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Mario Tobias
07-25-2011, 03:58 PM
I know there's been a lot of discussion with the importance of the "center" but I've looked at Okamoto Seigo shihan's vids of Daito ryu and he does similar aikido techniques more with wrist manipulation ( for a lot of techniques).

Sorry I know this is more of a daito ryu question but it looks like both arts are related...but hey I maybe mistaken....and I'm very curious.

Howard Popkin
07-25-2011, 04:03 PM
Mario,

I have met Okamoto Sensei a few times :)

Yes, all of his power is from the center. His wrist manipulations are supported by his center. They offer direction and softness to the movements.

Hope that helps !

Howard

crbateman
07-25-2011, 04:37 PM
The center is the trunk of the tree... Very little is possible (or powerful) without a strong and controlled center.

Adam Huss
07-25-2011, 04:51 PM
Very true.

In addition I have been told that power comes from the big toe...ie the ground.

graham christian
07-25-2011, 05:18 PM
And we haven't mentioned Koshi yet either, or kokyu.

Adam Huss
07-25-2011, 05:50 PM
Hey....gotta respect the toe!

Mario Tobias
07-25-2011, 07:58 PM
Hey....gotta respect the toe!

yup, I got that one from shioda sensei's book.

the reason I asked the center question is for example 2 people holding your arms similar to ushiro waza with one person holding each arm pulling the arm back and both ukes are locked, how the heck would you move your center?

it seems to me the only part you can move is twisting the wrist inwards first then you can move the body? this is what I see from okamoto sensei's movement. he twists the wrists inwards, bends the elbow then throws both ukes. but videos dont show the "true" movements.

robin_jet_alt
07-25-2011, 08:11 PM
I did a seminar with Endo sensei a few years ago where this was exactly what we were practicing. It was all moving from the centre, and not from the arms at all. I'm sure there are some videos of him teaching this somewhere.

Gorgeous George
07-25-2011, 08:30 PM
I did a seminar with Endo sensei a few years ago where this was exactly what we were practicing. It was all moving from the centre, and not from the arms at all. I'm sure there are some videos of him teaching this somewhere.

The man is my hero.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbxWbehlB98

crbateman
07-25-2011, 11:09 PM
the reason I asked the center question is for example 2 people holding your arms similar to ushiro waza with one person holding each arm pulling the arm back and both ukes are locked, how the heck would you move your center?

it seems to me the only part you can move is twisting the wrist inwards first then you can move the body? this is what I see from okamoto sensei's movement. he twists the wrists inwards, bends the elbow then throws both ukes. but videos dont show the "true" movements.
Try not to think in two dimensions. Your center can also be moved up and down, for instance. Rather than try to overpower uke by attempting to move that which he is focused on locking down, look instead to the other opportunities that his (or their) focus has left uncontrolled, like your feet or your hips. Almost any movement that you can make in a controlled fashion from the center can unbalance him (them), and this will lead to an opening for you to throw, counter, atemi, etc.

Janet Rosen
07-25-2011, 11:36 PM
Not arms moving or leading but center moving to place where arms are free to be connectors between you and him/them.

Chris Li
07-25-2011, 11:40 PM
yup, I got that one from shioda sensei's book.

the reason I asked the center question is for example 2 people holding your arms similar to ushiro waza with one person holding each arm pulling the arm back and both ukes are locked, how the heck would you move your center?

it seems to me the only part you can move is twisting the wrist inwards first then you can move the body? this is what I see from okamoto sensei's movement. he twists the wrists inwards, bends the elbow then throws both ukes. but videos dont show the "true" movements.

I think that you're talking about shifting your pelvic girdle rather than actually moving your center. The pelvic girdle is a big chunk of bone - great for support but not so good for generating power or initiating movement. The "center" resting above the pelvis is a large and complex mass of muscle and other stuff that can move quite well while your arms are locked.

Best,

Chris

DH
07-26-2011, 12:28 AM
The man is my hero.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbxWbehlB98
Why?
This is basic stuff, Graham. Can you show me something worth being a hero about? The real question is how can anyone claim to truly know aiki...do and not be past this stuff and on to more advanced things?
I'll assume for argument sake that Endo is past this stuff already and is only showing these basic concepts for beginners (I have no opinion, I have not felt the guy), but if that was a teaching tape or an attempt to teach, than well...! :rolleyes:
I mean, come on dude, seriously?
I say again, find someone who can do it, more importantly find someone who has students who are very, very good and thus hopefully they can actually teach it.
Just say'n
Dan

Lee Salzman
07-26-2011, 02:01 AM
Why?
This is basic stuff, Graham. Can you show me something worth being a hero about? The real question is how can anyone claim to truly know aiki...do and not be past this stuff and on to more advanced things?
I'll assume for argument sake that Endo is past this stuff already and is only showing these basic concepts for beginners (I have no opinion, I have not felt the guy), but if that was a teaching tape or an attempt to teach, than well...! :rolleyes:
I mean, come on dude, seriously?
I say again, find someone who can do it, more importantly find someone who has students who are very, very good and thus hopefully they can actually teach it.
Just say'n
Dan

Wishful thinking, man. I would kill to have had an aikido teacher who took the time to even explain things on that level for a couple years. But even had I, I don't think I could have interpreted what he is doing in the initial part of that video based on what he is saying, because I had no framework, and what he is saying doesn't seem to offer much insight into it either even now. How do you send power down? He sure as hell ain't saying there. I didn't even quite get it when you outright showed it and explained it until I saw it from yet another viewpoint, then it finally sank into my thick skull. :D

Lee Salzman
07-26-2011, 02:44 AM
Try not to think in two dimensions. Your center can also be moved up and down, for instance. Rather than try to overpower uke by attempting to move that which he is focused on locking down, look instead to the other opportunities that his (or their) focus has left uncontrolled, like your feet or your hips. Almost any movement that you can make in a controlled fashion from the center can unbalance him (them), and this will lead to an opening for you to throw, counter, atemi, etc.

A quibble... does the center move up or down, or do you move up or down utilizing it?

Tim Ruijs
07-26-2011, 04:37 AM
when you truly are the center, you will not move, the earth moves away from you :D

crbateman
07-26-2011, 05:33 AM
A quibble... does the center move up or down, or do you move up or down utilizing it?Center leads; body follows.

Lee Salzman
07-26-2011, 05:57 AM
Center leads; body follows.

What does it do to lead, and what does everything else do to follow?

Janet Rosen
07-26-2011, 06:11 AM
What does it do to lead, and what does everything else do to follow?

It literally moves. Not metaphorically, but literally.

Lee Salzman
07-26-2011, 06:50 AM
It literally moves. Not metaphorically, but literally.

Yes, but how? It matters. So I would just like to ask... how? :)

phitruong
07-26-2011, 07:15 AM
Yes, but how? It matters. So I would just like to ask... how? :)

it's one of those things in the domain of IHTBF. it takes days to describe if at all possible, but takes a few minutes to show.

now for those who went to Ikeda seminar or going to, when he said "move your inside", he meant move your center. i thought i wrote in one of the thread about moving your center in discussion with Budd. Budd! where are you dude?

as far as Endo sensei went, i believed he lacked the vocabulary to describe what is going on inside his body so he talked about "feeling", at least that what the translators translated (which could be absolutely wrong). Like Ikeda sensei, he doesn't have a systematically way to train the body, at least he hadn't share that part. so there is a big gap: solo training to build the body. most of what shown by both Endo sensei and Ikeda sensei are the basic applications, not full application of techniques (small part of it devoted to full techniques).

for those who have exposed to IP/IS, what Endo sensei and Ikeda sensei demonstrated should be pretty obvious and understandable even if the language doesn't quite match.

Carsten Möllering
07-26-2011, 07:26 AM
...that Endo is past this stuff already and is only showing these basic concepts for beginners (I have no opinion, I have not felt the guy), but if that was a teaching tape or an attempt to teach, than well...!

Yes it is one of twoh DVDs teaching very basic exercises, "modules" (?), movements ...
All of them are done with one or two partners, some of them want to guide into ones own body, some are about conncting with another body, some try to lead into the aikido waza.

There are no solo movements on the DVDs. And as far as I understand it, it seems to be Endos way of teaching to start at the "outside" and by understandning ones experiences to go deeper and deeper to the "interior", the inner body.
(Which is different from what Ikeda sensei did last weekend. But they meet.)

So Endo sensei doesn't talk about center, doesn't show what to do with one's center and he doesn't teach how to move the center (inside I mean, not hips or legs or something). But my experience is that his practice leads to exactly those things.

This is why I am so curious about IS/ IP: What Dan and ohters practice is different. But obviouly there are some relations or whatever. I just don't understand by now.

Much to learn I still have ...

Lee Salzman
07-26-2011, 07:37 AM
it's one of those things in the domain of IHTBF. it takes days to describe if at all possible, but takes a few minutes to show.

now for those who went to Ikeda seminar or going to, when he said "move your inside", he meant move your center. i thought i wrote in one of the thread about moving your center in discussion with Budd. Budd! where are you dude?

as far as Endo sensei went, i believed he lacked the vocabulary to describe what is going on inside his body so he talked about "feeling", at least that what the translators translated (which could be absolutely wrong). Like Ikeda sensei, he doesn't have a systematically way to train the body, at least he hadn't share that part. so there is a big gap: solo training to build the body. most of what shown by both Endo sensei and Ikeda sensei are the basic applications, not full application of techniques (small part of it devoted to full techniques).

for those who have exposed to IP/IS, what Endo sensei and Ikeda sensei demonstrated should be pretty obvious and understandable even if the language doesn't quite match.

Certainly IHTBF if the goal is to teach it to the extent of allowing someone to reproduce it. But in a discussion like this, with a question posed by the OP such as it is, we can at least give a plausible and logical explanation for what we mean to at least convince him to seek out the feeling in the first place, rather than a canyon full of doubt.

Let's say I want to throw a football (American). I have never seen someone throw a football. Someone tells me, "Okay, the arm moves, the ball follows." Oh... Let me go start pointing my arm somewhere, it's moving right? That football will start following my arm any day now. The arm is leading? What am I doing wrong here? This does not really inspire confidence in me. Oh, I was supposed to hold the ball, you say? Wait, you mean I'm not supposed to hold the ball like an ice cream cone? Hmm, I was supposed to let go of the ball too, I thought the problem in the first place was that I needed to hold it? :D

The "move your inside" thing is especially frustrating 'cause, well, in the end you can only see what effect it had, but the way Ikeda does it, you can't really see how it does it. It's like seeing the football fly across the field, and knowing a guy threw it, but not being able to see the guy visibly throwing the ball. He tells you just "throw the ball" and then we're back to... how? I've been to Ikeda's seminars long ago, and in the end, that's about all I left with, big giant "how?"s.

I think we can simultaneously raise the level of discourse here, while still respecting the limitations of IHBTF or whatever other 5 letter acronym that gets dragged out. Some of us have already felt it and still have questions, so now what?

Mary Eastland
07-26-2011, 07:41 AM
Is it power or connection that you are really looking for?

oisin bourke
07-26-2011, 07:45 AM
Yes, but how? It matters. So I would just like to ask... how? :)

How about What? Something has got to move "the centre", so what moves it?

phitruong
07-26-2011, 08:03 AM
The "move your inside" thing is especially frustrating 'cause, well, in the end you can only see what effect it had, but the way Ikeda does it, you can't really see how it does it. It's like seeing the football fly across the field, and knowing a guy threw it, but not being able to see the guy visibly throwing the ball. He tells you just "throw the ball" and then we're back to... how? I've been to Ikeda's seminars long ago, and in the end, that's about all I left with, big giant "how?"s.

I think we can simultaneously raise the level of discourse here, while still respecting the limitations of IHBTF or whatever other 5 letter acronym that gets dragged out. Some of us have already felt it and still have questions, so now what?

sure, the how is a big problem to describe about things that are going inside your body. for years, i was quite frustrated with Ikeda sensei's explanation "move your inside". i meant come on! am i suppose to flip my spleen or rotate my kidneys or making faces with my intestines? in recent years, probably the past 2-3 years, Ikeda sensei demonstration of "move your inside" got a lot better and almost understandable to aikido folks. now, if you pestering him long enough, he would tell you about his solo stuffs, which i have done, pestering him that is, in recent years.

i can only tell you my approach that after years of frustration with Ikeda sensei, and reading various argument of aikido folks with Sigman and Harden; i went and checked out these folks. a session with them, and i understand perfectly what Ikeda meant because these folks have ways to break it down and teach it and demonstrate it at the most basic level. there are folks in the same boat as i, and can attest to what i am stating here. those who have similar exposure, now have the same basic understanding, which is a common ground to start a fruitful discussion; otherwise, it would be two ships passing by in the night.

Howard Popkin
07-26-2011, 08:11 AM
but Phi,

If you were on ships passing in the night, you could go tuna fishing !!

:D :D :D :D :D :D

Lee Salzman
07-26-2011, 08:15 AM
sure, the how is a big problem to describe about things that are going inside your body. for years, i was quite frustrated with Ikeda sensei's explanation "move your inside". i meant come on! am i suppose to flip my spleen or rotate my kidneys or making faces with my intestines? in recent years, probably the past 2-3 years, Ikeda sensei demonstration of "move your inside" got a lot better and almost understandable to aikido folks. now, if you pestering him long enough, he would tell you about his solo stuffs, which i have done, pestering him that is, in recent years.

i can only tell you my approach that after years of frustration with Ikeda sensei, and reading various argument of aikido folks with Sigman and Harden; i went and checked out these folks. a session with them, and i understand perfectly what Ikeda meant because these folks have ways to break it down and teach it and demonstrate it at the most basic level. there are folks in the same boat as i, and can attest to what i am stating here. those who have similar exposure, now have the same basic understanding, which is a common ground to start a fruitful discussion; otherwise, it would be two ships passing by in the night.

I think the two ships passing in the night thing is, respectfully, a cop-out. In the spirit of Oisin Burke's question of what, I think we can probably at least try to ferret out some ground rules for what is a center, and what moves it. There are probably at least some things we could definitively say about what a center, as we vaguely use it in aikido, is or is not:

The center is not the arms (fingers, hands, wrists, forearm, elbow, upper arm, shoulder socket).
The center is not the legs (toes, feet, ankles, lower leg, knee, upper leg, hip sockets).
The center is probably not the pelvis, but there may be a some association with it.
The center is probably not the rib-cage and the scapula, but there may be a some association with it.
The center is probably not the skull but there may be some association with it.
There is quite likely a very strong association of it with the spine.
There is quite likely a very strong association with the diaphragm.
There is quite likely a very strong association with the active meat of the torso on all sides.
The center is probably not my spleen or my kidneys or my intestines, because I don't think I could ever figure out how to tie them into balloon animals with the power of my mind either.

But hey, that's already a lot farther than we were, no? And that wasn't even really that controversial to say, I hope?

phitruong
07-26-2011, 08:26 AM
but Phi,

If you were on ships passing in the night, you could go tuna fishing !!

:D :D :D :D :D :D

howard, don't make me go up there with a couple of guys and do an intervention on you since you have turned into a fishing addict! well, at least we will intervene after we eat all of your tuna, no point doing it before. :D

DH
07-26-2011, 08:27 AM
Is it power or connection that you are really looking for?
There is no difference. When people don't understand what being connected inside yourself means, they opt for:
avoiding / evading movement, and noodle arms (which they mistake for "soft"). This has created a false sense of what soft is in the arts among people searching for the illusive state of connected body. .
Power is connection / connection is power. What you do with it is your choice. The founder displayed it and talked about it. You have to have it, in order to be truly soft in the Martial Arts.
Just say'n
Dan

oisin bourke
07-26-2011, 08:35 AM
I think the two ships passing in the night thing is, respectfully, a cop-out. In the spirit of Oisin Burke's question of what, I think we can probably at least try to ferret out some ground rules for what is a center, and what moves it. There are probably at least some things we could definitively say about what a center, as we vaguely use it in aikido, is or is not:

The center is not the arms (fingers, hands, wrists, forearm, elbow, upper arm, shoulder socket).
The center is not the legs (toes, feet, ankles, lower leg, knee, upper leg, hip sockets).
The center is probably not the pelvis, but there may be a some association with it.
The center is probably not the rib-cage and the scapula, but there may be a some association with it.
The center is probably not the skull but there may be some association with it.
There is quite likely a very strong association of it with the spine.
There is quite likely a very strong association with the diaphragm.
There is quite likely a very strong association with the active meat of the torso on all sides.
The center is probably not my spleen or my kidneys or my intestines, because I don't think I could ever figure out how to tie them into balloon animals with the power of my mind either.

But hey, that's already a lot farther than we were, no? And that wasn't even really that controversial to say, I hope?

Well, fair dues to you for teasing it out.

How about pressure? How does pressure fit into it? (If at all)?

oisin bourke
07-26-2011, 08:37 AM
There is no difference. When people don't understand what being connected inside yourself means, they opt for:
avoiding / evading movement, and noodle arms (which they mistake for "soft"). This has created a false sense of what soft is in the arts among people searching for the illusive state of connected body. .
Power is connection / connection is power. What you do with it is your choice. The founder displayed it and talked about it. You have to have it, in order to be truly soft in the Martial Arts.
Just say'n
Dan

I dunno. I think you can have plenty of "Ki" (power) and no connection. Aiki is connection.

IMO

DH
07-26-2011, 08:38 AM
sure, the how is a big problem to describe about things that are going inside your body. for years, i was quite frustrated with Ikeda sensei's explanation "move your inside". i meant come on! am i suppose to flip my spleen or rotate my kidneys or making faces with my intestines? in recent years, probably the past 2-3 years, Ikeda sensei demonstration of "move your inside" got a lot better and almost understandable to aikido folks. now, if you pestering him long enough, he would tell you about his solo stuffs, which i have done, pestering him that is, in recent years.

i can only tell you my approach that after years of frustration with Ikeda sensei, and reading various argument of aikido folks with Sigman and Harden; i went and checked out these folks. a session with them, and i understand perfectly what Ikeda meant because these folks have ways to break it down and teach it and demonstrate it at the most basic level. there are folks in the same boat as i, and can attest to what i am stating here. those who have similar exposure, now have the same basic understanding, which is a common ground to start a fruitful discussion; otherwise, it would be two ships passing by in the night.
What I think it is interesting is that is that this is any news at all to those in the supposedly soft arts. The reason it is news is because most people don't have an idea of what connection is or feels like in themselves, so they make all soft of assumptions about how to get there. More importantly, "What is feels like," on the inside is something still out there and dreamed of for them.

I must say that I have met many who truly and honestly thought they were connected and soft, till they felt it and had it explained to them.
Get out there and feel and ask. If you keep getting some guy telling you to move connectedly, go somewhere else till you find several who can tell you HOW.
Then work
Dan

Lee Salzman
07-26-2011, 08:50 AM
Well, fair dues to you for teasing it out.

How about pressure? How does pressure fit into it? (If at all)?

That is where I fear my current studies have no definitive data points to contribute, and I am still researching. I can conjecture that outward movement (for me which I use to make up) is mediated by a directed expansion, and inward movement (for me which I use to make down) is mediated by a directed retraction, but I can't say that is how I should be doing it, or how others do it, or that the whole body muscular effort by which I do it is in any way the final product or just an intermediate crutch. So if you or anyone else wants to contribute data points on that matter, please, please, go ahead. ;)

Gorgeous George
07-26-2011, 08:52 AM
Why?
This is basic stuff, Graham. Can you show me something worth being a hero about? The real question is how can anyone claim to truly know aiki...do and not be past this stuff and on to more advanced things?
I'll assume for argument sake that Endo is past this stuff already and is only showing these basic concepts for beginners (I have no opinion, I have not felt the guy), but if that was a teaching tape or an attempt to teach, than well...! :rolleyes:
I mean, come on dude, seriously?
I say again, find someone who can do it, more importantly find someone who has students who are very, very good and thus hopefully they can actually teach it.
Just say'n
Dan

Well, it might be basic, but very few - even if they are capable of aiki - actually explain it, as opposed to just practice it.
I also love the way he moves: his demeanour.
And surely being capable of this basic stuff, allows him to do anything more advanced?

I learn from a shodan who follows Endo sensei: he's incredibly powerful, and unstoppable; he regularly asks to be held strong; pushed over; etc., and he never is.
And he's trained with Endo sensei, and is in awe of him.

I should like to train with both Endo sensei, and yourself, Dan, as you both have perspectives that interest me greatly.

What do you do that is more advanced than shown in this video, by the way?

DH
07-26-2011, 08:55 AM
I dunno. I think you can have plenty of "Ki" (power) and no connection. Aiki is connection.
IMO
I've lost track of how many times I have heard an Asian teacher point out a big strong unschooled dummy and say "He has great ki" Then the same teachers talk about someone with a charismatic personality and say "He has great ki" Good luck with that.
Ki is such a generic term that you can argue all day about it being uneducated muscle or refined whole body connected strength. A connected body makes connection with your opponent. You don't have aiki without connection, you don't have connection with an untrained body.

The martial arts are so full of people who don't have a connected body, that by shear volume, they make wrong... right. I think it is always been this way. There is a reason that throughout history, guys have shown up and gone through every body, with those same "every bodies" stand in wonderment. those that understand, have always stood out against the wallpaper that is budo (in every era). The trick is to stop being the wallpaper.
Dan

oisin bourke
07-26-2011, 09:03 AM
I've lost track of how many times I have heard an Asian teacher point out a big strong unschooled dummy and say "He has great ki" Then the same teachers talk about someone with a charismatic personality and say "He has great ki" Good luck with that.
Ki is such a generic term that you can argue all day about it being uneducated muscle or refined whole body connected strength. A connected body makes connection with your opponent. You don't have aiki without connection, you don't have connection with an untrained body.


I agree with you that it's a generic term, but I was referring to the term in relation to this thread:

One can have "ki" (i.e develop the centre as a locus of power) and at the same time not have "aiki".

DH
07-26-2011, 09:06 AM
Well, it might be basic, but very few - even if they are capable of aiki - actually explain it, as opposed to just practice it.
That's not an explaintion that will help anyone. Particulalry when he is demonstrating things that are wrong, and then righting them and not telling anyone what he changed and why.

And surely being capable of this basic stuff, allows him to do anything more advanced?
Nope. No guarantee of anything.

What do you do that is more advanced than shown in this video, by the way?
Well That's sort of like asking "What can be more advanced than addition and subtraction?" That's okay if your eight, not so good when you're the Math teacher.
Just say'n
Dan

DH
07-26-2011, 09:19 AM
I agree with you that it's a generic term, but I was referring to the term in relation to this thread:

One can have "ki" (i.e develop the centre as a locus of power) and at the same time not have "aiki".
You can also think you have aiki and not have aiki.

oisin bourke
07-26-2011, 09:23 AM
You can also think you have aiki and not have aiki.

Agreed.

Gorgeous George
07-26-2011, 09:30 AM
That's not an explaintion that will help anyone. Particulalry when he is demonstrating things that are wrong, and then righting them and not telling anyone what he changed and why.

Nope. No guarantee of anything.

Well That's sort of like asking "What can be more advanced than addition and subtraction?" That's okay if your eight, not so good when you're the Math teacher.
Just say'n
Dan

Interesting...
If you really have a much greater understanding, ability, and teaching method than Endo sensei, I will make sure to come and see you, when you next come to the UK.

Do you find that you are able, on the whole, to get effective results from how you teach, what you teach?
Do your students display greater ability/understanding than those learning from mainstream aikido teachers?

DH
07-26-2011, 09:34 AM
I should like to train with both Endo sensei, and yourself, Dan, as you both have perspectives that interest me greatly....

What do you do that is more advanced than shown in this video, by the way?
Hi Graham
I might be back in England this fall Graham. Keep in touch by P.M if you want to hook up.
Dan

Gorgeous George
07-26-2011, 09:40 AM
Hi Graham
I might be back in England this fall Graham. Keep in touch by P.M if you want to hook up.
Dan

Excellent; thanks a lot. :)

Carsten Möllering
07-26-2011, 09:48 AM
... I've been to Ikeda's seminars long ago, and in the end, that's about all I left with, big giant "how?"...
I don't know wether I understand your point?

I asked him "how?"
He gave me some exercises I can practice.
So I can explore one first step of "how".

At least I got a direction where to surch ...?

DH
07-26-2011, 09:49 AM
Hi Graham
We cross posted
Let me take this one at a time.

Interesting...
1. If you really have a much greater understanding, ability, and teaching method than Endo sensei....
I never said that. I may...I may not. I have not felt him or seen what he is capable of so I would never offer that comparison in any way. He is one of the few that I have spoken favorably about in open rooms though, as many here can tell you.

2. Do you find that you are able, on the whole, to get effective results from how you teach, what you teach?
If people put in the work? Yes

3. Do your students display greater ability/understanding than those learning from mainstream aikido teachers?
Well,, er...I guess I would say yes, but since many people who train with me are Aikido teachers;including something like nine or ten Shihan, I don't know how to answer that.

I'm not concerned so much with comparisons as I am with the work we're doing. The information is out there, it isn't just about me. I'm just a small fish in a big pond. The thing we should all be looking for is who's got it (to whatever degree) and more importantly who can teach it and is there proof that it is helping. That broadens the discussion. I suggest..oh hell I insist...that people go out and train with others all the time. Even those who don't like me much.
If I were a teacher, I would say you are supposed to care about the people you are teaching. Then, you have to care about their growth. Exposure to other methods and different perspectives can help even when they are wrong, because students/ researchers can examine methods and make up their own minds. No comparisons...ya don't know what you're going to get.
Cheers
Dan

Lee Salzman
07-26-2011, 09:52 AM
... I've been to Ikeda's seminars long ago, and in the end, that's about all I left with, big giant "how?"...
I don't know wether I understand your point?

I asked him "how?"
He gave me exercises I can practice.
So I can explore one first step of "how".

At least I hope so?

So would you like to contribute some data-points? :D

jonreading
07-26-2011, 10:02 AM
Saying "power is connection and connection in power" to an aikido crowd is a bit like putting a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. You're going get lots of protest and nervous glances. It's true. But there is a segment of mainstream aikido that thinks of power as a bad thing. They don't want it, they speak poorly of it... and they don't have it. Funny correlation.

Your core body contains the strongest muscles, connected to the greater part of your body. It is not a surprise that we generate most of our power from it. The problem is that we are pretty bad at generating power. Look at athletes that use power across the board; golfers, football players, baseball players, soccer players, hockey players. I could go on but these athletes all have strong stomach (back) and chest muscles, strong butt and leg muscles and strong shoulder muscles. They do not need to be big but they all have power from their sports science.

Popkin Sensei nailed this answer in the second post. Your body posture supports your center. Fancy wrist flourishes and sneaky movements do not make power. Every see the student who cannot do a single technique outside his dojo? Without the pre-knowledge of the timing and subtly of his fellow students quirks and collaboration? Don't we want to learn how to do this stuff to anyone and everyone?

O'Sensei spent a lot of his life building his body and developing his power between farm work, sports, martial arts, misogi and kiai. This conditioning helped him learn how to be most efficient with his body and generate a level of power that was legendary. We seem to sometimes skip over the hard work part of aikido and go right to the blending harmony stuff. Its a shame that we are so focused on not being powerful; there is nothing wrong with having power. I am not saying go out and punch trees. But, I think we could spend a few more minutes building up our core power and learning how to control our own energy before we start pretending to control someone else's.

For me, Kiai is connection; aiki is the manifestation of a union of energy resulting from kiai. You have to have something in order to share it with another. You have to control something in order to use it to control another. It is dangerous to consider an art that is dependent upon your partner - if my definition of aiki is connection, what is the result if you partner will not connect with you? For me, kiai is like driving a car - if someone grab the door handle while I drive past, it will not affect me but it will affect him. Kiai is the intent and concentration of our movement regardless of our partner's counter-action. Aiki is the union that results when my energy blends with my partner.

For me, developing this kiai is part of learning to move with your center. It is about unifying your body (literally) and moving from you center of power. The interaction with a partner is unnecessary for this type of training.

Mark Freeman
07-26-2011, 10:13 AM
How about What? Something has got to move "the centre", so what moves it?

Hi Oisin,

For me it is the mind/intent. The mind moves the centre, the centre moves the rest.

'If' the body is connected, then power is a natural result.

I think that Endo Sensei is showing but not fully explaining what he is doing. Being relaxed is only a part of the picture, how the mind/ intent works both with self and uke, is where I find the most useful practice.

Both Dan and Mike explain what they are doing in fine detail. I have found this incredibly useful in understanding what I have learned already, also in how I describe what I am doing when teaching the principles of aikido, which I am still striving to improve on all the time.

Most folk seem to be stuck in the physical aspects of centre and dont get me wrong, the physical aspects are hugely important, if the hands are not connected to the feet through centre in all movement, then power is greatly diminished.

I was taught, use the body to train the mind, then use the mind to lead the body.

Using mental imagery and metaphors, helps to embed the correct feeling and focus.

So don't use your feet and legs to move your centre, mentally move the centre allowing the legs and feet to naturally accomodate the new position. This can be done in all directions.

regards,

Mark

oisin bourke
07-26-2011, 10:23 AM
Hi Oisin,

For me it is the mind/intent. The mind moves the centre, the centre moves the rest.

'If' the body is connected, then power is a natural result.

I think that Endo Sensei is showing but not fully explaining what he is doing. Being relaxed is only a part of the picture, how the mind/ intent works both with self and uke, is where I find the most useful practice.

Both Dan and Mike explain what they are doing in fine detail. I have found this incredibly useful in understanding what I have learned already, also in how I describe what I am doing when teaching the principles of aikido, which I am still striving to improve on all the time.

Most folk seem to be stuck in the physical aspects of centre and dont get me wrong, the physical aspects are hugely important, if the hands are not connected to the feet through centre in all movement, then power is greatly diminished.

I was taught, use the body to train the mind, then use the mind to lead the body.

Using mental imagery and metaphors, helps to embed the correct feeling and focus.

So don't use your feet and legs to move your centre, mentally move the centre allowing the legs and feet to naturally accomodate the new position. This can be done in all directions.

regards,

Mark

Hi Mark,

That's a very good description, but it strikes me as being cartesian i.e "the mind" and "the body" are being experienced as two different processes. There's so much that's going on within us. The feet and hands of course, but there's so much more else that is moving. Being aware of what one is doing and "imagining" what one is doing can be two very different things, no?

Regards,

vjw
07-26-2011, 11:14 AM
but Phi,

If you were on ships passing in the night, you could go tuna fishing !!

:D :D :D :D :D :D

Howard,

Same old Tune eh?

Janet Rosen
07-26-2011, 11:59 AM
Howard,
Same old Tune eh?

Hopefully not same old tuna though... (I cod start a pun war but salmon might object if I porpoisely hijack this thread...)

Mario Tobias
07-26-2011, 03:23 PM
Hi Oisin,

For me it is the mind/intent. The mind moves the centre, the centre moves the rest.

'If' the body is connected, then power is a natural result.
Most folk seem to be stuck in the physical aspects of centre and dont get me wrong, the physical aspects are hugely important, if the hands are not connected to the feet through centre in all movement, then power is greatly diminished.

I was taught, use the body to train the mind, then use the mind to lead the body.

Using mental imagery and metaphors, helps to embed the correct feeling and focus.

So don't use your feet and legs to move your centre, mentally move the centre allowing the legs and feet to naturally accomodate the new position. This can be done in all directions.

regards,

Mark

Sensei was also telling the same thing but I still dont understand how the mind moves the center. Care to expound a bit more?

Chris Li
07-26-2011, 03:29 PM
Sensei was also telling the same thing but I still dont understand how the mind moves the center. Care to expound a bit more?

Well, it would be pretty hard to do much of anything if your body just moved on it's own - kind of an epileptic fit. Any movement will start from your mind and you mental intent to perform an action.

Best,

Chris

JW
07-26-2011, 05:59 PM
(I cod start a pun war but salmon might object if I porpoisely hijack this thread...)

Oh SNAPper.. grooooaaaannnn!!!

Hi Mark-

So don't use your feet and legs to move your centre, mentally move the centre allowing the legs and feet to naturally accomodate the new position. This can be done in all directions.


I really like this quote. This "accommodation" type thinking was really critical in improving what I do, too. Perfect way to describe the upper body's relationship to the center too.

JW
07-26-2011, 06:43 PM
Lee, I really appreciate and respect your persistent "how" question. I can't answer very well, but I would like to propose a reason for that: I am not that developed yet, so my meager "center" is not a good reference for defining the final state of that structure.

But I have a hypothesis. Once you have a sense of "intent" and "ki" in the body and strengthen the corresponding tissues a bit, you can use Mark's idea -- by using intent, the center and the periphery have an "accommodational" relationship. When one tries to "accommodate the demands of the center," (or use the center to accommodate a given body shape), the structures in that lower abdomen spot (and hopefully elsewhere) are moving to make that happen.

I would say that there are muscles in that region (including those involved in breathing-- meaning muscles that can apply tension up to the lungs, even thought the lungs are not in the lower abdomen.. hmm, how could that be possible?) which can pull on connective tissue. The accommodation is the preservation of some kind of tautness throughout the body. I hope that last sentence makes sense, because that is the point.

hughrbeyer
07-26-2011, 08:21 PM
The center is probably not my spleen or my kidneys or my intestines, because I don't think I could ever figure out how to tie them into balloon animals with the power of my mind either.

Actually, the operational definition of "center" I am using at the moment is precisely the entire bag of guts from abdominal wall to spine, from diaphragm to pelvic floor. It's that three-dimensional mass that I think about using to initiate movement.

Balloon animals are not currently on the syllabus, tho I expect they will show up any day now.

Janet Rosen
07-26-2011, 08:28 PM
Actually, the operational definition of "center" I am using at the moment is precisely the entire bag of guts from abdominal wall to spine, from diaphragm to pelvic floor. It's that three-dimensional mass that I think about using to initiate movement.

And how to move it up, down, back, laterally etc....

Mary Eastland
07-26-2011, 08:36 PM
There is no difference. When people don't understand what being connected inside yourself means, they opt for:
avoiding / evading movement, and noodle arms (which they mistake for "soft"). This has created a false sense of what soft is in the arts among people searching for the illusive state of connected body. .
Power is connection / connection is power. What you do with it is your choice. The founder displayed it and talked about it. You have to have it, in order to be truly soft in the Martial Arts.
Just say'n
Dan
I don't think we are speaking of the same thing. Connection provides opportunities where nage doesn't need power over uke.

DH
07-26-2011, 11:56 PM
I don't think we are speaking of the same thing. Connection provides opportunities where nage doesn't need power over uke.
Connection within your own body makes connection with uke
Controlling your own body means controlling uke
Deciding what to do with that connection makes for very compelling, soft and leading things to occur. I call that power. Doing damage and attacking with it, is no different as it is just another way of expressing connection. It is the other side of the coin. Equal and an unavoidable potential skill that goes along with connection.

It is the choice of what to do with it that tests the mettle of the person who can wield it. That is why your founder made it clear that aiki is deadly. There is little I have seen in modern aikido that expresses the founders power and message.
Cheers
Dan

Lee Salzman
07-27-2011, 01:19 AM
Lee, I really appreciate and respect your persistent "how" question. I can't answer very well, but I would like to propose a reason for that: I am not that developed yet, so my meager "center" is not a good reference for defining the final state of that structure.

But I have a hypothesis. Once you have a sense of "intent" and "ki" in the body and strengthen the corresponding tissues a bit, you can use Mark's idea -- by using intent, the center and the periphery have an "accommodational" relationship. When one tries to "accommodate the demands of the center," (or use the center to accommodate a given body shape), the structures in that lower abdomen spot (and hopefully elsewhere) are moving to make that happen.

I would say that there are muscles in that region (including those involved in breathing-- meaning muscles that can apply tension up to the lungs, even thought the lungs are not in the lower abdomen.. hmm, how could that be possible?) which can pull on connective tissue. The accommodation is the preservation of some kind of tautness throughout the body. I hope that last sentence makes sense, because that is the point.

So what is preserving that tautness throughout the body out to the hands, feet, skull, or tail? Is it okay to let the rest of the body, aside from the center, be floppy jello, and the center can somehow make up for this?

If you want to, say, go up, and you are thinking of moving the center to do this, what are, say, the legs doing to accommodate this? Is the center just going up?

Actually, the operational definition of "center" I am using at the moment is precisely the entire bag of guts from abdominal wall to spine, from diaphragm to pelvic floor. It's that three-dimensional mass that I think about using to initiate movement.

Balloon animals are not currently on the syllabus, tho I expect they will show up any day now.

But it is still worth asking, is your bag of guts in its totality (everything inside it) a mobile structure or even a load-bearing? By that I mean, is your kidney or spleen or intestines carrying any, well, connection? I'd hope not! I can buy the mobile things around it doing the carrying, but not the actual organs. Does the idea not strike you as a bit silly?

Mary Eastland
07-27-2011, 06:08 AM
Connection within your own body makes connection with uke
Controlling your own body means controlling uke
Deciding what to do with that connection makes for very compelling, soft and leading things to occur. I call that power. Doing damage and attacking with it, is no different as it is just another way of expressing connection. It is the other side of the coin. Equal and an unavoidable potential skill that goes along with connection.

It is the choice of what to do with it that tests the mettle of the person who can wield it. That is why your founder made it clear that aiki is deadly. There is little I have seen in modern aikido that expresses the founders power and message.
Cheers
Dan
Control is not a word I would use. I am not looking to control. I would rather blend. I think the connection I am talking about is very subtle..it must be felt in the cells and heard in the soul.

hughrbeyer
07-27-2011, 06:43 AM
But it is still worth asking, is your bag of guts in its totality (everything inside it) a mobile structure or even a load-bearing? By that I mean, is your kidney or spleen or intestines carrying any, well, connection? I'd hope not! I can buy the mobile things around it doing the carrying, but not the actual organs.

Experientially, yes. It can move, it can carry load, it can connect, it can carry connection from other parts of the body like winding a thread around a spool.

Physiologically, dunno, and I don't know that anybody else does either. Even western medical science is taking another look at the fascia as being more than just a wrapper but having a dynamic function in its own right. And fascia runs all through that area.

But ultimately I'm highly suspicious of mechanical explanations of what's going on with this stuff. It's too complicated and the mind/body connection is too intricate to be able to treat it as as levers and forces--or at least, I find it too hard to operationalize such explanations in practice.

Lee Salzman
07-27-2011, 07:10 AM
Experientially, yes. It can move, it can carry load, it can connect, it can carry connection from other parts of the body like winding a thread around a spool.

Physiologically, dunno, and I don't know that anybody else does either. Even western medical science is taking another look at the fascia as being more than just a wrapper but having a dynamic function in its own right. And fascia runs all through that area.

But ultimately I'm highly suspicious of mechanical explanations of what's going on with this stuff. It's too complicated and the mind/body connection is too intricate to be able to treat it as as levers and forces--or at least, I find it too hard to operationalize such explanations in practice.

Are you arguing that actual load-bearing structures are on the same level as your spleen for conducting loads across the body? How would you go about training your spleen to help your aikido?

Cliff Judge
07-27-2011, 09:29 AM
But ultimately I'm highly suspicious of mechanical explanations of what's going on with this stuff. It's too complicated and the mind/body connection is too intricate to be able to treat it as as levers and forces--or at least, I find it too hard to operationalize such explanations in practice.

I think one of the weaknesses in relying on physics to explain phenomena we experience training in Aikido or other soft arts is that it doesn't take into account the psychological dimension. The same power generated from the same body can have dramatically different effects on the receiver depending on psychological factors.

Mark Freeman
07-27-2011, 09:31 AM
That's a very good description, but it strikes me as being cartesian i.e "the mind" and "the body" are being experienced as two different processes. There's so much that's going on within us. The feet and hands of course, but there's so much more else that is moving. Being aware of what one is doing and "imagining" what one is doing can be two very different things, no?

Hi Oisin,

I see the main focus of aikido practice (mine anyway) is the co-ordination of mind and body. They are two different aspects of the person, when working in a co-ordinated / connected way, then they deliver a very different experience to the un co-ordinated / disconnected way which is so obvious to see in someone who acts in this way.

I agree that awareness and imagining are two different things also. I am self aware enough to be able to describe what I am imagining, which is helpful in getting across to others, how I am doing something.

For example, I will describe an exercise which I discovered for myself fairly recently. I have posted it on these forums before, and as far as I am aware only David Orange, took it, tried it and reported back that he was amazed at how well it worked (he used a uke that did not know what he was going to try out).

Stand in an upright, co-ordinated, relaxed posture. Have uke hold both wrists and trap them against the tops of your legs (for exercise purposes, uke needs to be relaxed and balanced, not trying to do a death grip or leaning in like an idiot - that can be dealt with easily, but doesn't help in learning to feel your way into things).
Now, here's the imagining - imagine that your centre/one point/dantien is a gas filled balloon, mentally increase the pressure inside the ballon so that the pressure from the inside matches the pressure from uke on the outside. This allow the hands and arms to feel that 'there is nothing they can do' they are trapped between a rock and a hard place, so they can relax and let the balloon do the work.
Now start to mentally increase the gas pressure so that the balloon starts to expand. Let the hands/ wrists rest as if they are on the skin of the balloon
If and only if the shoulders keep themselves out of the equation, you will find that uke will be moved back as if they too are on the outer surface of the balloon.

This is only offered as a simple exercise in mind/intent leading movement. If at anytime movement reverts back to 'ordinary strength' then the feedback is felt immediately.

Mind over matter? maybe, does it work? it does for me.

If I imagine the gas used to fill the balloon is flammable and I ignite a mental spark, the one point explodes and uke is repelled back at a rapid rate.

This is fun to practice and helps keep me forever facinated in what can be done and how far we can go in our aikido journey.

My description given above assumes a reasonable level of co-ordination to start with, and some understanding of extending the mind beyond the body.

The mind/body are separate and one at the same time. Just as the aikido body needs the ability to be both fluid and solid at the same time (water and rock).

I hope some will find this helpful.

regards,

Mark

Mark Freeman
07-27-2011, 09:42 AM
I think one of the weaknesses in relying on physics to explain phenomena we experience training in Aikido or other soft arts is that it doesn't take into account the psychological dimension. The same power generated from the same body can have dramatically different effects on the receiver depending on psychological factors.

Hi Cliff,

I agree with this. we are not just bags of skin filled with bones muscle and organs. The mind plays a huge part in training. Both how the aikidoka uses their own mind to control their own state and how they use their mind to effect uke.

Of course physics can be used to explain much of what we do, however it is of little use to know all the descriptions of what should be done or what is happening, if one can't experience the 'feeling' of what is being shown.

I was taught (but didn't grasp for quite a long time) that you dont throw someones body, you move their mind, the body will, like a dutiful slave, follow where you lead their mind.

It is very hard for physics to explain the psychological factors at play.

regards,

Mark

hughrbeyer
07-27-2011, 11:59 AM
Are you arguing that actual load-bearing structures are on the same level as your spleen for conducting loads across the body? How would you go about training your spleen to help your aikido?

No, I'm arguing that if you're worrying about your spleen, your precision exceeds your accuracy, to put it in engineering terms. :cool:

raul rodrigo
07-27-2011, 12:26 PM
"Your precision exceeds your accuracy." I like that one.

JW
07-27-2011, 01:33 PM
So what is preserving that tautness throughout the body out to the hands, feet, skull, or tail? Is it okay to let the rest of the body, aside from the center, be floppy jello, and the center can somehow make up for this?

If you want to, say, go up, and you are thinking of moving the center to do this, what are, say, the legs doing to accommodate this? Is the center just going up?

Hi Lee, sorry for rushed explanation, gotta hurry and I may be off the boards for a bit.

To answer/explore your questions, I would put it in a way that may start to address "dantian rotation." (Though like I said I don't think I have enough of one to talk specifically about that term)

If you ask about "going up," you probably mean something specific going up, like the hands going up, with an uke attached. If the hands are in the front of you, then we could say you want the front of you to go up. So if the front of my upper body goes from facing level to facing 10 deg up-- the front is stretching and the back is shrinking down. Imagine there are 2 wenches (the mechanical kind not the barmaid kind). One has to reel in, one has to let out. If the lines on the 2 wenches are both connected to something in common, like the top of the head, then there you go, you already have a model right there. Also the question of what happens in the periphery is answered-- the taughtness brings the periphery along for the ride that the wenches demand.

What if you don't have lines that go from the wenches to a common attachment? Then maybe your question about the periphery is more critical. One wenchline could attach to a peripheral muscle, which is attached to bone. Flex that while reeling in the wench and you get increase tension along the line.

Anyway they're just models. Inspired by feeling, but to be borne out only by testing...

oisin bourke
07-27-2011, 06:24 PM
Hi Oisin,

I see the main focus of aikido practice (mine anyway) is the co-ordination of mind and body. They are two different aspects of the person, when working in a co-ordinated / connected way, then they deliver a very different experience to the un co-ordinated / disconnected way which is so obvious to see in someone who acts in this way.

I agree that awareness and imagining are two different things also. I am self aware enough to be able to describe what I am imagining, which is helpful in getting across to others, how I am doing something.

For example, I will describe an exercise which I discovered for myself fairly recently. I have posted it on these forums before, and as far as I am aware only David Orange, took it, tried it and reported back that he was amazed at how well it worked (he used a uke that did not know what he was going to try out).

Stand in an upright, co-ordinated, relaxed posture. Have uke hold both wrists and trap them against the tops of your legs (for exercise purposes, uke needs to be relaxed and balanced, not trying to do a death grip or leaning in like an idiot - that can be dealt with easily, but doesn't help in learning to feel your way into things).
Now, here's the imagining - imagine that your centre/one point/dantien is a gas filled balloon, mentally increase the pressure inside the ballon so that the pressure from the inside matches the pressure from uke on the outside. This allow the hands and arms to feel that 'there is nothing they can do' they are trapped between a rock and a hard place, so they can relax and let the balloon do the work.
Now start to mentally increase the gas pressure so that the balloon starts to expand. Let the hands/ wrists rest as if they are on the skin of the balloon
If and only if the shoulders keep themselves out of the equation, you will find that uke will be moved back as if they too are on the outer surface of the balloon.

This is only offered as a simple exercise in mind/intent leading movement. If at anytime movement reverts back to 'ordinary strength' then the feedback is felt immediately.

Mind over matter? maybe, does it work? it does for me.

If I imagine the gas used to fill the balloon is flammable and I ignite a mental spark, the one point explodes and uke is repelled back at a rapid rate.

This is fun to practice and helps keep me forever facinated in what can be done and how far we can go in our aikido journey.

My description given above assumes a reasonable level of co-ordination to start with, and some understanding of extending the mind beyond the body.

The mind/body are separate and one at the same time. Just as the aikido body needs the ability to be both fluid and solid at the same time (water and rock).

I hope some will find this helpful.

regards,

Mark

Mark,

That’s a great description and kudos for putting it into the public arena.

You may be interested in this exercise.

Have uke grab your lapels nd/or push on your chest. The arm should be fairly extended As with your exercise, a steady amount of force should be exerted by uke but they shouldn’t be locking themselves down completely.

As Tori, rest your hands on your lower abdomen, between the pelvic bones. Direct the force of the push downwards through your body. You can “send” this pressure down your spine so that you can feel this pressure deep in your hara, near where your hands are resting.

Now, mentally “move” this pressure from the hara to the hands. The pressure should now be felt in your hands,

Raise the hand that mirrors ukes pushing/grabbing hand.

Do not use muscle, but allow your hand to meet the underside of ukes elbow. The weight of uke’s arm/body should instantly be felt in your hara. You now have two sources of pressure in your hara: coming through your chest and coming through your hand.

The fun starts when you mentally “turn” the hara. If connected, uke should turn/move easily, without overt muscular effort on your past.

One difference I see between our exercises is that this one consciously manipulates pressure. Uke’s pressure on the hara is just one example of the pressure you can utilise.

This is what I meant by being aware along with using visualisation.

Regards,

Oisin

Mark Freeman
07-28-2011, 01:37 AM
Mark,

That's a great description and kudos for putting it into the public arena.

You may be interested in this exercise.

Have uke grab your lapels nd/or push on your chest. The arm should be fairly extended As with your exercise, a steady amount of force should be exerted by uke but they shouldn't be locking themselves down completely.

As Tori, rest your hands on your lower abdomen, between the pelvic bones. Direct the force of the push downwards through your body. You can "send" this pressure down your spine so that you can feel this pressure deep in your hara, near where your hands are resting.

Now, mentally "move" this pressure from the hara to the hands. The pressure should now be felt in your hands,

Raise the hand that mirrors ukes pushing/grabbing hand.

Do not use muscle, but allow your hand to meet the underside of ukes elbow. The weight of uke's arm/body should instantly be felt in your hara. You now have two sources of pressure in your hara: coming through your chest and coming through your hand.

The fun starts when you mentally "turn" the hara. If connected, uke should turn/move easily, without overt muscular effort on your past.

One difference I see between our exercises is that this one consciously manipulates pressure. Uke's pressure on the hara is just one example of the pressure you can utilise.

This is what I meant by being aware along with using visualisation.

Regards,

Oisin

Hi Oisin,

thanks for that, I will give your exercise a run out this evening when I have a class. I can see the similarities between both exercises and I am always looking for more ways to practice this sort of thing.

All good stuff and kudos to you for putting it out there too.

I'll let you know how I get on.

regards

Mark