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chadsieger
05-30-2002, 01:40 AM
Here is a brief and incomplete description of how ki can be utilized in Aikido. For those that don't believe in Ki and are 100% that they never will can stop reading now.
Firslty, a few rules to remember. Try not to raise your elbows. You hands/arms are most powerful when they are from handshake to scratch you nose (have anyone, and I mean anyone grab you with both hands on both hands, ryote dori, and they will find it impossible to keep you from freely moving as long as you stay relaxed). Since you have power there, keep your hands in your midline as much as possible.
The first move that I was taught and that I in turn teach is unbendable arm. Simply relax your arm through any number of mental references. When done properly, usually after several attempts, sometimes not, the arm will feel ridged yet not tense. (For the science minded: When the bicept relaxes and the tricept is free to straighten the arm, its power is impressive). If you are a waiter, or have ever held a tray out, guess what? That's unbendable arm! Now that we have a straight arm what good is it?
Firstly, it should be slightly bent, not straight, but keep the relaxed feeling. Notice now when you rotate your hips that you arms move as well. You have made a "connection" between your hips and your arms/hands. Try a kotegaeshi keeping your elbows in and simply rotate your hips without moving your hands up or down (unbendable remember!). This is one of the first ways to use your hips in move, which when done correctly feels much more powerful than it looks. This is one aspect of ki.
Kung Fu ( and true Budo in general) makes use of the connection between the hips and a number of striking points. (Don't punch with your ring finger or pinky, they dont carry the connection). The one inch punch is simply a display of that power, not magic.
Another aspect of ki in Aikido is manifest when the connection made between your hips and hands is trasferred to the uke's body and eventually, hips. Sankyo is a good technique that displays this aspect. When done correctly, the nage should be able to rotate without effort and the uke should be compelled to follow the direction the connection commands. If a kotegaeshi is applied slowly enough, there will be a threshold for the uke, when crossed the nage now has the uke's center/hips/ki. Feel free to hold the kotegaeshi as long as you like. It takes a sensitivity to feel completely (which is another aspect of ki altogether!) The uke can't fight back or move as long as the connection remains. Petty nice for nage eh? This connection should, and can be made in every singly technique. Good luck.

Thanks for reading!


Remember, the techniques teach you Aikido.

ronmar
05-30-2002, 01:57 PM
Kung Fu ( and true Budo in general) makes use of the connection between the hips and a number of striking points. (Don't punch with your ring finger or pinky, they dont carry the connection). The one inch punch is simply a display of that power, not magic.

I don't know about the rest uf your post but you've got this bit badly wrong. It is imperative to when punching to connect with the bottom three knuckles, ie pinky, ring finger and middle finger knuckles.

The reason for this is pretty obvious if you hold your hand out in front of you and make a fist. Make sure its a fist you might actually punch someone with and not a silly karate lunging punch (ie punch towards your centre). Now place the fist against a wall and you'll see that its the three smaller knuckles that make contact with the wall. These are the knuckles that are in line with the bones of your forearm and your elbow, and so convey impact to your target much more effectively than the two large knuckles.

There is also less risk of wrist fractures when using the three smaller knuckles since they are in alignment with your arm bones on impact. If you choose to hit with the two large knuckles in the manner of a karate stylist you will have to: (a) build massive wrist strength to compensate for the off centre alignment of the large knuckles and (b) build huge calloused knuckles through repeated striking of a hard surface (eg makiwara board)to prevent your out-of-alignment hand breaking on impact. I personally don't think its worth the pain and effort.

Also for your information, Kung fu stylists definately do not strike with the large knuckles, always the smaller three, just like boxers.

ronmar
05-30-2002, 02:06 PM
Sorry I forgot this bit

The one inch punch is simply a display of that power, not magic.

Even the silly one inch punch connects with the three lower knuckles. Have you even done any striking?

One inch punch starts very close to your opponents body on your centerline. Top two knuckles push gently into opponent and fist is immediately rocked hard onto bottom three knuckles with forceful transferral of body weight forwards through the elbow and aligned hand, resulting in a powerful push/punch. Your hand and elbow are not aligned if you stay on the top knuckles and all you get is a weak wristed push.

Bob Heffner
05-30-2002, 02:18 PM
I found the first part of the post concerning Ki very interesting, I found the secound post concerning punching very confusing. I have never heard of punching with the three smaller knuckles (pinky,ring, and middle) Every art I have studied emphisied contact with the first two knuckles. I can't see how you can align the smaller knuckles with the wrist properly and not break your wrist with a punch. Your whole hand would be out of alignment.

"Also for your information, Kung fu stylists definately do not strike with the large knuckles, always the smaller three, just like boxers."

The Phoenix fist is contact with the "top" knuckles of the hand for one. Also the standard cantonese corkscrew emphases contact with the top knuckles as well as vertical punches to the face.
I would appreciate it if you could point me to some sort of reference that states contact with the smaller (lower) knuckles is the perfered method.

Thanks

ronmar
05-30-2002, 03:10 PM
Sorry to be confusing, I thought most people punched this way. By referances do you mean books written by people or quotations from great fighters. I'm afraid I don't have that many martial arts books but I can recommend "Championship Fighting" by Jack Dempsey. He clearly understood the importance of not damaging your hands when punching...It's hard to think of a more qualified author but if you prefer an oriental perspective then try any Wing Chun, Jeet Kun Do or Muay Thai books you can find. All stress the importance of the three knuckle landing, as does western boxing.

It would probably be good if you could go along to a club which practices sparring with punches. The coach there will stress the importance of proper hand alignment if you ask. If you still don't believe then try repeatedly punching a hard object (full power) in the karate "two knuckle" way. You will damage your hand unless you have undergone extensive hand conditioning, and no-one wants a deformed hand.

chadsieger
05-30-2002, 03:23 PM
The purpose of my initial post was to convey the point that true budo strikes are not mere physical strikes. The "connection" is made (softly) i might add) between the hips and the striking point. So, as with the "one inch punch," the energy/ki from the hips moves the arms, which tranfers the energy to the uke.
Why can Tiger Woods hit a golf ball 380+ yards? He cant wiegh more than 170 lbs. His ki trasfer is near perfect. Same with Micky Mantle. Notice how the point of contact is right down the midline for both golf and baseball? Interesting eh?
There are five points on the hand that are capable of trasferring the energy from the hips. Six if you count the claw, but that's really just an extension of the first two fingers. Maybe Mr. Marshall's hands are built differently, but I would advise against using the last two fingers for striking.

Thanks for reading!

Techniques teach you Aikido.

Andy
05-30-2002, 04:06 PM
Originally posted by chadsieger
Why can Tiger Woods hit a golf ball 380+ yards?
Bio-mechanical physics.

As far as using the ring and little fingers for punching, try going to a wing tsun dojo.

Oh yeah, I forgot. They won't talk about ki there. You probably won't fit into such places with such a closed mind.

ronmar
05-30-2002, 04:23 PM
. Maybe Mr. Marshall's hands are built differently, but I would advise against using the last two fingers for striking.

Don't be silly. You obviously haven't sparred with hands enough. You should try it before you break your wrist transferring Ki from your hips to someone's face in a real confrontation. I'm genuinely worried about you and am not trying to argue for arguements sake. Just offering advice on something I know a little about. I wouldn't try to tell you what Ki is (although I am skeptical about the more outrageous claims), or how you should do your aikido, but I am right about this. Think about the people who have told you to punch with the top two knuckles. Chances are they were either old Japanese men in books with deformed hands, or they were the sort of martial arts teacher who is a talker rather than a doer. Contrast this with all boxers, all oldtime barknuckle fighters, and the more practical Chinese arts, and you might begin to see my point.

RossEd
05-30-2002, 05:48 PM
Hey,

Not about ki, sorry.

Just about the "non-believer" (makes it sound like a cult).
If fighting barefist it is - and always has been the bottom 2-3 knuckles you should connect with. Thats the way that barefist boxers have always done it. It is the natural way.
I have been told that the top knuckles are OK for power in gloves - but most people find that it is natural to use the lower ones.
Punching to the abdomen TKD/Karate style is fine if you are doing kata with no connection. If you hit a person with such a punch, the wrist will buckle (unless you have practised this specifically v.v.hard). Much less power and damaged wrist ligaments - great.
Every good fighter I have met uses predominantly the lower knuckles for punches - and I have done boxing, etc. Even my aikido instuctor uses this from his daito ryu days.
Locks are more effective than punches anyway - in my experience.

Sorry to continue the deviation from the thread title but...

Cheers

Ross

chadsieger
05-31-2002, 12:01 AM
Mr. Marshall, I can see if you have your hand cocked back a little at the wrist it can improve the ki/power transfer in the ring finger of the strike. Perhaps this is how you punch, either natuarlly or learned, and I see how it can be effective.
I'm sure that you have done "heavy elbow" in Aikido class before. Which, when done properly, requires the uke to lift the entire weight of the nage by way of his elbow. Nage's job is to unbendable arm and channel the energy. Perhaps you have experimented with "heavy hand." Which is a similar, however the nage's attention is concentrated further down the arm. It helps to have your hand in your midline and keep unbendable arm. To lift the nage's hand now requires the entire body to be lifted (I'm 170).
I am by no means at the skill level to extend my ki through my hand what I'd like it to be. But that is how I have learned to strike, with my ki behind it and through it. And on my hand, the last two fingers hang off the edge of my wrist.

Thanks for reading!

guest1234
05-31-2002, 12:32 AM
OK, I am not a boxer:eek: , even if my father was. I am not a hand surgeon. But I did major in math and have a boney hand and some appreciation of vectors.

If one's hand are too fleshy to easily see the bones, perhaps a magic marker along them will help, or taping toothpicks... to line up the 4th and 5th metacarpals (bones under the ring and little finger) with the ulna, with your hand in a fist, you need to turn your hand inward quite a bit...I think for anything other than a roundhouse punch it would be akward to try to hit with it. You have a less unnatural twist to the hand if you just line up the 4th MC, but since the head of the 5th MC is right next to it, when you strike force will travel along the 5th MC as well, and since it is not lined up, will result in an increased risk of breaking the 5th MC (as I wrote a few months ago, this is called a boxer's fracture because the guys who get it consider how they hit to be a boxer's style, and yet boxers do not get it because they know better than to hit with the 5th MC, the smallest of the MC, lined up at an angle). Linging up the 2nd and 3rd MC (index and middle finger) with the radius results in force traveling in a straight line along the two largest/heaviest MC bones to the larger/heavier of the two forearm bones, rather than along the two weakest, somewhat misaligned MC to the smaller forearm bone.

ronmar
05-31-2002, 04:53 AM
to line up the 4th and 5th metacarpals (bones under the ring and little finger) with the ulna, with your hand in a fist, you need to turn your hand inward quite a bit...

You don't line up the 4th and 5th metacerpals with the ulna. That isn't what I said:

It is imperative when punching to connect with the bottom three knuckles, ie pinky, ring finger and middle finger knuckles.

It is important to consider these as a unit. The three together form a flat surface suitable for punching with a greater area than the two large knuckles together, ie the force is spread out more with the three knuckles. There is also more flexibility on this side of the hand. Both of these factors taken together give less chance of injury when punching. The aiming part of the fist is in the middle of this three knuckle unit.

Also it's important not to try and line up the punching knuckles of the hand with just the ulna. That is inherently unstable. Think of the forearm as a unit. Its pretty solid and unlikely to snap when punching. The aim should be to line up the punching knuckles with both the elbow (make sure the elbow is not hyperextended) and the shoulder to give good power transferral.

Punching power should come from movement. ie you push off the ground with your feet, power and weight is transferred through the hips, which twist the torso and allow the punch. The arm and hand are just the final links in that chain of transmission, so it is important to have them aligned properly.


I think for anything other than a roundhouse punch it would be akward to try to hit with it.

You are probably not standing correctly. Stand in front of a mirror with your top off. Assume a normal punching stance with weak hand and foot forward and turned slightly in, strong side to the back with right foot at approx 40 degree angle to front foot. Extend your left hand and make a fist. Fist should be neither vertical nor horizontal but somewhere inbetween. Make sure that your fist appears in front of your own chin in the mirror, not off to your left side. This should make it easier to see what I mean. You should be able to feel the connection from your left shoulder along the arc of your arm to the three knuckles of your left hand. Its even more obvious when you throw a right cross (note the word cross, it comes across the body).

this is called a boxer's fracture because the guys who get it consider how they hit to be a boxer's style, and yet boxers do not get it because they know better than to hit with the 5th MC, the smallest of the MC, lined up at an angle

A thinly veiled insult if ever I saw one. I do box, and so I am a boxer. I do not fracture my hand when hitting. I, and all the other fighters I know, hit with the three knuckles. Do you box? Have you ever hit someone full power with an unprotected hand? The only time I have ever hurt my hand was before I started boxing. I had done some karate and got in a fight. I threw a punch which landed on the large knuckles of my right hand. Luckily I knocked the other guy out as I sustained a bad Bennett's fracture (the thumb) along with a fractured index finger metacarpal.

Anyone can fracture their hand when hitting and no method is foolproof. Even Mike Tyson once broke his hand in a street fight. I'm just letting you know how you can minimise the risk.

SeiserL
05-31-2002, 12:37 PM
To the best of my knowledge, the Sun Fist (vertical fist hitting with the lower three knuckles) if common in Wing Chun, Isshunryu (Okinwarian Karate), and Jeet Kune Do. I have even seen it in internal Chinese arts like Tai Chi Chjuan, Pa Gua, and I Hsing.

Many of the pinciple of skeletal alignment still hold. So does the principle of extension of energy and momentum beyond the actual circumference reach of the punch. Power comes off the rear foot and a torque through the hips. IMHO, these are many of the same prinicples to develop and extend Ki/Chi.

I do not beleive that Ki is unique to Aikido and is not highly developed in other martial arts, whether they call it that or not.

Until again,

Lynn
Nidan Tenshinkai AIkido
Lucaylucay Kali JKD

ronmar
05-31-2002, 03:12 PM
I do not beleive that Ki is unique to Aikido and is not highly developed in other martial arts, whether they call it that or not.

I wholeheartedly agree. I dont think ki is a physical thing, its an idea to get people to behave in the right way. I bet if O Sensei was around today he would see great ki in a lot of famous fighters and sportspeople you might not immediately associate the concept with.