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Mary Eastland
01-11-2011, 08:03 AM
I don’t eat sugar so a New Year cookie exchange doesn’t work for me…how about a favorite Ki exercise exchange?

Here is a one I have been doing every morning. Stand in natural stance, hands at your side. Swing both hands up in front of your chest, gathering energy. Then settle that energy into your body while hands slide into the prayer position in front of your chest. Feel the energy sifting down through your body.
As your hands go into the prayer position… slowly lift one foot… bringing your mind back to your center if you begin to lose balance. Feel how easy it is to keep your balance. Stand that way for some seconds. Put that foot down and lift the other foot as you again sweep your hands gathering energy… your hands again end in the prayer position. Feel the ease of standing on one foot. Stay that way for a few seconds…settled in on one foot. Now slowly come back to both feet, dropping your heavy arms to each side, feeling your body shift at your hips. Do you feel heavy and rooted? Can you feel the movement of your energy? Can you feel the slight shifts your body intuitively makes?

Do you have a favorite Ki exercise to share?
Mary

Tony Wagstaffe
01-11-2011, 10:12 AM
I put my ki inside the lock, hey presto! It opens the door........wow!!
The door has ki which throws throws me 'cause I lent against it, and my wife says "Bloody fool! Forget your tea flask?....... ;) :D

Mary Eastland
01-11-2011, 01:55 PM
I put my ki inside the lock, hey presto! It opens the door........wow!!
The door has ki which throws throws me 'cause I lent against it, and my wife says "Bloody fool! Forget your tea flask?....... ;) :D

Hi Tony:

Herbert Spencer once said:

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance--that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
Did you try the excercise I mentioned?
Otherwise...go do your own thing and leave this thread be.
Mary

Tony Wagstaffe
01-11-2011, 02:04 PM
Hi Tony:

Herbert Spencer once said:

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance--that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
Did you try the excercise I mentioned?
Otherwise...go do your own thing and leave this thread be.
Mary

Yes and all the other ki exercises too Mary......

I is so dumb and ignorant it makes me yawn.....:p

Alfonso
01-11-2011, 03:20 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhmjnYKlVnM

:D

Tony Wagstaffe
01-11-2011, 06:30 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhmjnYKlVnM

:D

Feels like it..... :D

Carsten Möllering
01-12-2011, 03:03 AM
... how about a favorite Ki exercise exchange?
...
Do you have a favorite Ki exercise to share?
Please excuse me:
We don't have such excercise in our aikido.

If you don't mind I would like to learn, what connection you see between such an excercise and the practice of aikido?
What do you think is the "benefit" of such exercises for practicing aikido?

And may I ask whether you do such exercises as part of your regular training? (Which line of aikido do you practice?)

Best wishes,
Carsten

Upyu
01-12-2011, 03:41 AM
Here is a one I have been doing every morning. Stand in natural stance, hands at your side. Swing both hands up in front of your chest, gathering energy. Then settle that energy into your body while hands slide into the prayer position in front of your chest. Feel the energy sifting down through your body.Do you feel heavy and rooted? Can you feel the movement of your energy? Can you feel the slight shifts your body intuitively makes?
Mary

If you substituted the term "weight," "pressure," or "force," for "energy," then you might open the door to something basic, but worthwhile to talk about (for those unfamiliar with this "crap".)

But until you can describe what you're doing in more physical terms, I think you're going to be met with a fair bit of sarcasm, even from proponents of IS.

Picking apart what causes someone to be "heavy" and "rooted," and how you can drop your center of gravity without bending the knees, would be far more productive imo.

And why do it every morning?
Why not every other day? Or once on Tuesday and twice on Sunday :D

Hellis
01-12-2011, 06:00 AM
Whatever is good for you.......I prefer the " Exchange & Mart " so much more for so little.

Henry Ellis
http://aikidoarticles.blogspot.com/

Janet Rosen
01-12-2011, 06:30 AM
If you substituted the term "weight," "pressure," or "force," for "energy," then you might open the door to something basic, but worthwhile to talk about (for those unfamiliar with this "crap".)

But until you can describe what you're doing in more physical terms, I think you're going to be met with a fair bit of sarcasm, even from proponents of IS.

Picking apart what causes someone to be "heavy" and "rooted," and how you can drop your center of gravity without bending the knees, would be far more productive imo.

YMMV but I have no trouble with the shorthand "energy", I know what she means by it.

I also have never had a problem when instructors have used metaphor or visualization to convey a sense of what my body is doing. Different people really do learn body stuff differently. Some people learn best when told to engage their lats and extensors, while others lack the body awareness to understand what that means (my husband and my sister are utterly confounded by the concept that for any given action there are actually multiple muscle combinations to enact it) - but that person may be able to follow through on a suggestion to let their arms float up as if holding a huge inflating beachball - while a third person might connect with the more Pilates-style directive to "move down in order to move up."

I have a pretty good awareness of my internal landscape, if you will, but frankly I have no idea which muscles are behind the changes I feel when I feel myself connecting with the earth through my feet and dropping my center as I walk onto the mat, or what muscles are working or not working in order for me to have intent as I approach my partner or zanshin after throwing somebody. But I know that the changes I make in breathing, posture, and muscle use based on shorthand reminders to myself like "weight underside" or "extend ki" improve my ability to connect with a partner and to throw him by the many small changes I make in my mind/body. As I said, YMMV, but shorthand metaphors do work for me.

Where I train, the "ki exercises" are essentially body movements that are the building blocks of the movements done in taking a partner's balance and throwing, so if done w/ attention to detail, they do build muscle memory of proper movement and body use w/o the pressure of another person - essentially a one person kata done at the start of each class as a preparation. And I find that doing them mindfully, not by rote, helps me also work on specific aspects, like intent or weighting or extension, so that over time I can self-correct more quickly when doing aikido technique.

(I think my late teacher would laugh her ass off if the use of metaphor and ki exercises made her an "aikibunny" since she both learned from and instructed many law enforcement professionals over the years, and insisted that there be martial effectiveness in aikido)

Finally... may I ask that a basic level of civility to each other be maintained? Thanks.

SeiserL
01-12-2011, 07:16 AM
I like using the standard warm up exercises as solo training to apply the 4 principles.

Janet Rosen
01-12-2011, 07:20 AM
Please excuse me:
We don't have such excercise in our aikido.

If you don't mind I would like to learn, what connection you see between such an excercise and the practice of aikido?
What do you think is the "benefit" of such exercises for practicing aikido?

And may I ask whether you do such exercises as part of your regular training? (Which line of aikido do you practice?)

Best wishes,
Carsten

Carsten, good questions... I've answered the best I can; Mary will likely have her own reply.

lbb
01-12-2011, 07:32 AM
Finally... may I ask that a basic level of civility to each other be maintained? Thanks.

That appears to be beyond the abilities of some of our members, who lately seem to believe that they were put on earth to tell others how worthless and wrong everything they do is.

RonRagusa
01-12-2011, 07:34 AM
But until you can describe what you're doing in more physical terms, I think you're going to be met with a fair bit of sarcasm, even from proponents of IS.

I think you're missing the point of the original post Rob. It appears to me that the OP is calling for a simple sharing of peoples' Ki exercises not a debate as to which metaphors best describe Ki.

When a beginning student asks the question 'What is Ki?' I like to proceed as follows:

I have the student stand in natural stance. Then I'll touch the top of her head and ask her to concentrate on the spot I just touched and don't move. I'll push gently just below her collarbone back and slightly down towards her spine. Invariably she will lose balance. After bringing her back to natural stance I'll ask her to concentrate a point about 2 inches below her navel, relax and don't move. I'll test her again with the same force I applied in the first instance. Most often she will keep her balance and not move. If she loses her balance we go back and do it again. Shortly she will find the correct feeling and not move when I push. Continued practice will enable her to strengthen her ability to absorb increasing amounts of force applied.

The exercise is simple, direct and very effective in getting the student to directly experience Ki via the coordination of mind and body.

Ron

Janet Rosen
01-12-2011, 08:16 AM
It appears to me that the OP is calling for a simple sharing of peoples' Ki exercises not a debate as to which metaphors best describe Ki.

Yep. I'm pretty bugged by this recent trend and am about to start a new thread.....

Diana Frese
01-12-2011, 08:48 AM
I used both approaches, the ki metaphors and the just train, in the classes I taught at the local YMCA where I taught years ago.

My husband needs to study for a job related test on this computer so I'll study the thread later and maybe give a couple of examples later. In the meantime, here are two contrasting examples from the ABC's of Aikido my assistants presented me with after I returned from summer camp their first year or so in Aikido.

"A is for Aikido , it's non-violent to learn,
B is for bash, but only when it's your turn
C is for class, which we never will skip
Because D is for Daian and your arm she will rip"

Who knows if they were kidding?

Later, D.

Diana Frese
01-12-2011, 08:55 AM
Oops, sorry, forgot the verse about ki

"K is for ki, some have it, they think,
But if they do not, they wind up and krink"

I don't know if they made up that word, but I kinda knew what they meant. Anyway this should let you know I really tried to teach from both approaches.

Thanks for both points of view, I will read with interest

David Orange
01-12-2011, 09:00 AM
I think the big problem here is in trying to isolate "ki" and bring it into the body from outside, as a separate thing, and then trying to deal with it as a separate thing.

Yes, there is ki of the universe, but for real usage, we need to begin with the ki inside our bodies. In that case, it's important to understand that ki exists as a sort of overlap between the mind and muscles. It travels through the fascia, the muscles, the bones, the skin, the blood, etc., but the "useable" part is between the mental intention and the muscular work. "The mind leads the ki, the ki leads the body."

To raise the arms and "gather energy" is a sort of nice metaphor, but it reminds me of going to church and seeing people with their hands raised to "feel the holy spirit" like it's thick as butter and they can "feel" it with their hands. They actually wave their hands around as if they're stirring something. Nice sentiment. I'd really love to be sunk in a lake full of pure holy spirit. But since it's all within you anyway ("The kingdom of heaven is within you"--Jesus), then the imagery of "gathering energy" with your hands may be less helpful than it seems.

Maybe if you just switch the emphasis from "feeling" an imaginary "energy" that you can gather to actually feeling your own weight in your hands, feeling the weight of the blood in your fingers...then the exercise changes to something useful.

All the rest of the things you mentioned--feeling weight underside, feeling the small adjustments the body automatically makes--are very good.

But the ki we really need and can most effectively interact with is that which is inside our bodies and which cannot be separated from the space between the fascia and the mind. And you can get a lot from searching for that and learning to recognize the difference between the mind and the ki.

But all the weight-underside stuff is great.

For other great stuff, look into silk reeling and traditional tai chi.

Happy New Year.

David

Mary Eastland
01-12-2011, 09:16 AM
Hi David:
Did you try it?
Mary

Janet Rosen
01-12-2011, 09:18 AM
"The mind leads the ki, the ki leads the body."....For other great stuff, look into silk reeling and traditional tai chi.

Yep to both the quote and the suggestion.
The little exposure I've had both to tai chi and, via Mike Sigman, specifically to silk reeling, have helped me develop a better sense/feel for what to be aiming towards while doing the standard ki exercises. As others have said elsewhere, it's theoretically "all there"...

Diana Frese
01-12-2011, 09:18 AM
Now that I've probably managed to annoy both sides of the debate, here's an example:

To test balance two ways, first tell the student to imagine they might have left the stove on at home, and then place your hand on the person's shoulder and try to have them lose balance.

Then tell them to imagine there's something they really want at the other end of the room and then test their balance.

I'm sure you can think of examples of visualization, for those of you interested in ki exercises. Many of you probably use this balance test already and have for years. It was often useful in the YMCA class

As a teacher, I found it was often a problem to teach people to focus forward and this example helped. Especially getting people to focus forward while stepping back.

Janet Rosen
01-12-2011, 09:31 AM
The paired practice I've been doing in my beginner's class for older or mobility challenged folks is the one where you have the jo held in place horizontally between you about shoulder level, not grasping it but using your palm or tegatana (I prefer latter) to keep it suspended. With guidance and reminders to maintain the 4 principles (and to keep breathing....), we start slowly moving around the mat for a couple of minutes. Besides the 4 principles, it is a very good way to practice how to stay extending forward while moving backwards/receiving energy, and also seems somehow easier for newbies to find center to center connection when mediated via the jo.

Mary Eastland
01-12-2011, 09:36 AM
Please excuse me:
We don't have such excercise in our aikido.

If you don't mind I would like to learn, what connection you see between such an excercise and the practice of aikido?
What do you think is the "benefit" of such exercises for practicing aikido?

And may I ask whether you do such exercises as part of your regular training? (Which line of aikido do you practice?)

Best wishes,
Carsten
Hi Carsten:
I train at a small dojo in Berkshire County, Mass USA. My husband Ron Ragusa started this style after studing with Shuji Maruyama (Kokikai Aikido) for 25 years.
Maruyama was a student of Ueshiba and Tohei.
So we are an offshoot of Ki Society and Kokikai.
We trained under the 4 principles of Kokikai:
1. Keep one point.
2. Progressive relaxation.
3. Good posture
4. Positive mind.

We learned a series of Ki exercises to practice every day to make us healthier and to develop strong centers. We were taught if you had one of the 4 principles you had them all.
Two examples of Ki exercises are: rowing motion and ikkyo exercise. There is at least one video of Tohei doing ki exercises on Youtube.
Ki exercises help a student to develop correct feeling which is then incorporated into technique.
I believe this provides a complete training system for compassionate practice and effective self defense.
Mary

Larry Cuvin
01-12-2011, 09:41 AM
I normally do ki breathing, formal or informal just to remind me to relax, at home, at work, while driving and especially when I feel I'm becoming tense.

In Ki Society, we are taught Ki Sho Tenketsu: Ki goes, mind follows; where mind goes body naturaly follows.

AsimHanif
01-12-2011, 09:51 AM
Mary, one class last week we had uke execute a 'bad' ryokatatetori grip on nage...meaning uke is stiff/tight from neck to hands.
The exercise is for uke to progressively relax starting at the top (neck, shoulders, triceps, biceps, elbows, shoulders, wrist) but to keep a firm if not firmer grip on nage's wrist. Nage provides feedback on the experience.
A few were able to relax to the shoulder and upper arm region.
The goal is to be able to put your mind where you want it. From a martial standpoint, to be able to have freedom of movement when needed.

graham christian
01-12-2011, 10:16 AM
I don't eat sugar so a New Year cookie exchange doesn't work for me…how about a favorite Ki exercise exchange?

Here is a one I have been doing every morning. Stand in natural stance, hands at your side. Swing both hands up in front of your chest, gathering energy. Then settle that energy into your body while hands slide into the prayer position in front of your chest. Feel the energy sifting down through your body.
As your hands go into the prayer position… slowly lift one foot… bringing your mind back to your center if you begin to lose balance. Feel how easy it is to keep your balance. Stand that way for some seconds. Put that foot down and lift the other foot as you again sweep your hands gathering energy… your hands again end in the prayer position. Feel the ease of standing on one foot. Stay that way for a few seconds…settled in on one foot. Now slowly come back to both feet, dropping your heavy arms to each side, feeling your body shift at your hips. Do you feel heavy and rooted? Can you feel the movement of your energy? Can you feel the slight shifts your body intuitively makes?

Do you have a favorite Ki exercise to share?
Mary

Hi Mary. I tried the exercise and this is what I found: I found the body relaxed, energy travelled down like a shift of energy leaving the shoulder area and settling at the hips, I felt more centered and my attention went out to the walls and ceiling.

It did, to me anyway, give the same feeling as when standing in kamae ready to receive an attack so I would say it is related from that perspective to Aikido as taught by Ki society etc.

This exercise reminds me of one of the misogi breathing exercises practiced by O'Sensei where he practiced breathing along with shaking his hands and holding them by hara. Anyway I'm sure someone can add more detail than that.

A personal favorite I don't have as I find them all useful. Like others who posted here I use visualization to help someone who gets stuck on any particular exercise like unbendable arm for example. Personally I get each student to always test as instructed and then to tense or resist the test like the hulk or arnie or whatever just so they can see there is a difference.

Regards. G.

Upyu
01-12-2011, 10:31 AM
Different people really do learn body stuff differently. Some people learn best when told to engage their lats and extensors, while others lack the body awareness to understand what that means (my husband and my sister are utterly confounded by the concept that for any given action there are actually multiple muscle combinations to enact it) - but that person may be able to follow through on a suggestion to let their arms float up as if holding a huge inflating beachball - while a third person might connect with the more Pilates-style directive to "move down in order to move up."

I have a pretty good awareness of my internal landscape, if you will, but frankly I have no idea which muscles are behind the changes I feel when I feel myself connecting with the earth through my feet and dropping my center as I walk onto the mat, or what muscles are working or not working in order for me to have intent as I approach my partner or zanshin after throwing somebody. But I know that the changes I make in breathing, posture, and muscle use based on shorthand reminders to myself like "weight underside" or "extend ki" improve my ability to connect with a partner and to throw him by the many small changes I make in my mind/body. As I said, YMMV, but shorthand metaphors do work for me.

Where I train, the "ki exercises" are essentially body movements that are the building blocks of the movements done in taking a partner's balance and throwing, so if done w/ attention to detail, they do build muscle memory of proper movement and body use w/o the pressure of another person


Hey I have no quibble with the use of visualizations etc. My only problem is that I think its use as a learning tool is largely crippled in a written medium. Coupled with hands on show n' tell, sure, it can work.

The reason I thought it'd be better to open a dialogue on the how and why is because there's distinctly different ways of doing the exercise she described. You could do it "locally" with arms only, or do it with the control coming from the tanden, you could do it more "linearly" or involve more "torquing/winding/reeling/spiraling." But depending on how you do it, they turn out to be completely different animals. (Both in terms of what you're conditioning and the mechanics being worked on).

So if you're genuinely interested in "sharing" exercises, I think it would benefit everyone to hash out the details.

Oh, and it doesn't help your case when you have people like Graham contributing to your thread ;)

Janet Rosen
01-12-2011, 10:56 AM
The reason I thought it'd be better to open a dialogue on the how and why is because there's distinctly different ways of doing the exercise she described. You could do it "locally" with arms only, or do it with the control coming from the tanden, you could do it more "linearly" or involve more "torquing/winding/reeling/spiraling." But depending on how you do it, they turn out to be completely different animals. (Both in terms of what you're conditioning and the mechanics being worked on).

Your point is well taken - I fully agree!

Personally, I don't do any exercises with movement originating from the arms (unless I get distracted and have a brain fart....) - all originate in the center/hara/tanden. I find I tend to have smaller arm movements than some folks because while I'd like there to be extension I'm not really into - say on an irimi-tenkan exercise - making big leaps and waving my arms about as much as I'm trying to stay focused on principles.

The degree of linearity vs. spiraling/reeling etc is something I tend to play with just as I might play w/ weighting or other aspects. Feel like I'm just starting to explore the depths....

Ketsan
01-12-2011, 12:19 PM
Hi Carsten:
I train at a small dojo in Berkshire County, Mass USA. My husband Ron Ragusa started this style after studing with Shuji Maruyama (Kokikai Aikido) for 25 years.
Maruyama was a student of Ueshiba and Tohei.
So we are an offshoot of Ki Society and Kokikai.
We trained under the 4 principles of Kokikai:
1. Keep one point.
2. Progressive relaxation.
3. Good posture
4. Positive mind.

We learned a series of Ki exercises to practice every day to make us healthier and to develop strong centers. We were taught if you had one of the 4 principles you had them all.
Two examples of Ki exercises are: rowing motion and ikkyo exercise. There is at least one video of Tohei doing ki exercises on Youtube.
Ki exercises help a student to develop correct feeling which is then incorporated into technique.
I believe this provides a complete training system for compassionate practice and effective self defense.
Mary

Aren't one and three the same? And two and four for that matter.

David Orange
01-12-2011, 05:28 PM
Hi David:
Did you try it?
Mary

Yes. It's fine.

My only comment was about the idea of gathering energy with the hands.

What I've recently recognized is that instead of doing ki exercises, what I want is to exercise my actual ki--work with it directly instead of working with a form in hope of bringing ki in or somehow generating it.

On the other hand, as long as you're exercising your actual ki, the movements you make hardly matter, as long as they conform to the nature of the ki and make it happy.

I am also stopping all talk of ki as an abstract, unliving "power" or "energy". It is life and it has feelings: and they're not always the same as what we "feel" intellectually, i.e., thinking "I won that argument. I feel good." while the ki actually feels somewhat sick.

Now I just want to adhere to what the ki likes because I know that will be good for both my body and my mind.

The other day, I was in the grocery store, stocking up on things before a huge ice storm hit. I saw some pastrami and I thought, "Oh, yeah! Pastrami sandwich!" and I started to reach for it, but I distinctly heard my ki say "YUCK!" And then I thought again, and I had to agree. I did not need to eat any pastrami. So I didn't, and my ki was happy that I had heard its opinion. And "I" felt much better about myself and my ki and I both felt much better because I didn't eat the pastrami.

So if you want to share ki exercises, mine involve paying attention to the life that moves around in me with a certain amount of intelligence and a tremendous amount of feeling. I like to put it through the paces of what it likes to do, observe how it does it and consider how I can synergize on that to produce the effect I intend in the world.

So again, about the exercise you describe, I suggest that rather than (or in addition to) using the image of gathering energy with your hands, you might look for the actual feeling of the weight of the blood in your fingers.

Since I had the insights I describe in the Ki Eureka thread, just a few days ago, I've been doing everything with a new feeling. I followed a movement of ki and it led to a xing yi punch which must have been the hardest xing yi punch I ever did: it felt like the blood inside my hand tried to pop through the skin of my hand from the force when I stopped my fist, as if the blood in my hand were being thrown through the windshield. But you don't have to move fast to pay attention to the weight of the blood in your hands...

Best to you. Didn't know you and Ron were married.

Gassho

David

David Orange
01-12-2011, 05:34 PM
I normally do ki breathing, formal or informal just to remind me to relax, at home, at work, while driving and especially when I feel I'm becoming tense.

In Ki Society, we are taught Ki Sho Tenketsu: Ki goes, mind follows; where mind goes body naturaly follows.

Really? They teach "Ki leads mind and mind leads body"?

Best to you.

David

Janet Rosen
01-12-2011, 06:06 PM
Really? They teach "Ki leads mind and mind leads body"?

Best to you.

David

Can't speak to the poster, but my teacher's original lineage was Tohei Sensei and I' d heard her say that.

phitruong
01-12-2011, 06:51 PM
Can't speak to the poster, but my teacher's original lineage was Tohei Sensei and I' d heard her say that.

really? strange. the chinese martial lore goes with: heart (desire) leads mind. mind leads chi. chi leads li (physical movement, methink. not a chinese person).

phitruong
01-12-2011, 07:16 PM
i don't have a ki exercise. i tend to stay away from ki/chi reference. i have an exercise i learned from a chen taiji teacher recently.

stand in "hug the tree pose" (do google on it). feet shoulder width. knees bend, not too deep. keep your crotch area to be round, sort of a U shape instead of a V shape. the crease areas between your legs and your lower stomach should be soft and relax. weight distributed evenly across the touching surface of your feet. keep your lower back slight bow out back and relax. shoulders relax and round. chest slightly hollow. you might have to rock slightly back and forth to find a position where all your weight seemed to fall down to your ankles. your quads should burn in about 5 minutes, if not, then you are not in the right place. after 20 minutes, if you can still walk, then you are much better than i.

then have someone push slightly on your right shoulder in the direction of your left foot. don't move a millimeter. let your mind open a path from your right shoulder to your left feet. try to stay loose. your body will microscopically readjust its internal structure so that you should only feel slight pressure at the contact points: right shoulder and bottom of left foot. then have that someone switching to the left shoulder and you form a path to your right foot. then switch to pushing the chest toward tail bone, open a path to both feet or either or switch back and forth between the feet. push from the back (the neck and shoulder meet). the lift both the elbows slight light, be heavy. push down on both shoulders, expand up. as these forces applied, you should not physically move, but use your mind to create the path ways. if your body relax enough, your body will do it microscopically forming the paths of your will.

once you have that feeling from the various pushes, you can do standing without the push but imagine that you are and form the path at will. do it with one direction first, for example, left. then add a second direction, say pushes from left and right, i.e. creates path way to both left and right shoulders at the same time. then do it 3, then 4, then 5, then 6. in the end you can set your body to deal with forces in 6 directions: left, right, front, back, up and down.

every now and then, have someone actually apply forces so that you don't start imagining things.

that is the basic. should take a year or two to master if practice diligently. i believed this practice call zhan zhuang.

another type of exercise that is also very good to learn: silk reeling

Alfonso
01-12-2011, 09:05 PM
that is a very good tip from Phi.

the conditioning you can gain from this exercise can inform your technique a lot.

Janet Rosen
01-12-2011, 09:45 PM
Thank you, Phi

Upyu
01-12-2011, 10:41 PM
stand in "hug the tree pose" (do google on it).

Try and inverting the hands so that the thumbs point down, the palms outward. You'll strengthen the "ki" in a different way :D

Seriously though, does anyone think that a move in this direction is so bad?

Upyu
01-12-2011, 11:30 PM
Aren't one and three the same? And two and four for that matter.

I'm surprised no one brought this up, and while I don't necessarily do AIkido, the basic foundation should be the same.

While keeping one point/pressure/ energy in the hara can reinforce good posture/structure, the reverse isn't necessarily true, ie, being structurally sound doesn't mean you have "one-point."

If anyone thinks I'm totally off base here, feel free to say so

dps
01-13-2011, 01:46 AM
stand in "hug the tree pose"

Zhan zhuang,

Post standing,

Tree standing.

Pole standing.

David

thisisnotreal
01-13-2011, 09:35 AM
Seriously though, does anyone think that a move in this direction is so bad?

?
Not sure what you mean.

phitruong
01-13-2011, 09:58 AM
Try and inverting the hands so that the thumbs point down, the palms outward. You'll strengthen the "ki" in a different way :D


good point. be careful though that you don't ended up shrugging your shoulders and tight up your upper body.

and rob, stop talking about ki stuffs or i have to go over there and fajin you to the moon. well, actually, you have to pay for my plane ticket so i can come over to fajin you. no point make it easy for you. :D

Mary Eastland
01-13-2011, 10:03 AM
"I'm surprised no one brought this up, and while I don't necessarily do AIkido, the basic foundation should be the same.

While keeping one point/pressure/ energy in the hara can reinforce good posture/structure, the reverse isn't necessarily true, ie, being structurally sound doesn't mean you have "one-point.If anyone thinks I'm totally off base here, feel free to say so"

I was repeating Kokikai's 4 principles at the time I was training with him..I can't speak for him... I understood it to be for teaching principles and breaking down the process...it worked for me.
Before I could understand keep one point...I could focus on good posture...and many people that seem to understand internal strength seem to struggle with positive mind...which doesn't mean to be happy all the time but to accept what is and move on...FWIW
Mary

SeiserL
01-13-2011, 11:08 AM
the chinese martial lore goes with: heart (desire) leads mind. mind leads chi. chi leads li (physical movement, methink. not a chinese person).
I psychology we are now accepting that mind creates emotions and emotions drive behavior.

In Aikido I was taught that where ever the head goes the body follows.

Aim and intent matter.

Upyu
01-13-2011, 11:27 AM
good point. be careful though that you don't ended up shrugging your shoulders and tight up your upper body.

and rob, stop talking about ki stuffs or i have to go over there and fajin you to the moon. well, actually, you have to pay for my plane ticket so i can come over to fajin you. no point make it easy for you. :D

Heh, that goes without saying, I'm sure you know.

And if you develop enough power to send me to the moon I'll market you as the new alternative energy source.
Get werkin on that backbow of yours :D

Upyu
01-13-2011, 11:29 AM
[I]
I was repeating Kokikai's 4 principles at the time I was training with him..I can't speak for him... I understood it to be for teaching principles and breaking down the process...it worked for me.
Before I could understand keep one point...I could focus on good posture...and many people that seem to understand internal strength seem to struggle with positive mind...which doesn't mean to be happy all the time but to accept what is and move on...FWIW
Mary

Ok, just so I don't jump the gun, could you lay out what you feel constitutes "good posture"?

phitruong
01-13-2011, 11:33 AM
I psychology we are now accepting that mind creates emotions and emotions drive behavior..

mind creates emotions? you got anything on that for light reading? very interesting in those sort of things. not in psychology fields, but just interest in it.

Upyu
01-13-2011, 11:35 AM
I psychology we are now accepting that mind creates emotions and emotions drive behavior.

In Aikido I was taught that where ever the head goes the body follows.

Aim and intent matter.

Lynn,
The difference is that Phi's description (while cribbed from however many different generic IS poems, songs, whatever you want to call them) is about a concrete physical process. The entire act of leading "Chi"/"Ki" isn't something that someone can say "well I think it works this way" (something Phi probably already knows). When someone quotes something that runs contrary to what physically happens, well lets just say it doesn't put a positive spin on said person's understanding.

While it may come off as sounding like the "IS" nazis being afoot again...I can't help but call it as I see it.

mathewjgano
01-13-2011, 11:56 AM
I psychology we are now accepting that mind creates emotions and emotions drive behavior.

In Aikido I was taught that where ever the head goes the body follows.

Aim and intent matter.

The difference is that Phi's description...is about a concrete physical process...When someone quotes something that runs contrary to what physically happens, well lets just say it doesn't put a positive spin on said person's understanding.
I'm pretty sure Lynn's comments, being based on a scientific approach, can be described as a "concrete physical process" too. Doesn't that suggest the difference must be described somewhat differently, then?

Mary Eastland
01-13-2011, 12:01 PM
No Robert. I won't...we both know what good posture is. I won't have you tell me again that I just don't get it and you do. I understand just fine. I am not trying to compete with you...I started a thead for sharing not tearing apart.
My process may be different from yours. It doesn't make your process better...just different.
Mary

Keith Larman
01-13-2011, 12:03 PM
The entire act of leading "Chi"/"Ki"

I think for many the feeling is that adopting a mindset of "intent" to do something tends to cause them to subtly change their physicality. One fella once told me to put my arm up and put out my index finger. Then he said to point at something my finger was already pointing at but don't change your outside appearance. So the feeling like you're actually "extending" without any sort of external evidence rather than just holding your arm and finger up. You feel a difference inside your body, you feel a change in how you're aligned, connected, etc. (assuming you're doing it correctly).

Of course the problem here is that this is just a use of a metaphor (extending/leading) to get someone to change a fundamental aspect of how they present/hold their body. And many confuse the metaphor with the goal of using the metaphor. And it assumes there is sufficient development/sensitivity to understand it when it happens.

Not sure I'm making myself clear, but there you go...

Keith Larman
01-13-2011, 12:07 PM
Oops... The point being that the mind gives the intent which allows one to "extend ki". Personally I think it *should* be about everything happening at once, simultaneously, all the time and is more about developing a different physicality, structure, alignment, etc. But to "get" there one has to adopt various methods of engaging so others can feel what you're talking about.

Or something like that.

Or now that I reread this and my last post... I give up. I'm gonna go work instead.

Mary Eastland
01-13-2011, 12:16 PM
I just did that Keith, very interesting...I could feel the change...it was like my finger came alive...and i could see and feel clearer(sort of, don't yell at me everybody) ;o)
One time at a camp my teacher told me to make the spot under my shoulder where uke was pushing really hard, feel like a piece of steel and repell him with it...I did and he moved off me like he was pushed. I had only moved very slightly and the pain of the hard push in that area went away.
Mary

DH
01-13-2011, 12:27 PM
It's interesting to watch people holding themselves together mentally in ways they have never done before or thought possible, then in seeing them moving. This past weekend I got a young man to generate great stability standing in Mabu. He was using mental intent which controlled his body in a certain manner. He was focusing and doing extremely well. All of a sudden people were laughing because he was so focused on working on certain points that he completely forgot he was being pushed on with ever increasing force. When he looked around at everyone...he lost his intent...he got knocked back on his heels and fell apart. Over time that connection becomes conditioned.
.
It is worth mentioning that while certain aspects become automatic, others latent conditioning; always it is the mind that controls change. It's not just about projecting all-out or all-in. Nor will that solve all of your problems. The beauty and the complexity is in the quality of change...to make change, at speed, at a touch and to be able to follow that control.
Cheers
Dan

DH
01-13-2011, 12:41 PM
I just did that Keith, very interesting...I could feel the change...it was like my finger came alive...and i could see and feel clearer(sort of, don't yell at me everybody ) ;o)
One time at a camp my teacher told me to make the spot under my shoulder where uke was pushing really hard, feel like a piece of steel and repell him with it...I did and he moved off me like he was pushed. I had only moved very slightly and the pain of the hard push in that area went away.
Mary
Hello Mary
Okay...so don't yell at me either.
You are discussing concrete results aren't you? Are you yourself open...to the idea that someone else might know a better way?
Are...we...all open...to the idea that generations of people before us were all working this stuff out with concrete results in mind too, and that they might have arrived at conclusions as to what is better than others?
It's good to have an open mind about things, but you can end up stumbling around trying to explain and figure out why every time something rolls off the table it ends up on the ground...only to discover the answer was all laid out long before we showed up to the party.
How do we arrive at a point where we can talk about what actually is better without hurt feelings or "attachments" to things we have been doing for decades?
I will be the first to admit I am learning and trying hard to figure out how to be better at getting that message across while preserving the dignity of someone who really was not being too efficient at their work. So far, I've yet to meet the aikido teacher who after training with me wanted to EVER go back to what they were doing before. But heres the thing, When I met the man who showed me these things ...I...didn't want to change and thought I knew better. I even quit once because I was convinced I knew a better way.
In the end he was right and I was wrong. and there actually WAS a better way to do things after all.
I am going to earnestly try to get better at expressing that, as it started with my own failure in being convinced that there were many ways and not an already established foundation..
Please do not read negativity in this post-or at least accept that it is NOT my intent to do so! Were we to meet and you had a better way..I would do it in a heart beat. Why? Because...we...are all after concrete results and not about dividing ourselves into camps, right?
All the best
Dan

Keith Larman
01-13-2011, 12:50 PM
I just did that Keith, very interesting...I could feel the change...it was like my finger came alive...and i could see and feel clearer(sort of, don't yell at me everybody) ;o)
One time at a camp my teacher told me to make the spot under my shoulder where uke was pushing really hard, feel like a piece of steel and repell him with it...I did and he moved off me like he was pushed. I had only moved very slightly and the pain of the hard push in that area went away.
Mary

Glad you could feel it.

We broke away from Ki Society, wow, 30 years ago this year. Our late Sensei, Rod Kobayashi, changed the translations of the 4 principles slightly to reflect his understanding of what Tohei meant in Japanese with his principles. Remember we are dealing with translations here.

He kept "Keep one-point".

But he changed "Weight underside" to "Settle down". I think there were some extra connotations of "settle down" in English that Kobayashi liked. But it also reflected to some extent the idea that it's not about getting everything low, but to let things settle into their "proper" place. Of course that begs the question of what "proper" means, but that's for another discussion.

He changed "relax completely" to "controlled relaxation". Which I think was a good change as well since it conveyed the meaning of relaxing the muscle but not losing control.

But the one pertinent to this discussion was "extend ki". Kobayashi preferred "let your ki flow" as a better translation/rendering of the principle in English. Extend tends to imply a single direction. Or a "aim and fire" kinda thing. My understanding of the principle involves more of a notion of simply "engaging" as in the example I gave above. In general it doesn't have a single direction but involves being in a state all over in all directions at once all the time.

Anyway, this is all my understanding mixed with my own WAS (wild *ssed speculation), especially after having spent a bit of time scratching the surface of stuff being taught by some of the wild and crazy guys out there doing IS stuffs.

Kinda interesting sometime to look back on what you learned and find that some things may have been there all along "hidden in plain sight" (Now where have I heard that before?). :)

phitruong
01-13-2011, 01:36 PM
Heh, that goes without saying, I'm sure you know.

And if you develop enough power to send me to the moon I'll market you as the new alternative energy source.
Get werkin on that backbow of yours :D

i know that and you know that, but other folks might not. i don't want folks to complaint to me that i didn't give all the relevant information which force me to be oliver newton john and get physical! :)

Budd
01-13-2011, 01:37 PM
Kieth, that's a good start in the whole "extension" process and how the baby steps can be trainined. As that gets refined your body gets more connected as a single unit - which then allows the increasingly trained legs and middle to convey the powers of the "ki of heaven/earth" throughout the connected body (via breath, intent, etc.).

I generally think *any* ki exercise needs to be concretely be contributing towards the above in a measurable way - such that it becomes your body's natural mode of operation. These days specific exercises that I like to tune this stuff would be letting my body "hang" on virtually anything I touch . . ..almost to the point where I'm off balance, then staying at the near-tipping point for an uncomforable bit. Another is to touch something/anything/anyone and immediately have my middle/hara connected in such a way that when I move (depending on which of us/things are more grounded) either me or something/someone will be pushed away - then hovering at that tipping point for an uncomfortable period of time.

Both these exercises (along with the basic foot in the door exercises that start to rewire your body) will train "extending ki" as part of your intent. The idea is to get so subtle and powerful in your expression that nobody sees you "change" your ki, but it can be brought to and through any point in space in an instant.

Keith Larman
01-13-2011, 01:50 PM
Mary, another quick thought.

Next time you're in the dojo practicing some wrist grabbing technique, extend your arm the same way as in the exercise *before* being grabbed. See if you feel more solid and connected at the very moment they touch you. Now try to keep that feeling throughout the execution of the technique. Ideally that feeling should be everywhere allowing you to move "unified" with a minimal amount of muscle, leaning, etc.

Just fwiw.

DH
01-13-2011, 02:03 PM
Mary, another quick thought.

Next time you're in the dojo practicing some wrist grabbing technique, extend your arm the same way as in the exercise *before* being grabbed. See if you feel more solid and connected at the very moment they touch you. Now try to keep that feeling throughout the execution of the technique. Ideally that feeling should be everywhere allowing you to move "unified" with a minimal amount of muscle, leaning, etc.
Just fwiw.
True... accept that there are ways to do THAT. that are not at all limited to "just" extending or absorbing, asagao (morning glory hand) being an outward example of what is going on... on the inside. Again all-out or all-in is really a VERY simplistic starting point, necessary yes, but just a first step. Even with that, you can have all manner of errors and breaking points appearing in your body that prevent you from moving on. There are established and defined things others before us identified as obstacles and things to look for and avoid. You can literally beat yourself up inside and greatly diminish power-out or the ability to make change by "moving" the wrong way internally.
Just sayin
Dan

Keith Larman
01-13-2011, 02:06 PM
True... accept that there are ways to do THAT. that are not at all limited to "just" extending or absorbing. Again all-out or all-in is really a VERY simplistic starting point, necessary yes, but just a first step. Even with that, you can have all manner of errors and breaking points appearing in your body that prevent you from moving on. There are established and defined things others before us identified as obstacles and things to look for and avoid. You can literally beat yourself up inside and greatly diminish power-out or the ability to make change by "moving" the wrong way internally.
Just sayin
Dan

No argument and no doubt about it, just trying to give something as a starting point for a conversation... Or maybe hopefully a small aha moment for someone. If not.. No worries either.
:)

Janet Rosen
01-13-2011, 02:11 PM
Mary, another quick thought.

Next time you're in the dojo practicing some wrist grabbing technique, extend your arm the same way as in the exercise *before* being grabbed. See if you feel more solid and connected at the very moment they touch you. Now try to keep that feeling throughout the execution of the technique. Ideally that feeling should be everywhere allowing you to move "unified" with a minimal amount of muscle, leaning, etc.

Just fwiw.

You mean there are people NOT doing that extension/having intent the moment they decide to offer the arm for a grab? EEK!

Re "wt underside" vs. "settle down" - interesting. I find working w/ newbies that on basic exercises the former is a handy phrase for what becomes a dropping relaxation and the feelin of extending via extensors rather than thrusting out from stiff shoulder and engaging flexors. But certainly settling down is a good reminder as well.

Mary Eastland
01-13-2011, 02:37 PM
Our whole training is based on this...Dan, I respect your ideas...everytime you are invited to the Berkshires you dissapear or change the subject. Is it becuase Ron and I have invited you to exhange ideas and not be students? I think if you visited us with an open mind you might be surprised.
We are training in the parameters in what we believe Aikido to be...I think that is different than what you are doing. The development of a strong center is part of the process...not the only focus of it.
Mary

Keith Larman
01-13-2011, 02:39 PM
You mean there are people NOT doing that extension/having intent the moment they decide to offer the arm for a grab? EEK!

Actually didn't mean to imply that. Just meant to use the initial exercise and try to instantiate the same feeling backwards from it. For all I know that's what they're already doing, just basically making the initial thought more complete.

Mary Eastland
01-13-2011, 02:41 PM
That is the way i took it,Keith...it is all about the connection...it's nice to talk about without the thread going into poo...

DH
01-13-2011, 02:49 PM
Our whole training is based on this...Dan, I respect your ideas...everytime you are invited to the Berkshires you dissapear or change the subject. Is it becuase Ron and I have invited you to exhange ideas and not be students? I think if you visited us with an open mind you might be surprised.
We are training in the parameters in what we believe Aikido to be...I think that is different than what you are doing. The development of a strong center is part of the process...not the only focus of it.
Mary
Oh heck no Mary
I have been very very busy.
I am very open to sharing ideas. Since I don't think any one person has it all, and also even with a common goal I think we will find that people can have neat little tricks and tips they developed to get it.

Remember...and no kidding...I don't have "students," nor any agenda of making students either. Here is a an idea to help frame my mindset. I have closed my dojo twice when too many people were showing up, I refuse to be called sensei and I don't charge money for local people to train. SO that sort of blows up the recruiting idea doesn't it? EIther that or I suck at it.:D
Do I have to come alone or can we have a dojo meet up? I Have some great guys and gals who might want to make the trip out to the beautiful country.
I will P.M my cell and info.
Hey I also offered to meet you here as well and you never showed;) .
All the best
Dan
.

Mary Eastland
01-13-2011, 03:33 PM
We have a dojo right at our house. I thought about coming out your way...but I am 53 and want to keep training until I am least ninety...I wasn't sure what I would be walking into.
mary

DH
01-13-2011, 03:47 PM
We have a dojo right at our house. I thought about coming out your way...but I am 53 and want to keep training until I am least ninety...I wasn't sure what I would be walking into.
mary
Oh Good God...erase any thoughts of worry. I have two smaller women who train with me in their 40's and they are in one piece and would kick my ass if I every hurt you!!:D I'm more afraid of them than they are of me. Seriously though, we don't need to do anything even approaching martial arts technique so that's not even a concern, and hey...after meeting me..you would crack up at the very idea of being nervous about me. I'll give you fifteen minutes before you guys feel comfortable enough to start laughing.
What we do makes you healthier and stronger. Like I said, if you are working on a ki model and we are as well, it stands to reason we can talk and work on some level. Think of how many mental and physical "tricks" you have worked on to reach those concrete goals? See what I mean?
All the best
Dan

Marc Abrams
01-13-2011, 03:49 PM
We have a dojo right at our house. I thought about coming out your way...but I am 53 and want to keep training until I am least ninety...I wasn't sure what I would be walking into.
mary

Mary,

You would be walking into a place where there is humor, honesty, caring and great learning. I believe that what Dan can teach us can truly assist us in being able to practice until at least ninety ;) !

Marc Abrams

SeiserL
01-13-2011, 04:10 PM
mind creates emotions? you got anything on that for light reading? very interesting in those sort of things. not in psychology fields, but just interest in it.
Any of the cognitive psychology text.
I prefer the work in NLP.
Check the library.

SeiserL
01-13-2011, 04:13 PM
I'm pretty sure Lynn's comments, being based on a scientific approach, can be described as a "concrete physical process" too. Doesn't that suggest the difference must be described somewhat differently, then?
Lets not forget the concept of body and mind unification.

IMHI, our physical structure, alignment, and movement should be in the same direction as our intent, intensity, and aim.

Keith Larman
01-13-2011, 04:31 PM
I think some of the real greats in Aikido built a body and set of abilities through whatever means they used to get there. Tohei started off with Judo, a very strong build, low center of gravity, then went into some shinto rituals as well as yoga. So here's a guy who worked very hard, became extremely proficient in a variety of things before he started Aikido, and he managed to move forward very quickly. If he built up all these internal connections, abilities, etc. through his training then what we see in his principles are his *take* on what he felt and were his way of trying to communicate the essence of what he thought he was doing. So he's describing things in the terms he understood in the way he understood them.

So 'extending' ki "feels like" what I described above in a very limited way. It was his way of describing the feelings he had in his body when he did these things. The problem, of course, is that if one requires some significant amount of training to develop the underlying physical structures in order to do these things then most who weren't "forged" through the same training/experiences may not be able to feel what seems intuitively obvious to those who have. So Tohei came up with his tests in order to help "stack the deck" and allow people a glimpse of what was underlying what he was doing.

What I mentioned to Dan is that these greats developed abilities and used whatever words they had to try to describe what they felt. The disconnect is that the students, absent that underlying physicality, have no idea what the hell the guy is talking about. Or else they end up focusing on the mystical side of things and miss an entire spectrum of very real things going on. So we get the "omote" of what they were doing without all the underlying, chewy, tasty bits that made it *really* good.

So things like "mind/body unification", "intent", "extending ki" etc. all described actual things they were doing physically with very real "stuff" and really in fact had nothing to do with "sending energy" or "Flowing energy", etc. It had more to do with an inability to convey a genuine physical phenomena since what they feel in their bodies is absent in the bodies of the students.

So while the ki exercises are great tools, they have to be done in a certain way to really get any benefit from them. There are so many traps and hazards along the way to get deluded that one must be very careful and hopefully have a good teacher to help you get there.

So the exercises like Phi mentioned, silk reeling, universal exercises, mabo, some of the cool stuff I've seen Toby Threadgill do (forgetting the names, sorry), exercises for walking, stretching, suburi, all done correctly aren't really about "getting ki to flow" but are really about building a physicality that is able to do things that "feel like" ki is flowing (when lacking a better vocabulary to describe it).

Or this might just sound seriously reasonable to me now because I just took a serious painkiller...

phitruong
01-13-2011, 04:42 PM
Any of the cognitive psychology text.
I prefer the work in NLP.
Check the library.

thanks. will have to check that out.

phitruong
01-13-2011, 04:50 PM
So things like "mind/body unification", "intent", "extending ki" etc. all described actual things they were doing physically with very real "stuff" and really in fact had nothing to do with "sending energy" or "Flowing energy", etc. It had more to do with an inability to convey a genuine physical phenomena since what they feel in their bodies is absent in the bodies of the students.

So while the ki exercises are great tools, they have to be done in a certain way to really get any benefit from them. There are so many traps and hazards along the way to get deluded that one must be very careful and hopefully have a good teacher to help you get there.

So the exercises like Phi mentioned, silk reeling, universal exercises, mabo, some of the cool stuff I've seen Toby Threadgill do (forgetting the names, sorry), exercises for walking, stretching, suburi, all done correctly aren't really about "getting ki to flow" but are really about building a physicality that is able to do things that "feel like" ki is flowing (when lacking a better vocabulary to describe it).


couldn't have said it better (maybe with an accent :) )

one of the reason i stayed away from talking about ki/chi flow and such, because folks have the tendency to go mystical and spiritual on me. if that works for folks, great, but not work for me.

DH
01-13-2011, 05:10 PM
A couple of people have noted that they are:
"Working on a strong center."
"Extending ki."
"Being strong and stable."
IP is not aiki, It is a critical and essential part but it is not aiki and never will be. It is just a first step. It's one of the reasons I differentiate what Tohei was doing from Ueshiba and why I say "Nage...moving around uke.... is full speed in the wrong direction."
Cheers
Dan

Janet Rosen
01-13-2011, 05:12 PM
So 'extending' ki "feels like" what I described above in a very limited way. It was his way of describing the feelings he had in his body when he did these things.... So things like "mind/body unification", "intent", "extending ki" etc. all described actual things they were doing physically with very real "stuff" and really in fact had nothing to do with "sending energy" or "Flowing energy", etc. It had more to do with an inability to convey a genuine physical phenomena since what they feel in their bodies is absent in the bodies of the students....So while the ki exercises are great tools, they have to be done in a certain way to really get any benefit from them. ..... aren't really about "getting ki to flow" but are really about building a physicality that is able to do things that "feel like" ki is flowing (when lacking a better vocabulary to describe it).

Or this might just sound seriously reasonable to me now because I just took a serious painkiller...

Yknow, Keith, you just might need to take painkillers more often (JUST KIDDING!!!!) because I think you are right on - its what I mean when I talk about shorthand or metaphor describing an actual physical change.

Chris Li
01-13-2011, 05:29 PM
We have a dojo right at our house. I thought about coming out your way...but I am 53 and want to keep training until I am least ninety...I wasn't sure what I would be walking into.
mary

We had two women a fair bit older than that when Dan was in Hawaii - and they had a great time!

Best,

Chris

Ketsan
01-13-2011, 05:47 PM
I'm surprised no one brought this up, and while I don't necessarily do AIkido, the basic foundation should be the same.

While keeping one point/pressure/ energy in the hara can reinforce good posture/structure, the reverse isn't necessarily true, ie, being structurally sound doesn't mean you have "one-point."

If anyone thinks I'm totally off base here, feel free to say so

How would you tell the difference between one point and good structure?

DH
01-13-2011, 06:00 PM
How would you tell the difference between one point and good structure?

You can be successfully moving from the center but your conditioning is not yet fully developed. One way I show this is to have people push on me and i turn into jello man yet they can't move me...then I start to walk through them without tossing them to show no power out...then start to bounce them all over the place or draw them in. It is the level of conditioning between tanden and the rest of the body, and how to fill it and drain it, what pulls what, what pushes what, that determines good internal power. Anywhere in there you can see people doing a good job of trying and...
Their hips are tight and they lose connection
Shoulders are tight they separate from the body under stress
Scapulars separate from the body....phht there goes the power
Body breaks between sternum and center...phht...
They move and their weight goes on to one foot before it shifts to the other ...loss of power and easier to throw them'
They move...from...their hips generating power there. Easy to read easier to throw them too.

HOW...you use that structure is where you get into aiki. And there are some complex and wonderful ways to do that that in and of themselves can truly be vexing.
Cheers
Dan

Upyu
01-13-2011, 06:27 PM
No Robert. I won't...we both know what good posture is. I won't have you tell me again that I just don't get it and you do. I understand just fine. I am not trying to compete with you...I started a thead for sharing not tearing apart.
My process may be different from yours. It doesn't make your process better...just different.
Mary

Actually Mary, I really did want to make sure what your views were on the matter. Not to put you down, but to disagree if it there was something "to" disagree on.
I'd be the first to admit i confused what I perceived to be "good posture" to equate to IS, and I think it can be potentially misleading for the many beginners out there.

Let me rephrase then, what I wanted to ask is, could you have "good posture" whilst being bent over backwards? That to me, would clarify where you're coming from,

Scouts honor i won't put you down ;)

thisisnotreal
01-13-2011, 06:40 PM
Consider: posture vs. rules of the road (as I've heard it put)

posture to this lady (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yYJ4hEYudE) is different compared to 'good posture' (which are 'rules', in fact) to this martial art. (http://web.me.com/dnotman/Xin_Yi_Liu_He_Quan/SONGS.html)
(jump down to 'seven key point', and read until 'ten eyes')

i don't think this stuff is obvious.

and...what are the 'rules' for aikido, anyway..

Mary Eastland
01-13-2011, 07:55 PM
"Let me rephrase then, what I wanted to ask is, could you have "good posture" whilst being bent over backwards? That to me, would clarify where you're coming from, "

It would depend on how my posture was...(I'm not trying to be difficult)
I have external posture and internal posture. My posture can be excellant in a clumsy position and can be off when it looks perfect. Do you know what I am talking about?
Mary

Thomas Campbell
01-13-2011, 07:59 PM
Consider: posture vs. rules of the road (as I've heard it put)

posture to this lady (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yYJ4hEYudE) is different compared to 'good posture' (which are 'rules', in fact) to this martial art. (http://web.me.com/dnotman/Xin_Yi_Liu_He_Quan/SONGS.html)
(jump down to 'seven key point', and read until 'ten eyes')

i don't think this stuff is obvious.

and...what are the 'rules' for aikido, anyway..

http://i247.photobucket.com/albums/gg158/MDA2008/Picture4-11.png

This is Dan in the woods of New England before he took up TSKSR.

http://i247.photobucket.com/albums/gg158/MDA2008/MDA2009/Ubong.jpg

This is David Orange having breakfast.

http://i247.photobucket.com/albums/gg158/MDA2008/MDA2009/babyStanding.jpg

This is inspiration to suck in my qi belly, tuck in my chin a bit and float my head, and let my scapulae softly slide down and towards each other.

http://i247.photobucket.com/albums/gg158/MDA2008/MDA2009/Maya100310.jpg

I don't know what the "rules of the road" are for aikido, but I strongly suggest looking at video clips of Derek's teacher from the point of view of posture in motion before reifying the "Seven Key Points" from that site. As stated, whether because of the translation or because of the lack of people's familiarity with the context of Xinyi Liuhe Quan teaching, the points may not accurate for Chinese internal martial arts. Two that are often misunderstood are the directives to "depress" or "hollow" the chest and "round" the shoulders/back (i.e., hanxiong ba bei). The points are probably better understood as partial statements of dynamic relationships between head, shoulders . . . and the rest of an internally-connected body.

Another branch of Xinyi Liuhe Quan states the points as follows:

There are a very strict set of principles that must be addressed from day one, they are as outlined in the Dai Xin Yi Quan quan pu.

Hu Bao Tau (Tiger Leopard Head)

Hou Bei (Monkey Back)

Ying Bang (Eagle Shoulders)

Han Xion (compress chest)

Gu Kua (sink hip)

Bao Jiang (wrap shoulder)

Wei Lu (tuck tailbone)

I will go over them very briefly and as my knowledge of these principles grows I will add information as time allows.

Hu Bao Tau (Tiger/Leopard Head). The reason the head is addressed in this way as when you are expanded or standing straight up in “squatting monkey” the chin is neutral or to be more correct is tucked in slightly, keeping the cervical vertebrae (neck) in alignment, just as a tigers head does not move around. The head should have the feeling of being suspended and the Bai Hui Shu (meeting of all the points) should feel as if hanging off a string.

The eyes in this position should focus on a distant point on the wall, straight in front of you, with the intention as neutral as possible.

The other aspect expressed is the (Bao) or the Leopard. This reflects a leopard tilting it’s head up and surveying for prey. In the “squatting monkey” this is expressed by tilting the chin up, while you are squatting.

The eyes in this position should now be looking up, due to the fact that when you squat you are still looking at the focal point you were focussing on when you were standing straight up.

Hou Bei (Monkey Back), this is something which is merely a consequence of other postural requirements held properly.

The upper back should have a natural curve in it, it should not be straight, even though the spine is in correct alignment and erect. This curve will usually only be present when the chest is in the right position.

Ying Bang (Eagle Shoulders), so called due to the Eagle dropping it’s wings. In Dai Xin Yi Quan this is achieved by keeping the elbows tucked in protecting the ribs and also due to the tight contracted position (shu) one seeks to achieve before delivery.

Han Xiong (compress the chest). This attribute is only really achieved when several postural requirements are held in check. The focus should not be on compressing the chest as this may cause unnecessary strain on the lungs or heart, so it should be subtle, though enough to be insubstantial (hollow).

Gu Kua (sinking the hip). The Kua or the hip should be soft and able to sink and relax, instead of being tight or restrictive, which shall hinder the low posture required.

Bao Jiang (wrap shoulders) This is called so by the shoulders squeezing together, which is evident in “dun hou shi”, but should also be present in all other Dai movements.

Wei Lu (tuck tailbone) Maybe one of the most obvious, but maybe overlooked or underestimated requirement is the tucking of the tailbone. Though simple in theory in practice is another thing all together, once you squat to the maximum, the buttocks will want to protrude easing the load off the legs. You need to roll the pelvis basin and tuck the tailbone as much as you can and more when you have control of that area.

http://daixinyi.blogspot.com/2008/09/dun-hou-shi-squatting-monkey.html

"Good posture" is definitely a good starting point for becoming aware of a balanced state while standing upright in the gravitational field . . . but it's just a starting point. Whether exercising for health or moving in a situation of physical conflict, the body is going to depart from finishing-school balance-the-book-on-top-of-the-head posture. What your body/mind can do away from that balanced state is one measure of your internal connection and strength-skill.

For example . . . http://pixhost.info/avaxhome/85/c0/0018c085_medium.jpeg

Andrew Macdonald
01-13-2011, 08:15 PM
Hi Mary

Excellent question. I think these sort of exerices and practices are very important but seem to have been forgotten or at the very least not practiced by most aikido schools

My favoured exercise for this is the previously mentioned zhan zhuang or standing post. the most common of posture of this is the "hug the tree" posture i have also heard it reffered to as the three circles qigong posture however, the posture that you adopt is far less important than the way that you adopt it, I myself have seen around 11 different postures used and i read that in tradtional teachings there were more than 200!

so that taken in to account you could easliy use an aikido posture for the exercise. when i am doing my practice i settle intomy posture and make sure that i am as aligned as i can be, then relax, let a heaviness come over my body and use only as much muscle as i need to to not fall over. most importantly breath, I have heard mention of ki breathing in this thread but i am not too such what that breathing method is, depending a persons level of such exercises they usually begin with abdominal breath then move on to reverse breathing, reverse breathing in my humble opion in where all the good stuff is. most people try to hold the positon for anything up to 40 mins, but it need to be more than 10 to get into the groove.

after I became comfortable with this practce i continued on to 'xing zhuang' or moving post. to do this i kept my hands in the fixed postion but started to walk forward, keeping the relaxation and breathing focus, not tensing/using any muscles that i wasn;t using again i tried to do this for about 40 mins.

the boat rowing exercise in aikido is also a very good practice for this, if you do it for long enough and you pay attetion to you posture and breathing through out.

through all the exercsies I keep my intention on my dan tian, except the rowwing where it try to drive forward with my intention, the chinese classics say intention leads the qi and the qi leads the strength.

benefits i have got from these exercises:

improved power
improved foundation and structure
more focused mind
greater knowledge of my body
sensationof greater qi flow or atleast it flows better to where i want it

it is still quite early in the morning for me here, i hope that everything made sense and i didn't ramble too much

Ketsan
01-13-2011, 08:21 PM
You can be successfully moving from the center but your conditioning is not yet fully developed. One way I show this is to have people push on me and i turn into jello man yet they can't move me...then I start to walk through them without tossing them to show no power out...then start to bounce them all over the place or draw them in. It is the level of conditioning between tanden and the rest of the body, and how to fill it and drain it, what pulls what, what pushes what, that determines good internal power. Anywhere in there you can see people doing a good job of trying and...
Their hips are tight and they lose connection
Shoulders are tight they separate from the body under stress
Scapulars separate from the body....phht there goes the power
Body breaks between sternum and center...phht...
They move and their weight goes on to one foot before it shifts to the other ...loss of power and easier to throw them'
They move...from...their hips generating power there. Easy to read easier to throw them too.

HOW...you use that structure is where you get into aiki. And there are some complex and wonderful ways to do that that in and of themselves can truly be vexing.
Cheers
Dan

Nope, still perplexed. Thanks though.

Upyu
01-13-2011, 08:23 PM
"Let me rephrase then, what I wanted to ask is, could you have "good posture" whilst being bent over backwards? That to me, would clarify where you're coming from, "

It would depend on how my posture was...(I'm not trying to be difficult)
I have external posture and internal posture. My posture can be excellant in a clumsy position and can be off when it looks perfect. Do you know what I am talking about?
Mary

Sure, I'd buy that. Then having "good posture" is more akin to having "good internal posture," with good external posture being a result?

Btw, I'm purposely throwing out what defines "good internal posture" for now, but my only point was to differentiate the two, so I'd be in agreement with the concept.

RonRagusa
01-14-2011, 11:09 PM
Sure, I'd buy that. Then having "good posture" is more akin to having "good internal posture," with good external posture being a result?

Internal posture and external posture reflect and reinforce one another. They are distinct by not separate in the same way that the two sides of a coin are distinct yet not separate. Good posture (in the combined sense) is a product of both good internal posture and good external posture.

Ron