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bulevardi
03-19-2010, 05:11 AM
I have a question about Funakogi Undo.

Yesterday, we did this rowing exercise in our warming up.

With making the sounds "hee hoo" (repeated infinitely), like in this Second 8 to second 10 in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zu-XmcVXmOE

Anyway, afterwards, we did some weird spiritual thing: spreading arms going up and folding hands above your head. Letting hands go down bofore your center and make a cocoon with the hands. Close the eyes and shake the cocoon-hands softly.
After doing that for a half minute, making circular motions with that cocoon, around your body at the level of your center, like it's floating on water.

Because it was realy silent in the dojo doing that exercise and everyone was very concentrated doing it, I didn't want to interrupt the sensei asking for the meaning of that exercise.

The rowing exercise itself I understand.
Certainly after watching this useful explaination: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBVxveyrsMY&feature=PlayList&p=3960D82AF744E923&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=21.
But the 2nd part of that exercise with the folding hands shaking before the center... I still question the meaning of that one.
I can't even find a video of that to show more in depth what it's like.

Do other dojo's practice that same exercise aswel? Or is it only done at my dojo? Because I searched for Funakogi Undo on the web but I couldn't find that second part. Could anyone explain some more about it?

Thanks

Dazzler
03-19-2010, 05:30 AM
Hi

Yes - we practice it.

With reference to the 2nd part I've heard this refered to as 'Stirring the ki' with the hands replicating the awakening of the seika tanden/ life forces.

I've been told that this continuous movement relates to life force of ki...and a lack of movement means you are dead. So in Aikido you look to always move, always be vibrant and of course always be alive.

Less wierd and spiritual is the fact that it puts the hand into the centre of the body just like the completion of bokken cuts...so a more practical association with centre.

Personally I feel I get more from the thrusting of the body forward to generate power and also from the corresponding withdrawal to take ukes centre away but I also suspect its one of those exercises which allow you to take more from it as your Aiki knowledge grows.

Enjoy it. If nothing else the hey hooo stuff creates a great pre-practice vibe and allows the instuctor to see the extroverts and the introverts expose themselves.

On the idea of expose onself...never let anyone video the class from behind during the hand shaking bit....it looks a bit ....odd.

Regards

D

Abasan
03-19-2010, 05:55 AM
Personally I think the hands is used to create a physical tie in to your center. So it becomes easier to imagine moving your center. Grasping it lightly, you can almost feel the energy within you turn as you turn your hands. Grasping it tightly for me reveals nothing.

bulevardi
03-19-2010, 06:31 AM
Enjoy it. If nothing else the hey hooo stuff creates a great pre-practice vibe and allows the instuctor to see the extroverts and the introverts expose themselves.

In this case, I am totally introvert :)


On the idea of expose onself...never let anyone video the class from behind during the hand shaking bit....it looks a bit ....odd.

Of course, there wouldn't be new members coming to Aikido class anymore if they would see that video first. :)

Thanks for the explanation.

HarlieG
03-19-2010, 07:13 AM
Hi

On the idea of expose onself...never let anyone video the class from behind during the hand shaking bit....it looks a bit ....odd.



Thanks for the laugh!

DG

Mark Mueller
03-19-2010, 08:11 AM
You have moved energy out to different parts of the body during the rowing exercise...the second part is to "shake and sift" that energy back to your hara.

chillzATL
03-19-2010, 08:21 AM
It sounds like what you were actually doing were forms of chinkon kishin. The second part seems to be a combination of furitama (soul shaking, settling ki, etc) and ibuki. It is supposed to settle the spirit and help you focus your mind and attention.

phitruong
03-19-2010, 08:26 AM
Anyway, afterwards, we did some weird spiritual thing: spreading arms going up and folding hands above your head. Letting hands go down bofore your center and make a cocoon with the hands. Close the eyes and shake the cocoon-hands softly.
After doing that for a half minute, making circular motions with that cocoon, around your body at the level of your center, like it's floating on water.


not spiritual thing. it's an internal power practice thing, if you know the details. same goes for funakogi undo. you can go through the motions which most folks do or work with some of the internal experts, and the information they will tell you on those things would make your head explodes. ;)

chillzATL
03-19-2010, 08:37 AM
not spiritual thing. it's an internal power practice thing, if you know the details. same goes for funakogi undo. you can go through the motions which most folks do or work with some of the internal experts, and the information they will tell you on those things would make your head explodes. ;)

careful, you're getting dangerous off topic here! :)

bulevardi
03-19-2010, 09:07 AM
you can go through the motions which most folks do or work with some of the internal experts, and the information they will tell you on those things would make your head explodes. ;)
I guess my sensei would explode if I do a kajak paddle technique instead of the real rowing technique: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sI44mHQVIg4

Better I don't try this one on the tatami.

Internal Training, Ki power and other things are very sensitive topics to talk about. For outsiders, it looks like they are brainwashed.
(don't get offended) Some friends of mine say: "stop with aikido, it's a sect. Stay with both feet on the ground."

phitruong
03-19-2010, 09:09 AM
careful, you're getting dangerous off topic here! :)

thanks for pull me back from the brink of distraction.

sheesh! that was close thing! :)

Fred Little
03-19-2010, 09:13 AM
not spiritual thing. it's an internal power practice thing, if you know the details. same goes for funakogi undo. you can go through the motions which most folks do or work with some of the internal experts, and the information they will tell you on those things would make your head explodes. ;)

Phi, Phi, Phi,

It's a dessert topping AND a floor wax!

Seriously, this is not an "either-or" or even a "both-and." The entire misogi-no-gyo (http://www.tsubakishrine.org/kaminomichi/Appendix_c.html) is a complete mikkyo/sanmitsu practice in its own right, involving the training of the mind, body, and speech. These practices can be found in multiple lines of transmission, some more complete and some less complete. The "internal experts,"(or at least one of them, though I'm not in the endorsement business) have a wealth of key information on the body aspects of the practice that I have never encountered anywhere else. That said, I should also note that I have encountered orthodox Buddhist and folk shinto ritual specialists who have information on the speech and mind aspects of the practice that is comparatively rare and no less critical if one is approaching the set of exercises that make up the misogi-no-gyo as a complete practice with soteriological goals beyond the merely physical.

Each line of transmission seems to have emphasized some elements and de-emphasized others, in keeping with the interests and proclivities of the people in that line. While the internal power aspects really are quite amazing and valuable, in the long run, I would argue that those too are just flashy tricks in comparison to the deeper purposes of the training. (Of course, the long run may include many kalpas of cyclic existence. :D Or maybe it just feels that way during the third set of reps of the last exercise in whatever routine you happen to be working, if you consulted with one of the IP guyz and followed his advice.)

Rev. Barrish of Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America has extensive experience with these practices in a fairly straightforward Shinto context; he sometimes posts here, and this might be a useful occasion for him to do so.

Best,

FL

bulevardi
03-19-2010, 09:25 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-kdMVzQ-zU

Found a video...

phitruong
03-19-2010, 09:28 AM
question, does spiritual training needs physical components?

Fred Little
03-19-2010, 09:33 AM
question, does spiritual training needs physical components?

It depends on who is being trained, and for what purpose. :cool:

MM
03-19-2010, 10:00 AM
careful, you're getting dangerous off topic here! :)

Actually, no. Do we know or understand what Ueshiba was doing when he did funakogi undo and furitama?

We already know, 100% for sure, that just mimicking outward forms of techniques will not get you to the level of Ueshiba Morihei. Otherwise, after, what, 40 years of training beyond Ueshiba's death we have no one in the aikido world that's even close to him. And *everyone* in the aikido world has mimicked his techniques over and over and over and over again.

So, back to Funakogi and such. Some threads I found in a quick search for some history and such:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4248&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13947

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1421

I would say it's fairly obvious that Ueshiba was doing something different than just going through the outward physical movements. And since we have quite a lot of people out there who have explained how and what to do with these exercises (including some involved with misogi-no-gyo), *and* we still don't have anyone close to Ueshiba's abilities, I would say that maybe people should dig deeper into what Ueshiba was actually doing internally (which includes the spiritual realm).

But, hey, if you want to spend 40 + years mimicking the outward movements, if you want to spend 40 + years moving energy around or timing your breath or deep breathing or such, well, you are part of a very large group of people worldwide. While you're there, how about getting hands on with some of those people who have been doing this for 30-40 + years and asking them how much closer it's gotten them to Ueshiba's abilities.

To be like Ueshiba, you can't have just one. It was martial and spiritual for him. But, remember, who out there in the spiritual-only realm (to include those who practice misogi-no-gyo, meditation, Oomoto kyo, etc) has the abilities of Ueshiba?

Perhaps if we were discussing jujutsu or some physical martial program like Olympic Judo or BJJ, it would be a very easy thing to separate the martial from the spiritual. However, aiki (and I mean Daito ryu aiki) is something apart from pure physical and martial endeavors.

I'm starting to think that aiki, in and of itself, is a spiritual pursuit as much as it is a physical one. And that is why Ueshiba easily adapted various other spiritual pursuits with his martial aiki. It wasn't about being martially solid and having good sportsman-like conduct. Aiki changes the body and the mind while altering a person's spirit. I've heard at least one person, while training aiki, say something along the lines of I'm living freer in the world.

Didn't Ueshiba state that no one had to follow his footsteps? Why are you doing funakogi undo? Furitama? Misogi?

In the end, your training is your own.

Larry Cuvin
03-19-2010, 10:07 AM
The ki test for funakogi udo is to have someone grab both your hands while stretched out and see if you can get their balance (even if they try hard to stay in place) while you continue with the excersice almost undisturbed. Pretty amazing stuff man.

bulevardi
03-19-2010, 10:29 AM
Hmm, internal power or not... I'm only interested by the exercises that work effectively.
For example: if breathing techniques work to improve physical movements: fine. But don't make it unnecessary spiritual.

It's fine to do rituals aswel, based on religions like shinto, but I'm only interested if they work physically, apart from believing in that religion.
Most people who think scientifically don't care about the soul, soul shaking, ki, kami, etc... because when they ask for more in depth information about it, it's very vague explained.

Erick Mead
03-19-2010, 10:42 AM
question, does spiritual training needs physical components?Since we are corporeal I would say ... Yes. :)

bulevardi
03-19-2010, 10:44 AM
Otherwise, after, what, 40 years of training beyond Ueshiba's death we have no one in the aikido world that's even close to him. And *everyone* in the aikido world has mimicked his techniques over and over and over and over again.
So after 40 years training by thousands of people, no one ever obtained the power he claimed to maintain by doing those spiritual rituals?
Those spiritual rituals are based on what? And if no one could achieve the same results by doing them, will the rituals ever work?

C. David Henderson
03-19-2010, 10:59 AM
I think you're oversimplifying what has been said about the dual nature of the exercises. If, however, the "spiritual" is a turn off for you, maybe you just politely shake your hands while mentally going through your shopping list. Or maybe you suspend disbelief -- not the same thing as adopting belief, IMO -- and try to see what may be there in the exercise. Or maybe you decide Aikido is a cult and walk away.

In the end, as Mark said, your training is your own.

MM
03-19-2010, 11:20 AM
So after 40 years training by thousands of people, no one ever obtained the power he claimed to maintain by doing those spiritual rituals?
Those spiritual rituals are based on what? And if no one could achieve the same results by doing them, will the rituals ever work?

Not thousands.

Supposedly from the Aikikai estimates, 1.2 million people are practicing aikido worldwide. That probably doesn't include non Aikikai related schools.

Millions.

And then toss in all those people who are pure misogo-no-gyo or pure oomoto kyo or pure meditation and you still have no one who has achieved Ueshiba's abilities.

How many of the millions who have mimicked the outward physical techniques of Ueshiba ... for 40 + years ... have replicated Ueshiba's abilities?

How many spiritual only people have practiced misogi exercises have replicated Ueshiba's abilities?

How many Oomoto kyo people who don't practice techniques have replicated Ueshiba's abilities?

How many Oomoto kyo people who do practice techniques have replicated Ueshiba's abilities?

Tomiki and Shioda are talked about having replicated some of Ueshiba's abilities. Horikawa Kodo is talked about having replicated Ueshiba's feats and abilities. Sagawa, too. Any one of those people could have added any kind of spiritual component to their martial and created a system similar to Ueshiba's vision of aikido. Or maybe people think Ueshiba saying that you didn't have to follow his footsteps meant something else?

Ueshiba's vision included a spiritual aspect. To follow his vision, you have to have the martial and spiritual, but I don't think you *have* to do misogi or Oomoto kyo exercises specifically. If you do, that's great. If that's all you do and think you'll become another Ueshiba, then, IMO, you're fooling yourself.

And after looking out at 1.2 + million aikido people practicing techniques day after day, year after year, decade after decade ... and not replicating Ueshiba's abilities ... when do you think it is time to ask ... WHY?


doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Keith Larman
03-19-2010, 11:23 AM
I come from a family of scientists, heck, I was virtually raised at JPL and CalTech during the height of the space program. And growing up everyone figured I'd end up in the hard sciences. I can't turn that off.

But... I think of other things. Chanting in church. How that chanting can be shown to calm the nerves, changes physiologic properties, alter things that are said to be autonomic. Is the chanting bringing you closer to God? Or is it a practice that allows one to calm and achieve a different type of consciousness? And through that different type of perception do we not see things differently and possibly find things we were incapable of seeing before?

Rituals, chants, movements, sound, etc. One can probably say with a great deal of scientific certainty that the detailed, specific explanations of old may in fact be incorrect. They may not be rigorous and verifiable explanations of what is being done or what the body is being trained. However, there is always the possibility that these behaviors, like chanting, like praying, like any number of things done all over the world can do things that we simply have not yet defined.

Look at articles about strength. I've seen more and more articles about people learning about "functional" fitness talking about changing the focus from individual muscle training to "whole body" training. Learning to lift something with the entire body rather than locally. Doesn't this seem to fit into some of the ideas of connection? Relaxation? Think of the contradictory things talented people say -- "relax, you'll be stronger".

I am of a scientific bent. But I also have felt people do amazing things. So I listen to what they say, I watch what they do, and I try to resist the temptation to shove every round peg into the square boxes I have.

Funakogi is a great example for me. My sensei would talk about bending the fingers down so you don't cut off the flow of ki. He would talk about extension and movement as always being connected. Connect to the one-point then back out to the fingers but also down to the floor. Ground, connect, move. Since I work alone I'd often do the aikitaiso by myself as a break (which I need to do in order to get the kinks out). I remember one day feeling a sort of "pulling" along the outside of my arm, up into my shoulders, then down into my center. If I didn't curl the fingers down the sensation went away. I remember thinking "ah, I wonder if that's the feeling sensei is talking about when he says you need to feel your ki flow and feel connected". Hmmmm.... Then years later taking a seminar with Toby Threadgill and listening to him talk about funakogi. Then working with Mike Sigman. And although we do our funakogi a bit differently, his explanation of suit and grounding (staying away from his Chinese terminology for now) resonated. Different explanation. But the effect was the same.

One thing that is consistent among the IS guys is that at some point you need to build the IS body to continue along that path. The exercises done are one of those paths.

In my sword craft work one thing I was told repeatedly was that you must be *very* careful about deviating from the traditional methods. Because often the traditional methods involve thousands of small things that you may not even be aware of. Why the hole in the nakago of a sword is drilled larger than the pins used to hold the sword together is a good example. All production companies drill them in place. Many craftsmen outside Japan drill them in place (i.e., the hole in the handle is the same as the hole in the nakago). It turns out that it is a very bad idea long term in terms of being able to keep the handle tight because it negates the ability to do something very simple to quickly tighten the handle. But if you don't realize this tiny detail it is something you could easily discard as "unnecessary" tradition. But it isn't. It turns out to be a tiny detail that is very important. Just not when it is done. I think a lot of what we learn is like that.

Someone mentioned shu-ha-ri. I'm a firm believer. I'm also a believer in doing your level best at whatever you're doing, even if you don't believe the explanation. There is sometimes a very good reason why it was done that way. And while it may not be the express reason given, you toss that away and ignore it only at your own peril.

I'm rambling and not even sure I'm making myself clear. So I'll go back to my cave and look at the shadows on the wall some more while I'm feeling philosophical... Carry on.

Erick Mead
03-19-2010, 11:24 AM
Actually, no. Do we know or understand what Ueshiba was doing when he did funakogi undo and furitama? ... Yes, we do. "Spirit of the Demon Snake" and "the Spirit of Bees" are his poetical images -- but much more than that (and like most poetical images) they are actually concrete verbal descriptions of physical action, and as it happens, in these very two exercises.

Most people pull or push with joint leverage, which, among other things is very inefficient action, because (among other things) the limb rotations oppose one another discontinuously and eat up energy, and the leverage creates a destabilizing shear at the joint fulcrum that must be countered muscularly-- eating up yet more energy. Hence a snatch is easier than a curl.

The more efficient actions are cutting and its inverse, gathering or reaping, which 1) use continuous limb rotations, 2) use shear directly instead of leverage. I could go into more detail, (http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/but-why-7854/) but ...

Suffice it to say that rotations and vibration are the same things, mechanically. When you do the "rubber pencil" trick your eye believes the rigid pencil to be bending. In fact your eye is tracking the real moving center of rotation as it translates along the rigid body.

Funakogi undo is learning to use the same principle with your whole body, initiating large scale rotations through the body smoothly and concentrating them at the end of each cycle, and recovering likewise. Sayo undo is basically a variation doing the same thing but sideways. Ude furi undo another geometric variation. So is Zengo undo, Happo undo etc. etc. etc.

Furitama is the "spirit of bees" done right at ~10 Hz -- the resonance frequency of the human body. You can confirm this independently by counting the cycles when you feel your heels bouncing. It is the thing that happens in your opponent as you concentrate the large scale rotations at the end of each cyle in applying the principle in funakogi undo, and it is also the "bone rattling" aspect of properly applied atemi. Resonance is the most energy-efficient destructive form of applied dynamic stress that exists.

Tekubifuri is the same, shaking the body at a certain rhythm to gain kinesthetic recognition an sensitivity to it --.as is the "beat ourselves up" warm up exercise, because a sharp strike cause the body to "ring" briefly at its resonance frequency, an the better connected you become the more you feel that throughout the body. The more you feel it the more you can adapt to it, and control it. Most of that control does not come consciously.

Rotation and potential for rotations (moment) are also equivalent. Instead of pushing or pulling in isolation -- the principles that these exercises teach is rotation and potential rotation - the top of the rotation goes forward -- the bottom of the rotation goes backward (or vice versa) pushing and pulling simultaneusly (technically called "shear") ( in-yo ho, kokyu ho -- what have you). When we add in whole-body torques as in Zengo, ude furi, or happo undo we get whole body torsional shear -- the most destructive form of internal structural stress that exists.

Vibration (bees) and undulation (snake) are just the same principle of translated rotations, applied shear -- cutting and reaping, which are intimately connected and applied together -- just at different scales.

Didn't Ueshiba state that no one had to follow his footsteps? Why are you doing funakogi undo? Furitama? Misogi?
In the end, your training is your own.So desu.

MM
03-19-2010, 12:04 PM
I come from a family of scientists, heck, I was virtually raised at JPL and CalTech during the height of the space program. And growing up everyone figured I'd end up in the hard sciences. I can't turn that off.

But... I think of other things. Chanting in church. How that chanting can be shown to calm the nerves, changes physiologic properties, alter things that are said to be autonomic. Is the chanting bringing you closer to God? Or is it a practice that allows one to calm and achieve a different type of consciousness? And through that different type of perception do we not see things differently and possibly find things we were incapable of seeing before?

Rituals, chants, movements, sound, etc. One can probably say with a great deal of scientific certainty that the detailed, specific explanations of old may in fact be incorrect. They may not be rigorous and verifiable explanations of what is being done or what the body is being trained. However, there is always the possibility that these behaviors, like chanting, like praying, like any number of things done all over the world can do things that we simply have not yet defined.


Hi Keith,

Don't disagree with you. It's why I say that Ueshiba's vision of aikido included both martial and spiritual. And why I say that you don't have to follow his exact footsteps to have his vision of aikido.


Funakogi is a great example for me. My sensei would talk about bending the fingers down so you don't cut off the flow of ki. He would talk about extension and movement as always being connected. Connect to the one-point then back out to the fingers but also down to the floor. Ground, connect, move. Since I work alone I'd often do the aikitaiso by myself as a break (which I need to do in order to get the kinks out). I remember one day feeling a sort of "pulling" along the outside of my arm, up into my shoulders, then down into my center. If I didn't curl the fingers down the sensation went away. I remember thinking "ah, I wonder if that's the feeling sensei is talking about when he says you need to feel your ki flow and feel connected". Hmmmm.... Then years later taking a seminar with Toby Threadgill and listening to him talk about funakogi. Then working with Mike Sigman. And although we do our funakogi a bit differently, his explanation of suit and grounding (staying away from his Chinese terminology for now) resonated. Different explanation. But the effect was the same.


We do exercises where our intent is specifically placed or directed. But, at some point, that intent becomes ingrained nature such that, to take your example, the fingers wouldn't need to be pointed downwards (I'm not there yet). Aiki becomes the entire body. As one of Peter Goldsbury's articles mentioned, Ueshiba warned about the dangers of Ushiro practice ... for uke. Ueshiba was aiki and connecting to an aiki body is inherently ... disconcerting at the least and dangerous at the most. :)

bulevardi
03-19-2010, 12:38 PM
But... I think of other things. Chanting in church. How that chanting can be shown to calm the nerves, changes physiologic properties, alter things that are said to be autonomic. Is the chanting bringing you closer to God? Or is it a practice that allows one to calm and achieve a different type of consciousness? And through that different type of perception do we not see things differently and possibly find things we were incapable of seeing before?

I understand that you can calm the nerves and get in a different type of consciousness by chanting.
But you can chant non-religious songs outside the church aswel, they can get you in the same type of consciousness.
What I'm trying to say is that you can do the same exercise without the spiritual thought like God or being in a church.
I can play guitar at home in my room, getting me into a special state of being, but I don't have to be on stage to feel that same magic.

As Koichi Tohei said: "you can do breathing exercises sitting in seiza in a dojo before a white wall, but you can practice the same breathing exercises sitting elsewhere for example when seated in your car on a parking."

I remember one day feeling a sort of "pulling" along the outside of my arm, up into my shoulders, then down into my center. If I didn't curl the fingers down the sensation went away. I remember thinking "ah, I wonder if that's the feeling sensei is talking about when he says you need to feel your ki flow and feel connected".
That's because some movements bring you in a special state of being after repeatedly doing the same movement. Like runners who get runners high after running a long time. Endorphines.
Like getting an orgasm after repeatedly touching the special spot on your body,... etc.

Of course, things can happen in your body when your thought is there too. If for a long time, you think of getting a headache, finally you'll achieve a headache. If you concentrate long enough on something imaginary, you can get it in your head. It's all in your head.
Like I can generate a pain in my feet just by using my mind. It has nothing to do with a spiritual thing.
Like people can get cured from a pain by taking fake-meds like placebo. It is all in your head.

If you concentrate long enough hoping to feel that ki flow through your body, finally it will happen, together with the techniques you need for it. But it has nothing to do with universal power or supernatural things they assume in Shinto, Oomoto Kyo,...

I'm just trying to approach the same Aikido techniques as martial art, but without the belief.
Like some basketball player says you only can obtain a slamdunk when you belief in paradygm X, until someone can approach a technique to obtain a slamdunk without believing paradygm X. (by training, breathing, or claiming a basketball contains Ki)

I think you're oversimplifying what has been said about the dual nature of the exercises. If, however, the "spiritual" is a turn off for you, maybe you just politely shake your hands while mentally going through your shopping list.
Perhaps I'm oversimplifying, but I think I rather politely shake hands and go mental furthermore :)

Fred Little
03-19-2010, 01:40 PM
In my sword craft work one thing I was told repeatedly was that you must be *very* careful about deviating from the traditional methods. Because often the traditional methods involve thousands of small things that you may not even be aware of. Why the hole in the nakago of a sword is drilled larger than the pins used to hold the sword together is a good example. All production companies drill them in place. Many craftsmen outside Japan drill them in place (i.e., the hole in the handle is the same as the hole in the nakago). It turns out that it is a very bad idea long term in terms of being able to keep the handle tight because it negates the ability to do something very simple to quickly tighten the handle. But if you don't realize this tiny detail it is something you could easily discard as "unnecessary" tradition. But it isn't. It turns out to be a tiny detail that is very important. Just not when it is done. I think a lot of what we learn is like that.

Keith,

Thank you for making a key point accessible in concrete terms.

As for Mark's point about millions of people, etc., etc., I would just say that the difference between sample of {all people who have done aikido in the last fifty years} and the sample of {all people who have done misogi-no-gyo in a lineage within the aiki arts that has taken to heart the kind of caution about deviation from traditional methods that Keith writes about, wrt to both the mng and to aikido keiko} is the difference between a seven-digit number a low four or high three-digit number. If you further constrain the second set to long time practitioners of aiki arts, you may well be down to a two-digit number, and if you restrict the sample to the United States, it is certainly a comparatively low two-digit number. If you further reduce that sample with the additional qualifier {who trained as long and as hard as the Founder} I don't know if there's anyone left in the set to compare.

Seriously,

FL

Pat Togher
03-19-2010, 01:43 PM
I come from a family of scientists,
....

This was an excellent post. Many thanks!

Pat

bulevardi
03-19-2010, 01:49 PM
Didn't Ueshiba state that no one had to follow his footsteps?
Then, why did he taught his knowledge to others so they could spread it further after his death?

Keith Larman
03-19-2010, 03:29 PM
I can play guitar at home in my room, getting me into a special state of being, but I don't have to be on stage to feel that same magic.

As Koichi Tohei said: "you can do breathing exercises sitting in seiza in a dojo before a white wall, but you can practice the same breathing exercises sitting elsewhere for example when seated in your car on a parking."

Oh, I get where you're coming from. The problem, however, is knowing if you really are in the same state. Or if you really are doing the same thing. Or if you are missing things. So you start dropping bits here and there that you, as the person who is trying to learn, decides aren't relevant. But as a student are you qualified to decide what's relevant and what's not? It is a bit of a paradox and it does cut to the heart of the intent of shu-ha-ri. It is a valuable lesson.

I'm reminded of this constantly by people bringing me totally fake "japanese" swords that they found on ebay or elsewhere. These guys are usually completely convinced they've found some lost treasure. They see a hamon, hada, and all the things that they've seen in pictures and on-line. What I see when I look at the piece is a horrid blob of steel that looks *nothing* like the real deal. How can our perceptions be so different? Simple. They've not experienced enough good swords to have learned to see the differences. Maybe they've only seen photos, but sometimes these same guys *have* seen good swords. But they simply aren't equipped yet to *really* see what was right in front of them.

So... Tread softly. I usually remind myself that I'm learning this stuff. And as such I'm the last person who should be deciding what's relevant and what's not so I try to learn as much as I can with as open a mind as possible. And I must say, after a lot of years I'm starting to see and feel things I would have discounted out of hand 10 or 15 years ago. Things that were always there. I just see them differently now and understand them differently. And I've very glad I didn't just toss them out. My understanding may be different than what I was told back then or even today, but I'm willing to let these things be. I just wonder what I'll be saying in another 5 or 10... :)

chillzATL
03-19-2010, 04:03 PM
Then, why did he taught his knowledge to others so they could spread it further after his death?

many would argue that he did not...

Abasan
03-19-2010, 07:04 PM
many would argue that he did not...

He taught his student's aikido. He didn't teach them to be him.

dps
03-20-2010, 06:42 AM
It was not an uncommon thing to hide the meaning or the teaching of martial arts using religious explanation so that enemies or competing schools could not steal.
I think that the residual of this old practice is that some take the spiritual explanations too literal and do not understand the information that is hidden.

David

teburden
03-20-2010, 09:18 AM
Funakogi undo is rather standard, especially in USAF dojos.

As to the 2nd exercise, you'll find it at the end of many exercises. I've studied in both Ki Society and Aikikai, and it's been in every dojo I've been in. I've heard it called setting the ki, seating the ki, stirring the ki, and sinking the ki. It's not spiritual, especially for you as you do not hold to any of the faiths it may have come from.

It's an exercise to draw your movements and your mind to your center. It's one of the many things various senseis use for calming and focus, drawing you to your center.

Tom

bulevardi
03-20-2010, 11:07 AM
Do we know or understand what Ueshiba was doing when he did funakogi undo and furitama?

We already know, 100% for sure, that just mimicking outward forms of techniques will not get you to the level of Ueshiba Morihei. Otherwise, after, what, 40 years of training beyond Ueshiba's death we have no one in the aikido world that's even close to him.

It was not an uncommon thing to hide the meaning or the teaching of martial arts using religious explanation so that enemies or competing schools could not steal.
I think that the residual of this old practice is that some take the spiritual explanations too literal and do not understand the information that is hidden.


That explains a lot.
Now I see why that spiritual aspect can be good for.

It's not my purpose to pull down the whole idea of spiritual things. It's just me not understanding the how and why of spiritual things.
If you're grown up in another culture than the Japanese, it's even more difficult to understand some habits. I know lots of spiritual habits are pure crap, but some have truth in it, and it's difficult for a beginner to decide what's real and what's fake. If you know how and why, or some background information, you get more in depth information than just practice the exercise.
I'm very interested in Japanese culture, backgrounds,... and eager to learn new things. But for me it's always hard to try things that are related with more spiritual things. Certainly as I'm a disbeliever of anything related with religions, like an atheïst or scientist.
I'm open for lots of new things to learn, but for my own good, I'm not swallowing everything just immediately.
For example: as I'm reading a book about Ki at the moment, I just try memorizing the parts that are useful for me and seem scientifically relevant, the other parts that I dislike at the moment, I leave aside. But I give things a try to understand.

Keith Larman
03-20-2010, 11:13 AM
For me the point has long been that while I may not like, agree with or maybe understand everything being taught, I listen, learn, and practice it as sincerely as possible. You don't have to believe something to listen. You don't have to agree with how something should be done to practice. And I have found that while there are many things that years later I still don't agree with, there were many more that I was in danger of tossing out that I find now I understand on a different level.

Or as one of my instructors told me a long time ago, if you aren't already completely trained how do you know what's important? If you already know what's important and what's not, why even bother?

bulevardi
03-20-2010, 11:22 AM
Or as one of my instructors told me a long time ago, if you aren't already completely trained how do you know what's important? If you already know what's important and what's not, why even bother?
Because my brain bothers me all the time. I'm just a botherer I guess ;-)

MM
03-20-2010, 10:11 PM
For me the point has long been that while I may not like, agree with or maybe understand everything being taught, I listen, learn, and practice it as sincerely as possible. You don't have to believe something to listen. You don't have to agree with how something should be done to practice. And I have found that while there are many things that years later I still don't agree with, there were many more that I was in danger of tossing out that I find now I understand on a different level.

Or as one of my instructors told me a long time ago, if you aren't already completely trained how do you know what's important? If you already know what's important and what's not, why even bother?

Guess I'm going to respectfully disagree with you here, Keith. And probably make quite a few people upset in the process. Not really my intention as I'm conveying personal experiences ...

Any incarnation of funakogi undo that I've ever seen, done, or been taught has not even been remotely close to teaching aiki principles. I could have practiced sincerely for 80 years and it wouldn't have mattered. It wouldn't have given me aiki. I would not have gotten any closer to the skill level of Tomiki, Shioda, etc, let alone Ueshiba.

Taking that a step further, every single incarnation of modern aikido techniques is the same. None of them would have given me aiki or gotten me to the level of skill of previously mentioned teachers. After 20, 30, 40 years, I probably would have gotten some very high level jujutsu skills -- which are nothing to sneeze at, btw. Some very good stuff there. Unfortunately, those skills crumble against aiki.

I think it's all been huge rationalizations perpetuated throughout the aikido world. 20 year techniques, warmup exercises, focus on techniques, you'll understand after years of training, etc, etc, etc. And 40 years after Ueshiba's death, we're still rationalizing why we aren't even getting as good as the pre-war students.

When do we stop rationalizing and come to terms with the fact that aiki was withheld?

dps
03-21-2010, 06:18 AM
. And 40 years after Ueshiba's death, we're still rationalizing why we aren't even getting as good as the pre-war students.


The prewar students like Tomiki, Shioda, were already martial artists in judo, sumo, kendo, etc before they trained with O'sensei. Some like Shioda was trained from childhood and it was a part of their everyday life which gave them an advantage over modern Aikido students.

To compare the level of training or mastery of the prewar students with modern students is extremely out of kilter.

David

Keith Larman
03-21-2010, 09:21 AM
Guess I'm going to respectfully disagree with you here, Keith. And probably make quite a few people upset in the process. Not really my intention as I'm conveying personal experiences ...

Any incarnation of funakogi undo that I've ever seen, done, or been taught has not even been remotely close to teaching aiki principles.

When do we stop rationalizing and come to terms with the fact that aiki was withheld?

Mark, with all due respect I was speaking in very general terms about learning most anything. I'm really glad you've found a good teacher teaching you what you want to learn. But I wasn't thinking about aiki at all when I wrote what I wrote (and yes, I do get out and get involved in the IS world too). Some, believe it or not, may actually be looking for that elusive aiki *while also* looking at the entire art, history, tradition, etc. as well. As such there is more to talk about.

mathewjgano
03-21-2010, 03:54 PM
Taking that a step further, every single incarnation of modern aikido techniques is the same.
You know, perhaps almost every incarnation is as such, I couldn't know, but this just seems a little too broad a stroke to me. If high level jujutsu and wrestling "crumble" at the mere contact with aiki, I can't wait to see its emergence on the MMA scene, which as far as I know is dominated by high level jujutsu and wrestling and striking practicioners. That's not sarcasm, just to be clear. Operating in the "dabbler" spectrum of aikidoists, I'd love to see the proof of the pudding. I'm not really in the position to judge high quality aiki, even if it smacked me in the face, so I look to settings like that as a relative measure of things like "effectiveness under duress."
As it relates to funakogi undo (I know it as torifune undo), I think it's important to note that anyone will get what they put into it. Higher levels of aiki understanding will be able to get higher levels of aiki development through it...I assume. Perhaps for me it's merely a great way to open up the lungs and get the blood flowing, but that's enough for now and doesn't render my practice of it invalid as long as I recognize my own ignorance.

MM
03-22-2010, 06:53 AM
Mark, with all due respect I was speaking in very general terms about learning most anything. I'm really glad you've found a good teacher teaching you what you want to learn. But I wasn't thinking about aiki at all when I wrote what I wrote (and yes, I do get out and get involved in the IS world too). Some, believe it or not, may actually be looking for that elusive aiki *while also* looking at the entire art, history, tradition, etc. as well. As such there is more to talk about.

Apologies for taking your post out of context. I was in the frame of mind of the thread, funakogi undo, how its been taught and my post morphed from there.

gdandscompserv
03-22-2010, 07:12 AM
And 40 years after Ueshiba's death, we're still rationalizing why we aren't even getting as good as the pre-war students.
Now that's a very good question Mark.:cool:

MM
03-22-2010, 07:20 AM
You know, perhaps almost every incarnation is as such, I couldn't know, but this just seems a little too broad a stroke to me. If high level jujutsu and wrestling "crumble" at the mere contact with aiki, I can't wait to see its emergence on the MMA scene, which as far as I know is dominated by high level jujutsu and wrestling and striking practicioners. That's not sarcasm, just to be clear. Operating in the "dabbler" spectrum of aikidoists, I'd love to see the proof of the pudding.


No sarcasm in my response, but if you want at least some indication of aiki versus jujutsu, just look to history. How many of Ueshiba's students had some very good foundations in jujutsu/judo of some sort? And yet, when they met Ueshiba, they were undone - completely. Do you think Tomiki would have followed Ueshiba if Ueshiba just had the same old stuff as what Tomiki had been training in judo? Mochizuki? Why is it that Mifune stood out as much as he did when compared to most other judo people?

Or how about how Ueshiba was known as strong and tough before he met Takeda. Didn't do him any good.

Or how about Tohei before he met Ueshiba and was training in judo. Seems I recall a story about how he went around kicking large posts in the house to strengthen his judo. When he returned to judo, he was much better. His kicking posts did him no good on meeting Ueshiba.

Fighter, boxers, sumo students, judoka, kendoka, etc all tested their mettle against Takeda and Ueshiba. Most of the encounters that were recorded showed that each of them walked away bested and knowing that they had encountered something very different than anything they'd ever experienced. These were men who had backgrounds in jujutsu of all sorts.

There's nothing new about today. History is just re-asserting itself. You have quite a few high ranking aikido people, judo people, fighters, karate people, etc testing their mettle against aiki and coming away very impressed.


I'm not really in the position to judge high quality aiki, even if it smacked me in the face, so I look to settings like that as a relative measure of things like "effectiveness under duress."
As it relates to funakogi undo (I know it as torifune undo), I think it's important to note that anyone will get what they put into it. Higher levels of aiki understanding will be able to get higher levels of aiki development through it...I assume. Perhaps for me it's merely a great way to open up the lungs and get the blood flowing, but that's enough for now and doesn't render my practice of it invalid as long as I recognize my own ignorance.

Not directed at you, but to everyone. If you knew that the current practice of funakogi undo didn't train aiki in the least bit, then how does that make it valid in an art with the name of aikido?

Has the art changed that drastically in 40 years that people no longer care, or want, to have the skills that Ueshiba had? Has the "new age" movement forever changed aikido to the extent that aikido now means prearranged harmonious physical movements? Ghandi Dancing? Sure, it can calm your mind and can bring you some peace, harmony, and love. But it really isn't the way of aiki.

At least not as was exemplified by Ueshiba Morihei.

cguzik
03-22-2010, 02:15 PM
question, does spiritual training needs physical components?

Well, there are some very advanced yogis who do not do practice asana. But a body that is healthy enough to sit still while working on your ability to concentrate is helpful.

mathewjgano
03-22-2010, 05:06 PM
Thanks for the reply, Mark!
How many of Ueshiba's students had some very good foundations in jujutsu/judo of some sort? And yet, when they met Ueshiba, they were undone - completely.
I don't doubt it plays a huge factor. All other things being more or less equal, understanding of aiki should give a very decisive advantage. I'm just saying I look forward to a litmus test of sorts I will pretty much have to enjoy vicariously. I have a lot of faith in aiki as a powerful and dynamic skill set...something that would give a little guy an advantage over much bigger people.

If you knew that the current practice of funakogi undo didn't train aiki in the least bit, then how does that make it valid in an art with the name of aikido?
I don't know that, but assuming it necessarily didn't, i would just think it was a valid way to warm up. If aiki is as ultimately "formless" as I think I've been told it is, then the whole variety of these rowing practices should at least be able to serve as a vehicle for learning "it," right? Maybe a better question would be: why then did O Sensei ever practice a rowing exercise? Because it does absolutely nothing at developing aiki? Seems counter-intuitive for the way of aiki.

Erick Mead
03-22-2010, 11:07 PM
... if you want at least some indication of aiki versus jujutsu, just look to history. How many of Ueshiba's students had some very good foundations in jujutsu/judo of some sort? ... If you knew that the current practice of funakogi undo didn't train aiki in the least bit, then how does that make it valid in an art with the name of aikido? ... not in the least bit? Is this fact or infatuation ? Define the objective difference -- that's fact. Tout your shiniest enthusiasms -- that's infatuation. You haven't attempted to define the difference -- factually. It can't possibly work, simply because YOU could not make it work, or did not understand why it does?

Don't get me wrong, there is a difference, not a trivial nor a simplistic one, but it is not a physical mystery. There are legitmitately different ways of comprehending it. It is IN the kokyu undo. It is not lacking, languishing from lack of work on understanding mebbe -- but only because people are looking for some inexpressible mystery to be revealed by some kind master -- rather trying to master it ONESELF.

People mainly wanting to follow (or lead, for that matter) are, (historically speaking, since that is your measure) -- not interested in going out to find the objective truth, but in continuing to receive their subjective validation.

O Sensei demanded that we understand what he understood -- not that we follow his way of understanding it. Understanding is a conquest -- not a gift.

bulevardi
03-23-2010, 04:33 AM
Has the art changed that drastically in 40 years that people no longer care, or want, to have the skills that Ueshiba had?

But some people don't want to be that good as Ueshiba. Some people don't have the need to reach the top or be the best someday.
Some people want to do Aikido for other reasons.
Like a runner who just wants to go jogging as recreation to get fit, but doesn't want to do it only to be able to run a marathon some day.
I don't mean that it has to be soft, you can still train hard and learn the good techniques, but for me personally it's not my purpose to get a black belt someday.

Has the "new age" movement forever changed aikido to the extent that aikido now means prearranged harmonious physical movements?
Ghandi Dancing? Sure, it can calm your mind and can bring you some peace, harmony, and love. But it really isn't the way of aiki.


For some people, Tai Chi or Yoga would be better to practice instead of Aikido.
Aikido needs to stay Aikido. It needs to stay a MARTIAL art.

jss
03-23-2010, 05:58 AM
But some people don't want to be that good as Ueshiba. Some people don't have the need to reach the top or be the best someday.
Some people want to do Aikido for other reasons.
Like a runner who just wants to go jogging as recreation to get fit, but doesn't want to do it only to be able to run a marathon some day.
Sure, but those joggers are still doing some actual running. Not everyone agrees that all aikidoka are still doing Aikido.

For some people, Tai Chi or Yoga would be better to practice instead of Aikido.
Aikido needs to stay Aikido. It needs to stay a MARTIAL art.
Tai Chi is (was?) supposed to be a martial art as well. ;)

MM
03-23-2010, 07:35 AM
Thanks for the reply, Mark!


One of these days we'll have to meet up. Conversations are always better in person. :)


I don't doubt it plays a huge factor. All other things being more or less equal, understanding of aiki should give a very decisive advantage. I'm just saying I look forward to a litmus test of sorts I will pretty much have to enjoy vicariously. I have a lot of faith in aiki as a powerful and dynamic skill set...something that would give a little guy an advantage over much bigger people.


Yeah. There's a quote floating around about Takeda saying not to teach Americans because they're big already and giving them aiki would give them too much of an advantage. Not sure where the quote is from, though.

The one thing I'd say, though, is to not look at aiki as a "skill set". Or as some people say, another tool in the toolbox. Think of aiki as being your whole being, mind, spirit, and body.


I don't know that, but assuming it necessarily didn't, i would just think it was a valid way to warm up. If aiki is as ultimately "formless" as I think I've been told it is, then the whole variety of these rowing practices should at least be able to serve as a vehicle for learning "it," right? Maybe a better question would be: why then did O Sensei ever practice a rowing exercise? Because it does absolutely nothing at developing aiki? Seems counter-intuitive for the way of aiki.

Definitely yes for the part I put in bold. That's the gold question. As you note, aiki is formless, so most exercises are able to serve as a vehicle. But, unlike his peers, Ueshiba went off on a spiritual tangent.

While aikido exercises like the rowing one can be used to build aiki, was that the only thing Ueshiba was doing? Looking to his writings, his students interviews, etc, we'd have to guess, no, it wasn't. There was a spiritual component to it for Ueshiba.

Which brings us to Ueshiba saying you didn't have to follow his exact footsteps. And that brings me to my question of, Just why are you practicing Funekogi Undo, Furitama, etc?

If you (plural, not singling you out) don't know the reasons why Ueshiba did them and you don't have aiki, then aren't you just blindly copying an outward form and rationalizing its purpose?

On the pro side, though, let's say you're a student of Rev. Barrish and you're following his spiritual lead and adding that to your practice of the rowing exercise, etc. Personally, I would think that kind of practice would satisfy Ueshiba's vision of spiritualness without having to follow in his footsteps. (Course, that's only half of Ueshiba's vision as aiki would still need to be added.)

I would think that any other spiritual training would also suffice for that half of Ueshiba's vision of aikido. Historically, we can uphold that with Kisshomaru, Tomiki, Shioda, Shirata, Mochizuki, Tohei, etc, etc, etc. who are all doing aikido in some sort of spiritual mind set.

But, if you're just doing these exercises as "warm ups" and applying some physical nature to them (relax, keep body upright, don't lean, etc), then, IMO, you aren't doing either half of Ueshiba's vision of aikido: Spiritual or aiki.

dps
03-23-2010, 07:49 AM
Historically, we can uphold that with Kisshomaru, Tomiki, Shioda, Shirata, Mochizuki, Tohei, etc, etc, etc. who are all doing aikido in some sort of spiritual mind set..

What spiritual mindset did Tomiki, Shioda and Mochizuki have?

David

bulevardi
03-23-2010, 07:55 AM
Tai Chi is (was?) supposed to be a martial art as well. ;)
Oh well, I can get someone knock-out by throwing a basketball very hard against his head. In this case basketball is a martial art too ;)

Simplicity is my best friend :)

C. David Henderson
03-23-2010, 08:05 AM
Let me put it simply then, Dirk-- you don't understand tai chi and shouldn't opine about it.

MM
03-23-2010, 08:18 AM
But some people don't want to be that good as Ueshiba. Some people don't have the need to reach the top or be the best someday.

Some people want to do Aikido for other reasons.
Like a runner who just wants to go jogging as recreation to get fit, but doesn't want to do it only to be able to run a marathon some day.
I don't mean that it has to be soft, you can still train hard and learn the good techniques, but for me personally it's not my purpose to get a black belt someday.

For some people, Tai Chi or Yoga would be better to practice instead of Aikido.
Aikido needs to stay Aikido. It needs to stay a MARTIAL art.

Off topic, so I created a new thread here:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=254358#post254358

jss
03-23-2010, 08:23 AM
Let me put it simply then, Dirk-- you don't understand tai chi and shouldn't opine about it.
Well, I think it's fair to say that most tai chi is as much a martial art as most aikido. :rolleyes:

C. David Henderson
03-23-2010, 08:33 AM
That is fair.

Ernesto Lemke
03-23-2010, 09:43 AM
Sorry for the interruption but...

Ghandi Dancing

:D Priceless

bulevardi
03-23-2010, 10:57 AM
Let me put it simply then, Dirk-- you don't understand tai chi and shouldn't opine about it.
Mmm, ok.
But who are you to decide what I don't understand? You shouldn't opine about me. :)

Because we're on an aikido forum here, I can say that you don't understand karate and shoudn't opine about that. How do I know for sure wether you understand karate or not?

C. David Henderson
03-23-2010, 11:05 AM
You'd be right -- I don't understand karate and I don't opine about it.

There's a reason for that. If I did it soon would be obvious I didn't know what I was talking about -- just taking up bandwidth.

So tell, me, what is your experience with Tai Chi -- ever done push hands for example? Trained in it? How long and with who? Did this person teach martial applications? Know anyone who does it as a martial art?

If I'm mistaken and you have a factual basis for your assertion that tai chi has roughly the same "martial" application as throwing a basketball at someone's head, what is it?

No offense intended, in any event. Sorry if it came across too sharply.

Rev.K. Barrish
03-23-2010, 02:15 PM
Hello everyone,

re: Funekogi undo/ Ame-no-torifune-no-gyo:

"When the founder of Aikido, Venerable Morihei Ueshiba, visited Tsubaki O Kami Yashiro - head shrine of Sarutahiko-no-O-Kami - and made special prayer, the secret of waza was brought forth through the divine revelation. Since then day and night he practiced Misogi Shu Ho to reach the state of unity between the Kami (divine beings) and human beings.
Venerable Morihei Ueshiba cultivated spirituality so profoundly that he created Takemusu Aiki, and he taught the great power and wisdom of Sarutahiko-no-O-Kami to students of Aiki. Later he was able to show Jintsuriki, special divine power. Jintsuriki means that Shinriki - or the ki of the Great nature - is transformed to Jinriki or, actual power or waza, which will be delivered by man after being absorbed and accumulated by man's spirit, mind and body. "

written by Honorable High Priest, Rev. Dr. Yukitaka Yamamoto in August of 1997 about Shinto & Aikido.

AME-NO-TORIFUNE-NO-GYO

Sometimes called Fune-kogi-undo. Ame-no-torifune is one of the Misogi Jumbi Taiso or exercises to prepare the mind/ body/ spirit for the activity of Misogi Shuho. These exercises have been widely adopted as Aiki Jumbi Taiso.
Torifune (Bird Rowing)
1. Stand straight and put your left leg forward
2. Clench both fists with your thumbs inside
3. Lean forward and move your arms as though rowing a boat starting from your left knee and ending near your *armpits. As you "row," shout "Yie".
4. Perform this 20 times and then repeat Furitama
5. Changing to a right leg stance, repeat the Torifune shouting "Ei" and "Ho" alternately. Do this 20 times and then repeat Furitama
6. Return to the left foot forward stance and remake the clenched fists as before and bring the hands up to the chest to a shout of "Yie" and thrust them down and forward with hands opened and fingers extended to a shout of "Se" After this, once again repeat the Furitama
The Object of Torifune-no-gyo
The basic purpose is to introduce a dimension of physical calisthenics along with the spiritual. Since misogi is a psycho-physical experience, both types of preperatory exercises are necessary. " Torifune-no-gyo (done properly) is very grounding and invigorating. The kiai organizes the hara… centripetality/contraction and centrifugality existing simultaneously while grounding relates very directly to the organization we want to manifest during Aiki waza.

TAMA FURI/ Furitama-no-Gyo
Tama (soul) Furi (shake) basic meaning is the self Chin-kon and relates directly to the furube-no-kamu-waza of Chinkon Saho.
Furitama ( Soul Shaking)
1. Stand with your legs apart about shoulder width .
2. Place your hands together with the right hand over the left. Leave space between them big enough for an imaginary ping pong ball.
3. Place your hands in that position in front of your stomach and 0shake them vigorously up and down.
4. While shaking them concentrate and repeat the words: Harae-do-no-Okami - an invocation to the kami of the place of harai.
The Object Furitama-no-gyo
The purpose of shaking the soul is to generate awareness of it within yourself. Kon, (the soul), in Shinto, is one of the four important elements along with Mei (life), Rei (spirit) and Ki (which means Spirit in its causal aspect - Ki is a kind of energy source). Kon is the most important of the four since human beings can also be described as Waketama (separated individual souls), which is another way of saying "children of the kami".

Chinkon kanji can also be read as Mitama Shizume..the basic meanings are:
1) to reintegrate the elements of self/soul into the current moment
2) to quiet or pacify the soul
3) to invigorate the soul
4) The kanji of Chin-kon can also be read Sho Kon and carry the nuance of pacifying and assisting the raising of vibration for the Mitama of a person who has left this life

Tama-furi aims at the reception of strong spiritual waves/higher spirit/ refined vibration.

The aim of activities of Shinto Gyo (tuning practices) Misogi Harai (self purification) is to quiet and reinvigorate the very soul these activities can be called
1) misogi harai
2) mitama-furi
3) tama-furi
4) mitama shizume
5) chin-kon

all these are written with the same kanji these activities relate directly to the function of I-buki-do-nushi-no-Ou kami who is one of the Harae-do-no-Ou-kami and deals directly with purification by out breath.
IKU TAMA /TARU TAMA/TAMA TAMARU TAMA

During the Misogi Jumbi Taiso (preparatory exercises) the Otakebi (shouting) begins with: Ikuuuuuuuuuuu Tamaaaaaaaa/ Truuuuu Tamaaaaaaaa/ Tama Tamaruuuuuuuuuuu Tamaaaaaaaaa…

In KAMI-NO-MICHI Sendai Guji, Rev Yukitaka Yamamoto wrote:

Shouting Iku-tama activates the soul which is just coming to awareness. Taru-tama affirms the awareness that you can realize the infinite in your soul. Tama-tamaru-tama confirms both and keeps the soul activated at its quantum level.

When we shout together by the riverside and our voices echo into: 1) the distance 2) the earth and 3) into the sky it is a really profound human experience that simultaneously elevates and grounds us (centralized expension).

As we examine the meaning of the kanji (Chinese characters/pictographs) we can gain further insight………………

IKU TAMA (shouted out horizontally) comes from the verb Ikeru (to live- exist) Tama is from tamashii (soul) IKIRU TAMASHII means Life-soul… this relates to the triangle shape..to exist

TARU TAMA (shouted towards the Earth) Taru can be read ashi (leg) implying to stand on the Earth in the current moment…Taru also comes from tairu (enough/sufficient) implying fulfillment/support and relating to the circle shape………….life

TAMA TAMARU TAMA (shouted in ascending manner) comes from Tama (jewel), Taru (pool), and Tama (soul) implies deep nourishment, setting-sealing and relating to the square shape which implies continuous echoing

All these types of Gyo, Furitama-no-gyo, Torifune-no-gyo, Otakebi as well as Chinkon Gyoho activities have real power to activate our KI.

Effects of Gyo:
1. True understanding of our lives as Kami-no-Ko children of Divine Nature.
2. Cultivation of the the Heart/Mind/Spirit of service to society.
3. Transcending Ego and greed and understanding the Mission of Human. Beings. Understanding of Kyoson Kyoei principal of mutual co-existence and co-prosperity.
4. Health benefit of increased circulation of blood and KI and spiritual revitalization.
5. Strengthening overall constitution to become more genki.
6. Sharpen the intellect (mind).
7. Tamashii (soul) is renewed…you can feel Inochi (life principal).
8. Bring new creativity to daily life.
9. Misogi purifies the three temporal worlds: past/present/future…you receive KI of Divine Nature and give KI to others.
10. Power to improve KI of Family.
11. By raising spirituality you increase your contact with OKami and your ability to feel the heartbeat and breath of OKami.

Of course everyone is warmly invited to Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America to personally experience these activities with the shrine staff.

Warmest regards
Koichi Barrish
Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America
www.Tsubakishrine.org
www.Kannagara.org

bulevardi
03-23-2010, 02:27 PM
You'd be right -- I don't understand karate and I don't opine about it.

There's a reason for that. If I did it soon would be obvious I didn't know what I was talking about -- just taking up bandwidth.

So tell, me, what is your experience with Tai Chi -- ever done push hands for example? Trained in it? How long and with who? Did this person teach martial applications? Know anyone who does it as a martial art?

If one can only have an opinion about something he practices or has lots experience with, there will be not much opinions posted anymore.

I have no experience with Tai Chi. Never trained in it, never done push hands (for example of course). And I would ignore everyone I know who does it as a martial art. As a matter of fact, I don't know anyone who does it and I will keep it that way.
Fair enough?

Typical discussion to ask for experience, and then afterwards "for how long?". If it seems not long enough, the other person mostly says: "so you're doing it X time and you already have an opinion about it. It would never be good enough in such discussions. How long should one be practicing something to be able to opine about it?

Anyway, perhaps you don't opine about it, that's your business, but I opine about it even though I don't know anything about it.
I'm playing blues guitar and I opine about playing jazz guitar, For example: that playing jazz guitar is more difficult than playing blues guitar. Do I need experience in playing jazz guitar to opine about it? No. And if so, how many days, months or years should I have experience in playing it? Does it matter? No.

-------------------------------

Well, if you really want, I'll go off-topic and talk about Tai Chi right here.
I'll post a quote from this website: http://www.martial-arts-info.com/135/tai-chi-chuan/
Tai Chi Chuan is practiced worldwide for its health benefits and improved concentration. It is widely practised for the reduction of stress and tension - not as a combat martial art.
I personally see martial arts as a combat style. I see it that way, you don't have to see it that way.
Even if the whole world says it IS a martial art, I'm not going to change my opinion for that.

If Tai Chi is not a combat form, and just something to improve health and concentration... Then other exercises apart from Tai Chi to improve health and concentration are martial arts too? Sports in general improve this too... mediation, yoga, vitamine pills too...

It's not because it's a movement style from somewhere in the east that it's immediately a Martial Art. Even if it has it's origin from Shaolin monks. Same as a samurai would have been playing football in his free time, football would be a martial art later on.

C. David Henderson
03-23-2010, 04:34 PM
If one can only have an opinion about something he practices or has lots experience with, there will be not much opinions posted anymore.

1. Absent any experience, though, the opinion offered may be worth no more than the sweat equity invested.

2. There are ways of talking about things you haven't experienced without prejudgment.

I have no experience with Tai Chi. Never trained in it, never done push hands (for example of course). And I would ignore everyone I know who does it as a martial art. As a matter of fact, I don't know anyone who does it and I will keep it that way.
Fair enough?

Now I understand how much weight to put on your opinion then -- you have no interest and you lack an open mind. Thank you for clarifying.

To clarify in turn, I have a bit of experience and a bit of information, and that is the basis of my disagreement with you.

How long should one be practicing something to be able to opine about it?

How about having some experience before voicing blanket opinions that a pursuit undertaken by many people for a particular purpose is of no value for that purpose?

Anyway, perhaps you don't opine about it, that's your business, but I opine about it even though I don't know anything about it.

Why? What is your reason for making public statements about topics in which you acknowledge you have no knowledge, no experience, and perhaps most importantly, no real interest?

Seems like a backwards way of trying to have a conversation.

I'm playing blues guitar and I opine about playing jazz guitar, For example: that playing jazz guitar is more difficult than playing blues guitar. Do I need experience in playing jazz guitar to opine about it? No.

1. I'm sure you don't; that's your whole position. But its good to know that you don't when considering the worth of that opinion.

2. A closer analogy might be, however, playing guitar and making a blanket statement about how easy it is to play the glockenspeil (or bagpipes, or ....).

And if so, how many days, months or years should I have experience in playing it? Does it matter? No.

I disagree. An opinion from someone who has long experience with playing both kinds of music likely is more meaningful and certainly more reliable.

For me, because the internet prevents many avenues of communication,these questions are doubly relevant.

You have a right to your opinion, of course; you also have the opportunity over your lifetime to think about and revise those opinions as you see fit given what you learn during the journey. One of the things that has occurred with me based on reading the varied kinds of opinions from knowledgeable people on this site has been a lot of revisions in my understanding of Aikido and marital arts.

Well, if you really want, I'll go off-topic and talk about Tai Chi right here.

Why you would suppose that's something I want is beyond me given my original comment to you. But you certainly can say whatever you want.

Parenthetically, the point I objected to had nothing to do with the way "most people" practice Tai Chi, but the suggestion that there is no real martial utility to the tradition, a statement you've admitted comes from a place of (1) no experience, and (2) no interest.

I personally see martial arts as a combat style. I see it that way, you don't have to see it that way.

Funny thing is, one commonality between ICMA and Aikido is that it often takes a long time for either to be martially effective. If you want to study a "combat art," neither would be the first choice of most folks who seem to know (and care) what they are talking about.

Even if the whole world says it IS a martial art, I'm not going to change my opinion for that.

Why not? Other than this rather tense exchange with a stranger on the internet, what do you have invested in keeping intact and inviolate an opinion about a subject in which you acknowlege you have no interest?

If Tai Chi is not a combat form, and just something to improve health and concentration... Then other exercises apart from Tai Chi to improve health and concentration are martial arts too? Sports in general improve this too... mediation, yoga, vitamine pills too...

It's not "just something to improve health and concentration." That's your construct, based on generalizing from a single general web entry. Its called, in English at least, a "straw man."

This is why knowing the subject matter makes a difference in reasoning your way to valid conclusions. (BTW, your reasoning also is logically fallacious in other ways, but let that pass.)

Turning back to the topic at hand, if one must convince you by reference to what you already know, understand, and believe of the utility of, say, funakogi undo to your training, it seems to me your cup is already too full. But hey, knock yourself out.

To repeat what Mr. Murray said earlier in this thread-- It is your training.

Respectfully.

Mike Sigman
03-23-2010, 07:54 PM
I personally see martial arts as a combat style. I see it that way, you don't have to see it that way.
Even if the whole world says it IS a martial art, I'm not going to change my opinion for that.
Here you go. Hamburg in November of this year. Chen Xiawoang. He's about 65 years old. Go tell him that he doesn't do martial arts. Take your teacher. Take your mom and dad. Take the Sheriff of your home town. Let me know how it goes.

http://www.wctag.de/

Regards,

Mike Sigman

gdandscompserv
03-23-2010, 09:03 PM
Here you go. Hamburg in November of this year. Chen Xiawoang. He's about 65 years old. Go tell him that he doesn't do martial arts. Take your teacher. Take your mom and dad. Take the Sheriff of your home town. Let me know how it goes.

http://www.wctag.de/

Regards,

Mike Sigman
On a related note, Grandmaster Chen Xiaoxing will be in San Diego May 6-9, 2010.

bulevardi
03-24-2010, 03:55 AM
Just to clarify something, you started by saying this:
Let me put it simply then, Dirk-- you don't understand tai chi and shouldn't opine about it.
Without knowing anything about me in the first place. Without even knowing my knowledge of tai chi.

So than I can say the same to you: "What is YOUR reason for making public statements about persons you don't know about?"

Why? What is your reason for making public statements about topics in which you acknowledge you have no knowledge, no experience, and perhaps most importantly, no real interest?

I would say: take your conclusions about that point of view first, before blaming another doing the same?

The rest of my post was just pure rubbish to get you out of your cage and react like a fool.
I thought you would have read that between the lines...
My post was actually NOT about Tai Chi. It could have been replaced by any topic.

Same thing: you first ask me (1/ if I have experience) and then immediately (2/ how long).
It's a typical questioning technique in discussions to win every time. If one says x-time, it won't be enough. It will never be good. It's a win win question for an interviewer. You ever observated journalists?
And that point is literally proven because now afterwards you even say that the time is not important.
Than I question why you actually asked that question if it wasn't necessary?
If someone starts questioning me like that, I just react like an idiot and say that blue is the same as yellow etc...

Anyway, your 2 posts are a total contradiction.
So can we please stop about discussing this and go back on topic?

C. David Henderson
03-24-2010, 08:10 AM
You admitted you don't know. And don't care. And you are wrong. And my point was ultimately about the topic. My admonition to you wasn't about winning, it was about an assertion you made that was, frankly, ridiculous. You followed with other assertions that are more ridiculous. If that's your tactic -- you win.

Take Mike's advice though. He knows what he is talking about.

And for god's sake man, empty your cup. You acknowledge you are a beginner. Take advantage of that rather than squandering it out of an interest in acting otherwise.

bulevardi
03-24-2010, 09:30 AM
Ok, you didn't see the point.

http://aikiweb.com/forums/images/icons/straightface.gif