PDA

View Full Version : Hand Forms


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


rob_liberti
06-19-2008, 01:04 PM
Some folks swear by hand forms.
Others say they are a foolish distraction.
I think there are level of understanding at play.

What hand forms do you all use say for shomenuchi kotegaeshi? I'm interested in other techniques as well, and how you decide. (if you use them at all)

Rob

Adman
06-19-2008, 02:11 PM
What hand forms do you all use say for shomenuchi kotegaeshi?

Hi Rob,

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "hand forms".

Thanks,
Adam

rob_liberti
06-19-2008, 02:41 PM
like wrist up, fingers down - like hand shake or thrusting a sword

or wrist down, fingers up

or palm up

or palm down

They are ways of expressing ki/intention to your partner.

Rob

Ron Tisdale
06-19-2008, 02:59 PM
I used to think they were very important.

Now I understand that without structure already built into your body, they don't mean a lot. Probably the same for the mental intent that goes along with the structure.

This is not to say that the hand shapes are useless, or they don't work at all without these other things. I have found that some work very well, even though my structure sucks. But they get much more consistent and more powerfull if you understand and have structure behind them. In my opinion. Yada yada yada...

Best,
Ron

Stefan Stenudd
06-19-2008, 03:29 PM
To my own surprise, I have found that I pay more and more attention to hand form - and more than that, the movement of the hands in the techniques. One could say that I use the hands to show the way, when I do the techniques.
My hands delight in turning, spiraling, and so on, and the techniques become softer, stronger, and swifter.

I constantly tell my students to pay attention to how the hands move, and between what forms they change. I didn't do that in the past.

rob_liberti
06-19-2008, 03:45 PM
So for the example, what hand forms do you (or did you) use?

Rob

MM
06-19-2008, 03:46 PM
Hmmm ... well, if everything is supposed to come from the hara outward, then the hands are the very last thing to be used. You'd think they were important because they make the connection to uke.

But, if you think of the hara, or dantien, as an old time train station where various tracks come together, then those tracks are the pathways to the hands and feet. Let's leave off the train itself for now. So, you have your hara/dantien and you have a track to each hand, a track to each foot, one to the head, and a short one to the perineum. (As an aside, each track has two rails. One going out and one coming in.)

So, if we send out force/energy/whatever from the hara/dantien, the only thing that really should matter is that the track is complete. The end of the track shouldn't matter because uke can grab hold at any point from dantien to fingertip. Wherever uke grabs hold, a junction occurs and uke's tracks are now joined. Best dantien wins. :) Doesn't matter where the junction occurs or how the physical "appearance" manifests -- long story short, no, the hand positioning shouldn't matter.

Just musing a bit ... I could be completely off my rocker. :)

Mark

rob_liberti
06-19-2008, 04:02 PM
Mark, I truly understand your point. I see your explanation working in terms of aiki power transmitted. I'm wondering about it becuase I wonder about "finesse". Maybe hand forms help with that. (Maybe not.) I was just looking to experiment with that myself so I was looking for input.

Rob

Timothy WK
06-19-2008, 04:44 PM
So, if we send out force/energy/whatever from the hara/dantien, the only thing that really should matter is that the track is complete. The end of the track shouldn't matter because uke can grab hold at any point from dantien to fingertip... long story short, no, the hand positioning shouldn't matter.
I think you're exaggerating a little.

The external shape doesn't matter by itself, but because the human body is formed in certain ways, connecting internally tends to force the body into certain external shapes. Following me? The external shape does not make the internal technique/feeling, but the internal technique/feeling does make the external shape.

So for learning purposes, though we don't need to worry about the shape per se, if we notice that our shape is off, there's a good chance we're doing something wrong internally.

Now, for hand shapes in particular, it seems too broad to discuss in general. I think it would be better to pick a technique and discuss just that.

phitruong
06-19-2008, 04:45 PM
Mark, I truly understand your point. I see your explanation working in terms of aiki power transmitted. I'm wondering about it becuase I wonder about "finesse". Maybe hand forms help with that. (Maybe not.) I was just looking to experiment with that myself so I was looking for input.

Rob

If you want finesse, aiki power and hand forms, then you should talk to Howie Popkin. Nice guy although tend to fixated on big fishes. :)

I attended a couple of his seminars. He would do these hand jives and I found myself no longer in possession of my own body, with the result of me having closeup view of his feet or in some horrible contorted positions. I have started to figure out what he has been doing to me. Him uses some kind of voodoo magic man! I think he got his magic offshore. :)

aikidoc
06-19-2008, 06:30 PM
kokyu ho hand position

Stefan Stenudd
06-19-2008, 07:23 PM
So for the example, what hand forms do you (or did you) use?
Well, a lot is tegatana, hand-sword things. I focus on different parts of the "sword", depending on what movement I do: the edge, the back, the side, the tip...
I also let the hand roll a lot on the wrist, while usually the fingers show the direction of my intention (ki, if you like).

Here is sort of a short example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CM6s6m7353Y

John Matsushima
06-19-2008, 07:37 PM
I prefer the G.I. Joe Kung fu Action grip.

Aikibu
06-19-2008, 08:20 PM
Well Geez...Looking back I have practiced several types of hand forms. I am most comfortable with Shoji Nishio's example. Fingers together.. thumb tucked in (hidden)... Ki extended through the forefinger.

Two basic movements both circular...picture "washing the inside of a bowel or cylinder movement and the hour glass movement ( big to small or small to big cylinder)

There are some pretty good illustrations in Sensei Varjan's "Nishio Sensei Aikido Notebook 1." but I won't post them here without Sensei Varjan's permission. :)

To summarize your hand is basically an extension of your sword. :)

William Hazen

rob_liberti
06-19-2008, 08:25 PM
Now, for hand shapes in particular, it seems too broad to discuss in general. I think it would be better to pick a technique and discuss just that.

Agreed. Lets discuss shomenuchi kotegaeshi (or any other one would be fine).

If the person attacks with with right arm, I tend to enter and pivot (as if I'm doing iriminage) - keeping vertical main with my spine. Then I would typically use my right hand palm up laying across their forearm giving them a bit of my body weight. My left hand would be between their shoulder and elbow palm on them. That arm would move be bending as I moved closer to them, and then I'd let my body weight start hitting them using that palm as a natural energy release of that movement (same as the hand on their neck for iriminage) except I'd let it slide down their arm a bit to get into kotegaeshi position. Then I roll that hand so more weight is on their arm nearer my thumb than my pinky as I continue to move into shikaku. When I roll back (move body weight neared my pink than thumb) I cut their center with my intention. I don't pay much attention to what my right hand is doing at that point. It's not cranking anything for darn sure. It just barely touches their finger tips usually. But I'm open to suggestions.

Maybe initial palm up should be replaced with wrist up, fingers down. Looking for inspiration..

How do I meet Howei Popkin? Does he do seminars?

Rob

Misogi-no-Gyo
06-19-2008, 09:38 PM
Hand forms...

I used to believe that I had a small understanding after being around Abe Sensei for about ten years or so... then he changed everything. At least I saw something completely different, anyway. According to Abe Sensei, form only matters the first ten years or so. Then one must move away from form. I guess at least my timing was in sync with what he was saying. However, another teaching speaks about fingers, and gets very specific as to which fingers do what and when and why. After about ten years playing around with these ideas, and with some substantial assistance from various other sources and I am beginning to see the correlation to an explosive form of kokyu-ho that I have been trying to access for close to twenty years. I think I might have more to say about it in about another ten years or so.

In any case, not that I would be giving anything away by stating the obvious, and that is that each finger is a body unto itself, the fingernail being the face. Each finger has three parts, the legs, the body and the head. Depending on the circumstance particular fingers correspond each with Uke, Nage, the space between Uke and Nage and the unification of Uke and Nage. The palm represents the ground. As one moves instantaneously to a moment or point of unification, the fingers and palm move together as one unit (whole body movement), converging into the hara or exploding away from the hara. This can be either into the ground, directly up and away from the ground or pulsating like AC current between these two relative opposites. I mean, being a relative recluse I don't get out very much, but that's all common knowledge...right?

.

rob_liberti
06-19-2008, 10:08 PM
Thanks. I don't know about common knowledge. I was trying to see what others had to say about it.

Gleason sensei talks about the palm being earth. He shows hand of fire and hand of water, etc. It is crystal clear when he shows it. I copy him and it all makes sense. 10 minutes after I walk out of class I think - which hand orientation was "fire"? I assume I have a mental block about it. I was hoping a few other perspectives would help me over my mental barrier(s).

Rob

Misogi-no-Gyo
06-19-2008, 10:22 PM
Thanks. I don't know about common knowledge. I was trying to see what others had to say about it.

Gleason sensei talks about the palm being earth. He shows hand of fire and hand of water, etc. It is crystal clear when he shows it. I copy him and it all makes sense. 10 minutes after I walk out of class I think - which hand orientation was "fire"? I assume I have a mental block about it. I was hoping a few other perspectives would help me over my mental barrier(s).

Rob

Hi Rob,

Palm = Earth ( I use "ground") - I guess I would tend to agree from my limited understanding. As for hand of fire, water... etc. this corresponds to something I have mentioned before in other threads, that being that there is both a physical and non-physical component inherent in the waza. The hand aspect is only the physical manifestation. There is also an associated visualization (chinkon-kishin-no-gyo), associated mantra (norito-no-gyo), powered by a corresponding elemental kotodama form (kotodama-no-gyo [gokui]) that is also simultaneously applied. n'est-ce pas?

.

Gernot Hassenpflug
06-19-2008, 10:56 PM
Very interesting discussion. Thanks Shaun for sharing the information from your long years with Abe shihan, I think all of this archived will be invaluable to look back on several more years down the road, and give good hints to those who can presently use such information.

Rob, here's my couple of thoughts: Abe shihan walks with very straight posture, shoulder held back and therefore arms twisted outwards at the elbows. The straightness results in the wrists being slightly bent in towards the body and the fingers together, thumb also. When he raises his arm up towards the front, palm up, it looks like the hand is cupping something (it can be more tilted outwards than just straight also), and from there the more power from the tanden can open up the fingers (which one "leading" depending on the situation). Alternatively, the hand can be turned palm-down but the elbow and upper arm do not change positions. These are the two standard ways of "presenting" the hands, with the hand vertically held (palm inwards) being a "natural" stage between these two extremes. Abe shihan strsses very much that the elbows must remain straight, and I have understood in my current training why that is so vitally important as a first step.

To conclude then, and as Shaun has said, there is a different usage for each finger, and as far as I can tell at my level, the positioning of the hand is thus a reflection of how power is being transmitted, rather than a necessary position in order to do the control desired.

rob_liberti
06-19-2008, 11:14 PM
awesome stuff

MM
06-20-2008, 06:52 AM
Mark, I truly understand your point. I see your explanation working in terms of aiki power transmitted. I'm wondering about it becuase I wonder about "finesse". Maybe hand forms help with that. (Maybe not.) I was just looking to experiment with that myself so I was looking for input.

Rob

and

I think you're exaggerating a little.

The external shape doesn't matter by itself, but because the human body is formed in certain ways, connecting internally tends to force the body into certain external shapes. Following me? The external shape does not make the internal technique/feeling, but the internal technique/feeling does make the external shape.

So for learning purposes, though we don't need to worry about the shape per se, if we notice that our shape is off, there's a good chance we're doing something wrong internally.

Now, for hand shapes in particular, it seems too broad to discuss in general. I think it would be better to pick a technique and discuss just that.

Serves me right for posting quickly. :) Should have noted that I was talking about end-state, not beginners.

Beginning? Yeah, I do think that hand positioning can matter. Depends on how you are learning internal skills and as Timothy stated, it also can help readjust your body to help get you back on track. So to speak. :)

After a while, I think if you're doing hand motions or forms to make a technique work ... you're missing something. *Howerver* that doesn't mean hand forms or placement doesn't matter in some way. Tactically speaking, where and how you use your hands can matter. It's just that it's a tactic, not a technique.

If you're working on an aikido technique, being as soft as you can, and then you put muscle into your hand while gripping/grabbing uke, then uke will feel that instantly and his/her reactions will change. So, tactically, if you want that type of reaction to change uke's movement so that you are setting him/her up for something else, then that leaves the realm of technique and becomes tactics.

MM
06-20-2008, 07:05 AM
Agreed. Lets discuss shomenuchi kotegaeshi (or any other one would be fine).

If the person attacks with with right arm, I tend to enter and pivot (as if I'm doing iriminage) - keeping vertical main with my spine. Then I would typically use my right hand palm up laying across their forearm giving them a bit of my body weight. My left hand would be between their shoulder and elbow palm on them. That arm would move be bending as I moved closer to them, and then I'd let my body weight start hitting them using that palm as a natural energy release of that movement (same as the hand on their neck for iriminage) except I'd let it slide down their arm a bit to get into kotegaeshi position. Then I roll that hand so more weight is on their arm nearer my thumb than my pinky as I continue to move into shikaku. When I roll back (move body weight neared my pink than thumb) I cut their center with my intention. I don't pay much attention to what my right hand is doing at that point. It's not cranking anything for darn sure. It just barely touches their finger tips usually. But I'm open to suggestions.

Maybe initial palm up should be replaced with wrist up, fingers down. Looking for inspiration..

How do I meet Howei Popkin? Does he do seminars?

Rob

First, let me ask you about shomenuchi kotegaeshi. IF you think that hand forms matter in technique, then you'd also believe that you *need* a hand to do this technique. So, someone that lost a hand could never do aikido, right? Or let's say someone lost four fingers. They'd never be able to complete techniques? How does someone who believes that they need hand forms rationalize aikido for physically challenged people (people that have lost a hand or both)?

As for Howard ... he's closer to you than he is to me. And you should look for his next seminar. Great guy, great teacher. Definitely worth meeting and knowing.

rob_liberti
06-20-2008, 07:46 AM
I cannot say for sure that I need hand forms at all. I just want to experiment myself.

I can hammer in a screw. I don't need a screwdriver.

My question is about finesse. With a lot of power, I don't need finesse, but I would prefer it for potential added power and/or artistic reasons.

Rob

Misogi-no-Gyo
06-20-2008, 08:12 AM
Question...

First, let me ask you about shomenuchi kotegaeshi. IF you think that hand forms matter in technique, then you'd also believe that you *need* a hand to do this technique. So, someone that lost a hand could never do aikido, right? Or let's say someone lost four fingers. They'd never be able to complete techniques? How does someone who believes that they need hand forms rationalize aikido for physically challenged people (people that have lost a hand or both)?

Answer...

To conclude then, and as Shaun has said, there is a different usage for each finger, and as far as I can tell at my level, the positioning of the hand is thus a reflection of how power is being transmitted, rather than a necessary position in order to do the control desired.

To elaborate just a bit, and, again, this may seem obvious, but the reason why we are talking about fingers is that they are at the end of your hand, which is at the end of your arm which is, as it extends from the body, at the end of the path from the center of one's body. If one was missing his hand these ideas would not be invalidated in the least. Without a hand, the arm would be look, act and be treated like one large finger. And, wouldn't you know it, in fact that is exactly how the arm moves relative to the body, just like a finger moves relative to the hand. Of course, there is quite a lot more to it. I am sure that various groups (CMA, DRAJ, Aikido) may have there own unique way of teaching and express these ideas, but that when looking at the essence of the idea behind it, we would probably all find a very common element that is derived from parsing movement down to a very simple expression of a very simple form.

.

MM
06-20-2008, 08:14 AM
I cannot say for sure that I need hand forms at all. I just want to experiment myself.

I can hammer in a screw. I don't need a screwdriver.

My question is about finesse. With a lot of power, I don't need finesse, but I would prefer it for potential added power and/or artistic reasons.

Rob

I don't know either. Hand forms, to me, seem to be a training tool. Sort of like intent. You go through the training using these things until it becomes a part of you. At some point, you aren't using the same focus to keep intent and you aren't using hand forms as much. After that, I think hand forms becomes more of a tactic than anything else. So, when you talk of finesse, I think of using the hand tactically. The hand form isn't really needed for delivery of power, but the form is used tactically for best placement of delivered power. That isn't to say that the power will come through the hand -- it can just as easily come through an elbow or shoulder.

Mark

gregstec
06-20-2008, 10:04 AM
Thanks. I don't know about common knowledge. I was trying to see what others had to say about it.

Gleason sensei talks about the palm being earth. He shows hand of fire and hand of water, etc. It is crystal clear when he shows it. I copy him and it all makes sense. 10 minutes after I walk out of class I think - which hand orientation was "fire"? I assume I have a mental block about it. I was hoping a few other perspectives would help me over my mental barrier(s).

Rob

If I remember correctly from a Gleason seminar, fire hand is palm up and ascending away from the body and water hand is palm down descending into the body - or water hand is aiki and fire hand is kiai,,, (energy in and energy out)

Greg

gregstec
06-20-2008, 10:16 AM
How do I meet Howei Popkin? Does he do seminars?

Rob

More info on Howard can be found here:
http://www.popkinbrognaselfdefense.com/Teachers/tabid/57/Default.aspx

Greg

Misogi-no-Gyo
06-20-2008, 10:25 AM
I don't know either.Mark

Admitting there is a problem is, well, you know the rest of the line. Seriously, if you don't know about these things then common sense dictates that you train with someone who does know.

Hand forms, to me, seem to be a training tool. Sort of like intent. You go through the training using these things until it becomes a part of you. At some point, you aren't using the same focus to keep intent and you aren't using hand forms as much.

I agree with you completely. However, Aikido, itself is merely a training tool. I mean, I can honestly say that after 30 years in martial arts, I don't train any longer simply to do good techniques. When certain basic or elemental principles becomes part of you, it doesn't disappear. Its just that it becomes more difficult to see. I have found that refocusing on these points actually brings them to the surface so that they may be refined given my current mind, my current body and my current abilities which are all very different now on so many levels. The most basic is the most advanced. Perfection of the basics is how we advance.

The hand form isn't really needed for delivery of power, but the form is used tactically for best placement of delivered power. That isn't to say that the power will come through the hand -- it can just as easily come through an elbow or shoulder.

Yes on one level and then again, no on many other levels. I am sure that at least Gernot is familiar with the saying Gan-Sa-Tan-Riki (http://www.nyaikidocenter.com/images/shkishi1web.jpg). The saying indicates that there are various levels of power. The one at which you are pointing (no pun intended) is "Riki" (the kanji is chikara) or the lowest form of power. Intent, or strategy is higher on the list, but it is not really the ultimate goal in terms of higher martial arts. Their is a hidden, oral teaching associated with the saying that is very relevant to this thread in that how people train themselves goes a long way to determining how far they will go in their training.

.

DH
06-20-2008, 10:39 AM
Seems to me, that everyone, wants everything, all at once.
I'd concentrate on a) internal power which will bring about great control with far less effort. Jointly this creates far more sensitivity in motion, which will afford someone b) the ability to actually utilize hand and arm shapes in waza in the first place. That said, I wouldn't you a nickel for hand-forms in any serious encounter. Finesse is not my priority in training.

A couple of points.
1. IMO, hand motions are a sort of misdirection. What they using are; pulls, traps, and / or connections to your center. That controlling power you all want doesn't have a damn thing to do with the hands. Here's a case in point. What drives the shape or capturing energy / trap, rescue's you from a lock. It's always the next joint up. But all that crap is just more surface and somewhat silly "aiki games." They all look great and work to some extent on people without structure-even seniors in many arts.
In fighting they are ever increasingly marginal. Everyone needs to seriously consider what a fight is and what can happen. Even with men with real skills (not empty waving hands) You will be seriously pressed. Mass delivered, is also retractable in quick order. Men will stand outside your range and head-hunt and leg kick you, picking you apart to create my opening to your body. Heavy hands, feet, elbows and knees, landing with speed and power are tough to deal with-none of which are "marginal" in delivery, and all are continuously deliverable.
Your one chance is internally driven aiki as the basis for all those aiki hand jives. Without it, you'll just end up doing ridiculously empty "shapes" against someone trying to take your head off. Sure, there are some waza you can pull off by shape alone. Big deal. For the most part I keep seeing external waza for traps and stand-up locks that are supposed to be effective-but instead all too often turn out to marginal-even inane.
Why?
2. Again, IMO, very few train correctly. The ultimate goal is:
a) To develop internal power
b) Then applicable uses of that power
c) Then various waza that are driven by and go back to…
b) Applicable uses of power that use
a) Trained internal power
All to arrive at a point where those waza have much more relevance and meaning. In so doing those same things will now have an ever increasing marginal effect on you from most MAers. And that wihtout resorting to counter waza and all that causes. Over time everyone who faces you with directed energy faces change. The idea of someone trying a hand / arm shape to trap or manipulate you becomes far more difficult, even embarrassing-for most normally trained MAers.
And every time they attempt to induce control they either face that change or a multitude of very heavy hands, feet, elbows and knees, landing with speed and power. None of which is marginal, and all are continuously deliverable.
We all have opinions. I have my own. Particularly regarding, how to get someone there.
Hand shapes, stand-up locks and "aiki games" are not even remotely close to my order of importance. They look good in a dojo setting and fool many , if not most. When I see them, I'll join in the aiki games and show things without causing a fuss and just smile. Inside I'm tracking how to take you apart. So, when someone talks of "finesse" in hand-forms, I think of them getting creamed. And that, in short order.

Bill Danosky
06-20-2008, 01:04 PM
Taking into account that I'm a little more than 4 years into the Aiki stage of my larger development, because what I'm going to say is sure to come off "hackish" at best. But in interest of returning to beginner's mind- please consider and critique my simple view of this technique, as it's taught in our kihon:

Against a non-Aiki opponent, my objective when employing kote gaeshi is to get a good and proper lock on the hand I'm throwing with to keep him from withdrawing it. Then either pivot, levering them against my body to bring them around, or turn away and step out deeply, using my lower body power to pull them off their balance point and get them moving into the throw.

Now turn or pivot back and strike them with my other hand to keep them from striking me first, while simultaneously turning (their) hand that I've locked over, in preparation of the throw. Finally, take my striking hand and covering their upturned fingertips with my open palm and "stroking" them over toward the thumb muscle part of their palm as I cut down and step through or pivot powerfully.

Obviously, I'm leaving a lot out for brevity's sake, but trying to get the hand forms in. And I put both the linear and circular movements in (Ichi/Ni or Omote/Ura depending on what your flavor is).

The tone of the thread is very advanced but not all of us are masters yet so I thought we might benefit from some expert advice. And there is the valid point of how it works against vicious murderers, etc. because we all know opponents don't just stand there and let us do whatever we want.

So fire away. As always, I'm happy to take the ukemi in order to learn.

DH
06-20-2008, 01:40 PM
Hi Bill
If we are talking jujutsu I will debate the veracity of what you described. If we are talking aiki- then I'm not much interesting in firing away or debating. There is no debate. I can be polite and pretend we are in one though.:cool:

Nothing of which you wrote has anything to do with aiki at all-its rote jujutsu, and IMV not even good jujutsu. Not to worry, it may well be called Aiki by most in aikido. Most aikido shown on all manner of videos and in demonstrations has nothing to do with aiki either. I guess you have to consider just how many folks it takes -all walking in the wrong direction- to validate that choice and make it the right direction. In that sense I could say there is a great divide between "Aikido" (tm) and Aiki...do. They are not the same.

The good news is you may be able to find Aiki...do, in "Aikido"(tm) but you're probably going to have to look around for quite a while, since most everyone in Aikido(tm) is convinced they are doing Aiki...do - when all along they are just doing aikido (tm) movement. Thus, my point about percentages and direction of travel.

There is a very common and completely mistaken view that turning your whole body to move someone out from their center is aiki. Or leading a cooperative uke out off their feet by having to move yourself all over the place is aiki. This sort of blending-‘called” aiki-has nothing to do with aiki. Its jujutsu, low level jujutsu. So many have done it, for so long, that everyone now thinks it’s true aiki. It falls in with the whole "giving in to get your way" idea. It is not needed, is wholly unnecessary, and a tremendous waste of energy. As I said, levering their arm against your hip as you pivot is just jujutsu-and not where you probably would want to be headed were you to feel real Aiki...do instead of Aikido(tm). IMV that type of movement is ”full speed… in the wrong direction.”

If your re-train your own body, you can arrive at a point where your grip or touch is very controlling to their center. Touching you, or making contact reveals their center with that contact. So much so, that you really don't need to move around to get their center under your control. It just is. You stand there and if they attack you- you take their body for a ride through their contact point. While I am not a fan of this either, (its' still all aiki games-maybe allot of fun but its games none-the-less) it is of a much higher order that what you are talking about.

rob_liberti
06-20-2008, 01:53 PM
Hi Dan,

I cannot deny that I want to learn it all as fast as possible.
To that end, I wonder if the hand forms attempt to teach aiki from outside in what you teach from inside out. If that is the case and I have some experience with hand forms - I wonder if I could leverage that effort and maybe approach my desired goal from both directions and speed up my learning process a little bit.

Bill, I think we are discussing what hand form(s) to use before you get that lock (and if we should be thinking about them at al).

Thanks -Rob

DH
06-20-2008, 02:02 PM
Hi Dan,

I cannot deny that I want to learn it all as fast as possible.
To that end, I wonder if the hand forms attempt to teach aiki from outside in what you teach from inside out. If that is the case and I have some experience with hand forms - I wonder if I could leverage that effort and maybe approach my desired goal from both directions and speed up my earning process a little bit.

Bill, I think we are discussing what hand form(s) to use before you get that lock (and if we should be thinking about them at al).

Thanks -Rob
Hi Bud
As you know- training from the outside-in is what I think is wrong with the martial arts in the first place.
As for you and the group of guys training? Actually I think training from the inside out will change your entire notion of hand forms. I don't think the opinions you hold now will remain the same over time. In fact I think in time you will dump a whole bunch of the ones you know as they will see how inane they are, change others to fit your new body method and then create your own spontaneously. I do not ascribe to the notion that they are all the same or equally relevant .

Bill Danosky
06-20-2008, 02:24 PM
Bill, I think we are discussing what hand form(s) to use before you get that lock (and if we should be thinking about them at all).

Thanks -Rob

My mistake. I thought it was hand forms at the block and while performing the throw.

I'll offer something else: Kevin Bradley Sensei teaches tegatana/wrist-to-wrist interception of the shomenuchi, but cautions that it's the "peas and carrots" and the lower hand intercepting the elbow is the "meat and potatoes". Strictly for us kyu level practitioners.

Bill Danosky
06-20-2008, 02:52 PM
Hi Bill
If we are talking jujutsu I will debate the veracity of what you described.


I knew you would- but I was sincerely asking for opinions so I'm glad. At this point I'm not above low level Jujutsu or anything else that works against the average opponent. High level practitioners don't usually pick fights so I'm more concerned with ordinary thugs.

I don't know if your version is called aiki...do, or Aikido(tm) but I'd really like to see some video of you using it in your MMA matches. I can't find any online. Can you post some?

Sorry about hijacking your thread, everyone! Going back to lurking now...

DH
06-20-2008, 03:09 PM
I knew you would- but I was sincerely asking for opinions. At this point I'm not above low level Jujutsu or anything else that works against the average opponent. High level practitioners don't usually pick fights so I'm more concerned with ordinary thugs.

I don't know if your version is called aiki...do, or Aikido(tm) but I'd really like to see some video of you using it in your MMA matches. I can't find any online. Can you post some?

Sorry about hijacking your thread, everyone! Going back to lurking now...
Hi Bill
Don't have any and not interested in doing any either. I've had people try to video tape me for years. A couple snuck by, but pretty much I won't do anything on video. I'd rather men feel it up close and personal-it has much more credibility and teaching value.

mathewjgano
06-20-2008, 09:45 PM
Some folks swear by hand forms.
Others say they are a foolish distraction.
I think there are level of understanding at play.

What hand forms do you all use say for shomenuchi kotegaeshi? I'm interested in other techniques as well, and how you decide. (if you use them at all)

Rob

I'm not 100% sure I understand what you're getting at...how is hand form any less important than elbow, spine, etc. form? It's important whenever the hand is used, which to some extent is always, isn't it?
Sensei Barrish has mentioned the Tora no Kuchi (tiger's mouth) shape of the hand used in Japanese archery as being a useful shape to consider. The shape as I understand it has the ulna and radius stacked vertically...basically imagine the feeling of drawing a tight bow (which is oriented vertically), the hand holding the bow is the Tora no Kuchi hand. That hand is quite relaxed because the back hand holds the bow into the palm by drawing on the string. The feeling is that the thumb and fingers kind of roll around the shaft of the bow and it's similar to the shape your hand would probably take if you tried to grab someone's adam's apple.
I have seen him describe this shape a lot when describing how to raise the tegatana for shomen uchi. My sense of it is that it helps creates a very powerfully vertical shape to the hand and forearm portion of the posture and that it's this quality Sensei Barrish is focusing on, but I'm guessing.

MM
06-20-2008, 10:38 PM
Hi Bud
As you know- training from the outside-in is what I think is wrong with the martial arts in the first place.
As for you and the group of guys training? Actually I think training from the inside out will change your entire notion of hand forms. I don't think the opinions you hold now will remain the same over time. In fact I think in time you will dump a whole bunch of the ones you know as they will see how inane they are, change others to fit your new body method and then create your own spontaneously. I do not ascribe to the notion that they are all the same or equally relevant .

Yeah, it has. Changed my whole notion of hand forms, that is. And no, the opinions I once held aren't the same. and yes, I dumped quite a lot. and I'm certainly fighting against dumping some more. Stubborn me. I can see I need to, I just don't want to let go of some of them. :)

I sort of feel like my eyes were opened to true budo. and I can't go back ... onegaishimasu ...

Gernot Hassenpflug
06-20-2008, 10:56 PM
I'm not 100% sure I understand what you're getting at...how is hand form any less important than elbow, spine, etc. form? It's important whenever the hand is used, which to some extent is always, isn't it?
Sensei Barrish has mentioned the Tora no Kuchi (tiger's mouth) shape of the hand used in Japanese archery as being a useful shape to consider. The shape as I understand it has the ulna and radius stacked vertically...basically imagine the feeling of drawing a tight bow (which is oriented vertically), the hand holding the bow is the Tora no Kuchi hand. That hand is quite relaxed because the back hand holds the bow into the palm by drawing on the string. The feeling is that the thumb and fingers kind of roll around the shaft of the bow and it's similar to the shape your hand would probably take if you tried to grab someone's adam's apple.
I have seen him describe this shape a lot when describing how to raise the tegatana for shomen uchi. My sense of it is that it helps creates a very powerfully vertical shape to the hand and forearm portion of the posture and that it's this quality Sensei Barrish is focusing on, but I'm guessing.

I agree, it is a very interesting shape to consider. What is interesting is to consider how it might be created apart from trying to use the muscles of the upper and lower arm to force the bones into such a relative position ;) It's also a very good point to note the similarity of Japanese archery here. You could as well consider the movement with the "jo" from an overhead block to a "cocked" position for a chudan-tsuki (straight thrust). Yes, in the former there is tension whereas in the latter there is pressure, but the movements have an important similarity in the mechanism of how the body is held and the parts moved.

mathewjgano
06-20-2008, 11:29 PM
Agreed. Lets discuss shomenuchi kotegaeshi (or any other one would be fine).

If the person attacks with with right arm, I tend to enter and pivot (as if I'm doing iriminage) - keeping vertical main with my spine. Then I would typically use my right hand palm up laying across their forearm giving them a bit of my body weight. My left hand would be between their shoulder and elbow palm on them. That arm would move be bending as I moved closer to them, and then I'd let my body weight start hitting them using that palm as a natural energy release of that movement (same as the hand on their neck for iriminage) except I'd let it slide down their arm a bit to get into kotegaeshi position. Then I roll that hand so more weight is on their arm nearer my thumb than my pinky as I continue to move into shikaku. When I roll back (move body weight neared my pink than thumb) I cut their center with my intention. I don't pay much attention to what my right hand is doing at that point. It's not cranking anything for darn sure. It just barely touches their finger tips usually. But I'm open to suggestions.

Just out of curiosity if I'm picturing it correctly:
So it sounds to me like you're fading/entering leftward to the "outside" of uke's cut, resting your right arm on top of uke's cut (his right arm) as it cuts down; that palm is facing up so you're resting the backhand side of your forearm on uke's tegatana? You then describe the left hand entering near the bicept area and sliding down uke's tegatana to take hold for the kotegaeshi itself. It sounds like you're then taking that connection/hold (your left hand) and then preparing for the pinkie-led kotegeashi movement by loading up a little with the thumb first?

Maybe initial palm up should be replaced with wrist up, fingers down. Looking for inspiration..
Are you describing the difference between resting the backhand side/outside of the forearm and the inside of the forearm on top of uke's cut?

mathewjgano
06-20-2008, 11:34 PM
What is interesting is to consider how it might be created apart from trying to use the muscles of the upper and lower arm to force the bones into such a relative position ;) It's also a very good point to note the similarity of Japanese archery here.

I've been fortunate enough to feel it with a yumi in hand and it's a neat experience to feel it.

rob_liberti
06-21-2008, 05:52 AM
Just out of curiosity if I'm picturing it correctly:
So it sounds to me like you're fading/entering leftward to the "outside" of uke's cut, resting your right arm on top of uke's cut (his right arm) as it cuts down; that palm is facing up so you're resting the backhand side of your forearm on uke's tegatana? You then describe the left hand entering near the bicept area and sliding down uke's tegatana to take hold for the kotegaeshi itself. It sounds like you're then taking that connection/hold (your left hand) and then preparing for the pinkie-led kotegeashi movement by loading up a little with the thumb first?

Are you describing the difference between resting the backhand side/outside of the forearm and the inside of the forearm on top of uke's cut?

Correct I was describing doing it that way for discussion. I also do it with my initial right hand having palm down. It's one of those things that was never obvious to me, so I experiment on people who are typically stiff ukes.

I understand that Dan's approach is not _equally effective_ as the outside-in method, but if outside-in helps 5% - I'll take it. I'm not past the desperation of looking for any deeper hints phase. Maybe I have PTASD - post traumatic aiki-study disorder. :)

Rob

mathewjgano
06-22-2008, 12:31 AM
Correct I was describing doing it that way for discussion. I also do it with my initial right hand having palm down. It's one of those things that was never obvious to me, so I experiment on people who are typically stiff ukes.

I understand that Dan's approach is not _equally effective_ as the outside-in method, but if outside-in helps 5% - I'll take it. I'm not past the desperation of looking for any deeper hints phase. Maybe I have PTASD - post traumatic aiki-study disorder. :)

Rob

Ok cool , i just wanted to make sure i was picturing it correctly. I was trying to work out what some of the differences might be, but I wasn't able to come up with much. I think the palm up method seems to feel a little more natural to me though...if I had to pick one.
As for the inside-out/vice-versa approaches: form without substance is empty and brittle; substance without form doesn't exist. I don't see how looking at form precludes development of internal substance...my guess is that Dan doesn't think that either, just that he feels more emphasis is needed on the internal substance than is typically placed.
...am I on target here?
take care!
Matt

John Matsushima
06-22-2008, 01:12 PM
Here's what I think about hand forms. I would say that the shape of the hands during the technical application of techniques is what is being referred to here. Does this mean that someone with out hands can't do Aikido? I don't think so, but it does mean that some options won't be available to them, such as doing the grab necessary for go-kyo, or catching uke's arm in techniques such as kaiten-nage. Hand forms certainly isn't considered traditional Aikido, but maybe its just a new take on something that's been there all along. If one looks at photographs of the Aikido masters, then it is clear that their hands do seem to form certain shapes during techniques.
I view this study of hand forms as something extra rather than something necessary for Aikido practice. However, they are not useless. Considering the outside is just as important as considering the inside. We live in the world of forms, and without them, reality would cease to exist as we know it. Try waving hello to someone with a closed fist, or with just the middle finger pointing up, and everything changes.To me, hand forms come about as a result of proper technique, much in the same way the proper technique comes to form as a result of the application of principle. So, it may be more of a side-effect, then a conscious effort in application.
What are some uses of hand forms? They can be used for taking out the slack in a technique, maintaining points of contact, creating points of contact, atemi, catching uke, leading, and extending ki. For me, I think it is important that they occur naturally. One should not should take any time at all to get a proper hand form, especially with grabs (which is why i try to avoid grabbing uke as much as possible).

Any other ideas for the uses of hand forms?

In considering my own practice, in response to the OP's question, here are some of my own ideas of hand forms and their application in technique. These forms don't include positions, only shapes. For example, the te-gatana can be positioned palm-up or down, or sideways.

Te-gatana- sumi otoshi
C-shape- Catching uke's arm in kaiten-nage
The cat's paw(TM)- Floating uke
The sprocket hand (TM)- Taking out slack/extending ki 
The Limp wrist- Yokomen applications
Open palm- Atemi/deflection
Closed fist- Atemi
One finger out grab- 4kyo
The spear- Irimi nage
Feathered fingers shining the ball-Round movements
One thumb out grab- Shiho-nage lock
Grab- Go-kyo
Rolling thumb to the outside (open palm) -Ten-chi nage

Rupert Atkinson
07-06-2008, 04:37 PM
OK, I have only trained 28 years. What on earth is a hand form? All I know is that my hands are kinda pushed along by my elbows. Having done archery (western and Kyudo) I do like to use the general arm position sometimes in techs.

dalen7
07-11-2008, 04:49 PM
I am interested in forms...

Wish I could find more detailed information on the internet about the various forms:

- hand movements
- body movements
- foot work

interestingly enough, the stuff I have seen on foot work doesnt even really line up. I have pieced together what I could on the net with what Im being taught.

Again, a comprehensive list and even a youtube video on this would be great - hint, hint to all you video producers out there. ;)

I suppose we have hand forms too, but havent quite worked it out systematically yet. Still trying to put all the pieces of the puzzle together from Japanese & Hungarian into English. :)

Peace

dAlen

p.s.
One noticeable difference is Tai Sabaki.
Everywhere on the net it is about body movement.
For us, it is actually one of the pieces of foot work we are tested on...anyway, million ways to categorize something I suppose. :)

Cynrod
07-20-2008, 05:26 PM
Hand forms...

I used to believe that I had a small understanding after being around Abe Sensei for about ten years or so... then he changed everything. At least I saw something completely different, anyway. According to Abe Sensei, form only matters the first ten years or so. Then one must move away from form. I guess at least my timing was in sync with what he was saying. However, another teaching speaks about fingers, and gets very specific as to which fingers do what and when and why. After about ten years playing around with these ideas, and with some substantial assistance from various other sources and I am beginning to see the correlation to an explosive form of kokyu-ho that I have been trying to access for close to twenty years. I think I might have more to say about it in about another ten years or so.

In any case, not that I would be giving anything away by stating the obvious, and that is that each finger is a body unto itself, the fingernail being the face. Each finger has three parts, the legs, the body and the head. Depending on the circumstance particular fingers correspond each with Uke, Nage, the space between Uke and Nage and the unification of Uke and Nage. The palm represents the ground. As one moves instantaneously to a moment or point of unification, the fingers and palm move together as one unit (whole body movement), converging into the hara or exploding away from the hara. This can be either into the ground, directly up and away from the ground or pulsating like AC current between these two relative opposites. I mean, being a relative recluse I don't get out very much, but that's all common knowledge...right?

.

Very informative and very interesting info, Thanks Shaun.