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Thomas Campbell
06-10-2011, 12:52 PM
Just wanted to bring this excellent blog post to the attention of people who might otherwise overlook it:

http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/mike-sigmans-blog-6969/baseline-internal-streng-4216/

Mike, thanks for sharing this information. The treasure of practice lies in the basics, and you lay out concepts, examples and analysis for IS basics very clearly. You've got a gift for this kind of analytic writing. It would be a lot of work, but I hope you consider presenting this kind of foundational internal strength material in a book or other suitable medium (website for internal strength basics?) in the future.

Mike Sigman
06-10-2011, 03:30 PM
Just wanted to bring this excellent blog post to the attention of people who might otherwise overlook it:

http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/mike-sigmans-blog-6969/baseline-internal-streng-4216/

Mike, thanks for sharing this information. The treasure of practice lies in the basics, and you lay out concepts, examples and analysis for IS basics very clearly. You've got a gift for this kind of analytic writing. It would be a lot of work, but I hope you consider presenting this kind of foundational internal strength material in a book or other suitable medium (website for internal strength basics?) in the future.

One of the problems with helping/sharing information with people is that so many people come in wrong preconceptions of what "internal strength" is or the idea that all things claiming to be "internal strength" are equally valid. Much like there are many people doing Aikido and Taiji (and many other arts) who think that anyone's "take" on the art is somehow a valid one. That's simply not true and it fosters the idea that no one who is a "teacher" can every do anything 'wrong', just 'different'.

So what happens is essentially that people get confused beyond all recognition (er, like in FUBAR) and it becomes impossible to either talk intelligently or to help them, or, in many cases, for them to help themselves. They're mixed up and really are put in the position of not being able to judge what is right or wrong.

The idea of laying out the baseline points in that blog and other places was to establish a provably traditional discussion base so that people can talk within the confines of what internal strength is, rather than with the current mishmash understand that all sorts of different 'takes' are valid and also somehow part of a valid tradition.

Everyone who uses "internal strength" should be able to justify what they do in terms of the basic points in that blog. Ueshiba's writings indicate that his understanding of internal strength was in concord with what's in that blog. As a matter of fact, if you look at most books and texts of Asian martial-arts, you'll see that they preface those books/texts by laying out the traditional justifications (like the ideas in that blog) in order to *prove* that their art was based on the accepted traditional view. I.e., people were aware that there were extraneous "systems" and they felt compelled to show that what they were doing was in accord with the long-accepted definitions and skills of internal strength.

Bear in mind that all I laid out was the basic talking points in order to keep it *very* simple. The topics can be fleshed out enormously and they also can be argued very logically, so as a baseline for the so-many discussions about "internal strength", they should be a start. (Maybe more suggestions can be made).

If nothing else, setting a baseline will give people a better foothold from which to start. False starts and even slight misinterpretations have been the doom of many a person who has devoted years/decades pursuing internal strength but who doesn't really have much to show for it. These things are actually easy to learn if shown properly how; they are difficult to correct in someone who has missed the mark and yet continued onward.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

PhillyKiAikido
06-13-2011, 07:48 PM
Very Impressive! Thanks!

Mike Sigman
06-13-2011, 08:07 PM
Very Impressive! Thanks!

You're welcome. The "Baseline Parameters" are just as obvious and demonstrable as was "groundpath" to anyone who really had even a modicum of skills. Yet there are still 'experts' and 'teachers' who deny these basic things like "groundpath", so the Baseline Parameters will be obvious to some and denied by some. It's just the way things work. ;)

Mike

oisin bourke
06-13-2011, 08:37 PM
I found Mike's definition of "Jin as Balance, Body as Flexible Frame " particularly clear. It helped illustrate what he was doing in the accompanying video. Fair dues for putting this out for public consumption.

Mike Sigman
06-13-2011, 08:42 PM
I found Mike's definition of "Jin as Balance, Body as Flexible Frame " particularly clear. It helped illustrate what he was doing in the accompanying video. Fair dues for putting this out for public consumption.Just a note.... when I do videos I tend to exaggerate (and I normally say this in the accompanying notes) in order to make the point obvious. I do not recommend that anyone take my too-obvious exaggerations as a "final product" sort of thing. That being said, hopefully the point is clear.

FWIW

Mike

oisin bourke
06-13-2011, 08:56 PM
Just a note.... when I do videos I tend to exaggerate (and I normally say this in the accompanying notes) in order to make the point obvious. I do not recommend that anyone take my too-obvious exaggerations as a "final product" sort of thing. That being said, hopefully the point is clear.

FWIW

Mike

I fully understand that. The exaggerated movement helped illustrate the principle IMO.

Mike Sigman
06-14-2011, 08:50 AM
There's a fairly typical half-hearted discussion going on about the baseline parameters on Rum Soaked Fist:
http://rumsoakedfist.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=13077

You have to bear in mind that this is the same group that didn't have any idea about what a "groundpath" meant some years ago (hence none of them had rudimentary jin), but the fact that they're having a discussion is a good thing. No One gets anywhere without talking these things through, thinking about the rationale, trying things out, and training.

A couple of people are talking vaguely about vectors and one guy has even posted a bunch of anatomy pictures (to quote Tohei: "Where's the Qi, though?"). One guy is quoting his best take on Chinese ideograms. Whatever.... my point is that whether they're now engaged in a "how does it work" or "this guy is nuts and doesn't understand the Real Deal (tm) like we do on RSF" or vector resultants, they're moving forward. Hopefully, the discussion doesn't lose interest in two days or break down into the typical one-liners and put-downs like most RSF discussions.

Maybe people should start a similar discussion on AikiWeb? People like Tohei, Shioda, Ueshiba, etc., had to consider these things at depth, too.

2 cents.

Mike Sigman

jester
06-14-2011, 10:24 AM
Maybe people should start a similar discussion on AikiWeb? People like Tohei, Shioda, Ueshiba, etc., had to consider these things at depth, too.


Kenji Tomiki used Judo principals at the core of his Aikido. Tori uses very little power to control Uke. IP really has no use if you utilize Uke's energy and know the principals of off balance.

Uke is the one that tells you what direction you need to go. All of the basic Tomiki Aikido 17 are reactions Uke can make from a failed Shomen-Ate. If Uke pulls back, pushes in, turns out, turns in etc. etc. then you follow his energy into another off balance.

Have any of the IP guys studied Tomiki Aikido?

-

Mike Sigman
06-14-2011, 11:13 AM
Kenji Tomiki used Judo principals at the core of his Aikido.
-Which was why Jigoro Kano sent Tomiki to Ueshiba to learn ki/kokyu principles, right? Would you mind starting another thread somewhere about Tomiki and judo principles?

Mike Sigman

Pat Togher
06-14-2011, 11:34 AM
I believe Tomiki sensei was studying with the founder in 1926, before Kano sensei sent students to study in the early '30's. I recall reading (don't have the exact cite, since I am at work) that it was Isammu Takashita that actually introduced Tomiki to Ueshiba sensei, so I don't know that "Kano sent Tomiki to Ueshiba to learn ki/kokyu" at all. The hows and why's of that are a matter of speculation, I think.

Since Tomiki is known to have been able to do some of the "Ki tricks", I'd be interested in hearing if there are Tomiki folks studying IS, and how those individuals compare the Tomiki method to IS skill development, in this thread or another ....

Pat

JW
06-14-2011, 03:08 PM
IP really has no use if you utilize Uke's energy and know the principals of off balance.

Wait, I have to say, "Huh??"
Kokyu ("IP") is how you utilize uke's energy. It's a way to integrate incoming forces into a useful resultant.
In other words, it would take uke's forces and produce a new result (uke tries to attack but ends up getting off-balanced by the final resultant force).

At least-- that's what the original blog post suggests to me. I don't mean to address the Tomiki methodology issue, like Mike said that could be a good thread on its own, but the above quote really compelled me to post.

PS, Mike nice post, thanks, though I think you have said most of it already!

Mike Sigman
06-14-2011, 03:17 PM
PS, Mike nice post, thanks, though I think you have said most of it already!
Well, like "groundpath", it's all pretty self-obvious to anyone who already has any skills, but it would certainly help move these discussions along on different forums if everyone was speaking from the same set of notes. Like "groundpath", you'll be able to spot the knows and doesn't know by whether they already know these simple basics.

Best.

Mike

jester
06-14-2011, 03:54 PM
Wait, I have to say, "Huh??"
Kokyu ("IP") is how you utilize uke's energy. It's a way to integrate incoming forces into a useful resultant.
In other words, it would take uke's forces and produce a new result (uke tries to attack but ends up getting off-balanced by the final resultant force)

It might all be semantics but I have never called it Ki, Chi, IP etc. just correct technique. I learned things from a scientific approach so terms like Ki, IP, etc. weren't used. Maybe I should try and expand my Aiki vocabulary.

This is from Aikido Journal (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=60)
Kenji Tomiki stands out for his intellectual stature and skill in articulating the historical and ethical rationale of the art. Whereas the founder viewed life and, consequently, his budo, mainly in religious terms, Professor Tomiki espoused a view of aikido that included competition and placed it within the larger context of the history of Japanese martial arts. An academician as well as an athlete, Tomiki authored several books and formulated a theoretical basis for aikido that was understandable by the average person.

Mike, I think Tomiki saw it as basic principals just like Judo. At least it seems that's how he interpreted it.
Tomiki's view of a "complete judo" encompassed two parts: "grappling judo" (kumi judo) which equated to Kodokan Judo, and "separated judo" (hanare judo) which was equivalent to aikido.

-

Mike Sigman
06-14-2011, 04:09 PM
Maybe I should try and expand my Aiki vocabulary.
-Perhaps so. All of these things have been discussed in the past on different threads. Perhaps if you started a "homage a Tomiki" thread instead of going O.T. on this one?

Mike Sigman

jester
06-14-2011, 04:31 PM
Perhaps so. All of these things have been discussed in the past on different threads. Perhaps if you started a "homage a Tomiki" thread instead of going O.T. on this one?

Mike Sigman

Damn! I just noticed what section this is in. I just click the New Posts Link and reply to what I think is interesting. Sorry for the interruption!! I did this in the foreign language thread earlier today.

-

Janet Rosen
06-14-2011, 05:23 PM
Damn! I just noticed what section this is in. I just click the New Posts Link and reply to what I think is interesting. Sorry for the interruption!! I did this in the foreign language thread earlier today.

-
Tim, look at the page for new posts. There is a column that states what section it is in.

Chris Li
06-14-2011, 05:39 PM
I believe Tomiki sensei was studying with the founder in 1926, before Kano sensei sent students to study in the early '30's. I recall reading (don't have the exact cite, since I am at work) that it was Isammu Takashita that actually introduced Tomiki to Ueshiba sensei, so I don't know that "Kano sent Tomiki to Ueshiba to learn ki/kokyu" at all. The hows and why's of that are a matter of speculation, I think.

Since Tomiki is known to have been able to do some of the "Ki tricks", I'd be interested in hearing if there are Tomiki folks studying IS, and how those individuals compare the Tomiki method to IS skill development, in this thread or another ....

Pat

Tomiki started Judo somewhere around 1910. The "ki tricks" that I've seen from Kenji Tomiki look pretty much like straight Daito-ryu to me - no surprise, since that's what he was studying with Ueshiba.

Best,

Chris

Allen Beebe
06-14-2011, 09:37 PM
Tomiki started Judo somewhere around 1910. The "ki tricks" that I've seen from Kenji Tomiki look pretty much like straight Daito-ryu to me - no surprise, since that's what he was studying with Ueshiba.

Best,

Chris

Yup!

Tomiki = Solo body movement Exercises, Shirata = Solo body movement exercises, Shioda = Solo body movement exercises.

Tomiki = Daito ryu shtick , Shirata = Daito Ryu shtick, Shioda = Daito Ryu schtick

Tomiki = Daito Ryu mokuroku(s), Shirata = Daito Ryu mokuroku(s), Shioda = Daito Ryu mokroku(s)

Ueshiba Morihei (Licensed Daito Ryu instructor {Takuma Hisa quote (Highest Ranking from Takeda???) "Ueshiba taught the same things as Takeda!" (at the same time btw)) DAITO RYU instructor

of . . .

Tomiki, Shirata, Shioda (not to mention respectively Mochizuki, Iwata, and many others )

I look at Tomiki, Shirata, and Shioda sensei's waza and I see a commonality . . . I wonder why . . . could it be they had the same teacher?

I train with several Daito ryu instructors and other "Aiki family" folks (the apple doesn't fall far from the tree Yoshida family folks!) and see a commonality . . . I wonder why . . . could it be we all came from the same core teachings?

Nah! :rolleyes:

Screw those guys! What do they know anyway?

And while we're at it screw Saito too! He wasn't valued at all by Ueshiba Morihei. He didn't learn anything of significance from his teacher who he took such good care of, and of whom tried to assure he was taken care of in return.

Nah! :rolleyes:

After all, those Iwama guys are more like . . . those Daito Ryu guys, which are like the pre-war STUDENTS OF UESHIBA sensei so . . . what do they know anyway????

Yeah! What do they know?

Could they know anything about the founder of Aikido?

Could they know anything about what he taught?

Might they have something significant to add to the discussion?

Nah!!!!

:rolleyes:

Mike Sigman
06-14-2011, 09:45 PM
OK, make it a Tomiki thread then.

JW
06-15-2011, 12:01 AM
.... my point is that whether they're now engaged in a "how does it work" or "this guy is nuts and doesn't understand the Real Deal (tm) like we do on RSF" or vector resultants, they're moving forward.

I checked out the thread. I agree that intelligent discourse is very important, in fact it opened my eyes 3 years ago. But I don't think that discussion is moving forward. Thinking up interesting search strings and doing some reading would move a person forward more. I think there's been better discussion even on that same site.

But enough curmudgeoning, let's have discussion. I noticed the breathing section is very much not in depth compared to the rest.
If the aikido name for I.S. is "kokyu," I think we aikidoka (or all martial artists) have good reason to think about the body and movement in terms of the mutual interplay of complements. (In/out, low pressure/high pressure, in/yo.) In normal bodies, the in-out of breathing seems to be independent of the way body movements work, as opposed to say, how a cheetah's breathing works in sprints. (I think I first heard about that on a nature show or something, but for another pop-sci reference, the google books preview of Born to Run talks about running quadrupeds.) The disconnect between movement and breath that we enjoy has benefits, but it is a hinderance in IS.

Mike's 3-part article in AJ "Putting the Ki back in Aikido" was interesting in that he chose a breathing exercise as what to recommend to the masses, if only one thing could be given to them to work on. At the time I read that, I thought it was interesting but the kind of stuff in this blog post seemed so much more interesting and closer to being useful in application. And it seemed to make so much more sense. But, I've found myself working on breath-associated things more and more.

The mechanics of inhaling and exhaling work pretty well for all of us. But, I think there is a way that this mechanism can help us in body movements. I think this is why we get the name "kokyu." What I mean is we could power and/or support whole-body movement by co-opting the breathing mechanism (we link the breath to the more peripheral parts of the body) through practice.

Then, we could have a centralized way to control the "flexible frame." The feeling would be like one aspect of a motion feels like exhaling, while another aspect feels like inhaling.
What do you all think? I tried to do an on-topic post, but I'm still rambling. This is why I don't post much..
--Jonathan Wong

Mike Sigman
06-15-2011, 09:32 AM
I checked out the thread. I agree that intelligent discourse is very important, in fact it opened my eyes 3 years ago. But I don't think that discussion is moving forward. Thinking up interesting search strings and doing some reading would move a person forward more. I think there's been better discussion even on that same site. Tsk... and all those 'experts' pumping air into each others' tires. Regardless of whether they're successful or not, though, one or two of them are trying to put two thoughts together.... that's what I was encouraging that people do.
I noticed the breathing section is very much not in depth compared to the rest.
If the aikido name for I.S. is "kokyu," I think we aikidoka (or all martial artists) have good reason to think about the body and movement in terms of the mutual interplay of complements. (In/out, low pressure/high pressure, in/yo.) In normal bodies, the in-out of breathing seems to be independent of the way body movements work, as opposed to say, how a cheetah's breathing works in sprints. (I think I first heard about that on a nature show or something, but for another pop-sci reference, the google books preview of Born to Run talks about running quadrupeds.) The disconnect between movement and breath that we enjoy has benefits, but it is a hinderance in IS. Breathing is a complex subject. The "Parameters" is more or less a list of associated subjects, but it's not a complete breakdown of the subjects by any means. Besides.... notice how the thread became a Tomiki thread; there's no real interest on this forum.


Mike's 3-part article in AJ "Putting the Ki back in Aikido" was interesting in that he chose a breathing exercise as what to recommend to the masses, if only one thing could be given to them to work on. At the time I read that, I thought it was interesting but the kind of stuff in this blog post seemed so much more interesting and closer to being useful in application. And it seemed to make so much more sense. But, I've found myself working on breath-associated things more and more.

The actual breathing techniques are the hardest thing to find information on (in completeness). That starter example I gave is still, IMO, very good *as a starter*. As I said, I was just trying to lay out the defining pieces on the board so that people would have a clearer idea what the game is. It gives them something to know if/when they begin to go look for a knowledgeable teacher and thus it will save them time.

Now back to Tomiki. Sorry to go O/T. ;)

Mike

HL1978
06-15-2011, 09:56 AM
The actual breathing techniques are the hardest thing to find information on (in completeness). That starter example I gave is still, IMO, very good *as a starter*. As I said, I was just trying to lay out the defining pieces on the board so that people would have a clearer idea what the game is. It gives them something to know if/when they begin to go look for a knowledgeable teacher and thus it will save them time.



Funny you say that Mike.

I was at an iaido seminar last week, and the instructor for the seminar was the head of the All Japan Kendo Federation iaido committee.

He commented, "Kokyu is easy." He then spent 30 seconds describing how to do a reverse breath and to exhale on the cuts. Never really said why you were doing it that way, or what benefits might result, or how to know if you are doing it right. On the otherhand, there was nothing that I could see where he was overtly utilizing breath to raise or lower the sword, but perhaps I need a more educated eye.

Mike Sigman
06-15-2011, 10:07 AM
He commented, "Kokyu is easy." He then spent 30 seconds describing how to do a reverse breath and to exhale on the cuts. Never really said why you were doing it that way, or what benefits might result, or how to know if you are doing it right. On the otherhand, there was nothing that I could see where he was overtly utilizing breath to raise or lower the sword, but perhaps I need a more educated eye.Yeah, but even that part is more complex than that (the breathing) and there are some pretty sophisticated methods of breath training and usages. But it's a start; as more of the interested people get a baseline understanding of these types of training I think they start recognizing that there are bits and pieces (and more) in all the JMA's and CMA's.

I suspect that overall, in the bona fide systems, it'll be found that the same basic steps and rules will apply that are mentioned in the "Parameters".

2 cents.

Mike

Mike Sigman
06-15-2011, 10:49 AM
But I don't think that discussion is moving forward. Thinking up interesting search strings and doing some reading would move a person forward more. I think there's been better discussion even on that same site.
I think one of the rules for a good discussion is that if someone says something you don't understand or think is wrong, or etc., you ask "how does that work?". On forums like RSF there are too many people who rather than debate a point simply put down the person they disagree with (hence their constant bickering). So I agree with you Jonathan... just having a discussion topic doesn't mean it will be a successful discussion.

Best.

Mike

JW
06-15-2011, 11:53 AM
He commented, "Kokyu is easy." He then spent 30 seconds describing how to do a reverse breath and to exhale on the cuts.

Well if it is that easy, all of the aikido world is doing it right, too!

To me, that sounds like one of those examples of not telling the full story. Either because he has nothing more to tell or because he is keeping it simple. But I am pretty sure ultimately we are supposed to build something by doing repetitive exercises together with breathing, and then in application, what has been built has a use that does not have to do with respiration. So... reverse breath and exhale on the cuts, in training, nothing I could disagree with there. (though the raise is as important to me as the drop)

Regarding questioning and "how does it work?"... does anybody (Mike included) have anything to say about linking the breathing mechanism to the periphery as per my post? We could start more simply:
-link inhale to curving the torso concave-forward
-link exhale to curving torso concave-back
-squeeze internal pressure by using exhaling-mechanics while the inhale-mechanic is still in operation-- use the increased pressure to raise arms/upper body
In other words, the flexible frame is relaxed enough that pressure can modulate its shape, like a frame around a central bubble. If you can more finely guide the behavior of the pressure bubble by using intent, then you really have something that is different from normal body mechanics.

Of course, it is meaningless without the other things in the "parameters" article. For instance, the expanding bubble presses into the ground through the bones (so the ki of the earth can be accessed by the bubble-action). If someone lifts you, they would have to lift this heavy, stretchy sack (so the ki of heaven is channeled through the bubble). I guess in the end I am talking about developing 'suit' but I am talking about about only developing suit as a connection to the central pressure, as opposed to some peripheral load-bearing structure. Does that sound right?

Mike Sigman
06-15-2011, 12:30 PM
Regarding questioning and "how does it work?"... does anybody (Mike included) have anything to say about linking the breathing mechanism to the periphery as per my post? Well, I'm always willing to chip in to extended discussions, but in the past there tended to be only a very few who would contribute to the discussions; most Aikido people aren't that interested in the topic except to read. The idea of the "Baseline Parameters" was to encourage discussion by setting out a list of the interrelated basic topics that belong in a full internal-strength discussion, in the traditional sense. As a matter of fact, Ueshiba would have been aware of the traditional defining elements, as can be seen by how he references them in his douka and other places.

Knowing the baseline parameters, people should be able to examine the interrelationships and they should be able to see how seemingly unrelated topics in traditional Japanese and Chinese discussions are actually part of a singular discussion. That should help a lot.

Just to give an example, there's enough basic information so that someone can read (this is just one example) a book like Mantak Chia's "Iron Shirt Chi Kung" and begin to grasp why Chia uses those funny drawings of linked muscles and tendons as the main structural components (other than the skeleton) of the body. The body, hara/dantien, and connective forces work via those muscle-tendon channels, which are in turn driven by the dantien/hara. The idea of an "X" sounds cool and seems to go with some of the trendy fascia drawings, but it doesn't really apply other than in a stability sense (you can't initiate movement with it the way you can with the dantien/Muscle-Tendon channels). The point being that you can begin to eliminate useless information if you understand the basics of traditional internal-strength. Extended discussions would have been nice, but I think that's now more the purview of some of the younger generation, on a forum like this one.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

HL1978
06-15-2011, 03:02 PM
Well if it is that easy, all of the aikido world is doing it right, too!

To me, that sounds like one of those examples of not telling the full story. Either because he has nothing more to tell or because he is keeping it simple. But I am pretty sure ultimately we are supposed to build something by doing repetitive exercises together with breathing, and then in application, what has been built has a use that does not have to do with respiration. So... reverse breath and exhale on the cuts, in training, nothing I could disagree with there. (though the raise is as important to me as the drop)

Regarding questioning and "how does it work?"... does anybody (Mike included) have anything to say about linking the breathing mechanism to the periphery as per my post? We could start more simply:
-link inhale to curving the torso concave-forward
-link exhale to curving torso concave-back
-squeeze internal pressure by using exhaling-mechanics while the inhale-mechanic is still in operation-- use the increased pressure to raise arms/upper body
In other words, the flexible frame is relaxed enough that pressure can modulate its shape, like a frame around a central bubble. If you can more finely guide the behavior of the pressure bubble by using intent, then you really have something that is different from normal body mechanics.

Of course, it is meaningless without the other things in the "parameters" article. For instance, the expanding bubble presses into the ground through the bones (so the ki of the earth can be accessed by the bubble-action). If someone lifts you, they would have to lift this heavy, stretchy sack (so the ki of heaven is channeled through the bubble). I guess in the end I am talking about developing 'suit' but I am talking about about only developing suit as a connection to the central pressure, as opposed to some peripheral load-bearing structure. Does that sound right?

I think the inhale and exhale might be the other way around. The inhale, opens the body up making it convex to raise the sword. The exhale closes the body and makes it concave and adds power to the sword cut downwards as you "pull down" with the exhale rather than pushing the arms forwards and letting gravity take over. Of course there is more too it than simply movement of the upper torso and rounding the shoulders front and back to copy the shape of an open and close. Simply doing that doesn't really make use of the spine in the manner written in Mike's blog post. It doesn't work either if you are ihaling with the upper chest either.

At the very initial stages, preforming reverse breathing properly makes one more aware of some of the various muscles around the middle, asides from conditioning the connective tissues associated with suit. For me this was much like how I learned to wiggle my ears. I learned by pulling my ears back and forth until that area got sore and from that learned how to move them. Now I can squeeze each muscle in the lower back near the kidneys individually. This does help in raising and lowering the arms, since you can use them in opposition with the musculature in the lower torso (not the abs!).

Now what you want to be able to do is kind of roll the the middle back and forth by rotating the tanden up/back like a ball. I can feel my tanden move up and down a bit when I do this (very little), but I am trying to use the tanden rather than the abs pushing up and down, in conjunction with the lower back moving in the opposite direction of the front. If all that connective tissue is conditioned and your body is "pressurized" via inhalation, you should be able to raise and lower the arms via Mike's balloon man, by pulling/pushing from the middle utilizing both the front and back . At least where I am right now though, my arms don't rise up all the way, and I am using too much of the surrounding muscles of the middle which leads to an overly big opening and closing of the body, when view in comparison to the ideal.

Going back to that iaido seminar/test, I failed my exam, not because I didn't show the points they wanted to see, but because according to the head examiner I was told you aren't supposed to open/close the body during cuts, or physically drop the body. The spine should stay perpendicular to the ground and not bend.

To be fair, none of the hachidan instructors overtly open and closed the body, but even if the motion is really small and one is using this motion, they would have to experience a point where it is more overt earlier in their training. I think their comments would have been more instructional if they had discussed some of the above, but I guess they don't consider it particularly important.

Mike Sigman
06-15-2011, 03:11 PM
Going back to that iaido seminar/test, I failed my exam, not because I didn't show the points they wanted to see, but because according to the head examiner I was told you aren't supposed to open/close the body during cuts, or physically drop the body. The spine should stay perpendicular to the ground and not bend.

To be fair, none of the hachidan instructors overtly open and closed the body, but even if the motion is really small and one is using this motion, they would have to experience a point where it is more overt. I think their comments would have been more instructional if they had discussed some of the above, but I guess they don't consider it particularly important.Some of the people who are trying to change their mode of movement back to the sort of "ki" movement of Ueshiba, Tohei, etc., get flunked (or disapprobation) by high-dan "teachers" who only understand external movement, too. I.e., I'm not sure your being corrected means a lot, given some of the recent realizations.

2 cents.

Mike

JW
06-15-2011, 04:01 PM
Sorry to hear about the test, Hunter. Puts you in an uncomfortable spot, even if the scenario Mike described applies to the group you trained/tested with.

How I currently do suburi partially jives with your description. My previous description was overly simple-- my fuller description would be: there are periods of inhaling and exhaling, and they partially overlap, leading to high and low pressure moments.
Start with sword in front of you, inhale brings the hands inward, and then the pressure starts to climb because we are not doing only inhale-- this is when the sword rises. This is reverse breath, and we agree that air is still going in during the rise. I'm saying the sword rises because there is antagonism of the inhale, causing pressure increase.
Then we seem to disagree about the "cut" part. I propose that the exhale happens when the inhale stops. In other words what was antagonizing the inhale now exists freely without the inhale. If there was no sword, the hands would fly outward to the sides during this forceful exhale.
Last step, this is critical for me-- we are going back to where we started-- inhale action starts again as you "receive" the end of your cut back towards/into yourself. (the inhale begins before the exhale is done, so they overlap again)
There is symmetry here-- there are 2 brief moments that are not moments of overlapping inhale/exhale. Other than those 2 moments, while one wanes the other waxes.
Oh, there's no yinyang smily on this interface, damn.
Anyway no one says this method is right, just discussing.

HL1978
06-15-2011, 05:19 PM
Some of the people who are trying to change their mode of movement back to the sort of "ki" movement of Ueshiba, Tohei, etc., get flunked (or disapprobation) by high-dan "teachers" who only understand external movement, too. I.e., I'm not sure your being corrected means a lot, given some of the recent realizations.

2 cents.

Mike

I'm not all that worried as I expected as much. I'm not going to purposfully move "wrong" to pass a test since my training goals aren't done with passing tests in mind. I was testing for other reasons. On the otherhand, now I know what knowledge is out there at the higher levels in some of the japanese sword arts. I now know for sure as to what not to pattern my movement after.

Strangely enough after my exam, some guy I had never seen before came up to me and said I had really good movement and walked off. I think the guy was Meik Skoss. I never did get to seem him move, so maybe his comments shouldn't be given much weight either.

Then we seem to disagree about the "cut" part. I propose that the exhale happens when the inhale stops. In other words what was antagonizing the inhale now exists freely without the inhale. If there was no sword, the hands would fly outward to the sides during this forceful exhale.
Last step, this is critical for me-- we are going back to where we started-- inhale action starts again as you "receive" the end of your cut back towards/into yourself. (the inhale begins before the exhale is done, so they overlap again)
There is symmetry here-- there are 2 brief moments that are not moments of overlapping inhale/exhale. Other than those 2 moments, while one wanes the other waxes.
Oh, there's no yinyang smily on this interface, damn.
Anyway no one says this method is right, just discussing.

I would tend to agree that the exhale leads into the inhale, and so forth. From chudan for example, closing the body a little makes it a heck of a lot easier to open the body back up. It also makes it easier to keep the weight of your sword down low in the body than taking it up and into the arms without the inital close.

Mike Sigman
06-17-2011, 03:47 PM
I'll start another thread about some of the baseline parameters some time, but meanwhile I think people should take another look at that thread on RSF and note the criticism about posture. That's worth a discussion in light of the baseline parameters .... and the comments say a lot. ;)

Mike

gregstec
06-17-2011, 07:25 PM
Strangely enough after my exam, some guy I had never seen before came up to me and said I had really good movement and walked off. I think the guy was Meik Skoss. I never did get to seem him move, so maybe his comments shouldn't be given much weight either.



Hi Hunter,

Google Meik Skoss and maybe you may want to change your opinion concerning the weight of his comments :) unless of course, your comment was made tongue in cheek ;)

Greg