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View Full Version : "One Point" - is it gone, or is it a matter of semantics?


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sefie
03-17-2007, 06:13 PM
When I first started training five years ago, my teachers used the phrase "to extend from your One Point", kind of around your solar plexus or "hara" (centre), when doing techniques. Since my return at the start of this year, I haven't heard this phrase once, but of course, there's a lot of "extending" and "using your entire body/shoulders/hips" to drive movement. The One Point was also mentioned in meditative exercises, like your One Point travelled horizontally during the rowing part of funekogi. There was another kokyu exercise where you imagined your energy pooling in the One Point, then expanding to encompass the universe.

Did something change in the aikikai style to remove the concept of the One Point, or is this just a matter of semantics to make aikido sound less... well... "hippy-like"? I still get the same feeling from doing techniques now than when I was concentrating on the One Point (wherever it was... :p). In fact, it feels easier to imagine energy actively circulating through the body and extending out during a technique, rather than all of it originating from your centre.

Thoughts? Corrections?

Thanks!
- Diana

Ecosamurai
03-17-2007, 06:29 PM
The term "One-point" is usually heard in Tohei derived styles of aikido. It is still often talked about in certain circles. Since your 'return' has you place of training altered its affiliation or have you moved to another dojo?

Regards

Mike

tedehara
03-17-2007, 10:56 PM
When I first started training five years ago, my teachers used the phrase "to extend from your One Point", kind of around your solar plexus or "hara" (centre), when doing techniques. Since my return at the start of this year, I haven't heard this phrase once, but of course, there's a lot of "extending" and "using your entire body/shoulders/hips" to drive movement. The One Point was also mentioned in meditative exercises, like your One Point travelled horizontally during the rowing part of funekogi. There was another kokyu exercise where you imagined your energy pooling in the One Point, then expanding to encompass the universe.

Did something change in the aikikai style to remove the concept of the One Point, or is this just a matter of semantics to make aikido sound less... well... "hippy-like"? I still get the same feeling from doing techniques now than when I was concentrating on the One Point (wherever it was... :p). In fact, it feels easier to imagine energy actively circulating through the body and extending out during a technique, rather than all of it originating from your centre.

Thoughts? Corrections?

Thanks!
- Diana

There is no "aikikai style". Aikikai is a group that has many styles under it's organizational umbrella. Perhaps your original instructors were influenced by Koichi Tohei and/or the Ki Society. I have noticed that most aikikai instructors don't use the term one point. They might use terms like tan dien, hara, center or centre as a similar concept.

The use of the one point in meditative exercises sounds like ki development exercises from the Ki Society. From your description, it sounds like both expansion and contraction meditations. However the one point is two/three inches below the navel, much lower than the solar plexus.

You might want to look at K. Tohei's book Ki in Daily Life. See if that matches up with what you were previously taught.

sefie
03-18-2007, 04:19 PM
Thank you both for your answers and the book reference! I have not changed dojos (or even sensei!), and they pretty much take their direction from Sugano-shihan when he comes out here twice a year. Although the sensei who mentioned the One Point most was also training in Ba Qua (a style of Tai Chi?) at the time, and has since stopped.

To be honest, I'd never even heard of the Ki Society before reading this forum a few weeks ago...

That being said, we haven't done that particular exercise yet this year. I've noticed that we now do funekogi at the start of every lesson (before it was probably every three or four lessons, thus once a week), and usually a "clear your mind" meditation at the end (before, we'd do the expansion/contraction or no meditation).

odudog
03-19-2007, 11:45 AM
It hasn't changed. Your Sensei probably got tired of repeating the same thing over and over again so he/she stopped saying it. The student know what is going on. My Sensei says one-point all the time.

P.S. tanden not tan dien. If you look for the second spelling in a Japanese dictionary you will never find it.

charyuop
03-19-2007, 12:38 PM
P.S. tanden not tan dien. If you look for the second spelling in a Japanese dictionary you will never find it.

No you won't find it because it is not Japanese. Dan Tien is the way Hara is called in Chinese...of course assuming he was not mentioning the Chinese term hee hee, which is probable coz in Aikido seldom is used Chinese :)
And just to be exact, Ba Qua is not a type of Tai Chi, but it is an internal Martial Art like Tai Chi, but different Art.

SeiserL
03-19-2007, 03:32 PM
I still have my "one point".
Wait a minute.
It was here a second ago.
Oh there it is, same place.

tedehara
03-19-2007, 03:47 PM
No you won't find it because it is not Japanese. Dan Tien is the way Hara is called in Chinese...of course assuming he was not mentioning the Chinese term hee hee, which is probable coz in Aikido seldom is used Chinese :)
And just to be exact, Ba Qua is not a type of Tai Chi, but it is an internal Martial Art like Tai Chi, but different Art.Actually I was using the Chinese term. Information from a Japanese perspective is not always available and aikidoists use both Chinese concepts and vocabulary to explain the idea of one point.

Walter Martindale
03-21-2007, 05:04 AM
Sawada sensei from Nagoya was talking about one point a week ago in Hamilton NZ... He demonstrated some jo work turning on "one point" and then on "two points" and it was about the first time I saw what the heck the concept might mean. and I do mean "might" mean - I have by no means fully understood this concept.

maxwelljones
03-29-2007, 06:01 AM
I was taught about the one-point on my very first day in the dojo. But it's an Iwama-style dojo, and they didn't call it a one-point. Pardon me if I'm wrong (I probably am in anything martial arts at this point) but this concept seems so critical in everything in Asia that it almost goes without saying, and it's only Tohei sensei who placed a primary emphasis on ki, and getting us Western barbarians to figure it out in those days must have been a headache.

Murgen
05-30-2007, 05:36 PM
In our dojo the use of the phrase "One Point" is prevalent.

Thanks everyone for detailing exactly where it comes from.

kironin
06-06-2007, 10:43 AM
One Point --> Seika no itten

Seika no itten ni kokoro wo shizume touitsu suru

Once you understand that it is correct to relax completely, you need to know where to put the tension that you release from your body. Even though you sweep all the dust and dirt from a room, unless you have a place to dispose of it, the floor will never be clean. Think of the One Point in the lower abdomen (seika no itten) as the place where you put all of the tension that you release from your body.

Traditionally in Japan people have been taught to sit with firm tension in the lower abdomen (seika tanden). With the idea that it is important to develop hara (guts or maturity), people have been taught to put strength into the lower abdomen as a means of doing so. Particularly if a great man has been quoted as saying so, no one wants to challenge it. However, this way of thinking is mistaken. Seika tanden refers to an area, not a point. If you tense the lower abdomen you can be easily pushed over, and you will find it impossible to unify mind and body. This is why I teach instead to calm and focus your mind at the One Point in the lower abdomen.

At the base of the spine is the coccyx bone, just above which is the sacrum. On your knees, hips straight, with legs out behind but toes curled under, relax and move your shoulders straight up and down, and in this way relax the upper body naturally. When you are relaxed, the sacrum naturally extends. There is no need to try to stretch the sacrum, just let it extend without it bending under. From this position, cross one big toe over the other and sit down in seiza in such a way that the sacrum does not bear any weight, then rest both palms on the thighs.

In this posture the weight of the upper body falls on the One Point in the lower abdomen, which is located slightly above the pubic bone. Place your fingers at your One Point and try to tense your muscles at this spot. You will find that you cannot tense or move this spot, which we call the One Point in the lower abdomen.

This is not a point that has a measurable shape or size. It can be reduced indefinitely by half, and never reach zero. It is an infinitely reducible point. It also has the power to infinitely absorb the tension which you release when you relax completely, and never becomes full.

In other words, the third principle of Keep Weight Underside, the second principle of Relax Completely, and the first principle of Keep One Point are all one and the same, our natural state.


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Shinshin touitsu no yon dai gensoku
Four Major Principles to Unify Mind and Body

1. Seika no itten ni kokoro wo shizume touitsu suru

Keep one point

2. Zenshin no chikara wo kanzen ni nuku

Relax completely

3. Karada no subete no bubun no omomi wo sono saikabu ni oku

Keep weight underside

4. Ki wo dasu

Extend ki.

(Kanji always show up as question marks for me when I try to post characters that I see just fine in the edit screen so here is a kluge)
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http://texasiaido.com/sskimages/kiprinciples.png
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Mike Haftel
07-13-2007, 07:56 AM
Sawada sensei from Nagoya was talking about one point a week ago in Hamilton NZ... He demonstrated some jo work turning on "one point" and then on "two points" and it was about the first time I saw what the heck the concept might mean. and I do mean "might" mean - I have by no means fully understood this concept.

What do you mean, "turning on one point"?

Do you mean rotation about the axis/center-line going through your body from head to toe vs. turning on an axis which lies off-center?

gdandscompserv
07-13-2007, 08:14 AM
Not gone, just MIA.
:D