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02-06-2010, 09:49 PM
'Total Aikido' by Shioda Soke says:
Hiriki (臂力) is an old Japanese expression meaning "elbow power", and in Aikido terms it has come to mean "breath power as expressed through the elbows"
I am trying to relate the use of elbow power to everyday practice.. does this mean the elbow always leads the wrist/tegatana when you raise your arm, much like the hips lead the arms when moving forward/backward (like funakogi undo)?
I understand hiriki to refer to creating a line up from the ground, through the torso and up through the arms. Not sure if you train in Yoshinkan, but if you look at the hiriki no yosei exercises you can see how it's teaching how your kamae connects with your arms. One thing to look for especially is how you deepen the stance and push through the back leg - that force is supposed to go through your arms as they raise. The way I see this is that the intention is to work on creating the connection all the way through the body and drive the upwards movement from the whole body, rather than just shoulders. The elbows are important as they are an important link in the chain. It sort of feels like you are driving up through your elbow and I guess thinking about that helps in avoiding getting hung up on using shoulder. Without getting too far into analysing the actual mechanics of it - which I am unqualified to do - its a little as if the elbow connects into the torso directly through the muscle in the arm, rather than through the mechanical hinge of the shoulder. At least that's how it feels to me.
Obviously once this is going, this is where kokyu comes in as once that connection exists, you can apply your kokyu at the end of your arms (and whatever they are connected to) effectively. It's not much use to generate it without effectively transmitting it to where its needed.
Another great example of hirki to me is how if you get all that postural/stance stuff right, and connect the arms through and down well (bringing the elbows into the body is important here so you dont do that chicken wing thing - that breaks connection in the shoulder.), your ability to receive blocks is dramatically improved. You absorb the impact into your entire body like a spring and then reflect it back. That was a huge revelation to me when I first had that shown to me. Which I must add, I was somewhat resistant to, since my previous training gave me a completely different conception of what musubi in the context of a strike meant. I recall my Sensei's amusement watching me flail around trying to 'blend' a heavy shomenuchi into nothing, and getting hit hard - over and over again. He suggested I cut out the fancy stuff and just get my kamae right. And then it worked. Simultaneously reading all the aiki stuff on here certainly helped the penny drop too.
Applying the same principle to taking blocks lying down is an interesting puzzle to solve too (for instance, uke at the end of katatemochi shihonage osae) as there are no legs and no obvious kamae but I don't want to digress too much. I'm sure there's better ways to do it than what I'm playing with now anyway.
Anyway - Please take these comments as what they are - musings of a kyu grade who is not only relatively inexperienced in general, but quite new to Yoshinkan as well. That's just my take on it at the moment, but it's working for me at this point in my development.
02-07-2010, 10:59 AM
If you Google hiriki no yosei ichi or ni you will find some good examples of this exercise. It's a really important concept for Yoshinkan practitioners.
02-10-2010, 10:10 AM
Without getting too far into analysing the actual mechanics of it - which I am unqualified to do - its a little as if the elbow connects into the torso directly through the muscle in the arm, rather than through the mechanical hinge of the shoulder. At least that's how it feels to me.
Another great example of hirki to me is how if you get all that postural/stance stuff right, and connect the arms through and down well (bringing the elbows into the body is important here so you dont do that chicken wing thing - that breaks connection in the shoulder.), your ability to receive blocks is dramatically improved. You absorb the impact into your entire body like a spring and then reflect it back. That was a huge revelation to me when I first had that shown to me.
Great stuff... To be honest, I'm not from the Yoshinkan, although the books are *very* well written
I'm not so much into absorbing blows, but trying to understand how to move the arm
For example, in tai no henko ni, sh'te scoops his hand... in that kind of situation, does the elbow lead and the hand follows?
Similarly for kokyu-ho ichi, does the elbow lead the hand? How does elbow power come into the picture? In this case, sh'te is sitting down - the back leg doesn't come into play here...
02-11-2010, 08:44 AM
Instead of bringing up the hands, bring down the elbow. Give it a try.
02-11-2010, 10:43 PM
Paul was dead on about unifying the body through the rear leg, but this idea also applies to kokyu ho in Yoshinkan. Think, instead of back leg, the big toe.
For Yoshinkan kokyu ho, every "forward" movement sh'te goes from seiza to kiza, thus being on the toes. Same principle, despite the different 'stance.' The idea is focusing energy to one point and, as Paul mentioned, using the whole body as efficiently as possible.
From a generic training standpoint, the idea is to train how to control your own body before attempting to control another's body. Driving from the leg/toes is critical as that is the part of your body that connects with the ground (add knees for kiza), but this is congruent with all techniques. Specifically for hiriki no yosei ichi/ni, I think of the arm movements as coming from the small of the back. The point is to start the technique from your center...which is driven by the small of your back/hips, which draw their resistance to gravity from the leg/toe's connection with the ground.
With some of that practice out of the way, Yoshinkan likes to add some sotai dosa, or partner, training. Your partner will add some resistance to the lead hand performing the hiriki no yosei technique. This will determine how one needs to adjust their movement so their is no muscling, just technique.
Moving beyond the training concept, there are kanren waza applications. There is a predetermined hiriki no yosei kanren waza, or practical application, that is conducted in tests. Beyond that, however, the applications are present in most techniques. Once the concept of hiriki no yosei is imprinted in the body, one realizes it can be used at different angles; horizontal, upside down, etc.
About leading with elbow/hands: teachers often say you need to lead with the elbow in order to prevent students from having an upward pulling movement. This is good, but it can be confusing to some who will eventually place too much emphasis on the elbow motion. Really, its the hand, arm, elbow...and however your lower body is connected to the ground..that all move in unison with the upper body parts creating a circular from shi'te's center to forehead with kind of a pushing movement....a circular, upward pushing movement.
Simple to say, but not so easy to do. It's actually not that difficult of a concept....you need to have someone qualified show it to you, not a blabbering idiot like myself type about it.
02-11-2010, 10:49 PM
Here is a clip of a high-ranking Yoshinkan instructor conducting hiriki no yosei ichi, and hiriki no yosei ichi sotai dosa. He doesn't get into kanren waza in this clip, unfortunately.
I guess to be brief about it, the point of hikiri no yosei is to learn how to unify/focus the body and take on a load of weight from uke by using technique, vice muscular strength.
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