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Chris Covington
06-14-2009, 12:08 PM
Hi Dean et al,

I'll second the advice on cardio. I would also look into some weight training, focusing on total body stuff like cleans. I think everyone here agrees, unless you need to focus on an area that is weak, isolation exercises are only good if you want to be a body builder.

For your sword training I would spend a lot of time doing shomen cuts paying close attention to making the cuts as straight as you can. Slow down and make sure each one has perfect form and you have good breath/kiai. Some people have said 1,000 cut per day for three years will teach you the meaning of swordsmanship (see blog here: http://www.geocities.com/kendosuburi/). I think doing about 300-500 is good enough for most of us non-kendo/former kendo players. 100 cuts even done at a slow pace go by in just a few min.

I also like sumo shiko, leg stomps (I only do about 100 per day, although Konishiki I read sugested 300-500 per day). The Nihon Sumo Kyokai has put together an exercise program for non-rikishi to follow here: http://www.sumo.or.jp/eng/kyokai/kenko_taiso.html Lots of good stuff here.

I think if you can learn a little zazen or chigung to learn some good breathing methods to tie it all together you'll be doing well and you should be able to keep up with your peers in the dojo.

Pat Togher
06-15-2009, 10:20 AM
Hi Dean et al,
I also like sumo shiko, leg stomps (I only do about 100 per day, although Konishiki I read sugested 300-500 per day). The Nihon Sumo Kyokai has put together an exercise program for non-rikishi to follow here: http://www.sumo.or.jp/eng/kyokai/kenko_taiso.html Lots of good stuff here.


Excellent!
Thanks for posting this Chris, I was just looking for something similar last week and came up dry.

To the OP:
I have two kids and a so I can completely relate to your question. Some solo training I can do around the house or work:
Gardening
Shadow boxing
Running stairs at work
Walk or jog at lunch break
squats/lunges - whenever I have a few minutes and the though occurs to me
I'm fond of the pileates video training stuff. Most of them take 45 minutes to an hour, but the dvd's often have an express or targeted workout that runs 20 minutes or so. I can do them when we get the kids down and before I am ready for bed, mornings would work, too if you can get up an hour early. I can't.
I've been considering putting together a set of irregularly shaped weights for the house - just common stuff in relatively awkward packages - jugs of water, bags of sand, etc. I have some hope that this will help with my judo :)

Pat

DH
06-15-2009, 11:04 PM
Whatever you do ignore everything in that Sumo link Chris provided. It's nothing a martial artist wants to do. This is NOT the Shiko you have read us talking about nor want you want to be doing.
Although Lynn and Lee are pointing in the right direction, the solo training a martial artists wants to do is really not going to be learned on the net.

If everyone wants to do cardio thats great. Lifting, well...whatever. I'd be happy about that. Lifting will make them tight, light, and easy to fight. But keep your eyes and ears open for the people doing the other stuff-they will more than likely come out on top.
Cheers
Dan

DH
06-16-2009, 12:04 AM
Josh
I got the P.M. I am in the middle of a response to several of your many questions. Talk to you soon
Dan

Chris Covington
06-16-2009, 12:08 AM
"Whatever you do ignore everything in that Sumo link Chris provided. It's nothing a martial artist wants to do."

Why not? Please enlighten us.

DH
06-16-2009, 12:25 AM
It's an old topic here and on that other board from a while back. You can do a search function for it with either my name or Rob jons name. We have both given plenty of explanations. There are maybe a hundred-to a hundred and fifty students and teachers from several forums and arts; from DR to Aikido, Judo, Koryu, Karate, and MMA doing shiko in a more correct format in line with the original intent. If you can't find the correct information (you're a DR guy) ask around...that ain't it, that aint even on the same planet.

A quick idea is that it doesn't have a damn thing to do with stomping and strengthening your hips in that way. There are things you need to do to connect your lower body to your upper body so you move as a unit. Even then there are things you do that are more old school to connect body parts that later lead to spiral energy.
Personally I like Robs answer to a guy who once said he did hundreds of them a day.
1. Your either a liar
2. Your not doing them right
3. Or I want to meet you and come train with you!!
Guess which one was the answer in reply?

I have been doing them for years and there is no way on earth I can do that many. And...I have yet to meet the guy who can match me or keep up when they do them correctly or even make it to twenty!!
Good luck in your training
Cheers
Dan

gdandscompserv
06-16-2009, 01:48 AM
Some of the technical details regarding Shiko as done by Akuzawa sensei are spoken of here;
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=701
But without hands on I don't think they are very useful other than giving one an idea of the true complexity of getting it right. There are so many things going on at once, I surmise that it would be very exhausting, both mentally and physically!

Tom H.
06-16-2009, 06:06 AM
Personally I like Robs answer to a guy who once said he did hundreds of them a day.That was in this thread (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=160745#post160956), and I was "the guy". You and Rob were both right, for the record.

thisisnotreal
06-16-2009, 09:07 AM
I am trying to find the referred link referred to @here (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=161022&postcount=149).
searching for '....t-31125.html' does not help.
Any idea?

Mike Sigman
06-16-2009, 12:12 PM
A quick idea is that it doesn't have a damn thing to do with stomping and strengthening your hips in that way. There are things you need to do to connect your lower body to your upper body so you move as a unit. Even then there are things you do that are more old school to connect body parts that later lead to spiral energy.
Personally I like Robs answer to a guy who once said he did hundreds of them a day.
1. Your either a liar
2. Your not doing them right
3. Or I want to meet you and come train with you!!
Guess which one was the answer in reply?
I dunno.... I suspect that there are a lot of people out there who are sure they know what shiko does and how to do it. Yet probably there are missing parts from everyone's understanding, so it's probably more helpful to everyone who "knows" to discuss the exercise more openly, in case there's parts that they're missing. ;) The "I know a secret" stuff is what continually (through the centuries) causes this stuff to get lost and to degrade because people don't know as much as they think they do. It's an endless cycle.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

DH
06-17-2009, 09:08 AM
I dunno.... I suspect that there are a lot of people out there who are sure they know what shiko does and how to do it. Yet probably there are missing parts from everyone's understanding, so it's probably more helpful to everyone who "knows" to discuss the exercise more openly, in case there's parts that they're missing. ;) The "I know a secret" stuff is what continually (through the centuries) causes this stuff to get lost and to degrade because people don't know as much as they think they do. It's an endless cycle.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
I dunno I suspect there are people out there who know what they were taught and are unconcerned what people on the internet looking for information think of their training.
I can't speak to this idea you always bring up of "I've got a secret" Other than people just won't talk to you about what they do.
I have noticed that I have never heard of you showing Shiko or using it as a training tool, or much anything else substantial to anyone. Ark and I are demonstrating and teaching it. Rob and I have talked since I brought it up on E-budo years ago. Even more so about the differences in approach; back then Ark was talking about maintaining left and right axis and I openly discussed "Crossline" body work. I have noticed his more recent DVDs now include a translation of ..."Crossline" body work, or X line work. Which is a good thing since it sets up and works with the same paths in the body that lead to spiraling energy.

But where Ark and I both have people that have trained with us for a while- me being the longest with over sixteen years-I have never heard of any student base or history of people you have raised-up who have any substantial skills. "Do you have any students or groups that have trained with you for any lengthy period of time who can demonstrate clear and definable skills that they learned directly from you? Nothing recent, I mean week by week people from lets say- ten years or so ago,Mike?"

Dan

Mike Sigman
06-17-2009, 09:44 AM
I can't speak to this idea you always bring up of "I've got a secret" Other than people just won't talk to you about what they do. How did this become another personal discussion about me, Dan?
I have noticed that I have never heard of you showing Shiko or using it as a training tool, or much anything else substantial to anyone. How does this become another discussion about me personally, Dan? My comment had more to do with "there might be more to it than some "experts" think, so maybe shiko is worth more discussion than just "I've got a secret". No personalities were mentioned by me. Ark and I are demonstrating and teaching it. Rob and I have talked since I brought it up on E-budo years ago. Even more so about the differences in approach; back then Ark was talking about maintaining left and right axis and I openly discussed "Crossline" body work. I have noticed his more recent DVDs now include a translation of ..."Crossline" body work, or X line work. Which is a good thing since it sets up and works with the same paths in the body that lead to spiraling energy. Good ole Ark.... he's now learning stuff you've known for years. Attaboy. "Spiralling energy"? How does that work, Dan? Where did you learn all this stuff? Koryu? Which koryu? What koryu uses "spralling energy"? Why not discuss it out loud so we can see if you know more than just terms? Sounds like you've still got a mole on the QiJin list.
But where Ark and I both have people that have trained with us for a while- me being the longest with over sixteen years-I have never heard of any student base or history of people you have raised-up who have any substantial skills. "Do you have any students or groups that have trained with you for any lengthy period of time who can demonstrate clear and definable skills that they learned directly from you? Nothing recent, I mean week by week people from lets say- ten years or so ago,Mike?" Back to a discussion about widdle ole me, again? Why not just talk about Shiko?

Bear in mind that I'm still basically encouraging people to talk about these issues because I think it would be better for most peoples' practice if they did. What I've been opposed to from the beginning is these fiefdoms and mini-kingdoms because I think that's just going to start the cycle again, so my thing is to encourage more open discussion. If you want to answer the point instead of trying to turn the discussion to me (or to you, as seems to happen so often), why not engage the point and debate whether there might be some aspects to shiko out there that some of "experts" may not know?

Incidentally, there's a deja vu quality about how you don't want to publicly discuss things because of your koryu vows, but occasionally you do drop some nuggets, like the above about spiralling, etc. Oddly, those same nuggets have already been discussed, each time, on some other forum (like QiJin, for example). Amazing how in-synch we are sometimes. But the point I'd make is that regardless of avant-garde discussions about "spiralling" and other things, there's still more out there that is just as important, if not more important, to the topic. A more open discussion would ensure that people learn more and it would also stop the development of the mini-kingdoms and massive egos which are (IMO) so detrimental to good martial arts progress.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Josh Reyer
06-17-2009, 10:39 AM
It's one thing to say that the way sumo wrestlers do shiko is "wrong" and useless for someone seeking proper martial training and conditioning. Professional sumo wrestlers train to use the whole body to move extremely large, heavy, and actively resisting loads, and they do a crap load of solo training meant to build up the connections in their body. But Dan is right about the sumo link above, in as much as it's a mere shadow of sumo training, meant as a commercial product for normal folks to get some exercise and to bring in some extra money to the Sumo Kyokai, with none of the heart of the real stuff meant for the dohyo.

thisisnotreal
06-17-2009, 10:45 AM
Some of the technical details regarding Shiko as done by Akuzawa sensei are spoken of here;
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=701


Seems that some brave soul (cris693) has posted a clip of Aunkai shiko. here! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcZgi36DxDY&NR=1)

Mike Sigman
06-17-2009, 12:46 PM
It's one thing to say that the way sumo wrestlers do shiko is "wrong" and useless for someone seeking proper martial training and conditioning. Professional sumo wrestlers train to use the whole body to move extremely large, heavy, and actively resisting loads, and they do a crap load of solo training meant to build up the connections in their body. But Dan is right about the sumo link above, in as much as it's a mere shadow of sumo training, meant as a commercial product for normal folks to get some exercise and to bring in some extra money to the Sumo Kyokai, with none of the heart of the real stuff meant for the dohyo.Hi Josh:

Ultimately all these different takes on Shiko, "intent", ki, you-name-it, all *must* relate in a particular way to the cosmology stuff on A-Un, In-Yu, Ha-Heng, and so forth. These things were all developed and codified a long, long time ago around set principles and criteria. If someone in Sumo, for instance, is let's say "incomplete" in his Shiko, there is a set way for him to bring it back to "correct". If someone in a number of other arts do versions of "Shiko" (it's far more common than people think; it's not always called "Shiko" or done exactly the same way), whatever potential errors they have must be judged against that same ancient, core standard. In other words, just by "doing Shiko" someone is indicating that they are doing the ancient core principles and if they're wrong or incomplete for some reason, they can't say "in our style we do it this way". If it's not complete, it's not complete in relation to those ancient principles. So if someone says "here's the way to do it", but they themselves don't know the full old principles then they set themselves up to be easily exposed. Hence my suggestion that these things are probably best talked out before someone takes too firm a stance. ;)

At the moment a lot of these things are just getting started and Shiko is a good component to think about and do. Personally, though, I think that people will ultimately understand these things far better if they understand the full set of principles, not just a few pieces. So if someone says "ignore the way so-and-so does his shiko", maybe it would be best if they put their reasoning down after having said something like that... it might start a good discussion. ;)

Best.

Mike

John Brockington
06-17-2009, 12:59 PM
Josh-

Thanks for posting that version of shiko. I've seen it before, and while it is interesting and of some value as an Aunkai shiko demo, what I personally love about it is the pooch running around in the background (and sideground and foreground). Even the camera operator sort of starts to track on the dog's trajectory towards the end of the video.:D

John

thisisnotreal
06-17-2009, 03:38 PM
... understand the full set of principles, ...


How is this best done?

Mike Sigman
06-17-2009, 03:59 PM
How is this best done?

You have to start somewhere and get a good (not distorted) set of basics. But then you have to be smart enough to realize that everything is not as obvious at first as you think it is and you dig into the complexities. Whatever you learn or discover at any one time is not what you'll know with later developments, although a lot of people get a little bit of knowledge and think it's a lot. You have to keep going onward and upward. And whatever you say in terms of bragging can come back to haunt you, so it's naturally limiting. ;)

Mike

thisisnotreal
06-17-2009, 04:07 PM
Makes sense, Mike. Thank you.

You pointed to linking w/ Cosmology.
Cosmology includes the massive subset of things that are religious.
Can you put any bounds on what set must correlate with these mental-physical effects? Would and could you say anything about the 'particular way' they must be reconciled?

Yes, I think this is an impossible question; but I want to know what you think.
Josh

DH
06-17-2009, 04:33 PM
How is this best done?

Josh
Get out and go to those who claim to know some things. Don't go to just one guy. go to several. Some are just starting out, some are just starting to teach, some may be on the net on fishing expeditions searching for information and pretending to have a depth of skill or knowledge they really don't have.
Talk is cheap
A good bet is to ask them..."Where are your students or people you have taught for more than just the recent year or two?" And see what they come up with.
Why?
On another level who cares what someone knows it's whether they can replicate it in you. Everyone who has been in the arts a long time has met guys who spin the B.S. and /or guys who are talented but cannot replicate their skills. The chief concern for someone looking is to learn. So who has proof they can teach what they know. See If they know something worth learning and whether they have the ability to teach!. If it isn't replicable and they cannot present anyone...be careful. And never settle for what one single guy tells you, no matter who it is.
The net.
I tell people to never settle for the self professed amateurs here either. Everyone who has trained with me goes out to train with Master level teachers in various arts; Daito ryu, Aikido, ICMA, and other various people or methods so they can think for themselves. You need to find out whats out there and who's got what. No one can judge for you. Only you can, You'll know who you want to train with
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
06-17-2009, 04:40 PM
Makes sense, Mike. Thank you.

You pointed to linking w/ Cosmology.
Cosmology includes the massive subset of things that are religious.
Can you put any bounds on what set must correlate with these mental-physical effects? Would and could you say anything about the 'particular way' they must be reconciled?

Yes, I think this is an impossible question; but I want to know what you think.
If you look at Ueshiba's douka, you'll see that a lot of the references are obscured with Shinto nomenclature, but it's still mainly Yin-Yang theory, albeit dressed up a bit with some of the Kojiki references, etc. Incidentally, for all practical purposes, the Kojiki came into being well after a lot of the Yin-Yang stuff was widespread in Asia. The subject is far too complex (and I'm not expert) to treat in a few sentences, but there's a valid question about "which came first, the chicken or the egg" in terms of "which came first, the body skills or the cosmology", in terms of Yin-Yang, Heaven-Earth-Man, and so on.

There is a confusing part of the old Chinese views where the universe is seen as being analogous to human characteristics and human characteristics are analogous to the way the universe operates. That's why there's that valid question of which came first. If the cosmology came before the understanding of the ki skills, what an improbable coincidence. I personally think it was the other way around, but it's too involved to go into here.

Regardless of all that, the "Heaven-Earth-Man" and A-Un (like in A-un-kai), In-Yo, Ha-Heng are the essence of the ki skills pretty much any way you look at it, so the "cosmology" aspect is not an irrelevant add-on to the discussion of the skills (which Shiko is a part of). If you look at Ueshiba's douka and the references, and you also look at the cosmological references to the same things in just about every legitimate traditional martial art in Asia, you'll always see these same things. It's not a religious justification; it's their way of saying "Aha, I know the secrets, too, and our martial art is also built on these ki things". I.e., the ki skills have a far wider impact on Asian martial arts than just Taiji, Aikido, and so on.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
06-17-2009, 04:51 PM
A good bet is to ask them..."Where are your students or people you have taught for more than just the recent year or two?" And see what they come up with.That's actually a good question to look at from a number of angles, Dan. For instance, think how many good students (out of how many studied in the schools) people like Takeda, Ueshiba, Chen FaKe, Wang Hai Jun, or etc., etc., have or had. In Aikido, for instance, obviously Ueshiba had these skills and so did some of his students, to varying degrees, but look at how the knowledge of the skills was essentially lost down the line. That's a good entre' into the topic I've been suggesting that people "talk" a little more, even though talk is, as you say, cheap. Anyone can claim anything, but a knowledge of basics can't really be BS'ed to fool anyone with experience.

In a few years, I suspect that there'll be a lot more open discussions and a lot of today's claims will be looked back on humourously, so I'd suggest caution and a clinical approach. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

thisisnotreal
06-18-2009, 02:53 PM
How can something like >this< (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/17/core-myths/?em) still be a mystery?

What is the best way to strengthen the core?
What is the best way to strengthen the back?

Isometrics? Plank/prone/side? Dead Lifts?
or ....Shiko? (to come full circle, pardon the pun)

Josh

P.S. Gents, Thank you for the sound advice.

PPS. Mike, any chance of any kind of functional description of what you meant by 'complete'? Other than the opposite of incomplete....that is.

Janet Rosen
06-18-2009, 03:38 PM
what I personally love about it is the pooch running around in the background (and sideground and foreground). Even the camera operator sort of starts to track on the dog's trajectory towards the end of the video.:D


Randogi!!!

Mike Sigman
06-18-2009, 03:55 PM
How can something like >this< (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/17/core-myths/?em) still be a mystery?

What is the best way to strengthen the core?
What is the best way to strengthen the back?

Isometrics? Plank/prone/side? Dead Lifts?
or ....Shiko? (to come full circle, pardon the pun)

Josh

P.S. Gents, Thank you for the sound advice.

PPS. Mike, any chance of any kind of functional description of what you meant by 'complete'? Other than the opposite of incomplete....that is. Well, the "complete" set of ki/kokyu/qi/jin skills is comprised of a set of interrelated factors... and I mean that they're *logically* interrelated. From one factor you can (theoretically) deduce all. For instance it's pretty easy to deduce why all factors *must* be related to Shiko.... if you have one factor, the rest must follow or the practice is incomplete. If you'll watch some of the conversations over the last few years, you'll see that other factors gradually begin to work themselves into the discussion as some of the "experts" gradually begin to realize some of the logical ramifications.

It's sort of like how just a few decades ago the Yang-style Taijiquan adherents were saying that they used "Pulling Silk" and that the Chen-style Taijiquan used "Reeling Silk". Unfortunately, there is an immutable logic (the same logic we're discussing about the ki things in Shiko, etc... these things are all related) that is impossible to avoid where the "complete" logic dictates that "reeling silk" movement is the apex of the logic. The Yang-style people realized this eventually and suddenly started saying that they used "reeling silk" movement, too. Saying it and doing it are two different things, I might add.

So as I watch these conversations develop and some people put down others with the implication that so-and-so's Shiko is incomplete, I realize that we're watching part of a developing process that will go on for some time. And as I said, years hence there will be some humorous retrospectives about people who claimed to be expert too quickly. That being the case, my suggestion has, and continues to be, that people develop a somewhat more open attitude about discussion. Why? Because at the level of current discussions, no real "secrets" are being discussed. That's simple role-playing and "look at me" stuff. For the arts to move forward, the discussions will have to be more open. Not that I discourage competition, of course. I think that's a good thing. But the discussions of these simple basics need to be more than "No real martial artist would do Shiko like that", while not adding more to the discussion. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

HL1978
06-18-2009, 04:03 PM
Seems that some brave soul (cris693) has posted a clip of Aunkai shiko. here! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcZgi36DxDY&NR=1)

I'm not out to criticize the guy,but that video shows the general shape of how aunkai's shiko is preformed, but makes it clear that the practitioner hasn't figured out how to move the body properly yet.

When watching aunkai members preform it, it looks a bit different. My advice is don't try and figureouthow to do shiko just from watching video, yu need someone to work on it with you in person.

thisisnotreal
06-18-2009, 04:25 PM
I'm not out to criticize the guy,but that video shows the general shape of how aunkai's shiko is preformed, but makes it clear that the practitioner hasn't figured out how to move the body properly yet.

When watching aunkai members preform it, it looks a bit different. My advice is don't try and figureouthow to do shiko just from watching video, yu need someone to work on it with you in person.

Hey Hunter,
Given that I'm an ass and will (/have been) trying anyway, would you have any thoughts you could share?
Sorry to put you on the spot. No worries either way.
Cheers,
Josh

jzimba
06-19-2009, 11:28 AM
Since spending a very long afternoon with Akuzawa Sensei a month ago, I have been puzzling through what he taught me of shikko.

Coming on the heels of a weekend with Mike S. I found all kinds of ways to use this exercise.

When I have a "cross-body" connection between the uplifted arm and the opposite leg, I can drop my center downward on to the lifted foot. When it makes contact, the resulting force "bouncing" up through my body shows me where I am breaking from vertical or where I have too much slack. Any lateral wiggle means I am not quite doing the right thing, but when I feel my raised arm both direct and be moved by the bounce, I know I have a more clear path through the leg center, arm and hence the rest of me.

Dan, I remember you showing me your version of this years ago, and I am a bit fuzzy on how it differs from the way Akuzawa taught me. I attribute this to my lack of understanding of either. I use it as a tool for my current level of understanding.

I don't yet grasp where spiralling has to come into play. It seems to me that by it's nature, doing cross-body work naturally leads to spirals. Until shown otherwise, I think that is far too complex to talk about and really would have to be shown to learn or to mean anything to anyone.

Joel

Budd
06-19-2009, 01:42 PM
I don't yet grasp where spiralling has to come into play. It seems to me that by it's nature, doing cross-body work naturally leads to spirals. Until shown otherwise, I think that is far too complex to talk about and really would have to be shown to learn or to mean anything to anyone.


I both agree and disagree with the above statment. I think that doing cross-body work correctly leads to spiralling happening inside the body. However, the problem with that is that there can be an emphasis too much on the shape of something and how it looks - and not enough on specific "internal" checkpoints that you're guiding with your intent when practicing - which then manifest in a physical and testable external action. When I say testable - I don't necessarily mean against resistance, although that can be part of it once you have a modicum of skill (though the problem with adding it too early is that you train more to defeat the resistance, rather than training the actual skill - two different things in my opinon), but rather there's a specific and desired action and reaction for each "test" or checkpoint.

To that end, especially something like spiraling, I think is enough of a "basic" thing you have to have going on inside you - that it absolutely should be discussed. What needs to be understood as an ongoing caveat, is that even using the same terminology doesn't guarantee that everyone's talking about the same thing -- it has to be felt to be sure -- but still, talking about common themes and checkpoints to training, especially around the basics . .makes a lot of sense. It's revealing in that people make a stand and show some cards (especially when discussuing basic principles), but can also be misdirecting in that it isn't really indicative of how well someone can do something (has to be felt, dammit!!).

But for a discussion board it might just be the best thing you got ;) beyond using the discussions as motivation to get out and see what people are doing (as a lot of people that traverse this forum are already doing). So in the spirit of practing what I preach, when I use the term cross-body-work to describe what I'm doing, I'm training to connect the inside of my body is such a way that my legs, waist and back work to together to use existing forces of gravity and ground most efficiently. My intent and my middle work together to coordinate these things. Exercises should work to better connect your insides and link the control centers to pass gravity/ground through them. Seems like sound logical stuff.

Now, HOW, I'm training to do that involves specific exercises involving stretching/expanding things, breathing and working against really, really light forces to start out with (heaven and earth are enough to deal with at first before adding more - at least in my case) - stuff that probably really does need to be felt. But even after doing this and things start to manifest - it's a tricky line between keeping the momentum going to dig deeper and learn more, versus assuming that you've gotten somewhere and going down a tangent. Being hypercritical is a headache but a freaking necessity to get anywhere, I'm pretty convinced.

So, even in the simplest of movements, I'm trying to check my connections throughout the body, am I using local muscle, am I breathing appropriately, am I carrying tension spots, what exactly is the root cause of each movement I am making, how much of what I'm doing is dependent on "timing" versus "being", if there's another guy, do I have him on contact, before contact, how am I receiving/returning his force or otherwise fitting in appropriately (ukemi and I don't mean falling down) . . that kind of thing.

If it's not already an obsession it almost makes you wonder if it's all worth it ;)

David Orange
06-19-2009, 11:43 PM
... I think that doing cross-body work correctly leads to spiralling happening inside the body.

I did a good bit of shiko with Ark in Atlanta but I don't recall any mention of spiralling related to it. He did talk about spiralling power up from the rear foot to the hip and transferring that to the rear hand on the bo, but he was not clear about how this spiralling was produced, that I could hear or understand, as tired as I was.

How would shiko develop spiralling power, and how do you get spiralling power from the rear foot to the hip, in the bo-pushing walking exercise, against a resisting partner, transfering the power to the rear hand and into the bo.

... To that end, especially something like spiraling, I think is enough of a "basic" thing you have to have going on inside you - that it absolutely should be discussed.

I'd like to see an explicit discussion of that topic. Where does the power come from? How does it spiral?

... for a discussion board it might just be the best thing you got ;) ...So in the spirit of practing what I preach, when I use the term cross-body-work ...I'm training to connect the inside of my body is such a way that my legs, waist and back work to together to use existing forces of gravity and ground most efficiently. My intent and my middle work together to coordinate these things. Exercises should work to better connect your insides and link the control centers to pass gravity/ground through them. Seems like sound logical stuff.

Completely. But where does the spiralling come into or out of that?

Thanks.

David

Budd
06-20-2009, 06:18 AM
But where does the spiralling come into or out of that?

The two common things I'm seeing in the "basic" desired outcomes of internal exercises is that they're connecting the body via bones/ connective tissue and then using the spine, waist and legs to direct the natural forces of gravity and ground through your connected body unit. "How" exactly you do this seems dependent on the 'frame' and intent of the exercise you are doing, but the legs push/pull/turn, the waist push/pull/turns, the spine lengthens and turns. So any whole body exercise that's practiced over time and with attention given to the efficient use of these things - how is spiraling "not" going to come into and out of that? ;)

Add in varying degrees of local and external muscle that are used (and I assume we're all trying to eliminate as appropriate) and different nomenclature - I get why it can seem like a different or "advanced" topic.

Timothy WK
06-20-2009, 12:42 PM
I'd like to see an explicit discussion of that topic [spiraling]. Where does the power come from? How does it spiral?
I can talk a little bit about "spiraling", but I'm not going to pretend that I have a complete understanding of it. In fact, I reserve the right to be wrong and/or change my opinion in the future.

OK, so *one way* to conceptualize internally-powered movement is to map it along two axis. The first axis is the "vertical" axis, and I call it that because it relates to a vertical movement or rotation of the center. Outwardly, "vertical" movements correspond to extending/contracting the limbs, arching/rounding the back, and looking up/down. Internally it corresponds to a sense of rising and lowering "energy".

The second axis is the "horizontal" axis, which--you guessed it---relates to a sideways movement/rotation of the center. Outwardly, "horizontal" movements correspond to rotational or twisting motions, such as "rolling" the hips and shoulders in/out, twisting the torso, turning over the wrists, and looking to the side. Internally, there is a sense of "winding" in/out, and that's where "spiraling" comes from *as I currently understand it*.

If you look at the "Anatomy Trains" model (http://www.knowyourbodybest.com/files/AnatomyTrains.JPG) that maps the various muscle-fascia pathways, you'll notice that there are lines that run straight down the front, back, and sides, as well as lines that crisscross around. Those straight lines are the ones that generally come into play with "vertical" movements. The crisscross-y lines---that quite literally "spiral" around the body---are the ones that generally come into play with "horizontal" movements.

Furthermore, you'll notice that those straight ("vertical") muscle-fascia lines are, umm, "one-sided". Meaning, you have lines that run up the right side, and lines that run up the left. The crisscross-y ("horizontal") lines, however, cross from side to side. This is why "cross-body" training relates to "spiraling".

Now, in the big picture, training "windings/spirals" is the same as "straight" connections (*IME/IMO*). You just connect through and work those crisscross-y muscle-fascia lines. But IME, it can be tricky to learn how to engage those spirally lines in the beginning, and the exercises you regularly practice play into that.

*Personally*, I first started to understand this type of movement by practicing "sideways" oriented motions that work a cross-body connection. As I get more familiar with "spirals" in big, obviously sideways movements (like Chinese silk-reeling), I also start to see more subtle spirals in movements that otherwise appear "straight" (like in a karate punch).

So here's the exercise my old teacher recommends for learning sideways movement (which I still practice a lot): Stand with your feet about shoulder width and a half wide, feet parallel and pointed straight ahead, and knees slightly bent. For now, just let the arms hang at the side, in a relaxed but connected manner, if you know what that means.

The exercise consists of simply shifting your hips from side to side, so that your weight is balanced maybe 70%/30% at the extremes, while keeping the spine upright. But here's the important part---you need to keep the hips straight and level, as if they were skewered on some sort of pole. This sounds incredibly easy until you watch yourself in a mirror. What feels "straight" actually causes the hips to get all twisted up.

What you have to do to make this work is turn the leading "knee" in, and the trailing "knee" out, but there's some trickiness involved. To do this correctly the movement has to come from the hip joints themselves. It's more than just "twisting" the leg---it actually involves changing the position of the femur head inside the hip socket by "rolling" it back and forth.

When you do the femur head thing correctly, the knees rotate, but they don't otherwise move around. (Oh, and the trailing leg does slightly straighten and the leading leg slightly bends, if it wasn't obvious.) Watching for knee movement is one way to gauge your correctness, on top of watching the straight- & level-ness of your hips.

A word of caution, however---there's a good chance you'll have to loosen up the hips/groin/lower-back areas a bit before you'll be able to do this properly. Tension in the aforementioned areas will cause the knees to get torqued. (But miraculously, if you remove the tension in those areas, you'll feel nothing in the knees.) So in the beginning, go really light until you figure out how to release those tensions, 'cause otherwise the exercise will cause sore knees.

Now, what I've described above is the mechanics of the exercise, but not the all important feeling. When you learn to do the exercise with the correct form---which also involves spine stretching and all the other general advice you'll hear elsewhere---and with an ever increasing level of relaxation (and connection, if you know what that means), then you begin to experience an "opening" and "closing" sensation in the pelvic crease. That is to say, you'll start to experience an "expanding" or "pushing" feeling in the trailing leg, and a simultaneous "contracting" or "pulling" feeling in the leading leg, that seemingly "winds" the legs in or out, respectively. If you're focusing on the connection between the legs (the "lower arch" as they call it in the Aunkai), then it might feel as if "something" is being "passed" from the leading leg to the trailing leg through the lower abdomen. In time, you might also feel a little spot of pressure moving horizontally across your abdomen (that's the center).

It is this rotational "open/close" or "winding" in the hips that leads to "spirals", *as I currently understand it*. As you become more familiar with this "winding" feeling, you can begin to learn to engage this "opening/closing" independently (somewhat) of any external movement. You also learn to connect the "winding" in your hips out to the extremities, which is when you get the sensation of a whole-body "spiral"... That's my working assumption, at least, I'm not quite there yet. (I get whole-body movement, but it's still difficult for me to overtly feel the connective lines in the legs.)

What I've described here is only the beginning, developing whole-body "spirals" that stretch from foot to hand takes time... like, a few years. I also suspect that there are deeper elements to all this that I haven't yet grasped, but I'm confident that will come with time.

I did a good bit of shiko with Ark in Atlanta but I don't recall any mention of spiraling related to it... How would shiko develop spiraling power...
I'm not too comfortable giving advice on shiko, but I'll make a couple points.

The way I *currently* understand shiko is that it's kinda like 2 exercises rolled into one. The "squat & clap" section seems like one bit, and the "shift, raise, & stomp" like another. The way *I experience* shiko is that the "squat & clap" portion seems to primary work a vertical rotation of the center---down the back and then up the front---while the "shift, raise, & stomp" part primarily works a horizontal rotation. (I can tell that there's a general horizontal movement in the center during the "shift, raise, & stomp", but it's still difficult for me to discern the exact "route" that the center takes. Sometimes it feels like, uhh... like it *might* just maybe be moving to one side along the front, before circling around through back horizontally... or maybe I'm just imagining that, it's difficult for me to tell.)

As such, if you want to emphasize the spiral-y parts of shiko, I think you have to practice it a bit differently from the way it is normally explained by the Aunkai, particularly the "shift, raise, & stomp" portion. (But even though the normal Aunkai description doesn't include "spirals", if you watch Ark, he'll often throw in the winding elements.) But I'll leave it to others more experienced than I to explain how to do that.

Timothy WK
06-20-2009, 01:22 PM
PS---That post came out a whole lot longer than I meant it to.

Upyu
06-21-2009, 06:26 PM
I don't yet grasp where spiralling has to come into play. It seems to me that by it's nature, doing cross-body work naturally leads to spirals. Until shown otherwise, I think that is far too complex to talk about and really would have to be shown to learn or to mean anything to anyone.

Joel

Thought I'd pipe in here...since I think this subject tends to get over-rated in terms of its complexity.
And that complexity only stems from whether or not your body is conditioned enough to feel certain things.
Basically, if you keep at it and have cross body connections hardwired in, the spirals will occur naturally.
Joel, did Ark show you the "twist" solo exercise he does? It's on the first DVD (and no that'S not a cheap marketing shot :D ). That component is definitely in the Shiko.
In the beginnining you drag the body from side to side by stretching the body across the X lines, and "Pull" it up so to speak.
Eventually, as those lines become hardwired, you should be able how to shift the body and raise the leg without having to drag it across each and everytime. More specifically you simply wind the body to lift the leg, and unwind to let it back down.

Course...it's easier said than done, but m 2 c on the matter.

gdandscompserv
06-21-2009, 07:43 PM
Thought I'd pipe in here...since I think this subject tends to get over-rated in terms of its complexity.
And that complexity only stems from whether or not your body is conditioned enough to feel certain things.
Basically, if you keep at it and have cross body connections hardwired in, the spirals will occur naturally.
Joel, did Ark show you the "twist" solo exercise he does? It's on the first DVD (and no that'S not a cheap marketing shot :D ). That component is definitely in the Shiko.
In the beginnining you drag the body from side to side by stretching the body across the X lines, and "Pull" it up so to speak.
Eventually, as those lines become hardwired, you should be able how to shift the body and raise the leg without having to drag it across each and everytime. More specifically you simply wind the body to lift the leg, and unwind to let it back down.

Course...it's easier said than done, but m 2 c on the matter.
'bout time you chimed in!:D

JangChoe
06-21-2009, 10:54 PM
I didn't read everything that tgwk wrote since I'm too lazy. But for spiraling in shiko, there is a reason why the palm is turned up in the beginning and end up turned down at the apex of the leg lift. That little motion in the arms is actually conveyed by the whole body--and tada! spiraling in shiko.

John Brockington
06-22-2009, 08:01 AM
AHA! I knew something was going on with that hand movement, Jang! I was trying some different things with (Aunkai version) shiko, and noticed that if the palm of the outstretched arm remains up and doesn't rotate, I would feel a distinct sensation of diminished stability/connection, would wobble, etc. Go figure.

Thanks for the discussion, everyone.

John

Mike Sigman
06-22-2009, 08:05 AM
I didn't read everything that tgwk wrote since I'm too lazy. But for spiraling in shiko, there is a reason why the palm is turned up in the beginning and end up turned down at the apex of the leg lift. That little motion in the arms is actually conveyed by the whole body--and tada! spiraling in shiko.

Nice, Jang. And of course now you can go back and look at videos (well, you should be able to do it; not everyone will be able to see it as well) and see whose Shiko is really hooked up, who uses local muscle, and so on. Want to give a shot at *why* people would do this sort of thing, how it helps, and so on?

Good job.

Mike

JangChoe
06-22-2009, 08:33 AM
Nice, Jang. And of course now you can go back and look at videos (well, you should be able to do it; not everyone will be able to see it as well) and see whose Shiko is really hooked up, who uses local muscle, and so on. Want to give a shot at *why* people would do this sort of thing, how it helps, and so on?


Are you talking about why we would want to do the spiraling or why we would want to do shiko?

Mike Sigman
06-22-2009, 08:48 AM
Are you talking about why we would want to do the spiraling or why we would want to do shiko?Aren't they the same thing? There's a particular reason to do Shiko, as opposed to say Fune Kogi Undo, but for all practical purposes they're just facets of the same jewel. But I'd be interested in either hearing discussion about why Shiko particularly as an exercise or why winding in Shiko. Maybe Dan can chip in, since at the beginning of the post he was telling Chris:

Whatever you do ignore everything in that Sumo link Chris provided. It's nothing a martial artist wants to do. This is NOT the Shiko you have read us talking about nor want you want to be doing.

What exactly is a martial artist doing in Shiko that is so helpful? Why is winding/spiralling important? And so on. The discussions about the how and why would probably be helpful to everyone.

Best.

Mike

JangChoe
06-22-2009, 09:52 AM
Aren't they the same thing? There's a particular reason to do Shiko, as opposed to say Fune Kogi Undo, but for all practical purposes they're just facets of the same jewel. But I'd be interested in either hearing discussion about why Shiko particularly as an exercise or why winding in Shiko. Maybe Dan can chip in, since at the beginning of the post he was telling Chris:

Whatever you do ignore everything in that Sumo link Chris provided. It's nothing a martial artist wants to do. This is NOT the Shiko you have read us talking about nor want you want to be doing.

What exactly is a martial artist doing in Shiko that is so helpful? Why is winding/spiralling important? And so on. The discussions about the how and why would probably be helpful to everyone.


It's probably because it helps to develop that whole body connection (from head to finger to toe). This helps a martial artist because it makes them feel stronger to their opponent.

Buddha's Warrior Attendant move in the Chen Taiji form is pretty much shiko. I rotate my dantien (my torso) to the right to pick my right leg up and rotate my torso left to drop the leg back down.

It's better than using just your hip flexor muscles to just pick up that leg. That's just training your hip flexor muscles. I guess that's okay if you want nice looking hip flexors.

But if you use the winding connection in your body (also connected to the ground), the leg should feel stronger to the opponent when the leg is raised--provided your body's connection is conditioned well. It's because you have that whole body behind the leg being raised. That can be good if you want to knee someone, walk, or do whatever technique that involves you picking your leg up.

These are just my observations.

Mike Sigman
06-22-2009, 11:39 AM
It's probably because it helps to develop that whole body connection (from head to finger to toe). This helps a martial artist because it makes them feel stronger to their opponent. I'd suggest there's more to that part of; it's the like the start of some things that all tie together. But it's good to see these things being discussed as a topic.
Buddha's Warrior Attendant move in the Chen Taiji form is pretty much shiko. I rotate my dantien (my torso) to the right to pick my right leg up and rotate my torso left to drop the leg back down. Yeah, that's good. Besides Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds Mortar, there are equivalent practices in a number of other arts. There are partial practices in a number of arts (e.g. the fumikomi in Kendo, the step/stomp in Xingyi, etc.) that are undoubtedly related from long ago to the same practice. That's why it would be a little silly to tell, say, a Chen-stylist that "I've never seen you practice Shiko". ;) It's better than using just your hip flexor muscles to just pick up that leg. That's just training your hip flexor muscles. I guess that's okay if you want nice looking hip flexors.

But if you use the winding connection in your body (also connected to the ground), the leg should feel stronger to the opponent when the leg is raised--provided your body's connection is conditioned well. It's because you have that whole body behind the leg being raised. That can be good if you want to knee someone, walk, or do whatever technique that involves you picking your leg up.

These are just my observations.Thanks, Jang. That's pretty good. I think Shiko is a lot more involved than people realize. There's plenty more that could be discussed, too.

Best.

Mike

John Brockington
06-22-2009, 12:19 PM
Jang-

And it would seem that what spirals down (arm to leg) can also spiral up (leg to arm), and allow more effective power transfer than simple groundpath to anything the arms are doing.

Also, I wonder if the effect of spiral-based movement has something to do with one's actual connection to the ground, ie, sort of firmly screwing you in to your stance? Isn't it harder to pull a screw out of wood than a (linearly driven) nail? This would further enhance groundpath based movement, I would think, too.

Just some lunchtime thoughts.

John

JangChoe
06-22-2009, 01:20 PM
Jang-

And it would seem that what spirals down (arm to leg) can also spiral up (leg to arm), and allow more effective power transfer than simple groundpath to anything the arms are doing.

Also, I wonder if the effect of spiral-based movement has something to do with one's actual connection to the ground, ie, sort of firmly screwing you in to your stance? Isn't it harder to pull a screw out of wood than a (linearly driven) nail? This would further enhance groundpath based movement, I would think, too.



I think that stuff can help in rooting too. I mean it can't hurt it. John Medurga's standing thing recommends us screwing our legs in. I remember an article written by Yan Gaofei that talked about how the legs screws inward naturally when standing. I can see how that's possible if you relax and let the weight pull down the front of the suit, the body closes inward and the legs screw in. That doesn't happen to me naturally yet unless I focus on that aspect. I'm too concerned about other stuff I have to focus on in my standing. I'm assuming the more I get connected all these stuff will happen more naturally.

Timothy WK
06-22-2009, 01:43 PM
Buddha's Warrior Attendant move in the Chen Taiji form is pretty much shiko.
In the big picture, yeah, they both rely on the same principles, and they both train you to "drop" your weight. But as *I experience* the two movements, they seem to work a different set of connections.

"Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds Mortar"--- here's Chen Xiaowang performing it (0:30-0:39) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkd2KvUoxuY#t=0m30s), as well as some random dude (http://www.ehow.com/video_2360866_tai-chi-buddhas-warrior-attendant.html)---has more of a "straight" same-sided vibe. There's a strong connection between the lifting foot and lifting hand by "closing" through the front. Vice versa for the supporting leg and "catching" hand.

Shiko on the other hand---sorry, I can't find any good video---emphasizes that cross-body connection from hip to opposite shoulder through the back by tilting and lifting the leg slightly behind and to the side. That's why (I assume) the Aunkai folks say the leading hand "lifts" the back leg.

"Buddha's Warrior Attendant" still has some subtle "spirals", just as shiko still has some subtle "straightness". But in both cases, *to me* those things don't seem to get work as much.

Mike Sigman
06-22-2009, 01:55 PM
In the big picture, yeah, they both rely on the same principles, and they both train you to "drop" your weight. But as *I experience* the two movements, they seem to work a different set of connections.

So, how does it work, then?

Best.

Mike

thisisnotreal
06-22-2009, 02:07 PM
So, how does it work, then?
Best.
Mike

Mike,
Where's the beef?

Josh:rolleyes:

Lee Salzman
06-22-2009, 02:53 PM
Yeah, that's good. Besides Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds Mortar, there are equivalent practices in a number of other arts. There are partial practices in a number of arts (e.g. the fumikomi in Kendo, the step/stomp in Xingyi, etc.) that are undoubtedly related from long ago to the same practice. That's why it would be a little silly to tell, say, a Chen-stylist that "I've never seen you practice Shiko". ;)

I can think of two ways to look at this:

1) What is the end result of doing these specific exercises a lot? You get better at the specific exercises. They each have a set of external demands placed upon the person doing them (i.e. foot here, arm there, etc. etc.) that are different between all of them or else they would look exactly the same. So rather than say they are all birds, call a duck a duck, a turkey a turkey, and an ostrich an ostrich. These external demands are there to teach something about how one is to do the exercise in question. Now, it may be possible to generalize principles from the form of the exercise about other movements, but the result of the exercise is bound up with the form, because the form defines the utility of the exercise.

or:

2) If, following these external demands, it is still possible to do the exercises "wrong" or that it is still possible to do all these exercises the same "way" regardless, then there are, in fact, demands not intrinsic to the exercise, and you could go so far as to say the exercise in question is actually useless and pointless for teaching them. The necessary demands of the exercise are not bound up in the form of the exercise itself. Why do an exercise to learn something if it doesn't specifically teach it? You could just as well rub your belly and pat your head over and over and practice whatever underlying principle there is and it would be equally effective as doing Shiko or Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds Mortar or xingyiquan or....

Which of those two ways of looking at it is it? I dunno. I got my own vague answers, but I would rather pose these as questions.

thisisnotreal
06-22-2009, 02:54 PM
Outstanding posts. Thank you.

Some thoughts I had;

Most of our conversations have been about the structure. For the record; I hope that continues. Almost infinite depth, there alone.
Structure. This is critical but, I think, not the whole of the story. One way to frame the discussion is to say: "Among others, the body has Skeletal, Muscular and Effort/Intent systems"
The following post is about the Effort/Intent system in the body. These are tangible material skills and nothing metaphysical.

… There's a particular reason to do Shiko, as opposed to say Fune Kogi Undo, but for all practical purposes they're just facets of the same jewel…

I guess this is all obvious, but I have not yet seen or heard it laid out like this, despite direct questions:

I think both are conditioning exercises refined for differing purposes. Both are related to bodyskill, and tie to use/application of dantien.

Fune Kogi Undo is predominantly a ki-pump exercise.
(read: assisting spirit-effort-pump (rising/falling energy) with mechanical rowing motion)

Shiko is predominantly a whole body connectivity exercise.
(read: strengthening interconnections)

These are opposite sides of the same coin.
the >thread< (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=231839&postcount=78) of commonality of the jewel is in working with the ki.

..the practice of the membrane is difficult, and the practice of Qi is more difficult.
Briefly, I see it like this; Working with the membrane is like the forcing of blood thru it. A kind of flexing. Or a ‘body breath', if you like. The spirit effort of pushing the blood thru it, is what I take as ki. It is something that happens naturally; but through these practices something that 'conscious thought' seeks to manipulate. A systemhack, if you will.

In regards to ki:

Shiko is in holding the pressure in a quasi-static way; and Fune Kogi Undo is in circulating/modulating the pressure around a circuit.
From one point of view, analogous to DC vs. AC circuits, respectively. But they are definitely related.

Shiko is about maintaining this fullness throughout the movement. Practicing keeping it full and steady while the whole body connectivity is the focus. In movement, no less. This helps to attain & re-enforce that suspended feeling that was alluded to earlier.
Doing this over time literally knits the body making and strengthening interconnections in the various systems (muscular/fascial/skeletal/circulatory).
In a very literal and real way pressure leads to capillaries, muscle chains, fascial nexus, etc, opening and requires the feedback loop that is the body to build, re-inforce, strengthen, etc;. This is a part of the changing of the body. I think Shiko can be a practice to set(/increase) the maximum DC voltage/tension/breath-pressure limits the body (/sausage suit) is capable of. Done by equilibrating the body structure against an ever growing progression of loading asymmetry. And what a nice movement Shiko provides to allow you to control the load you can handle.

Fune Kogi Undo is about controlling where the fullness is in the cycle of the movement. Practicing moving and circulating it. The opening and closing feelings in the pelvic crease (/kua) tgwk mentioned is part of this loop/cycle.
Think of a peristaltic flexing action. Except it can be visualized as a traveling pressure wave of blood/flexing. Doing this is by manipulating your (/with your) ki and posture-shifting your body structure and synchronization of the two. With breath timing involved, no less.
Doing this over time will lead to skill in moving/controlling/circulating/tension/relaxation in a dynamic way. It will help to imprint this pressure manipulation cycle into normal movement patterns. I believe that this is what the >Inaba< (http://funkybuddha.multiply.com/links/item/45) quotes refer to (i.e. how to move it).
(search: "even if you grasp timing")

This is just what I think. And my limited understanding.
Truly, we are wonderfully and fearfully made.

Be careful. And be gentle. You know that hemorrhaging and broken blood vessels exist and are possible.
Kaizen is the rule here. Don't break yourself. Physically, spiritually or emotionally.
That would certainly not be worth it.
It's just another thing you can do with your body.

I likewise reserve the right to be wrong now and/or later.
I am definitely not wrong about the being careful part though.
I hope this helps... and that it doesn't hurt.

Best to all,
Josh

p.s. dang. too long again. i just get all revved up. sorry.

thisisnotreal
06-22-2009, 02:57 PM
I got my own vague answers, but I would rather pose these as questions.

nice.
For what it's worth, I am interested in your thought process leading to your vague answers.

Cheers,
Josh

Mike Sigman
06-22-2009, 03:17 PM
I can think of two ways to look at this:

1) What is the end result of doing these specific exercises a lot? You get better at the specific exercises. They each have a set of external demands placed upon the person doing them (i.e. foot here, arm there, etc. etc.) that are different between all of them or else they would look exactly the same. So rather than say they are all birds, call a duck a duck, a turkey a turkey, and an ostrich an ostrich. These external demands are there to teach something about how one is to do the exercise in question. Now, it may be possible to generalize principles from the form of the exercise about other movements, but the result of the exercise is bound up with the form, because the form defines the utility of the exercise.

or:

2) If, following these external demands, it is still possible to do the exercises "wrong" or that it is still possible to do all these exercises the same "way" regardless, then there are, in fact, demands not intrinsic to the exercise, and you could go so far as to say the exercise in question is actually useless and pointless for teaching them. The necessary demands of the exercise are not bound up in the form of the exercise itself. Why do an exercise to learn something if it doesn't specifically teach it? You could just as well rub your belly and pat your head over and over and practice whatever underlying principle there is and it would be equally effective as doing Shiko or Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds Mortar or xingyiquan or....

Which of those two ways of looking at it is it? I dunno. I got my own vague answers, but I would rather pose these as questions.Part of my wry point goes back to the original inference in the thread where the assertion was made that doing Shiko a certain way was wrong. I'd suggest that many ways of doing Shiko are "wrong" or at least "incomplete" and we get nowhere if people simply make assertions and move on. I essentially said the same thing to TGWK by asking him to explain "how it works" rather than just make general pedagogical assertions.

Shiko, like most exercises, can become more and more complex as it develops because it encompasses the connection of the body, the natural winding of the body caused by the lay of muscles/bones/tendons/fascia, ways of using power, and so on. When we trivialize someone's version of how to do Shiko, we should have a reason for why or better. When we offer advice, we should be able to say how it works, at least to some degree, because there is always a "how". There is no magical ki.

In terms of the second point... can non-productive, ritual exercise be done for many years, resulting in missing the point? You betcha. Happens all the time. If you go back a few years in A.W. archives, you'll see that it used to be thought that the ritual or the technique had all the subtlety. Now we're getting into interesting times where more people are seeing that Aikido (and other arts) were deliciously more complex than just "subtle technique skills". There are subtleties of body skills and these are the core of what "Aiki" is and the core of most Asian martial arts that they thought was so magnificent that it rated the Yin-Yang approval sign. Ain't it grand? ;)

Mike

thisisnotreal
06-22-2009, 03:33 PM
Hi Mike,
What are the take-aways from the Heaven-Man-Earth cosmology?
Can you please point to a reference you thought is good?

The area is huge.

Josh

p.s. Off topic but not off title, i found this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXwVCjXSDSY&feature=related) clip. Was pretty nasty. What I thought was interesting was the super emphasized loading of uke's structure; resulting in the bounce. The raw power was something to see.

jss
06-22-2009, 03:43 PM
p.s. Off topic but not off title, i found this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXwVCjXSDSY&feature=related) clip. Was pretty nasty. What I thought was interesting was the super emphasized loading of uke's structure; resulting in the bounce. The raw power was something to see.
Same guy, different clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThauDyWX9Ts). Nice shoulder usage at the 22 second mark. Unfortunately.

jss
06-22-2009, 03:52 PM
2) If, following these external demands, it is still possible to do the exercises "wrong" or that it is still possible to do all these exercises the same "way" regardless, then there are, in fact, demands not intrinsic to the exercise, and you could go so far as to say the exercise in question is actually useless and pointless for teaching them. The necessary demands of the exercise are not bound up in the form of the exercise itself.
What if the demands are bound up in the form of the exercise, but they are so detaillistic that it makes no sense to actually teach them as external demands? That these demands can only be accessed through imagery and experimentation?
In the same vein: how do you teach someone to play music in stead of just the notes? How do you teach someone to drift (motorsport)? How do you teach someone the timing of ikkyo omote? etc.

Timothy WK
06-22-2009, 03:53 PM
In the big picture, yeah, they both rely on the same principles, and they both train you to "drop" your weight. But as *I experience* the two movements, they seem to work a different set of connections.
So, how does it work, then?
I'd suggest that many ways of doing Shiko are "wrong" or at least "incomplete" and we get nowhere if people simply make assertions and move on. I essentially said the same thing to TGWK by asking him to explain "how it works" rather than just make general pedagogical assertions.
Wha?... I'm baffled by this. The answer to your question is in the very section of my post that you quoted.

I said that the two exercises are the same, except that they focus on different parts of the body. After that quote of mine, I went on to describe which parts of the body I thought each exercise focused on.

Mike Sigman
06-22-2009, 03:56 PM
Hi Mike,
What are the take-aways from the Heaven-Man-Earth cosmology?
Can you please point to a reference you thought is good? Josh, these things are just skills. They're clever skills and unusual skills, but they don't break any laws of physics and you have to be shown how to do them, particularly at some of the more complex levels. The Heaven-Earth-Man stuff is mainly about using gravity and weight as your sources of power and you modulate those forces within your body (meaning you have to train in order to do this well).
p.s. Off topic but not off title, i found this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXwVCjXSDSY&feature=related) clip. Was pretty nasty. What I thought was interesting was the super emphasized loading of uke's structure; resulting in the bounce. The raw power was something to see.I swear I'm going to do a video some day and call it "Quantum-Mechanics Nuclear Radiation Secret Qi Push Hands" so that I can use all the awesome buzzwords. :freaky:

Mike

Mike Sigman
06-22-2009, 04:00 PM
I said that the two exercises are the same, except that they focus on different parts of the body. After that quote of mine, I went on to describe which parts of the body I thought each exercise focused on.OK. I thought you just said things like "tilt" and "lift" and "connect", but no "how it works". Not that big of a deal.

Mike

thisisnotreal
06-22-2009, 04:10 PM
Mike -
Thanks. It was funny. I can help you with the jargon though. I think we can do better.

What kind of stuff are you working on now?
Where does this stuff go? What is 'onwards and upwards' about, 5, 10, 20 years later? What is your best secret?

Thank you for the comment about the apex being reeling.

re: breaking the laws of physics.
Hmm.

re: cosmology.
It is a funny thing then. If you say that the key takeaways of the cosmology are about gravity and weight, then that neglects about 99.8% of all the 'extraneous' cosmological details. It is long and detailed, as far as my research shows. That was why I asked you about the limits of what is needed to reconcile bodyskill&cosmology. It is an interesting study. Lots of extra things.... lest it escape anyone's attention, much of the other pertains directly to religious world-view.
That is my opinion.

Josh

Mike Sigman
06-22-2009, 04:19 PM
What kind of stuff are you working on now?
Where does this stuff go? What is 'onwards and upwards' about, 5, 10, 20 years later? What is your best secret?

It's worth posting again to note that Ueshiba, Shioda, and many other Asians considered working on these skills as an investment for old age. You have strength; these ways of working out improve your health in an unusual way. It shouldn't take all that many years to get pretty good skills. The reason it takes so long to get skills is that people tend to hoard the information. Having these body skills does not automatically make someone a good fighter, BTW.

My best secret? Am I a bag of marbles that should just empty myself on the table? ;)

thisisnotreal
06-22-2009, 04:24 PM
..the reason it takes so long to get skills is that people tend to hoard the information. .


*That* is ..... H I L A R I O U S.

Mike Sigman
06-22-2009, 04:57 PM
*That* is ..... H I L A R I O U S.

John, who was in financial difficulty, walked into a church and started to pray. ''Listen God,'' John said. ''I know I haven't been perfect but I really need to win the lottery. I don't have a lot of money. Please help me out.'' He left the church, a week went by, and he hadn't won the lottery, so he walked into a synagogue. ''Come on, God,'' he said. ''I really need this money. My mom needs surgery and I have bills to pay. Please let me win the lottery.'' He left the synagogue, a week went by, and he didn't win the lottery. So, he went to a mosque and started to pray again. ''You're starting to disappoint me, God,'' he said. ''I've prayed and prayed. If you just let me win the lottery, I'll be a better person. I don't have to win the jackpot, just enough to get me out of debt. I'll give some to charity, even. Just let me win the lottery.'' John thought this did it, so he got up and walked outside.
The clouds opened up and a booming voice said, ''John, work with me on this.... first you gotta buy a freakin' lottery ticket.''

I assume you're signed up at Dan's workshop, Josh? :p

thisisnotreal
06-22-2009, 08:03 PM
Another good >Shiko< (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xh_S-LvvGc&feature=related) clip.

Sorry. Couldn't help myself.
I keep getting shiko-rick-rolled by that one.

On a more serious note;
I think >this post from Dan< (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=198450&postcount=142) is important in pertaining to shiko.
And yes, for the record there was a discrepancy on the drawing. Mike's comment >here< (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=198485&postcount=158)

thisisnotreal
06-22-2009, 08:17 PM
When I have a "cross-body" connection between the uplifted arm and the opposite leg, I can drop my center downward on to the lifted foot. When it makes contact, the resulting force "bouncing" up through my body shows me where I am breaking from vertical or where I have too much slack.

Originally, when I read this, I thought that you meant that *at that moment where you dropped your center downward* you could feel the bouncing force thru your body. Just from dropping your center internally. That is a crazy thought. Wonder if someone could get so taut. For the record: I now think you are talking about the stomp portion. ;)

re:Feeling the 'bounce' or recoil
I think that ringing of the ground path is what they are doing >here< (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5f21194RG0&feature=related) but by sensing it in/thru someone elses body. Do you agree?

re: spiraling
I think Mike is talking about >this< (http://webdharma.com/taiji/silkreeling.html). But I do not know if it is the same spiral bindings that are worked or if shiko targets specific different ones and/or a different way to work them. Thought the link was interesting; and the picture as well. Spirals.

Josh

Mike Sigman
06-22-2009, 08:27 PM
On a more serious note;
I think >this post from Dan< (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=198450&postcount=142) is important in pertaining to shiko.
And yes, for the record there was a discrepancy on the drawing. Mike's comment >here< (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=198485&postcount=158)Good heavens... I thought no one would ever notice the different ideas on what a "cross" is and how it works. I'd given up hope, in fact. On the one hand, there is the traditional view of the body in relation to ki, etc., and on the other hand there is an X-shape. It'd probably be a really good idea to sort out how the body works when ki/kokyu/qi/jin forces and body training are involved. I realize you said "there was a discrepancy", but I think it's worthwhile to think about how things work. It would be productive, in my opinion.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

thisisnotreal
06-22-2009, 08:28 PM
I both agree and disagree with the above statement.

If it's not already an obsession it almost makes you wonder if it's all worth it ;)

That was a great post. Thank you.
I both agree and disagree with it. ;)

I learned a lot just in hearing how you think about it. We each bring ourselves to this endeavor and I think will each see something different natively. Like how many different aikido and dr family trees there are (as has been well (and better) said before).

My only contribution to the spiral subject

>The Spiral Line< ( http://www.sportskin.net/files/u1/Sports_Kinesiology_and_the_Spiral_Line.pdf)
Aware of it.And Standing strongly. Learned this one the hard way. By breaking it.

I am starting to think of it as a neural reactivation exercise. Have you come across the term 'neural flossing'?
do you know how they teach rehab for patients trying to recover function? (i.e. where the brain cannot control things it should)
I think this a partial problem statement of one of the things we are trying to do in tanren.

Good Luck.
Josh

thisisnotreal
06-22-2009, 08:32 PM
I didn't read everything that tgwk wrote since I'm too lazy. But for spiraling in shiko, there is a reason why the palm is turned up in the beginning and end up turned down at the apex of the leg lift. That little motion in the arms is actually conveyed by the whole body--and tada! spiraling in shiko.

Hi Jang,
I completely missed this. And how important this is. Thank you.
It is like the seal on the line.

When that little motion in the arms passes thru the spine in the hips at the center, specifically at the SI (sacroiliac) joints...does it correspond to switching axes of the body from the side-to-side axis to the front-back axis of the body?
If it sounds wrong; My question may be faulty...
Thanks.
Josh

thisisnotreal
06-22-2009, 08:37 PM
Good heavens... I thought no one would ever notice the different ideas on what a "cross" is and how it works. I'd given up hope, in fact. On the one hand, there is the traditional view of the body in relation to ki, etc., and on the other hand there is an X-shape. It'd probably be a really good idea to sort out how the body works when ki/kokyu/qi/jin forces and body training are involved. I realize you said "there was a discrepancy", but I think it's worthwhile to think about how things work. It would be productive, in my opinion.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Hey Mike,
By all means; please go on. It's totally productive. Throw me a frikken bone.
Josh ;)

Budd
06-22-2009, 08:39 PM
It's tricky - I see it as a combination of listening to what people are saying and then feeling what they are doing. Even with people who have a degree of skill, there can be a disconnect between the two things. Then there's the people that are quick to bandy buzzwords about and/or talk about how they already are doing this and/or make up their own terminology as they go -- yet can't do squat.

The internet can be great to get a sense of who you actually want to meet up with in person - then follow it up by doing so. Graphs don't do a lot for me unless I have hands on sense of what a person is talking about. In general, I think there's enough innuendos around basic skills that if you are guessing, it's going to come across that way . . if you are boasting, ditto . . if you're pushing buttons. . etc.

JangChoe
06-22-2009, 08:51 PM
Hi Jang,
I completely missed this. And how important this is. Thank you.
It is like the seal on the line.

When that little motion in the arms passes thru the spine in the hips at the center, specifically at the SI (sacroiliac) joints...does it correspond to switching axes of the body from the side-to-side axis to the front-back axis of the body?
If it sounds wrong; My question may be faulty...


I'm not sure what you mean by side-to-side axis and front-to-back axis. Can you elaborate on that?

Mike Sigman
06-22-2009, 09:03 PM
Hey Mike,
By all means; please go on. It's totally productive. Throw me a frikken bone.
Josh ;)Well, I did "throw a bone". I published the pertinent drawing relating to the muscle-tendon channels of the body that relate to "ki strength" and how it is conveyed through the body, connected/controlled at the dantien/hara (the unlabeled arrow), and so forth. The basic muscle-tendon channel configurations are what its all about, down to the finest detail. Remember, I said that once you grab a portion of this logic involving ki and movement, the rest inexorably follows. In fact, it gets quite complex, the whole theory of movement, and it involves not only the main dantien/hara/one-point, but also the secondary dantiens at the chest and at the perineum.

The "X" theory is the part that needs some explication. I.e., "how does it work?". Sure, we can pull from side to side, up to down, etc., (the topic can get very complex), but the devil is in the details. What superficially sounds like a good explanation can fall down when examined in light of the traditional and very practical views (and which were worked out in minute detail centuries ago). Ultimately, if the "cross" thing isn't straightened out, it's going to lead to problems of fact and function. In my opinion, the traditional view is extremely precise and correct (so does Thomas Myers in "Anatomy Trains" think its accurate, obviously).... and ultimately the coordination for "ki strength", for "spiralling", for the use of "fascia", and so on is going to need the accuracy of the traditional "cross". So if there's a case for an actual "X", I'm anxiously waiting to hear it. ;)

FWIW

Mike

thisisnotreal
06-22-2009, 09:05 PM
If you look at the "Anatomy Trains" model (http://www.knowyourbodybest.com/files/AnatomyTrains.JPG) that maps the various muscle-fascia pathways, you'll notice that there are lines that run straight down the front, back, and sides, as well as lines that crisscross around.


Hi Tim,
Did you buy the book? It looks expensive and I wasn't sure it was useful other than for all the sophisticated paths.
Would you recommend the purchase?


Furthermore, you'll notice that those straight ("vertical") muscle-fascia lines are, umm, "one-sided". Meaning, you have lines that run up the right side, and lines that run up the left.

I remember reading about the following; from I don't know where.
It has to do with clear-conduction of force. I doubt if that is what is meant by the term; but in my mind this is the 'tomei no chikara' the body is to be capable of. Clear path. Clear power.
It talked about how in the human body there mostly are vertical lengths of undifferentiated fascial channels...like in the neck, torso, arms, legs etc.
It talked about how the horizontal ones can cause problems for people, when they slouch, or otherwise assume postural distortions known as 'common compensation patterns'.
These 'horizontal' fascial regions can become problematic for people. This is where they can get snagged, misaligned, torqued. They are the regions that the force (/gravity) has to travel some horizontal distance before they can connect to the next vertical fascial conduction path.
In the body these locations are:
1)At the base of the skull (at the atlas)
2)At the base of the neck
3)At the diaphragm/crura
4) upper hips
5) lower hips
6) knees
a lesser one at the ankles; but ankles are special. As are the feet; they are mostly fascial structures.

The visual here is that of a champagne fountain where you pour champagne (analog=gravity) at the top glass and it flows smoothly and radially symmetrically downwards to fill all glasses at lower levels..etc.

(FWIW; i thought it was an interesting aside, sorry if not! ;))


So here's the exercise my old teacher recommends ...
The exercise consists of simply shifting your hips from side to side, so that your weight is balanced maybe 70%/30% at the extremes, while keeping the spine upright. But here's the important part---you need to keep the hips straight and level, as if they were skewered on some sort of pole.

Among other things:
I think what you are talking about is an exercise targeted to activate and control a line thru the gluteus medius. This is the shock-absorber of the human body; and one of the first body part to be neurally inhibited and synergistically dominated by other body parts(/rhythms). This line is critical to healthy human movement. If you watch a runner who slaps his feet; odds are that the GM (Gluteus medius) function has been disrupted. Learned that one the hard way too. When the GM is not working properly then the Side-to-side axis in the body is compromised/combined with the Front-to-back axis.


A word of caution, however---there's a good chance you'll have to loosen up the hips/groin/lower-back areas a bit before you'll be able to do this properly. Tension in the aforementioned areas will cause the knees to get torqued. (But miraculously, if you remove the tension in those areas, you'll feel nothing in the knees.) So in the beginning, go really light until you figure out how to release those tensions, 'cause otherwise the exercise will cause sore knees.

As mentioned, using the foam roller to eliminate tension in the TFL (Tensor fascia lata) and IT (Iliotibial tract) fascial regions will go a long way to recovering proper length-tension relationships and getting rid of knee pain. The only price to pay is .... other pain, of course.


then you begin to experience an "opening" and "closing" sensation in the pelvic crease. That is to say, you'll start to experience an "expanding" or "pushing" feeling in the trailing leg, and a simultaneous "contracting" or "pulling" feeling in the leading leg, that seemingly "winds" the legs in or out, respectively.

Funny the synchronicity sometimes. I have just recovered this function to a large degree; and didn't yet realize some of the detail you outlined. Thank you kindly.


If you're focusing on the connection between the legs (the "lower arch" as they call it in the Aunkai), then it might feel as if "something" is being "passed" from the leading leg to the trailing leg through the lower abdomen.

I think of this as 'the effective load'. What do you think?

Thanks again for your time. Sorry for length.
Cheers,
Josh

thisisnotreal
06-22-2009, 09:11 PM
Well, I did "throw a bone". I published the pertinent drawing relating to the muscle-tendon channels of the body that relate to "ki strength" and how it is conveyed through the body, connected/controlled at the dantien/hara (the unlabeled arrow), and so forth. The basic muscle-tendon channel configurations are what its all about, down to the finest detail. Remember, I said that once you grab a portion of this logic involving ki and movement, the rest inexorably follows. In fact, it gets quite complex, the whole theory of movement, and it involves not only the main dantien/hara/one-point, but also the secondary dantiens at the chest and at the perineum.

The "X" theory is the part that needs some explication. I.e., "how does it work?". Sure, we can pull from side to side, up to down, etc., (the topic can get very complex), but the devil is in the details. What superficially sounds like a good explanation can fall down when examined in light of the traditional and very practical views (and which were worked out in minute detail centuries ago). Ultimately, if the "cross" thing isn't straightened out, it's going to lead to problems of fact and function. In my opinion, the traditional view is extremely precise and correct (so does Thomas Myers in "Anatomy Trains" think its accurate, obviously).... and ultimately the coordination for "ki strength", for "spiralling", for the use of "fascia", and so on is going to need the accuracy of the traditional "cross". So if there's a case for an actual "X", I'm anxiously waiting to hear it. ;)

FWIW

Mike

Interesting.
I don't know the answer.
On a naive level; isn't the mere virtue of the existence and presence of the dantien mean that there is a nexus; or virtual cross there?

Could you give an explicit, perhaps simplified, example of the kind of conundrum this will lead to in form and function?
Josh

p.s. you wrote

(the topic can get very complex)

I expect no less. The body is terrifyingly complex. Would that we could engineer something like that. Look how hard it is to *use* nevermind make.

thisisnotreal
06-22-2009, 09:21 PM
I think that stuff can help in rooting too. I mean it can't hurt it. John Medurga's standing thing recommends us screwing our legs in. I remember an article written by Yan Gaofei that talked about how the legs screws inward naturally when standing. I can see how that's possible if you relax and let the weight pull down the front of the suit, the body closes inward and the legs screw in. That doesn't happen to me naturally yet unless I focus on that aspect. I'm too concerned about other stuff I have to focus on in my standing. I'm assuming the more I get connected all these stuff will happen more naturally.

Wish I knew this earlier:
If anybody has (/suspects) lower body problems/issues/misalignment...this inwardly screwing motion (i.e. medial rotation) of the femur is one of the first things to get shut down (/neurally inhibited) in natural posture. Once shut down there is a cascade of repercussions..

fwiw
Josh

Mike Sigman
06-22-2009, 09:31 PM
Interesting.
I don't know the answer.
On a naive level; isn't the mere virtue of the existence and presence of the dantien mean that there is a nexus; or virtual cross there? Nope. Our body evolved from a cylindrical shape. The dantien is the controlling center of a cylinder. The limbs' nexuses (I would say "nexi" if I were speaking Latin) are the chest dantien and the 'lower dantien' (Hui Yin).
Could you give an explicit, perhaps simplified, example of the kind of conundrum this will lead to in form and function?
There are more problems than you can shake a stick at. For a simple exercise procedure you could (depending on whatever your theory is) use an "X" for a while as a superficial example, but ultimately as the skills get more sophisticated, "X" will fail pretty quickly. Already as people are beginning to say things like "spiral", etc., they're getting into trouble because they may not be thinking far enough ahead. The "what's really going on here?" approach is a good one.

The nice thing about the traditional approach is that it's been around for centuries (even Ueshiba quotes from it in his douka), its still relevant mechanically, and it explains all of the aspects of ki-skills once you get past the nomenclature problem of the ki-paradigm. It's also what I happen to prefer, so I'm saved a lot of writing of things you can go look up for yourself. The questions are more about the "X" model and what happens as people try to mix the "X" model with traditional skills that conform with the traditional model and which the traditional model seems to have been designed to explain.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

thisisnotreal
06-22-2009, 09:51 PM
thinking out loud..
ok; if part of the whole strategy relies on finding the fascial connections; allowing them to be tensioned (e.g. 'leaned on') and then the pressure suit filled around it; then yes; it is not a pure fascial chain/connection in the same way, say, as the spiral line is.

It is exceptional in that way. It is the puppet-master when viewing the body connections as marionette strings. So no; i guess it's not the X model. But i can certainly see how the model is a useful point and frame of reference for connections that you can actively establish in the body. But you seem to debate that point. I think.
Not sure about the ultimate repercussions...and being pragmatic...may i ask, bottom line, what does it matter?
Is it that you cannot 'lean' on the spiral line across the body? What is the worst mistake you'd make with this assumption?

Words fail me. Eyes dim...and crossing....been a long day.
Good night.
Josh

Mike Sigman
06-22-2009, 10:02 PM
...and being pragmatic...may i ask, bottom line, what does it matter?
Is it that you cannot 'lean' on the spiral line across the body? What is the worst mistake you'd make with this assumption?
I have no idea what relevance "leaning on a spiral line" has to do with this... that one you own. ;) In terms of mistakes, where to start? There are too many. Ultimately, you have to start modifying an "X" in order to account for some of the things that functionally arise or to explain some of the more sophisticated methods of developing power. But maybe Dan has a more sophisticated explanation of his "X" figure.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

thisisnotreal
06-22-2009, 10:08 PM
I'm not sure what you mean by side-to-side axis and front-to-back axis. Can you elaborate on that?
Hi,
Not sure if i'm completely off on this. But what I mean is:
I remember somewhere reading about not using the hip flexors to raise the leg in shiko. That if that happens we have reverted to local muscle. Hip flexor action is almost exclusively F-B axis.
So the understanding is we are to use something else then to raise the leg in that portion of shiko. I am thinking of this as the body stabilized in the side-to-side axis.
Use of the hip flexors and ultimately bending the knee in squat position is the body aligned in a F-B sling/axis. I think this is the end of the stomp portion.
There must have been a moment of transition between these postural extremes. I think that transition is at that hand-turn-over moment. Could be wrong tho..What do you think?
Josh

thisisnotreal
06-22-2009, 10:40 PM
I have no idea what relevance "leaning on a spiral line" has to do with this... that one you own. ;) In terms of mistakes, where to start? There are too many. Ultimately, you have to start modifying an "X" in order to account for some of the things that functionally arise or to explain some of the more sophisticated methods of developing power. But maybe Dan has a more sophisticated explanation of his "X" figure.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

these are ideas. these are photons off a screen. what is 'it'?
enlightenment or delusion, who is to say (douka?)
leaning. like leaning into a sling. like leaning into the wind. but *in* your body.
i don't whink i own smish. wtf. http://www.coachr.org/outer.htm and you shouldn't either.
paul chek. sling system.
leaning into the various lines. front-to-back or side-to-side.
have you ever read of pavel tsatsouline?

Hey Mike,
You trying to milk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeVraZnJ6dM) Dan?
Did you hear the song?
geez.
Do you think you could take him in a fight to the death?


There are too many.

Sureley then you wouldn't mind one example so I could understand?

thisisnotreal
06-22-2009, 10:54 PM
Hey Mike,
Do you remember this< (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums//showpost.php?p=151712&postcount=67)?
I challenge anyone to show something sigman said that was nicer than that. ;)
Take 'et easy boys.
Cheers and Thanks.
Josh

thisisnotreal
06-22-2009, 11:09 PM
Hi Rob John,
I've never addressed you directly before, but wanted to say thank you for all the information that you've posted. You dedicated yourself a lot to explaining it and doing so in person extraordinarily well according to all reports. good job. And really bringing it out in the open,representing and getting so many amazing threads going. So much amazing posts from you, dan and mike. was a privilege to eavesdrop in on those exchanges. was pretty nice for you guys to stick your neck out like that.
hey, Are you on the dvd's dude?
Cheers man.
Josh
p.s. do you have any general advice you'd give knowing what you know now?

thisisnotreal
06-22-2009, 11:39 PM
Well, I did "throw a bone". I published the pertinent drawing relating to the muscle-tendon channels of the body that relate to "ki strength" and how it is conveyed through the body, connected/controlled at the dantien/hara (the unlabeled arrow), and so forth. The basic muscle-tendon channel configurations are what its all about, down to the finest detail. Remember, I said that once you grab a portion of this logic involving ki and movement, the rest inexorably follows. In fact, it gets quite complex, the whole theory of movement, and it involves not only the main dantien/hara/one-point, but also the secondary dantiens at the chest and at the perineum.


are you saying something like (call me crazy)
1. a dantien can create torque on the body. Can generate or dissipate. we have multiple such dantiens. (even the eye-one? serioulsy?>)
2. each dantien can create torque on the body
3. alignment (i.e. orientation), timing and intensity of each dantien can effect each other. the net out-coupling of dantien vector-axes combinations are the world-vector. can move this rapidly while in motion.
4. can resonate dantiens in time.
5. next crazy thing.
6. add weapons
7. etc.

no way. way?
Josh

thisisnotreal
06-22-2009, 11:51 PM
British Martial Arts? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8wxwqtRgSk) Good laugh...
cheers,
Josh

thisisnotreal
06-23-2009, 12:10 AM
It's tricky - ..

Graphs don't do a lot for me unless....

Budd, Try this one< (http://www.jir.com/graph_contest/index.html#OneGraph)
Josh

thisisnotreal
06-23-2009, 12:12 AM
funny how that all went. i didn't quite expect that either.
Josh

thisisnotreal
06-23-2009, 09:19 AM
Mike, I think I see everything a bit differently today.
Thank you.
Josh
p.s. hope you're not mad. meant in jest.:p

Timothy WK
06-23-2009, 11:06 AM
Josh, slow down, man, it's hard to keep up with everything you're writing.

Did you buy the book [Anatomy Trains]?
No, I've mostly just read the website. The material seems pretty good, but nowhere near perfect, for "showing" or explaining all the internal stuff. But I think it's nice for quick and easy explanations like I've given here.

I remember reading about the following... in my mind this is the 'tomei no chikara' the body is to be capable of. Clear path. Clear power.
It talked about how in the human body there mostly are vertical lengths of undifferentiated fascial channels...It talked about how the horizontal ones can cause problems for people, when they slouch, or otherwise assume postural distortions known as 'common compensation patterns'.
The, uh, let's call them "common break points" are an issue, but not what (I think) you're talking about. The idea of "clear power" is related, but not quite the same thing.

I don't want to seem like I'm blowing you off, but this is really a topic unto itself, and to fully explain it would require more time and energy than I have to spend right now. If you look around this site and a few other sites, you can find more info.

Among other things:
I think what you are talking about is an exercise targeted to activate and control a line thru the gluteus medius.
Uh, maybe, probably, I'm not sure. I'm not very good with individual muscles.

But the exercise is a lot bigger than just one muscle. You first have to develop what is sometimes called "connection", which relates to the ability to "convey" force through muscle/fascia, rather than "create" force like we normally do with muscle. Once you learn to do that, and get all the various muscle-fascia lines "linked up", then you can start learning to coordinate them all together. The exercise I outlined is aimed at developing a particular type of coordination.

Again, that starts getting into a different---and big---topic.

I think of this as 'the effective load'. What do you think?
I'm not sure what exactly you mean, but I wasn't talking about "load". When you begin to develop the internal stuff, you actually begin to experience some weird, pseudo-mystical feelings, such as "stuff" moving around though the body or under the skin. There are a couple (physiological) theories about why that happens, but there are no hard answers right now.

thisisnotreal
06-23-2009, 12:03 PM
I'm not sure what exactly you mean, but I wasn't talking about "load". When you begin to develop the internal stuff, you actually begin to experience some weird, pseudo-mystical feelings, such as "stuff" moving around though the body or under the skin. There are a couple (physiological) theories about why that happens, but there are no hard answers right now.

Hi Tim,
With all usual disclaimers in effect (..These are only my thoughts. No guarantee.)
I think what you are talking about is the feeling of a traveling blood/pressure/flexing wave modulated by your body. The same pressure/tension wave mentioned, with respect to ki, in Fune Kogi Undo. The feelings of "pseudo-mystical stuff", as you said it, are what I take to be your awareness of the blood flow, the compression due to the external load, and the ground paths (jin paths?) thru the loaded body, all combined, effectively, into one focused point, and the interplay between these factors.
The physical load is transferred (in/)to the Effort System, as mediated by your intent (/spirit), structure(/dantien) and effort(/ki).
Then it becomes the effective virtual load, as borne and experienced by your body (and mind).
What do you think?
Josh

Timothy WK
06-23-2009, 02:24 PM
With all usual disclaimers in effect (..These are only my thoughts. No guarantee.)
I think what you are talking about is the feeling of a traveling blood/pressure/flexing wave modulated by your body. The same pressure/tension wave mentioned, with respect to ki, in Fune Kogi Undo. The feelings of "pseudo-mystical stuff", as you said it, are what I take to be your awareness of the blood flow, the compression due to the external load, and the ground paths (jin paths?) thru the loaded body, all combined, effectively, into one focused point, and the interplay between these factors.
The physical load is transferred (in/)to the Effort System, as mediated by your intent (/spirit), structure(/dantien) and effort(/ki).
Then it becomes the effective virtual load, as borne and experienced by your body (and mind).
What do you think?
Nope.

There are associated feelings of "pressure", "tension", blood flow, etc., but not in the ways you're talking about. For the time being I am quite happy with my original statement---but maybe with a bit more emphasis on the "might" part, since feelings change over time:
If you're focusing on the connection between the legs ... then it might feel as if "something" is being "passed" from the leading leg to the trailing leg through the lower abdomen.

Eric Joyce
06-24-2009, 10:30 AM
Very interesting discussion so far and it has peaked my interest a bit.

A question to those who have been doing this internal type training or whatever you want to call it for awhile...how has this type of training helped you in defending yourself against a violent attack? Has this type of training allowed you to do things (neutralize threats) quickly, efficiently, effortlessly, etc.? As I read thru these threads, the question in the back of my mind is, other than developing strong, core connections within the body for maximum efficiency, how will this type of training help me against a resisting attacker hell bent on hurting me? Maybe the answer is right there and I don't see it, but any help in explaining it to me would be greatly appreciated.

Lee Salzman
06-24-2009, 10:56 AM
Very interesting discussion so far and it has peaked my interest a bit.

A question to those who have been doing this internal type training or whatever you want to call it for awhile...how has this type of training helped you in defending yourself against a violent attack? Has this type of training allowed you to do things (neutralize threats) quickly, efficiently, effortlessly, etc.? As I read thru these threads, the question in the back of my mind is, other than developing strong, core connections within the body for maximum efficiency, how will this type of training help me against a resisting attacker hell bent on hurting me? Maybe the answer is right there and I don't see it, but any help in explaining it to me would be greatly appreciated.

Roughly: increased relaxation, speed, agility, reactivity, strength, coordination, and balance.

Eric Joyce
06-24-2009, 11:03 AM
Roughly: increased relaxation, speed, agility, reactivity, strength, coordination, and balance.

Thanks Lee. Do you have any examples of how you used it in an attack? Or better yet, can you provide a baseline of how this type of training helped you in class with say...knife defenses? Sort of a before and after thing. Unless you have an example where you actually used this in an actual attack. I would like to hear them.

DH
06-24-2009, 11:22 AM
I've been traveling and training.

Josh
The two diagrams that are shown in your example; mine and the one Mike nabbed from Mantac Chia's book are different. My model comes from a training model used in DR for paired waza and solo training.
Note* I left out the connection across the chest and back (as well as several other connections) as that drawing was specific to a discussed example on the doku and not meant to convey all details. (See more on the upper cross below)
As for that post discussing the doku
Notes from the translator
The aiki cross were two lines in an X- intersecting vertically at their center.
While the translator believes Ueshiba meant to express Izu and Mizu as in/yo he also makes note of the true definitions as springing forth or gushing water. I find the dual meaning interesting. Also interesting were Ueshiba describing the yin and yang of opposing hands.
I can find no descriptions of him covering that the same side hand/foot. They are best treated as opposites as well. Which is of course demonstrable in the cross. FWIW, this is also a path for the way I do Shiko
Cheers
Dan
Hidden in Plain site-revisited
The same paths lead to the use of spiral energy in the body in paired and solo training. It is only a part of a more complicated training involving uses from even a simple self-rotation, to spiral energy from feet to groin to waist to spine to hand along two different lines that also converge differently front and back. It is important to know what is connected to what and what to move to draw-in on and push against and engage, so you don't end up vulnerable with guys that know what you're doing and who will toss you due to the way you train.. I rarely talk about this as well- but there are pictures that display one exercise to specifically do this in DR. It is expressed in photos that Takeda, Hisa, and Ueshiba all curiously decided to "pose in." They are standing there in an exercise form putting the spiral paths -in your face. One of which will be appearing in Ellis new book.
The internet gadflies, in spite of their incessant assertions, and guesses really don't know much of anything about the existence of that training model in DR, nor of moving from the waist to use spiral energy -albeit in a more simplistic manner in various Koryu weapons either.

Since you brought up Mikes point about the upper cross-(although it was not related to my point in that post) you can read more about my own thoughts on "the upper cross" in an earlier post by Rob Jon in the training section here- wherein he asked permission to quote my example of "the upper cross" in use
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=149419&highlight=Harden#post149419
The following is a quote from Dan Harden, mma'er who uses Japanese Koryu Weaponary to condition his body for Vale Tudo.
While this was originally written for an Aikidoh forum, he describes very succinctly the body mechanics elaborated above.
******************************************************************************
About the cross or the back / chest area:
Imagine shoving a drive shaft or any pole into a hole in the floor then slide a peg through it horizontally. Next grab the peg as it sticks out left to right with both your hands.
Now imagine the hole you stuck the pole into is attached to an engine with 1000 ft. lb. of torque and I turn it on.
When you get out of hospital with your broken arms healed you can understand how powerful it can be if:
1. the pole is your spine
2. the peg is tension held across the back and chest
3. and the engine is the ground through your legs through your hips that turn the spine or pole at the waist.
Everything attached to it is launched without you dedicating much to the effort in a forward direction. It makes powerful kicks, punches, throws, and shoves without you giving much to lose or have someone take your balance.
You are wholly dedicated without being dedicated.
The frame is strengthened through connections throughout the body which can be strengthened further still through breathing and pressures there. You are using the ground for power. Of course, it is the way you are connected that allows this power to move through the whole body from foot to hand.

The above example can be quite effective in ground grappling for reversals when you are on your back with someone on you giving you weight. You hold tension in the cross and turn using the ground from your feet through the hips, turning the spine like a drive shaft .....which......... turns the peg (your scapula area). What's attached to the peg? Your shoulders and arms.
I have seen guys lifted off the floor and thrown. The key is to not try to throw them but to maintain connection and just turn into yourself.
Breathing and certain other things add to this.

It's worth noting that the example Rob cited from me was in relation to self-rotation, and non dedicated weight transfer- not spiraling. Also worth noting from that same post is once again Robs discussion of Arks then current teaching of the left-to-left and right-to-right axis in the body. Which I stated earlier and Mike denied it was true. Just as I said earlier here is yet another quote by Rob from three years ago and you can find it on E-budo and in the early Aunkai videos on Shiko training. A training method which I clearly disagreed with and Ark apparently decided to change in his latest video.
***Three Axes***
Stabilization of the chest area is directly related to recognizing and
stabilizing three axes.
First, let's define what the three axes are.
The left and right axes are two imaginary lines running from the left
shoulder to the left hipjoint and knee, and the right shoulder to the right hipjoint and knee. The center axis, as one might imagine, runs from the crown of your head down between your legs.
As noted by me earlier, my mention of the way I train with "cross-line" paths in Shiko were explained to Rob on E-budo in threads there and on the phone. Later my term "cross-line" appeared in their latest video with the axis training now changed to an X pattern. It's all there to read and then listen too
I wish to make this clear
I don't really care much at all about this crap. I was initially hesitant to share, but over time I thought it might be a fair exchange of information. What initially sounded great-has really turned into more ego and protectionism of a different order, now with paying study groups and ranking and private forums and the building of "ditto" heads and more typical Budo divisiveness. I was hoping for better.
Note* I have never mentioned this except VERY recently and only do so for clarity because I am beginning to see some attempts at revisionist history going on here to boost certain agendas being established recently.

Anyway back to more worthwhile discussion
Another factor involved here is just how that unarmed training model of cross-line work, turning and drawing through the waist to leave the weight centered and non dedicated coincides with how (many) Koryu cut with weapons-more particularly heavy weapons. Any movement with the hips leading- can become a dead, and overly- dedicated movement- antithetical to the requirements of mobility and power in many Koryu. Drawing with the waist "through" the groin to move the hips and legs and how to best connect to the spine and is of paramount importance for continuous movement while moving freely without unnecessary change. It is not the same movement as the one-line samurai walk that leaves people vulnerable in areas of Koryu combatives. Not the least of which is cutting with weapons all day and needing to move forward, backward, turning while cutting to both sides. While that type of spiraling is more simplistic to the body forms (expressed elsewhere) they are never-the less a first step in physical understanding of "change" and the use of power.
You cannot move well with weapons in the "single-line" model at all. It is no small wonder that you see the more modern derivatives; aikido, some DR, Iaido, Kendo, with their single step kata cutting from and moving from the hips in this supposed "one-line" Samurai model (see image at bottom of page and come back) This not the way a bushi moved in continuous cutting on a battlefield. The movement -expressed by that teacher here:
Here an Edo period woodblock print depicts a samurai cutting down with naginata (a staff with a blade). Notice how the body is kept in line, the right arm coordinated with right side of the body and weight dropped into the cut -- a perfect example of the hitoemi principle. Also, notice how the body position parallels that of Okabayashi Sensei's sword cut shown above.
Is not as definitive as one would have you believe. And taking hints from a wood block print is probably not a very good idea at all for his self admitted re-invention of a form. It is worth noting that this understanding is right in keeping with Akuzawa's earlier teaching on left-to-left / right-to-right axis work and is most certainly NOT the way many Koryu move in practice and practical application. It is more of a modern re-creation or understanding probably gleaned from looking from the outside-in to try and imagine the mechanics that are involved in moving from the inside out.
Interestingly enough you can see some in Koryu utilizing this principle and not even realizing it and others teaching it, and still others teaching it as a macro of what they are "looking for" in a students movements while not being able to clearly define the mechanics to do so. It becomes a work in progress for the student to "find."
I've not read this being discussed anywhere either, and the idea was quite a surprise to some active experts in Koryu. But somehow, I am sure that certain people will show up a few years from now claiming to know that too, and to have been "discussing it" for years, and will tell me I got the information and a "recent" understanding of it ...from them. Not from training and teaching for twenty years. ;)
Budo...ya gotta love it.
Cheers
Dan

jss
06-24-2009, 11:23 AM
As I read thru these threads, the question in the back of my mind is, other than developing strong, core connections within the body for maximum efficiency, how will this type of training help me against a resisting attacker hell bent on hurting me?
Internal training allows you to release a large amount of power at a very short distance. Think one-inch punch (or zero-inch punch). So this ability really increases the effectiveness of atemi, joint locks, throws, etc.

Lee Salzman
06-24-2009, 11:31 AM
Thanks Lee. Do you have any examples of how you used it in an attack? Or better yet, can you provide a baseline of how this type of training helped you in class with say...knife defenses? Sort of a before and after thing. Unless you have an example where you actually used this in an actual attack. I would like to hear them.

Only thing I've been attacked with is the body, and only in training situation (i.e. fists, elbows, legs, knee, hips). At the time, the training partners were in the 'after' category, and I was/am in the 'before' category. So I can't honestly say whether any of those qualities I listed would help me in a knife fight.

Budd
06-24-2009, 11:47 AM
Very interesting discussion so far and it has peaked my interest a bit.

A question to those who have been doing this internal type training or whatever you want to call it for awhile...how has this type of training helped you in defending yourself against a violent attack? Has this type of training allowed you to do things (neutralize threats) quickly, efficiently, effortlessly, etc.? As I read thru these threads, the question in the back of my mind is, other than developing strong, core connections within the body for maximum efficiency, how will this type of training help me against a resisting attacker hell bent on hurting me? Maybe the answer is right there and I don't see it, but any help in explaining it to me would be greatly appreciated.

I think Mike's earlier admonition that just having internal skills doesn't make you a great fighter (Dan and Rob and others have also made some similar comments) is well put. I'm not usually in to talking about the "feats" that this kind of training makes one capable of because I think people spend too much time training to replicate a feat with incomplete understanding of how they have to rewire the body so that the feat "happens".

Having said that, I do want to address some of your points and maybe make a few of my own in addition. I would talk about these skills on a very gross level as "conditioning". Basic cardio condition is so important in martial arts from my perspective that I'm amazed when I visit schools where nobody really breaks a sweat. Having competed in combative sports a good chunk of my youth as well as been in a few altercations as a result of general foolishness and different jobs I've had (not mutually exclusive, either), I feel pretty confident in saying that being in shape can be a huge deciding factor in how well you perform in certain types of combative engagements. So the idea that you can do anything to someone else without effort is a bit laughable to me.

What I will say is that if you spend the right amount of time conditioning your body to automatically respond to different kinds of stresses and stimuli, you can perform feats that "seem" effortless . . but I don't think that's an uncommon result from people that have spent long periods training any specific skills (carpentry, horse wrangling, etc.). Some of the specific skills (based on my beginning understanding of internal training) that can come from IS training are a feeling of much greater physical strength, speed and balance because:

1) You connect the body together to always move as a coordinated unit - this is not based on timing or mystical awareness - it's a conditioned skill so that you automatically are more efficiently using more of your body's gross musculature (and other conditioned stuff) and connective tissue when performing routine tasks.

2) It takes less observable time for you to move and generate power (either as a strike or throw) because you don't need as much of an observable windup or torque to receive, return and generate power and optimizing the use of gravity pulling you down and the ground pushing you up - instead of local muscles you usually would think of in the arms, shoulders, even hips and legs (like in lots of krotty) that are often used instead. This is tricky because lots of folks think they are not using local muscles to drive physical actions when they are (myself included many, many times) and I think it's a major inhibitor to real progress. A much safer assumption in my opinion is to assume that you are using local muscle and as someone shows you how, work more and more on eradicating it in favor of pure and clean power generation.

3) Here's the biggest favor, in my opinion - is how you learn to read and manipulate central equilibrium. There's plenty of traditional views on this but I tend to simplify my thoughts around the basic up/down/right/left/front/back directions to start, then add in the infinite ways to combine them and you can get a sense of how sophisticated it can get. You learn to control it inside yourself and then make an external force part of you, still under your control (the aiki of allowing an attacker's force to defeat them by joining you to them - into one unit - that you still direct) - but it is far from effortless and requires an immense amount of training and conditioning to get anywhere with it. It can most obviously be observed when you push on someone and 1) You feel like you are pushing against solid ground OR (even better in my opinion) 2) You push on someone and as soon as you touch them you feel like your balance is being mucked with (pushing yourself away, feeling crushed down, etc.). In a strictly combative sense, this can help a great deal with absorbing and avoiding strikes, locks, throw attempts, etc.

So, it can be basically body conditioning yourself in such a way that you can hit and throw with greater power, but less overt movement. You can receive and redirect power/techniques/whatever applied unto you more readily and your sense of balance is improved. It's independent of martial arts techniques, it's training a way to "be" (so much so that I sometimes think people that are used to training via copying an external form have a harder time with getting the goods). It doesn't guarantee invincibility, there's limits on every skill it bequeathes, but it is fun and produces results.

It seems like there's a built in intelligence quotient on how far one is going to get with it. It also seems like your ability to be hyper critical and honestly assess yourself and your progress are also going to be major (and potentially limiting) factors in said progress.

These are interesting times, though, because the cat is definitely out of the bag in that a lot of this stuff got missed somewhere (independent of what "style" you do). A lot of people are working on things now and what results they yield will be fun to watch (and participate in). More and more people are meeting and getting together to see who's doing what (and forming conclusions, rightly or wrongly, that hopefully can be openly debated rather than forming factions).

In some ways it's irrevocably tied into what martial art one is doing - even though I think there's a core set body principles that apply no matter what "style" or "system" you're doing. So that can create complications in actually training the basic skills, but I think that's a natural part of the growing pains in this stuff (maybe) becoming wider spread. There's lots of bandwagon hopping and status grabbing, part of the problem being that your rank in aikido or some other art being no indication whatsoever that you have any skill, knowledge or ability in "this stuff" - and I do think it's enough of a game changer that there's some legit concern over how (or if) this will even be incorporated into one's "mainstream" practice.

But like I said, it's interesting times and I'm no expert, teacher, etc. . . just an enthusiastic participant that's been fortunate (through good luck and creating opportunities) to get some exposure and is now trying to work hard (while still having a family, job, life, too, ha).

Probably not what you're looking for in an answer (and damn did I go on a bit), but it's my take on things at present (ever subject to change and re-edumafication).

Best/Budd

JangChoe
06-24-2009, 11:49 AM
Very interesting discussion so far and it has peaked my interest a bit.

A question to those who have been doing this internal type training or whatever you want to call it for awhile...how has this type of training helped you in defending yourself against a violent attack? Has this type of training allowed you to do things (neutralize threats) quickly, efficiently, effortlessly, etc.? As I read thru these threads, the question in the back of my mind is, other than developing strong, core connections within the body for maximum efficiency, how will this type of training help me against a resisting attacker hell bent on hurting me? Maybe the answer is right there and I don't see it, but any help in explaining it to me would be greatly appreciated.

It hasn't helped me at all since I never got into those situations. Even if I did, I would try to just talk myself out of it, or as a last resort, just use my gun and shoot the guy.

DH
06-24-2009, 11:51 AM
Thanks Lee. Do you have any examples of how you used it in an attack? Or better yet, can you provide a baseline of how this type of training helped you in class with say...knife defenses? Sort of a before and after thing. Unless you have an example where you actually used this in an actual attack. I would like to hear them.
Eric
Bear in mind that some of us actually learned it and tested it as we refined it in Judo and MMA over the years.
If you go waaay back on E-budo, the Aikido mailing list and jujutsu mailing list you will find there was a misunderstanding prevalent in those days as well that this equated to the "Ki tests" and other marginally useful training models in DR and Aikido that were known then.
You can read the words of certain Koryu teachers and well known DR students arguing that aiki was useless in a pressured environment, since a stress induced adrenaline dump would negate the "fine motor skills" needed to make aiki work in a fight. I argued vehemently-(the posts are all there) that this has nothing to do with fine motor skills it is a body quality that just simply-is, and that secondarily the use does not go away due to stress. And third, not everyone "loses it" in confrontations. They think and function and move. The way you train can have an effect on the way you perform.
It was about as successful then as talking about it..argue, argue, argue. It was obvious where there understanding was then. To be honest it doesn't appear much has changed in talking to them now.;)
Some people will forever see things as kata and "you do this and I'll do that." Talking about this type of training is like talking to them in a foreign language

Use
The body quality you build is antithetical to the way most people will try to throw you. You become heavier, and more mobile at the same time. Frequently guys will exhaust themselves trying to throw you. Your body will not behave, receive force, transfer weight in ways they are use to feeling. A very good side benefit is that when you are no longer one-side-weighted in movement it becomes very difficult for them to sense where your weight actually is (which is more mobile then normal) so there is no telegraphing for movement, kicks and strikes. all while THEY feel transparent and obvious in their own movements.

Example: When grappling or driving force you can feel someone stepping or changing to kick or move, right? Against someone with internal skills it becomes very hard to move them, or they move in a way that "feels" very fast. The reason it feels so fast is that your senses do not pick up on it like they normally would. Now consider if they want to hit or kick you. You don't feel or sense the weight transfer and bam...you got a knee in the guy or face, or if you are in close, with no discernable wind-up bam you got some very heavy hands and elbows doing some serious damage.
If you were trying for a throw you might try to get under hooks and separate the shoulders /chest from the waist and drive or lift. That becomes hilariously more daunting to an internal adept as he is connected differently and can drive your own force back into you to so you either feel like you are pushing on a wall, or suddenly trying to lift someone who weights a ton or you find you can't grab the ground with your feet and generate a drive. I am assume you are converscent with a fit-in? It causes guys to constantly have to change up looking for postional dominance that never comes-thus leaving you open to feel and make openings of your own. You know that feeling of trying for throw and everything clicks and you feel like you threw yourself trying to throw a guy? That happens to them far more than it usually does when trying to throw someone with these skills.
Contrary to some popular misunderstandings it is NOT rooting and stationary. The body quality is highly mobile and flexible. A common comment I receive is that when tryong to throw me guy lose their feet. They become light because I am alsways under them even when I am over them! They feel a lifting force making it hard to get in on me. But this is instantly changed to heaviness in the blink of an eye.
Last, it is the lack of a need to "wind-up" that allows an internal guy to weight your arms and body and make openings for the hits to keep on coming.
None of the above matters if the person doesn't learn to fight. You have to learn to fight to use it in a fight. Otherwise you're kidding yourself.
Last but not least, it doesn't make you invincible or any such nonsense, but it is one hell of a plus. It isn't a tool in your tool kit- its the tool box.
I cannot stress enough to people though, that if they don't train to use it in a fight, they shouldn't kid themselves that they suddenly will be able to.
Cheers
Dan

Eric Joyce
06-24-2009, 12:00 PM
I think Mike's earlier admonition that just having internal skills doesn't make you a great fighter (Dan and Rob and others have also made some similar comments) is well put. I'm not usually in to talking about the "feats" that this kind of training makes one capable of because I think people spend too much time training to replicate a feat with incomplete understanding of how they have to rewire the body so that the feat "happens".

Having said that, I do want to address some of your points and maybe make a few of my own in addition. I would talk about these skills on a very gross level as "conditioning". Basic cardio condition is so important in martial arts from my perspective that I'm amazed when I visit schools where nobody really breaks a sweat. Having competed in combative sports a good chunk of my youth as well as been in a few altercations as a result of general foolishness and different jobs I've had (not mutually exclusive, either), I feel pretty confident in saying that being in shape can be a huge deciding factor in how well you perform in certain types of combative engagements. So the idea that you can do anything to someone else without effort is a bit laughable to me.

What I will say is that if you spend the right amount of time conditioning your body to automatically respond to different kinds of stresses and stimuli, you can perform feats that "seem" effortless . . but I don't think that's an uncommon result from people that have spent long periods training any specific skills (carpentry, horse wrangling, etc.). Some of the specific skills (based on my beginning understanding of internal training) that can come from IS training are a feeling of much greater physical strength, speed and balance because:

1) You connect the body together to always move as a coordinated unit - this is not based on timing or mystical awareness - it's a conditioned skill so that you automatically are more efficiently using more of your body's gross musculature (and other conditioned stuff) and connective tissue when performing routine tasks.

2) It takes less observable time for you to move and generate power (either as a strike or throw) because you don't need as much of an observable windup or torque to receive, return and generate power and optimizing the use of gravity pulling you down and the ground pushing you up - instead of local muscles you usually would think of in the arms, shoulders, even hips and legs (like in lots of krotty) that are often used instead. This is tricky because lots of folks think they are not using local muscles to drive physical actions when they are (myself included many, many times) and I think it's a major inhibitor to real progress. A much safer assumption in my opinion is to assume that you are using local muscle and as someone shows you how, work more and more on eradicating it in favor of pure and clean power generation.

3) Here's the biggest favor, in my opinion - is how you learn to read and manipulate central equilibrium. There's plenty of traditional views on this but I tend to simplify my thoughts around the basic up/down/right/left/front/back directions to start, then add in the infinite ways to combine them and you can get a sense of how sophisticated it can get. You learn to control it inside yourself and then make an external force part of you, still under your control (the aiki of allowing an attacker's force to defeat them by joining you to them - into one unit - that you still direct) - but it is far from effortless and requires an immense amount of training and conditioning to get anywhere with it. It can most obviously be observed when you push on someone and 1) You feel like you are pushing against solid ground OR (even better in my opinion) 2) You push on someone and as soon as you touch them you feel like your balance is being mucked with (pushing yourself away, feeling crushed down, etc.). In a strictly combative sense, this can help a great deal with absorbing and avoiding strikes, locks, throw attempts, etc.

So, it can be basically body conditioning yourself in such a way that you can hit and throw with greater power, but less overt movement. You can receive and redirect power/techniques/whatever applied unto you more readily and your sense of balance is improved. It's independent of martial arts techniques, it's training a way to "be" (so much so that I sometimes think people that are used to training via copying an external form have a harder time with getting the goods). It doesn't guarantee invincibility, there's limits on every skill it bequeathes, but it is fun and produces results.

It seems like there's a built in intelligence quotient on how far one is going to get with it. It also seems like your ability to be hyper critical and honestly assess yourself and your progress are also going to be major (and potentially limiting) factors in said progress.

These are interesting times, though, because the cat is definitely out of the bag in that a lot of this stuff got missed somewhere (independent of what "style" you do). A lot of people are working on things now and what results they yield will be fun to watch (and participate in). More and more people are meeting and getting together to see who's doing what (and forming conclusions, rightly or wrongly, that hopefully can be openly debated rather than forming factions).

In some ways it's irrevocably tied into what martial art one is doing - even though I think there's a core set body principles that apply no matter what "style" or "system" you're doing. So that can create complications in actually training the basic skills, but I think that's a natural part of the growing pains in this stuff (maybe) becoming wider spread. There's lots of bandwagon hopping and status grabbing, part of the problem being that your rank in aikido or some other art being no indication whatsoever that you have any skill, knowledge or ability in "this stuff" - and I do think it's enough of a game changer that there's some legit concern over how (or if) this will even be incorporated into one's "mainstream" practice.

But like I said, it's interesting times and I'm no expert, teacher, etc. . . just an enthusiastic participant that's been fortunate (through good luck and creating opportunities) to get some exposure and is now trying to work hard (while still having a family, job, life, too, ha).

Probably not what you're looking for in an answer (and damn did I go on a bit), but it's my take on things at present (ever subject to change and re-edumafication).

Best/Budd

Hey Budd,

Thank you for that explanation. It helps me to understand and put things into context a bit. I haven't specifically been doing any internal arts exercises/training at all. However, I do workout and do a lot of core training and some yoga that has helped me to some degree with my movements, speed, expending less energy, having flexibility and elasticity, balance and having the cardio to keep going. I don't know if its the right type of training, but something seems to be working...for me at least.

I appreciate everyones comments.

Budd
06-24-2009, 12:05 PM
Hey Budd,

Thank you for that explanation. It helps me to understand and put things into context a bit. I haven't specifically been doing any internal arts exercises/training at all. However, I do workout and do a lot of core training and some yoga that has helped me to some degree with my movements, speed, expending less energy, having flexibility and elasticity, balance and having the cardio to keep going. I don't know if its the right type of training, but something seems to be working...for me at least.

I appreciate everyones comments.

Hi Eric,

You know, I think a lot of it, too is about quality of life and anything that makes you operate better and will help keep you strong as you get older is a major plus. Unlike a lot of "doing martial arts" that has had a bit of cumulative damaging effects over time (oi, the back and knees), this kind of training seems to be overall strengthening and helping these things be mitigated and otherwise managed as well.

What I would really say, though, is don't form too strong a viewpoint on "discussions around this stuff" until you can get some hands on time with people, because it really has to be felt.

Best/Budd

Eric Joyce
06-24-2009, 02:02 PM
Eric
Bear in mind that some of us actually learned it and tested it as we refined it in Judo and MMA over the years.
If you go waaay back on E-budo, the Aikido mailing list and jujutsu mailing list you will find there was a misunderstanding prevalent in those days as well that this equated to the "Ki tests" and other marginally useful training models in DR and Aikido that were known then.
You can read the words of certain Koryu teachers and well known DR students arguing that aiki was useless in a pressured environment, since a stress induced adrenaline dump would negate the "fine motor skills" needed to make aiki work in a fight. I argued vehemently-(the posts are all there) that this has nothing to do with fine motor skills it is a body quality that just simply-is, and that secondarily the use does not go away due to stress. And third, not everyone "loses it" in confrontations. They think and function and move. The way you train can have an effect on the way you perform.
It was about as successful then as talking about it..argue, argue, argue. It was obvious where there understanding was then. To be honest it doesn't appear much has changed in talking to them now.;)
Some people will forever see things as kata and "you do this and I'll do that." Talking about this type of training is like talking to them in a foreign language

Use
The body quality you build is antithetical to the way most people will try to throw you. You become heavier, and more mobile at the same time. Frequently guys will exhaust themselves trying to throw you. Your body will not behave, receive force, transfer weight in ways they are use to feeling. A very good side benefit is that when you are no longer one-side-weighted in movement it becomes very difficult for them to sense where your weight actually is (which is more mobile then normal) so there is no telegraphing for movement, kicks and strikes. all while THEY feel transparent and obvious in their own movements.

Example: When grappling or driving force you can feel someone stepping or changing to kick or move, right? Against someone with internal skills it becomes very hard to move them, or they move in a way that "feels" very fast. The reason it feels so fast is that your senses do not pick up on it like they normally would. Now consider if they want to hit or kick you. You don't feel or sense the weight transfer and bam...you got a knee in the guy or face, or if you are in close, with no discernable wind-up bam you got some very heavy hands and elbows doing some serious damage.
If you were trying for a throw you might try to get under hooks and separate the shoulders /chest from the waist and drive or lift. That becomes hilariously more daunting to an internal adept as he is connected differently and can drive your own force back into you to so you either feel like you are pushing on a wall, or suddenly trying to lift someone who weights a ton or you find you can't grab the ground with your feet and generate a drive. I am assume you are converscent with a fit-in? It causes guys to constantly have to change up looking for postional dominance that never comes-thus leaving you open to feel and make openings of your own. You know that feeling of trying for throw and everything clicks and you feel like you threw yourself trying to throw a guy? That happens to them far more than it usually does when trying to throw someone with these skills.
Contrary to some popular misunderstandings it is NOT rooting and stationary. The body quality is highly mobile and flexible. A common comment I receive is that when tryong to throw me guy lose their feet. They become light because I am alsways under them even when I am over them! They feel a lifting force making it hard to get in on me. But this is instantly changed to heaviness in the blink of an eye.
Last, it is the lack of a need to "wind-up" that allows an internal guy to weight your arms and body and make openings for the hits to keep on coming.
None of the above matters if the person doesn't learn to fight. You have to learn to fight to use it in a fight. Otherwise you're kidding yourself.
Last but not least, it doesn't make you invincible or any such nonsense, but it is one hell of a plus. It isn't a tool in your tool kit- its the tool box.
I cannot stress enough to people though, that if they don't train to use it in a fight, they shouldn't kid themselves that they suddenly will be able to.
Cheers
Dan

Thanks Dan and Budd for your thoughtful and helpful explanantions. Both of you are correct that this is something that has to be felt and experienced in order to somewhat grasp the concept of it.

Dan, you said you used this in Judo and MMA and refined it over the years to where if someone wanted to throw you (let's say harai ogoshi) that the internal training you have done and the way you conditioned your body over the years...that you are able to resist the thows? Not muscling but using your body in a way that neutralizes tori's throw? Even when the 3 principles of kuzushi, tsukuri and kake are executed as one?

I ask this merely as a curiosity thing and not to deny or diminish skill. I myslef would love to see and feel this but being out here in Phoenix, I don't think there are any people out here with this level of internal skill that we are talking about.

Mike Sigman
06-24-2009, 03:28 PM
The two diagrams that are shown in your example; mine and the one Mike nabbed from Mantac Chia's book are different. That's true. Mantak Chia's drawing is a good one of the front-view of the standard muscle-tendon channels/connections. If someone wants each of the muscle-tendon channels they can be found in a number of sources (like in Deadman) because this is the standard model of how the body movement and connections work. It's very detailed (the working) and the relationships are how the ki/kokyu strength works, down to the finest detail. My model comes from a training model used in DR for paired waza and solo training.
Note* I left out the connection across the chest and back (as well as several other connections) as that drawing was specific to a discussed example on the doku and not meant to convey all details. (See more on the upper cross below) OK, so you're acknowledging pretty much what I said, then. Basically, what I said was that the "X" model won't go very far, yet I notice a number of people have begun using it as the theory basic from which "spiralling" evolves; my comment was that the "X" theory does not really explain how spiralling works in the body so before things go too far, people should discuss the finer points of "how to" or they're going to run into problems down the road. Don't get me wrong.... as I've noted before even coarse jin skills are better than none and along the same lines a "coarse" approach to some "spiralling" is fine, too, but ultimately why not save problems and get the theory right for all future understanding and progress? Since the theory was worked out in such detail so many centuries ago and it's the same gold-standard that Ueshiba draws some of his douka from, why not be clearer about the difference between a training method and the way the spiralling, etc., actually work in conjunction with the forces of ki/kokyu/qi/jin?
As for that post discussing the doku

Hidden in Plain site-revisited
The same paths lead to the use of spiral energy in the body in paired and solo training. It is only a part of a more complicated training involving uses from even a simple self-rotation, to spiral energy from feet to groin to waist to spine to hand along two different lines that also converge differently front and back. It is important to know what is connected to what and what to move to draw-in on and push against and engage, so you don't end up vulnerable with guys that know what you're doing and who will toss you due to the way you train.. I rarely talk about this as well- but there are pictures that display one exercise to specifically do this in DR. It is expressed in photos that Takeda, Hisa, and Ueshiba all curiously decided to "pose in." They are standing there in an exercise form putting the spiral paths -in your face. One of which will be appearing in Ellis new book.
The internet gadflies, in spite of their incessant assertions, and guesses really don't know much of anything about the existence of that training model in DR, nor of moving from the waist to use spiral energy -albeit in a more simplistic manner in various Koryu weapons either. I don't claim to know anything about DR training methods and I frankly don't care all that much. Why? Because if good DR (or any other koryu or jujutsu derivative) really uses the basic ki-strength forces (and the complexities that follow) then ultimately DR *must* conform with the traditional movement and logic of qi/ki/jin/kokyu that everyone else uses. It's just a matter of how purely and completely they use these things. When you start talking about "spiralling", ultimately you're forced by the logic to go toward six-harmonies movement and the diagrams similar to the one I used. So you appear to be agreeing with me (albeit disagreeably); if you wanted to use your "training model" to talk about "spiralling", I was simply asking you to describe how it works. Since it's only a "training model" rather than a complete method for "spiralling", it's a good thing I brought it up, eh? Some people were misunderstanding. ;) I don't really care much at all about this crap. I was initially hesitant to share, but over time I thought it might be a fair exchange of information. What initially sounded great-has really turned into more ego and protectionism of a different order, now with paying study groups and ranking and private forums and the building of "ditto" heads and more typical Budo divisiveness. I was hoping for better.
Note* I have never mentioned this except VERY recently and only do so for clarity because I am beginning to see some attempts at revisionist history going on here to boost certain agendas being established recently. Dan, go back and look at all the posts I've made with detailed explanations, descriptions, and diagrams on just AikiWeb. Look at the posts where I've asked you direct and friendly questions about assertions you've made and you've simply bailed. I'm not bothering to ask you how the "X" theory of motion works as you get into more complex motion because you've indicated now that you agree with the point I was making. I think by clarifying that point you're going to save some followers of the "Dan Harden Method" some time in the future. And isn't that the best thing to do?

Regards,

Mike

Upyu
06-24-2009, 08:43 PM
I've been traveling and training.

It's worth noting that the example Rob cited from me was in relation to self-rotation, and non dedicated weight transfer- not spiraling. Also worth noting from that same post is once again Robs discussion of Arks then current teaching of the left-to-left and right-to-right axis in the body. Which I stated earlier and Mike denied it was true. Just as I said earlier here is yet another quote by Rob from three years ago and you can find it on E-budo and in the early Aunkai videos on Shiko training. A training method which I clearly disagreed with and Ark apparently decided to change in his latest video.


Just thought I'd clarify the whole bit on the X-connections.
FWIW Ark has always talked about the X-connections, and those early writings were more based on my own limited understanding, rather than from Ark not knowing/not teaching.
Same side connections tend to be easier to understand and feel, which is what happened, and that same understanding is what spilled into my writing.
Same thing with spiraling, conserving energy, keeping the load "in the body" at all times etc, Ark's has always talked about it, but at the time my body wasn't conditioned, so even though he talked about it, I didn't write about it.

For those reading my earlier writings, they probably deserve an update, but due to time constraints I haven't been able to touch them. That being said, they're best taken as a glimpse into someone at the beginning stages of training, figuring stuff out etc, and shouldn't be taken as a complete understanding of what Ark was teaching at the time.

M2C

David Orange
06-24-2009, 11:20 PM
Dan, you said you used this in Judo and MMA and refined it over the years to where if someone wanted to throw you (let's say harai ogoshi) that the internal training you have done and the way you conditioned your body over the years...that you are able to resist the thows? Not muscling but using your body in a way that neutralizes tori's throw? Even when the 3 principles of kuzushi, tsukuri and kake are executed as one?

I would say "not" IF you ever get kuzushi to begin with. Not having met Dan yet, I can't speak for him, but having gotten hold of Akuzawa, I'd say, go ahead and get all the kuzushi you want: good luck. I wasn't able to effect any kind of kuzushi on him. And from what Dan says, you tend to end up putting kuzushi on yourself when you're trying to do it to him.

You can't do kuzushi tsukuri and kake, much less kime when you never accomplish the kuzushi.

Best to you.

David

Tim Fong
06-25-2009, 01:28 AM
Just thought I'd clarify the whole bit on the X-connections.
FWIW Ark has always talked about the X-connections, and those early writings were more based on my own limited understanding, rather than from Ark not knowing/not teaching.

To second Rob's comment-- when I first went to Japan in March of 2007, Akuzawa discussed the X-connection during dinner. It was during the time that I interviewed him for the article that ultimately appeared on the Aikido Journal website. Rob and a number of other people were there at dinner too.

Best,
Tim

Upyu
06-25-2009, 01:45 AM
To second Rob's comment-- when I first went to Japan in March of 2007, Akuzawa discussed the X-connection during dinner. It was during the time that I interviewed him for the article that ultimately appeared on the Aikido Journal website. Rob and a number of other people were there at dinner too.

Best,
Tim

Actually I remember going down the whole "Namba walking is uber kewl!" route... (people like Kono were publishing a deluge of books on the subject and I briefly bought into it)
Ark told me that it was pretty much a waste of time...I should've listened to him from the beginning :crazy:

Tim Fong
06-25-2009, 02:43 AM
Actually I remember going down the whole "Namba walking is uber kewl!" route... (people like Kono were publishing a deluge of books on the subject and I briefly bought into it)
Ark told me that it was pretty much a waste of time...I should've listened to him from the beginning :crazy:

Yeah I remember that . Spent most of 2006 and 2007 doing it. Oh well right?

Budd
06-25-2009, 07:36 AM
I don't think tangents can be totally avoided with this type of training. You can't be so afraid to fail that you never truly experiment - at the same time, you have to get better and better at identifying what you're attempting to train while making sure it conforms to "the rules" ;)

thisisnotreal
06-25-2009, 03:20 PM
Josh
The two diagrams that are shown in your example..are different. My model comes from a training model used in DR for paired waza and solo training.
Note* I left out the connection across the chest and back (as well as several other connections) as that drawing was specific to a discussed example on the doku and not meant to convey all details.


Hi Dan,
Thank you for your response. A lot in there.
Budo..ya gotta love it? I'd say humanity. Take it or leave it. That may well be partly why so many of those old hermetic dudes went ascetic and just left it all behind. I think it is part of the reason O-Sensei didn't teach it openly and directly. Got sick of it. I am left a bit melancholy about it. But I am honoured to have learned so much about this...I wouldn't have poked around and tried to learn; as I wouldn't have known about the gems in the muck. Overall a plus, but it comes at a cost. That is for sure. But then, what isn't?
That said, again, I am grateful specifically to you, Mike and Rob who really hung it out on the line. I am still puzzled as to why you three made the effort. As intense, and as long as it was. You guys getting a commission or somthin'?

ok; well enough about that.

About the schematics
Thank you for highlighting the differences. I thought the clue behind your pic was the 'joined by the breath of aiki' indicating that something different was in fact being shown. I wasn't sure until you said it; and i feel there is more still that i have not grasped in the body.


..there are pictures that display one exercise to specifically do this in DR. It is expressed in photos that Takeda, Hisa, and Ueshiba all curiously decided to "pose in." They are standing there in an exercise form putting the spiral paths -in your face.

About the In-Yo face'ness about the posing
Sorry; that is a really bad pun. right? ;)
I think that you can only be talking about this< (http://www.terra.es/personal/fjmoreno/taijitsu/sokaku.JPG) stance


Hidden in Plain sight-revisited
The same paths lead to the use of spiral energy in the body in paired and solo training. It is only a part of a more complicated training involving uses from even a simple self-rotation, to spiral energy from feet to groin to waist to spine to hand along two different lines that also converge differently front and back.

I think that here; you are referring to something you spoke of in the >Push Test 02< thread. here< (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=230076&postcount=10)

The context was "Pushing", and the lessons to be learned. To me, the key part is this

How does it help make incredible aiki-age rising energy
Aiki-sage sinking and sending over energy
How does it join the both of those in use
How does it help develop winding energy joining the two up and down and in and out.
How can it be the birth place of aiki-power that is useble and instant making kuzushi on contact and capturing center in Shiai

I think here you are talking about the same thing as the winding path, and the same as the in-yo-face pictures. I have no understanding of this in the body, however(yet). I will continue to look. I could post my answers to your rhetorical questions; but I think I would be repeating myself. I do not know how it helps develop winding energy in joining the 2 up and down and and out. They are clues, to be sure. And I do not blame you one iota if you don't want to explain it. I just thought that you hung the gem out there...and wanted you to know that it is highly appreciated and valued.


I was hoping for better.

I was originally going to say that I remain hopeful. Part of me does. Part of me is old enough now to know that if your faith is in men, you will be let down. eventually. But there is good with the bad. Almost everything in this life is like that: Mixed. I hear you brother.


Anyway back to more worthwhile discussion

Thank you for always keeping on track. And for the foundational nature of your posts. I never quite thought of it as the "Dan Harden method" but more like notes and signposts from someone who has been further down the path. A lot of concrete 'do this' , 'look for this', 'beware of', 'check yourself', 'be honest'. This is a rarity on the internet, and in life in general. Thank you.


It is not the same movement as the one-line samurai walk that leaves people vulnerable in areas of Koryu combatives.

Nanba walking. I had come to think of it as an extreme learning tool. So exaggerate the outer body that the inner body becomes (at first) completely ignored; and then forces recognition of it, by contrast. But i don't think it's good even for that, too much.


and moving from the hips in this supposed "one-line" Samurai model (see image at bottom of page and come back) This not the way a bushi moved in continuous cutting on a battlefield. The movement

The image didn't come thru; is it worth posting? ;)


But somehow, I am sure that certain people will show up a few years from now claiming to know that too, and to have been "discussing it" for years

Yeah. F* it though. F* 'em too.


Budo...ya gotta love it.
Cheers
Dan
Don't know.
Cheers,
Josh

thisisnotreal
06-25-2009, 03:26 PM
...albeit disagreeably...
Mike

;)

Hey Mike,
Thanks a lot for the Deadman reference. The gent wrote a lot. A LOT!
It seems like a hell of a tip to me. Could you narrow it down to a single exceptional reference? Maybe one that is an overview of the logic?
If not, no worries.

I'll tell you a secret...Jim Jarmusch (one of my favourites) is a heck of a director...and did a great movie called Dead Man...which I forgot about
until i read your post. Something tells me you would very much like that movie. I also like Ghost Dog, but that is a different story.

Cheers,
Josh

thisisnotreal
06-25-2009, 06:58 PM
Hi,

This is a fluffy opinion piece and can be skipped by anyone looking for 'solo training'. This is all just my 2 cents; and not worth a whole lotta anything. ok? Just some thoughts by some turkey.

I posted the last 2 in a hurry and a couple of things bug me.
Crap ; i should know better , but i posted in haste before i left work.
I think it sounded kind of ass-kissing and i regret that. I was only trying to be encouraging.

I also am honestly not sure about the quotes and the pictures. They are 2 things i don't understand; but intuition told me they are related. Just a gut feeling of sameness...doesn't mean i am not completely out to lunch. I may likely be (again)...but you gots to follow your hunches. I have trouble with the 'up & over' ; i called it a knife-edge; and for me it remains so. I cannot 'pull' or send over it. yet.

Also; I really am appreciative of Mike's efforts, for whatever that is worth. Wanted to make that crystalline. Thank you Mike. They have been absolutely exceptional as well; even more now; as I repeat (yet again) the re-review. Dan & Mike; have changed the face of Aikiweb (and I betya Aikido(TM) as well), as far as I am concerned. They are in a different spirit; and I feel written to different audiences, for the most part. In my own stupid way I suppose i am looking for resolution; as I end.
Mike can be a hard-ass. Sometimes you hate those profs; but then later come to see the value. And the personal cost and true effort. Sometimes I feel like when he pulls out a tongue-lashing on somebody (mostly on other sites!) it's like an angry professor pissed off at the childlike half-attempts of some 'students'. Sometimes there are gems; but sometimes it gets pulled off onto QiJin; which is frustrating as f*k. I do not think it should be this way; my opinion. Mikes posts are a little bit less accessible, at the beginning. But I think he was writing all of his things with a retrospective in mind. A looking-back perspective. I guess that is the wisdom of being on the web for so many years. Looking back I can definitely see a trail of gems too. I missed them. I think Mike is usually aiming at those that know already. Also, I did not mean to infer in the slightest that the Deadman was a 'rare' offering. SOrry. I'm stupid tired; and need to step back. too much ki imbued into this. ;). I do not know if the pointed revisionist history is aimed at him or not. I hope not; but don't know. but life is f*n short; and shouldn't be spent like that if it is. that much is clear to me.

That being said; I do not know the history nor the somewhat sensitive and complex relationships between all the players. Things are rarely simple. I would like to think of myself as outside of all of that. Just some lucky schmuck that was in the right place, at the right time, to talk to some exceedingly rare people.. ...a jester in court daring to speak aloud. I do know life is short and fragile, as i said. These players have tried to give a hand up, in their different ways, and I have added my voice, for whatever it's worth, to theirs. I am trying to buy a 'lottery ticket' for everybody. Making difficult things as clear as I can. I spent a long time on walkabout trying to figure it out. Pointing out the jewel of a bodyskill is a study in it's own right; and can and will keep you healthy. Tighten your loosening joints; realigning your frame, spine, hips, arms, legs. Improving circulation, etc. A worthwhile pursuit; as long as you don't lose yourself. It's just another thing you can do with your body (i.e. like neglecting it). I want the best for everybody. It's not always possible.
On the other hand; i am quite literally nobody;so who cares what i want. I know it.
Personally speaking; I know that there is a lot of intensity, a lot of intelligence, a lot of effort on the other side of these messages. And it is respected by me.
I know all you guys are trying as hard as you can.
And I do love you for it. (In a manly way!)

With respect and gratitude to all participants,
Josh

DH
06-26-2009, 01:40 AM
Robert John wrote:
Actually I remember going down the whole "Namba walking is uber kewl!" route... (people like Kono were publishing a deluge of books on the subject and I briefly bought into it)
Ark told me that it was pretty much a waste of time...I should've listened to him from the beginning

Yeah I remember that . Spent most of 2006 and 2007doing it. Oh well right?
Both myself and others pegged it a wrong number years ago when it was being promoted by certain (no surprise here) Japanese teachers were promoting it. Unfortunately, people will accept quite a bit from teachers with Japanese and Chinese faces.Ellis has a hilarious poem he wrote about this and other guys re-inventing modes of movement.
You can't effectively use weapons this way in movement. Although it can fool people who do the one-stop / one-step, mode of cutting. The idea of it being "Samurai movement" has never been accepted as a way to move. Isn't it funny to see some modern Japanese teachers- who's arts had nothing to do with the Samurai-promoting a "Samurai" way of movement that has, for the most part, been rejected by the those teaching the actual Samurai arts of Japan. Oh well.
It's more in keeping with modern recreationism. A modern fad perhaps created some teachers simply searching for answers to questions they had about more powerful movement. And some dojo are inviting teachers in to experiment with this; yet another style / method / approach in their own search. Thus repeating the pattern. It sometimes tough to watch people starting out on a path that others have seen through and walked away from. But all too often, it just can't be helped.
Cheers
Dan

DH
06-26-2009, 01:43 AM
Josh
I won't attach an image of a living person and then discuss their movement here.
Dan

Allen Beebe
06-26-2009, 02:45 PM
I've attached a pic of how we do Shiko in Portland.
:eek: I think the gentleman in the picture is a former Mayor BTW.

If one studies the posture carefully I think one will find there are many clues hidden there!

;) :D

Allen

Thomas Campbell
06-26-2009, 03:03 PM
I've attached a pic of how we do Shiko in Portland.
:eek: I think the gentleman in the picture is a former Mayor BTW.

If one studies the posture carefully I think one will find there are many clues hidden there!

;) :D

Allen

The clues are in plain sight if you're the statue.

Indeed, that was Bud Clark, former Mayor of Portland.

Walker
06-27-2009, 12:41 AM
Underage boys... Flashing... Underage girls...
We sure know how to pick mayors in Portland. :hypno:

thisisnotreal
06-27-2009, 06:41 PM
what is in-yo ho?

eyrie
06-27-2009, 08:21 PM
literally? yin-yang method...

DH
06-27-2009, 08:27 PM
In yo is Japanese for Yin Yang
Ho means method
There is a breath-power method in Daito ryu meant to connect and then develop the connections of; the fascia of the hara and the legs to the hara and to make it mobile and it is called "Aiki, in yo ho." It coincides with spiral work running through the body with some sophisticated ways to manipulate force.
In a nut shell it is best to think that anything you ever do in the body needs to be supported by another counter force to keep in you in balance, and there are many ways to do that; both in solo training and then in myriad ways for connecting to other people.
It can be quite a daunting task that takes many years to work, and a hell of a lot of fun.
Cheers
Dan

DH
06-28-2009, 09:39 AM
So much for writing something and not checking. What I meant to say was...
In yo is Japanese for Yin Yang
Ho means method
There is a breath-power method in Daito ryu meant to connect and then develop the connections of; the fascia of the arms and the legs to the hara and to make it mobile and it is called "Aiki, in yo ho." It coincides with spiral work running through the body with some sophisticated ways to manipulate force.
In a nut shell it is best to think that anything you ever do in the body needs to be supported by another counter force to keep in you in balance, and there are many ways to do that; both in solo training and then in myriad ways for connecting to other people.
It can be quite a daunting task that takes many years to work, and a hell of a lot of fun.
Cheers
Dan

thisisnotreal
06-29-2009, 01:49 PM
Thank you.

thisisnotreal
06-29-2009, 03:17 PM
/sup guys
Just some thoughts.. I was thinking about the point ‘Hoping for better'.

Maybe to go forwards we have to go backwards? It may be all that's left. ... how it began.

This< (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8751) thread is outstanding & fascinating. Shiko @ #25 onwards. Some valuable insights about shiko, ki, breath, training etc..

Maybe everything that needs to be said, *has* been said.
..or maybe just everything that *will* be said..

What is the point?
Over time; The points were; This stuff exists; work hard; listen in the body; find a teacher; learn that there is much here; that much of it is different although seemingly the same; that many people claim to know; but don't; that many don't teach; although they know (or don't know). That many talk, and many BS. People are people, in MA, IMA and elsewhere. Gems are buried on aikiweb and e-budo; but there is a lot of muck. That people abuse authority and trust. It is a bodyskill to stay healthy; with lots of benefits; fighting with it is different than knowing about it. It takes a tremendous amount of agonizingly precise work. People hoard information. It is becoming more widely known. People mystify it. People lie about it. What'd I miss?

Forwards exists… certainly for the individual.

Good luck in your training.
Cheers,
Josh

PS. Stance: look at the leg's external rotation and eversion of his feet(not the mayor's). I think it's a ki pump. Can feel it all the way to the psoas..gets lost after that..

Pps by the way all my posts are trademarked, all rights reserved. Don't even look at them.
^__^

Andrew Prochnow
06-29-2009, 11:08 PM
Dont forget that some are born with it:D and some taught themselves:) .

Andrew Prochnow

DH
06-30-2009, 11:30 AM
/sup guys
Just some thoughts.. I was thinking about the point ‘Hoping for better'.

Maybe to go forwards we have to go backwards? It may be all that's left. ... how it began.

Maybe everything that needs to be said, *has* been said.
..or maybe just everything that *will* be said..

What is the point?
Over time; The points were;
This stuff exists;
work hard;
listen in the body;
find a teacher;
learn that there is much here;
that much of it is different although seemingly the same;
that many people claim to know; but don't;
that many don't teach; although they know (or don't know).
That many talk, and many BS.
People are people, in MA, IMA and elsewhere. Gems are buried on aikiweb and e-budo; but there is a lot of muck.
That people abuse authority and trust.
It is a bodyskill to stay healthy; with lots of benefits
fighting with it is different than knowing about it.
It takes a tremendous amount of agonizingly precise work.
People hoard information.
It is becoming more widely known.
People mystify it. People lie about it.
What'd I miss?
Knowing about it is vastly different that really knowing it on the inside.
Knowing it on the inside is vastly different than being able to use it against someone else who also knows it on the inside.
Fighting with it is different than knowing it on the inside.
There are myriad ways to express it from grabs to throws to counters ot throws and punches, to punching and kicking and moving to set up throws-that are not all the same and will never be learned from just doing shiko. It is more complex than that.
Cheers
Dan

HL1978
07-08-2009, 05:54 PM
Hey Hunter,
Given that I'm an ass and will (/have been) trying anyway, would you have any thoughts you could share?
Sorry to put you on the spot. No worries either way.
Cheers,
Josh

Sorry for the long wait for a response

The short form of it:

At my current level of understanding there are several ways of preforming shiko. The first one is using tension/structure. Later on other methods may be used to move the body and reliance on the first methods is de-emphasized. Those second methods are beyond the scope of this post.

The elements to work on when you first start shiko are:
1)maintain the upper/lower cross at all times

2)Use opposite side tension to "pull" the body. For example when your arms close and your body moves to the side, don't just lean over to move the body, rather use the extended arm to pull the body over to a point where you hip is in line with the heel and shoulder. Do not move the hips past this point.

3)When the body bends over, you pivot about the hip socket. Maintain a connection between the upper/lower cross and you won't bend at the waist. To initiate the leg raise, don't move the leg. Likewise the bend that one sees may initially be started by the outstretched arm. Keep pulling that arm as far as you can. You will find that the body starts to go towards the floor and the unsupported leg will rise of its own accord in order to maintain balance. Only go as far as you can while maintaining your balance and the connections between the upper and lower cross.

Eventually as a result of keeping the cross and these constant stretches you will start to feel certain feelings like that of a stretch/compression which will start to move the body of its own accord. The important thing here is to keep them within the body and within the shape of shiko. There are a few places where you will start to feel them, later on they will expand throughout the exercise.
1) After you preform the close/hand slap (which will later on be powered similarly) and rise up, keep constant front/back opposing tension like that in mabu or tenchijin.
2) as you rise keep your arms "pulled" forwards. As you rise and open you might start to feel the arms get pulled outwards, use this pulling sensation to power the opening.
3)You might feel a similar sensation when you drop the arms. At first if you drop the arms slightly before sinking you might feel them compress and pull your self downwards,
4) You will likely feel the same sensation at the beginning when you close the arms before the sideways shift. It is important to keep this tension within you so that this feeling powers the shift to the side, Do not let it twist your body outwards during the leg raise!

There are other elements which can be worked on in shiko, but the above are just a few things to work on initially. Someone who practices shiko in the above manner will look completely different than someone who is using each limb on its own to copy the shape of shiko.