Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes (Part Deux) by Michael J. Hacker
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This month's article continues last month's discussion on body parts.
This time around, I'll cover the 胴 [dō], or
torso/trunk, and 下半身 [kahanshin], or lower
body (lit: "down-half-body"). By request, I'm going to start
including the actual kanji I'm talking about. Note that they are not
graphics, and you will need to configure your system to properly view
胸 [mune] (chest/breast) is often grabbed, as in 胸取 [munetori/munadori].
Some folks say munetori, some say munadori. PoTAYto, poTAHto.
脇 [waki], or side/flank, is heard in the name
脇固め [wakigatame] (lit: "flank-lock"), a
technique found in Tomiki-based systems which is sometimes called an
"arm-bar." From what I've heard from friends in other styles, some
folks call this 六教 [rokkyō] (lit:
six-lesson). Waki also finds its way into the name of the
short sword carried by samurai: 脇差 [wakizashi]
(lit: "flank-wear"), or "worn on the side." Kinda sounds similar to
the English word "sidearm," eh?
The "center" of the body is very important in Aikidō,
and is referred to in several ways. Two common ways of talking about this area
are 腹 [hara]
腹 Hara means "stomach" or "belly." It refers to the
general area thought as not only the physical, but also a mental, spiritual,
and emotional center of the body. You'll hear this word in plenty of places outside
the dojo as well:
[seika tanden] is a little more specific. Let's break it down:
- 腹が減った [hara ga hetta]
-- "I'm hungry" (lit: "stomach has diminished")
- 腹が立つ [hara ga tatsu] --
"I'm angry" (lit: "stomach is standing")
[hara ga suwaru] -- "to have guts" (lit: "the stomach sits")
[seika tanden] literally means something like "the red rice paddy below
your navel." But it's more colloquially translated as "center of the abdomen."
- 臍 [sei] -- bellybutton (also pronounced heso)
- 下 [ka] -- below
- 丹 [tan] -- red
- 田 [den / ta] -- rice paddy
足 [ashi] is the leg. If you look at the character, you
can almost see the pelvis, patella, tibia, ankle, and foot bones.
Jūdō and some styles of Aikidō use 足技
[ashiwaza], or "leg techniques." Among these are such
techniques as 出足払い [deashibarai] (
"outgoing-foot-sweep"), 膝車 [hizaguruma]
("knee-wheel" [see the section on "knee" below]), and
大外刈 [ōsotogari] (major-outside-reap).
腰 [koshi] is commonly translated as "hips," but really
refers to the entire pelvic region, including the hips, loins, and
small of the back. The word koshi is often used when
describing throwing techniques that specifically utilize the hip
area: 腰技 [koshiwaza] (lit:
"hip-skill/technique") or 腰投 [koshinage] (lit:
"hip-throw"). Koshi is also used in the following ways (some
less frequently than others). From the examples below, it would seem
that Japanese closely ties stability and courage with the
膝 [hiza], or knee. While the hiza pronunciation
may not be all-that-commonly heard in Aikidō dōjō
[see the "ashi" section above]), its other pronunciation,
shitsu, is often used in the form of 膝行
[shikkō]. Shikkō is often translated as "knee-walk,"
but literally means "knee-go."
[koshinuke] -- a coward (lit: "hip-omitted/missing")
[koshitsuki] – carriage, posture (lit: "hip-attach/be connected")
[mugoshi] -- unarmed (lit: "no-hips")
[ukigoshi] -- unsteady (lit: "float-hips")
There are obviously many more body parts than those I've
attempted to cover between these two articles. If there are any parts missing
that you're interested in, please feel free to contact me, and I or one of the
other knowledgeable folks who frequent AikiWeb will be happy to help you out.
(If you really need to know the word for "duodenum"**, you may need a more
exhaustive anatomical reference.)
Discussion in the comments area has become more common and
more interesting lately. Thanks to all who have been participating. The
changes I've implemented in the process of writing this article are a direct
result of your input. Please keep it coming!
** 十二指腸 [jūnishichō] (lit: "12-finger-intestines")
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