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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 1998 9:25 pm 
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Mike

I have "a little" bit of experience in Uechi ryu. The Uechi style, by the way, is not my first martial art. And just as I make a good research engineer and scientist because I started in liberal arts, so I think I make a better Uechi practitioner than I might otherwise be because I started from the outside and worked my way in.

By the way, I have "a little" bit of Shinjo-ryu influence in my Uechi ryu through one of my previous instructors (David Finkelstein) and several peers who live near me and work out with me from time to time. I have great respect for master Shinjo. However I will tell you something that we often use here where I work. I have a management/research position at Trigon Blue Cross Blue Shield. There are about 50 or so independent Blue Cross Blue Shield plans. We have a saying here - if you've seen one Blue Cross plan, you've seen one Blue Cross plan. From what I know of the Uechi vs Shinjo vs Tomoyose lines vs what I have seen from the area that Kanbun studied, I can safely say that you got one very narrow view of our style. No big deal and no insult meant. Good thing you studied from someone of consequence! But Shinjo is Shinjo. If you ever walked into Nakamatsu's dojo down the road, I can tell you you'd think it was a different style. If you ever learned from Uechi Kanei, I can tell you that you'd wonder what the heck Shinjo Seiyu was doing. And if you ever saw what it was that Kanbun learned, you'd definitely know that Okinawa is Okinawa and everyone else does something different. No big deal. But don't judge Uechi ryu from your very good but quite narrow experience.

And I studied "a very little" bit of Yang-style Tai Chi. Did the "short form" for a few years and actually taught it for a while. I've done a bit of push hands. I've also done and taught some aikido. I have seen and heard some of both the comments and attitudes that you conveyed. Nothing new to me there. One thing that I know for a fact is that the crappy language (poor translation) that most in the taiji community use does a great disservice to the style. No wonder to me that most do not understand what practitioners are talking about if they haven't experienced it. I agree that there's something special here, but I've never seen it as being extraordinary or incompatible with what I've seen among "some" in the Uechiryu community. You should reserve your comments until you have met some of the gentlemen (Mott, Campbell, etc) that frequent our style. If I'm not mistaken Mr. Campbell has more years in practice of Chinese systems and actual time in China than many have who claim to be "experts". And he also happens to do "a little" bit of Uechi ryu. I find the boundaries that many suggest to be arbitrary, inaccurate, and irrelevant.

I have a doctorate in biomedical engineering. Obviously some of my western biases show. But that isn't all bad. If only YOU could have been a fly on the wall to some discussions we have had in our community. Do not judge so quickly, Mr. Sigman.

So....are you still there? Wanna continue and try something constructive? I think I know where you are coming from, and would like to bring the dialogue along a little more.

And there is always camp. We have quite the eclectic crowd there every year. There are usually at least a dozen or so from mainland China at every camp - enough to whet your eastern whistle even if it isn't strictly Chen-style taiji.

I await your reply.

Sincerely
Bill

P.S. I understand a little about your consternation. While you were NOT a consummate diplomat in your discussion, I do read some of your comments as having no ill intent and yet being horribly misunderstood. Once the ball gets rolling in the wrong direction in these discussions though, you never get the benefit of the doubt. And you do have a point about being "dragged" into a public discussion. But....here we are. Let's see if we can go somewhere with it, OK?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 1998 9:40 pm 
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Please....before anyone else posts in this thread, please read J.D.'s piece on decorum. Thanks.

And yes, I can micturate them off with the best of them, folks. I'm no Henry Kissinger!

[This message has been edited by Bill Glasheen (edited 12-28-98).]


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 1998 10:56 pm 
Bill writes:

(snip peripherals)

OK. Let me give a quick statement so you'll know where some of my too-blunt diplomacy comes from.

Granted there is a certain amount of almost *required* gamesmanship in many martial discussions, maybe I should stipulate that my inclination is to always avoid the ritual, pomp, role-playing, pecking-order, etc., and cut right to the interesting part: How To Do Something Useful. I am interested in the arts, not the teachers, not the organizations, not the whacko's,... nothing but the chase. I will not brag to anyone and I will only tolerate a small amount of brags by other people before I lose interest. I enjoy martial artists who are truly enthusiastic and working on their art; I avoid people who use their martial art as a social artifice or to compensate for real or imagined deficiencies. :^) Fair enough?
****************************************
I have great respect for master Shinjo. However I
will tell you something that we often use here where I work. I have a
management/research position at Trigon Blue Cross Blue Shield. There are about 50 or
so independent Blue Cross Blue Shield plans. We have a saying here - if you've seen
one Blue Cross plan, you've seen one Blue Cross plan. From what I know of the Uechi
vs Shinjo vs Tomoyose lines vs what I have seen from the area that Kanbun studied, I
can safely say that you got one very narrow view of our style. No big deal and no
insult meant. Good thing you studied from someone of consequence! But Shinjo is
Shinjo. If you ever walked into Nakamatsu's dojo down the road, I can tell you you'd
think it was a different style.
**************************************

OK. These things go without saying and I don't argue or care, rest assured. I don't take offense in arguments of topic, BTW, only when they get personal. Say anything you want to make a point in discussion without worrying about giving offense.

***********************************
But don't judge Uechi ryu from your very good
but quite narrow experience.
***************************************

Well, would you accept the position that my experience covers a lot of years and therefore I've viewed and participated in many things? In other words I don't think you make a good point stressing my narrow view, even though I see your point. It's just not the case.

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

And I studied "a very little" bit of Yang-style Tai Chi. Did the "short form" for a few
years and actually taught it for a while. I've done a bit of push hands. I've also done
and taught some aikido. I have seen and heard some of both the comments and
attitudes that you conveyed. Nothing new to me there.
****************************************
This is probably where I would take a stand. The overwhelming amount of Taiji and Aikido is simply done using a normal mode of strength. Yet there are plenty of giveaways in the available writings, if you have nothing else, that such should not be the case. In other words, you're saying you know Taiji and Aikido, and, based on my wide experience, I'd be *willing to make a bet* (this is a phrase I use to entice people to look just under the pretext of giving them a chance to show me as wrong) that you don't really know how to use the peculiar form of strength associated with Taiji and Aikido. Would you make that bet? Are you sure that you understand that form and strength and you can demonstrate it? This is the key to where the discussions are going wrong on this list... too many of the people seem to be completely sure that they know what I'm saying and they're rejecting it without saying what any of us on the Neijia list would say, "I don't think so, but maybe it's worth a look". :^)

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

I agree that there's something special here, but I've never seen it as being extraordinary or
incompatible with what I've seen among "some" in the Uechiryu community.
**********************************

Again, this is the crux of the matter. I'd suggest that given what Taiji and Aikido you've seen there IS no difference, just as you state. I agree completely. What I'm saying is that most of the available Taiji and Aikido is simply external movement and technique which varies but little from the form of strength that you'd use in Uechi. I don't quarrel at all that what you've seen is consequentially no different in all probability.
***************************************

You should
reserve your comments until you have met some of the gentlemen (Mott, Campbell,
etc) that frequent our style. If I'm not mistaken Mr. Campbell has more years in
practice of Chinese systems and actual time in China than many have who claim to be
"experts". And he also happens to do "a little" bit of Uechi ryu. I find the boundaries
that many suggest to be arbitrary, inaccurate, and irrelevant.
****************************************

OK, fine. You've seen my argument. I specialize in this form of strength and I'm aware how uncommon it is, even in China. You're suggesting that people you know must know some of it and I'm suggesting that it's improbable, based on my experience with Uechi and other external martial arts. That's the discussion as it stands, wouldn't you agree?

And of course, the obverse of your caution is that your style and the style of the above-named gentlemen is Uechi-Ryu, derived from elements of southern Shaolin. What I do is Taiji, Xingyi, Bagua, etc., and I've focused on those things for a number of years. I don't teach. I don't have an organization. I don't even have my own webpage. I do give workshops around the world, but those are simply to show enthusiasts how to do unusual and powerful things, as they originally were looking for when they came into the internal arts… but I only do workshops when I feel like it; I don't do them for a living. So I take your admonition that I should meet some of these gentlemen, and if I saw conversation that led me to believe they knew and were interested in the internal martial arts, I might make the effort. I might suggest that next year they go see one of the Chen-style big dogs like Chen Zheng Lei, Chen You Ze, Chen Xiao Wang, etc., etc. It might be something new for them. Honest.

*******************************************
Do not judge so quickly, Mr. Sigman.
***************************************

Well, we have a saying on the Neijia list. IHTBS... which means "It Has To Be Shown". Of course, with my pixieish sense of humor, when I run into a person or group who is absolutely sure that they have a grip on what internal strength means, I like to make small wagers just for fun. I've been through this before and one of the things I'm trying to get some of you to do is *consider* the possibility that there might be something you haven't encountered before and that you can't just analyze and dismiss things based on the terms that you hear. :^) So no… I don't fully make offhand judgements based simply on some egomaniacal belief that I am a genius and know all about the martial arts. I always take a look, if something appears to be promising.

So.... back to square one. Just consider this post from the point of view that my intentions are basically good.

Second, consider that I may possibly know something about this (not claiming to be the world's expert) and that I indeed know and understand (and largely agree) when you say that most styles have great commonalities at core. I can show this unusual way of doing things fairly quickly and I have worked with some instructor-level people in your organization; they do indeed utilize what would be considered an external mode of power.

IF, you will consider that those things MAY be true in my argument, then you will see that I simply gave the best possible advice… the tools of Taiji may not be of any particular help to people doing Uechi Ryu because the mode of strength is different. You have to accept that I may be telling you the truth and was simply telling you that you'd be doing the same thing as the Aikido that is done with nominally the same techniques and strategies as O-Sensei's Aikido, but without the core strength that is unique to that art.


Lastly, in response to Dr. X's commentary, let me simply say that the mode of internal strength involves learning to manipulate a ground vector strength as opposed to making yourself a solid platform and using normal power. The problems with ANY description though will boil down to someone interpretting that description as "Oh, we do that, too". In other words, It Has To Be Shown. But once you learn how to do this thing, such phrases as "use your dantien", "sink your qi", "use the mind intent", etc., become obvious directions in this kind of strength and not vaguely reassuring catchphrases.

I hope that I've been helpfully clear.

Regards,

Mike Sigman


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 1998 12:22 am 
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Mike

You have been both a gentleman and eloquently clear. Good place to start.

We could go on and on forever about who does what and who is "external" (BAAAD) vs "internal" (GOOOOD) and all that other stuff (never mind the fact that the terms aren't properly defined in the English language). When you start saying things like "Uechi and other external martial arts", you get into the presumption and stereotype game. That's not going to bring us anywhere, just as you find fault with those who you think presume they know what you speak of. Let's strip the names of the styles from the discussion and get to the core. And to be honest, I can't really tell you WHAT I practice these days anyway.

Let's work with what you presented:

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

....the mode of internal strength involves learning to manipulate a ground vector strength as opposed to making yourself a solid platform and using normal power. The problems with ANY description though will boil down to someone interpretting that description as "Oh, we do that, too". In other words, It Has To Be Shown. But once you learn how to do this thing, such phrases as "use your dantien", "sink your qi", "use the mind intent", etc., become obvious directions in this kind of strength and not vaguely reassuring catchphrases.

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

O.K. This is a great start.

Now I will tell you that my western engineering and medicine background makes me look for precise terminology. I find it sorely lacking in most of martial arts. For years I have learned in the martial arts community while also being trained in engineering, math, and medicine. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to strangle/slap/shake martial arts instructors (including instructors of "The Big Three") for stupid language. Quite frankly I think that there are many in China who probably speak quite precisely and accurately about the phenomena, even if the paradigm(s) is/are different. However there aren't that many people that speak both languages well, and even fewer who are good practitioners of "The Big Three" styles that you speak of. So it is my opinion (yet proven or disproven) that the language is "out there" for those of us who speak English and understand the human body a little differently. And after all, I do recall you saying it isn't outside the bounds of physics as we understand it, right? So...maybe we can narrow that gap between communcation/understanding and experience. I think the art deserves it.

I am not slamming "your" art or martial arts per se. Most physicians know that a fibrillating heart looks like a bag of irate worms, but few can explain what is happening. So we are left with a description of worms in our chest. Death by any other name, but not something you can hang a hat on.

If you want to say that I believe the phrases you use above are "vaguely reassuring catchphrases", I say "Guilty as charged." This is exactly the kind of fluffy, granola-head language (don't ask me what I really think) that makes us all argue outside the practice floor. Yes, I have heard the phrases before, and I have some small sense of understanding and recognition. I am not one of the great Chen masters, but is it that hard to believe that I might possibly recognize the phenomena? Yes, I am a kindergartner when it comes to some in the "internal" (whatever that means) arts, but my kindergartner son can read a little and do arithmetic. Most people get jobs in this country with little more, and USE those skills with little more ability.

Enough already, Mike. I'm ranting.

What would you say if you walked into my school and heard me using expressions like "project from your center of mass", "absorb the energy and trigger the neuromuscular reflexes", and "tap into your programmed (e.g. synaptic constructs) sensory responses"? Would you find these expressions familiar? Must you insist that I can't possibly know your knowledge? Are we really THAT far apart, even if I don't care to use the "c" or "q" word?

And by the way, there are many in our Uechi (whatever that means) community who care to debate me on the existence of qi. As it turns out, we have a qigong practitioner coming to our camp next August to show some interesting abilities. He has quite a few "fans" already in our circles. And he will be meeting another who does not know him but is a 7th dan in our system and a big qigong/qi fan (who practices in Hong Kong). You can bet I'll be there to "experience" it.

And I would love an invitation to visit some who you respect.

Can we continue?

I'll catch your response tomorrow moring.

Sincerely
Bill

P.S. This doesn't need to be the Mike and Bill show. I would prefer to think that this isn't a binary discussion. I know there are more than a few who are interested in this.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 1998 1:41 am 
Bill writes:

We could go on and on forever about who does what and who is "external" (BAAAD) vs
"internal" (GOOOOD) and all that other stuff (never mind the fact that the terms aren't
properly defined in the English language).

*********************************************
Actually, that's a curious phenomenon that I have never been involved in. Two me there are these two divisions and there is no connotation. I have never understood why some people insist that "we are internal too". It's part of the politics that people go of into as a tangent.
*********************************************

When you start saying things like "Uechi and
other external martial arts", you get into the presumption and stereotype game.
***********************************

OK. Uechi Ryu is purely derived from Shaolin art. It is not and the parent arts are not what is classified as an internal arts. There ARE bona fide classifications, BTW. It does not use the movement mode of the internal arts like Xingyi, Taiji, Dabeiquan, Liu He Ba Fa, I Chuan, etc., etc., but instead uses the spring-tension mode (read Sanchin) of a number of the southern Shaolin styles. That's factual. Can you rebutt it?


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


So it is my opinion (yet proven or disproven) that the language is "out there"
for those of us who speak English and understand the human body a little differently.
And after all, I do recall you saying it isn't outside the bounds of physics as we
understand it, right? So...maybe we can narrow that gap between
communcation/understanding and experience. I think the art deserves it.

but is it that hard to believe that I might possibly recognize the phenomena? Yes, I am
a kindergartner when it comes to some in the "internal" (whatever that means) arts,
but my kindergartner son can read a little and do arithmetic. Most people get jobs in
this country with little more, and USE those skills with little more ability.


What would you say if you walked into my school and heard me using expressions like
"project from your center of mass", "absorb the energy and trigger the neuromuscular
reflexes", and "tap into your programmed (e.g. synaptic constructs) sensory
responses"? Would you find these expressions familiar? Must you insist that I can't
possibly know your knowledge? Are we really THAT far apart, even if I don't care to
use the "c" or "q" word?
******************************************

No offense, but I would surmise from your commentary (and others on this list) that you do not know what I am talking about. If you did, we would have reached a commonality of description almost immediately. Please bear in mind that I can demonstrate this quite easily (how to do this thing). I'll make a brief stab at an off-the-cuff description and see if it gives a vague idea of what I'm getting at:

Imagine a primitive porter holding a bundle on his head. The load is being held by essentially the structural support of the ground (let's call it "ground path" for this discussion). The only muscular effort is that which is needed to keep the skeletal structure aligned beneath the load. In fact, the porter can wriggle his hips, knees, etc., and still keep the load feeling the solidity of the ground beneath it. If more muscle were added to the neck, back, hips, etc., then the free flow of the ground would be replaced by a "structure" as opposed to the freely flowing ground path. I hope that works for rough terminology and a sketch of the general situation.

Now if I can take this free-flowing ground path and bring it out to my hands, I would have a relaxed but very powerful force which I could utilize. If I found clever body mechanics to store and release this solid power or to do more intricate movements, then I would have a very powerful force that requires little effort to produce. It would be a very useful skill. Generally I direct and manipulate this flow of ground power with a deliberate use of the body middle. The middle is the only real place to manipulate the ground path and the power of the torso muscles is far greater than the muscles of the arms, shoulders, etc.

This is a way-oversimplification and does not begin to list the subskills involved, but it may give you an idea of the completely different skill involved in the internal martial arts. Taiji, Xingyi, Bagua, etc., all base their cores around this type of strength. The external martial arts do not. And again, I point out to you that it is easy to learn the choreography and techniques of the internal martial arts and yet never learn how to do this core strength.

Does this give an idea of what goes on?

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

And by the way, there are many in our Uechi (whatever that means) community who
care to debate me on the existence of qi. As it turns out, we have a qigong
practitioner coming to our camp next August to show some interesting abilities. He has
quite a few "fans" already in our circles. And he will be meeting another who does not
know him but is a 7th dan in our system and a big qigong/qi fan (who practices in
Hong Kong). You can bet I'll be there to "experience" it.

who are interested in this.

*************************************
"Qi" is a generic word:

· If you forgot to eat breakfast and you run out of energy, you can be said to "have no qi".

· A child who eats a good breakfast of course will have good food qi, or "have plenty of Qi".

· Some children are naturally more energetic than others will have "good hereditary qi" or simply "strong qi".

· If you are strong it is because you have strong qi.

· If you have good stamina you have "strong qi".

· If you recover quickly from disease, i.e., your immune system is functioning well, you have "strong qi".

· If you are stiff and cold, a little exercise will soon "get the qi flowing".

· If you did not get enough sleep the night before, the weariness is due to a "lack of qi".

· Motion is derived from qi; so many forms of motion are generally referred to as "qi". A karate or shaolin strike may be said to be "hard qi", while a physical push or strike in Tai Chi (Taiji), Aikido, etc., may be said to use "soft qi" (this is the kind of qi we will be looking at in this book).

· If you push a door with your outstretched hand and the force comes from your legs pushing the body forward, you are roughly said to have "kept your qi sunk".

· If your back or leg is giving you problems and your upper body becomes tense as a method of compensating, your "qi rises". Tension to the upper body is referred to as "qi rises" in many situations.

· If you get excited and tense your "qi rises". If your face gets red, it is because your "qi rises".

· Specialized breathing exercises done while expanding and contracting parts of the body, and particularly the muscular areas that sheath the body, can condition those areas of the body and "imbue them with qi".

If your body posture is correctly aligned in preparation to push something, you "have qi". You need muscle to push along that alignment, of course, so the "qi must be there or there is no strength" differentiates from the case where you simply use muscle and not good alignment with your power.

Sorry to be so long. I cut that out of something else I'd written. Yes, there is qi, but many times it is simply something we already know about.

In terms of the thing you have going this summer, I made a brief comment on another thread, but Doctor X said he already knew and had handled everything that I'd said, so I'll let it go. One pertinent observation is that Mooney is demonstrating what is more correctly called the wai qi or emitted qi. He is not showing Lin Kong Jin which implies controlling from a distance. If he could really do Lin Kong Jin then he should be able to stop a physical attack on him by a determined volunteer (you might ask him if you could try it out).

Lin Kong Jin originally simply meant that you made a clever feint that the opponent reacted to. It was never meant to be part of the Qi stuff; that's a distortion that comes from southern China.

If you have to get into a quiet position and expectantly wait for something to happen, it is simply someone using emitted qi, which can be taught to most people fairly quickly and which often/usually contains some aspects of suggestibility.


So back to the topic at hand. The way I described, I can show and demonstrate really interesting power using the mechanically efficient mode. It is the mode of the internal arts. Would you agree that there is a question about whether people in Uechi utilize this unusual skill?

Regards,

Mike Sigman


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 1998 3:43 am 
I have to agree with Bill with regards to the terminology. I am trying to avoid a long lecture
on mythological paradigms that attempt to create fantastic properties that do not exist at
worse or obscure basic principles at best.

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

I'm not sure what you're saying here. "Qi" is a paradigm, but it encompasses a number of western phenomena. It is not mythological. "Qi" generally refers to any life-related phenomena, especially energy, stamina, and movement.

Not all foreign words follow our precise definitions, but that does not make them mythological. If you are talking about how many westerners interpret qi, it is indeed distorted, but you can't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

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

Basically, whatever someone does or intends finds its foundation on physiology. One of the
most fascinating areas of "mind" is the realization that, ultimately, everything is based on
neurons and their chemicals. How does this happen? Similarly, whatever you want to call it,
movement requires muscles and bone with a competent nervous system. That is it. There is
no "secret" physiology. There is no "hidden" strength. Whatever happens, no matter how
extraordinary, is based on our physiology.

Right, that does not mean it is not extraordinary. It does not mean it is easy.
*************************************

Hmmmmmm. I thought that I made it clear I was simply talking about a skill. I don't think that I used the words "hidden" or "secret". The peculiar strength skill is called the "hidden strength of Taiji", but that means that it is not visible on the surface. It is also referred to as "Qi" in classical literature because it is a form of movement.
******************************************

No one believes that ventricular fibrilation involves worms!
**********************************

Whoa!!! Don't go insulting my belief system!! I hold VF worms dear.
*********************************

Therefore, I suggest that if Mike has a "unique" strength it is not "unique." Physiology is
physiology. As Bill will note, there is a veritable ton of research on this point--the
"eastern," "internal," and even the "chi-sters" operate according to physiology.

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

Everybody operates according to physiology. I'm not sure what the point here is. I'm referring to a *skill* and I say that skill is "unique" to the internal martial arts and that's not just an opinion of mine; it's fairly common among well-trained internalists.
********************************

Nevertheless, Mike may use his muscles differently. This, I think, is a point worth
discussing. However, it is possible that others use the same physiology, even if they do not
share the mythos.
************************************

I believe in an earlier post I referred to re-patterning the body coordination, so I don't see any disagreement. It is possible others use this skill, but it's more complex than you think, so the probability is quite low. The saying is that "the strength of Taiji is not intuitive, it must be taught".

And as always, I leave open the possibility that I don't know everything in the world, despite my powerful keyboard, so I'm willing and ready to have someone show me where I'm wrong. That's how I learn.

Regards,

Mike Sigman


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 1998 6:11 pm 
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Hi, Mike

I think we are onto something here.

I think I can feel comfortable with your personal understanding of qi and your language. Some time we should get you and Joe Bellone (a quigong practitioner) and I together for some discussions. Like you, Joe seems to understand that the foreign language of these "internal" arts is just another way of looking at something we all are comfortable with and familiar with. When these arts were first conceived, they did not have the understanding of anatomy and physiology that we have today. Nevertheless they knew what worked and what they felt. Consequently what we have is a description of an art - that many consider effective - that has a language based on their understanding of the body at that time. No wonder they would say in frustration "you've just got to experience it."

You've got to realize that J.D. (Dr X) and I have been talking with a crowd that professes a power that we can never understand or "get" because we have polluted our minds with western thought and our eyes aren't the right shape. I'm sure you've run across some of these insecure folks on various internet groups - I see lots of pointless flame wars going on in the kyusho and tuite forums.

By the way, I used to know these arts as tai chi, paqua, and shing I - seems the Americanized versions of these words have undergone a revision since my days with the Robert Smith gang (some 15 years ago). And thankfully you seem to have a better grip on why the styles are unique; at least your language shows some thought and experience and personal understanding.

But let's get down to business.

My hypothesis is that many of the phenomena and abilities you mention are independent of the art in which they are practiced. Whether you realize it or not, you have essentially stated the same thing when you say that most people from the "external" (whatever) arts who find a connection with taiji or aikido are not employing the energy source present in true Chen-style practice or what O-Sensei would demonstrate.

Now let me address a few specifics to see if we have some degree of common understanding.

You stated:

>>Uechi Ryu is purely derived from Shaolin art.

My response is that "purely" is too strong a word. Nevertheless most agree that the foundation is tiger-crane gung fu. But to be honest, most recent historical efforts points to Uechi Kanbun having been a part of a hybridizing process when he learned and practiced gung fu in Fuzhou during the Boxer Rebellion. And the system he brought back - consisting of only three very general forms - is quite flexible in its simplicity. I find that it manifests itself in many unique ways around the world. I witnessed a Uechi/taichi/paqua/shingI crowd in Virginia in the 1970s. I have seen many Uechi/aikido and Uechi/jiujitsu groups. There are more than a few Uechi practitioners who are into sport karate (like the Shinjo family). We've got a major Uechi/kyusho crowd brewing among us today via a connection with the Dillman group.

What I DO see is that someone studies Uechiryu in one place and assumes all people practice and view the style the same way. OF COURSE all the other idiots don't know what they are doing!! Sarcasm aside, this isn't the case. Whether they have assimilated any of the principles you speak of is - of course - another story.

You wrote:

>>> It does not use the movement mode of the internal arts like Xingyi, Taiji, Dabeiquan, Liu He Ba Fa, I Chuan, etc., etc., but instead uses the spring-tension mode (read Sanchin) of a number of the southern Shaolin styles.

Interesting that the only other person I have heard use the "spring-tension" description for sanchin is some obscure fellow with a Greek name from Edmonton Alberta who found it necessary to slam Uechiryu because he heard they described themselves as "half hard half soft". He worte up a whole article in Tai Chi magazine about it, and used "real logic" (and some pretty ridiculous charicatures of the sanchin stance) to "prove" that Uechi ryu could not be an internal art. Whatever. You might find the rebuttal letter by Dave Mott published in Tai Chi to be informative. If you cannot get a hold of it, I'm sure we could fax or e-mail you a copy. Dave's experience with taiji is far more extensive than mine.

Where do you get this "spring-tension" description? I have never heard it used among any Uechi instructors.

A proper sanchin stance should have "tension" in ONLY three areas: the muscles that hold the shoulder joint down, the muscles that maintain the integrity of the torso (including a pelvic tuck) so that energy can flow freely through the spine, and the muscles that keep the fingers and forearms firm. Every other part of the body is SUPPOSED to be as relaxed as is reasonably possible.

Quite frankly any stance must have "moderate" tension in at least two of these three areas (the torso and the shoulders) to effectively transfer energy from the ground to the arms in the manner you speak of. Otherwise these areas can dissipate what you generate from the legs.

The "tension" you may be familiar with is perhaps a bastardization of what many consider to be the standard. Yes, there are lots of demonstrations with people breaking furniture and playthings over bodies. And that "determined" look sometimes makes beginners use what I have heard called "false strength" in their sanchin. And - yes - I've seen the absolute worst examples of this on Okinawa. This is a very recent and unfortunate phenomenon. Fortunately it is not universal.

You write:

>> Imagine a primitive porter holding a bundle on his head... <<snip out some good stuff>> Generally I direct and manipulate this flow of ground power with a deliberate use of the body middle. The middle is the only real place to manipulate the ground path and the power of the torso muscles is far greater than the muscles of the arms, shoulders, etc.

I respond:

I LIKE IT!!!! YEEESSSSSS!!!

Once again, please get a copy of the letter to the editor written by Dave Mott. Maybe George can get Dave to send it to you directly via e-mail. George???

Some time my students ask me about weight training (not body building) as a supplement to their karate practice. Here are a few of the points that I make.

1) When possible, do free weight exercises, and do multiple muscle group exercises. The most important thing weight training can do - if you do it right - is to teach you how to use your body. Stay away from nautilus and machines except when doing special exercises (like hamstrings). These "isolation" exercises are good only for safety and convenience, and screw you up when it comes to generalizing the motions to true athletic feats.

2) THE most important weight exercise you can do for sanchin is a free weight squat. The classic squat teaches you how to use your body to tranfer force as a reaction against the floor through a properly alligned torso to the shoulders. The only thing you need to add to do a proper sanchin strike is to take that energy wave from the shoulders and send it through the ams and out the tips of the fingers.

When I teach sanchin, I explain that the arms are supposed to be like the hooks on a coat rack. The goal, I say, is to transfer energy received by the arms through the body and dissipate it via body rotation, translation, or "hard" through the floor when you want to be hard. I explain the "analogy" that the aikido folks use about visualizing water going through the arms that are like a hose. When the water flows through, the hose is firm and straight. I explain that it is much easier to maintain "firmness" by relaxing and being sensitive to the forces on you. The firmness in the arm is merely a means to an end of connecting the arms to the floor through the torso.

When I test a sanchin, I no longer spend a lot of time beating the s*** out of my students. Instead one of the critical tests I use is to push at the level of the center in several directions, and at varying tensions. I explain that Uechi Kanei could be immovable if he wanted to be, but a granite statue of Uechi Kanei in a perfect sanchin could be toppled by a child. The goal, I say, is to develop a "live', dynamic stance that is firm WHEN YOU WANT TO BE, and yielding via rotation, translation, flexing, etc WHEN YOU WANT TO BE.

I spend a lot of time explaining to practitioners of sanchin that the arm is NOT the source of power, but merely the delivery mechanism. One of the demos I like to do is one where I stand in sanchin and put my fully-extended (elbow locked) arm against a student's chest. Then with one middle-body heave, I send them flying. I stopped doing this exercise with palm against the chest because I accidentally hurt a few people with the movement. While I did not intend to injur, the point should be clear - the power comes from a "deliberate use of the body middle." (who was that famous person I just quoted??)

We spend a LOT of time on sticking-hand-like exercises (which I have choreographed). This, by the way, is southern Chinese, but more Wing-Chun-like than traditional Shaolin gung fu. To me, this is one area of the style that Kanbun observed that he never understood or "successfully" taught to his fellow Okinawans.

And finally, I refer you to sanseiryu kata. I have yet to hear how long you studied Uechi ryu and what kata you learned (and which you did not learn). Please convey this information. Anyhow there is a "leg grabbing" motion (just one of many applications) in a deep stance with hands in shoken. I have on more than one occasion viewed the pictures of Uechi Kanei doing this move (Uechi ryu karate do by George E. Mattson) right along side pictures of Chen Man Ching (??) doing a similar motion in Robert Smith's book on Tai Chi (don't have the book in front of me now). The only substantive differences I can see are that 1) Smith has all pictures in mirror image so that it is easier to learn from, 2) Uechi folks generally don't shift more than 50% of the weight onto the front leg - the shifting is smaller and more subtle, and 3) Uechi Kanei has his hands in shokens.

Interestingly enough, a superinpei form I recently learned from Fuzhou that MAY be the "lost" form Kanbun never taught has a movement that is almost a hybrid between the two. And this form has EVEN MORE emphasis on body middle movement via rotation, translation, vertical movement, and shifting of the center of mass.

Here are my personal opinions:

1) I agree with you that most who practice the big three in this country do not understand how to generate energy for the movements. But just as you said that you can walk through the movements without them having substance, so the substance can be applied elsewhere without the confines of a specific style.

2) There are remarkable similarities in the understandings I have conveyed and some of the understandings you have conveyed. Whether they are both a rose is another story.

3) Most do not practice any style long enough to learn the most substantive elements of it. In the beginning all people can do is give you the shell. The true substance comes with decades of practice. Heck, I can't even teach sanchin to the kids I teach, but I do teach them some general principles to get them started. You have to start SOMEWHERE. Most who quit before becoming master assume that the style is characterized by their juvenile understanding of it at the time they quit. The fallacy of that should be self-evident.

4) There is a whole spectrum of understanding of how Uechi and sanchin are to be praciticed and applied. It is not black and white. Yes, I agree that most practice an "external" (whatever) version of the style. But this is an easy starting point and it works for the young bucks. Over time, most practitioners learn that there is a better, more efficient way to do things. Any reasonably intelligent and lazy person (like myself) gravitates to the "smarter" way to do things. You can't help but do that if you stick with it long enough.

Sorry I was so long-winded. Thanks for the dialogue.

And I am not offended by the NO, YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND, just as long as you don't follow the phrase with a pejorative or don't back your claim up. You have done neither, and I compliment your demeanor and effort to this point.

And I am eager to learn what I don't know or understand.

Bill


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 1998 6:20 pm 
Reflecting on Dr. X's post(s), I felt like he was perhaps over-reacting to the whole qi notion (it's mainly overblown simply because it's misunderstood), but I went back and looked at the discussion sections to see if there was something I was missing. I spotted the death touch, kyusho, etc., forum and I realized why Dr. X (I hate pseudonyms, but not much I can say to the Romans when I'm in Rome).

I had forgotten the trendy association and "rediscovery" stuff that has been going on with "death touch", dim mak, dim xueh, tuite, etc., and I didn't realize that it had crept into Uechi as well.

If I'm allowed, let me slip in a couple of opinions on that, also.

First of all, as I indicated, "qi" means a number of things. Developing this odd form of strength I was referring to can be called developing qi. However, hard style martial arts also develop "qi". Without spending a lot of time going into the background, let me just note that "qi" in the way that is often used in martial literature refers to strength that is built around let us say "alignment potential".

In other words, the odd, soft strength of the so-called internal arts depends on the manipulation of the "ground path" I was talking about, but that ground path could also be called "alignment potential", in a general sense.

There is also alignment potential used in the external martial arts even though the method, structure, and usage is different from the internal arts. In both cases, as you get more skilled and conditioned, you "develop your qi". Withstanding heavy blows or striking in Shaolin (from which Uechi is derived) depends on having developed hard qi).

When I strike certain points of the body, I may be trying to "disrupt my opponent's qi" and to do so I "hit him with my qi". Two entirely separate things. When I strike with my qi, that refers to a trained and conditioned form of power, for all practical purposes.

In terms of disrupting someone else's qi, I'll let the good doctor handle that. I have never considered things like strikes to the carotid sinus, etc., as arguable proof of qi and the Traditional Chinese Medicine paradigm.

Jumpshifting... the idea of "emitted qi" is simply another facet and should not really be confused with the previous subject, yet it is, and that's a common error that comes about because of not recognizing that the concept of "qi" actually involves a number of facets which are not related except in vague general terms.

Dr. X balks completely at the idea of emitted qi and frankly I would too, except for the fact that in 3 of the many times I have encountered it, I was distracted and not in a mental position to have been greatly affected by suggestibility. Of course it could be argued that I WAS the victim of suggestibility and I would have to say then that someone has discovered some very powerful ways to overtake my mind and that in itself is worth a study. :^)

To cut it short, without describing the episodes, I'm left with the impression that rather than just reject the idea of emitted qi, we should just say "there may be something there, let's look at it". Some years back a study showed that some people are able to distinguish different colors with their skin... I would have said it was impossible, if asked. Even David Eisenberg, M.D., in his book "Encounters With Qi" acknowledged that he "felt something", even with his back turned, etc. He debunked a lot of stuff, too.

The reason I never pursued the emitted qi things too far (I can demonstrate and teach a good qigong to elicit the response, but I don't practice much)is simply because beyond an interesting effect/sensation, there doesn't seem to be much there. You cannot use it in a real fight. You cannot cure with it (perhaps, if placebo effect is allowed for, there may be some "healing").

So when great hordes of karateka begin mixing the idea of emitted qi and a misunderstanding of how the term "qi" is used in the striking portion of dim mak and how "qi" is used in TCM... yes, you get an enthusiasm, but it is, as Doctor X implies, not well founded at all.

Just a comment and an opinion, FWIW. I had not considered that Uechi Ryu would get involved in the current trends and Dillmania. :^)

Regards,

Mike Sigman


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 1998 6:58 pm 
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Mike

Interesting point. You're beginning to scare me with all this stuff that I agree with.

Make sure you don't miss the post I submitted almost simultaneously with yours (just before your last post).

Cheers.

Bill


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 1998 7:29 pm 
Bill wrote:

By the way, I used to know these arts as tai chi, paqua, and shing I - seems the
Americanized versions of these words have undergone a revision since my days with the
Robert Smith gang (some 15 years ago).

In the earlier days, the Wade-Giles system of romanization was used. Once China officially adopted the Pinyin system, things changed. It does some good in that a closer pronunciation is available to the casual reader. For instance, T'ai Chi was always supposed to be pronounced "ty jee", but people got confused with the ch and ch' that was used in Wade-Giles. Similarly, Pa Qua was always supposed to have been pronounced "Bah Gwah", but the romanization in Wade-Giles had many people (including supposed experts) saying "Pah Quah". :^)

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



>>Uechi Ryu is purely derived from Shaolin art.

My response is that "purely" is too strong a word.

I simply said derived. Of course when you say that you've seen groups that meld Aikido/Uechi, etc., I have to say that's not Uechi-Ryu anymore, it's something else. Coca-cola mixed with 7-up is not coca-cola, despite semantic quibbling, is it? :^) And if you remember my comments that MOST Aikido, Taiji, etc., seems to be externally focused on technique, strategy, etc., I don't see a very fruitful discussion down this path.

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


Where do you get this "spring-tension" description? I have never heard it used among any
Uechi instructors.


It is one of several descriptions of the sanchin stance that is used in some schools of Wing Chun, Southern Mantis, Southern White Crane, Tiger Crane, etc. I'm sure you're aware that some of these other styles even use the term Sanchin, BTW.
**********************



A proper sanchin stance should have "tension" in ONLY three areas: the muscles that hold
the shoulder joint down, the muscles that maintain the integrity of the torso (including a
pelvic tuck) so that energy can flow freely through the spine, and the muscles that keep
the fingers and forearms firm. Every other part of the body is SUPPOSED to be as relaxed
as is reasonably possible.

Quite frankly any stance must have "moderate" tension in at least two of these three areas
(the torso and the shoulders) to effectively transfer energy from the ground to the arms in
the manner you speak of. Otherwise these areas can dissipate what you generate from the
legs.

The "tension" you may be familiar with is perhaps a bastardization of what many consider to
be the standard. Yes, there are lots of demonstrations with people breaking furniture and
playthings over bodies. And that "determined" look sometimes makes beginners use what I
have heard called "false strength" in their sanchin. And - yes - I've seen the absolute worst
examples of this on Okinawa. This is a very recent and unfortunate phenomenon.
Fortunately it is not universal.

I have to say here that I don't know enough to intelligently argue the point, Bill. What I thought I used to know I decided to let go of as I began to realize that there were aspects of Sanchin in from Southern China that I hadn't realized. What is the "true" proper way? I don't know. I accept your view of the "true way" as data, but I have to avoid the discussion due to my own ignorance.

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

You write:

>> Imagine a primitive porter holding a bundle on his head... <> Generally I direct and
manipulate this flow of ground power with a deliberate use of the body middle. The middle
is the only real place to manipulate the ground path and the power of the torso muscles is
far greater than the muscles of the arms, shoulders, etc.

I respond:

I LIKE IT!!!! YEEESSSSSS!!!
(snip discussion of Sanchin)


Well, I can't afford to let this money-making opportunity go by. :^) Remember my previous comment about how I hate to write descriptions because people read them and think "Hey!!! That's what we do!!!"? :^)

I'd be willing to make a small wager that what you're thinking and what I'm talking about are remarkably different things. Would you like to make that bet, just for the fun of it?

And finally, I refer you to sanseiryu kata. I have yet to hear how long you studied Uechi
ryu and what kata you learned (and which you did not learn). Please convey this
information.

I learned sansei, for what it's worth. But I haven't done or thought of these things for many years. I was trying to think exactly how long I studied and the closest I can tell you is that it was somewhat short of 2 years in length of time, but you had to allow for my forays into Viet Nam, so length is not accurate. When I returned to the states, I became involved with some other guys who had studied Uechi and other styles and over the years practiced with those sorts. In the Southeast, there was no group that I was aware of… then again, while I was in college I was not too interested in anything along group lines. And please note, I have never made any claims to great expertise in Uechi, just familiarity. My interest was in fighting applications.

Prior to Uechi, I had done 6 years of judo and a lot of it hard training. One of the things that I first noticed in Uechi Ryu that I had not really seen in the type of judo I had done was the fact that many of the different belt ranks were not necessarily good fighters. I met Nidans and Sandans who were simply horrible at sparring. Later I noticed that this is a common affliction in many of the martial arts. (Incidentally, after the karate years, I did Aikido and then moved onto the Chinese martial arts). It's why you never see me bother to ask someone their rank or how long they studied. Until I see them move, no information about belts or time tells me much about someone. You can't fight with credentials. My opinion, FWIW.

************************************
you wrote:
Here are my personal opinions:

1) I agree with you that most who practice the big three in this country do not understand
how to generate energy for the movements. But just as you said that you can walk
through the movements without them having substance, so the substance can be applied
elsewhere without the confines of a specific style.


Well, basically I am left with the feeling that you still don't quite understand what I mean. You're thinking a little in the right direction and all I can say is that this particular brass ring is different. If you're ever in the area, let me know and I'll show you the start of it. If nothing else, the part in my description about being very relaxed except for the small amount of effort need to maintain the structure should tip you off that there's something radically different involved from any variation of Sanchin. You're talking about something I'm familiar with, in my opinion, and it's not the same thing.

As an aside, when I started Aikido, a number of instructors told me to "relax". I was far more relaxed than when I had practiced Uechi…. So to me I was almost falling down. Now, in looking back, I realize that I was as stiff as a board in relation to what I am now. But comparatively I was relaxed and I couldn't understand why others didn't see me as relaxed. Self perception and our own frame of reference can do a lot to impair our views, I think.

Seiyu Shinjo used tremendous structure. He could hit the makiwara that stood inside the front door and knock it way back….. and hold it there. He used his structure and the ground and his middle. But I'm still talking about a general mode of movement (not an intermittent spike on the graph) that is quite different. No offense. It has to be shown.

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

4 And I am eager to learn what I don't know or understand.

Bill

My main point throughout these discussions is that we're doing different things. :^) You're essentially arguing against that viewpoint. Is there anybody down in my area (Colorado) that you think does Uechi Ryu in the manner you have described? I'll be glad to meet with them so they can report back with their impressions.

The only caveat I make on such a meeting is that I need to comment on such a meeting also. I have had a number of workshops where someone from Wing Chun, Hun Gar, etc., came and was simply flabbergasted at the difference in what is done in terms of body mechanics. Their stiffness precluded their ability to learn how to release power in this mode, etc., etc. Yet when they went home and reflected, they ulimately wound up reporting "we do the same thing" on some of the martial art mailing lists. People who were at the same workshops shrieked with laughter at this element of human behavior and now I have to allow for the possibility that it will occasionally happen in some (not all; it is an exception to normal behaviour) cases. :^) I hope you see my point in allowing for this one possibility.

Regards,

Mike Sigman


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 1998 8:44 pm 
Dr. X wrote:
That is "Dr. X SIR!!"
******************************************

Can't do it. That's what I call my wife, who's an orthopaedic surgeon. I can't take any more. :^)

Mike Sigman


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 1998 8:45 pm 
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Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Mike

In the end we may be talking semantics. But maybe not.

If it makes you happy, I'll let you "win" a wager and buy the first beer. Good ideas are much more important than who is right.

I do not doubt that there are unique aspects to ANY individual's practice. So defining what "it" is that is unique may be tough. Let's just agree to meet some time.

Bill


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 1998 9:06 pm 
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Bill, J.D. et al: Interesting thread. I was sitting near my computer reading Dillman's "Tuite" and felt a force that led me to log on. Cyber 'qi' perhaps. Perhaps an effect of mixing Uechi-ryu and Kyusho. However, I must say that I am pleased that this discussion is staying civil. Keep going.

Rich 'the Minnow' in Richmond


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 1998 3:12 am 
J.D. writes:

I must admit you used the same terminology of the "chi-sters" which led me to assume you
held the same beliefs.
*********************************************************
My training was in electrical engineering, aside from the martial arts. However, I caught your assumption about what I believed immediately. You did not seem open in your considerations, but already decided in your opinions. :^)
*********************************

One of the semantics difficulty we face is the ease of relying on analogy. For example, I
recall one Senior-senior adjusting my hands in Sanchin state, "Feel the power flow out the
fingers." He does not believe in any "power," but it is easier to grasp than to attmept to
break-down every muscle group.
*********************************

When someone uses "power" or "energy" in this manner, I immediately ask for clarification and definition; I may be even worse than you in that regard. However, if I show you where this idea of "energy" comes from, I think you might have a clearer understanding of the vague, as it applies to the internal martial arts. :^) Again, though, I'd have to show it. I agree though that most people are using the phrase unclearly and because it sounds good.
**************************


Now I have to take you a bit to task on your opinions of strength. I admit my eyebrow rose
[He has only one!--Ed.] when you stated:

"No offense, but I would surmise from your commentary (and others on this list) that you
do not know what I am talking about. If you did, we would have reached a commonality of
description almost immediately."

I often encounter this style of argument from fringe-types--if only you were
saved/wise/gifted/intelligent/stoned you would see my truth. Bill, however, was able to
follow your description and finds some truth in it. I, on the other hand, recognize that your
description is not how it happens. It is not a major point, because I understand the
purpose of your analogy. Given your subsequent posts, you seem to use analogy as
analogy.
*******************************
Well, guilty, maybe. However, why don't you save this thread and if we ever meet and go over some of this then we can go back and I can show you with fairly rigorous logic that I could support the statement based on what has been said by others. I just don't want to type that much and besides, you still don't know what I'm talking about, but seem to simply resist the idea that there is something you may not know. :^) Perhaps I'm wrong. Would it help if you came onto the Neijia list and asked some questions there? I feel that a lot of pressure is being put on my statements not out of genuine inquiry, but out of resistance to a new and possibly unacceptable idea.

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

However, when you bring it into your next paragraph you present an analogy quite familiar
to most Uechi people I know. I would then have to agree with Bill that a martial art such as
Uechi employs more than one approach, including the one you describe. Here I have to
respectfully reverse your own warnings concerning the competence of practitioners in the
West. You, yourself, do not know all of Uechi or how it is applied.
**************************
Well, come to the Neijia list and explain why Uechi Ryu is really an internal martial art. There are people on that list who have practiced Uechi and who have seen the internal arts. It might be good for you to have a preliminary discussion with them. Perhaps I am being too dismissive, but I've been through this before and it affects my ability to continue with it, again. Sorry.

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

I offer to you,
then, that some do what you do. Others do not.

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

I am more than willing to take a look-see with an open mind. Can you give me some names? I'll keep them in mind as potential examples to argue your side of the issue. Perhaps there will be an opportunity to meet and I'd like to know who you consider examples of people who have "internal" skills.

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

Naturally, I agree with you description of "chi." A long while ago I described how people in
the situations you described can "feel" a power even when they do not want to. I mention
this, because it is one of the reasons examinations of such paranormal phenomena require
double-blind studies.

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

I understand and agree. Still, in a couple of cases (well, 3) I would have to argue that if that were 100% the case then just the ability to overcome my inattention and scepticism is worth a look. If they can work through me that quickly then there is no need for truth drugs, etc…. I must be putty in their hands. :^))))

It's worth a look. That's all I'm saying. And I feel a little uncomfortable with any complete rejection before things are seen and evaluated. If I myself were to do that, I would worry about my real ability to evaluate things. My opinion.

********************
Colorado? Hmmmm . . . there is a list on this web-page. If you ever make it to the West
Coast I know some practitioners who, if they do not utilize what you do, would understand
it.
**************************
Well, I'm not going out of my way to prove this or argue the point indefinitely. What I practice and focus on is known and accepted as internal martial arts. The unusual claim is from your side of the fence in that Uechi Ryu is also, to some extent, an internal martial art. I am always willing to look, but the burden to this odd argument rests with Uechi Ryu, not on my side. If I were claiming that "in our Taiji we do the same power training as in Southern Mantis" the burden of proof would be on me and it would seem out of place for me suggest that someone from Southern Mantis needed to drop by to prove that it was not. :^)))))) If you see my point (and no offense intended; I speak lightly).


There are two main points in this discussion. The primary point I was trying to make was that in my opinion there can be no serious study of push-hands by Uechi practitioners if they have no usage of the core strength of the internal martial arts. It would simply be an external, technique-oriented exercise that missed the point. That was my simple suggestion.

The other issue has been the discussion of the idea that Uechi Ryu does indeed contain elements of the internal martial arts. It is probably best to table that particular issue until I meet with someone who can demonstrate what is meant by "internal" as you and Bill consider it. All I suggest is that you consider the possibility that I may know what I'm talking about and that you consider the ramifications based on that possibility. Fair enough?

Regards,

Mike Sigman


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 1998 2:48 pm 
Dr. X Writes:


Regretable further, is your assignment of the burden of proof upon those who disagree with
you. You did make the assertion. You offered the explanations. Readers have the right to
consider them and agree or disagree with them based upon their experience. You may then
offer a counter.

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

Mike Sigman writes (sorry for the confusion Lori):

I offer the counter only as something that needs to be shown. I have also obliquely (i.e., politely) indicated that it is not important.

I sense that the conversation is simply degrading again. One of the wags from the neijia list (one who doesn't do Taiji or the internal arts but who has seen them up close) who has quietly come over to look has suggested that I should preface intitial forays like this one onto Uechi with "YOU *WILL* THINK YOU KNOW THIS ALREADY AS SOON AS YOU READ
IT. ASSUME THAT YOU DON'T". I don't think warnings do any more than cause a defensive reaction though, if you look at what's happened every time I broach the subject. :^)

Anyway, let's let it drop. Even finding out that I was telling you something new won't do you any good. It's hard enough to learn, even when you approach it deliberately. Besides, my only point was a response to Mr. Lovas' query about whether push hands would be helpful in summer camp, etc. Real push hands wouldn't.... that's all I'm saying.

If any of you are in the Colorado area sometime and want to see what all the talk was about, please call/email and drop by. Then let me see you try to explain what you've seen to a bunch of people whose paradigms have never encountered this before. :^)

Thanks to Bill for taking the time to put us back on a friendly footing before we all parted ways. Let's end it while we're still in that mode.

Regards,

Mike Sigman


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