" is everyones dream but few people realize that level - not to say that they aren't great, just that if they can pick you up and throw you out the window they'll do it. Why should they be gentle with someone who poses no real threat? Same in our art and Wing Chun. Strategy of choice if you are superior to an opponent in whatever dimensions happen to be relevant at the moment is direct frontal assault. My opinion is that redirection of energy becomes interesting to the extent that the opponent is much stronger in a given position and you would end up giving too much ground or eating the technique if you didn't redirect.
Back to internal/external. Scholars in the arts define this as an illusory dichotomy. If an assailant stands in front of a master of younameit and strikes with preemptive savage unrelenting force I would predict that you will see virtually no difference between any of the ukes relative to technique after perhaps the first or possibly second blow. You will see a difference in fighting spirit perhaps or certainly physical attributes, but I doubt technique.
Wing Chun is considered a soft art with elements of hard and soft in the armamentarium. If you analyze the 28 "hands" of WC and similarly look at a palm heel deflection/circle block in all of the permutations available, eg, up/down,forward/backward, etc. - it's all there. Does that mean WC is "half hard/half soft" or "hard within soft" or that Uechi Ryu is a soft art? I think it means that both hurt when they hit you and that an advanced practitioner will hurt more than a beginner. Why, because they are relaxed ("sung" not soft), and when they hit as a consequence of exquisite self control and makiwara or iron palm training it's going to be hard and hurt. But for that matter, an angry farmer might get out of his pickup and "snatch" someone out of the window of their car and give them a hiding for some real or imagined insult. Does that mean that they practice "internal" or "external" agriculture? Nope, just that they're used to fighting, mean, strong, and don't take no lip.
Sorry, it's late and I'm raving! In all seriousness these are very difficult concepts to come to grips with. Steve Diorio and I are working on an article about this subject and believe me, we're working overtime to say something worth reading!!!
Oh, one last rave...re: sensitive grappling, Matt Furey who has an interesting web site called I believe, Combat Wrestling, addressed this issue with a good discussion of "pummeling" and the fact that a wrestlers dream is a tense stiff opponent, to wit, what would you rather pick up - a 200 lb. barbell or a 200 lb. blob of ooze.

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Good training,
David


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 1999 2:29 pm 
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David

Boy there sure is some serious misunderstandings going on. At least I know you aren't a jerk Image

Yes, go and ju have MANY different meanings, depending on the context. And the words we use in English may or may not give an exact translation. So when I say go vs. ju, I may mean hard vs soft, forcing vs yielding, aggressive vs gentle, etc, etc. If you were in class with me the other day (several Saturdays ago), you would know that I am on track.

We were teaching some beginners a rolling break fall, and some wanted to know why they couldn't just do the traditional aikido roll. So....I grabbed the questioning student and I.... No, I wasn't being mean, but I demonstrated the classic jodo shoulder throw. "Ooooohhhh", he says as he peels himself off the floor like Wile Coyote.

But then I digressed a bit and showed the students how the shoulder throw is not a "strength" technique when done properly. There's this 250 + pound student in our class who COULD just pick you up and slam you down or throw you out a window. But what I do (because I'm basically lazy) is that I undercut the center of gravity. By stepping, turning, and crouching while pulling on the arm/shoulder, I do not have to lift the person at all. All I am doing is rotating them in space. THIS is what I mean by gentle (soft, yielding, whatever) way. Just because I am lazy (I like to call it "smart" or "skilled") in how I apply the technique doesn't mean I don't put a real hurt on the person when they slam down on the ground. By the time they are back-facing-ground, I have the option of "helping" gravity do the rest of its work. Ouch!!

No, David, no girlie men in OUR manly dojo! See how firm MY wrist is?

Bill Machoman Glasheen


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 1999 6:49 pm 
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I think the key to this discussion is what exactly the definition of the word "aren't" is. If you mean I'm not a jerk at this moment or at perhaps some time removed or some where in between. For instance, was I a jerk last year, but now have seen the folly of my ways and no longer engage in jerky behavior? Or, maybe I'm known historically to be a jerk and at this precious moment have redeemed myself once and forever with an heroic posting.
All kidding aside, I think we're reading out of the same book on the Go/Ju bit. And I really do appreciate the distinction. Do you have Mifune Sensei's (I think that's the persons name) Judo video? If not let me know and I'll cut one for you. It's a classic of this little old man, as he is both, tossing people around like rag dolls. Another wonderful video is Dr. Xie's Chin Na, another art, same stuff. Sifu Tim Cartmell has a great video and book titled "Effortless Combat Throws" which illustrates the same dynamics you were addressing with your class.
My argument is that focus upon the "Ju" aspect of technique, training, and strategy, has the potential (witness schools of the so-called soft arts that are obsessively focused upon "Ju" or simply more oriented to health and self healing than fighting) to serve as a hypnotic to the realities of the rest of the spectrum of energy of which the far end of the other side would be pure "Go."
To that end, I salute the banner of Chou Tzu Ho/Uechi-Ryu, the iron fist in the velvet glove!
Respectfully and ambivalently,
David "my brain is soft, but my shoken is hard" Elkins

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Good training,
David


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 1999 10:42 pm 
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J.D.

I'm not going to touch that one. Errr....never mind.

David

If you've got good videos to send, please do. I'll send $.

Bill
glasheen@uechi-ryu.com


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 1999 3:22 am 
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David E.:

Small world. The Tallahassee Judo Club(TJC) trains out of our Uechi dojo. Many of the players are from the F.S.U. club as well. Did you know Bobby F. sensei? He leads TJC, along with help from George sensei.

A note of pride is that B. Olson, Olympian, trained out of the TJC many years ago before he headed to Colorado. I believe he was the first American to win an Olympic match.

I would agree with you, at least as practiced by this group, that gentle is not a particular adjective of what happens to the uke. I think the gentle aspect is it's difference from jujitsu where killing moves were more pronounced.

What I see out of the top players is an elegance of quickness, capturing space, breaking balance, great forethought and anticipation, yes, sensitivity to feel the moves and energy of the uke, leverage and technique to send someone across the dojo or pin them without necessarily a whole lot of "muscling", although there is some of that to be sure.



JohnC


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 1999 9:55 pm 
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John C has asked me to post my own beliefs of what makes something internal or external, so to the best of my ability, here goes...

First off, when I don't understand something, I try to not have a strong opinion about it. If I am not informed about a political issue, for example, I try not to have a strong opinion based on the words of some charismatic leader, or based party on some ideology. It can be hard to live with one's own ignorance, but I find that it is the easiest thing for me. Bearing this in mind, I don't have a strong opinion on what constitutes "internal" or "external."

At this point in time I tend to regard "internal" arts as those with a major focus on training that has similar methods and ends to some of the esoteric types of yoga. I believe that heavily internal schools tend to focus on generating, manipulating, sealing, and focusing esoteric energies (chi, ki, prana, etc), and directing it along with physical movements that are heavily practiced in coordination with yogic-like breathing, body control and coordination, often done very slowly.

Obviously, some Karate styles do this sort of thing. Sanchin (I believe) coordinates internal power through very controlled breathing, developing yogic-like muscle control and coordination, and focuses internal energies in particular parts of the body. I have heard that different Karate styles focus this generated energy in differnt places, based on the prefernces of the style.

More clearly "external" arts (like boxing) also focus heavily on body mechanics, balance, and to a degree breathing, but yoga-like methods such as training very slowly and with very directed tensions are generally absent from boxing, and breathing techniques tends to be much less sophisticated. The mystical aspects found in Muay Thai and some Filipino arts tend to not be yoga-like in nature, but tend to be based more on the manipulation of magical symbols or appeals to external supernaural forces. As with boxing, body mechanics, balance, and breathing tend are very important in these styles, even when they are not taught within an esoteric framework.

I'd say that the more an art trains like yoga, and the more it deals with esoteric energies, the more likely it is to be internal. I believe that a person can practice the external techniques of an art a predecessor once taught as an internal art, and if they don't understand the internal background of an art, and don't teach the yoga-like underlying methods, they may be pretty-much practicing an external art even if they think their art is internal.

This is largely speculation on my part though. The arts I study (as far as I know on my level), don't tend to look at themselves withing an internal/external context.

Scaramouche


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 1999 4:17 am 
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John C.,
Hi there! Are you back to your Uechi training? I assume that your back is better - great!
I'm afraid I don't know any of the names you mentioned. I trained with that group close to thirty years ago!!! My tenure was also fairly short lived secondary to a massive groin tear.
I've done some Judo here and there since then but never very concentrated.
Hope you are well and enjoying your training.
David


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 1999 12:18 pm 
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To be "concise" All Arts strive to use the least effort to deliver the most pain. Thus we may still be as effective into or latter years.

Internal / External methods are the just the approach...Learning the basics of Timing, Distance and Physics, is the true core.

Evan Pantazi


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 1999 4:11 pm 
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Get this:

I attended a Tai Chi Gim (straight sword) seminar yesterday and mentioned that the Students after the "BA FA" classes were not real communicative (she had dropped out)or "garrulous" (sociable?).

Her answer was "Well, this is an Internal Art, so everyone is pretty well into themselves"

"OK", I said.

Words actually failed me. I can certainly see where some of our forum brthren get their negative views about T.C. "players" if this is at all indicative.

Fortunatley, it does not seem to be.

JOHNT.



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 1999 8:02 pm 
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Bill Sensei:

My morning post was a bit hurried so It was not made clear that this was the comment of just one female "student" I met in the "Ba Fa" evening class.

Her other quotable:

"Can you imagine doing this in bare feet".

Fortunatley Sifu and Master Heung are far from being "dilletantes".

Sifu understands my Uechi background as he first studied Uechi.

Master Heung doesn't know I exist.

Other than that I agree with the sentiment about keeping things to myself.

JOHNT



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 1999 3:54 am 
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David E:

As far as the back problem, it's a long story ..., but I am back training Uechi. Thanks for asking.

Things are progressing - email me at gojohn5@yahoo.com. I'd like to hear more about God's country(Oregon-right?).


Scaramouche:

Some interesting points.


JohnC




[This message has been edited by JohnC (edited 02-01-99).]


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 1999 5:21 am 
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John

I got many of the same kinds of comments when I did T'ai Chi back about 15 years ago. As an outsider it was very easy for me to see how downright narrow-minded and even uninformed (to put it EXTREMELY kindly) some remarks and comments were. Often I would keep my background to myself so that the TC-sters would speak freely. Some certainly did not reflect well upon themselves. Fortunately there were always a rare few who actually knew what they were doing (and knew what they did not know). These folks communicated with an open mind and demonstrated abilities which could not be questioned.

I've been meditating about this phenomenon for awhile now, especially since the invasion of a SMALL clan in the taiji and "internal arts" community. I've been wondering if maybe there might be a bit of overcompensation from some. Is taiji a "manly" art? Are some insecure with the perceptions that others have of them? Is "soft" a bad word for manly men?? Is this loud vocalization (from a minority) of "what is right" and "who can find their asses with their hands" and "power (tm) that only I know but can't describe to you" perhaps merely a self esteem issue of a few? Is this an unfunny (?) Rodney Dangerfield phenomenon?

To be fair, I have seen this phenomenon in EVERY art I studied. There are always a few that think their instructor or style or clan walk on water and everyone else is wasting their time. Again, I sometimes keep my mouth shut when approaching these groups just to get the unedited version. On occasion I've revealed my background after I've given someone enough time to make an *** of themselves. I love the look on the face afterwards!

And to be fair....WE sometimes make others see us the same way. Fortunately the concise nature of our style and the number of bright people who practice makes bridging over into other worlds more possible. I think most styles benefit greatly from outside influence - if only to understand that you don't fight yourself in "the battle". Narrow-minded, sheltered, and incestuous practice can produce disasterous results.

Bill

[This message has been edited by Bill Glasheen (edited 02-01-99).]


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