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mathewjgano
03-03-2008, 01:27 PM
So obviously there's a lot of talk here these days about the lack of explicit instruction with regard to "internal skills." I've always been told everything begins with hara; while using the whole body cohesively, connect hara to some given area of the body (the connection point with uke). If hara isn't leading the movement, whatever that movement is, even if the technique seems to be working, it's still not quite what we're going for. I don't know how it can get more explicit than that. I'm probably getting lost in semantics, but that phrase seems to tell me almost everything I need to know. Beyond that it seems like it's simply a matter of practice to become familiar with how my body works on another's.
Do you folks think this kind of explanation is sufficient for teaching how to utilize hara properly and why or why not? ...I'm curious about this particularly in light of the idea that one must feel "it" to begin understanding "it." ..Which seems to tell me words will never suffice; in which case you can't be truly explicit in your teaching of how to do these skills. What's your take on my take?:)
When I've read what little I can recall, it just seems like I'm mostly replacing one set of jargon with another.
Take care,
Matthew

Ron Tisdale
03-03-2008, 01:41 PM
I do not think it is enough. I know many people who SAY what you just said, but when I really look at what they DO, I feel a lot of the front of the shoulders in their waza. I don't get knocked off balance just because I push on them, no matter how lightly or how hard. They don't feel "invulnerable" in the same way as the folks like Dan, Mike, Akuzawa, Allen Beebe, etc. feel.

I would prefer that people tell me specifically WHERE and WHAT to relax. Tell me WHAT in my body should be bearing weight. Guide me through expressing power correctly, with hands on checking of what muscle groups are firing that shouldn't be firing. And what is correct. Put their hands on my shoulder blades, let me know where there is tension, how to position them correctly.

I can go on for a while now. Just from what I've learned from 3 meetings with people delving into this stuff. I may suck at it...but at least now I am slowly finding ways to suck less.

Just my opinion. I'm a newbie.

Best,
Ron

So obviously there's a lot of talk here these days about the lack of explicit instruction with regard to "internal skills." I've always been told everything begins with hara; while using the whole body cohesively, connect hara to some given area of the body (the connection point with uke). If hara isn't leading the movement, whatever that movement is, even if the technique seems to be working, it's still not quite what we're going for. I don't know how it can get more explicit than that. I'm probably getting lost in semantics, but that phrase seems to tell me almost everything I need to know. Beyond that it seems like it's simply a matter of practice to become familiar with how my body works on another's.
Do you folks think this kind of explanation is sufficient for teaching how to utilize hara properly and why or why not? ...I'm curious about this particularly in light of the idea that one must feel "it" to begin understanding "it." ..Which seems to tell me words will never suffice; in which case you can't be truly explicit in your teaching of how to do these skills. What's your take on my take?:)
When I've read what little I can recall, it just seems like I'm mostly replacing one set of jargon with another.
Take care,
Matthew

Timothy WK
03-03-2008, 02:02 PM
I've always been told everything begins with hara; while using the whole body cohesively, connect hara to some given area of the body (the connection point with uke).

1. What, exactly, IS the "center" or "hara"?

2. a) What, exactly, does it mean to move "the whole body cohesively"?
b) How, exactly, do you move cohesively, and/or how do you train to move cohesively?

3. a) What, exactly, does it mean to "connect" the body?
b) How, exactly, do you connect a body part to the hara, and/or how do you train to do this?

mathewjgano
03-03-2008, 02:12 PM
I do not think it is enough...
I would prefer that people tell me specifically WHERE and WHAT to relax. Tell me WHAT in my body should be bearing weight...Just my opinion. I'm a newbie.

Best,
Ron

I see what you mean and I have to agree. Thanks. As usual, you have a good way of putting things in terms for me to understand what other folks are talking about.
Take care, Ron,
Matt

Ron Tisdale
03-03-2008, 02:19 PM
No, Thank You. An open mind asks questions, evaluates the answers fairly, and forms its own opinion. Couldn't ask for anything more. Much respect, and good training.

Best,
Ron

mathewjgano
03-03-2008, 02:24 PM
1. What, exactly, IS the "center" or "hara"?

2. a) What, exactly, does it mean to move "the whole body cohesively"?
b) How, exactly, do you move cohesively, and/or how do you train to move cohesively?

3. a) What, exactly, does it mean to "connect" the body?
b) How, exactly, do you connect a body part to the hara, and/or how do you train to do this?

Well, I'll bite...
1. Hara is the area of your body which operates at your center of gravity.
2a. Moving so muscles/etc. don't conflict with each others' movements; using complimentary movements/muscles/etc. instead.
2b. By paying attention to your own body as it interacts with the world around you. Gradually one should feel the same efforts becoming exponentially easier.
3a & b. For me this means to feel the parts of the body and how they interact. I use my senses and imagination to to accomplish this.
How would you answer those questions?
Thanks, and take care,
Matt

ChrisMoses
03-03-2008, 02:48 PM
I've always been told everything begins with hara; while using the whole body cohesively, connect hara to some given area of the body (the connection point with uke). If hara isn't leading the movement, whatever that movement is, even if the technique seems to be working, it's still not quite what we're going for. I don't know how it can get more explicit than that.

Hey, good question. My last Aikido dojo used this concept a lot, so I'm pretty familiar with the paradigm. One problem that I have with it, is that when you tell most folks to move "from the hara" they often move the abdomen first and then let that movement propagate out through the limbs. In effect however they are disconnecting the hara from all of the limbs briefly (legs and arms) in order to move the abdomen in a 'relaxed' fashion. Then when they try to allow that motion to transmit out to their partner, they have compromised joints (hey, anybody out there have any knee problems? shoulders?) which have to take up the slack before they can actually transmit any true connection to uke. This kind of movement builds up into moving uke and a sensitive uke can often feel it coming. A lot of folks are trained to just kind of go with it, sort of the ride the wave idea. When you feel the kind of body coordination that folks have been talking about it has almost no build-up and moves you without giving you much if any warning. I think the support/movement paradigm becomes more like "connect through the hara" rather than "move from the hara". In other words, I'm looking more at how I can connect pressures through my arms to my feet/legs (not to mention which arm to which foot, that's been huge...)

It's all easier said than done however, which is why (for me) it's been so huge to have a training paradigm that slowly builds this kind of connection through the body.

Haowen Chan
03-03-2008, 06:45 PM
I don't know how it can get more explicit than that. I'm probably getting lost in semantics, but that phrase seems to tell me almost everything I need to know. Beyond that it seems like it's simply a matter of practice to become familiar with how my body works on another's.

I just started working with these exercises and I'm a complete newbie to aikido, so "I don't know jack and am probably totally wrong" disclaimers apply... but this is my opinion:

I think "Moving with the middle" is more of a mnemonic (like Tohei's 4 principles) than a explicative thing, as in, you can chant it to someone as much as you want and they wouldn't figure out anything new if they didn't know it beforehand.

The question that is begged (as TimWK pointed out) is "how exactly does moving my middle push my hand out". As Chris Moses said the short answer is "connection". There are several layers of sophistication to that and I don't know any of it, just enough to keep me busy at my total newbie level. There are definitely specific exercises that target the skill and conditioning aspect of this; one typically has to be work those with slow and simple movements before being able to incorporate them into waza effectively.

I guess deriving skills from first principles and personal observation is possible but not something I'd do: the technology has been known for centuries (millenia), you just need to access it, there's really no need to take the long road of reinvention... especially when you might end up with something not quite optimal if you try to derive it yourself.

I hope this is helpful!

mickeygelum
03-03-2008, 09:43 PM
You can not get confused with this...

Head up,
back straight,
ass in,
belly out,
all your weight in your hand,
body moves the hand/arm,
hands, hips, feet aligned,
everything bottom heavy.

how's that for simple...;)

Mickey

dps
03-03-2008, 11:12 PM
...it just seems like I'm mostly replacing one set of jargon with another.

Exactly right, don't be beguiled by whispers in your ear, telling you no one has shown you this.
It is in the very first and every technique you have been shown.
David

SeiserL
03-04-2008, 05:06 AM
IMHO, hara is a good start, words are insufficient, open the mind and heart, keep training, more will be revealed.

Stefan Stenudd
03-04-2008, 05:48 AM
Oh, I regard tanden, the center, as the very foundation of aikido. I made a web page about it, also with some tips on how to exercise one's awareness of it, here:
http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/tanden.htm

Tanden is the center of gravity, but so much more. It is the big bang out of which every technique is born. It is the way to a presence and posture that makes you the middle of your own universe, and anyone entering it will have to yield to it (something that Osensei seemed to regard as essential in his perspective on aikido).
It is also a source for your continued development in aikido. If you remain in your center, you can't go wrong.

People talk a lot about ki, but I am convinced that their aikido would gain from more focus on tanden, the center. Not that the one excludes the other - quite the contrary. But the center comes first.

Upyu
03-04-2008, 05:57 AM
IMHO, hara is a good start, words are insufficient, open the mind and heart, keep training, more will be revealed.

Lynn, I think you're a nice guy,
but I think it's the kind of advice mentioned above that leads people to waste so much time.

"Keep training, you'll feel it eventually"

"Just empty your mind and relax"

Now personally I think I got lucky and most of my teachers had these skills from the get go, so I a) had a good sense for who had these skills and who was full of bs
and b) to a certain degree they would SPECIFICALLY talk about how to develop these things.

Anyways, I'd urge anyone that still doesn't have a clear idea of what they're supposed to be training (with regards to internal skills) after about a year or two (and even that's being generous) should seriously reconsider their training. Its like any skill , if you aren't making headway within a year or so, then the methodology simply sucks.

That is, if your goal is to get internal skills. (If it isn't, then consider yourself lucky for not getting addicted to something that's hard as hell to find good instruction in :D )

Mike Sigman
03-04-2008, 06:23 AM
Try to do everything with the lower body: the legs, hips, tanden. Hook-up/connect via the upper torso/arm but then try to do 100% of whatever you're doing with the legs/hips/middle. It will be very cumbersome and "stupid" at first, but it gradually improves and gets subtle. The upper body is relaxed and only connects the middle to whatever it is you're trying to move.

FWIW

Mike

mickeygelum
03-04-2008, 07:45 AM
Tanden is the center of gravity, but so much more. It is the big bang out of which every technique is born. It is the way to a presence and posture that makes you the middle of your own universe, and anyone entering it will have to yield to it (something that Osensei seemed to regard as essential in his perspective on aikido).
It is also a source for your continued development in aikido. If you remain in your center, you can't go wrong.


That is a great explanation, I understand and agree with you wholeheartedly, I have been in Aikido for 30 years...too bad to a beginner it would not mean squat.

hara is a good start, words are insufficient, open the mind and heart, keep training, more will be revealed.

..nice fortune cookie quote....to a beginner, this is the look you get back..:crazy:

Mr. Gano raises a very valid point...With all the knowledge and experience that y'all share, why the all the posturing for vernacular?

Mr. Skaggs furthers this, what happened to basics? Are you that far removed or in need of validation that confusing the rest of the world is a competition.

How many more threads are going to be diverted for sake of Hsing-I, internal /external power...and the furtherence of the Baron Munchausen Martial Arts.

"When in Rome..." , we all know the old saying, try " When in kindergarten..or, When in fourth grade..."

Love, Peace and Harmony to you all,

now lets go kick some a$$..:D

Mickey

SeiserL
03-04-2008, 07:49 AM
Lynn, I think you're a nice guy,

IMHO, not really.

phitruong
03-04-2008, 08:26 AM
You can not get confused with this...

Head up,
back straight,
ass in,
belly out,
all your weight in your hand,
body moves the hand/arm,
hands, hips, feet aligned,
everything bottom heavy.

how's that for simple...;)

Mickey

Still stuck on the "head up" section. it's a pain in the neck really. :)

the taichi folks wanted the tail bone tuck in and stomach curve in a bit, which are somewhat different than aikido approach. still trying to figure out which one is better. the question is how to maintain stability, power, connection and flow at the same time.

phitruong
03-04-2008, 08:49 AM
couldn't find hara if someone hit me with it. don't have much understanding about the "internal" stuffs. found something by accident not too long ago.

was working with my son on kicking and striking stuffs. was holding a kicking pad on my arm and my son worked on round house kick. every now and then he kicked hard enough to send the pad, along with my arm, back into my face (told him to use more hips and that what happen). as usual, i tensed up at the moment of the kick impacted the pad. then out of the blue an idea came up, why not just relax and lets the whole body lose. then wondered if the boy will blow me back into the wall with his kicks. it was quite a surprise when i felt the impact and felt the power flown down to my opposite ankle/foot and the arm with the kicking pad didn't even waver. thought it was my imagination, so told the boy to kick harder, same thing happened. big grin on face at this time. then experiment with channeling the impacted power to either foot then both feet, then stand on one foot.
have being working with that sort of feeling against push and pull, sometimes standing on one foot other times both feet with hips wiggling back and forth. recently starting to feel the same sort of things with jo and bokken practice. don't know if this is right or not, sort of groping in the dark. it feels right some how. could be my imagination or inhale something strange. new thought occur recently, can i coil the impacted power back to its source?

Upyu
03-04-2008, 09:12 AM
it was quite a surprise when i felt the impact and felt the power flown down to my opposite ankle/foot and the arm with the kicking pad didn't even waver. thought it was my imagination, so told the boy to kick harder, same thing happened. big grin on face at this time. then experiment with channeling the impacted power to either foot then both feet, then stand on one foot.
have being working with that sort of feeling against push and pull, sometimes standing on one foot other times both feet with hips wiggling back and forth. recently starting to feel the same sort of things with jo and bokken practice. don't know if this is right or not, sort of groping in the dark. it feels right some how. could be my imagination or inhale something strange. new thought occur recently, can i coil the impacted power back to its source?

I think you're onto something ;)

Some people are smart, now the question is, how do you condition the channels that you're discovering, what's their relationship in the body, and how are they interconnected? :D

Here something for your kid, tell him to not focus on the kicking leg or hips so much. Tell him to worry more about sinking his weight to the heel of the supporting leg when he kicks. Just for "#$Es and giggles :cool:

Ron Tisdale
03-04-2008, 09:28 AM
Love those last two posts!

Keep it up Phi!

Best,
Ron

George S. Ledyard
03-04-2008, 10:20 AM
Try to do everything with the lower body: the legs, hips, tanden. Hook-up/connect via the upper torso/arm but then try to do 100% of whatever you're doing with the legs/hips/middle. It will be very cumbersome and "stupid" at first, but it gradually improves and gets subtle. The upper body is relaxed and only connects the middle to whatever it is you're trying to move.

FWIW

Mike

Mike, I am trying to establish some common terminology...

When I am grabbed with a simple same hand grab and I can put my power into my partner's shoulder, or his center, or ground him out so that he can't kick, or whatever by slightly changing how I align my body and how I visualize where I want the power to go, what do you call that? Rob, feel free to give me your take on it.

We were playing with this at Ikeda Sensei's seminar this weekend. I can do it and have my own way of explaining it but if there's already a terminology that exists, there's no point in my working out my own...

- George

akiy
03-04-2008, 11:39 AM
Hi folks,

I have changed the title of this thread to "Connecting with 'Hara'" to better reflect the topic of this thread.

-- Jun

tuturuhan
03-04-2008, 12:00 PM
Hello,

I come to this conversation as an outsider. I'm here to compare and contrast.

In my practice the tantien or hara is but one major engine that co-ordinates several engines in the body. It is in the understanding of blockages and opening passageways that internal energy can best be maximized.

In other words, The hand, the leg, the hip and shoulder can all act somewhat separately. But, when each of these "pulleys" is co-ordinated in effort one can exemplify greater power.

Yet, this is only the beginning. The issue is how does one connect to the internal energy of one's opponent. How do I absorb his energy, manipulate his energy and join with his energy to create a synergy.

It is not enough to practice. I must have a metric to determine if my intentions are actually manefesting in practical technique.

Sincerely
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

Chris Parkerson
03-04-2008, 12:03 PM
Hello,

In my practice the tantien or hara is but one major engine that co-ordinates several engines in the body. It is in the understanding of blockages and opening passageways that internal energy can best be maximized.

In other words, The hand, the leg, the hip and shoulder can all act somewhat separately. But, when each of these "pulleys" is co-ordinated in effort one can exemplify greater power.

Yet, this is only the beginning. The issue is how does one connect to the internal energy of one's opponent. How do I absorb his energy, manipulate his energy and join with his energy to create a synergy.

It is not enough to practice. I must have a metric to determine if my intentions are actually manefesting in practical technique.

Sincerely
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

Joseph,

I am of the same tradition. I am just waiting to see where they are going with this, i.e. if they get beyond the static stances and basic Chi Kung...

Allen Beebe
03-04-2008, 12:13 PM
Mike, I am trying to establish some common terminology...

When I am grabbed with a simple same hand grab and I can put my power into my partner's shoulder, or his center, or ground him out so that he can't kick, or whatever by slightly changing how I align my body and how I visualize where I want the power to go, what do you call that? Rob, feel free to give me your take on it.

We were playing with this at Ikeda Sensei's seminar this weekend. I can do it and have my own way of explaining it but if there's already a terminology that exists, there's no point in my working out my own...

- George

Hi George,

I know you are looking for answers from Mike and/or Rob (and I look forward to reading their reply) but I'll throw in my two bits to see how close it lands to their answer . . . just for kicks. Please feel free to ignore.

What you described could be the outcome of any well done jujutsu. The difference is to be found in the quality of the energy that you are using when you say "my energy."

Some aspect of the quality of energy I'm referring to is that it doesn't not require a particular timing, appropriate distance, a particular physical positioning relative to uke, tactics, etc. It just is. (After being developed and learned.)

All of the above can be used in conjunction with the energy but they are not required for the energy to be present and have effect upon any uke not as well connected as nage.

Nage could also "amp up" and pretty much destroy the structure of a less well connected uke regardless of the above factors as well.

Chris Lacey
03-04-2008, 01:19 PM
I have found this thread completely fascinating. In my experience in the last three months, one memory will stay with me. I realize you are talking about advanced technique. However, I still remember during my introduction to ikkyo, Sensei demonstrated the difference between rolling that elbow down and then rolling that elbow down using your center. We all got to feel the difference and it emphasized, early on, how the center is important to your "persuasion technique" is when inviting uke to recline on the mat.

It was (and still is) a magical feeling when you can "feel" when something clicks when practicing a teaching ...and uke is uttering an enthusiastic "whoohoo!" as they hit the mat.

My background is in fencing(Foil, Epee and Saber) and over and over and over again the focus was in technique and feel. When you parry with a foil or epee, you get to the point where you feel your opponents blade slide down yours and know exactly when to flick your wrist to throw the blade off your own and reposte . To me, the same feeling occurs in my aikido instruction. The little bell rings, and you go "AH HA! I felt that!" and you attempt to replicate that feeling.

So what is the point to this diatribe? There is no point except to remember to keep your partners center connected to yours. This is, of course, easier said than done. However, for the new and the experienced alike, looking back at what you have learned with fresh eyes can shed some light on to what you are trying to learn now.

These are just things the way I see it from my particular elevation.

Maybe I am just fortunate to have a creative and patient Sensei...or maybe I am fortunate that I have a Sensei that can explain "the how and the why" something works they way it does.

Remember "Unbendable arm?" ...Yes friends, it's magic... :D

Be safe and Be well.
:ai:
:ki:
:do:

charyuop
03-04-2008, 02:05 PM
I am like many in the dark about this. Ki, Chi or whatever you wanna call it is an esotherism that is far beyond my understanding. I remember the period I was doing Tai Chi. I went crazy trying to understand it, but the more I tried to "feel" it, the more it was getting depressing. Gladly I started Aikido with a Sensei that doesn't talk about Ki and I admit things get less stresssing.

Thanks to a Kotegaeshi sometime ago I started understanding what it means using the center and since then I try to do everything Sensei tells us to do keeping my elbows attached to the sides...it seems to help alot. Still tho I am puzzled when he tells me to step with my center, but hopefully someday I will get that one too.

Last week through a Nikyo I noticed how I could lower Uke to his knees, I think, acting upon his center. I was not much thinking about twisting the wrist, but more through his arm trying to move Uke the direction wanted. The thing didn't work 100% as I wanted, but I heard a switch clicking in my head...but I don't think I fully understand yet what I think I learnt from that.

I like to think that my Sensei didn't get there where he is now in 2 days. Saotome Shihan studied directly under O Sensei and had previous MA experiences and still needed some time to get where he is now. So I just walk my path patiently and one light bulb on top of my head at the time, eventually I will manage to figure out all these misteries around Aikido and start working to give a shape to my personal Aikido.

Timothy WK
03-04-2008, 02:09 PM
How would you answer those questions?

This has been said before, but I'll repeat it here. To answer the question of what, exactly, the "center" IS and how to use it, though, we need to move towards a discussion of "internal" movement.

The "center" IS the abdomen, but more specifically, it's the muscles and other internal structures found in the abdomen and pelvic girdle.

The theory of "internal" movement that I subscribe to advocates that much of the whole "internal" thing involves utilizing the fascia (among other biomechanical processes) to augment and/or power movement.

The fascia runs throughout the entire body, both through and over/under muscle. It quite literally connects the various parts of the body via several pathways or "fascial planes".

It is possible to train and condition the body to "pull" the fasica "taunt". At that point, you can liken the body and limbs to a puppet on a string---if you pull the fascia, the rest of the body/limbs will be forced to go along with it.

Now, if you go ask a doctor or a massage therapist, they'll tell you the abdomen acts as a nexus of sorts for these "fascial planes". As such, if you "pull the fascia taunt", you can manipulate the muscles & such in the abdomen to force movement in the limbs.

Thus you can, quite literally, "move from the center", without using any muscular effort.

"Connecting" to the center refers to engaging the fascia. And once the fascia is "pulled taunt", the body will move in a more unified/cohesive manner, since, like the puppet, moving one body part will force movement in the others.

There are exercises to train & condition the body to do all this, but that's a huge discussion by itself.

Kevin Leavitt
03-04-2008, 02:11 PM
From my limited experiences over the past several weeks this is what I am experiencing. (Like Ron, i am simply trying to "suck less" at this point)

Just some random thoughts.

1. Hara does not float in mid air by itself. It is attached to something, gravity comes down, and the ground pushes up so it exsist in between that and must consider the interaction of both of these things the structure surrounding it is important in relation to these things.

2. I have found myself being more concerned with my legs and feet and the connection to my hara and how my legs and feet move hara versus moving hara independently of them as did the visualization of the old "move hara" left me.

3. Trying to learn to relax upper body while maintaining structure without the use of engaging shoulders. This is difficult for me I can't modulate well between no structure and pushing with my shoulders to gain structure.

Anyway...my thoughts on it.

Feel free to correct!

Kevin (Trying to suck less on a daily basis) Leavitt

tuturuhan
03-04-2008, 03:38 PM
Chris,

Thank you. I'm glad we agree.

Matter and energy are the same. Most people are so caught up in the self, the ego that they don't understand that the tantien is a place for storage and cultivation of energy.

The energy is all around us. What is of greater importance is the use of said energy to accomplish technique, growth and spiritual connection.

As such, the cultivation and accumulation in the "hara" is only one step in the process of cycling the energy by being able to exhibit it. Thus, one must be able to do the technique and he must be able to do it against all styles and in every dimension of life.

I too, wonder where they are going to go with these assumptions.

Sincerely
Joseph

Chris Parkerson
03-04-2008, 04:06 PM
After seven years of Tai Chi, Kenpo and a bit of Hsing-i, I felt pretty good about my self (1981) and my internal art. Then I visited Al Holtman's Judo school where one of his brown belts tore my stance work apart with a series of Uchi Matas, and tai Otoshis.

I went back to the drawing board and figured out that "stringing the silk" had to be done while in motion, on one leg, and rarely with resistance until you wanted to connect a punch, push or "float" uke into kuzushi. That should only take about 1/4 second at best.

tuturuhan
03-04-2008, 04:34 PM
Hi Chris,

Ahhh...the issue of root and no root. In hsing-I and bagua mobility is is the mainstay. Form and formlessness, internal energy vs. muscle.

So, are you mainly an aikidoist now?

Sincerely
Joseph

George S. Ledyard
03-04-2008, 04:38 PM
Hi George,

I know you are looking for answers from Mike and/or Rob (and I look forward to reading their reply) but I'll throw in my two bits to see how close it lands to their answer . . . just for kicks. Please feel free to ignore.

What you described could be the outcome of any well done jujutsu. The difference is to be found in the quality of the energy that you are using when you say "my energy."

Some aspect of the quality of energy I'm referring to is that it doesn't not require a particular timing, appropriate distance, a particular physical positioning relative to uke, tactics, etc. It just is. (After being developed and learned.)

All of the above can be used in conjunction with the energy but they are not required for the energy to be present and have effect upon any uke not as well connected as nage.

Nage could also "amp up" and pretty much destroy the structure of a less well connected uke regardless of the above factors as well.

Thanks Allen,
Let's get together sometime and compare notes... I need to feel what you mean and I am not at all sure I am describing what I am doing clearly enough.
- George

Chris Parkerson
03-04-2008, 04:48 PM
Joseph,

We can talk off line..

boyana
03-04-2008, 05:48 PM
The "abdomen called the"hara" in Japanese,contains an important internal energy centre,the tan Den,in the middle of its lower half.
this is considered in the Orient to be the major centre of the body's
underluing energy and strenght.
It condition profaundly affects general health,vitality and longevity.
If the Hara is healthy,you wiil find a sense of strong energy here:it should seem bouncy and resilitent to the touch:not hard,excessively swollen or,on the other hand,completely soft lifeless.
The upper half of the abdominal cavity should feel reasonably soft and open.
Hardness and imentrability here is a reflection of some condition of the organs beneath,indicating stagnation or imbalances in Ki flow.
This part of the abdomen also houses the solar plexus centre,which governs issues of CONFIDENCE and EXERCISE OF WILL POWER.
Tension in this area,pracitculary in diaphrahm,also reflect pent-up emotions ,often related to those issues!

I .I had some pent-up emotions,due to some problems,and I had to work to relise some tension,with specaila sequences.

Love to all of you from Port Moresby,and here is a lots og tension
at the moment!

Allen Beebe
03-04-2008, 07:21 PM
Thanks Allen,
Let's get together sometime and compare notes... I need to feel what you mean and I am not at all sure I am describing what I am doing clearly enough.
- George

Hi George,

Sure! It is always a pleasure to see you George. I completely agree, things are always much clearer in person.

For the sake of clarity I'd like to point to the fact that my description was of one aspect of training that I have been, and continue to, work on (and hopefully improve in) and have have felt others do. I can do some stuff, which is probably why Ron Tisdale flattered me by including my name among a list of others he has felt. However, I make no claims to greatness or authority in this realm. I'm totally convinced (because it seems obvious to me) that I'm still in the minor leagues of potential development.

. . . and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep . .

Best,

Allen

Chris Parkerson
03-04-2008, 07:33 PM
when speaking about standardizing terms I wonder if we could include terms already used by physics and possibly sports physiology. It may assist in creating measurable standards.

Center of Gravity (center) has no weight or mass. It can come out of the body as in the high jump's "Fossbery Flop". The center of gravity of the athlete is actually under the high jump bar while his body is arched over the bar.

Core strength would be closer to the Hara if you include fascia, pelvic girdle and organs.

Mike Sigman
03-04-2008, 07:40 PM
Mike, I am trying to establish some common terminology...

When I am grabbed with a simple same hand grab and I can put my power into my partner's shoulder, or his center, or ground him out so that he can't kick, or whatever by slightly changing how I align my body and how I visualize where I want the power to go, what do you call that? Rob, feel free to give me your take on it.

We were playing with this at Ikeda Sensei's seminar this weekend. I can do it and have my own way of explaining it but if there's already a terminology that exists, there's no point in my working out my own...Hi George:

It's one of those things that's pretty difficult to comment on without having seen or felt what you're talking about, unfortunately. I would say that if you're doing it well you shouldn't even have to "align your body".

Also, bear in mind that there are finite limits to what can be done with these things. For instance, Tohei might stand there "immoveable" to the push of someone with modest skills, but he would not be "immoveable to the onslaught of the bumper of a 1955 Chevrolet truck. ;) Having said that, I'd also say I'd need to factor your mass into any credible evaluation. :D

Best.

Mike

George S. Ledyard
03-04-2008, 08:52 PM
Hi George:

It's one of those things that's pretty difficult to comment on without having seen or felt what you're talking about, unfortunately. I would say that if you're doing it well you shouldn't even have to "align your body".

Also, bear in mind that there are finite limits to what can be done with these things. For instance, Tohei might stand there "immoveable" to the push of someone with modest skills, but he would not be "immoveable to the onslaught of the bumper of a 1955 Chevrolet truck. ;) Having said that, I'd also say I'd need to factor your mass into any credible evaluation. :D

Best.

Mike

Well, let me use an example of the exercises Ikeda Sensei did this weekend. He had two students hold a jo, one on each end, using one hand. Ikeda Sensei then stood dead center and put his hand lightly (he did not grab it) on the jo at the center point. He then shifted his body forward and both of the jo holders moved floated up and moved, despite their efforts to stay grounded.

Ikeda Sensei then did the same thing but was able to move either one of the two students and leave the other stable. There was very little you could see that was different about how he did this when he switched from one to the other.

Now I could do this and I did it with no tension in my arms or shoulders, so I assume I was doing the same thing he did. Is this something you could describe? Or is it still something that has too many possibilities without feeling it done to do?

dps
03-04-2008, 09:26 PM
I realize you are talking about advanced technique. .
My background is in fencing(Foil, Epee and Saber)

This is not an advance technique, this is a basic technique and similar if not the same as the 'lunge' in fencing (also a basic technique).

The lunge in fencing is very similar to Shomen Ate (first technique taught) in Shodokan Aikido.
It also can be seen in Ikkyo (Aikikai)

David

Upyu
03-04-2008, 09:27 PM
Ikeda Sensei then did the same thing but was able to move either one of the two students and leave the other stable. There was very little you could see that was different about how he did this when he switched from one to the other.

Now I could do this and I did it with no tension in my arms or shoulders, so I assume I was doing the same thing he did. Is this something you could describe? Or is it still something that has too many possibilities without feeling it done to do?

Hi George,

I have an "idea" of how I'd do it, but I'd need a jo, and two people to experiment with. :)
Once I get that I'll see if I can't comment on what I'd do ( assuming I can do it :D )

That being said,
It might make it easier if we had force diagrams using cool little stick figures showing how you manipulate the forces inside of you.

Couple of things that might need to be clarified, were the Uke standing in hanmi? or normal shoulder width stance? Were they holding the Jo relaxed, or gripping it normally (with a bit of strength, not necessarily the grip of death :D )

Mike Sigman
03-04-2008, 10:24 PM
Well, let me use an example of the exercises Ikeda Sensei did this weekend. He had two students hold a jo, one on each end, using one hand. Ikeda Sensei then stood dead center and put his hand lightly (he did not grab it) on the jo at the center point. He then shifted his body forward and both of the jo holders moved floated up and moved, despite their efforts to stay grounded.

Ikeda Sensei then did the same thing but was able to move either one of the two students and leave the other stable. There was very little you could see that was different about how he did this when he switched from one to the other.

Now I could do this and I did it with no tension in my arms or shoulders, so I assume I was doing the same thing he did. Is this something you could describe? Or is it still something that has too many possibilities without feeling it done to do?I guess what keeps me from committing too much is this, George. It sounds good and is almost certainly along the right lines, at least in terms of thinking, but without hearing you put into words how you did it, my inclination is to remain neutral because I haven't felt you do it. And like I've tried to say many times, there are levels of these things. If we get to where we're just telling stories about "here's what I can do", it does little for the general conversation.

How about this. There is a "Mind and Body Kickass" video of Kuroda Sensei doing sword pairing and he ends up with two ki tricks. If you understand these things then you should be able to describe how Kuroda did those tricks. They're simply variants of the trick you described. ;)

Best.

Mike

George S. Ledyard
03-05-2008, 12:58 AM
Hi George,

I have an "idea" of how I'd do it, but I'd need a jo, and two people to experiment with. :)
Once I get that I'll see if I can't comment on what I'd do ( assuming I can do it :D )

That being said,
It might make it easier if we had force diagrams using cool little stick figures showing how you manipulate the forces inside of you.

Couple of things that might need to be clarified, were the Uke standing in hanmi? or normal shoulder width stance? Were they holding the Jo relaxed, or gripping it normally (with a bit of strength, not necessarily the grip of death :D )

Hi Rob,
Ukes were in hanmi so they had the standard balance line to the side, they were holding the jo strongly (as instructed); without actively trying to counter the movement, they were instructed to center themselves and not be easy to move.

Since, as Mike pointed out, I have certain mass advantages, when I did it, I used my fingers rather than my whole hand on the jo so that there wouldn't be much of a chance that I was using my size to fake it.

- George

Upyu
03-05-2008, 09:42 AM
Hi Rob,
Ukes were in hanmi so they had the standard balance line to the side, they were holding the jo strongly (as instructed); without actively trying to counter the movement, they were instructed to center themselves and not be easy to move.

Since, as Mike pointed out, I have certain mass advantages, when I did it, I used my fingers rather than my whole hand on the jo so that there wouldn't be much of a chance that I was using my size to fake it.

- George

Thanks George,
If anything it's going to give me a good experiment to play around with :D

mathewjgano
03-08-2008, 01:23 AM
hey folks, just wanted to say thanks for the great conversations. I've been incredibly busy these days and will try to interact a bit more in the next couple days.
Take care,
Matt

Michael Douglas
03-08-2008, 02:11 PM
Just reminding folks of these two good bits of advice ;
Try to do everything with the lower body: the legs, hips, tanden. Hook-up/connect via the upper torso/arm but then try to do 100% of whatever you're doing with the legs/hips/middle. It will be very cumbersome and "stupid" at first, but it gradually improves and gets subtle. The upper body is relaxed and only connects the middle to whatever it is you're trying to move.
... Here something for your kid, tell him to not focus on the kicking leg or hips so much. Tell him to worry more about sinking his weight to the heel of the supporting leg when he kicks.

bkedelen
03-08-2008, 04:11 PM
Ikeda Sensei usually explains that he puts some on some bodyweight, just enough so the uke reacts just a bit and he gets some dynamic tension. In his terminology this is "tightness". "Tightness" also includes a sense of closeness, of collapsing into your body's inner empty space toward your partner. He then talks about creating a feeling of upwelling in his own abdomen (without moving his upper body!) which results in uke becoming "light". When uke is "light" he can be moved around easily. Sensei often uses the lightness to pick up his partner's shoulder. In my experiments with Mark I have found that this produces similar results to when Mike adjusts the angle of his ground path to be more acute to his partner's push. The result of both methods seems to be that if the partner pushes harder, he pushes himself away instead of pushing nage more. The order Sensei seems to apply this this method seems to be "tightness" or "connection", then "break balance", "make light" or "putting on edges", then "wave" or "putting your weight on". He seems to pick and choose between these options when he does a technique, doing whichever he feels the current circumstances warrant, often in a couple of different combinations for one single set of four during a technique demonstration. That is part of why it is so hard to see what he does, you cannot look again to see what he did previously. At a higher level, he talks about moving the steps "inside" which almost completely eliminates the ability to observe the steps happening, and also seems to keep uke from being able to feel the application of the steps. I hope this perspective is useful.

Erick Mead
03-08-2008, 05:21 PM
The question that is begged (as TimWK pointed out) is "how exactly does moving my middle push my hand out". As Chris Moses said the short answer is "connection". Holding a rope only at one end, which is a fair bit longer than your height plus your reach, and using only that hand, how do you lift the other end of the rope off the ground ?

Observe that the problem proposed is the same dimension as an opponent's reach plus height when holding your arm at the wrist.

For those who do not care for more technical explorations -- I have shielded their tender sensibilities from the burdensome physical explanation (with Jun's nifty new "spoiler" feature):
Answer: Using angular momentum transferring the motion of your center of mass to the end of the rope -- and off the ground it comes ("floats" is the term usually used when doing this to another person's body.) That connection is a "funicular curve" -- the shape of a cable under a load -- or in compression, an arch.) Dynamically, the shape tracks the transfer of angular momentum (equivalent to a wave), to the end of the connected segments, and then back again. Funetori undo is anexercsie in throwing the arms out like ropes with the motion of the center, and recovering them again in the same manner.

If your body is shaped for the funicular curve of the given load situation you are "connected," ie. -- all loads run close to the center of the body's segments. Conversely, if you are "disconnected" a load or load path runs at a significant radial distance from the center of a body segment(s) involved -- imparting moment (a tendency of rotation) or translation, depending on where the perpendicular component of the eccentric load is acting in relation to the respective center of mass and center of percussion of the segments or segments involved.

Doing it is art -- understanding how it is done is physics.

mathewjgano
03-09-2008, 01:55 PM
Lynn, I think you're a nice guy,
but...
Heheheh...sounds like you're breaking up with him. :D

I think it's the kind of advice mentioned above that leads people to waste so much time.

"Keep training, you'll feel it eventually"

"Just empty your mind and relax"
I agree with the point you're making here: it's a very trusting response to simply go with what you're being presented; to not question it. On the other hand, Lynn's remarks make sense to me too. I've long noticed that when I relax and "empty my mind" that I can perceive what's going on much better. This enxtends back to when i was the smallest kid of a group of pretty big guys who loved to wrestle. When I relaxed while in a "small package" I was sometimes able to feel my way out of it. It took a bit of time, but eventually i did feel it. It's a small example, but a valid one i think. So, it's still practical advice. It just has to be applied to a larger perspective if we're going to get a larger sense of what it is we're being taught.

mathewjgano
03-09-2008, 07:20 PM
This has been said before, but I'll repeat it here. To answer the question of what, exactly, the "center" IS and how to use it, though, we need to move towards a discussion of "internal" movement.

The "center" IS the abdomen, but more specifically, it's the muscles and other internal structures found in the abdomen and pelvic girdle.

The theory of "internal" movement that I subscribe to advocates that much of the whole "internal" thing involves utilizing the fascia (among other biomechanical processes) to augment and/or power movement.

The fascia runs throughout the entire body, both through and over/under muscle. It quite literally connects the various parts of the body via several pathways or "fascial planes".

It is possible to train and condition the body to "pull" the fasica "taunt". At that point, you can liken the body and limbs to a puppet on a string---if you pull the fascia, the rest of the body/limbs will be forced to go along with it.

Now, if you go ask a doctor or a massage therapist, they'll tell you the abdomen acts as a nexus of sorts for these "fascial planes". As such, if you "pull the fascia taunt", you can manipulate the muscles & such in the abdomen to force movement in the limbs.

Thus you can, quite literally, "move from the center", without using any muscular effort.

"Connecting" to the center refers to engaging the fascia. And once the fascia is "pulled taunt", the body will move in a more unified/cohesive manner, since, like the puppet, moving one body part will force movement in the others.

There are exercises to train & condition the body to do all this, but that's a huge discussion by itself.
Well, based on what i do know of physiology, this fits with my preexisting sense of things. If I were to try and correct anything, it would be the idea that one can "literally" move without "any" muscular effort. What you're describing is using minimal muscular effort right? Most notably being used are the legs and trunk?
I still don't see how describing a connection of fascia is much different than describing a connection of ki if only because we still have to look inward to develop that sense in order to purposefully use it. The trick is taking those abstractions/words and applying them to the visceral sense. As long as we're able to maintain that strong visceral sense of things, the words seem to become meaningless. Perhaps the "problem" being described of much of Aikido is a lack of this visceral sense to ground the heady abstractions?

mathewjgano
03-09-2008, 07:32 PM
Doing it is art -- understanding how it is done is physics.

For some reason, this seems to sum it up pretty well to me.

Timothy WK
03-10-2008, 05:03 AM
If I were to try and correct anything, it would be the idea that one can "literally" move without "any" muscular effort. What you're describing is using minimal muscular effort right?
No, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm glossing over some important nuances, but I meant what I said---it's possible to generate movement without engaging the muscles.

CitoMaramba
03-10-2008, 05:21 AM
Studies on fascial contractility:

Schleip R, Klingler W, Lehmann-Horn F.
Active fascial contractility: Fascia may be able to contract in a smooth muscle-like manner and thereby influence musculoskeletal dynamics.
Med Hypotheses. 2005;65(2):273-7.

Schleip R, Naylor IL, Ursu D, Melzer W, Zorn A, Wilke HJ, Lehmann-Horn F, Klingler W.
Passive muscle stiffness may be influenced by active contractility of intramuscular connective tissue.
Med Hypotheses. 2006;66(1):66-71. Epub 2005 Oct 4.

mathewjgano
03-10-2008, 09:07 AM
No, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm glossing over some important nuances, but I meant what I said---it's possible to generate movement without engaging the muscles.

Ok so literally no muscle usage whatsoever in the body? That's very interesting! Thank you, Timothy.
Matt

mathewjgano
03-10-2008, 09:16 AM
...Fascia may be able to contract in a smooth muscle-like manner and thereby influence musculoskeletal dynamics.

...Passive muscle stiffness may be influenced by active contractility of intramuscular connective tissue.

Not that I'm doubting anyone here; I tend to latch on to key words and phrases which often causes me to miss out on the bigger picture, but do you know any studies which speak in more certain terms than these citations? "May" doesn't sound like very strong language (refering to the first citation). Also, could you elaborate on what passive muscle stiffness refers to? Is it what most folks refer to when they speak of stiff muscles; as opposed to actively contracted muscles?
Thanks Cito,
Matt

mathewjgano
03-10-2008, 10:08 AM
I'm curious is anyone has read ANATOMY TRAINS: myofascial meridians for manual and movement therapists, by Myers. It was listed as a reference in the wikipedia article I was just reading.
Just in case anyone else was interested in this bit of the topic...
Per Wikipedia:
"Deep fascia can contract. What happens during the fight-or-flight response is an example of rapid fascial contraction . In response to a real or imagined threat to the organism, the body responds with a temporary increase in the stiffness of the fascia. Bolstered with tensioned fascia, people are able to perform extraordinary feats of strength and speed under emergency conditions. [12] How fascia contracts is still not well understood, but appears to involve the activity of myofibroblasts. Myofibroblasts are fascial cells that are created as a response to mechanical stress. In a two step process, fibroblasts differentiate into proto-myofibroblasts that with continued mechanical stress, become differentiated myofibroblasts. [13] Fibroblasts cannot contract, but myofibroblasts are able to contract in a smooth muscle-like manner. [14]"

ChrisMoses
03-10-2008, 10:41 AM
For some reason, this seems to sum it up pretty well to me.

Actually I think it reduces it too far. I'd say that it's all physiology and psychology, aiki uses both.

ChrisMoses
03-10-2008, 10:51 AM
No, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm glossing over some important nuances, but I meant what I said---it's possible to generate movement without engaging the muscles.

I know the whole fascia thing is really hot right now, but I don't buy it. I don't think anyone can move their fascia enough to accomplish anything *by itself*. You may be able to transmit muscular movements through the fascia from some more distant part of the body, but I really don't buy that the muscles don't engage at all. Frankly it's impossible, they are all always firing and since fascia serves as a sheath around all muscles, they are all part of an integrated system. Now you may be using small muscles to create tension through the fascia or to align the skeletal structure, but the amount of movement required to do anything that would be effective martially requires the musculature.

A good example (relevant to the thread) is kokyu-ho or aiki-age. The way I have been working on it (and the way I have felt Ark and Rob do it) does not engage the muscles of the arms much at all. But that's because the muscles of the arms aren't particularly useful in raising the arms, the muscles of the back and torso (from the hara) are quite capable of lifting the arms without the upper arm muscles firing.

Anyway, something to think about.

Timothy WK
03-10-2008, 11:48 AM
Ok so literally no muscle usage whatsoever in the body? That's very interesting!
*sigh*

I admitted that I was glossing over some important details. Did I ever say "no muscle usage whatsoever"? Actually, what I said was:

The "center" IS the abdomen, but more specifically, it's the muscles and other internal structures found in the abdomen and pelvic girdle... [M]uch of the whole "internal" thing involves utilizing the fascia (among other biomechanical processes) to augment and/or power movement.

[Emphasis added]

The idea is that the bulk---if not all---of the activity of moving happens in the body, NOT in the limbs. In a very real and literal way, the muscles and other internal structures found in the abdomen or "center" power the limbs. And I'm not talking about throwing your weight or momentum around. I am talking about, for example, lifting the arms with the muscles and/or other internal structures in the LOWER back, not the shoulders.

Awhile ago I posted a little exercise using the hand ("http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13446) that anyone can try. That's not exactly the way internal movement works, but it illustrates the principle. You can make the fingers move without using the muscles in the forearm. Moving from the center works in a similar-sorta way, but in a much bigger and more complicated way.

I don't think anyone can move their fascia enough to accomplish anything *by itself*. You may be able to transmit muscular movements through the fascia from some more distant part of the body, but I really don't buy that the muscles don't engage at all.
Chris, I don't think we disagree. I was giving a simplified answer. Again, the point I was trying to make was that movement comes from within the body, not the limbs. So in that sense, you can move the limbs without engaging the muscles in the limbs.

mathewjgano
03-10-2008, 11:52 AM
I know the whole fascia thing is really hot right now, but I don't buy it. I don't think anyone can move their fascia enough to accomplish anything *by itself*. You may be able to transmit muscular movements through the fascia from some more distant part of the body, but I really don't buy that the muscles don't engage at all. Frankly it's impossible, they are all always firing and since fascia serves as a sheath around all muscles, they are all part of an integrated system. Now you may be using small muscles to create tension through the fascia or to align the skeletal structure, but the amount of movement required to do anything that would be effective martially requires the musculature.

A good example (relevant to the thread) is kokyu-ho or aiki-age. The way I have been working on it (and the way I have felt Ark and Rob do it) does not engage the muscles of the arms much at all. But that's because the muscles of the arms aren't particularly useful in raising the arms, the muscles of the back and torso (from the hara) are quite capable of lifting the arms without the upper arm muscles firing.

Anyway, something to think about.

Hi Chris,
well that's certainly more in line with my preexisting notions. I find it hard to believe that none of the leg and trunk muscles would be involved, but there does seem to be something to the idea that fascia can itself contract. That wikipedia article I posted has a citation referenced froma book I'm thinking about buying, so maybe some new light will be shed for me. Either way, while talking about all this is provocative, really only practicing it makes any difference. Eventually i hope to get some chances to feel these things for myself.
And as for the previous of your posts just now, i agree it's very simplistic and leaves a lot of room for explaination. Essentially i have a series of half-formed questions which I haven't presented very well, but talking it through has helped quite a bit.
Thanks for your time and efforts, I do appreciate them.
Take care,
matt

mathewjgano
03-10-2008, 12:00 PM
Did I ever say "no muscle usage whatsoever"?
So you ARE talking about using the least number of muscles as possible (ie-minimal muscle usage). You did say one could "quite literally" not use "any" muscle at all. I see the misuderstanding now, thanks.
I said: If I were to try and correct anything, it would be the idea that one can "literally" move without "any" muscular effort. What you're describing is using minimal muscular effort right?
I wasn't referring to the arms; I was talking about the body as a whole...hence the mention of using legs and the trunk muscles to generate movement: Most notably being used are the legs and trunk?. Thanks for sticking with it...I know I don't often convey my meaning very well.
Take care,
Matt

Timothy WK
03-11-2008, 01:59 PM
So you ARE talking about using the least number of muscles as possible (ie-minimal muscle usage).

Ehh... I don't like saying that.

In this context, it's too easy to misinterpret what I was trying to get at. I've had lots of teachers tell me "don't use the arms, use the legs, it should be effortless!" What they then do is use certain angles of attack and body alignment to minimize muscle strain (most notably by bringing the elbows and/or hands close to the body, and aligning the forearms with the angle of force), while they use their legs and weight/momentum to press into the strike or throw or whatever.

If I may bring in a non-Aikido example of this idea, when I worked loading trucks for UPS, I would grab heavy boxes and press them into my chest or stomach, so the weight would fall on my hips. I could then walk around with minimal, if any, upper body strain, while my legs carried the weight. I developed OK back strength, but I never developed big arms, despite carrying around, maybe... ~5000 lbs a day.

But that's not the kind of thing I'm trying to talk about. Those examples still use localized muscle. They feel "effortless" because they are, in fact, reducing the strain and workload on the body. But is there a way to maintain the workload/strain and still "feel effortless"?

Here's another example---let's say you want to push uke's chest or whatever. If you drop your arms and press into uke with your shoulder, that feels like you're "not using your arms", right? You feel that because you're NOT actually using your arms, right? So you retry it, but this time, you lock the arm straight and press. Again, it feels like you're "not using the arm", because the arm is basically pushing bone on bone. But what if you bend the elbow 90 degrees? Is there a way to make THAT action feel "effortless" for the arm?

How did Ueshiba do the "jo trick (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4Kcv0MQSgU)", where he held out a jo straight to the side, while someone pressed against it---at an angle perpendicular to his arm and body? How does that "use the legs"? Some have claimed that it's impossible to keep the arm steady under such conditions, that the muscles in the shoulder joint aren't strong enough to bare that sort of the load. And they're right, the shoulder can't do that. So either Ueshiba's uke was faking, or Ueshiba was accessing a different source of strength. (I can't do the jo trick, but I can appreciate how its done.)

So not to leave you hanging, all this points back to "connecting" the body, via the fascia (my belief), through the "center" nexus (abdomen), such that the strain is moved around the body, not simply reduced. Watch this video of Mike Sigman (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-490520230360622262) (who frequents this board). Pay attention to 5:00 - 6:15 (but also notice how he stays relaxed when someone is pushing on his *bent* arm at 0:45). Think about it and be honest with yourself---why and/or how would he (literally) feel pressure in the foot when someone torques his wrist? (And I'm sure that's not some sort of vague, half-imagined feeling he's describing.) I don't think THAT involves any muscle activity. (And similarly, I'm not sure that the "jo trick" requires any muscle, either, but I might be wrong about that.)

And one last thing (I mean it!)---even if there's a certain amount of muscle activity in the body, the quality of this activity is different. You're not just transferring the strain from, say, the shoulder to the quad, so you feel a lactic acid burn in your thigh instead of your shoulder. If you read accounts of high level practitioners, there's the recurring idea of "relaxed strength" and "effortless" movement.

Erick Mead
03-11-2008, 11:08 PM
Here's another example---let's say you want to push uke's chest or whatever. ... Is there a way to make THAT action feel "effortless" for the arm? Riddle me this. If I tie a weight on a rope and hit somebody with it -- does it have any muscle to exert effort? I can hit you with my fist the same way, driven by the motion of my center, without muscular effort for the arms. With practice you can use the arms in the same manner in less obvious but instinctively directed ways also. Funetori undo, tekubi furi and seated kokyu dosa are training in the ways in which this is done

[/B]How did Ueshiba do the "jo trick (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4Kcv0MQSgU)", where he held out a jo straight to the side, while someone pressed against it---at an angle perpendicular to his arm and body? How does that "use the legs"? ... the muscles in the shoulder joint aren't strong enough to bare that sort of the load. And they're right, the shoulder can't do that. So either Ueshiba's uke was faking, or Ueshiba was accessing a different source of strength. (I can't do the jo trick, but I can appreciate how its done.)
His shoulder is not under any appreciable load, because uke's push has been dissipated into his own instability.

Look at uke's stance. He pushes the first time with his front shikaku (the direction of his push) away from O Sensie, and O Sensei plainly is entering, extending out -- projecting uke's balance perpendiculalry (juji) to the point of kuzushi where his push resolves to zero balance to push from. Clever uke realizes this stance is not working and so reverses it, leaving the open shikaku toward O Sensie, who nolonger is extending -- he now simply draws uke's balance into that shikaku toward him, instead. Obviously, it requires fine senitivitiy and instinctive adjustment to be able keep uke so precisely at the null points -- but HOW it is done is no mystery -- you can see it, and it requires no mysterious strength -- but it does require much hard training.

So not to leave you hanging, all this points back to "connecting" the body, via the fascia (my belief), through the "center" nexus (abdomen), such that the strain is moved around the body, not simply reduced. Watch this video of Mike Sigman (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-490520230360622262) (who frequents this board). Pay attention to 5:00 - 6:15 (but also notice how he stays relaxed when someone is pushing on his *bent* arm at 0:45). Think about it and be honest with yourself---why and/or how would he (literally) feel pressure in the foot when someone torques his wrist? (And I'm sure that's not some sort of vague, half-imagined feeling he's describing.) That is called a "moment" -- a potential rotation of the structure resisted by the physical elements of structure being torqued (or sprung, in a sense) against the ground, in this case, hence the pressure -- although the moments can also be resisted by elements of the structure straining against each other, like tensile muscles compressing bones.

In essence, what Mike is doing is resolving the imbalance of forces created by the push in his own body with resistance at the ground, (countering an in-plane moment with another in-plane moment (the path they travel to get there is not really that relevant)

Conversely, O Sensei is resolving the imbalance of forces in the jo trick within his opponent's balance structure, not wihtin his shoulder or body. He destroys his opponent's ability to make the "ground path" that Mike talks about -- and which is necessary to generate the push. But O Sensei does not do it by countering moment with in-plane moment -- like a beam shear moment resists bending moment . He does it by countering moment with an out of plane rotation, which alters the entire framework of uke's force problem -- rug-snatching, essentially.

If you read accounts of high level practitioners, there's the recurring idea of "relaxed strength" and "effortless" movement.That's becasue it actually is --there are places to act that do not require more effort than moving yourself, and radically destroy the foundation on which uke's effort is generated.

rob_liberti
03-12-2008, 09:16 AM
Here is the jo trick video I'm a bit more interested in.
"jo trick with a bunch of guys (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxxb2ctulEs&NR=1)" From 2:19 - 2:30.

It would be interesting to come up with some kind of tests where we could actually test Erick's physics descriptions against what Dan or Mike or Rob J, etc. are doing. My guess is that Erick's approach is not thoroughly covering all of the aspects of how the folks are opposed and narrowing that down would be interesting to me. However, I'm not so sure that it would be tremendously helpful for people to understand how it is being done on that level unless you are trying to build a robot that can do aiki - yes "robo sensei" you heard the name here first. I'll copyright it later today. :)

What would be more interesting and helpful to me would be a new thread called aiki and yoga or aiki and body therapies. Where people who are working on stretching tendons in their groins to enhance their stability or working to unlock their psoas (http://www.touchpoint.dk/UK_artikler_psoas.htm) so they can get out of the way of their fascia "windings" exercises can discuss what helped the most. Or maybe this would be a better exercise for the wiki? Thoughts?

Rob

Ron Tisdale
03-12-2008, 09:37 AM
What would be more interesting and helpful to me would be a new thread called aiki and yoga or aiki and body therapies. Where people who are working on stretching tendons in their groins to enhance their stability or working to unlock their psoas so they can get out of the way of their fascia "windings" exercises can discuss what helped the most. Or maybe this would be a better exercise for the wiki? Thoughts?

Rob

Hi Rob! I think that is an excellent topic for here:

http://www.internal-aiki.com/

I'll start it, if you don't mind, in a few minutes...

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
03-12-2008, 10:39 AM
http://www.internal-aiki.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=21

is the link for that discussion...

Best,
Ron

Erick Mead
03-12-2008, 09:33 PM
Here is the jo trick video I'm a bit more interested in.
"jo trick with a bunch of guys (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxxb2ctulEs&NR=1)" From 2:19 - 2:30. No different. Except that if the stance of the ukes are differnt some of them are being projected into the rear shikaku -- which puts their balance recovery forward in the direction of the "push" - but with no foundation to actually push from and the balance recovery of any uke with the front shikaku exposed is rearward -- at odds with each other and therefore cancelling each other out into the same null. if there are three, then they are either all exposed the same way, or two are cancelling each other out with one defining the net dynamic of the oush. With four, either two pair offset each other completely or one pair does and two define the dynamic. The net of that is that O Sensei would feel the total imbalance in stances as the balance of, at most, one or two uke net, outward or inward, relating to the orientation of the stance to the push). Then he "simply" followed that with the appropriate extension/draw into the exposed shikaku indicated. This is, in part, what he is speaking about, in my opiniion when he addresses treating many enemies like one -- because properly managed either weakness reinforces weakness or strength cancels strength.

I do not diminish the subtlety of the sense necessary to parse through the psychological noise (as well as physical noise) of the four guys on the stick, but that is why I analytically tease these apart -- as a way of more closely looking for what I should be feeling when faced with subtle but apparently daunting problems.

I find the throw indicative (starting at the center and propagating outward).

It would be interesting to come up with some kind of tests where we could actually test Erick's physics descriptions against what Dan or Mike or Rob J, etc. are doing.
My guess is that Erick's approach is not thoroughly covering all of the aspects of how the folks are opposed and narrowing that down would be interesting to me. I do not pretend to analyze other than what I can see or feel, or reasonably infer from those observations. They may do many things -- but the portion of the video offered as to Mike is demonstrably different, mechanically, from these examples of the jo trick.

What would be more interesting and helpful to me would be ... working on stretching tendons in their groins to enhance their stability or working to unlock their psoas (http://www.touchpoint.dk/UK_artikler_psoas.htm) so they can get out of the way of their fascia "windings" exercises can discuss what helped the most. Or maybe this would be a better exercise for the wiki? Thoughts?In my sojourn in Iwama style we did ( and I still do) ken and jo suburi plus a number of variations on happo undo. Those movements, especially the turn and extend, and the draw-in and turn movements of the core seem very close what you are talking about. The hip draws the leg forward or back. It is really the only way to move fluidly and efficiently when performing the happo undo with speed and power, especially those that incorporate more elaborate tenkan turns in addition to the more typical single step-cut-pivots. The sense of successive "winding-unwinding" power of the core is very palpable in these.

Timothy WK
03-13-2008, 07:36 AM
Erick, once again---you really, really, REALLY NEED to just go out and feel/observe what Mike S, Dan H, Akuzawa, etc, are doing first hand, in person. You're basing your analysis on assumptions that simply aren't true, or neglect specific body mechanics that are required to make the effects you describe happen.

I can do the wrist-thing Mike is doing in the video... not nearly as well, but can I do it... and at its most basic level (which is where I'm at), it has nothing to do with the ground (though at Mike's level, he's able to bring the ground into play). It's about "connecting" the tendons, ligaments, etc in the hand and arm, such that when torque is applied to the wrist, the pressure spreads not only to the forearms, but all the way up the arm and into the body---and not in some subtle half-imagined way, but in a real, obvious way. And I'm not talking about locking out the joints and twisting the body. 99% of people, if they are honest with themselves, have to admit they can't feel the torque/pressure beyond their elbows in any real (unsubtle) way.

Erick Mead
03-13-2008, 04:12 PM
I can do the wrist-thing Mike is doing in the video... not nearly as well, but can I do it... and at its most basic level (which is where I'm at), it has nothing to do with the ground (though at Mike's level, he's able to bring the ground into play). It's about "connecting" the tendons, ligaments, etc in the hand and arm, such that when torque is applied to the wrist, the pressure spreads not only to the forearms, but all the way up the arm and into the body---and not in some subtle half-imagined way, but in a real, obvious way. I take no issue with anything Mike says about performing nikkyo or forming similar paths for transmitting what we transmit. In fact he illustrates in larger scale movements in his demonstration of funetori undo (boat-rowing exercise) -- the same transfer of moment by means of angular momentum to the hands (the wave-like action).

There is a lovely little pinkie-finger nikkyo that illustrates exactly what you are talking about. It ain't about limbs and leverage, because uke's pinkie finger will break off if I used leverage. Its about transferring moment with momentum (in my terms) -- from an extremity of the structure to the entire structure -- to progressively impair the stability system and make it inoperative -- with little effort and if necessary, the barest of connection.

Ikkyo, nikkyo, any pin or any projection should do EXACTLY what O Sensei demonstrated in the throw of the jo trick -- a progressive, propagating center-initiated surge of motion and transferred moment. In the case of a throw --taking the opponent's stability center and directing it where the dynamic naturally goes, resolving moments with imparted rotations. In the case of a pin -- turning the stability center back on itself, making his internal moments resolve against themselves.

Erick, once again---you really, really, REALLY NEED to just go out and feel/observe what Mike S, Dan H, Akuzawa, etc, are doing first hand, in person. You're basing your analysis on assumptions that simply aren't true, or neglect specific body mechanics that are required to make the effects you describe happen. sigh.

"A scientist is an original, an extremist, disrupting established patterns of thought. Good science involves perpetual, open debate, in which every objection is aired and dissents are sharpened and clarified, not smoothed over." John Kay.

Blossoms have no muscles.

If you want to know why that matters, please read, if not, enjoy the pretty flower:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuJfhhaxdz8

Ok. So, beginning at the beginning. Which assumptions? What about them is untrue? And, which specific body mechanics am I neglecting. All mechanics involves choosing some terms of convenience for the problem addressed. So if you change the terms of convenience to address the question, recognize that and reconcile the two approaches or show why one is better for this purpose than another.

If we adopted Mike's (inapt) vector preference (I'll explain why), we create a more complex, not a less complex problem. Vectors require defining the boundary path within which vectors of force travel. The most common example is the "middle third" center of gravity rule for the stability of a wall. Mike does not do this (in fairness he uses the term more loosely or metaphorically -- at least in his descriptions here and in the video). He speaks of pushing the hand from the belt line illustrated without any intervening structural path -- but that's not a proper vector. Without a defined load path it is a transferred moment.

The advantage of the moments method is you do not have to be too concerned about the precise load paths. That is why moment methods are preferred in complex structures -- they are easier to analyze.

You wrote elsewhere about your qigong teacher connecting into your structure. You said that you could feel the progress of the connection from the extremity though to your center as he did it. You were perceiving the transfer of moment -- potentials for rotation, that occur at structural discontinuities. They define where the structure is predisposed to move when the structure becomes discontinuous.

What he felt in order to do it to do is simply the reflection of what you were feeling of him doing it. Literally, he is perceiving reflected waves of momentum (as Mike illustrated on larger scales) from structural discontinuities he then aligns to the proper shape to allow his momentum to travel further and further into your structure. creating successive moments at each discontinuity. Done with the proper sensitivity and shape, the moments cascade through aligning and rotating each successive discontinuity and resolving moments with rotations ( i.e - simply conserving momentum in 3 axes (dare I say -- gyrodynamically). This is kokyu tanden ho training in Aikido.

I will grant that if one has not gotten a sense of what an integrated structure is -- it is harder to envision the transfer of moments, because there are discontinuities in the unintegrated body that will kill any sense of it occurring. How that sense of integrated structure is to be obtained is the key and there are (at least) two schools of thought contending (in these debates).

What Aunkai seems to focus on is addressing that integration of continuous structure and, in a consistent manner, actually, following a sense of vectors carefully through the body -- thus identifying and removing structural discontinuities at the hips, back, shoulders and other major transfer points within the structure. This is consistent with the "vector" approach, as Mike loosely applies it.

But frankly, it makes my head hurt. There are simpler ways to envision it that are more convenient, and accurate mechanically as well. (I know, I know, many think that nothing I write about is simple enough, but even so... ) Again, I have no brief against any of this training. I simply do not sign on to the premise that the same thing (body integration) is not accomplished by other means -- many of them not even explicitly or implicitly martial, and many not at all so static.

The headaching problem is in the linear nature of actual vector analysis. There are so many different load paths allowable (different sets of internal vectors for the same input and resultant) that mapping them out in this fashion is rather painstaking. They are not all of the same efficiency and there is no mechanical principle (at least none that I have yet seen articulated by the proponents) by which inherent efficiency can be self-assessed and corrected. Thus you keep on about "you have to FEEL it" assuming I have not in other venues from other people.

In a moments method you can look at the efficiency of transfer. You can note where the discontinuities are occurring. You feel them yourself, or see them if you are knowing what to look for. You learn the shape in the dynamic - rather than learn shape and then dynamic. The latter provides no inherent feedback.

The structure takes on a characteristic dynamic shape when discontinuities are not present. Tegatana is one static representation of that dynamic shape. The dynamic in the structure can be used to refine the shape of movement and eliminate the discontinuity once it is pointed out (as opposed to statically forming the structure to the ultimate shape of the dynamic).

Aunkai, specifically, seems to do this more statically, as does Sanchin no kata, which is highly effective and contains the same shapes, in more coiled, tightened form that I recognize from proper connected aikido movement done more dynamically. Some in DTR describe it as asagao - the characteristic shape of spiral opening and closing seen in the morning-glory blossom. The fascinating thing about the flower's dynamic is that in both opening and closing it simultaneously extends in one axis and retracts in another axis. (i.e -- juji or in-yo ho ) In mechanical terms that is conserving moment/ momentum from one axis to utilize it in another, through the dynamic shaping of the structure.

Adman
03-13-2008, 06:10 PM
Erick,

Are you proposing that the only way to move from (or connect with) the "Hara" -- without using the usual muscle suspects -- is with momentum?

How would one raise their arm slowly, using the "hara"?

Thanks,
Adam

mathewjgano
03-13-2008, 11:51 PM
Ehh... I don't like saying that.
Fair enough :D

Here's another example---... Again, it feels like you're "not using the arm", because the arm is basically pushing bone on bone. But what if you bend the elbow 90 degrees? Is there a way to make THAT action feel "effortless" for the arm?
I would say there is a holographical twisting which allows the 90 degree-bent arm to still feel effortless. Not that I can do it well, but this is what comes to my mind as an answer to your question.

How did Ueshiba do the "jo trick (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4Kcv0MQSgU)", where he held out a jo straight to the side, while someone pressed against it---at an angle perpendicular to his arm and body? How does that "use the legs"?
That I really can't say. When I spoke of using the legs though, I was referring to the fact that they always support us while standing. I can either plant my legs and move people around me, or i can shift my position.

So not to leave you hanging, all this points back to "connecting" the body, via the fascia (my belief), through the "center" nexus (abdomen), such that the strain is moved around the body, not simply reduced.
I'm not sure I understand you here...by "reduced" are you alluding to a conflict in forces? That I might somehow push against the incoming force as a way of reducing it? My understanding is that somehow I must organize in such a way that the incoming force isn't competed with. When i think in this way at least, techniques tend to happen much easier.

Watch this video of Mike Sigman (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-490520230360622262) (who frequents this board). Pay attention to 5:00 - 6:15 (but also notice how he stays relaxed when someone is pushing on his *bent* arm at 0:45). Think about it and be honest with yourself---why and/or how would he (literally) feel pressure in the foot when someone torques his wrist? (And I'm sure that's not some sort of vague, half-imagined feeling he's describing.) I don't think THAT involves any muscle activity.
I know a similar feeling to what he was showing (it all looks very similar to stuff I've been told, at any rate). Would you say any muscular activity which might be present is geared toward creating the shape of the receiving body with the intent of channeling the incoming energy into the ground?

And one last thing (I mean it!)---even if there's a certain amount of muscle activity in the body, the quality of this activity is different. You're not just transferring the strain from, say, the shoulder to the quad, so you feel a lactic acid burn in your thigh instead of your shoulder. If you read accounts of high level practitioners, there's the recurring idea of "relaxed strength" and "effortless" movement.
From what little I know from my own training, what you're saying makes sense to me. When I've been properly aligned, I feel uke's force push into the ground; a settling of my center column (spine). The idea of relaxed strength fits perfectly with my own paradigm of training, slight though my abilities are. I've always thought of it as the bones bearing the basic structural weight/force and the shape of the posture (a function of muscles and coordination) as directing it around/through me into the ground (particularly the static grabbing exercises I've done).

Erick Mead
03-14-2008, 09:17 AM
Erick,

Are you proposing that the only way to move from (or connect with) the "Hara" -- without using the usual muscle suspects -- is with momentum?

How would one raise their arm slowly, using the "hara"?
How does a taut rope form a standing wave, or a looser rope form a traveling wave ? There is nothing in your body that is not moving constantly, all the time, at every moment. Even if it looks static -- it is still moving back and forth and hence, yes, angular momentum, and its potential quantity of moment. The way to knock a refrigerator over is to get it rocking. The way to pull a small tree out of the ground is the same -- oh wait, O Sensei did that with Ki didn't he?

When you raise your arm slowly you are using the hara, IF you are letting the connection run freely without obstruction form the center to the fingertips as you do it. Stand with your arms hanging freely and exhale -- breathe in deeply -- notice your hand just swayed out from the body, and as you breathe out they sway back -- just like in funetori with the motion of the hips. You can raise the arm with the breath, a pneumatic lift, i.e. --the only muscular contribution is to hold the position attained until the next breath lifts the arm further. No one can usefully conclude the muscles are not involved -- it is just a particular way the muscles are involved. The dynamic is driven by the core action, and the muscles just set the ratchet in the next click of the wheel.

More importantly for martial purposes, as the dynamic level increases, the proportion of any muscular input of the limbs in this usage becomes almost nil. In other words, exactly the relationship you would want to have for a martial principle that must sustain one in a day long battle -- and if it did so successfully it would be precisely the sort of thing that would inspire the mystic awe that we associate with it -- until we start to use it, that is.

The limbs transfer the rotary dynamic of the center outward. All human motion is rotary -- there is no human motion that is linear. With sufficient dynamic the muscles have nothing they need to hold, as with the slow rasing of the arms. They just serve to guide the dynamic, no more force than the rudder uses to guide the immensely greater (and also cyclicly opposed, BTW) forces playing between the sail and keel of the boat. The action ripples out and ripples back, and the muscles just guide it to keep it from losing power.

Kokyu exercises, whether of ten/chi no kokyu breathing purely, or funetori, tekubi furi, happo undo, etc. all tend to coordinate these disparate cyclic movements into one coherent dynamic shape that may be directed. Furitama is meant to sensitize the mind (below the conscious level) the coordination of those ordinary chaotic back and forth movements into something that can respond as a resonant whole. That sensitivity cannot happen at the conscious level, it is too complex, even if the action that uses the same means as the sense itself can be mechanically described.

Erick Mead
03-14-2008, 10:06 AM
I would say there is a holographical twisting which allows the 90 degree-bent arm to still feel effortless. Not that I can do it well, but this is what comes to my mind as an answer to your question. Hiji-riki. Elbow power. The arm shape has to approximate the funicular curve for the load or else it experiences a bending stress (i.e -- requiring effort to counter with musculature) hence placing the elbow correctly for the load reduces the bending stress close to zero reducing required effort (or viewed subjectively, makes you feel stronger under the load.)

Would you say [1] any muscular activity which might be present is geared toward creating the shape of the receiving body with the intent [2] of channeling the incoming energy into the ground? Yes to [1] , and I have strong misgivings as to [2]. If you place your structure between the incoming force and the ground, you have formed a one leg of a triangle or a third of a pin. If while so loaded you move in angle offset of the incoming force or moment (as with the "ground and bounce" description of some "push" exercises), you form the second leg of the triangle that makes a pin. If the opponent is sensible enough to do add his own offset extension and rotation to the mix he forms the third leg of that triangle -- voila -- you are a sprung structural truss, and pinned, or if he releases the catch on the sprung leg of the triangle -- you swing out and fall.

When I've been properly aligned, I feel uke's force push into the ground; a settling of my center column (spine). OK. You are now a loaded slender column (with hinges, no less). If you are an eccentrically loaded column with hinges, you buckle and collapse. Why would you want to do that? That's what I want to do to the other guy. Load HIM up and break his structure by shifting the center of the dynamic.

I've always thought of it as the bones bearing the basic structural weight/force and the shape of the posture (a function of muscles and coordination) as directing it around/through me into the ground (particularly the static grabbing exercises I've done).Eighty year old men don't do well bearing the weight and force of three or four strapping young brutes. Ergo, consider the possibility that O Sensei, in the jo trick, seated pushes, etc. etc., did not bear their force, but cleverly made them bear their force on each other or on nothing (The Void) rather than him.

mathewjgano
03-14-2008, 03:00 PM
Matthew Gano wrote:
Would you say [1] any muscular activity which might be present is geared toward creating the shape of the receiving body with the intent [2] of channeling the incoming energy into the ground?

Yes to [1] , and I have strong misgivings as to [2]. If you place your structure between the incoming force and the ground, you have formed a one leg of a triangle or a third of a pin.
How would you describe the legs' role in floating aite?

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote:
When I've been ["properly"] aligned, I feel uke's force push into the ground; a settling of my center column (spine).

OK. You are now a loaded slender column (with hinges, no less). If you are an eccentrically loaded column with hinges, you buckle and collapse. Why would you want to do that?
I wouldn't...that's why I'd try to avoide overly eccentric movements; keeping a strong vertical posture to keep my spine and legs as powerfully involved as possible (vis a vis: posture). To my mind, the bones are the core of the conduit/body; the other tissues are a further aspect of the conduit.

Eighty year old men don't do well bearing the weight and force of three or four strapping young brutes. Ergo, consider the possibility that O Sensei, in the jo trick, seated pushes, etc. etc., did not bear their force, but cleverly made them bear their force on each other or on nothing (The Void) rather than him.
That's not quite what I meant...I meant that bone provides the natural strength (ie-natural force) of the posture; like an egg along its long axis, bone provides the meat and potatoes of our force capability. The curves we're seeking to use in order to operate our center are still shaped by the postures our bones form. If I had to hazard a guess, Osensei might have been "bending" their energy back into them, but I really have no clue. Assuming all was legit, I imagine Osensei was able to create a powerfull "yang"/heavy connection and as such was able to suppress their centers through the lever of the jo. The specifics of how one can make such a tight curve is beyond me...and again, I really have a slight frame of reference.

Erick Mead
03-15-2008, 11:36 AM
... channeling the incoming energy into the ground? How would you describe the legs' role in floating aite? Ideally, as bearing my weight. Let me give a simple example of doing it to yourself. Then we can use the same principle to float uke/aite.

Tekubi furi undo takes the the momentum of shaking out your hands over your head and synchronizes it to your hara. Done properly, the motion of shaking your hands above your head alternately lifts your weight off the floor at your heels and drives it back down again. (aiki-age and aiki-sage, in some terminology). You will also note that it also causes your diapraghm to pulse the breath in staccatto time with the motion. You should feel it in your belly. You are intermittently "floating" your own body and driving it down again -- not with your legs and gravity -- but with a mass driver -- that transferred momentum you are casting off into to "nothing" above your head (Musashi's Void). You are actually accelerating your body more than gravity does downward when you do this, even if only for a moment. But that is all you need.

When you throw your arms down vigorously in the second phase of the tekubi furi exercise, they come to a halt at the end of their natural extension. But the angular momentum you just generated has nowhere to go but back up your arms to your shoulders. That momentum lifts you off the ground at the heels with transferred momentum -- "floating" yourself.

Now these are exercises to firm the sense of connection and action of the hara with the extremities. In application the dynamic for nage is reversed -- along the same pathways and the same mechanics but the core motion and the breath cycle driving the extremities in the same fashion as the extremity drives the core and the breath cycle in the exercise. But you have done to yourself with these exercises what you are striving to do to uke when you apply them.

When applying it to uke, he is being driven at his core from the extremity where you connect with him in this manner. If you are well connected and in proper form of the action you can, quite literally, take his breath away, in the same way that you own motion drives your own breath in the exercise. (To do that routinely or for more than a very brief moment is beyond me) but the definite start that uke gets when this is well done is no in small part related to a physical involuntary disruption of their breath, even if just for a brief moment. It is unsettling.

So moving onto actually "floating" uke, in funetori we drive the angular momentum forward and recoil it back again propagating it out from center to fingertips forward and from center to fingertips back. The cycle is not reversed -- it is progressive, -- always initiated FROM the center -- NOT from the center out and then from out back to center again, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding.

With that pulse of the hips meeting uke's incoming momentum at connection, he feels the inertial "load" of diminishing my dynamic momentum. He cannot tell the difference because static strain moment (I meet his momentum with ground reaction through my body) and inertial moment (I meet his momentum with my momentum) are not distinguishable by feel of the reaction.

He has not imposed ANY static load on my structure until all my dynamic momentum is eaten up in the connection. By that time I have moved so as to project further momentum into nothingness in some direction, as with tekubi furi that achieves kuzushi -- whether up to achieve aiki-age, down to achieve aiki-sage, simultaneously in tenchinage or to either or both sides to compromise his shikaku, or lots of other combinations of the above. He never bears my structure between his force and the ground, because my Ki, my angular momentum, is shielding me in the connection for the brief moment necessary to redirect his momentum into nothing useful for him. In this case it is momentum, in others it is a poised moment , but that is just a potential for angular momentum so they really are not different.

That is what O Sensei does in the jo trick. He projects his ukes' momentum into nothingness in exactly the manner that I float myself of the ground in tekubi furi or my opponent in aiki-age

The curves we're seeking to use in order to operate our center are still shaped by the postures our bones form. If I had to hazard a guess, Osensei might have been "bending" their energy back into them, but I really have no clue. Assuming all was legit, I imagine Osensei was able to create a powerfull "yang"/heavy connection and as such was able to suppress their centers through the lever of the jo. The specifics of how one can make such a tight curve is beyond me...and again, I really have a slight frame of reference. It is the dynamic itself that forms the curves you speak of, we just back it up, direct it and keep it from losing power. It is however, no kind of leverage that O Sensei is using with the jo. He did not suppress them -- he just took them tangentially to the limits of their power, and held them there at the null point. It is entirely perpendicular projection or recoil (Juji 十字) in connection with their momentum.

mathewjgano
03-15-2008, 11:33 PM
Tekubi furi undo takes the the momentum of shaking out your hands over your head and synchronizes it to your hara. Done properly, the motion of shaking your hands above your head alternately lifts your weight off the floor at your heels and drives it back down again...You should feel it in your belly. You are intermittently "floating" your own body and driving it down again -- not with your legs and gravity
Yeah, i understand this idea modestly well i think. We do quite a bit of furitama at my dojo. That and tori fune undo are great ways (in my limited experience) to practice an organic connection from center outward through the legs into the ground and out the arms and head. I suppose I was referring to the "non-idealized" floating (or the moment after) where you do in fact load up aite on your center. In shomen ate for example I got the impression that floating aite occured as my hands entered in an upward arc...aite's weight (the amount felt of which being the function of momentum) would still add something to the force being projected downward, if I understand my physics well enough (it wouldn't surprise me to find out I don't).
It is however, no kind of leverage that O Sensei is using with the jo. He did not suppress them -- he just took them tangentially to the limits of their power, and held them there at the null point. It is entirely perpendicular projection or recoil (Juji 十字) in connection with their momentum.
Yeah, I was just watching the video and to me it seemed the students were essentially just holding on to the jo while one student held back on both Osensei and the innermost student. I'm not sure where I got the idea that he was supressing back into them; he seems to have been over-extending them: "pealing" them off their base.
Perhaps leverage means something more specific than I thought it did, but I thought leverage is a factor in anything we're tipping over one way or the other. The arms themselves are levers after all. Aren't we using a 3 dimensional lever system any time we articulate power from our center to our extremities?
Also, just out of curiosity would you consider a "yin" technique to be when we are floating aite's hara and a "yang" technique to be when we are suppressing it with a downward force?
Take care,
Matt

Erick Mead
03-16-2008, 01:06 AM
Yeah, I was just watching the video and to me it seemed the students were essentially just holding on to the jo while one student held back on both Osensei and the innermost student. I'm not sure where I got the idea that he was supressing back into them; he seems to have been over-extending them: "pealing" them off their base. Yes, and that's why their collective orientaiton is disorganzied -- they are having to get support from each other (through the jo which is also their only connection) as they try not to fall and yet still try to push.

Perhaps leverage means something more specific than I thought it did, but I thought leverage is a factor in anything we're tipping over one way or the other. That's a clean pivot, pure hinged rotation. A lever involves a fulcrum. There are studies that show that ankles are not stiff enough to stop us from toppling passively, and provide no fulcrum. O Sensei has no fulcrum in the jo trick. Just tangential extension or retraction. We normally keep from toppling over by constantly extending and retracting the mass of our center with little hip kicks tangetially in the relatively horixzontal plane that is tangent to the radius of our legs pivoting at the ground. The arms themselves are levers after all. Aren't we using a 3 dimensional lever system any time we articulate power from our center to our extremities? Not unless you want, and you don't want to. I can articulate power from the end of my hand with a weight on rope and brain you with it, but the rope has no levers, and no muscles for that matter. The limbs can work that way as well.

Look at how your limbs move when you push as in a push up, the upper arm rotates opposite to the lower arm, and in pulling in the same manner they are also opposed. That is leverage.

But in cutting motion the forearm and upper arm rotate the same way. The same is true in gathering motions (imagine reaching around a moderate size barrel) -- they rotate the same way.
Also, just out of curiosity would you consider a "yin" technique to be when we are floating aite's hara and a "yang" technique to be when we are suppressing it with a downward force?I would say that every use of aiki has yin and yang, in-yo ho. That is the cycle of breath in-out and the action we study and overtly perceive in tekubi furi. It's a wave. The angular momentum is continuous and cycles positive to negative and back again --Not up. Not down. Up-down... It's like magnets -- and there is no monopolar magnet. The only question is which parts are arbitrarily up or down and any moment in that dynamic.

mathewjgano
03-16-2008, 07:17 PM
That's a clean pivot...A lever involves a fulcrum...O Sensei has no fulcrum in the jo trick.

So one couldn't say a whirlpool has a fulcrum?

Erick Mead
03-16-2008, 08:55 PM
So one couldn't say a whirlpool has a fulcrum?No. Good model though.

The whirlpool IS angular momentum, i.e. -- it is the rotation that it represents, where as the lever and fulcrum is one static means of creating a moment (potential for rotation), to generate an actual rotation that is angular momentum.

I can propel myself to great heights in a swing and my legs are certainly not levering anything. I can knock a refrigerator over without any lever -- with successive waves of little pushes at the top. Once you get it going, you naturally begin to sense the resonant frequency of the structure. It is resonant motion, not leverage, nor "me first" timing that works to move mass with least effort.

KI, in other words.

Since we are in the water, things like swimming (and aerodynamics) create dynamic moments, movements that are already angular momentum in themselves, but which generate even more potential (and thus more) angular momentum) as they continue to move (like resonance, in other words). It is a second order mechanics, unlike statics. All you need is a transfer medium to impart the acceleration that represents and the right kind of motion to generate it, to conserve it and to maximize it.

I generally gave up trying to lever masses of water when I began swimming competitively -- lo, so many years ago, now. The SLOWEST way to swim is to try to use the limbs like levers. You DO NOT claw your way, levering yourself forward -- hand over hand. Using them to create accelerated vortices, whirlpools -- also properly described as spiral waves-- of shed angular momentum (not unlike tekubi furi), propels you most efficiently.

In strong swimming, you cut the water at an angle with the limbs in a complex spiral path of taut, but fluidly "relaxed" limbs (driven by the power of the rotating core). That maximizes the mass of water captured and accelerated by the vortex you are generating with your spiralling and rotating arms and legs. That acceleration you can generate on a mass of water backlward determines the net acceleration your body experiences forward = m/2 * v^2 -- voila -- in-yo ho. That acceleration is equivalent to "floating" the mass of the body with the same means of oscillatory spiral acceleration in aikido.

The body of uke (as with your own body) is such a transfer medium. Waves of center driven motion will travel through it gathering energy as they go and it will unlock many hinges in the structure, to your benefit or against you, depending. Training the body to make it happen, to let them do that and to direct them as they are doing it is the hard, sweaty part.

There is a lot of Aiki in swimming.

But you still have to pump your legs on the swing, too

statisticool
03-16-2008, 10:36 PM
I can knock a refrigerator over without any lever -- with successive waves of little pushes at the top. Once you get it going, you naturally begin to sense the resonant frequency of the structure. It is resonant motion, not leverage, nor "me first" timing that works to move mass with least effort.


Interesting idea for martial arts (and other problem solving), thanks,

Erick Mead
03-17-2008, 04:39 PM
Interesting idea for martial arts (and other problem solving), thanks,Since the human structure is supercritically stable, unlike the refrigerator, and since the balance systems of two opposed human beings are virtually identical in operation, with proper training it can potentially take less than one cycle can synchronize them to various effects, and allow a single resonant pulse to have a catastrophic effect. "Mountain echo" yamabiko .

The studies I have reference to show that to manage the balance system's ballistic sway/recovery of the center of mass, the calf muscles fire to "throw and catch" the COM about 2.6 times a second, a full cycle lasting 384 ms, more or less.

And that is in relaxed, quiet standing.

If uke and I are maximally out of phase (180 degrees of the cycle), it takes only a half-cycle syncopation to seamlessly "roll with" the punch, or approximately 192 ms (or 0.192 sec, for the decimally challenged). If you are 180 degrees of sync (or already completely in sync), you can de-sync to a quarter cycle out of phase (a quarter cycle phase difference overdrives or overdamps his signal) in even less time, about 96 ms or 0.096 sec.

Punch speeds range (in time of delivery) on the order of 300 ms down to as little as 100 ms. (Bruce Lee was timed at 90 ms, Danny Inosanto at 100, and heavyweight boxer, Frank Bruno at 100)

So if my model of aiki is correct, what I would call the irimi response to sync balance for disruption is of the same order as the expected speed of attack of the most capable punching fighters, and that's from the normal balance periodicity of just standing erect, without more.

A quarter cycle phase difference overdrives uke's balance center, making highs higher, lows lower, ("ten-chi," ne?) slopes between them steeper, and alters the resulting rhythm to be an eighth of a cycle out of phase with his original attack, either ahead or behind (zig when should be zag, or zag when should be zig ).

That parity 96ms::100ms, along with the disparity of speed in "rolling with" responses (192:100) illustrates the mechanical importance of irimi as the preeminent first instinct of aikido, as I see it. The "just go with it" styles of aikido are simply not "fast" enough -- but it is not absolute speed but cycle time that controls in this initial interaction. "Roll with it" approaches to aikido training are, notably the most criticized for their presumed ineffectiveness (although matched and opposing phases would have their uses too, after the initial encounter).

It may that the irimi cycle period is even shorter. The studies treated the body as a single-centered inverted pendulum. The real subject data they used was for the actually bi-centered people on two hips. It thus likely incorporated sway periods around paths encompassing both hips in one cycle. If so, an irimi response centered on only one hip, instead of traversing paths around both, may halve the cycle times described, That may allow "rolling with" responses to have some parity, but obviously vastly increases the cycle advantage of the irimi response.

Erick Mead
03-18-2008, 09:34 AM
I'm curious is anyone has read ANATOMY TRAINS: myofascial meridians for manual and movement therapists, by Myers. It was listed as a reference in the wikipedia article I was just reading.
Just in case anyone else was interested in this bit of the topic...
Per Wikipedia:
"Deep fascia can contract. What happens during the fight-or-flight response is an example of rapid fascial contraction . In response to a real or imagined threat to the organism, the body responds with a temporary increase in the stiffness of the fascia. You may want to read this this post and the two studies Innocencio noted are linked there: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=186014&postcount=122
High dosages of the antihistaminic substance mepyramine had most reliable and sustaining effects (n=29, p<0.05); while histamine and oxytocin induced shorter contractile responses in selected fasciae only; and addition of an NO donator triggered brief relaxation responses in several samples. No response could be elicited with epinephrine, acetylcholine, and adenosine.

Epinephrine, the fight/flight hormone has little effect, nor does acetylcholine, the autonomic muscle activator, and histamine and anti-histamine are hormones dealing with competing contractile tissues involved in inflammation and countering it. Oxytocin, on the other hand, the love and childbirth hormone, does have powerful and short cycle contractile stiffening action, with a straight forward NO relaxation response, so that recurring cycles are easily maintained.

Makes one take a long hard look at the teaching that "True budo is love" and that aikido is meant to be an ubuya, a house of childbirth, where spontaneous martial action (takemusu) is born.

rob_liberti
03-22-2008, 11:51 PM
First off, I am sitting right next to my newly aquired copy of anatomy trains. (I thought I brought this book up first on Internal-aiki. It seems I was wrong and Matthew Gano beat me to the punch on this. Sorry Matthew - I would have credited you on my post about this book had I realized it earlier.) It is a great book and it shows the lines of fascia that Dan Harden has me working.

I don't know about manipulating fascia with love homones. I can say that my direct experience with this sort of thing seems to be that I'm influencing fascia with my intention alone while any of the muscles I'm aware of seem to be either out of the picture or going the other way.

I don't specifically KNOW that I am moving fascia with intent, but it does SEEM to best describe my experiences in this sort of training.

Rob

Erick Mead
03-23-2008, 10:00 AM
First off, I am sitting right next to my newly aquired copy of anatomy trains. --- it shows the lines of fascia that Dan Harden has me working. ... I don't know about manipulating fascia with love homones. I can say that my direct experience with this sort of thing seems to be that I'm influencing fascia with my intention ... I don't specifically KNOW that I am moving fascia with intent, but it does SEEM to best describe my experiences in this sort of training. I have an 1997 article that either precedes or excerpts an earlier edition of the book, but it does not go into the hormonal aspect earlier mentioned from the wikipedia article. In 2007, here another link was posted with a related website -- http://www.anatomytrains.com/
http://www.anatomytrains.com/explore/tensegrity/fascialfabric

I had two points.

1) "Anatomy Trains" has been said to assume that adrenal (fight/flight) input contracts myofascia, but the science says, no.
The studies cited show that it is not mediated by epinephrine/adrenaline (fear), but either love (oxytocin) or wounding (histamine). Fascial contraction is only indirectly neural because it is not very ennervated tissue It is the oxytocin system (short period action) or the histamine system (longer term -- inflammation), that appear to make major structural reinforcement.

2) O Sensei said True Budo is love. I take him at his word -- and the science tends to bear him out on this.

Several conclusions follow from this:

His "artsy" poetic imagery has a profound martial point -- Such language speaks directly to the limbic (affective) system. In most martial cultures, poetry, music and war have always been closely allied.

This argues against every form of competitive contest in developing such capacities, as such competition primes the adrenal response, not the protective oxytocin (mama bear) response.

Partnered practice with a direct intent to protect one's partner in close hard training is a necessary physical aspect of training to prime this response, and not merely an incidental philosophical choice.

If the science and the art are saying the same thing, something must be right.

mathewjgano
03-23-2008, 12:02 PM
(I thought I brought this book up first on Internal-aiki. It seems I was wrong and Matthew Gano beat me to the punch on this. Sorry Matthew - I would have credited you on my post about this book had I realized it earlier.) It is a great book and it shows the lines of fascia that Dan Harden has me working.
evileyes Well you SHOULD be sorry! Just kidding :D
I don't know that credit was warranted. I think I got the book title from one of those rare wikipedia citations. I was just curious what folks thought of it if they had it...glad to know you find it useful. It's a fairly expensive book so i wasn't sure if I wanted to buy it or not.

I can say that my direct experience with this sort of thing seems to be that I'm influencing fascia with my intention alone

I imagine biofeedback methods would be a pretty major benefit for such a thing. I'll have to check out that book now. Thanks for the info! I appreciate it!
Take care,
Matt

mathewjgano
03-23-2008, 12:33 PM
His "artsy" poetic imagery has a profound martial point -- Such language speaks directly to the limbic (affective) system. In most martial cultures, poetry, music and war have always been closely allied.
That is an interesting observation. Being a person prone toward poetic language I can certainly appreciate this idea. I would say I've best learned Aikido/martial awareness in environments where there were no words used. It was all right-brain type intuition.

This argues against every form of competitive contest in developing such capacities, as such competition primes the adrenal response, not the protective oxytocin (mama bear) response.
I can't argue against this because I don't have the right knowledge of it, but I'm inclined to think "competitive" methods don't preclude any love principle. It's all in how one approaches the situation. For example, i play a lot of competitive sports, but my attitude is very much one of protection. Granted, I'm not exactly being competitive in the usual sense. I'm simply in a competitive environment in which I'm simply doing my best (Masakatsu Agatsu) and happy to "lose" (because I will learn from it).

Partnered practice with a direct intent to protect one's partner in close hard training is a necessary physical aspect of training to prime this response, and not merely an incidental philosophical choice.
I would also say it forces us to practice greater attention to the nature/situation of our partners'/attackers' bodies (which we must be in tune with if we are to guide/control meaningfully). I know that in training when I throw someone in a general direction (ie-not putting my fullest attention into the action) I'm not usually doing as well as when I throw someone to a very specific location (ie-putting them in a very safe location). This kind of thing takes more of my physical coordination to accomplish and so in accomplishing it, I'm developing more of my whole-body integration.

To all: So...in making these connections, are we simply tightening up the system in general; taking out the slack? Or are we relaxing and contracting these pathways at will depending on the needs of the situation? With regard to limbic effects, I wonder how quickly that system might affect the fascia. Certainly we can feel our emotions come on in an instant, but our brains are probably more receptive than our fascia...?
...I should probably read the article you posted, Eric :) (being lazy makes it very difficult for me to check out hyperlinks...it's a condition:D ):o

If the science and the art are saying the same thing, something must be right.

It's definately some compelling stuff.

Shany
03-23-2008, 02:52 PM
not a lot of people might not know it, and it was few hundred years before described by uyeshiba, but the center/hara is described very well by master Leonardo da vinci:

http://www.hostdump.com/images/90623hara_center.jpg

it is clearly to see that, using square, triangle and circle, (basic forms) he showed the principles of aikido, Ki, and center point, without being influenced by any easten philishophy or thinking.

Hat down to Leonardo.

rob_liberti
03-23-2008, 11:12 PM
If Leonardo knew this stuff, he would not have drawn the chest muscles flexed! Based on that, I'm pretty sure I could have taken him in a fair fight.

The little diagram on page 33 of that book shows
Neural Net --Hormones--> Circulatory Net --protein supply--> Fibrous Net

I haven's read enough or digrested enough of what I have read.
Currently, my opinion based on doing some of this stuff, is that my intention is doing it even if I'm not feeling the love. However, I can certainly believe that feeling the love could be additive. It would make a lot more sense to me that maybe Osensei discovered that additive benefit on his power level when he applied his kotodama studies to his budo. If that realization was his golden light or whatever experience, I can buy that. (I have trouble believing that he was just some normal guy and all of a sudden became superman.) Havinga power jump from generally more powerful than everyone else after/as a result of a spiritual awakening to much much more powerful than most people. I can buy that. So is describing this stuff in terms of science truly the second opening of the rock door of heaven?

Rob

Mike Sigman
03-23-2008, 11:16 PM
not a lot of people might not know it, and it was few hundred years before described by uyeshiba, but the center/hara is described very well by master Leonardo da vinci:
it is clearly to see that, using square, triangle and circle, (basic forms) he showed the principles of aikido, Ki, and center point, without being influenced by any easten philishophy or thinking.

Hat down to Leonardo.Those are reference points for the drawing, the circle-square-triangle, and relate to the proportions and distances, not Aikido and the hara. The three lines are the center-marks of the circle, the square, and the triangle. No relationship to the use of the hara.

FWIW

Mike

mathewjgano
03-24-2008, 09:25 AM
Mike,
I'm sure you've described this a bunch, so sorry for the likely redundancy, but since you're something of the local expert on fascia: would you describe the training of those skills as being more along the lines of tightening up the system in general (ie-taking out the slack) or as developing the ability to contract and relax the pathways at will? a bit of both?
Take care,
Matt

Mike Sigman
03-24-2008, 09:45 AM
This is O-T enough that it might be better in it's own thread, but I'll give it a quick shot.

Mike,
I'm sure you've described this a bunch, so sorry for the likely redundancy, but since you're something of the local expert on fascia: would you describe the training of those skills as being more along the lines of tightening up the system in general (ie-taking out the slack) or as developing the ability to contract and relax the pathways at will? a bit of both?I think there are too many people jumping on the "fascia" bandwagon and it's not necessarily a good way to go. Like a lot of the buzzwords from the old days of the Neijia List, "fascia" has become sort of a mainstay discussion that a lot of people use to show that they are "in the know"... but the great number of different interpretations shows that a lot of people really don't know. While they're trying to figure it out and maintain the pose that they do know, though, they're instructing people to do silly things. ;) I notice that even the muscle-tendon channel part of the theory is being used to instruct by some of these people who are trying to find their own way but teaching at the same time. ;)

Let me offer a suggestion. Do some breathing exercises, sure, but mainly work on building up the ki/kokyu skills. Ignore the fascia part. It's not necessary or desireable at first.

Here's a quote from the Yi Jin Jing, pretty much the oldest available text on the subject:

Membrane

(Extracted from the "Yi Jin Jing")

A man's body consists of the entrails, spirit, and virility internally; and
of the arms, legs, tendons, bones, and flesh externally. For example,
tendons and bones are outside the entrails, flesh is outside the tendons and
bones. Blood vessels are inside the flesh. But Qi is the dominant factor
for one's physical movement. Thus the secret for cultivating one's physical
and mental capabilities is to improve one's Qi and to invigorate one's blood
circulation. One's spirit and virility are invisible or untouchable, but
one's tendons, bones, and flesh are substantial. To cultivate internal
spirit and virility, one must start doing the practice of the substantial
parts of his body first. Therefore, one should not practice the invisible
and untouchable spirit and virility only or just practice the tendons,
bones, and flesh. The practice of one's body must go along with the
practice of one's spirit and virility. Because of this, the practice of
internal work should be done in thie sequence: Qi, membrane, tendon.

While the practice of the tendon is easy, the practice of the membrane is
difficult, and the practice of Qi is more difficult. Students must start
practicing from Qi first in order to keep Qi moving everywhere within their
bodies. The membrane will stretch automatically at the place where Qi
reaches and be as strong as tendons. If one practices tendons without doing
the practice of the membrane, the membrane will be weak. If he practices
membrane without doing the practice of Qi, his membrane and tendons will not
stretch. If he practices Qi without doing the practice of the tendon and
membrane, the Qi will not circulate smoothly within his body and his tendons
will not be strong. To achieve the practice of internal work, one must keep
doing it until his tendons and membranes stretch and become strong.
Otherwise it would be like plants on the ground without dirt.

Think of it as an odd form of conditioning, Matt. And you can see from the above quote that it's generally suggested that you focus on the ki/kokyu skills before you get so much into the tension, etc., exercises. Too many people the tension and tendon aspects (very common in southern Shaolin) without going the preferred route of the ki development. From an Aikido perspective, it's very obvious that Ueshiba's and Tohei's, etc., approach is along the Way of the ki first and everything else somewhat behind that... so I'd pay attention to that if I was doing Aikido. ;)

Best.

Mike

Tom H.
03-24-2008, 10:40 AM
Let me offer a suggestion. Do some breathing exercises, sure, but mainly work on building up the ki/kokyu skills. Ignore the fascia part. Seconded. I'll add my take that the ki/kokyu stuff is a nice foundation for other higher-order skills, and worth working quite deeply into the mind and body.

Mike, do you recommend any translations of the Yi Jin Jing? I recall finding a couple partial translations last time I looked, but didn't dig any deeper.

Mike Sigman
03-24-2008, 11:19 AM
Mike, do you recommend any translations of the Yi Jin Jing? I recall finding a couple partial translations last time I looked, but didn't dig any deeper.I don't know of any good translations, Tom. The real problem with most of the Yi Jin Jing (the so-called "Muscle-Tendon Changing Classics", but it's really about intent-directed strength/fascia development) translations is that most of the translators don't understand the topic, so their translations are often misleading. The same thing happens with a lot of the Aikido translations, the Taiji translations, and so forth.

FWIW

Mike

Erick Mead
03-24-2008, 12:00 PM
I don't know of any good translations, Tom. The real problem with most of the Yi Jin Jing (the so-called "Muscle-Tendon Changing Classics", but it's really about intent-directed strength/fascia development) translations is that most of the translators don't understand the topic, so their translations are often misleading. The same thing happens with a lot of the Aikido translations, the Taiji translations, and so forth.Got any links to the original text (漢字 寫作)?

Mike Sigman
03-24-2008, 12:07 PM
Exactly my point.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Tom H.
03-24-2008, 12:10 PM
I don't know of any good translations ... *snip* ...FWIWSigh. Maybe when I retire I'll take up classical chinese.

Mike Sigman
03-24-2008, 12:23 PM
Sigh. Maybe when I retire I'll take up classical chinese.I hope you're making a funsie, Tom. One of the biggest jokes, once you've been around for a while, is about westerners who think they can translate "the original text". They can't. The vast majority of educated native-born/bred Chinese can't either. It takes a specialist to translate the old texts because the characters, idioms, contemporary references, references to characters in legends, etc., etc., are all so arcane that only a few respected Chinese will attempt it. I've mentioned this problem before. It's sort of a joke among a lot of us when a westerner "needs to look at the original text".

Besides, the ancient texts were usually pretty vague. Precise description was not their strong-point.

Yang Jwing Ming put out a book on translations from the Yi Jin Jing ("Muscle-tendon changing classic") and the Xi Sui Jing ("Bone-marrow washing classic") which might be worth looking at. Although he doesn't give the credit, Yang got the translation from an able Taiwanese professor. Then Yang added his own English take on what the translations mean. If you buy the book (I think the current edition is something like: "Qigong: the Secret of Youth"), read the original translation, but be cautious about Dr. Yang's take on things.

Best.

Mike

Erick Mead
03-24-2008, 01:47 PM
One of the biggest jokes, once you've been around for a while, is about westerners who think they can translate "the original text". ... It's sort of a joke among a lot of us when a westerner "needs to look at the original text". Apart from Dr. Yang's book then -- I presume the answer to be, "No."

Tom H.
03-24-2008, 05:00 PM
Besides, the ancient texts were usually pretty vague. Precise description was not their strong-point.Yes, I was pretty much kidding.. just from what I've seen of the early poetry, it is inpenetrable on several levels simultaneously.