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Mary Eastland
08-03-2011, 07:11 PM
Tonight at the end of class we did an interesting ki excercise. All nage was to do was to focus on their center no matter what way uke moved them. Uke moved nage in any direction in a manner not to overpower nage but to challenge nage in keeping their center.
I noticed such a peaceful feeling as uke moved my shoulders and my hips in many directions. Uke could only move me so far until the energy ran down into the ground and just went away.

My shoulders and arms got more relaxed. My posture adjusted naturally and calmness surrounded me.

JW
08-03-2011, 07:57 PM
Hi Mary, I'm confused, please help me get your meaning straightened out:
Uke could only move me so far until the energy ran down into the ground and just went away.

So you are saying this happened, in this order?
1. someone applied force to you in some direction
2. your body started to move due to the applied force
3. after moving you a bit, the apparent force diminished
4. you stopped moving, because there was no more apparent force

If that's correct, the order is strange compared to my experience. I guess you did something between 2 and 3, correct?

Mary Eastland
08-03-2011, 08:15 PM
Yup...that's what happened...it was different than what I have experienced before...I wasn't resisting or fighting anything...I just focused on my center and it felt like the push went away.

graham christian
08-03-2011, 09:06 PM
Tonight at the end of class we did an interesting ki excercise. All nage was to do was to focus on their center no matter what way uke moved them. Uke moved nage in any direction in a manner not to overpower nage but to challenge nage in keeping their center.
I noticed such a peaceful feeling as uke moved my shoulders and my hips in many directions. Uke could only move me so far until the energy ran down into the ground and just went away.

My shoulders and arms got more relaxed. My posture adjusted naturally and calmness surrounded me.

Excellent. That's what I like to hear. Congratulations.

Regards.G.

graham christian
08-03-2011, 09:51 PM
Hi Mary, I'm confused, please help me get your meaning straightened out:

So you are saying this happened, in this order?
1. someone applied force to you in some direction
2. your body started to move due to the applied force
3. after moving you a bit, the apparent force diminished
4. you stopped moving, because there was no more apparent force

If that's correct, the order is strange compared to my experience. I guess you did something between 2 and 3, correct?

I'll second that's what happens through the proper discipline of centre.(Aikido wise)

I will also add that until you can do this then you will fail to get a lot of what O'Sensei meant or even reality on no fighting or non opposition etc.

Until you get reality then obviously doubts about effectiveness creep in and thus people may look elsewhere and and consider Aikido doesn't work.

When you can be calm and centred in the face of a sword cutting you in half and still remain calm and centred, unmoved, full of admiration, then you will begin to realize what centre means.

Then the motion you do is no longer for self protection but merely to help the opponent, to save them from themselves.

Regards.G.

JW
08-03-2011, 10:46 PM
I wasn't going to dispute anything because Mary didn't make any absolute judgements. But Graham, you did:
I'll second that's what happens through the proper discipline of centre.(Aikido wise)


This is what I do, I won't say it is proper, but just so you know where I'm coming from:
1. force is applied
2. I don't move because it is going to ground
3. If the force increases too much, then my connection to the ki of the universe (heaven and earth anyone?) may become broken-- then I am moved by the applied force.
4. Then I have to forge a new connection to the universal ki..

As you can see, I was confused by Mary's initial description because from my POV some things happen in reverse order in her description.

Anyway let's not get too carried away with the "if you see it another way you will never understand" type comments, because I actually agree with / understand your big picture (see below)-- it is just methodology that differs.

Then the motion you do is no longer for self protection but merely to help the opponent, to save them from themselves.

JW
08-03-2011, 11:24 PM
Sorry I just realized that anyone reading might say, "well duh of course you don't move if the push is too light."

Just to clarify:
In the exercise Mary described, the interesting thing, the value or meat of it, was in what she did after being forced to move.
In the exercise I am describing, the interesting thing is what happens before you are forced to move.

Janet Rosen
08-04-2011, 12:06 AM
Sorry I just realized that anyone reading might say, "well duh of course you don't move if the push is too light."

Just to clarify:
In the exercise Mary described, the interesting thing, the value or meat of it, was in what she did after being forced to move.
In the exercise I am describing, the interesting thing is what happens before you are forced to move.

May another party interject here (go ahead, try and stop me, I'm from Brooklyn...:D)...
I believe it can happen BOTH ways and there is no contradiction. Once can be centered, find the groundpath, not move.
One can be disrupted by the incoming, find one's center, find the groundpath, not move.
Me, I'm happy either way....
What was the OSensei quote or paraphrase? Something like, yeah I lose my center but I get it back before you notice.....

Tim Ruijs
08-04-2011, 04:13 AM
What was the OSensei quote or paraphrase? Something like, yeah I lose my center but I get it back before you notice.....
+1 Moving Zen comes to mind. Move from one stable posture to another, fluently. When done in harmony (at the right time, right speed) with your partner... :D

graham christian
08-04-2011, 05:30 AM
I wasn't going to dispute anything because Mary didn't make any absolute judgements. But Graham, you did:

This is what I do, I won't say it is proper, but just so you know where I'm coming from:
1. force is applied
2. I don't move because it is going to ground
3. If the force increases too much, then my connection to the ki of the universe (heaven and earth anyone?) may become broken-- then I am moved by the applied force.
4. Then I have to forge a new connection to the universal ki..

As you can see, I was confused by Mary's initial description because from my POV some things happen in reverse order in her description.

Anyway let's not get too carried away with the "if you see it another way you will never understand" type comments, because I actually agree with / understand your big picture (see below)-- it is just methodology that differs.

Hi Jonathon.
Proper. By this I mean using centre as center wants to be used, Centre accepts whilst remaining undisturbed. Thus it allows. It allows the force to enter and thus dissipate. It allows the body to adjust in a non resistive absorbant way, hence the body movement which is merely natural adjustment.

In your example you describe a don't move situation which can be affected by more force which leads to disconnection and then reconnection.

That implies to me a lesser understanding of centre all be it still quite a good one. Why? Because you believe apparently that the body moving, adjusting, is due to lack of centre? I'm sure in Marys case this wasn't so.

Also you believe that much more force leads to disconnection? Thus you believe in disturbing centre? Most people do however centre is actually undisturbable and this is what I believe Mary was experiencing. Our own belief in it being disturbable is what makes it so, not the increased force. (in truth that is)

Therefore I am saying that any thoughts of body needing to be immovable is limited and prone to such continuous disconnection and reconnection issues. Centre is spiritual helping the body and it is that which needs to remain there no matter what not the other way around.

Hope this explains what I was acknowledging.

Regards.G.

phitruong
08-04-2011, 06:13 AM
Sorry I just realized that anyone reading might say, "well duh of course you don't move if the push is too light."

Just to clarify:
In the exercise Mary described, the interesting thing, the value or meat of it, was in what she did after being forced to move.
In the exercise I am describing, the interesting thing is what happens before you are forced to move.

my thought along the same line. reactive vs active. it's interesting to hear description of "being centered" from aikido and understand the playing with ground path from IS perspective. it's the same as this standing post exercise http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=272913&postcount=34 that's the basic level. next level is to have two ukes push you in two different directions at the same time, for example, front-to-back and lift up at the same time. next level, send the push back to pusher after being push. next level, send the push back at the moment of contact, sort of setting up a force reflecting mirror using your body. there are a few exercises from IS folks that would help aikido folks to "being centered" in a short period of time (a few months), no mystical or spiritual required.

graham christian
08-04-2011, 06:24 AM
my thought along the same line. reactive vs active. it's interesting to hear description of "being centered" from aikido and understand the playing with ground path from IS perspective. it's the same as this standing post exercise http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=272913&postcount=34 that's the basic level. next level is to have two ukes push you in two different directions at the same time, for example, front-to-back and lift up at the same time. next level, send the push back to pusher after being push. next level, send the push back at the moment of contact, sort of setting up a force reflecting mirror using your body. there are a few exercises from IS folks that would help aikido folks to "being centered" in a short period of time (a few months), no mystical or spiritual required.

Phi. That's all very well but it's ip and not centre as described by the op. It's nowhere near the same thing.

Regards.G.

phitruong
08-04-2011, 06:39 AM
Phi. That's all very well but it's ip and not centre as described by the op. It's nowhere near the same thing.

Regards.G.

i begged the differ. from my point of view and my teachers which included Ikeda and Saotome, it is the same. matter of fact, a few month backs, i was attending class at Saotome dojo, he went through a number of similar exercises and said these were what O Sensei taught him so he passed them down to us. matter of fact, i was his uke and i was pushing him pretty hard. that small old man stood there, then proceed to bounce me back. sorry, but i took his words before your, since he had been an uchideshi with O Sensei and actually spent time with O Sensei vs you which i doubt had never spent a second hand-on time with O Sensei.

Janet Rosen
08-04-2011, 10:25 AM
Phi. That's all very well but it's ip and not centre as described by the op. It's nowhere near the same thing.

Regards.G.

I disagree. I train in an aikido dojo whose lineage is direct via Tohei Sensei to my recently deceased teacher. The solo IP training exercises I do tie right into the body use of four principles, simply making them a little more explicit. I find them all totally congruent.

RonRagusa
08-04-2011, 10:31 AM
Sorry I just realized that anyone reading might say, "well duh of course you don't move if the push is too light."

Just to clarify:
In the exercise Mary described, the interesting thing, the value or meat of it, was in what she did after being forced to move.
In the exercise I am describing, the interesting thing is what happens before you are forced to move.

Hi Jonathan -

Further clarification: When we practice this exercise the point is that we're not being forced to move. We're choosing to go where the push/pull/lift/compression leads us until there's nowhere left to go at which point our partner's force bleeds off into nothing.

More concretely: I stand in natural stance, Mary behind me with her hands resting on my back just below my shoulder line. From this position she is free to maneuver me in any direction(s). Let's say she pushes forward on my right shoulder. I will let my shoulder move forward, remaining centered and relaxed. At a point when my shoulder is fully "extended" and unable to move forward further it simply stops, none of the force is transferred to the rest of my body and I remain balanced and relaxed. She can then increase the amount of pressure applied to my shoulder and I'll remain standing, undisturbed. Obviously if she goes beyond my point of structural integrity I'll be forced to move to compensate, but that's not the point of the exercise. With continued practice I am able to handle greater and greater loads before my structure is compromised.

Best,

Ron

JW
08-04-2011, 11:12 AM
Hi Ron, thank you that is very illuminating. Look how many words have been thrown around and I misinterpreted one word in the OP: "moved." I thought it meant something like take a few steps away from starting position. But this is different:

I will let my shoulder move forward, remaining centered and relaxed. At a point when my shoulder is fully "extended" and unable to move forward further it simply stops, none of the force is transferred to the rest of my body and I remain balanced and relaxed.

Now I think there may be a bit more to it than what you said here (this is a forum after all, not the actual class), but I think you are talking about exactly what I am into, gone about in a certain way. That is, in this exercise the receiver has some slack in his body, and the exercise involves not letting that slack go to the "advantage" of the pusher (that is don't let the slack be used to unbalnce you). Instead, while the push is coming in, conscientiously settle into a "good" state, while the motion caused by the push eats up the slack. End result is a well-formed chain: ground, body parts, push. I think it's great.

My point of view would involve this being an introductory step toward a similar idea but without the initial slack. Employing the same method of resolution described in the original exercise, you would get there without the body having to physically travel: you could bring the stability of the final position into the initial position using intent/the mind.
Anyway if that is the next step, I hope it is clear to everyone that what is being discussed here is pretty much identical to what Phi decribed (in his link, plus his elaborations here).

graham christian
08-04-2011, 11:41 AM
i begged the differ. from my point of view and my teachers which included Ikeda and Saotome, it is the same. matter of fact, a few month backs, i was attending class at Saotome dojo, he went through a number of similar exercises and said these were what O Sensei taught him so he passed them down to us. matter of fact, i was his uke and i was pushing him pretty hard. that small old man stood there, then proceed to bounce me back. sorry, but i took his words before your, since he had been an uchideshi with O Sensei and actually spent time with O Sensei vs you which i doubt had never spent a second hand-on time with O Sensei.

Ok. So what has a force reflecting mirror got to do with centre? I think two things are being mixed here as centre is mentioned in the same sentence as 'ground force.

If people think ground force is all part of centre then they are mistaken. Two different things, in fact one is called Koshi.

What exactly did Saotome tell you he was demonstrating?

Regards.G.

Janet Rosen
08-04-2011, 01:56 PM
I'm not Phi but I will say in my experience if you don't have a good center you can't establish a groundpath.

JW
08-04-2011, 02:38 PM
Two different things, in fact one is called Koshi.


I thought we covered that in the other thread: koshi is a word referring to a body part, the sacro-illial area, yes? Rather than being the name of the center or the ground-force.

JW
08-04-2011, 03:24 PM
The 'koshi' thing actually reminds me of the arguments between Ashe Higgs and Mike Sigman, here (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17123) and here. (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17018)

To sum up, it basically went like this.
--------
Mike: you're not using internal strength, but your teacher is. You're not moving from the dantian.
Ashe: We don't use the dantian. We use the mingmen.
Mike: just because you know the word mingmen and that it should be involved, it doesn't mean you are doing anything right. That kind of talk doesn't necessarily violate any theory on its own, but by not acknowledging the fact that the mingmen is only a part of a bigger picture, you make yourself sound wrong.
....
--------
My point is this. There are different ways of using the body. In aikido, if there was no talk about "seika tanden," and more talk about "koshi," then I might be inclined to follow your point of view more, Graham. But the way I see it the things Mike and Dan, and here, Ron, talk about sound very familiar from my aikido point of view, while you saying "koshi" sounds different and unfamiliar to my aikido background. So from my point of view, the aikido way to move the body sounds more similar to Mike and Dan's posts than to yours, so I don't think of them as being 'outsiders.'

Anyway I'm just expressing what sounds weird and what sounds like the aikido that is taught in my experience. In other words I won't say there is nothing important about the koshi but I am not centering my worldview towards it. You could chalk this up to different perspectives on the same scene.

Mike Sigman
08-04-2011, 03:48 PM
The 'koshi' thing actually reminds me of the arguments between Ashe Higgs and Mike Sigman, here (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17123) and here. (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17018)

To sum up, it basically went like this.
--------
Mike: you're not using internal strength, but your teacher is. You're not moving from the dantian.
Ashe: We don't use the dantian. We use the mingmen.
Mike: just because you know the word mingmen and that it should be involved, it doesn't mean you are doing anything right. That kind of talk doesn't necessarily violate any theory on its own, but by not acknowledging the fact that the mingmen is only a part of a bigger picture, you make yourself sound wrong.
....
--------
My point is this. There are different ways of using the body. In aikido, if there was no talk about "seika tanden," and more talk about "koshi," then I might be inclined to follow your point of view more, Graham. But the way I see it the things Mike and Dan, and here, Ron, talk about sound very familiar from my aikido point of view, while you saying "koshi" sounds different and unfamiliar to my aikido background. So from my point of view, the aikido way to move the body sounds more similar to Mike and Dan's posts than to yours, so I don't think of them as being 'outsiders.'

Anyway I'm just expressing what sounds weird and what sounds like the aikido that is taught in my experience. In other words I won't say there is nothing important about the koshi but I am not centering my worldview towards it. You could chalk this up to different perspectives on the same scene.

Just to clarify about mingmen (around the L3 lower vertebra) and the dantien *point* (just below the navel). The dantien as a whole is like a strong, articulate basketball, etc., that contols the body through the lower spine and the "suit"/body-connectivity. The ball can be looked at as bounded by the diaphragm on top, the dantien acupoint on the front, the perineum on the bottom, and the mingmen on the back. It's one large ball, in actuality and normal movement is considered to originate at the mingmen point of the whole ball and to come back into the body at the dantien point (too complex to cover in a short post).

My point was that saying someone doesn't use the dantien but uses the mingmen is simply a non-sequitur and shows an error in understanding.

2 cents.

Mike Sigman

graham christian
08-04-2011, 07:52 PM
I thought we covered that in the other thread: koshi is a word referring to a body part, the sacro-illial area, yes? Rather than being the name of the center or the ground-force.

Close. The area is correct yes. Different area than the centre. The point from which you experience what ip calls ground force yes.

Once again I'll differentiate further. They are both spiritual points aligned with the body.

If Mike calls this Mingmin then so be it. I'm unaware of any Aikido that uses such terminology be it Iwama or Tomiki et.al.

If those studying ip and relating it to Aikido are thus using that terminology then so be it. I didn't need it for the terminology inherent already sufficed. I must admit however that not many I have met have known the truth of Koshi and thus related all to centre.

I like your approach though. Good for you.

Regards.G.

Mike Sigman
08-04-2011, 08:24 PM
If Mike calls this Mingmin then so be it. I'm unaware of any Aikido that uses such terminology be it Iwama or Tomiki et.al.
Koshi is not mingmen, Graham. And you'd be surprised how many legitimate Japanese and Aikidoka know what it is since they use "ki", etc., exactly as the Chinese do. Perhaps, and I know this might be impossible to embrace, you have no idea what the conversation is about but you have such faith in yourself that it overcomes simple facts? ;)

Mike Sigman

Abasan
08-05-2011, 09:38 AM
Phi, Did saotome Sensei bounced you by sinking his center or rounding his shoulders or moving his hara or did he just stand there keeping still. Did you bounce back feet first or shoulder first? Were your hands locked when you were pushing him? Was he standing shizentai
or in hanmi?

I wish you have a vid...

graham christian
08-05-2011, 02:29 PM
I'm not Phi but I will say in my experience if you don't have a good center you can't establish a groundpath.

I agree. The development of centre comes first.

Regards.G.

graham christian
08-05-2011, 02:46 PM
Koshi is not mingmen, Graham. And you'd be surprised how many legitimate Japanese and Aikidoka know what it is since they use "ki", etc., exactly as the Chinese do. Perhaps, and I know this might be impossible to embrace, you have no idea what the conversation is about but you have such faith in yourself that it overcomes simple facts? ;)

Mike Sigman

Still got a bee in your bonnet? Maybe you don't know what Koshi is. Nothing to be ashamed of.

What's a legitimate Japanese? What's a legitimate Aikidoka?

What's wrong with having great faith in yourself?

Who are this mysterious they who use Ki just as the chinese do?

Who are 'the chinese'?

I just see you wrote another thread. Interesting. So go on translate all those chinese terminologies into Aikido terminology. Now that would be very helpful.

Regards.G.

Mike Sigman
08-05-2011, 03:05 PM
What's wrong with having great faith in yourself?
In some cases it's obviously misplaced.... i.e., faith is good; facts are better.

Mike Sigman

graham christian
08-05-2011, 05:16 PM
In some cases it's obviously misplaced.... i.e., faith is good; facts are better.

Mike Sigman

As I thought. You don't know what faith is.

Facts are good to hide behind. Let's see now, you can have out of sequence facts, generality vague facts (them, they, the chinese...) specially chosen facts, irrelevant facts, uncorroborated facts, mmmm. lots of facts.

In fact any datum is a fact. So what's the significance?

Regards.G.

Mike Sigman
08-05-2011, 06:06 PM
As I thought. You don't know what faith is.

Facts are good to hide behind. I'll bet you lay this sort of silly guilt trip on your students. The problem with a public forum, your videos, etc., is that people can judge for themselves without having to bear the burdens you impose. Wear that Rasta Cap, Bruddah.... you just went on my ignore list. PLONK.

Mike Sigman

graham christian
08-05-2011, 07:29 PM
I'll bet you lay this sort of silly guilt trip on your students. The problem with a public forum, your videos, etc., is that people can judge for themselves without having to bear the burdens you impose. Wear that Rasta Cap, Bruddah.... you just went on my ignore list. PLONK.

Mike Sigman

Wow. What guilt trip? What burden? What a fascinating response.

My advice to you is be centred no matter what.

Intriguingly.G.

RonRagusa
08-05-2011, 08:34 PM
"Being centered no matter what", that's what the exercise is all about. Uke act, nage remain centered, see what happens. There's no right or wrong here, it's all observation. It's training stillness of spirit in the face of... whatever.

phitruong
08-06-2011, 08:56 PM
Ok. So what has a force reflecting mirror got to do with centre? I think two things are being mixed here as centre is mentioned in the same sentence as 'ground force.

If people think ground force is all part of centre then they are mistaken. Two different things, in fact one is called Koshi.

What exactly did Saotome tell you he was demonstrating?

Regards.G.

it has everything to do with "being centered". "being centered" is being force neutral. when there is no external force apply, being centered meant you are neutralized gravitational force. as soon as external force apply, you have two ways to deal with it (and i don't meant getting the hell out of the way) to neutralize: absorb into your body if you are physically big enough to handle it and/or send it into the ground, similar to a lightning rod. the best scenario is to send it into the ground or some large object like a wall if your body touch it in some way. ron and mary mentioned of being pushed first then change their intent and recovered "being centered", i.e. they sent the push to ground, i.e. ground path. if they stood on a scale, the scale would have change. i mentioned that this is a reactive. the active level is to bring the ground to contact point immediately if not before, and their bodies should not being pushed then recovered. it should just "be". this is only let you handle external force up to the point your structure gave out. however, there is a way to be able to deal with even higher lever of input power than previous, by setup a "pre-redirected line" (i mentioned in the IS/IP tread of Ikeda sensei idea of "kata") or a force reflection mirror or wall if you will. sort of you tilted the internal wall at an angle to the external force applied to your body which immediately went somewhere else; thus, you are back to being force neutral, i.e. "being centered". this is a pro-active approach. of course, you can't keep this up indefinitely.

I have personally never heard Ikeda and Saotome sensei used the term koshi. they liked to explain things in English, in Saotome sensei case, Japonglish. :)

phitruong
08-06-2011, 09:35 PM
Phi, Did saotome Sensei bounced you by sinking his center or rounding his shoulders or moving his hara or did he just stand there keeping still. Did you bounce back feet first or shoulder first? Were your hands locked when you were pushing him? Was he standing shizentai
or in hanmi?

I wish you have a vid...

arms lock and shoulder lock while pushing him is equivalent of dive bunny. if you watched his videos on youtube, you think he's the kind who liked dive bunny? Ledyard sensei mentioned a number of times that when facing Saotome sensei, his job was trying to get him. if you don't, you can forget about being his uke again. watch this video on the section of Saotome sensei demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvBcNZUCO54 then ask yourself, does that kind of person like dive bunny? not to me.

he stood in what i called a walking stand. i walked in and pushed straight into his chest. i was out weighted him by 25-30 kg and physically much stronger. he just sinked forward slightly and i felt like a soft wall hit me. then i realized that was the power of my push which he fed it back to me and gave it a direction. i had to take 5-6 steps back to regain my balance (i don't give up my balance easy either. he's my shihan. either he can or he can't, make no different to me).

graham christian
08-06-2011, 10:47 PM
it has everything to do with "being centered". "being centered" is being force neutral. when there is no external force apply, being centered meant you are neutralized gravitational force. as soon as external force apply, you have two ways to deal with it (and i don't meant getting the hell out of the way) to neutralize: absorb into your body if you are physically big enough to handle it and/or send it into the ground, similar to a lightning rod. the best scenario is to send it into the ground or some large object like a wall if your body touch it in some way. ron and mary mentioned of being pushed first then change their intent and recovered "being centered", i.e. they sent the push to ground, i.e. ground path. if they stood on a scale, the scale would have change. i mentioned that this is a reactive. the active level is to bring the ground to contact point immediately if not before, and their bodies should not being pushed then recovered. it should just "be". this is only let you handle external force up to the point your structure gave out. however, there is a way to be able to deal with even higher lever of input power than previous, by setup a "pre-redirected line" (i mentioned in the IS/IP tread of Ikeda sensei idea of "kata") or a force reflection mirror or wall if you will. sort of you tilted the internal wall at an angle to the external force applied to your body which immediately went somewhere else; thus, you are back to being force neutral, i.e. "being centered". this is a pro-active approach. of course, you can't keep this up indefinitely.

I have personally never heard Ikeda and Saotome sensei used the term koshi. they liked to explain things in English, in Saotome sensei case, Japonglish. :)

Phi.
Ron and Mary never mentioned changing their intent and recovering centre.

However, your description is clearly communicated and thus I can clearly see what you do.

As to being centred? Well that's not centre as I teach it. Letting energy go through to ground and dissipate is as I've said what I call Koshi.

The aim being to neutralize opens my eyes to what you are doing and why. Thus the reflective mirror part and the deflection part also. Plus your view that being centred is being force neutral.

So there you are, if that's what Saotome does and how he sees it and also if that's part of ip training then I can say mine is different but this time due to your good explanation see why.

Just to let you know some differences. Centre for me is not exactly neutral it is very active and vibrant whilst at the same time being non-resistive. Centre line on the other hand is neutral. Koshi is I describe as harmonizing with gravity and for those who want more then it is more to do with 'nothing' or as O'Sensei would say connection to the void.

There is no need to deflect energy or form any mirror shield therefore in what I do.

Thanks for the explanation.

Regards.G.

Abasan
08-08-2011, 11:41 AM
Phi thanks for the clarification. That gives me a clearer picture.

RonRagusa
08-08-2011, 12:33 PM
ron and mary mentioned of being pushed first then change their intent and recovered "being centered",...

Hi Phi -

My intent is to constantly remain centered (have correct feeling) no matter what uke does in the way of maneuvering my body around. So while my body may move as a result of uke's push, the movement in and of itself is not an indication of a loss of correct feeling.

Ki exercises such as the one described by Mary involve both static and dynamic practice. Generally, all Ki training is about acquiring the correct feeling that comes from being centered. Specifically, static Ki exercises train the student to become accustomed to and learn to manipulate forces that enter the body at different points from different directions while dynamic Ki exercises take it one step further and introduce motion into the interaction.

The notion that I can sometimes lose my center is an incorrect description of what actually occurs. My center is always with me, it's continuous. What I can lose is my awareness of my center, a loss of correct feeling. If, because of something uke does, I momentarily lose correct feeling, I am free to reacquire it. That is, from the perspective of my awareness of it, my center is also ever returning.

The exercise described on the OP is an illustration of the idea that my Aikido is not about doing something to someone in order to maintain correct feeling (i.e. try to control or oppose uke's intent in order to keep correct feeling). My aim is rather to render the distinction between uke and myself nonexistent. In this way there is no clash, only congruent motion between us that eventually leads him to the mat.

Best,

Ron

JW
08-08-2011, 02:36 PM
The notion that I can sometimes lose my center is an incorrect description of what actually occurs. My center is always with me, it's continuous. What I can lose is my awareness of my center, a loss of correct feeling.

I am pretty sure when people say "lose your center" they are referring to what you say here. Like, if I lose my car keys I actually have lost awareness of the keys' location. They're still with me, somewhere in the house, but I can't tell you where till I look around. If I remember where I put them before I actually find them, then I have no longer lost my keys even though they are not in hand-- I have regained awareness of their location.
Anyway long story short, I think "lose center" is fair shorthand for "loss of awareness of center."

One question for you Ron. If one has "all the spirits of the earth come up into his body" (if you will permit this religious terminology that refers I believe to "correct feeling" of being connected to the ground), and he is not moving, wouldn't he not move when pushed? Just like a boulder would not move if pushed? In other words doesn't it make sense to want the end-state described by Mary to already exist before the push comes in?

RonRagusa
08-08-2011, 04:59 PM
One question for you Ron. If one has "all the spirits of the earth come up into his body" (if you will permit this religious terminology that refers I believe to "correct feeling" of being connected to the ground),...

Hi Jonathan -

I think that what you are seeing as the equivalence of "correct feeling" and "connected to the ground" is like comparing Relativistic to Newtonian physics. As Newtonian physics was shown to be a special case of the broader Relativity theory, so too you can view "connection to the ground" (weight underside) to be but one aspect of correct feeling.

...and he is not moving, wouldn't he not move when pushed? Just like a boulder would not move if pushed? In other words doesn't it make sense to want the end-state described by Mary to already exist before the push comes in?

Consider Everest, a rather large boulder, no? Well even Everest will move as the Indian sub-continent continues to plow into southern Asia. A sufficiently large force will eventually overcome immobility. So I don't get too caught up in the being immovable aspect of Ki development beyond its ability to aid me in strengthening my center.

Truth be told Jonathan, I'm not as interested in the end-state as I am in the process. If one goal of my training is to be in a continual state of correct feeling then the idea of an end-state becomes irrelevant.

Best,

Ron

phitruong
08-08-2011, 05:02 PM
Hi Phi -

My intent is to constantly remain centered (have correct feeling) no matter what uke does in the way of maneuvering my body around. So while my body may move as a result of uke's push, the movement in and of itself is not an indication of a loss of correct feeling.


Ron, first, thank you for your explanation. would you please explain the "correct feeling" aspect? what would constitute "correct feeling" vs "not correct feeling"? just trying to understand your point of view. language is such a bothersome to explain this stuffs. face to face would only take a few minutes to explain.


The exercise described on the OP is an illustration of the idea that my Aikido is not about doing something to someone in order to maintain correct feeling (i.e. try to control or oppose uke's intent in order to keep correct feeling). My aim is rather to render the distinction between uke and myself nonexistent. In this way there is no clash, only congruent motion between us that eventually leads him to the mat.

Ron

folks to tend to shy away the idea of controlling another person. leading another person to somewhere or redirect that person's power to another place, to me is a form of controlling. doesn't make one a bad person or a good person, it just is. i believed i discussed the idea of the "four legged animal" (not going to mention which animal that i haven't eaten) which essentially unity with your uke and you just happen to be the head; as it's bad to be the other end. :)

RonRagusa
08-08-2011, 05:32 PM
Ron, first, thank you for your explanation. would you please explain the "correct feeling" aspect? what would constitute "correct feeling" vs "not correct feeling"? just trying to understand your point of view. language is such a bothersome to explain this stuffs. face to face would only take a few minutes to explain.


Hi Phi -

Correct feeling is the embodiment of the four principles: keep one point, progressive relaxation, correct posture and positive mind. When I have correct feeling I am in my strongest, most dependable state. In other words, I'm centered at one point, I am relaxed both body and mind, my internal and external postures are in correct alignment and my mind and body are focused on a common objective.

And you're right "face to face would only take a few minutes to explain."

Best,

Ron

JW
08-08-2011, 05:44 PM
Truth be told Jonathan, I'm not as interested in the end-state as I am in the process. If one goal of my training is to be in a continual state of correct feeling then the idea of an end-state becomes irrelevant.


Hi Ron, I totally get your angle regarding don't be static-minded, process over end-state, that kind of thing. I am just trying to talk mechanics-- I don't deny the importance of dynamism.

I just meant the ending condition described in the OP. That is, no motion, presence of ground, force neutralized. That state I feel should be ongoing, whether someone is pushing you or not. So, if you are standing still, when someone applies a push you are standing still. If you are walking forward and someone pushes, you are walking forward. In other words your state is maintained rather than turned "on." I don't mean it is because you are being pig-headed that you are not affected-- more that you have already invited the ground into you, and uke does not get to boss the ground around. I hope this makes sense.

Mary Eastland
08-08-2011, 06:19 PM
We might be just talking past each other here....I wrote the first post because i felt a difference than I previously had. I noticed the focus on center that day allowed me to let in a new way. I was not seeking to accomplish anything...just let.
The peacefulness and connection were what made me take notice. It was enhanced.

lbb
08-09-2011, 11:24 AM
We might be just talking past each other here....

No! Really?

Honestly, I think that's all that anyone does on aikiweb anymore. Talk past each other, as loudly/condescendingly/smugly as they can.
:(

JW
08-09-2011, 01:54 PM
No! Really?

Honestly, I think that's all that anyone does on aikiweb anymore. Talk past each other, as loudly/condescendingly/smugly as they can.
:(

When I read the series of comments from Mary E, me, Phi, and Ron, I get a very interesting and coherent description of how methods are used to explore principles and bring about new forms of awareness that can be shared on aikiweb. In fact, regarding condescending or smug posts... you didn't have to post that. :confused:
Do you want to make this place better or worse? It's in our hands-- it just depends on what we choose to write.

jonreading
08-09-2011, 02:18 PM
I think Mary had a good experience. I am somewhat familiar with simple exercises that explore the correct body posture and structure to channel energy. As your body assumes the correct posture and structure the energy seemingly dissipates, although I think your body just retains less of the energy and more effectively channels it into the ground. I like these exercises because they give opportunity to identify force and seek to align and channel force. No pressure to perform waza. No contest from uke. Its a controlled experiment whose purpose is to build muscle memory and to feel how to absorb and channel energy.

Where I found the energy conduit most effective was in taking ukemi from the high-level guys. They put so much energy into your body that you have to have good ukemi to dissipate the energy from your body. If you hold it in and the energy is focused on your wrist, or your shoulder or whatever, you absorb a lot of force and you can be injured. Without the pressure of nage waza I think you can accept the exercise as ukemi and be content to "let" the energy flow through you without the pressure to use it for a purpose. There have been a number of guys with whom I've trained who after the several hundredth nikyo still seek to contest the shape. It worked 299 other times, but yet here they are fighting the shape and containing all that force in their body.

Similar to Phi's description of working with Saotome Sensei, I find that he and Ikeda Sensei both use your energy to stabilize their bodies while destabilizing yours and both use their internal power to affect your body (once destabilized). As a continuation of the discussion, I think stability is germane to the concept of center. I also think power is germane to the concept of center. I think both power and stability are germane to aiki. I think this exercise is one of stability, not necessarily power. Its a great exercise about me (not you).

Second, I think that at some level, we need to understand that aiki is not about yielding to our partner's pressure. Aiki is about assuming the proper role in the continuation of energy; sometimes that is assuming a recessive role, sometimes that is assuming a dominant role. This is the duality of ying and yang. I agree with Phi's point that we should not shy away from the dominate role, nor should we mask that role with soft language to make ourselves feel better about controlling another. This is somewhat tangent but I felt worth commenting [on].

Honestly, the feeling I get when I am centered is much more active. Its like my engine is running, just waiting to be thrown into gear - potential energy stored and waiting to have application. I think part of the process of channeling energy is the micro-flashes of movement from your center to make your body the most efficient shape and structure it can be.

lbb
08-09-2011, 08:22 PM
Do you want to make this place better or worse? It's in our hands-- it just depends on what we choose to write.

I no longer believe I have any control over it whatsoever, no matter what I write. There's just too much noise. Any jackass can kick down a barn, and all that.

Janet Rosen
08-09-2011, 08:36 PM
I enjoyed the OP and follow up between her, Jonathan, Ron, Jon and Graham all of which has been respectful and offer something consider whether or not I've joined in.