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Bruce Baker
05-24-2002, 07:04 AM
Although we don't do this in Aikido in the literal sense of the words, The Stomach lesson is a very harsh way to weed out the wanna be's from those who have a deeper commitment to studying martial arts.

Simply, the student is punched in the stomach hard enough to take their breath away. Old school? Maybe, but at some point in your life this situation will present itself in either pain, or lack of breath ... what are you going to do when it presents itself?

There won't be a break to stop, there won't be a sensei to moderate and modify, and somehow you are gonna have to reach into the well and pull yourself together.

How many of you, presently in Aikido, have had the stomach lesson?

If you experienced it in another type of training, how did it affect you to continue or change to another martial art?

How does this lesson relate to your present class or group of training compatriot's?

SeiserL
05-24-2002, 09:00 AM
Greetings,

Yes, in some harder "bashing" styles we learned to take a punch. We also learned not to flinch when someone punches at your head. Which meant when people atemi my head, I get slapped in the face a lot. IMHO, it is wiser to bob and heave or enter and blend than the habituate in getting hit. I tend to want to learn how to hit and how not to be hit in return.

Until again,

Lynn
Nidan Tenshinkai Aikido
Lucaylucay Kali JKD

nmarques
05-24-2002, 11:56 AM
From my kickboxing times almost five years ago wich ended because of my enlistment in the Army, we had something my Master called "Golden Glove", wich consisted in, you stand in a combat position with your hands on the back of your head (hostage style) with your rear foot next to a wall so you couldnt step back and took 2 serious of punches in your stomach, not what you say but a serious of punches, the last one usually hurted like hell, but in kickboxing and thai boxing, thats a known point. You take it and smile.

I just started to practice aikido, for what I can say at the moment after the first lesson, all my expectations were wrong, in fact I feel sorry for not starting it earlier. If I compare at this point kickboxing with aikido, it appears that kickboxing is just another "hammering" style while aikido is a art, the beauty wich my Sensei's moved around almost like a dance, the non appliance of extreme force like in kickboxing and at the same time just seing the natural reaction of your body to some conditions, it is awesome.

The people are nice, the whole class changed language from Dutch/Japanese to English/Japanese just because of me, the open minded people attending to it, it is just awesome, it is far more than a sport or martial art. I am amazed.

Regards,

nelson

batemanb
05-28-2002, 07:00 PM
I have spent my entire Aikido life learning to move, tenkan, step off the line so that I don`t get hit, or at best take a glancing blow if I`m too slow. Why would I stand and take a full punch to the stomach? How does that prove that I am a serious practicioner :confused:

Being able to absorb a punch to the stomach or blow to the head may help if you practice karate or boxing, tae kwon do etc. but I don`t think that it is neccessary for aikido training.

I`ve had the wind knocked out of me a time or two, not easy to deal with, not something that I try to make a habit of either, so for me, I say don`t get hit.

Just my two yen.

Arianah
05-28-2002, 08:11 PM
Originally posted by Bruce Baker
The Stomach lesson is a very harsh way to weed out the wanna be's from those who have a deeper commitment to studying martial arts.
Wow. Harry Houdini must have been really martial. Why hasn't anyone made him an honorary shihan!? Get on it, people! There's a real martial artist going unrecognized! Woops! Better make that a post-mortem rank recognition. Well, at least he died proving he was more martial than me. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Largo
05-28-2002, 09:11 PM
I've done similar conditioning in goju-ryu shorei and in muay thai. Despite that, I still get pitched around the room by people half my size. Looking back, I'm not sure how great of an experience this kind of conditioning was. When it rains, or during the winter, I can barely move due to a great deal of swelling in my joints (and I'm 22).

Crunch44
05-29-2002, 01:00 AM
Originally posted by Bruce Baker
Although we don't do this in Aikido in the literal sense of the words, The Stomach lesson is a very harsh way to weed out the wanna be's from those who have a deeper commitment to studying martial arts.



I can remember undergoing a similar ritual during my karate days. What surprised me most however, was learning that most of us who 'voluteered' to take a blow to the body did it out of fear of being excluded, not some sense of deeper commitment to the art.

I think deeper commitment comes from somewhere else, unique to every individual and unique to his or her vices and demons.


Chris

Bronson
05-29-2002, 01:46 AM
the student is punched in the stomach hard enough to take their breath away. Old school? Maybe, but at some point in your life this situation will present itself in either pain, or lack of breath ... what are you going to do when it presents itself?

Should we then also practice getting hit on the back of the head with a club, or stabbed, or shot, or having a finger bitten off, or an eye gouged out, what about having a fistful of hair pulled out bloody roots and all, maybe I should have someone shatter my knee joint just to make sure I can carry on with the fight....

When it finally happens I'll be glad I practiced.

Bronson

Misogi-no-Gyo
05-29-2002, 10:24 AM
Being able to absorb a punch to the stomach or blow to the head may help if you practice karate or boxing, tae kwon do etc. but I don't think that it is necessary for aikido training.

Interesting perspective...

... We all train to "get out of the way" I remember, many years ago, hearing my senpai getting yelled at during their black belt trainings, "If you don't want to get hit, DON'T BE THERE!" However, this is a luxury that we may not be able to afford at all times.

Aikido, as in all martial arts, encompasses the principle idea of "breath control" combined with practical techniques. Seiseki Abe Sensei reiterated to me what he had been told by O-Sensei, "Without breath control, there is no aikido." Interestingly, when training at his dojo, I observed a particular training, one morning:

Very simply, the Sensei asked someone (anyone) to hit him as hard as they could, anywhere on his body (Arm, leg, stomach, face, back, etc.) One of my senpai volunteered, and set off to hit him with all that he had. Each time, even though the Sensei didn't move an inch, the instant my senpai made contact, his body went flying back as if he had been hit by a truck. He tried this many times, hitting at different angles, and in different places, all with the same result. We asked many questions... He said two things - one, that it was simply breath control, and two, that it could be done everywhere on his body. Everywhere? We asked. Suffice it to say that he said that there are only two places that this doesn't work (and NO, that isn't one of them).

Now it is more than ten years later. After practicing Misogi almost every day, I am finally beginning to understand. it is not about "absorbing" painful blows to vital areas of the body. I agree, that would be senseless (no pun intended). It is more about returning energy back to your opponent - a process that begins by creating a very literal "force field" of breath (Kokyu).

For Aikidoka, this can be observed more as a by-product of the (kokyu) training. In some cases of other arts, specifically Aiki-Jiujitsu, it was the point of the training. This can also be seen in Okinawan-te, and other more well known fighting arts. To say that it has no bearing on our training in aikido, may not be exactly the "truest" statement...

MaylandL
05-29-2002, 06:47 PM
Originally posted by Misogi-no-Gyo

... We all train to "get out of the way" I remember, many years ago, hearing my senpai getting yelled at during their black belt trainings, "If you don't want to get hit, DON'T BE THERE!" However, this is a luxury that we may not be able to afford at all times.

Aikido, as in all martial arts, encompasses the principle idea of "breath control" combined with practical techniques. Seiseki Abe Sensei reiterated to me what he had been told by O-Sensei, "Without breath control, there is no aikido."

That's a very interesting observation. I think in situations of randori/multiple attackers or when you are surprised, you may not have the opportunity of moving out of the way. I agree that the intent is to move to places where the others are not but that may not be possible all the time and reality may vary somewhat from the intent.

I guess you have to be able to "roll with the punches" as well. May be this is another aspect of taking ukemi. The training as Uke seems to be as important as being nage/tori.

I hope that others on this forum may have more comments to make on this :) .

I would agree that kokyu and all the training associated with this is important. IMHO, having training in movement, kokyu, blending etc provides aikidoka with a repertoire of techniques that can be used together.

batemanb
05-29-2002, 08:15 PM
Originally posted by batemanb
Being able to absorb a punch to the stomach or blow to the head may help if you practice karate or boxing, tae kwon do etc. but I don`t think that it is neccessary for aikido training.

What I was trying to say here, is that in other fighting arts, I can see a neccessity for this practice, not much point in going into a kumite if you can`t absorb punches to a certain degree.

I didn`t say that it has no bearing on aikido. Of course it will be beneficial to take a blow if one connects, I have been hit more than once for being slow to move, or moving in the wrong direction, it`s always good to be able to keep going and not just crumble or react to the blow, but this is not a neccessity of Aikido practice.

I would still rather train to tenkan or move off the line, hopefully this will ingrain itself to the point that I don`t freeze in a randori, that`s the aim any way.

ronmar
05-30-2002, 03:47 PM
Now it is more than ten years later. After practicing Misogi almost every day, I am finally beginning to understand. it is not about "absorbing" painful blows to vital areas of the body. I agree, that would be senseless (no pun intended). It is more about returning energy back to your opponent - a process that begins by creating a very literal "force field" of breath (Kokyu).

You have got to be joking. Surely you don't believe this. If it's true why do we not see it anywhere. Good techniques don't remain secret for long. How come no-one has made a lot of money out of something like this. They would be undefeatable and could win any striking event. Please elaborate about how it is done if you really think it is real.

Misogi-no-Gyo
05-31-2002, 08:36 AM
You have got to be joking. Surely you don't believe this

I was waiting for that. I could say, "Sure, I am kidding." That would make you, and a whole lot of other people feel a bit more at ease. Unfortunately, that would not be a truthful statement. At the risk of opening myself up to ridicule from those not yet "in the know," I can only tell you that I speak from my own personal experience. This is somewhat clouded of course by my own limited understanding of all this.

If it's true why do we not see it anywhere. Good techniques don't remain secret for long. How come no-one has made a lot of money out of something like this. They would be undefeatable and could win any striking event.

When you say we do not see it anywhere, you really mean you. I have seen it, felt it, and have been taught the practices to achieve it. Hell, I even have it all on video tape that I personally filmed. (As if that would help me achieve it any faster!) There is no secret at all. No one really needs to hide it. The question is, where are you looking to learn it? And, from whom?

My belief is that it is more of a question of what one is able to do with a few simple instructions. If I tell you to walk, you take a few steps. However, if you don't know what walking is, nor have ever seen it, and have no understanding on how it works, you would ask me, "How?" I would say, Like this. and proceed to demonstrate. Babies observe this behavior and learn this seemingly magical feet in nine months or so. Say "Walk" to Christopher Reaves, and he looks at you like you are mad! See, he was born with the ability, but "life" got in the way. It is the same with the natural ability to produce kokyu. We are all born with the innate ability, but somehow life gets in the way.

Think of it this way... Let's use the analogy of the peak of Mt. Everest. It is only a place at the top of a mountain. However, how many people have actually been there? Many of us have seen pictures, video, or read stories about it. That's as far as we ever get. The sheer physical and mental training required to get there are beyond the top 1% of the entire earth's population. Think about it. I am dwarfed by the challenge, and that is only on the physical side. I couldn't even imagine the mental and spiritual places I would need to discover and conquer within myself, in order to mount that stationary obstacle.

Now lets look at kokyu - what if I told you that you must walk into a two thousand degree fire to understand how to "create a force field of breath" (This is not the case, so PLEASE don't try this!) 99.9% of the people out there would just turn around and walk away. Out of the .1 % that is left and are willing to listen to the rest of what you have to say, 1 of every 100 of those will actually try it. Out of those that try it, 1 out of 100 actually succeed. This is real mastery, and real kokyu. See no secrets, just one extremely dedicated and focused individual.

Please elaborate about how it is done if you really think it is real

If you are truly interested, write me off the board. If you care to perpetuate the misnomer that, "Just because it is rare, and that you haven't seen it, it must mean that it doesn't exist." Then you get what you already have... Some even call it aikido... I am in no way saying that I have any secret knowledge, or special abilities. I am simply learning to walk... to the top of Mt. Everest.

I believe that O-Sensei was one of those rare individuals that met the challenge - he climbed MT. Everest, so to speak. For me, aikido is about seeking O-Sensei. FYI - I have already purchased a flame-retardant fundoshi (loin cloth used during misogi).

ganbattemasu

ronmar
05-31-2002, 02:00 PM
Ok, I admit I am a complete novice when it comes to aikido, and you will trump me every time with stuff I haven't heard of in a discussion like this. You'll have to be a bit more basic if you want me to understand. I am curious though, as what you are talking about sounds too good to be true.

!) There is no secret at all. No one really needs to hide it. The question is, where are you looking to learn it? And, from whom?

No-one has ever shown me anything remotely similar to this forcefield type thing. I've heard about breath control, centering etc, but tend to view them as methods (like the famous unbendable arm) for teaching ways of movement and action in a conflict. Breath control- you remain calm breathing in a controlled way and coordinating breath with effort produces more powerful movement (like what people do when they lift weights). Centering- gets you to focus on where your centre of gravity is and stresses the importance of lowering it below that of your attacker when fighting.

These concepts don't trouble me because you arrive at them yourself through sparring if not told about them in advance. I can't see this happening with an invincibe breath focefield- unless it is just an analogy for learning how to take a punch. Perhaps that is all Abe Sensei was trying to demonstrate, and people read more into it. Lots of people learn how to take a punch in the more traditional way.

For Aikidoka, this can be observed more as a by-product of the (kokyu) training. In some cases of other arts, specifically Aiki-Jiujitsu, it was the point of the training. This can also be seen in Okinawan-te, and other more well known fighting arts.

This bit sums up my problem. These techniques are apparently quite well known. If they are in Okinawan karate, and even "more well known fighting arts", the chances are someone will have used them in a match at some point. Karate is a joke at the moment in the mixed martial arts community. If they had techniques such as these, why wouldn't they use them to demonstrate the effectiveness of their art? I would say the same for aikido, but it doesn't really have the same kind of challenge match mentality.

Finally if this stuff does exist, I want to know how to do it. Can you point me in the right direction in public or do I have to e-mail you privately (why?).

daedalus
05-31-2002, 04:10 PM
The "force field" idea is common in Chinese martial arts. Both internal and external include "Iron Shirt" techniques made to create a buffer between blows and the internal organs.

In Tai Chi, there are also many stories of people striking Tai Chi masters and going flying when making contact. Being a novice, I of course have absolutely no idea if any of this is true, but I'm willing to bet that breath control, a subtle hip movement, muscle relaxtion, ki/chi/qi/magic faries/etc. or some other technique makes this possbile.


And as for people not seeing it before and learning it, I saw that "Crouching Tiger" movie and I still can't figure out how to fly! Funny thing, I asked my tai chi teacher if any of that was real, and he said yes, back then people jumped on roofs without a problem. I was astounded until he told me that roofs at that time were only hip height off the ground...

AikiAlf
05-31-2002, 05:09 PM
I think Saotome Sensei has said (and I'm paraphrasing loosely here)... the study of Budo is not a democracy; 10,000 people aren't necessarily right over the 1 person who does know what he/she is talking about.

I'm curious and would like some more information on what Mr. Ravens has to say. Rick sensei once showed me a quick demostration of kokyu against a belly punch. My wrist hurts to even remember it, but I wasn't aware of the possiblity of that working against strikes against other parts of the body.

The explanation I got was less on the force field side and more on the physics side ; a choice that some people make due to their own cultural expediency; however what i was shown was as real as anything else I've experienced.

Off topic: the discussion forums are interesting, Aikido seems to be a minor aside over bickering about terminology and "quien es mas macho" issues; lets not stop just when this gets intersting

daedalus
05-31-2002, 05:45 PM
Any chance you can give us the physics explanation you got?

AikiAlf
06-03-2002, 10:15 AM
keep in mind I'm not a physicist or have greate memory; keep in mind that I was uke, and wouldn't attempt this without supervision of someone who does know what they're doing. Sensei has 40 years of Aikido ... he says it's all simple; I laugh.

So this involved a "belly punch" munetsuki, where instead of moving off the line , nage "times" centering and breathing out with the strike (and performing reverse breathing , so belly out with exhalation) such that the strike connects before it has reached its intended connecting target. Kind of like stepping down one extra step as you're walking down the stairs.

the explanation given to me was that two objects of similar mass won't occupy the same space at the same time , and the one that gets there first correctly aligned to the earth is in a much more stable position. Because of the gut expansion and the drop in stance the angles on the connection are different than what was intended. This all happens very quickly and with little apparent movement.

timing is of paramount importance. If you're late you get the full effect of the strike; if you're early , the same.

I somehow believe that you won't make much money out of that secret, but if you do send me a check.

the point being that Sensei is cautious about what is possible and not possible, he's shown me stuff that sounds ridiculous but is of the "doh" variety when done, not that it's easy.

I'm not sure that this is similar to what Shaun Ravens is describing, but how would I know, if we decide things are impossible because in our short time training we haven't seen them then we're closed already.

ronmar
06-03-2002, 12:05 PM
the explanation given to me was that two objects of similar mass won't occupy the same space at the same time , and the one that gets there first correctly aligned to the earth is in a much more stable position

timing is of paramount importance. If you're late you get the full effect of the strike; if you're early , the same

So am I correct in thinking that this is in effect just a subtle way of "closing down" the punch, and not something unique to aikido? ie try to make the opponent hit you outside of his intended striking zone and so lessen the power of the strike.

Paul Clark
06-03-2002, 12:44 PM
the explanation given to me was that two objects of similar mass won't occupy the same space at the same time , and the one that gets there first correctly aligned to the earth is in a much more stable position. Because of the gut expansion and the drop in stance the angles on the connection are different than what was intended. This all happens very quickly and with little apparent movement.

From an amateur physicist and very amateur aikidoist:

What you need to do is change the acceleration that happens in the collision between the two bodies, ie, fist and stomach. The acceleration determines the "force" of the blow according to Newton's second law: f=ma where f is force, m is mass (of the fist), and a is acceleration (or deceleration, same thing, different sign). The amount of force uke puts into the punch is determined by the acceleration he puts into it through the energy expended by his muscles, thus how fast he accelerates it (f=ma). That in turn impacts its peak energy 1/2mv2(squared) where v is velocity.

Hard impacts accelerate things faster/more completely, thus more force is imparted and more energy transferred. A good example is that toy with 5 ball bearings each suspended in a sling, they'll bang together for a long time because the "hard" impact lets the ball struck accelerate almost unimpeded as it's hit, thus it accumulates most of the energy of what hit it. A good example of limiting the acceleration of a collision is the plan with the airbag in your car. If you and your car are going 60 mph, and you hit a fixed object that doesn't move at all, you're both going to decelerate pretty quick from 60-0. The acceleration a determines the force f with which your skull s hits the dashboard, and this force probably will dash skull s to bits. On the other hand, if the airbag can lengthen the time between impact and achieving zero speed (for skull s), then the acceleration (miles per second per second, or whatever unit you're using) is much lower(more seconds in the denominator gives a lower overall number), so f=ma becomes a smaller force which, hopefully, is one that skull s can sustain without cracking. The car's "crush zone" is also engineered to collapse at a slower rate to minimize the energy transfer between dashboard and skull s. Everything works together.

It sounds to me that your sensei is using his belly like an airbag or cushion to some extent. He puffs out his belly to meet the coming punch, makes contact with it, then provides enough resistance, like a cushion, pillow, or airbag, as it deflates to decelerate the punch more slowly. The force received, f=ma, is much less. The acceleration a of his internal organs is therefore also less (again, f=ma, although in this case the mass is of whichever organ you pick, or the total mass, whatever you like)so that the force his tissues have to dissipate is less, and they don't "hurt" afterward, let alone tear.

Meanwhile, sensei's getting some help from managing the distance. If uke's punch hits nothing, at all where does his energy 1/2mv2(squared) go? It gets taken out by the deceleration he gives his own fist, to zero velocity, by his muscle and bone exerting an opposite force, as they reach maximum extension. If you time it so you're taking the punch as his own anatomy is already decelerating the fist, he's doing some of the work for you, and that's less force your belly/airbag has to deal with.

The belly's cushioning ability would be enhanced if it could rely not only on its capacity to inflate and deflate, but also on the presence of a mass of resilient tissue at the point of impact ("cushion", "spare tire", take your pick)to aid in the deceleration of the fist. Those with less, err, "cushion" will have to be much more efficient with the inflate/deflate process to be successful.

Now, it seems to me, regardless of the simplicity of the physics, it takes a whole bunch of luck, skill, training, and cojones (and maybe some "cushion"?) to time this just right consistently enough to avoid getting hurt, but there you have it.

Hope that contributes a little, again I'm an amateur at both.

Paul

Misogi-no-Gyo
06-03-2002, 12:59 PM
I'm not sure that this is similar to what Shaun Ravens is describing, but how would I know, if we decide things are impossible because in our short time training we haven't seen them then we're closed already.

It is nice to read all of the replies. As far as what I believe Saotome Sensei showed you, I can only say that it sounds similar to, and about as far as I have been able to take this training. Meaning, that I am able to also take a full force punch, and with proper breathing, timing and distance, am able to repel it with what seems to the uke to be a great force. However let me say that I believe this is only the most basic form of the previously described technique - and only on a very limited, physical level.

I do believe that with the proper physical training, combined with specific meditative visualizations, that a much more advanced form of Kokyu is brought forth within the body. The idea of a "force field" using one's breath power, is very well known in the circles of Chinese martial arts. More importantly, in my discussions with Abe Sensei, he mentioned that O-Sensei told him that he discovered these concepts within Kojiki (Japanese record of Ancient Matters). He then refined his own way of fostering such potential through his daily regimen of Misogi.

I do believe that the typical aikidoka has a fairly deep misunderstanding between "KI" and Kokyu" talking about ki, but using examples of things actually done with Kokyu. For the record, after a Dozen years trying to decipher what Abe Sensei was talking about, I have good understanding, and a basic ability to use kokyu. However, when it comes to "Ki" I still am at the kindergarten level. I train, and continue to develop my own "working" definition of these two terms.

I think this is a good point for all aikidoka to study. However, each person comes into these things at different points in their training. I know of one of my senpai, one of the most talented aikidoka in terms of "technique," who just couldn't come to accept the terms "Ki" or "Kokyu." He ultimately left the dojo, realizing that without incorporating either of these things into his waza, he was probably practicing something other than Aikido. When I asked Abe Sensei about that, he agreed without hesitation.

AikiAlf
06-03-2002, 02:13 PM
Ok, before someone flames me.. Rick Rowell Sensei (whom some of you have trained under, I know :D ) showed me this, not Saotome Sensei for whom I've got the greatest respect but can't claim for a teacher (our dojo is ASU BTW). Now not knowing who lurks here but knowing that lurkers prob'ly include my dojo mates and people that :eek: do know Rick Sensei well .. please note that I'm a student of his, the explanation is the one that stuck to my limited understanding of Aikido, and again, I don't /can't rule out a larger application principle, or establish what Sensei knows or doesn't.

the explanation that Paul gives is quite detailed and jives with what I think; however I challenge you to think of all that stuff in the split second of a strike. So explanations being just that, what does it matter if you can learn the experience of it in a different vocabulary?

All I know is that I'm just a 2kyu treading a very deep pool and am bearly entering the kiddy side of it.

Paul Clark
06-03-2002, 02:40 PM
Alf/all,

Likewise, before someone flames me--my response was directed at the "physics" question as I read it; I provide an amateur physicist's (ie, not a PhD, but BS minor)explanation of the physics that appear to be in play.

I certainly do not intend to discount the existence of any other "forces" which might affect the interaction of, in this case, belly and fist. They may be there, they may actually be physical forces, or they may be spiritual. My response is restricted to the obvious physical interactions, there may be others of which, being only an amateur aikidoist, I'm completely ignorant.

As to "lurking"--I hope I'm not, if that's a bad thing, but I'm not much of an "online community" sort of guy--- apologize if I failed to properly enter the discussion. Help me out-should I do anything different?

best regards
Paul

ronmar
06-03-2002, 03:00 PM
Meaning, that I am able to also take a full force punch, and with proper breathing, timing and distance, am able to repel it with what seems to the uke to be a great force. However let me say that I believe this is only the most basic form of the previously described technique - and only on a very limited, physical level.

I do believe that with the proper physical training, combined with specific meditative visualizations, that a much more advanced form of Kokyu is brought forth within the body. The idea of a "force field" using one's breath power, is very well known in the circles of Chinese martial arts

Shaun (or anyone else),

Are you really able to take a punch anywhere on your body and repel the puncher half way across the room? If so, please tell me how, without all the mystical magical stuff, so that I can try it for myself. If it is just a form of closing down the strike then please say so.

I would also like you to try this, just as an experiment. Go to a boxing club, doesn't have to be a really good one. Spar with someone. Let me know if the technique works. Speak to the person you sparred with afterwards and ask them if they felt anything "strange" happening when they hit you. Don't let them know beforehand or afterwards that you were trying this technique. Please do try this, or get your sensei to, as I don't think it has been done before and it would be interesting.

Why is it mostly non competitive arts such as aikido or, eg, ninjitsu that have this kind of belief in higher, more sophisticated, almost magical techniques. You don't find it in styles with sparring. This is something which troubles me about aikido. All I get when I ask about it is smoke and whispers. Can anyone here do these kinds of incredible techniques or have you all not yet attained "mastery" of the art.

I am genuinely interested and not wishing to mock, although I am sceptical. Is it possible you are kidding yourselves? Please help.

AikiAlf
06-03-2002, 04:12 PM
Paul, my comment on lurking is for those people who know me who read this and don't post here; for all I know there's at least a couple. Lurking is basically following discussions without intervening, if you post you don't lurk. Nothing wrong there. In any case since "those who talk don't know and those who know don't talk" you can probably bet someone is laughing at my comments :p
since I'm an official ignoramous I'll talk until I learn not to :)

Ron, I don't know what a boxer believes in or not; I do train Aikido with a boxer and he's happy enough with the art.

I'm not personally looking to be a competitor in any style of fighting; but I'll use all the principles taught to me if I have to fight. I've been taught to tie my breathing to my practice and I'll keep on doing it, who knows maybe something interesting will happen (or has happened)

again, if you're curious ask your teacher/coach. And if you figure out a way to make megabucks out this idea, remember to send me a check :triangle: :circle: :square:

Arianah
06-03-2002, 08:55 PM
Originally posted by Misogi-no-Gyo
I do believe that the typical aikidoka has a fairly deep misunderstanding between "KI" and Kokyu" talking about ki, but using examples of things actually done with Kokyu. For the record, after a Dozen years trying to decipher what Abe Sensei was talking about, I have good understanding, and a basic ability to use kokyu. However, when it comes to "Ki" I still am at the kindergarten level. I train, and continue to develop my own "working" definition of these two terms.
Hmmm . . . I always considered "breath power" to be an aspect of "ki power;" a part of the whole, if you will. (That is, in my very limited experience.) I'm interested to know where the separation occurs, in your opinion. If you would, what is an example of using kokyu as opposed to ki?

Originally posted by AikiAlf
. . .treading a very deep pool and am bearly entering the kiddy side of it.
Sigh . . . I love metaphores!:D

Sarah (dipping her toe into the pool)

Kat.C
06-03-2002, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by Bruce Baker
Although we don't do this in Aikido in the literal sense of the words, The Stomach lesson is a very harsh way to weed out the wanna be's from those who have a deeper commitment to studying martial arts.



Until now I had no reason at all to post in this thread, but in class tonight we learned nikkyo:eek:, so now I've just gotta ask: Why would you just punch someone in the stomach to test them when you could use nikkyo:eek: :eek:?!!!

shihonage
06-03-2002, 10:01 PM
Originally posted by Kat.C


Until now I had no reason at all to post in this thread, but in class tonight we learned nikkyo:eek:, so now I've just gotta ask: Why would you just punch someone in the stomach to test them when you could use nikkyo:eek: :eek:?!!!

PeterR
06-03-2002, 10:22 PM
Originally posted by Arianah

Hmmm . . . I always considered "breath power" to be an aspect of "ki power;" a part of the whole, if you will. (That is, in my very limited experience.) I'm interested to know where the separation occurs, in your opinion. If you would, what is an example of using kokyu as opposed to ki?
This use of Ki as all encompassing is I feel part of the problem. Ki itself has a number of meanings even if you restrict them to the same kanji. We have spirit, energy, heart, and of course the more mystical sense. Breath power (kokyu ryoku) is a subset of power of focus which of course is different from the power of movement and not the more mystical Ki. Even if you were to say that Ki could mean all these things (energy, spirit and mysitcal force) and therefore the term when used covers all you have a problem in that interpretation usually focuses on one meaning alone. This is the source of the Luke Skywalker effect. I recently read a quote of Shioda sensei where he uses the term Ki in the context of energy. It was very clear, at least to me, that was what he was talking about yet if you are not used to placing words in context (very important in Japanese) you could go in another direction.

To answer the question - you could say that Kokyu Ryoku is an expression of energy (Ki) but you can not say that it is an expression of the more mystical Ki. Of course none of this matters if you show the right spirit (Ki) in your training.

tedward
06-04-2002, 06:49 AM
Do the shaolin munks not make a fortune touring with this sort of thing?

As for not seeing it in combat as impresive as it looks it still is not as intimidating as seeing a striker have their arm broken.

Misogi-no-Gyo
06-04-2002, 09:51 AM
AikiAlf wrote
Ok, before someone flames me.. Rick Rowell Sensei (whom some of you have trained under, I know ) showed me this, not Saotome Sensei for whom I've got the greatest respect but can't claim for a teacher (our dojo is ASU BTW).

Sorry AikiAlf, for my misstatement.

Kat.C wrote
Until now I had no reason at all to post in this thread, but in class tonight we learned nikkyo, so now I've just gotta ask: Why would you just punch someone in the stomach to test them when you could use nikkyo ?!!!

Kat.C - In the real test, first you do nikyo, then when they stand back up, you hit them in the stomach!


Paul Clark wrote
It sounds to me that your sensei is using his belly like an airbag or cushion to some extent. He puffs out his belly to meet the coming punch, makes contact with it, then provides enough resistance, like a cushion, pillow, or airbag, as it deflates to decelerate the punch more slowly.

Paul: Although this sounds about right in theory, this is actually the opposite of what is occurring. The specific training teaches how to force the entire area to be as small and as tight as possible. Think about hitting an apple with your fist, as opposed to hitting a rock, or a large diamond. The visualization has more to do with a black hole (infinitesimally small and dense object) then a vehicle that expands rapidly.

Paul Clark also wrote
The belly's cushioning ability would be enhanced if it could rely not only on its capacity to inflate and deflate, but also on the presence of a mass of resilient tissue at the point of impact ("cushion", "spare tire", take your pick) to aid in the deceleration of the fist. Those with less, err, "cushion" will have to be much more efficient with the inflate/deflate process to be successful.

Paul - I don't mean to pick on your theories. I do believe that you are interested in whatever experience other's have had in this area - scientifically speaking, of course. Having gone from about 125 pounds (after I lost a significant amount of weight practicing misogi) to 170 pounds in the last year. What I have noticed, is that given I am trying to make everything "small," the increased mass seems to get in the way, rather than promote my ability to produce kokyu. I do not do any sort of supplemental weight training, sit-ups, etc., and the only six-pack I have ever had was after practice, at the sushi bar. My point being that I do not feel that it is a function of "muscle" at least in the way that we tend to think that "strengthening it" may in fact server to promote kokyu in any way.

Ronmar wrote
Are you really able to take a punch anywhere on your body and repel the puncher half way across the room? If so, please tell me how, without all the mystical magical stuff, so that I can try it for myself. If it is just a form of closing down the strike then please say so.

ronmar - No, I certainly don't make that claim in any fashion. Even if I could do that, I wouldn't announce it here. I could just see people lining up at intersections, or following me around hitting me all day and night... However, I have seen this ability in at least one other person. I chose to reply to your post to also say that in terms of the "mystical magical stuff" that you talk about, I don't think that if you have that type of feeling about it, that you would ever be able to learn these teachings. It is not that they are magical in any sense. However, when you have to pass through areas within yourself that you have erected as walls which protect you against what you feel may harm or kill you, you are clearly forced to confront issues that seem to be bigger than you are. This is a very emotional and spiritual pursuit. Having trained specifically in this area for over thirty years, I can tell you that the "tough guys" often are the ones who seem to shy away from this sort of thing. There is no "quick" way to learn it, nor "easy" path. If that were the case, we would all be masters of ourselves, and the universe. Last time I looked I only counted a handful of those...

Paul Clark
06-04-2002, 10:49 AM
Shaun,


Paul: Although this sounds about right in theory, this is actually the opposite of what is occurring. The specific training teaches how to force the entire area to be as small and as tight as possible. Think about hitting an apple with your fist, as opposed to hitting a rock, or a large diamond. The visualization has more to do with a black hole (infinitesimally small and dense object) then a vehicle that expands rapidly.

Way over my head, sorry. The physics still works, of that I'm confident, but you're probably talking about way too many variables for me to deal with in this forum.

Paul - I don't mean to pick on your theories. I do believe that you are interested in whatever experience other's have had in this area - scientifically speaking, of course. Having gone from about 125 pounds (after I lost a significant amount of weight practicing misogi) to 170 pounds in the last year. What I have noticed, is that given I am trying to make everything "small," the increased mass seems to get in the way, rather than promote my ability to produce kokyu. I do not do any sort of supplemental weight training, sit-ups, etc., and the only six-pack I have ever had was after practice, at the sushi bar. My point being that I do not feel that it is a function of "muscle" at least in the way that we tend to think that "strengthening it" may in fact server to promote kokyu in any way.

No offense taken. Newton would not be offended either, they're his laws not mine, and he's dead.

Errr, umm, well, by "large mass of resilient tissue", I sort of meant the kind one gets from consuming a too many sixpacks at the sushi bar, not the kind that comes from doing a bunch of situps. In my original post, the cushion is a big soft belly that slows down the punch and dissipates the energy therein, not a hard, flat, gnarly set of abs that makes it bounce off. I guess, come to think of it, either will work.

Either way, I'm again in way over my head.

cheers
Paul

Bruce Baker
06-05-2002, 12:14 PM
Well, ladies and gentlemen, we seem to have gotten off the subject, and entered from practical to "what the hell is going on here?"

In a practical sense, the essence of repelling a punch in a magical force field is to absorb the energy and overcome the punch with an even stronger return of energy, much the same principal as returning the energy to your opponent in Aikido, but I suspect it also involves long term meditation, and ki practice in controling muscle, air, and mental conditioning to effect a return of this energy.

It reeks of the mysterious "one inch punch" demonstated by Bruce Lee in the 1960s, but it is no less very simular in its effect.

I have been away for a couple of weeks, so it was very interesting to see how the posts either met the subject or veered away into the hinterlands?

The purpose of the stomach lesson is to find out if you are able to overcome the shutdown response ... it is moderate compared to knockout, but it is supposed to be for clarity, not some macho be as tough as others mind set.

If you are familiar with pain, you understand your limits. If you are not, you give up.

It is that simple.

It is not feasable to allow the human body to continually to take pain in this manner. Hopefully, you learn how to avoid it, but if it should happen, you will be familiar enough with pain to overcome it if the need arises.

So, the stomach lesson not only becomes a morally wrentching test of consciousness, but a physical experience in the real world of life and confrontation. If we face the reality of these pains, and reach into our fiber of being, then we will ourselves to overcome and continue on with our lives.

I have a lot more to say about physical pain verses mental conditioning, but your Aikido practice will teach you this if you attain the right attitude without inflicting your personal altitude. ( altitude being the height you must fall to regain moral balance.)

Greg Jennings
06-05-2002, 12:59 PM
I do have a little background in physics and mechanics...

Does anyone want to try their kokyu/ki against something that has a broader power band than a human punch?

I've got a $100 in my pocket right now.

After you sign the release forms, if I can't fold you up and put you on the ground in one stroke, I'll give you that $100. If you do fold up and/or hit the ground, throw up, pee blood, etc., you give me $100.

Sincerely,

Bruce Baker
06-05-2002, 04:36 PM
I am not impressed with many of your posts as they invariably forget many of the tenents of Aikido's peaceful mindset in the face of incredible force or overbearing odds.

How you percieve the lessons of violence, affect the lives of others by your ability to interact and change violence, and try to attain some ability of seeing where the present lessons are leading to ... well ... it doesn't take a rocket scientist to observe and postulate solutions to life's problems. It might take a little experience and some living, but observing the world around you is about the easiest way to learn.

The difficulty of finding the solution that will do more good than bad ... now there is the rub.

When you become able to deal with the difficulty of violence with a martial art, like aikido, then the stress of that situation is relieved.

Finding the least violent way to deal with violence is the basic goal of learning Aikido, or am I missing the point of the entire experience?

There may exist other goals, for individuals, but on the whole most people who practice Aikido have a goal of self confidence for learning Aikido.

This I bet you can't do this, or that is impossible line of questioning is totally lewdacriss. So what? Your goal of Aikido practice is neutralized by weapons of mass destruction. You know. Hand guns, grenades, Atom bombs?

Anyway, for Aikido's effectiveness, we are talking about a distance of less than ten feet from our opponent, and somehow calling upon our internal thoughtfull self to connect to the functioning body we must live in until the day we die.

So ... reality check.

How do you respond to nearshutdown of the functioning body?

Do you practice internally by meditation or with mental exercises to maintain control of conciousness over pain?

SeiserL
06-05-2002, 05:49 PM
Actually, I saw a documentary on the Learning Channel that covered a martial art that specificcaly trained to take full force hits on vulnerable parts of the body. Very impressive body-mind control, but I kept thinking to myself "run, run, runaway."

I guess if you want to learn any parlor trick, its your right. For me, the get-off-the-line-enter-and-blend idea suits this old body just fine.

Until again,

Lynn