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graham christian
08-12-2011, 06:22 PM
In the history of Japanese martial arts there has always been a cultural view of mind and body which puts into perspective the western view of that being 'new'.

So when Tohei presented mind and body co-ordination it was only new really to those outside of Japan. So that's an intro for you.

Then we come to the concept of Hara. Once again always been there in Japanese Martial Arts and was considered where you keep your Ki or spiritual centre.

Now this could be called whatever other name you like form china or wherever, dantien etc. The medical ways of Japan dealt with energy paths and no doubt originated way back in china and acupuncture so also included energy balancing and thus the concepts of yin and yang.

I say all this to give you a picture of Japanese and what was common to Japanese and held by them as normal Japanese ways.

So now to tell you about the second body mind concept of equal importance and significance to the Japanese. Once again very normal and cultural and widely known throughout their history. This second mind body concept was common knowledge. I say this also so that when you consider O'Sensei and Aikido it would be obvious to the Japanese what was expected of them yet to westerners they would need to be told. Thus I feel this second concept has been missed by most westerners.

The second concept is Koshi. The second centre. So for Japanese they were used to using two centres so to speak.

Luckily for those who did Toheis Aikido where they developed weight underside they were in fact learning about Koshi.

Koshi is the back of the hips, translating as the lumbar pelvic centre. Just near the base of the spine.

This in Martial Arts goes back to the origins of all Japanese martial arts. The Hara was the spirit centre and Koshi was the pivot from where you moved. Keep ki in your centre and move from koshi is standard procedure.

Thus the centre of so called 'ground force' in Aikido terms or Japanese is Koshi.

Now I'll leave you with my own personal advice. Connect to heaven with Hara and earth with Koshi.

Hope some find this interesting.

Regards.G.

jss
08-13-2011, 08:33 AM
Koshi is the back of the hips, translating as the lumbar pelvic centre. Just near the base of the spine.
Sounds like what the Chinese call ming men.

Luckily for those who did Toheis Aikido where they developed weight underside they were in fact learning about Koshi.
Would you care to elaborate on that? How is weight underside connected to Koshi?

Thus the centre of so called 'ground force' in Aikido terms or Japanese is Koshi.
Is that the same 'ground force' as Mike Sigman's ground path?

Connect to heaven with Hara and earth with Koshi.
How can I tell if I do that correctly?

aikilouis
08-13-2011, 09:48 AM
Graham,

I didn't find koshi defined the way you do in the literature I consulted. Did you receive that teaching from someone else or did you create that definition ?

Fred Little
08-13-2011, 10:34 AM
Koshi is the back of the hips, translating as the lumbar pelvic centre. Just near the base of the spine.
Regards.G.

Graham,

The basic set of definitions in Nelsons (admittedly, not a specialized dictionary for Chinese medical usages) has the following:

Nelson 3799: koshi hips, loins, waist, pelvic region; small of the back; haunch; lower-panel wainscoating (lower wall only)

Afterwards come the compounds. So, a couple of questions:

First, do you have a citation in which it is quite clear that Tohei (or any other Japanese martial artist) is using koshi in a way that refers specifically to "small of the back" and not the entire region, which includes "hara?"

Second, while all these points or regions play a role in direction and alignment, how could a ground force "originate" or be "centered" someplace other than the ground? Wouldn't that make it some other kind of force if it were?

Best,

FL

graham christian
08-13-2011, 11:43 AM
Sounds like what the Chinese call ming men.

Would you care to elaborate on that? How is weight underside connected to Koshi?

Is that the same 'ground force' as Mike Sigman's ground path?

How can I tell if I do that correctly?

Hi Joep.
Ming men? I asked Mike if this was so and he said no. However, not that I'm too interested in what the Chinese call it or if their view on it is the same, but I believe they call it 'yao'

Weight underside: When practising weight underside, admittedly until you get good at it, you are practising relaxing the body, letting Ki flow through the body, learning about centre etc. but at the same time becoming more and more aware of gravity as if you are actually harmonizing with gravity.

Eventually you feel the difference between this harmonizing with gravity and centre. You feel and know the difference.

Now actually I'll tell you what happens. You feel what seems like a door opening at Koshi. Where most if they check it will find the base of their back tightens this is the complete opposite. Instead of tightening like a door closing, it opens and you feel Koshi. Now you realize that when you lose weight underside it is Koshi that is not open or relaxed. Get Koshi back and weight underside returns.

Now when you are used to and using Koshi all the time you find weight underside is there all the time and no longer a consideration.

As to wether that's the same ground force as Mike or whoever I don't really care to be honest.

To tell if you're using it properly is obviously a matter of practice and thus seeing the difference of when you are and when you are not using it.

Rather than go on about what it does etc. I'll just give you an exercise to do so that you can feel the difference.

Try doing funakogiundo with a partner pinning your wrists to your side. Try it with force. Try it with centre. Try it with Koshi. See the differences. Of course I am assuming you are familiar with these exercises and the nuances of them . Good luck.

Regards.G.

graham christian
08-13-2011, 11:53 AM
Graham,

I didn't find koshi defined the way you do in the literature I consulted. Did you receive that teaching from someone else or did you create that definition ?

Ludwig.
First about me. Yes I was taught weight underside and Koshi many years ago as standard procedure. Since coming to Aikiweb and assuming everyone knew about it I find that not many do apparently.

I wasn't taught by academics and looking it up and finding it's history and debating the pro's and cons etc. so when I see others debating things or I know something then I know that if I now search I will find some reference somewhere to it. So my research is more to do with validating what I already know and do. So yes it is my definition but I can find and give references to it from sources on the net. I found a great one recently.

I'll look it up again and post it.

Regards.G.

graham christian
08-13-2011, 12:03 PM
Graham,

The basic set of definitions in Nelsons (admittedly, not a specialized dictionary for Chinese medical usages) has the following:

Nelson 3799: koshi hips, loins, waist, pelvic region; small of the back; haunch; lower-panel wainscoating (lower wall only)

Afterwards come the compounds. So, a couple of questions:

First, do you have a citation in which it is quite clear that Tohei (or any other Japanese martial artist) is using koshi in a way that refers specifically to "small of the back" and not the entire region, which includes "hara?"

Second, while all these points or regions play a role in direction and alignment, how could a ground force "originate" or be "centered" someplace other than the ground? Wouldn't that make it some other kind of force if it were?

Best,

FL

Hi Fred.
Citation? As in my response above I'll look one up for you and post it.

Secondly if you read my response earlier you will see my explanation. How can ground force be 'centred' someplace other than the ground? Well that's for you to discover. The practice and use of Koshi answers that.

Yes it is another kind of force and that's the whole point. For me put in simple terms it is the Earth energy, Ki. Ground force is not and never has been my terminology. Thus I have no use for it or need for such terminology.

Regards.G.

graham christian
08-13-2011, 12:27 PM
Can't seem to copy and paste an article.

However you can look it up on google by typing in the following:

Koshi Balancing-a method.

Regards.G.

Janet Rosen
08-13-2011, 12:43 PM
Granted my own background is different but my late teacher was in Tohei Sensei's lineage pre-split and for a while after; she trained with him quite a bit in Calif and Hawaii and her own teaching was based on that. I never heard her reference "koshi" in discussing four principles, power or movement.

Fred Little
08-13-2011, 12:47 PM
Hi Fred.
Citation? As in my response above I'll look one up for you and post it.

Secondly if you read my response earlier you will see my explanation. How can ground force be 'centred' someplace other than the ground? Well that's for you to discover. The practice and use of Koshi answers that.

Yes it is another kind of force and that's the whole point. For me put in simple terms it is the Earth energy, Ki. Ground force is not and never has been my terminology. Thus I have no use for it or need for such terminology.

Regards.G.

Graham,

I've had several teachers who were well-versed in Tohei's methods and had direct experience with him as students, each of whom continued to use his four principles, his teachings on ki, his methods of ki breathing, and so forth, even after the great split, when they no longer had any formal affiliation with him. Subsequently, in my own training, I've investigated those methods in some depth over a number of years to good effect. Don't get me wrong, it can be great stuff.

I've also done some study of the Japanese view of mind and body, and its transmission to the west -- though my scholarship and my practical application are woefully lacking when I compare my efforts with others of real accomplishment. I think it is fair to say that Tohei was the first person to transmit these teachings to the west in the language of Dale Carnegie's "How to Make Friends and Influence People," (which was apparently one of Tohei Sensei's favorite English-language books). But the distinctive differences between the Cartesian dualism of body and mind and the pan-Asian (it's really not just Japanese, you see) view of the interdependence of body and mind were addressed in both terms of both mental understanding and physical practices by a great many people before Tohei, some Japanese, some Chinese, some Indian, and even some in the West.

In your original post, you state quite unequivocally: "Thus the centre of so called 'ground force' in Aikido terms or Japanese is Koshi.

In this post, you state quite unequivocally: "Ground force is not and never has been my terminology. Thus I have no use for it or need for such terminology."

Mike Sigman has remarked a number of times over the years on the phenomenon of folks who say "yes, we have that," or "yes, we do that."

Well, I could say "Yes, before I encountered Mike, I was doing that all along."

To go back to one of the electrical examples he likes so much, my statement that "I was doing that all along," would have been entirely accurate if I meant that "Before I met a guy who knew how to put together a radio receiver, I was once reading largely theoretical works about radio waves and circuit design and getting some general grasp while he was listening to Vivaldi on the radio receiver he built from scratch."

I'm not disputing the importance of the hara, or koshi, or any one of a number of points you make. I'm also not claiming any major achievement in my ability to manifest "ground force." But I am claiming some small familiarity with aikido in general, the force generated by senior practitioners, and the methods used to train that force on the one hand, and on the other hand, with the kind of force Mike can generate, and the basic methods he uses to give folks the proverbial "foot in the door." I have met senior aikido practitioners who can generate tremendous force. But the precision of training method is something else entirely.

If "ground force" isn't part of your terminology, how can you know that you are generating it? If you can't know that you are generating it, how can you assert that it is the same as what you think you know? And if you have no need of it, but it's the same as what you have, aren't you saying that you don't need what you do have?

In short, it's difficult to make heads or tails out of what you're claiming here, and I don't think the confusion is all mine.

Best,

FL

graham christian
08-13-2011, 01:37 PM
Graham,

I've had several teachers who were well-versed in Tohei's methods and had direct experience with him as students, each of whom continued to use his four principles, his teachings on ki, his methods of ki breathing, and so forth, even after the great split, when they no longer had any formal affiliation with him. Subsequently, in my own training, I've investigated those methods in some depth over a number of years to good effect. Don't get me wrong, it can be great stuff.

I've also done some study of the Japanese view of mind and body, and its transmission to the west -- though my scholarship and my practical application are woefully lacking when I compare my efforts with others of real accomplishment. I think it is fair to say that Tohei was the first person to transmit these teachings to the west in the language of Dale Carnegie's "How to Make Friends and Influence People," (which was apparently one of Tohei Sensei's favorite English-language books). But the distinctive differences between the Cartesian dualism of body and mind and the pan-Asian (it's really not just Japanese, you see) view of the interdependence of body and mind were addressed in both terms of both mental understanding and physical practices by a great many people before Tohei, some Japanese, some Chinese, some Indian, and even some in the West.

In your original post, you state quite unequivocally: "Thus the centre of so called 'ground force' in Aikido terms or Japanese is Koshi.

In this post, you state quite unequivocally: "Ground force is not and never has been my terminology. Thus I have no use for it or need for such terminology."

Mike Sigman has remarked a number of times over the years on the phenomenon of folks who say "yes, we have that," or "yes, we do that."

Well, I could say "Yes, before I encountered Mike, I was doing that all along."

To go back to one of the electrical examples he likes so much, my statement that "I was doing that all along," would have been entirely accurate if I meant that "Before I met a guy who knew how to put together a radio receiver, I was once reading largely theoretical works about radio waves and circuit design and getting some general grasp while he was listening to Vivaldi on the radio receiver he built from scratch."

I'm not disputing the importance of the hara, or koshi, or any one of a number of points you make. I'm also not claiming any major achievement in my ability to manifest "ground force." But I am claiming some small familiarity with aikido in general, the force generated by senior practitioners, and the methods used to train that force on the one hand, and on the other hand, with the kind of force Mike can generate, and the basic methods he uses to give folks the proverbial "foot in the door." I have met senior aikido practitioners who can generate tremendous force. But the precision of training method is something else entirely.

If "ground force" isn't part of your terminology, how can you know that you are generating it? If you can't know that you are generating it, how can you assert that it is the same as what you think you know? And if you have no need of it, but it's the same as what you have, aren't you saying that you don't need what you do have?

In short, it's difficult to make heads or tails out of what you're claiming here, and I don't think the confusion is all mine.

Best,

FL

Hi Fred.
This is not about Mike or anyone else so please don't let's go there. Let's stick to Koshi.

My mentioning of him in purely in response to the questioner asking about what he said or asking me to compare.

Knowing what koshi is and it's relationship to gravity and Earth Ki I thus was interested in what all this ground force talk was about.

On discovering the descriptions of it I thus see where I have come across it or similar in the past. Thus I see some similarities and some differences. That seems simple enough to me. What's the confusion?

Read the article I pointed out. Note that it's common knowledge. Note that seiza is the act of sitting in or with Koshi. Note that while one (hara) was taken up by the west the other(koshi) was not. Note these are all to do with Japanese ways including and especially applicable to the understanding of Japanese Martial arts.

Study first, understand, then compare and contrast rather than just defend one view in order to put down another.

Thus I understand to a degree what ground force terminology is referring to. I have met people in the past who use such internal things and that's not to say it's exactly the same as what's talked about here but chances are it was from that ballpark.

Now, unlike you I have had no need to try to do what they were doing for what I was doing was unaffected by it. In fact the comments given to me were always to the affect of ahhh, you know.

Well the funny thing is I do know what I know and only felt and harmonized and dealt with what they know. I have never had a reason to learn what they knew and always viewed it as their way. No more, no less. In my experience they went away knowing that I did Aikido and were impressed and hopefully learned something.

So for clarification the similarity is this: Koshi harmonizes and utilizes energy from below, from the ground, gravity, and I won't go into the spiritual aspects of it as everyone seems to complain they don't get it. So surely you can see A similarity there but that's all. The descriptions I have seen of ground force and the ip terminology tell me it's not exactly the same.

However if you read what I said in the previous post I believe, according to that article, that the Chinese called it yao.

Now even if they did no doubt they would have their take on it whilst the Japanese would have theirs.

Early Sumo was based on this too.

Regards G.

graham christian
08-13-2011, 01:51 PM
Granted my own background is different but my late teacher was in Tohei Sensei's lineage pre-split and for a while after; she trained with him quite a bit in Calif and Hawaii and her own teaching was based on that. I never heard her reference "koshi" in discussing four principles, power or movement.

That's perfectly understandable to me Janet. The west was interested in hara and not Koshi.

As I said it was of no significance to the Japanese for they were brought up knowing it. What someone like Tohei would see and note is the emphasis those from the west put on upper body and force thus the principles are to let go of all that and learn centre and relaxation.

One point leads to the stillness of mind.

Relaxing, weight underside leads to the understanding of Koshi.

Extending Ki leads to the understanding and use of Hara or centre.

I must say that I too never heard Tohei emphasize Koshi as such but did explain such things as dropping centre. When you see him do such things and watch carefully you will see it's not from the front so to speak but from Koshi. The west tend to put all this down to a low centre of gravity and look no further.

Regards.G.

Fred Little
08-13-2011, 02:07 PM
Hi Fred.
This is not about Mike or anyone else so please don't let's go there. Let's stick to Koshi.

Graham,

Inasmuch as it was you who asserted that koshi and ground-path are the same, the reason for referencing Mike Sigman is his long-standing use of the term "ground-path" and the effort he's put into making clear what he means by that, both in words and in introductory seminars.

Thus, I was interested in your explanation of the relationship between the two. However, with each question I ask, you move on to another series of assertions which you base on what you feel, simultaneously dismissing the need for any experience (or empirical examination) of the thing with which you have no experience but "feel" to be the same as what you feel you understand.

Sorry to have troubled you.

Cheers.

FL

graham christian
08-13-2011, 02:56 PM
Graham,

Inasmuch as it was you who asserted that koshi and ground-path are the same, the reason for referencing Mike Sigman is his long-standing use of the term "ground-path" and the effort he's put into making clear what he means by that, both in words and in introductory seminars.

Thus, I was interested in your explanation of the relationship between the two. However, with each question I ask, you move on to another series of assertions which you base on what you feel, simultaneously dismissing the need for any experience (or empirical examination) of the thing with which you have no experience but "feel" to be the same as what you feel you understand.

Sorry to have troubled you.

Cheers.

FL

Oh dear. Is my English not clear enough for you?

I did not assert they were the same. Did I not point out A similarity?

Did I not say that's where it ends?

Did I not explain my interest in what ground path meant and thus explain the differences I found?

Can you read?

I'm not troubled by your enquiry. I give you references to read so that you can see the difference. None of this vaguely equals an assertion of the same.

I don't feel it is the same at all. I'm actually quite happy that it's not.

Maybe you are the one that is troubled by this view.

Regards.G.

Fred Little
08-13-2011, 04:26 PM
Oh dear. Is my English not clear enough for you?.

It is quite clear. Positively radiant. Do enjoy your practice! :straightf

FL

Janet Rosen
08-13-2011, 05:16 PM
That's perfectly understandable to me Janet. The west was interested in hara and not Koshi.

As I said it was of no significance to the Japanese for they were brought up knowing it. What someone like Tohei would see and note is the emphasis those from the west put on upper body and force thus the principles are to let go of all that and learn centre and relaxation.

One point leads to the stillness of mind.

Relaxing, weight underside leads to the understanding of Koshi.

Extending Ki leads to the understanding and use of Hara or centre.

I must say that I too never heard Tohei emphasize Koshi as such but did explain such things as dropping centre. When you see him do such things and watch carefully you will see it's not from the front so to speak but from Koshi. The west tend to put all this down to a low centre of gravity and look no further.

Regards.G.

But Tohei Sensei was a very clear, plain-speaking teacher. If he meant "koshi" he would have said "koshi."
I will grant you that by "centre" (as in "drop one's center") he probably did not mean the same thing as "one point" (as in "keep mind at one point") or he wouldn't have used a different word.
I can't think of anything in Tohei's teaching to suggest it is the sacrum/sacroliliac area.
In my own practice, I experience the "centre" as being that entire area between the diaphragm and pubis, encompassing front and back, a large globe if you will, resting on the hips, with the one point within it.
I still don't get the "koshi" thing outside of your system but that's ok - I think we have each clarified our language and usage and may have to agree to respectfully disagree.

graham christian
08-13-2011, 05:44 PM
But Tohei Sensei was a very clear, plain-speaking teacher. If he meant "koshi" he would have said "koshi."
I will grant you that by "centre" (as in "drop one's center") he probably did not mean the same thing as "one point" (as in "keep mind at one point") or he wouldn't have used a different word.
I can't think of anything in Tohei's teaching to suggest it is the sacrum/sacroliliac area.
In my own practice, I experience the "centre" as being that entire area between the diaphragm and pubis, encompassing front and back, a large globe if you will, resting on the hips, with the one point within it.
I still don't get the "koshi" thing outside of your system but that's ok - I think we have each clarified our language and usage and may have to agree to respectfully disagree.

Hi Janet.
I agree with what you say.

I can only point out not only what I learned but how I learned it and the explanations given.

As you are probably aware I was taught with emphasis on the Tohei principles and my teacher was English. However he taught us within that framework Koshi.

Now on researching it I find it is not only well known in Japan but traces back to the origins of all Japanese martial arts.

I find this quite amusing as I have often pointed out to people how it makes early Judo and Sumo make sense.

I do remember early on my own teacher wondering why we wern't duplicating what he wanted us to do and then him realizing we had a different view on what using the hips meant. Thus our introduction to Koshi.

Anyway. Hopefully it's interesting at least and for some it may explain a few anomalies they have come across.

To clarify what I teach for others I would say that koshi is the centre of relaxing energy and hara is the centre of vibrant energy.

It would be interesting to know if or how often Tohei mentioned hips.

Regards.G.

Walker
08-13-2011, 06:49 PM
@ graham christian: It is like a baby swimming in a sea of sharks.

Dude, you have no idea do you?

graham christian
08-13-2011, 07:13 PM
@ graham christian: It is like a baby swimming in a sea of sharks.

Dude, you have no idea do you?

Hey, do you feel sorry for the baby or the sharks? I like sharks, they're funny.

Regards.G.

Keith Larman
08-14-2011, 12:37 PM
Years ago I was sitting in a restaurant with some friends. In the next booth some people were discussing proper Formula One Racing driving methods. These guys knew everything! Proper shifting methods, how to take a turn most efficiently, etc. Unfortunately they were all 14-year-old boys. No drivers licenses yet let alone any likely experience behind the wheel of a half million dollar race car.

Now I'm perfectly willing to accept that the kid's might be right in some respects in terms of their knowledge gleaned from various sources. But they probably should hesitate to argue with people who've actually driven an F1... And there is a very deep question about how much they could truly to be said to understand the topic without having ever been behind the wheel.

IMHO you do that a lot, Graham. As a matter of fact I would say you just did that in a rather profound way.

And I'm trying to do that less. So on that note... Toodles.

graham christian
08-14-2011, 01:04 PM
Years ago I was sitting in a restaurant with some friends. In the next booth some people were discussing proper Formula One Racing driving methods. These guys knew everything! Proper shifting methods, how to take a turn most efficiently, etc. Unfortunately they were all 14-year-old boys. No drivers licenses yet let alone any likely experience behind the wheel of a half million dollar race car.

Now I'm perfectly willing to accept that the kid's might be right in some respects in terms of their knowledge gleaned from various sources. But they probably should hesitate to argue with people who've actually driven an F1... And there is a very deep question about how much they could truly to be said to understand the topic without having ever been behind the wheel.

IMHO you do that a lot, Graham. As a matter of fact I would say you just did that in a rather profound way.

And I'm trying to do that less. So on that note... Toodles.

Keith.
A touch of the same ol same ol? I think those kids knew quite a bit about formula 1 by your description.

I'm a formula 1 driver by that analogy, maybe formula 2, so what's your point? Are you one of those kids?

What's your view on Koshi by the way?

Keith Larman
08-14-2011, 02:43 PM
Keith.
A touch of the same ol same ol? I think those kids knew quite a bit about formula 1 by your description.

Yes, in a certain shallow, superficial, and totally naive fashion they did. And they also had a great deal of confidence in their views as well as the profundity of what they were saying.

But if they had any brains at all they should keep their mouths shut and ears (mind) open when speaking with those who have actually driven the cars, neh? You just never know whether you're speaking to someone who might actually have direct, personal experience with the very things you've never seen or done. Such speculation often ends up sounding like a bunch of 14-year-old speaking out of their hind regions. Which is sometimes rather endearing in an enthusiastic 14-year-old. Not so much in a grown man who you'd think would know better.

graham christian
08-14-2011, 03:20 PM
Yes, in a certain shallow, superficial, and totally naive fashion they did. And they also had a great deal of confidence in their views as well as the profundity of what they were saying.

But if they had any brains at all they should keep their mouths shut and ears (mind) open when speaking with those who have actually driven the cars, neh? You just never know whether you're speaking to someone who might actually have direct, personal experience with the very things you've never seen or done. Such speculation often ends up sounding like a bunch of 14-year-old speaking out of their hind regions. Which is sometimes rather endearing in an enthusiastic 14-year-old. Not so much in a grown man who you'd think would know better.

Sounds like you talking about yourself. Now, back to Koshi.

Keith Larman
08-14-2011, 06:58 PM
Sounds like you talking about yourself. Now, back to Koshi.

It must be nice to be you. Enjoy your happy place.

graham christian
08-14-2011, 07:12 PM
It must be nice to be you. Enjoy your happy place.

Indeed!
Aikido is fun.

Regards.G.

niall
08-14-2011, 07:29 PM
Graham doesn't need any help but I would just like to point out that he started the thread - he gets to decide what he's talking about. Trying to move the discussion to internal stuff and to someone who doesn't even do aikido was disingenuous and just a distraction. This is in the spiritual forum - if you want to talk about internal stuff please do it in the non-aikido martial traditions forum.

Graham didn't say anything revolutionary - koshi is a normal concept in martial arts. Maybe there are some differences in definition but it's a pity that the interesting suggestion he made that you connect to earth with koshi and heaven with hara is getting lost.

Janet Rosen
08-14-2011, 07:37 PM
it's a pity that the interesting suggestion he made that you connect to earth with koshi and heaven with hara is getting lost.

I agree it is interesting, which is why I am engaging in this thread!

I keep wishing that he could cite a reference other than his own experience. Is this a reflection of how ki moves up and down in the body during certain breathing meditations? Does anybody from Ki Society background know if this was ever explicitly discussed, taught or shown by Tohei Sensei?

graham christian
08-14-2011, 09:37 PM
I agree it is interesting, which is why I am engaging in this thread!

I keep wishing that he could cite a reference other than his own experience. Is this a reflection of how ki moves up and down in the body during certain breathing meditations? Does anybody from Ki Society background know if this was ever explicitly discussed, taught or shown by Tohei Sensei?

Hi Janet.
Niall quite right in pointing out the gist of the thread. For those who find it interesting I have cited a reference they can look up in order to understand what Koshi is and some history of it and indeed how it is used generally within the martial arts. ie: as the pivot and power base and the place from which you move.

As to Tohei? I'd like to know too.

I have taught this for more than ten years and so have a good understanding of what I mean and I'm sure you'll understand that when teaching I don't give references but demonstrate and give exercises for people to do and learn and apply.

Thus I can see when someone is using good Koshi and when they are not. I recall someone pointing out a Shihan who used to say Aikido could be done on one mat. This teacher it is said used to draw shapes, as i recall for instance the letter D and basically the uke would splatt straight down and indeed wouldn't want to feel that again. To me this was an example of the Ki of Koshi or rather both being used, hara and koshi.

So I'm afraid I can only give you what I know and use and any citations which align with it.

As far as Ki and Ki flow through the body during breathing meditations? Well that's a bit of a subject in it'self.

Once again I can only give you my experience gained through solid practice over many years without referring to any references.

Through Ki breathing or meditation you do become aware of filling the body with Ki and also aware of Ki flowing through the body. The breathing analogy is just that to me, an analogy. You may start with physical breathing but in the ned it is the natural flow in and out from centre of Ki.

So from that perspective your question of up and down the body doesn't make sense for it is like saying does air move up and down the lungs.

However from another perspective in my opinion and experience it does.

I can only explain this however in terms of Koshi and Kokyu and maybe add on to that centerline.

Kokyu being universal heavenly Ki and Koshi being infinite earth Ki. Heaven and earth.

Now the connecting line being centreline and the gathering place for the heaven Ki being Hara.

Now you can direct your Ki to go up or down or sideways or circularly through the body if you wish but the best way in my opinion is in and out. So now to explain the difference between Kokyu Ki and Koshi Ki in laymans terms and operational effect.

Kokyu Ki enlivens, invigorates, energises, gives life to. Koshi Ki relaxes, receives, allows, settles.

So it is like the great universal space of love and the infinite void.

Thus more to do with Aikido exercises and waza than with breathing for Koshi can receive any and all force and negativity whilst Ki from hara (collected from kokyu) then takes it's place.

When you sit in seiza and relax the body you will then feel the tension and force in the body go straight down centre line through Koshi to earth. Then via hara you may refill your body with heaven Ki and feel refreshed and replenish it all with Ki breathing.

So there you are. I bet that's quite new for you to hear put in that way. Hopefully you find it interesting or even useful but alas no citations.

Regards.G.

Janet Rosen
08-14-2011, 11:05 PM
So I'm afraid I can only give you what I know and use and any citations which align with it....
...
Thank you, Graham
New? not really. A mix of things pulled from various places, with your own spin and experience and use of language which is I imagine the basis of how you teach in your dojo - which is fine.

graham christian
08-15-2011, 07:08 AM
Thank you, Graham
New? not really. A mix of things pulled from various places, with your own spin and experience and use of language which is I imagine the basis of how you teach in your dojo - which is fine.

Hi Janet.
Not sure what you mean by 'pulled from various sources' or indeed 'spin' . Anyway, glad you enjoyed it.

Regards.G.

Chuck Clark
08-16-2011, 09:17 AM
.... uh, what Fred, Janet, and Keith said... in spades, three times.

best regards,

Keith Larman
08-16-2011, 11:38 AM
Graham doesn't need any help but I would just like to point out that he started the thread - he gets to decide what he's talking about.

Mr. Matthews, it isn't that I object to him talking about it. What I do object to is his refusal to address the points brought up by Mr. Little.

Furthermore, when one takes liberty with the meaning of words, especially with the added layer of complexity involved in translation, there is really nothing left to discuss. Graham's approach dramatically limits the possibility of rational discourse. What I see is self-serving definitions created to change the common meanings of words to support a point a view. And Mr. Little was pointing out a series of objections, none of which were addressed. It has little to do with "internal strength" discussions directly, but more about how he has redefined a number of concepts to make them fit more cleanly in to a conceptual framework he apparently already holds and to claim "I'm already doing this stuff I've never seen or experienced because I can redefine words to make it sound like it."

When I read Graham's posts here in this thread I'm reminded of a famous quote.

'There's glory for you!'

'I don't know what you mean by "glory," Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. 'Of course you don't - till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'

'But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less.'

Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass.

Back in the old college days in logic we used to call this the shifting grounds problem. Another one to reference is a so-called "definitional retreat". These modes of argument make rational discourse impossible.

Keith Larman
08-16-2011, 11:49 AM
Does anybody from Ki Society background know if this was ever explicitly discussed, taught or shown by Tohei Sensei?

Never heard it discussed in the way Graham has. We talked all the time about focusing on one-point. Also many would make a clear distinction between one point and koshi. The one-point would be center. One does "settle down" (our way of discussing it -- conventional was "weight underside"). Those imply a sinking down. But the whole idea of "ground path" as espoused by others (which was the implication of Graham's post) is actually a heck of a lot more subtle and nuanced. So in essence saying "this isn't part of my vocabulary because I'm already doing it" is really just definitional sleight of hand. Unfortunately all the nuance gets lost when one waves that wand. I've been guilty of it myself.

I still want to hear more about how Western Cartesian mind/body dualism contrasts with pan-Asian concepts. It would be an interesting discussion especially considering some of Wittgenstein's ideas about how we understand our world. Pervasive and insidious forces... That made my philosophy-trained ears perk right up. Love that stuff...

Janet Rosen
08-16-2011, 12:38 PM
The one-point would be center. One does "settle down" (our way of discussing it -- conventional was "weight underside"). Those imply a sinking down. But the whole idea of "ground path" as espoused by others (which was the implication of Graham's post) is actually a heck of a lot more subtle and nuanced. ...

I quite agree at least in how my mind/body system experiences things. As it happens, last night a couple of us co-led class in absence of more senior folks on the mat. I was working w/ folks on how to notice/feel/use 4 principles at different stages in a technique, using our first basic (katatori ikkyo).

I illustrated "weight underside" with the feeling of relaxed heaviness that unbendable arm generates at the point in ikkyo where nage has uke turned and imbalanced but not yet going to the ground (if nage lets up on uke and uke starts to turn back and rise, that feeling of a relaxed "weight underside" is what lets nage keep uke down until nage decides to funekoki forward to fully break uke's balance).

I am just starting to play with ground path stuff but definitely experience that in my body differently from what I was doing last night.

I'm no philosopher, but as a sentient organism, dualism never made much sense to me. :D

Keith Larman
08-16-2011, 01:32 PM
I'm no philosopher, but as a sentient organism, dualism never made much sense to me. :D

Cartesian Dualism is pervasive and inescapable in western thought. It has also been a Pox on our thinking since the day Descartes overheated himself to come up with that winner... :D

Marc Abrams
08-16-2011, 01:53 PM
Cartesian Dualism is pervasive and inescapable in western thought. It has also been a Pox on our thinking since the day Descartes overheated himself to come up with that winner... :D

Keith:

Heard a rumor that when Descartes overheated he allegedly said:
"I think too much, therefore I may be no longer be, therefore I certainly hope that god exists". :eek:

Regards,

Marc Abrams

Keith Larman
08-16-2011, 02:14 PM
Keith:

Heard a rumor that when Descartes overheated he allegedly said:
"I think too much, therefore I may be no longer be, therefore I certainly hope that god exists". :eek:

Regards,

Marc Abrams

Ah, cogito ergo sum.

I've always preferred the other side of this coin -- I doubt I exist therefore I do. :) That's kinda fun.

And I should be fairer to Descartes -- he gets all the credit even thought the whole mind/body dualism thing could be tracked back to Plato (forms) and earlier. So it is a pervasive theme in western thinking. And then Descartes sure hammered the nails deeply in to the coffin.

Now... How does that compare with Pan-Asian views of mind and body? And how does this change how we view notions of "dualism" in mind/body distinctions? Is this something we think we understand in Japanese arts or are we wearing Bertrand Russell "rose tinted glasses" when we examine these things?

Anyway... All the stuff Graham wrote is kinda familiar for me coming directly from a Tohei line (Tohei -> Rod Kobayashi -> Seidokan). But at the same time it seems forced and skewed.

Marc Abrams
08-16-2011, 03:00 PM
Ah, cogito ergo sum.

I've always preferred the other side of this coin -- I doubt I exist therefore I do. :) That's kinda fun.

And I should be fairer to Descartes -- he gets all the credit even thought the whole mind/body dualism thing could be tracked back to Plato (forms) and earlier. So it is a pervasive theme in western thinking. And then Descartes sure hammered the nails deeply in to the coffin.

Now... How does that compare with Pan-Asian views of mind and body? And how does this change how we view notions of "dualism" in mind/body distinctions? Is this something we think we understand in Japanese arts or are we wearing Bertrand Russell "rose tinted glasses" when we examine these things?

Anyway... All the stuff Graham wrote is kinda familiar for me coming directly from a Tohei line (Tohei -> Rod Kobayashi -> Seidokan). But at the same time it seems forced and skewed.

Keith:

I kind of look at the mind/body from a more existential philosophical perspective in that they are two ends of a spectrum that cannot be detached from or looked at separately from the other.

As to Graham.... I gave up a long time ago... "fuzzy logic" forced to fit within a post-hoc reasoning scheme at it's best/worst.... and then there are his videos......... Nuff Said!

Hope all is well.

Regards,

Marc Abrams

Fred Little
08-16-2011, 03:25 PM
Now... How does that compare with Pan-Asian views of mind and body? And how does this change how we view notions of "dualism" in mind/body distinctions? Is this something we think we understand in Japanese arts or are we wearing Bertrand Russell "rose tinted glasses" when we examine these things?

Keith,

The short answer is that Buddhism (Indian origins notwithstanding, I'll tag it "Pan-Asian") has a fundamental doctrine of dependent origination.

One of the more common examples given of this process is basic Boy Scout fire-starting-theory:

In order to start a fire, it is necessary to bring together fuel, oxygen, and heat.

In this view, consciousness in relation to the physical aggregates of the body is like fire in relation to fuel, oxygen, and heat -- something that seems to be distinct from those aggregates, yet remains dependent on and conditioned by those same aggregates.

Now things get interesting. In this view, once consciousness arises from those aggregates, the aggregates seem to also become dependent on and conditioned by the activity of mind, and that which has arisen and that from which it has arisen become mutually conditioning -- allowing for the possibility of changing the mind through changing the body or vice-versa, or (to pick up on Marc's usage) through varying combinations of the two along the spectrum from "pure body" to "pure mind" (neither of which actually exists in isolation from some measure of the other).

While this is a pretty orthodox Buddhist view, it has worked its way pretty thoroughly into the Asian cultural substrate, in the same way that the Cartesian (or if you prefer, Platonic) view has into ours.

Or something like that.

Hope this helps.

FL

phitruong
08-16-2011, 03:31 PM
Ah, cogito ergo sum.



isn't that "let go of my eggo", roughly translation, which involved sweet syrupy stuffs, with buttery stuffs, and on occasion fruit chutney stuffs although, that would be closer to the Frenchy stuffs which would related to Descartes who often ate the things right off the cart. :D

Keith Larman
08-16-2011, 03:56 PM
While this is a pretty orthodox Buddhist view, it has worked its way pretty thoroughly into the Asian cultural substrate, in the same way that the Cartesian (or if you prefer, Platonic) view has into ours.

Or something like that.

Hope this helps.

FL

Mr. Little:

Yes, it does help. Gonna get me doing some more reading. Any suggestions for a book on the Buddhist side that isn't too terminology heavy? Just as an impression it reminds me a great deal of Searle's ideas about consciousness.

Oddly after many years of being an avowed atheist (with a minor in religious studies, ironically enough) I find myself gradually more enthralled with Buddhism.

Fred Little
08-16-2011, 04:15 PM
Mr. Little:

Yes, it does help. Gonna get me doing some more reading. Any suggestions for a book on the Buddhist side that isn't too terminology heavy? Just as an impression it reminds me a great deal of Searle's ideas about consciousness.

Oddly after many years of being an avowed atheist (with a minor in religious studies, ironically enough) I find myself gradually more enthralled with Buddhism.

Keith,

If you'll stop calling me "Mr. Little" then I'll take a look on the shelves tonight after practice.

Fortuitously, there is no incompatibility between atheism and Buddhism. While I"m rummaging through my shelves, you might find the resources at the following link useful:

http://www.stephenbatchelor.org/book-confession.html

Best,

FL

Janet Rosen
08-16-2011, 04:59 PM
isn't that "let go of my eggo", roughly translation, which involved sweet syrupy stuffs, with buttery stuffs, and on occasion fruit chutney stuffs although, that would be closer to the Frenchy stuffs which would related to Descartes who often ate the things right off the cart. :D

Jeez, I thought I was bad with my "honeyed swans quay mallard ponds" :)

Howard Prior
08-16-2011, 05:11 PM
...the whole mind/body dualism thing could be tracked back to Plato (forms)...
It's been a long time since I heard a reference to "eide" though maybe I just wasn't paying attention. Your reference brings to mind the story of an observation of a teacher whose name I do not remember from a school I almost do. When asked if he believed in Plato's "forms" he said no, he did not. When asked, "why not?" he responded with one word: "Darwin". This put a different cast on that whole conversation for me.

I don't know about the dualism of body/mind in the "west" vs. the "east" but I would have thought there was at least a triumvalism of body/mind/spirit that need be dealt with.

I am quite sure there are a host of notions in "eastern" thought as well as in "western" thought that refer to different aspects of human being. That is, they do not use but one word to refer to the whole ball of wax.

Is not all else but detail?

I have no idea about Wittgenstein.

Howard

p.s. Still polishing?

graham christian
08-16-2011, 05:11 PM
Ahh. Keith and Marc together on the same thread. Well there's a nice dualism for you.

So through this 'philosophical' intellectual debate comes what?

No mention of Koshi, no understanding of it maybe.

Regards. G.

Howard Prior
08-16-2011, 05:21 PM
The second concept is Koshi.
This Koshi is different than, or the same as, the same word, in English, in the phrase koshi-nage?

Howard

Fred Little
08-16-2011, 05:23 PM
Can any discussion of koshi be complete without the expert guidance of Slim Harpo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGyAAWu3Gks)?

(Bonus visualizations and indications of sunyata! No charge!)

FL

DH
08-16-2011, 05:27 PM
Graham,
The basic set of definitions in Nelsons (admittedly, not a specialized dictionary for Chinese medical usages) has the following:

Nelson 3799: koshi hips, loins, waist, pelvic region; small of the back; haunch; lower-panel wainscoating (lower wall only)

Afterwards come the compounds. So, a couple of questions:

First, do you have a citation in which it is quite clear that Tohei (or any other Japanese martial artist) is using koshi in a way that refers specifically to "small of the back" and not the entire region, which includes "hara?"

Second, while all these points or regions play a role in direction and alignment, how could a ground force "originate" or be "centered" someplace other than the ground? Wouldn't that make it some other kind of force if it were?
Best,
FL
Good talking point.
Story of a session with a venerated, very talented and famous Japanese teacher:
Students seeing him turn from the waist and twist during all movements and he tells them "Move from Koshi."
Note* The teacher says koshi in Japanese but knows the english word, hips.
Students ask "Sensei you say move from the hips and yet when you move, you turn from the waist, leaving the hips more or less square. Which is it; waist or hips?"
Teacher does the Kata again and looks down and looks up at his students confused. He slides his hands up and down from hip line to sternum and looks at his students and with a big smile says.... "Koshi!"

Years go by
Two students under the same teacher go different ways. They meet. They teach completely different body mechanics. Both watch each other and say....
"You didn't get it."
Good luck with that.
What is key is that what most people would call their hips, is not what you really need to move down there for power, or what and why it is important to move their waist in the first place.
I read all of it and shrugged. Everyone is going to go back to what they were doing when they walked in the door.
Just say'n
Dan

Keith Larman
08-16-2011, 05:30 PM
...I don't know about the dualism of body/mind in the "west" vs. the "east" but I would have thought there was at least a triumvalism of body/mind/spirit that need be dealt with.

The point of the issue is that Western and Eastern cultures have very different conceptions at the very core of issues such as mind/body. So when someone starts to analyze the "meaning" of certain things through the eyes of the other culture apparently disregarding the very different underlying world view there is inevitably a significant alteration or loss of meaning. Misunderstanding abound as a result of this. The reference to Wittgenstein was a rather subtle concept he raised in the tractatus about how our way of understanding the world, even things like mathematics, physics, etc. in essence force our understanding to conform to our method of understanding. Some would argue that his underlying point was that there could very well be other ways of seeing the same thing giving different representations of reality which would in turn alter our conceptions of other things as well. So things like a very subtle difference in how mind/body (the very title of this thread) between cultures could have a significant effect on how one understand issues.

The very fact that some will talk about mind/body/spirit has having to be something to be dealt with shows a preconceived notion that those things are somehow distinct, different, or whatever. Or that the question is even relevant at all. It implies a certain world view where to another viewpoint the entire discussion may be not so much trivial as it would be without any meaning at all. In other words, nonsense in one meaning of the word.

But... I'm tired and my back hurts a lot so I"m talking through a painkiller at the moment. So I may reserve the right to come to this later and do an Emily Latella... (Nevermind!).

p.s. Still polishing?

Every day whenever the grumpy back will allow it.

phitruong
08-16-2011, 05:31 PM
[QUOTE=Howard Prior;290451... I would have thought there was at least a triumvalism of body/mind/spirit that need be dealt with.
[/QUOTE]

hey! i know the answer to that one. you pour the spirit into the body which in turn, and giving the right amount fermentation time, it would affect the mind. you see the evident of this at various spring break locations along Florida coast where things get very philosophical especially during white T-shirt contests; of course, i knew nothing about such things. :)

Keith Larman
08-16-2011, 05:35 PM
Keith,

If you'll stop calling me "Mr. Little" then I'll take a look on the shelves tonight after practice.

Fortuitously, there is no incompatibility between atheism and Buddhism. While I"m rummaging through my shelves, you might find the resources at the following link useful:

http://www.stephenbatchelor.org/book-confession.html

Best,

FL

Fred: :)

Cool book. Will have to add that to my reading list.

I've been reading more and more about Buddhism lately. I must say I find it to be a rather compelling worldview that seems to mesh quite well with my own worldview. Now not only do I have the body of Buddha, I'm starting to feel resonance with his views... :)

Keith Larman
08-16-2011, 05:39 PM
What is key is that what most people would call their hips, is not what you really need to move for power in relation to their hips and waist, or what and why it is important to move their waist in the first place.

Hey, I resemble that remark... :)

Hardest thing for me still is getting everything working together rather than locking some part or another up (tight a**ed white guy). I keep working on it by myself, but it would sure help if my back would stay healthy... I need a live-in masseuse. The wife just doesn't have the strength to tear in to my back...

DH
08-16-2011, 05:49 PM
Hey, I resemble that remark... :)

Hardest thing for me still is getting everything working together rather than locking some part or another up (tight a**ed white guy). I keep working on it by myself, but it would sure help if my back would stay healthy... I need a live-in masseuse. The wife just doesn't have the strength to tear in to my back...
I can only say go slow. That movement, in conjunction with breath power supprts and heals the body. That ain't bad as a goal in itself but considering that it gives great power, stability and ghosty softness to boot, ya can't go wrong. ;)
Hope to see ya again, with a smaller workshop.
Dan

Keith Larman
08-16-2011, 06:27 PM
Hey, Dan, I'm a budo vagrant. I'll hit any seminar I can as long as I can get a hall pass from the wife and permission from the doctor. :) Even sometimes when I can't... I wish someone would get Howard Popkin out here too. I would love to see things through his lenses for a while. Heck, I had a blast with Aaron Clark and his students up at the Aikiweb seminar a few years back.

For now they've lined up a new MRI for my back. They're wondering if I did more damage than they thought when I fractured the tailbone... Still having pain from that damned thing almost 9 months later.

graham christian
08-16-2011, 06:48 PM
This Koshi is different than, or the same as, the same word, in English, in the phrase koshi-nage?

Howard

The same word Howard.

graham christian
08-16-2011, 06:54 PM
Hey, I resemble that remark... :)

Hardest thing for me still is getting everything working together rather than locking some part or another up (tight a**ed white guy). I keep working on it by myself, but it would sure help if my back would stay healthy... I need a live-in masseuse. The wife just doesn't have the strength to tear in to my back...

Aha. A pain in your Koshi, as the Japanese would say. Yet anoyher reason for you to learn about Koshi and how to relax it.

Regards.G.

graham christian
08-16-2011, 07:54 PM
As not many have vocally said of their experience with Koshi I shall add some for the silent ones.

So far the main points I have stated are these.

1) Koshi is the second, equally important point of mind and body unification.

2) It is the centre of Gravity or Earth Ki.

3) It is in laymans terms the bottom of the back or the back of the pelvis. It is commonly referred to as such in Japan.

4) It is a prominent factor of all Japanese martial arts from their inception.

5) It is commonly held in such martial arts as the power base and also the pivot around which one turns the body in movement.

6) Like hara it can be developed.

7) After prolonged use of weight underside one can become more and more aware of it's significance.

8) Koshi is the key to true relaxation.

Now I will add.

The more aware of it and of the Earth Ki, the grounding Ki, the easier weight underside becomes and indeed the the greater understanding of cutting with a sword.

Also the more one becomes aware of and able to use non-resistance. For the spiritual aspect of Koshi is absolute non-resistance whereas the spiritual aspect of hara is universal love which expands out to kokyu.

Thus resistance breeds bad backs. Thus the bottom of the back is a most usual place to carry stress for the door to Koshi is usually shut tight.

Thus also any Koshi nage I do results in uke falling straight down as if they have fell into a hole. There is no up and over therefore in my Koshinage.

To perform the usual Koshinage I would thus state that in actual fact from the view of Koshi versus Hara or centre then physically you are throwing with the hips but in actual fact you are pushing centre or hara through your back to project the uke over. So I would differenciate here and call that standard Koshinage and show the two ways. That way and my way.

Now when you go to bed tonight in that big soft mattress you can imagine how you're sinking into a place of non-resistance and relaxation. Koshi. Then when you wake up you can yawn and gather the enlvening ebergy of the universe into hara ans see what a great day it's going to be.

Goodnight.

G.

gregstec
08-16-2011, 09:26 PM
Can any discussion of koshi be complete without the expert guidance of Slim Harpo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGyAAWu3Gks)?

(Bonus visualizations and indications of sunyata! No charge!)

FL

Just got to love the Blues - there is some real IS stuff going on there :)

Greg

gregstec
08-16-2011, 09:41 PM
Graham,

You talk about 'Koshi' as if it is a concept or principle - to most of us the word 'Koshi' simply refers to a physical part of the body, 'hips' specifically - I am an old Ki Society guy and koshi was simply referred to as a hip throw as in koshi-nage; nothing more and nothing less.

Greg

RonRagusa
08-16-2011, 10:47 PM
Graham,

You talk about 'Koshi' as if it is a concept or principle - to most of us the word 'Koshi' simply refers to a physical part of the body, 'hips' specifically - I am an old Ki Society guy and koshi was simply referred to as a hip throw as in koshi-nage; nothing more and nothing less.

Greg

Hi Greg -

Since I had never heard of koshi referred to as Graham writes about it in his OP I decided to do a little research. Below are three links to pages where koshi is discussed in terms that go beyond merely referring to koshi as a physical part of the body. It's evident that, at least for some schools of Karate, that koshi is more than just a physical descriptor. It's equated to whole body mechanics, a system for the transference of power in the body and a way that integrates the mid section of the body via multi-directional control of the core. Interesting reading.

http://www.kishabajuku.org/~blucas/index_files/Page318.htm

http://karatejutsu.blogspot.com/2011/06/koshi-10-cheating-energy-and-age.html

http://www.shinjinbukan.com/dictionary_K.html

Best,

Ron

Janet Rosen
08-16-2011, 10:52 PM
Ron, thank you for links; bit too fatigued to look at them tonight but plan to read soon!

Chuck Clark
08-16-2011, 11:31 PM
:-)

Ahem... as I said before...... "uh, what Fred, Janet, and Keith said... in spades, three times." ... and what they said after that... :-|

best regards,

gregstec
08-17-2011, 07:27 AM
Hi Greg -

Since I had never heard of koshi referred to as Graham writes about it in his OP I decided to do a little research. Below are three links to pages where koshi is discussed in terms that go beyond merely referring to koshi as a physical part of the body. It's evident that, at least for some schools of Karate, that koshi is more than just a physical descriptor. It's equated to whole body mechanics, a system for the transference of power in the body and a way that integrates the mid section of the body via multi-directional control of the core. Interesting reading.

http://www.kishabajuku.org/~blucas/index_files/Page318.htm

http://karatejutsu.blogspot.com/2011/06/koshi-10-cheating-energy-and-age.html

http://www.shinjinbukan.com/dictionary_K.html

Best,

Ron

Hi Ron,

Be that as it may, that is all fine and good in a Karate context. However, Graham has implied that his view of Koshi is how it was taught to him as part of Tohei's teaching - all I am saying is that I have never heard of it being looked at that way from any of Tohei's stuff, or in any Aikido context at all. Since someone asked if any Ki Society folks have heard of Koshi that way, I responded :)

Greg

phitruong
08-17-2011, 07:42 AM
Ron, thank you for links; bit too fatigued to look at them tonight but plan to read soon!

it's nothing that you don't know already. the chinese term, methink, is "kua". it's the power coupling area to transfer power from the legs to the trunk of your body, similar to the shoulder that transfer power from the trunk to the arms. ICMA would say to "keep the kua relax and round" so that you don't block or dampen the power flow to/from your legs to your trunk. personally, i think i have some blockage, because my ass is getting bigger (there might be a shelf or two here), yet my hips are still girlish, which presents a huge challenge to keep it out of the boot-up-the-ass-do. :)

gregstec
08-17-2011, 08:29 AM
it's nothing that you don't know already. the chinese term, methink, is "kua". it's the power coupling area to transfer power from the legs to the trunk of your body, similar to the shoulder that transfer power from the trunk to the arms. ICMA would say to "keep the kua relax and round" so that you don't block or dampen the power flow to/from your legs to your trunk. personally, i think i have some blockage, because my ass is getting bigger (there might be a shelf or two here), yet my hips are still girlish, which presents a huge challenge to keep it out of the boot-up-the-ass-do. :)

Yes, the proper development and use of kua (or inguinal fold) does play an important roll in power generation, but that is not the hips.

Greg

Howard Prior
08-17-2011, 09:03 AM
...use of kua (or inguinal fold)...

I'm not sure that kua actually means inguinal fold, though it often is used that way.

Howard

Patrick Hutchinson
08-17-2011, 09:20 AM
I think the inguinal fold is an origami waza.

gregstec
08-17-2011, 09:37 AM
I'm not sure that kua actually means inguinal fold, though it often is used that way.

Howard

Well, when I talk to my Chiropractor (who also trains with me) about the kua he calls that the inguinal fold and inguinal canal area. FWIW.

Greg

jbblack
08-17-2011, 11:29 AM
Thought this was interesting:

http://www.bgtent.com/naturalcma/CMAarticle2.htm

Howard Prior
08-17-2011, 12:15 PM
Thought this was interesting:

http://www.bgtent.com/naturalcma/CMAarticle2.htm

me too

Howard Prior
08-17-2011, 12:42 PM
Well, when I talk to my Chiropractor (who also trains with me) about the kua he calls that the inguinal fold and inguinal canal area. FWIW.

Greg

Yes, I have heard the word used that way. I don't know if clarity here is a simple matter of a word from a Chinese language native or a matter for a conference between Chinese speaking martial artists, English speaking martial artists, and at least a handful of martial artists that speak both languages.

I came across an article some time ago that I was able to track down in my notes. I don't know where I got it from. A quick search of the title yields the following website:

http://internalartsia.wordpress.com/2006/07/20/function-and-usage-of-the-kua/

A cursory glance suggests that the material is the same.

Anyway, here is a bit taken from an article titled:

Function and Usage of the kua

Q & A with Chen Zhonghua

This article presents questions and answers, based on instructions in workshops, with Chen Zhonghua. The course material was Hong's Practical Method of Chen style Tai Chi. Training emphasized mechanics and application skills. This selection of those questions and answers dealt with understanding of function and usage of the kua,in developing those skills....
....
Anatomy and General Understanding
Q. It is quite common for teachers of the internal arts to emphasize the importance of the kua for attainment of higher levels of skill. What could you say about the kua in terms of its role in the practice of Tai Chi?
Its fundamental role is that without the kua the upper and lower body cannot properly work together. The kua is the body part responsible for integration of upper and lower body.
Q. Can you give some description or details? In context of the hips, groin, pelvic girdle, or the femur, speaking in simple layman's view of anatomy—- how would you describe the kua?
The kua is that ball joint inside, at the top of the thigh bone. I dont know the English name for it (femur), the ball joint inside, inside the hip.
Q. The tops of the thigh bones that rotate?
Yes, the ball joint, thats the kua.
The rest, the body parts connected with it, are just things associated with it. Thats why there is always confusion, why the understanding of it always changes. At different levels you will be able to associate your kua with other parts of your body. Its these various different perceptions of experience of the kua, that give rise to different explanations of the kua among different masters or teachers.
Q. When they talk about the kua, maybe their definitions are more in terms of its usage?
Yes. As you exercise that joint, itaffects the structure and movement of your body. The better you are at using the kua, the better your body is coordinated. So it will appear that different masters use the kua differently, with varying levels and depth of experience of that function.. Ability to connect the kua with better integration with the body reveals higher skill.
But the simple objective anatomical definition of the kua has not been wrong in the past. It is commonly understood to be that ball joint.

I can't vouch for the veracity of this or of the article as a whole but I'm pretty sure it is worth reading and considering.

Now whether this has to do with the mind/body connections of Japanese martial arts I do not know. But, I'd like to.

Howard

graham christian
08-17-2011, 01:34 PM
Hi Ron,

Be that as it may, that is all fine and good in a Karate context. However, Graham has implied that his view of Koshi is how it was taught to him as part of Tohei's teaching - all I am saying is that I have never heard of it being looked at that way from any of Tohei's stuff, or in any Aikido context at all. Since someone asked if any Ki Society folks have heard of Koshi that way, I responded :)

Greg

Wrong again Greg I'm afraid. It is not me who implied this, it is those who want to find fault, a usual pastime for some.

I said I was taught it and my teacher emphasised Toheis principles. He knew the connection with Koshi. How? Who knows.

He was also taught mainly by Noro Sensei and when the split came in England he chose the route of Ki developement rather than force. So the continual link to Tohei is misplaced unless he was in fact taught it by Tohei. All this however is irrelevent as I am stating it and thus you can either learn or dismiss. I am also giving you references for you to gain increased knowledge of Koshi and it's history.

Another factor of My teacher was he was very stern in his teaching and zen. So we have a teacher who was zen orientated and taught what he had learned from Tohei and Noro and as to who else I don't know.

Have fun.G.

gregstec
08-17-2011, 02:55 PM
Wrong again Greg I'm afraid. It is not me who implied this, it is those who want to find fault, a usual pastime for some.

I said I was taught it and my teacher emphasised Toheis principles. He knew the connection with Koshi. How? Who knows.

He was also taught mainly by Noro Sensei and when the split came in England he chose the route of Ki developement rather than force. So the continual link to Tohei is misplaced unless he was in fact taught it by Tohei. All this however is irrelevent as I am stating it and thus you can either learn or dismiss. I am also giving you references for you to gain increased knowledge of Koshi and it's history.

Another factor of My teacher was he was very stern in his teaching and zen. So we have a teacher who was zen orientated and taught what he had learned from Tohei and Noro and as to who else I don't know.

Have fun.G.

Thanks Graham, now I know where to go to find out when I am wrong about things :crazy:

Your use of the term 'Koshi' apparently is more aligned with those from a Karate perceptive, nothing wrong with that at all - However, from a more general Aikido perspective, the term 'Koshi' simply means hips as in a hip throw - that is all I was saying.

Greg

thisisnotreal
08-17-2011, 04:01 PM
No Patrick. The linguinal fold is what happens if you get some good linguini with some bad seafood in it..

Howard Prior
08-17-2011, 04:22 PM
The point of the issue is that Western and Eastern cultures have very different conceptions at the very core of issues such as mind/body.
Yes. I would have thought that the "western" concept was more mind and body and the "eastern" concept more mind/body.

So when someone starts to analyze the "meaning" of certain things through the eyes of the other culture apparently disregarding the very different underlying world view there is inevitably a significant alteration or loss of meaning.
Yes. At least I gather you mean that when one culture begins an attempt to understand another it cannot help but approach the attempt from its own point of view and that any progress toward real understanding is hard won.

Misunderstanding abound as a result of this.
All too true and yet just this makes for a lively foment (not ferment, Phi) - not always a bad thing.

The reference to Wittgenstein was a rather subtle concept he raised in the tractatus about how our way of understanding the world, even things like mathematics, physics, etc. in essence force our understanding to conform to our method of understanding.
Kant?

Some would argue that his underlying point was that there could very well be other ways of seeing the same thing giving different representations of reality which would in turn alter our conceptions of other things as well.
Yes, I can see the possibility.

So things like a very subtle difference in how mind/body (the very title of this thread) between cultures could have a significant effect on how one understand issues.
Yes, I agree. This would seem to be a magnification of the problems inherent in any communication ('There's glory for you!'). When do we ever understand one another? You know what I mean? Yet, clearly, cross cultural communication comes with its own raft of problems. Similar, though different, is the attempt to translate poetry from one language to another. One might get the meter. One might get the rhyme. One might get the meaning. Difficult to get all three into a second language (hard enough, I say, to get it into the original language).

The very fact that some will talk about mind/body/spirit has having to be something to be dealt with shows a preconceived notion that those things are somehow distinct, different, or whatever.
Well, maybe you are right. I was not, however, really thinking of the word spirit in a religious or a spooky context.

Or that the question is even relevant at all. It implies a certain world view where to another viewpoint the entire discussion may be not so much trivial as it would be without any meaning at all. In other words, nonsense in one meaning of the word.
I suppose I see it as though individuals have a circle (okay, maybe it's a spiral) of concepts that are different one from another though with overlapping areas of understanding. We share much. We do not share all. Different cultures are just more individuals with a tendency toward more distant edges and less overlap. We still share much. There is much we do not.
As you suggest, an interpreter may take a word, or an idea, from one culture as the equivalent of a word, or idea, in another. It may be a good fit. It may be passible. It may be a laughable mistake. So much the more with core values and concepts such as: right, wrong, good, evil, beauty.
I figure that even if they are not the same each culture has much in common it the phenomena it experiences and thus that which it tries to explain: life, death, loving, fighting, birth, growth, decay, hunger, pain, joy, friendship. The meanings and connections vary. We all see the sun and the moon but they do not mean the same thing to all of us.
By the way, returning to mere words, politicians seem to need to be expert at saying things that mean one thing to someone and another to someone else, at casting one line to catch two fish. There is a certain power in a word that means the same and different things.

…Emily Latella...
Thanks for the reference - I hadn't come across it before.

I'm still in the weeds with hara and koshi and even nage. Haven't quite been able to wrap my mind around them.

Now Phi, I once was exposed to a wonderful egg-nage.

Cheers,
Howard

Janet Rosen
08-18-2011, 03:52 AM
I always like a good chicken katetori

Keith Larman
08-22-2011, 06:47 PM
Well, that was lovely. Today a package arrived on my doorstep. An unmarked shipping envelope that contained two books -- one of which is the book referenced above "Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist". The other an autographed copy of a book I'm pretty sure some have bothered to read. :) All sent to me anonymously. So thank you to whomever was kind enough to send me such nice, new copies of these books! Truly appreciated and wholly unexpected. Thank you!

graham christian
08-25-2011, 06:03 PM
[/QUOTE] Bujutsu has to do with the clarity and the success of the technique. Through the study of technique we
discover and experience the unity of mind-heart, body, and ki, which develops intuitive action coming from
a state of no-mind or no thought. Natural power is developed in the hips (koshi) together with ki and breath
(kokyu) „Especially to learn to be able to sense the intent and movement of the partner before they move,“
(O-Sensei) leading to the ability to lead or guide the attacker.[QUOTE]

By Peter Shapiro sensei.

Nice to hear someone else talking my language.

Think I'll go research and find some more.

Regards.G.

Keith Larman
08-25-2011, 08:22 PM
Overwhelmingly the posts are full of dicto simpliciter ("every school boy knows..."), biased samples, and confirmation bias fallacies. Not to mention rather thinly guised argumentum ad hominem (condescending lecturing about how simple it really is -- obviously the readers aren't nearly as enlightened and brilliant as you). And other logical and general argument fallacies, but I'm sure I'm boring the readers at this point.

The last one posted is confirmation bias combined with equivocation fallacy, by the way. Keep digging. You can always find bits and pieces to substantiate anything you'd like.

Truthiness. Great word.

graham christian
08-26-2011, 07:35 AM
Overwhelmingly the posts are full of dicto simpliciter ("every school boy knows..."), biased samples, and confirmation bias fallacies. Not to mention rather thinly guised argumentum ad hominem (condescending lecturing about how simple it really is -- obviously the readers aren't nearly as enlightened and brilliant as you). And other logical and general argument fallacies, but I'm sure I'm boring the readers at this point.

The last one posted is confirmation bias combined with equivocation fallacy, by the way. Keep digging. You can always find bits and pieces to substantiate anything you'd like.

Truthiness. Great word.

Nice. Sounds like you need more centre. If you had koshi though you could let go of your negative feelings.

Have fun.

G.

Marc Abrams
08-26-2011, 09:09 AM
Keith:

Isn't it fun trying to debate a person who is incapable of debating :eek: ! The person is concerned with your koshi and center! Maybe if that person has a real set of cajones, he could visit you and show you how it's done........

Cordially,

Marc Abrams

lbb
08-26-2011, 09:42 AM
The truthiness, it burns, preciousss.

Keith Larman
08-26-2011, 09:43 AM
Keith:

Isn't it fun trying to debate a person who is incapable of debating :eek: ! The person is concerned with your koshi and center! Maybe if that person has a real set of cajones, he could visit you and show you how it's done........

Cordially,

Marc Abrams

Yup...

And he posts yet another example of argumentum ad hominem.

Plonk time. I've spent way too much time on this. My concern is that there are those who might find his arguments compelling all while he would be laughed out of an lower division logic or philosophy class. Philosophy in general and logic in particular are a heck of a lot more than sounding deep. Much like Aikido, without some substance the outer forms are just that -- an insubstantial shell.

Too much to do, not enough mental energy.

BTW, Graham, the previous sentence is an opening for a final zinger post that I won't even see -- you're welcome!

graham christian
08-26-2011, 04:50 PM
Yup...

And he posts yet another example of argumentum ad hominem.

Plonk time. I've spent way too much time on this. My concern is that there are those who might find his arguments compelling all while he would be laughed out of an lower division logic or philosophy class. Philosophy in general and logic in particular are a heck of a lot more than sounding deep. Much like Aikido, without some substance the outer forms are just that -- an insubstantial shell.

Too much to do, not enough mental energy.

BTW, Graham, the previous sentence is an opening for a final zinger post that I won't even see -- you're welcome!

Bless you. I merely gave a source relevant to my thread. I can give the philosophy of it and practically demonstrate it thank you.

Obviously some here are unaware of this aspect or even perspective.

Maybe you're right, it's too deep.

Must be my fault for understanding it. Ha, ha.

Regards.G.

roadtoad
03-11-2012, 10:41 AM
I think one of the things you're talking about, is what some martial artists call the 'second man', or, that there is a second person shadowing you, close to what some native indians call your 'second', but that's another story.
Man Ming is actually located on the spine, if you had a spiritual flashlight and shined it through your belly button until the light hit your spine, that would be man ming. It is actually one of the four dan tings. The aikido one point is actually the point of original chi, which is...if you make your hand flat, including your thumb, and then hold it below your belly button, now you have to make three fingers width inside your body, that is the actual one point that all aikidoka should be using.

graham christian
03-11-2012, 01:02 PM
I think one of the things you're talking about, is what some martial artists call the 'second man', or, that there is a second person shadowing you, close to what some native indians call your 'second', but that's another story.
Man Ming is actually located on the spine, if you had a spiritual flashlight and shined it through your belly button until the light hit your spine, that would be man ming. It is actually one of the four dan tings. The aikido one point is actually the point of original chi, which is...if you make your hand flat, including your thumb, and then hold it below your belly button, now you have to make three fingers width inside your body, that is the actual one point that all aikidoka should be using.

That's closer, Man-ming.

Not being one for super amounts of data and references (others opinions) I would say that man-ming is closer to what I talk about here. Probably though, as pointed out earlier, a bit below that called yao in chinese. (physically speaking)

I posted this on the spiritual thread and that's usually why the misunderstandings and arguments occur because not many really practice this side of the art. Though they do love to argue, ha, ha.

In tai chi, qi gong, and those kind of things these concepts are quite well known in various forms. In shinto itself it is also well known and taoism. In fact the yao is said to be the power point that opens
up the man-ming and can be described as a gateway in taoist terminology, a gateway to the transcendance of the physical body.

In these things it's also related to the void, something else I point out regularly.

Now, here in this thread I go a step further and point out that the Japanese had these concepts. The concept of one point I'm sure was used by the most famous original Karate Masters and Koshi is so well known it's embedded in the culture. I guarantee Early Sumo knew about it and also that Ueshiba and his nephew used it but just referred to it as lowering the hips or sinking the hips but the words they would use would obviously be koshi. I also bet they emphasized it but those into only physical would not see the significance.

I read recently how the top Karate person, master, at the time explained how he was 'defeated' by Inoue (Ueshiba's nephew) with such a soft karate strike that it led to him relearning all that he already knew. He was amazed how he dropped his hips and this gave this unexplainable softness in his strike. Thus he went on to learn from Ueshiba and Inoue and put that into his Karate.

The nearest I see most Aikido folk who don't know get to it recently is some I/P they are learning and thus the ground force would be in the general ball park.

Toheis weight underside is much to do with this and so those really good at weight underside would be in the same ball park also for it is directly related to koshi.

When I see movies or joke with students about doing the horse stance, get them doing it, like they are sitting on an imaginary stall and straining their thigh muscles trying to hold the position, then I say how this is actually an exercise of 'sitting in koshi' and koshi is like sitting on a super soft cloud or sofa. Only then will the thighs relax and the true feeling be experienced.

Sitting in seiza one should be sitting in koshi too.

Like your second person analogy and indian story. No doubt they have their ways of putting it, probably the shamen of various African Arts have their versions too etc. I would expect all arts from various cultures and peoples tracing back you will find these various 'centers' of .spirit/mind/body put in their own ways.

Peace.G.

gregstec
03-11-2012, 02:27 PM
Hi Ike, I never heard of Man Ming nor Dan Ting. However, I have heard about mingmen and dantian - :)

Greg

graham christian
03-11-2012, 03:18 PM
Hi Ike, I never heard of Man Ming nor Dan Ting. However, I have heard about mingmen and dantian - :)

Greg

Thought you would like the Dan Ting, ha, ha.

Peace, G.

gregstec
03-11-2012, 05:26 PM
Thought you would like the Dan Ting, ha, ha.

Peace, G.

Yeah, it is always interesting watching Dan do his 'Ting' :)

Greg

roadtoad
03-11-2012, 08:08 PM
Greg, you're right, I misspelled it. Mingmen is Du4, and considered the point of the yang of the kidney,which is also used for ki. Yaoyangguan is Du3, but not used for much in martial arts.
In daoism, menming is used as a dantian, but placed about an inch inside the body, not the same place as acupuncture, for the most power. Many chinese styles, including many taiji styles, use this, instead of the point of original chi, for their power point.

gregstec
03-11-2012, 09:19 PM
Greg, you're right, I misspelled it. Mingmen is Du4, and considered the point of the yang of the kidney,which is also used for ki. Yaoyangguan is Du3, but not used for much in martial arts.
In daoism, menming is used as a dantian, but placed about an inch inside the body, not the same place as acupuncture, for the most power. Many chinese styles, including many taiji styles, use this, instead of the point of original chi, for their power point.

I am with you on your points and what you are saying - In Aikido, center, or Tohei's one point, is below the naval and in as you described - but dantian is different, and there are more that one dantian point in the Chinese stuff as you have said. :)

Greg

ksy
10-08-2012, 03:17 AM
When I see movies or joke with students about doing the horse stance, get them doing it, like they are sitting on an imaginary stall and straining their thigh muscles trying to hold the position, then I say how this is actually an exercise of 'sitting in koshi' and koshi is like sitting on a super soft cloud or sofa. Only then will the thighs relax and the true feeling be experienced.



graham, how do i do the horse stance 'koshi' style. i cannot get the soft sofa feeling, my thighs can't take the position too long. can you go into more detail?

graham christian
10-08-2012, 09:08 AM
graham, how do i do the horse stance 'koshi' style. i cannot get the soft sofa feeling, my thighs can't take the position too long. can you go into more detail?

Hi. An unexpected question.

The answer depends on what your purpose is really for what you are actually asking is how to develop Koshi.

As I see it I find many, in fact most of those involved with 'gravity' or 'grounding' type 'Ki' exercises using their center or lowering or dropping center to do so. This is not Koshi. Koshi is a different center.

The standard way for me would be of course a process and thus not something people start off with. In my opinion those who practice weight underside are perhaps unknowingly developing the beginnings of Koshi.

So as you see it's a matter of learning center, one point, weight underside and then developing Koshi.

So secondly it depends on how aware you are of those things mentioned above and how good are you at employing them at what you do. If they are very real to you then I could give a different answer based on your understanding otherwise it may only lead to confusion.

Peace.G.