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JimClark
02-27-2012, 09:38 PM
I've been thinking about this for a long time, but I have not found it discussed anywhere online. In some styles and/or dojos Aikidoka (uke and Nage) practice with fingers spread wide apart. I once heard this explained as holding your hands "kokyu". To me this is a disaster waiting to happen. There is a high probability in a fight of getting a lone finger caught in clothing or something and getting it broken. The fighting arts I have had exposure to emphasize keeping fingers together as much as possible for this very reason. In addition, when I rock climb, I have much more finger strength with my fingers together where they can support each other than when they are spread, which would seem to support the fingers together mode in an art with so much grabbing.

So my question is this, why do so many Aikidoka specifically emphasize spread fingers?

Best,

Jim

robin_jet_alt
02-27-2012, 10:17 PM
I don't have an answer but I am eagerly awaiting people's responses. My last sensei definitely emphasised keeping fingers together for exactly the reasons you just expressed. I've seen it the other way too though, and I'm interested in this debate.

kewms
02-28-2012, 01:00 AM
My teachers tell us to keep the fingers energized, not collapsed. I think that's the rationale behind the "fingers spread" instruction. But I would view rigid hands -- whether with fingers spread or together -- as a flaw. The hands -- like everything else -- should be free to move.

In my experience, finger injuries are not all that common.

Katherine

LinTal
02-28-2012, 01:01 AM
In Tokyo I've have the privilege of attending several tea ceremonies, a very long process emphasising polishing the inner spirit through outer precision and practice. The practitioners I've spoken to regard it as in the same category as aikido - a budo, more so the more advanced their skills seem to become. In the ceremony their fingers are always together, for the following reasons, as I understand it:

* The smooth straight line created emphasises the earnest direction of intention,

* The straight arm is in direct connection with the hand through a shared line. This is a philosophical ideal to aim for, as well as an aesthetic one because of the elegant simplicity. Picture the parallel lines of the interlocking tatami, and the harmony of peaceful elegance of the sparse Japanes-style room.

* It is, of course, easier to maintain strength and stamina with the support given by the rest of the hand. There is a formal process for stoking a firebox; most of the utensils and containers are made of cast iron, and the straight wrist and straight fingers are important to be able to do this. Further strength is also utilised by the directed extension, which uses additional muscles interior to the arm and can absorb more force than otherwise.

* Broken fingers hurt. :)

graham christian
02-28-2012, 01:43 AM
I've often seen it related, falsely in my opinion, to extending Ki. That's the most common reason I've seen in the past. It does look funny to me.

When I talk extending Ki in this way I emphasize through tegatana so the hands are actually tilted back slightly. (as in ikkyo exercise)

Mostly really to me it should be whatever the mechanics and natural flow of energy makes happen depending on what the hand is doing.

For example, if you use your palm, the base of your palm to strike then you will find the natural position of the fingers is to spread.

Regards.G.

JJF
02-28-2012, 03:30 AM
If it sticks out it will get cut off... ;)

I believe we should be keeping our fingers together unless something else i specifically required (to get a hold - to grap around something rounding or whatever)

I sometimes points my indexfinger out to show which direction the movement should have - especially in tenshinage. Now I am trying to teach my students NOT to point with their fingers when doing that technique ... sigh.. ;)

nickregnier1
02-28-2012, 03:50 AM
If good kokyu is applied the feeling of spreading the fingers comes out naturally but by keeping fingers together changes that feeling in my opinion. When training we emphasize the kokyu feeling to make sure that you feel it all the way from the centre to your fingers. In a fighting situation, I would clench my fists firmly and use Kokyu in a different way i.e. finishing the technique quicker by applying strike. So the open hand don't get 'in the way' but again it is hard to explain as they are so many various techniques with their variations to each one of them! But ultimately, I would keep the fingers spread for all kokyu exercise feelings...

robin_jet_alt
02-28-2012, 04:46 AM
If it sticks out it will get cut off... ;)

I believe we should be keeping our fingers together unless something else i specifically required (to get a hold - to grap around something rounding or whatever)

I sometimes points my indexfinger out to show which direction the movement should have - especially in tenshinage. Now I am trying to teach my students NOT to point with their fingers when doing that technique ... sigh.. ;)

Nishio style?

Alic
02-28-2012, 04:55 AM
I don't know how it is in other styles, but in Yoshinkan we're told to tense the fingers while spreading it out, perfectly flat. You should be able to feel some kind of energy leaving the fingers as it travels outwards. They should be perfectly tense so that the forearm's muscles and tendons are in tension, giving the arm structure for the strikes.

I think I read somewhere that O-sensei wrote about this too, and I think he wrote that the fingers should be spread wide apart and filled with ki. Maybe somebody has information on this?

Alex Megann
02-28-2012, 06:41 AM
Gozo Shioda says in one of his textbooks that the hand should be open with the fingers apart "like a Morning Glory flower". This is (perhaps not surprisingly) what Kanetsuka Sensei teaches too. All the Aikikai shihan I have seen keep the fingers open.

I don't think I have seen anyone demonstrating with the fingers together. Are there any examples on YouTube of this?

Alex

chillzATL
02-28-2012, 07:55 AM
spreading the fingers is a basic way, along with extending the arms, to help connect the hands/wrists and arms in much the same way as you would when you tightly ball up your fist, but without that tension. It shouldn't be this stretched to the max feeling, but simply full and open, the same way your entire body should be. As others mentioned you see Shioda do this almost constantly and if you go back and look at the Asahi footage, Ueshiba was doing it back then as well.

As for getting fingers caught in stuff during fights, I don't recall seeing MMA fighters or judoka trying to monkey paw each other...

Beyond the above, put your hands out in front of you like you're catching a basketball that's been thrown at your face. Now pull your fingers in together and tell me that feels natural... you have to make your fingers stay that way. They naturally want to open up and relax.

lbb
02-28-2012, 08:16 AM
I think there's a fairly simple mechanical explanation: aikido techniques use the extensor muscles of the body more than the contractor muscles, and it's hard to use one extensor muscle when the opposing contractor muscle is active.

I also don't find that it takes any great time or thought to change from spread fingers to a fist if I need to, but I trained in a striking art, so...

sakumeikan
02-28-2012, 09:10 AM
Gozo Shioda says in one of his textbooks that the hand should be open with the fingers apart "like a Morning Glory flower". This is (perhaps not surprisingly) what Kanetsuka Sensei teaches too. All the Aikikai shihan I have seen keep the fingers open.

I don't think I have seen anyone demonstrating with the fingers together. Are there any examples on YouTube of this?

Alex
Dear Alex,
The concept of the fingers being spread in relation to the Morning Glory flower has also been quoted by Chiba Sensei. Chiba Sensei indicates that in the evening the flower closes down its foliage and when the sun/light returns the flower opens up its petals.The fingers as you know are not tense.On a personal note I train my own fingers to open [and my Kokyu flowswell] when I hold a pint of fine quality beer.No need for me to go into any metaphysical /supernatural explanations when I am in form at the local tavern.Might be in your neck of the woods this year -my grandson is training as a Marine Cadet [Merchant Navy ] in your area. Cheers, Joe

Alex Megann
02-28-2012, 09:18 AM
Dear Alex,
The concept of the fingers being spread in relation to the Morning Glory flower has also been quoted by Chiba Sensei. Chiba Sensei indicates that in the evening the flower closes down its foliage and when the sun/light returns the flower opens up its petals.The fingers as you know are not tense.On a personal note I train my own fingers to open [and my Kokyu flowswell] when I hold a pint of fine quality beer.No need for me to go into any metaphysical /supernatural explanations when I am in form at the local tavern.Might be in your neck of the woods this year -my grandson is training as a Marine Cadet [Merchant Navy ] in your area. Cheers, Joe

Hi Joe,

I guess that if both Shioda and Chiba used that phrase the only conclusion must be that it came from O-Sensei!

I find if I let my fingers open when drinking a pint I just tend to waste beer...

Alex

Chris Li
02-28-2012, 09:23 AM
Gozo Shioda says in one of his textbooks that the hand should be open with the fingers apart "like a Morning Glory flower". This is (perhaps not surprisingly) what Kanetsuka Sensei teaches too. All the Aikikai shihan I have seen keep the fingers open.

I don't think I have seen anyone demonstrating with the fingers together. Are there any examples on YouTube of this?

Alex

「手を常に朝顔のように開け」
"Always open your hand like a morning glory ("asagao")"

-Sokaku Takeda

And here's one by Yukiyoshi Sagawa that I think has not generally been made available in English:

8/28/1971
I was told by Takeda Sensei to open my hand in the way that a Morning Glory ("Asagao") blooms, but I think that this means to open the hand while rotating slightly. I conceived of my Aiki while thinking about this kind of thing.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
02-28-2012, 09:27 AM
Hi Joe,

I guess that if both Shioda and Chiba used that phrase the only conclusion must be that it came from O-Sensei!

I find if I let my fingers open when drinking a pint I just tend to waste beer...

Alex

Just posted above - this is standard in Daito-ryu, and was one of Takeda's common statements.

O-Sensei said it as well, I can't remember the exact quotes off-hand.

If you look at Kisshomaru, his fingers were almost always open in this way.

As you get further away, you notice that a lot of folks have let this practice slide.

Best,

Chris

gregstec
02-28-2012, 10:20 AM
In the Ki society, we were taught that the fingers pointed the direction of your Ki with the index finger being the predominate one - look at pictures of early shihan and you will see most always have their index fingers extended.

As Chris already stated, the concept of asagao came from DR. Interesting point is that with asagao, the fingers still point the direction of your intent/ki, but since you have more than one finger extended, you can have your intent/ki focused in more than one direction at a time - just my opinion, of course, and YMMV. :)

Greg

Keith Larman
02-28-2012, 10:51 AM
Funny. When I first started I noticed how some seniors seemed to do that naturally. Then things like how to bend the wrists when doing funakogi undo being so you "don't cut off the ki". At first you do these things to mimic the "look". But over the years I've started to feel that those things now happen because when I connect up correctly, well, it's just what happens. Not to a level of caricature, but I do feel a "pull" in the fingers. Interesting...

JimClark
02-28-2012, 12:00 PM
The only aikidoka I can remember that focused on keeping the fingers together was Kieth Moore Sensei of AAA in Chicago. He came out and taught a seminar for our school a long time ago (13years?) and he made a big point of it. It makes a lot of sense to me as well, from a practical standpoint. Years ago we had a student in the dojo that habitually spread his fingers wide as nage in randori. He poked quite a few eyes (not necessarily a bad thing in a fight, if intentional), but also got his fingers caught in gi's quiet frequently, resulting in pain/injury. This experience, along with my Wing Chun training is enough for me to land on the "fingers together" side of this question.

So far, I have only seen replies that deal with how spreading the fingers makes nage feel/extend energy during technique. This is fine for dojo practice where conditions are controlled and uke is cooperating (at least on some level) with your practice. But let uke do whatever they want, and your results may vary. In terms of spreading your fingers for practice and then closing them for self defense, I would suggest that you would fight how you train.... There is much evidence that this is true. I try to make sure my teaching includes realistic training methods that can be used for self defense, not just in the dojo. So I will put myself firmly in the "fingers together" camp.

I also like what Selin Talay had to say about the Tea ceremony. These words mirror almost exactly the teachings of the Wing Chun style that I study. Mechanically, they make a lot of sense.

So I guess to fine tune the question, does nage's feeling they get from spreading fingers negate/outweigh the danger of breaking them? You may have to speed up your training to find out.

I have to say, that I am having to do some retraining of myself since it wasn't drummed into me too hard to keep them together all the time. I'm not 100% compliant with my own method yet (as my Sifu frequently reminds me). But I wanted to see what the community had to say on the issue as I continue to work on it myself.

Best,

Jim

chillzATL
02-28-2012, 01:27 PM
So I guess to fine tune the question, does nage's feeling they get from spreading fingers negate/outweigh the danger of breaking them? You may have to speed up your training to find out.


aikido perspective: I'm inclined to listen to Ueshiba, Takeda, Sagawa and Shioda over some random instructor.

fighting perspective: I"m not sure it's the right thing to be asking aikidoka about fighting, but I think the concerns are overblown. As I said, I don't recall seeing MMA fighters or judoka going out of their way to protect their fingers and I don't recall a fight being stopped because a guy broke a finger and couldn't continue. It's just a finger, rub some dirt on it.

Chris Li
02-28-2012, 01:41 PM
So I guess to fine tune the question, does nage's feeling they get from spreading fingers negate/outweigh the danger of breaking them? You may have to speed up your training to find out.

Hmm, does the feeling that you get from wearing a hakama and training barefoot outweigh the danger of tripping on it in a fight or stubbing your toe on asphalt? :D

There are just so many training things that don't translate well to a fighting situation that this doesn't rise that high on my list of things to worry about.

I'm not sure about actively trying to push the fingers out, but I think that if you do things a certain way the fingers will tend to end up in that position, and that you can then work on getting the same thing to happen without that obvious outward expression. OTOH, I think that it will be harder to do certain things without working through that obvious outward expression.

Best,

Chris

robin_jet_alt
02-28-2012, 02:36 PM
Thanks for the perspectives, guys.

I originally learned to have my fingers open, but when I took up Nishio aikido I was taught to keep my fingers together for all the reasons expressed above. I still like the feel of having open fingers better, but I totally get the rationale behind closed fingers. I think I need to experiment a bit more before I reach a firm conclusion.

kewms
02-28-2012, 04:21 PM
There are really three choices here, not two:
* Fingers held close together
* Fingers deliberately spread wide
* Fingers loose, allowed to be the way the energy of the technique naturally wants to flow

I fall firmly into the third camp.

Katherine

JimClark
02-28-2012, 05:49 PM
aikido perspective: I'm inclined to listen to Ueshiba, Takeda, Sagawa and Shioda over some random instructor.

fighting perspective: I"m not sure it's the right thing to be asking aikidoka about fighting, but I think the concerns are overblown. As I said, I don't recall seeing MMA fighters or judoka going out of their way to protect their fingers and I don't recall a fight being stopped because a guy broke a finger and couldn't continue. It's just a finger, rub some dirt on it.

You can listen to whoever you want, I'm not telling anyone what to do, just sharing thoughts and engaging in discussion. I'm also not inclined to listen to random posters that can't maintain civil discourse. But I can respond politely anyway.

You do in fact see MMA fighters break fingers fairly often. This is even with some support from their gloves and tape jobs. And it does affect their overall performance. They don't generally quit because of it (unless the doctor makes them), but it does affect them. I like the "rub some dirt on it" direction, I use that myself. However, if you can avoid it through training methods, why not.

As far as asking aikidoka about fighting goes, that depends on the focus of your training. If you do Aikido for health or other reasons, don't worry about it. But if you have any expectation at all that what you are learning could be useful in a self defense situation, then you should think about these things. Again this is an individual choice, choose however you want.

CitoMaramba
02-28-2012, 06:01 PM
Nishio style?
In this video Nishio Sensei explains his method of using tegatana and empty hand striking. He relates it to the sword. As seen in the video, Nishio Sensei keeps the fingers together.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwylQqUsyRs

chillzATL
02-28-2012, 07:08 PM
You can listen to whoever you want, I'm not telling anyone what to do, just sharing thoughts and engaging in discussion. I'm also not inclined to listen to random posters that can't maintain civil discourse. But I can respond politely anyway.

You do in fact see MMA fighters break fingers fairly often. This is even with some support from their gloves and tape jobs. And it does affect their overall performance. They don't generally quit because of it (unless the doctor makes them), but it does affect them. I like the "rub some dirt on it" direction, I use that myself. However, if you can avoid it through training methods, why not.

As far as asking aikidoka about fighting goes, that depends on the focus of your training. If you do Aikido for health or other reasons, don't worry about it. But if you have any expectation at all that what you are learning could be useful in a self defense situation, then you should think about these things. Again this is an individual choice, choose however you want.

If my response seemed uncivil, I apologize. You asked a simple question and I offered two short, simple opinions from the perspectives your question covered, aikido and fighting. I'm sorry if it came off any other way.

Your previous post mentioned instructors who recommend a method that is at odds with what the founder of our art, his teacher, his contemporaries and some of his most skilled students had to say on the subject. From the aikido perspective, it would probably behoove us all to listen to them as some of these seemingly small things are integral to the art in ways that most of us simply didn't get.

I'm sure broken fingers happen in mma. I'd be surprised if they didn't, though I don't recall ever seeing it happen in matches and I've watched many. I know they are more common in judo and bjj from getting caught in the gi, but that's also in situations that aren't quite fighting but are far more "alive" than what were going to encounter in most any aikido dojo. I've seen a few "real fights" in my day. Lots of grabbing, shoving and whatnot, using their hands like hands, fingers exposed like in normal daily life and I've never seen a broken finger, but that is purely anecdotal.

So IMO your concerns are unfounded, but again that's just my opinion. I don't train fighting, just good hard physically trained aikido that has and hopefully will continue to serve me if needed. The fingers have never popped onto the radar for me as a concern, but I've trained that we for some time. Ymmv.

phitruong
02-28-2012, 09:04 PM
In the Ki society, we were taught that the fingers pointed the direction of your Ki with the index finger being the predominate one - look at pictures of early shihan and you will see most always have their index fingers extended.

As Chris already stated, the concept of asagao came from DR. Interesting point is that with asagao, the fingers still point the direction of your intent/ki, but since you have more than one finger extended, you can have your intent/ki focused in more than one direction at a time - just my opinion, of course, and YMMV. :)

Greg

i don't know if i want to point my fingers in the direction of my ki. and the morning glory might be a whole different picture altogether. :D

personally, i go for the eagle claw approach. worked great in the buffet line.

gregstec
02-28-2012, 09:23 PM
i don't know if i want to point my fingers in the direction of my ki. and the morning glory might be a whole different picture altogether. :D

personally, i go for the eagle claw approach. worked great in the buffet line.

Stop it! - youse making me hungry :eek:

JimClark
02-28-2012, 10:50 PM
If my response seemed uncivil, I apologize. You asked a simple question and I offered two short, simple opinions from the perspectives your question covered, aikido and fighting. I'm sorry if it came off any other way.


No worries. Sometimes "tone" is lost in text.

In terms of all the big names giving that direction to spread fingers, and all the video showing them doing it, I don't dispute it. But what I have yet to hear is WHY (emphasis, not yelling) they do/say it. I know it is not very "Japanese" to ask "why" when given direction, but I'm not Japanese..... What I am is a scientist/engineer looking for a solid mechanical explanation. The only one I have heard given (not on this thread) is that it increases the diameter of your wrist and somehow this creates a better/more advantageous connection with uke when grabbed. I've experimented with this and it doesn't hold water for me. Perhaps someone can elaborate...

Regards,

Jim

Chris Li
02-28-2012, 11:03 PM
No worries. Sometimes "tone" is lost in text.

In terms of all the big names giving that direction to spread fingers, and all the video showing them doing it, I don't dispute it. But what I have yet to hear is WHY (emphasis, not yelling) they do/say it. I know it is not very "Japanese" to ask "why" when given direction, but I'm not Japanese..... What I am is a scientist/engineer looking for a solid mechanical explanation. The only one I have heard given (not on this thread) is that it increases the diameter of your wrist and somehow this creates a better/more advantageous connection with uke when grabbed. I've experimented with this and it doesn't hold water for me. Perhaps someone can elaborate...

Regards,

Jim

If you ask me (nobody did), I would say it has to do with internal connection and intent, and that it is more of an effect than a cause. It would be easier to show in person, or if you can get some hands on time with someone doing what I'm talking about.

Best,

Chris

gpotocki
02-28-2012, 11:24 PM
If you ask me (nobody did), I would say it has to do with internal connection and intent, and that it is more of an effect than a cause. It would be easier to show in person, or if you can get some hands on time with someone doing what I'm talking about.

Best,

Chris

To me in my humble opinion, Chris hit the nail on the head with intent and getting some hands on time.

chillzATL
02-29-2012, 08:23 AM
No worries. Sometimes "tone" is lost in text.

In terms of all the big names giving that direction to spread fingers, and all the video showing them doing it, I don't dispute it. But what I have yet to hear is WHY (emphasis, not yelling) they do/say it. I know it is not very "Japanese" to ask "why" when given direction, but I'm not Japanese..... What I am is a scientist/engineer looking for a solid mechanical explanation. The only one I have heard given (not on this thread) is that it increases the diameter of your wrist and somehow this creates a better/more advantageous connection with uke when grabbed. I've experimented with this and it doesn't hold water for me. Perhaps someone can elaborate...

Regards,

Jim

Well, to be honest, I don't think most of them really knew why. It was what their teacher said to do, it worked for him, they did it and their aikido worked for them. To be fair to me, my first post addressed what I feel it does and by feel, I mean what I really feel when I do it. It helps connect the hands to rest of the arms. It's something that anyone can replicate. Extend your arms in front of you like you're catching a ball, not a forcible stretch, but just just extended. Do that with your hands limp and then do it with your hands open. Your arms feel more connected and full. a single unit rather than a collection of loosely jointed parts, neither tense nor noodly. IMO it's a simple, early teaching device to impart that feeling and if done during practice, some basic conditioning. Over time the connection should improve and become more complete over the entire body and you learn other ways to activate that connection. Ueshiba clearly made this transition at some point.

LinTal
02-29-2012, 08:35 AM
Well, to be honest, I don't think most of them really knew why. It was what their teacher said to do, it worked for him, they did it and their aikido worked for them. .

And as for the scientific reasoning behind the effectiveness, perhaps this will be more helpful:

"If you tense up the arm, you are tightening both sets of muscles, the triceps and the biceps. The triceps are trying to keep the arm straight, the biceps are trying to bend it. When someone attempts to bend your arm they have a secret, unwitting ally in your biceps. Of course they can bend it, your biceps are inadvertently helping. When you stop tensing and use the Ki metaphor, you only use the triceps, and you're not fighting yourself. You become stronger, much stronger. "

http://brucetholmes.com/Movement/Aikido.html

gregstec
02-29-2012, 08:42 AM
IMO, to spread or open the fingers is really dependent on what it is you are trying to accomplish. If I am going to strike, then they are closed - if I am not striking, then they are generally spread open.

Spreading the fingers helps to establish a 'live hand' in aiki arts, and as in all aiki, there is a mental and a physical component. The mental/intent/ki part has already been talked about. Aiki is all about making internal connections without muscle tension and that is accomplished via the fascia mostly - Spreading the fingers without muscle tension helps take the slack out the tendons, ligament, and fascia. Essentially, it helps you maintain a whole body connection where you can absorb and control energy from uke. Of course, this can be accomplished without spreading the fingers, but only after you have trained enough to have established a connected body, but your hands will be dead and useless for aiki in that case. One other note, any muscle tension used to keep the fingers open or closed will stop the flow of energy in the areas with tensioned muscle; this will inhibit a whole body connection and the development of aiki as well.

Greg

ps: I see a couple of post above came in while I was composing with some of my points already covered :)

phitruong
02-29-2012, 08:53 AM
Aiki is all about making internal connections without muscle tension and that is accomplished via the fascia mostly - Spreading the fingers without muscle tension helps take the slack out the tendons, ligament, and fascia.

the part about spreading fingers without muscle tension is the key (or ki) in which folks tend to miss.

beg a question, when you strike, palm or fist (knuckles)?

gregstec
02-29-2012, 08:56 AM
the part about spreading fingers without muscle tension is the key (or ki) in which folks tend to miss.

beg a question, when you strike, palm or fist (knuckles)?

I am generally a palm guy myself :)

bcole23
02-29-2012, 02:01 PM
I think the following video of Doran Sensei applies to this discussion.

http://youtu.be/mDySCDPtKdo

Alberto_Italiano
02-29-2012, 02:09 PM
I've been thinking about this for a long time, but I have not found it discussed anywhere online. In some styles and/or dojos Aikidoka (uke and Nage) practice with fingers spread wide apart. I once heard this explained as holding your hands "kokyu". To me this is a disaster waiting to happen. There is a high probability in a fight of getting a lone finger caught in clothing or something and getting it broken. The fighting arts I have had exposure to emphasize keeping fingers together as much as possible for this very reason. In addition, when I rock climb, I have much more finger strength with my fingers together where they can support each other than when they are spread, which would seem to support the fingers together mode in an art with so much grabbing.

So my question is this, why do so many Aikidoka specifically emphasize spread fingers?

Best,

Jim

Your concern here is that of hurting yourself. This is, indeed, one of the ways of being hurt in a real fight.
However most adversaries won't have enough presence to take advantage of taking hold one of your fingers and break it.
The typical way of hurting yourself can happen, anyway, also with tightly closed fingers: a fist. You throw it, and you hurt an object instead of your adversary and you get a broken knuckle, a broken thumb, or a mild cut that anyway, being the anatomical (if that's the correct spelling in English) structures so superficial, cuts one of your tendons and makes part of your hand/fingers unusuable, normally in extension (that is: you cannot open it anymore, involving one or more fingers).

JimClark
02-29-2012, 07:49 PM
I think the following video of Doran Sensei applies to this discussion.

http://youtu.be/mDySCDPtKdo

Exactly. He's one of the examples I was thinking about when I started this thread. I just saw him at the San Diego bridge seminar and noted his fingers together approach then. My wing Chun brothers practice the same way and have no trouble whatsoever extending energy into uke with fingers together. In fact, many of them do it better than most Aikidoka I have touched hands with. That's one of the things I'm getting from that cross training, not just striking skill. I have frequently wondered if Doran Sensei has some wing Chun in his background, since many of his entering structures look exactly like wing Chun hand/arm positions.

Best,
Jim

Chris Li
02-29-2012, 07:59 PM
My wing Chun brothers practice the same way and have no trouble whatsoever extending energy into uke with fingers together. In fact, many of them do it better than most Aikidoka I have touched hands with.

That's not -quite- what I was thinking of with the fingers...but YMMV.

Best,

Chris

gregstec
02-29-2012, 09:16 PM
Exactly. He's one of the examples I was thinking about when I started this thread. I just saw him at the San Diego bridge seminar and noted his fingers together approach then. My wing Chun brothers practice the same way and have no trouble whatsoever extending energy into uke with fingers together. In fact, many of them do it better than most Aikidoka I have touched hands with. That's one of the things I'm getting from that cross training, not just striking skill. I have frequently wondered if Doran Sensei has some wing Chun in his background, since many of his entering structures look exactly like wing Chun hand/arm positions.

Best,
Jim

Interesting - when I look at the video (granted not very good quality) I see his fingers spread as much, if not more, than when he has them together; and he allways has the thumb spread out - look at times :07, 1:54, 3:32. and 4:16 for example.

Greg

JimClark
02-29-2012, 09:40 PM
Interesting - when I look at the video (granted not very good quality) I see his fingers spread as much, if not more, than when he has them together; and he allways has the thumb spread out - look at times :07, 1:54, 3:32. and 4:16 for example.

Greg

Thumb always but othe four together most of the time.

Alberto_Italiano
03-01-2012, 01:23 AM
Have you ever tried to train dressed as if you were in a normal situation, with your jacket on?
Your finger(s) may get trapped in your own pockets...

Carsten Möllering
03-01-2012, 01:39 AM
Interesting!

First I learned to spread the fingers. Intent was a better flow of ki.

I now learn to always relax shoulder, ellbow, wrist, hand, fingers ... to create a better connection to the body. (It's smilar to the feeling when practicing qi gong or something like that.)
Endo sensei often explicetly teaches to use the arms this way, to not spread the fingers, but to relax them and to relax also the wrist.

When grabbing, we use lao gong to connect. So wrist and fingers have to be relaxed to make connection.
When being grabbed we use the feeling/kimochi/energy/whatever you name it, doesn't work through the fingers, but from my arm into the grabbing hand (maybe lao gong there). So wrist and fingers have to be relaxed to make connection.

(just to add: Endo does never use the term "lao gong" but just talks of the "palms".)

Alex Megann
03-01-2012, 08:41 AM
When grabbing, we use lao gong to connect. So wrist and fingers have to be relaxed to make connection.
When being grabbed we use the feeling/kimochi/energy/whatever you name it, doesn't work through the fingers, but from my arm into the grabbing hand (maybe lao gong there). So wrist and fingers have to be relaxed to make connection.

(just to add: Endo does never use the term "lao gong" but just talks of the "palms".)

Hi Carsten,

The only teacher who I have heard mention "lao gong" is Kanetsuka Sensei, though I don't know where he originally learned about it. He has talked about the connection between the point between the base of your thumb and base of forefinger (is that what Endo means by it?) and the hara - it seems that according to Chinese medicine there is a strong connection between the two.

He also describes the correct sword grip as one where the lao gong is lined up with the top of the sword, and this way power is most efficiently delivered to the cut.

Incidentally, I remember Endo Sensei talking eight or nine years or so about controlling your partner's thumb through their grip, which I have thought about a lot since then. I wonder whether that is a lao gong thing too.

Alex

Carsten Möllering
03-01-2012, 11:16 AM
...is that what Endo means by it?
Well, Endo sensei does not use the term. He just talks of the palm and explains how relax the wrist and the fingers to make strong connection.
It is when you do something like nei gong (in my case) or talk ot someone who skilled in the chinese arts ... you come to realize, that Endo talks about using the laogong point.
If you look for "laogong" or Pericardium 8 (P8) you will easily find the point and descriptions where it is and what it is. (I myself locate it at the center of my palm.)
And yes, it is one of the most important points.
But again: Endo sensei does not speak about the "inner aspects" of this point. At least not during open seminars. He just teaches it to be technically usefull and how use the body to get the most out of it.
Knowing, that Endo understands aikidō as dao, listening carefully to his words and also knowing also, that he has some experience in doing tai chi I am sure he shows using laogong without refering to it.
Interesting enough that a lot of his students end up doing some daostic practice.

Incidentally, I remember Endo Sensei talking eight or nine years or so about controlling your partner's thumb through their grip, which I have thought about a lot since then. I wonder whether that is a lao gong thing too.
No, this is a different.
In this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGtbR7bB_8s) you can get at glimpse of the use of the thumb "when uke is holding strongly". And the connection through ukes laogong point "if your partner is holding lightly". (This is not comprehensiv, just to get a little impression.)
The use of the thumb, or to be more precise of the thumb basal joint, is - as far as I see - not "connected to daositic practice" or using an energy point but just using a technicall posibility of the human body.

As you see both ways to connect to uke and to move him are still important in Endo's aikidō.

Alex Megann
03-01-2012, 11:28 AM
Well, Endo sensei does not use the term. He just talks of the palm and explains how relax the wrist and the fingers to make strong connection.
It is when you do something like nei gong (in my case) or talk ot someone who skilled in the chinese arts ... you come to realize, that Endo talks about using the laogong point.
If you look for "laogong" or Pericardium 8 (P8) you will easily find the point and descriptions where it is and what it is. (I myself locate it at the center of my palm.)
And yes, it is one of the most important points.
But again: Endo sensei does not speak about the "inner aspects" of this point. At least not during open seminars. He just teaches it to be technically usefull and how use the body to get the most out of it.
Knowing, that Endo understands aikidō as dao, listening carefully to his words and also knowing also, that he has some experience in doing tai chi I am sure he shows using laogong without refering to it.
Interesting enough that a lot of his students end up doing some daostic practice.

No, this is a different.
In this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGtbR7bB_8s) you can get at glimpse of the use of the thumb "when uke is holding strongly". And the connection through ukes laogong point "if your partner is holding lightly". (This is not comprehensiv, just to get a little impression.)
The use of the thumb, or to be more precise of the thumb basal joint, is - as far as I see - not "connected to daositic practice" or using an energy point but just using a technicall posibility of the human body.

As you see both ways to connect to uke and to move him are still important in Endo's aikidō.

Hi Carsten,

Thanks for your fascinating thoughts. It really is about time I went to see Endo Sensei again...

Alex

robin_jet_alt
03-01-2012, 05:51 PM
Hi Carsten,

Thanks for your fascinating thoughts. It really is about time I went to see Endo Sensei again...

Alex

Yes. Thank you Carsten. I found that really interesting.

David Yap
03-02-2012, 02:33 AM
...as per Doshu and his favourite Uke, Horii shihan:

JimClark
03-02-2012, 05:51 PM
....look at pictures of early shihan and you will see most always have their index fingers extended.

As Chris already stated, the concept of asagao came from DR. Interesting point is that with asagao, the fingers still point the direction of your intent/ki, but since you have more than one finger extended, you can have your intent/ki focused in more than one direction at a time - just my opinion, of course, and YMMV. :)

Greg

I understand the idea here, but think about this. If ki flows from each finger and they are all pointing in different directions when spread, aren't you sending ki in to non-useful directions instead of using it to influence uke?

This reminds me of a quote from a project manager at my old engineering job. When part of the project was falling behind, the team was directed to "concentrate their resources" on that part to get it back on schedule. A couple of months passed and we met again with status reports. The part that was behind and in fact a little bit ahead of schedule, while other parts of the project had moved ahead a little slower than previously. The manager was very excited about the progress we had made on the task that had been behind schedule (completely ignoring the other parts of the project). His comment was that we should "concentrate our resources on EVERYTHING" and then we could all get ahead of schedule..... Hmmm, wait, that doesn't work. There's only so much effort to go around and if you spread it over all directions, less goes into your intended target.

This is exactly what I'm talking about on this issue. I still think the tea ceremony post put it best about aligning fingers along the arm to unify intent....

I'm looking forward to seeing more posts.....

gregstec
03-03-2012, 08:33 AM
I understand the idea here, but think about this. If ki flows from each finger and they are all pointing in different directions when spread, aren't you sending ki in to non-useful directions instead of using it to influence uke?

This reminds me of a quote from a project manager at my old engineering job. When part of the project was falling behind, the team was directed to "concentrate their resources" on that part to get it back on schedule. A couple of months passed and we met again with status reports. The part that was behind and in fact a little bit ahead of schedule, while other parts of the project had moved ahead a little slower than previously. The manager was very excited about the progress we had made on the task that had been behind schedule (completely ignoring the other parts of the project). His comment was that we should "concentrate our resources on EVERYTHING" and then we could all get ahead of schedule..... Hmmm, wait, that doesn't work. There's only so much effort to go around and if you spread it over all directions, less goes into your intended target.

This is exactly what I'm talking about on this issue. I still think the tea ceremony post put it best about aligning fingers along the arm to unify intent....

I'm looking forward to seeing more posts.....

Funny you mentioned Project Management - I was a Project Manager before I retired last April. A successful project is dependent on how well the manager can balance the triple constraints of scope, time, and cost. This is best accomplished by proper planning to ensure all the scope detail is identified, a realistic timeline is estimated, and sufficient resources are assigned at the beginning of the project when the baseline is established. Sounds like the project manager in your example fell short in some of those areas. Large projects are complex entities with more that one thing going on at the same time with all efforts focusing on the overall project's objectives; you need to deploy the right resources at the right times to do that - An Aiki interaction between two people is a very complex thing as well requiring the same type of resource applications at the right time to be successful; it is not a singular and linear interaction.

IMO, I do not think I said ki is projecting from the fingers to affect uke - I think I said the fingers point the direction of where you want your intent/ki/energy to go. In reality, the intent/ki that will affect uke will come via the point of contact - the fingers, elbow, knee, or just about any other part of the body can be used to point in the direction of where you want your intent/ki to go; kind of like using a laser to light up the target and guide a missile to it. However, when directing energy to more than one point, like in aiki age to direct intent/ki behind uke, into uke's center, and down to uke's opposite hip all at the same time; using fingers to do that is easy because you have more that one finger. But as I previously said in post # 34 "this can be accomplished without spreading the fingers, but only after you have trained enough to have established a connected body" In this case, you can just use your mental intent to visualize the energy coming from your center out to uke in those three directions; the result will be the same. Of course, none of this can happen unless you have connected to uke's center and have established aiki in you first. The thing I don't like about the Tea Ceremony comparison is that alignment like that is linear and straight. Aiki is all about circular energy with spirals; by having the elbow and hand not aligned in the arm, you can manifest those types of movement much easier.

As I said, this is all my opinion based on previous training and experiences, and that your mileage may vary if you have not had the same training and/or experiences :)

Greg

TheAikidoka
03-04-2012, 08:49 AM
Hi Jim,

I will start by saying I have not read the previous replies do appologise, if I go over old ground in my post.
so here it is for me.

It depends, If I have consciousness in my body, I open my fingers, the reason is that there is no muscles in the fingers, opening them causes the tendons to contract releasing, full energy into the hands.

If my consciousness, is solely on the attacker, and not anywhere in my body, I just let everything relax completely, and apply Aiki, become completely aware of the sphere of uke, in this sphere before he has unleashed his attack, you can spot his movement of mind/intent, and you can apply movement and whatever technique.

The first approach as you may have gathered is in, Strong basic technique
the second approach is applied to Ki no Nagare, techniques, but can only work if the uke is fully committed, that does not mean just his body but he must be thinking and fully intending to strike you.

in this way, each approach I feel complements each other, FWIW.

in Budo

Andy B

Mario Tobias
03-06-2012, 10:45 AM
I think opening the fingers has its advantages and disadvantages as mentioned in the previous posts. I am viewing closed fingers as more of a disadvantage based on the fact that aikido is based on natural body predisposition of which one of the most popular is the natural arc of the arm. Similar to the fingers closed, this is not "natural".

Also, the tegatana is one of the most versatile and useful parts when doing aiki work. By closing the fingers, the sensation of the tegatana is diminished thereby losing some of its "usefulness" when doing techniques. If the fingers are closed, the sensation "transfers" to the fingers rather than the tegatana. It takes more "effort" to feel the sensation of the tegatana with closed fingers.

However, this is just my opinion. I think whether you do open or closed fingers, as long as the full sensation of the tegatana is still there no matter what you do, there is no right nor wrong answer.

phitruong
03-06-2012, 11:13 AM
By closing the fingers, the sensation of the tegatana is diminished thereby losing some of its "usefulness" when doing techniques. If the fingers are closed, the sensation "transfers" to the fingers rather than the tegatana. It takes more "effort" to feel the sensation of the tegatana with closed fingers.


doesn't really matter. it's a matter of training and it will get into the whole internal training stuffs which will get folks all excited for various reasons. however, isn't tegetana mean hand blade, i.e. knife hand? you see a knife with that spread? personally, i liked meat-cleaver hand myself. :)

Fred Little
03-06-2012, 01:12 PM
It is absolutely fascinating that the discussion is revolving around questions of which static position of the hand/finger complex is "correct" and almost no attention is being paid to the question of dynamic transitions between the three "static" positions of 1. Open and extended 2. Naturally relaxed and 3. Closed (either in fist or tegatana). This strikes me as being about as useful as a discussion on the subject: "Sleeping or waking, which one should you do all the time?"

Let me suggest some other questions that may be more useful:

How do you get from one to the other? Which ways of doing so are optimal and which are suboptimal? What is the effect of such transitions, on either one's partner or oneself? Why (or in what circumstance) is one better than the alternatives? This is not an exhaustive list of the dynamic possibilities, but it's a start.

Hope this is helpful.

FL

Chris Li
03-06-2012, 01:16 PM
This strikes me as being about as useful as a discussion on the subject: "Sleeping or waking, which one should you do all the time?"


No brainer - sleeping. :D

Best,

Chris

phitruong
03-06-2012, 02:23 PM
No brainer - sleeping. :D

Best,

Chris

nah, Sleep walking :D

Chris Li
03-06-2012, 02:25 PM
nah, Sleep walking :D

But do you keep your mouth open at a sixty degree angle while sleep walking... ;)

Best,

Chris

chillzATL
03-06-2012, 02:39 PM
But do you keep your mouth open at a sixty degree angle while sleep walking... ;)

Best,

Chris

I prefer not to think about anything Phi does while sleeping!

Patrick Hutchinson
03-06-2012, 02:43 PM
Well said Mr. Little.
"Asagao" is a way of opening, not, as Shioda is reported to have said above, an end state "with the fingers apart "like a Morning Glory flower."

HL1978
03-07-2012, 07:33 PM
Try both and see what happens. I was at an internal strength a few years back where we did exactly that.....

roadtoad
03-08-2012, 08:30 PM
you might not know that there is a 'ki gland', in the hand, about a half inch below and between the fourth and fifth fingers. You can look it up in medical journals.
This gland helps increase your ki when you open your fingers. Also, opening the fingers weakens the hand, but strengthens the arm. Your 'unbendable arm' block should be with the arm.

robin_jet_alt
03-08-2012, 08:48 PM
you might not know that there is a 'ki gland', in the hand, about a half inch below and between the fourth and fifth fingers. You can look it up in medical journals.
This gland helps increase your ki when you open your fingers. Also, opening the fingers weakens the hand, but strengthens the arm. Your 'unbendable arm' block should be with the arm.

A ki gland? Seriously?

Mario Tobias
03-08-2012, 09:42 PM
As I remember, Shioda sensei in his book "Mastering AIkido" mentions to open up the fingers strongly in the opening pages of the book, part of kamae.

sakumeikan
03-09-2012, 05:43 AM
you might not know that there is a 'ki gland', in the hand, about a half inch below and between the fourth and fifth fingers. You can look it up in medical journals.
This gland helps increase your ki when you open your fingers. Also, opening the fingers weakens the hand, but strengthens the arm. Your 'unbendable arm' block should be with the arm.

Dear Ike,
Can you tell me where you learned this gem of info ie Ki gland? What medical journal has this info? Be specific and tell us where to find this reference.May I ask how does opening the fingers weaken the hand/strengthens arm?Please also expand on the subject of unbendable arm.I await your reply with much anticipation. Cheers, Joe.

chillzATL
03-09-2012, 07:22 AM
Dear Ike,
Can you tell me where you learned this gem of info ie Ki gland? What medical journal has this info? Be specific and tell us where to find this reference.May I ask how does opening the fingers weaken the hand/strengthens arm?Please also expand on the subject of unbendable arm.I await your reply with much anticipation. Cheers, Joe.

<phi moment>

I found a place downtown that will express your ki gland for 50 bucks. It takes a few visits before they offer you this service, but you wanna talk about relaxed and that's what aikido is all about right? right???

</phi moment>

phitruong
03-09-2012, 07:27 AM
A ki gland? Seriously?

i am surprised that you have not heard of the ki gland. it's similar to the aikidunot gland, near the wtf gland which runs up the middle finger, and just right above the hokeypokey gland. :D

chillzATL
03-09-2012, 07:29 AM
Try both and see what happens. I was at an internal strength a few years back where we did exactly that.....

what was your take-away from that? This is also how I came to see the value of hand open. We were doing static pushes and it was fairly obvious which was the stronger of the two.

roadtoad
03-09-2012, 08:28 AM
If you study an acupuncture chart, the ki, or chi, gland is at Triple warmer 4.
A similar point for the legs is UB 58, which is the he-she (that's not english) point for the triple warmer in the legs.
The use of this point may help explain why so much seiza training was used in earlier Aikido training.
The triple warmer is the only acupuncture channel which has no equivilent in western medicine.
Its used to requlated your 'internal weather', the chest is hot, mid body warm, lower body, cool,
When you mix them together, you get a balance of energy. A balance of yin/yang, if you like.
The nearest equivilent in western medicine is the hypothalamus.

Michael Douglas
03-09-2012, 11:19 AM
...I kept seeing this thread in the top of the 'today's topics' list, and it had me wondering.
Most times when I see what looks to me like worthwhile Aikido on video, the (ungripping) Nage's hands are splayed and stiff (yes they are, yes they are), and personally I can't see too much goodness in closed fingers (in Aikido) so I was thinking "what's so fascinating that stretched this done deal to three pages long?"

Now I see it!

KI GLANDS

:eek:

roadtoad
03-09-2012, 12:18 PM
Too many people are being way too sarcastic here. If there's even one serious person left out there, I could explain a lot more, but I can't give you any more references than I already have, most of this stuff is ingrained into me, I can't remember where I learned a lot of it. I'm a 72 year old, half senile old croaker, you'll have to do a lot of your own study.
Besides the five years in Japan, I spent way more time with chinese styles and daoism, in taiwan, vietnam and america. Not to mention korea and thailand.
Also I was raised on an indian reservation, and started with native indian martial arts.
So, if you're a straight aikidoka, a lot of my explanations might be hard, if not nearly impossible, to follow.
It would be easier if you'd give me some of your background, and something of your personal philosophies, so I would know how better to reach you.

gregstec
03-09-2012, 12:40 PM
Too many people are being way too sarcastic here. If there's even one serious person left out there, I could explain a lot more, but I can't give you any more references than I already have, most of this stuff is ingrained into me, I can't remember where I learned a lot of it. I'm a 72 year old, half senile old croaker, you'll have to do a lot of your own study.
Besides the five years in Japan, I spent way more time with chinese styles and daoism, in taiwan, vietnam and america. Not to mention korea and thailand.
Also I was raised on an indian reservation, and started with native indian martial arts.
So, if you're a straight aikidoka, a lot of my explanations might be hard, if not nearly impossible, to follow.
It would be easier if you'd give me some of your background, and something of your personal philosophies, so I would know how better to reach you.

Hi Ike, welcome to Aikiweb. I think most of the sarcasm is being driven by your use of the term 'ki gland' - most people refer to those locations in the body as ki or qi "points" along the qi meridians as found in Traditional Chinese medicine. Also, there is a large percentage of Aikidoka that do not view ki or qi as being all that important to their Aikido. I would call it a point as well and not a gland, but I knew what you were talking about - there is a ki point at that location in the hand - I believe the Chinese call it the Laogong point.

Greg

sakumeikan
03-09-2012, 05:06 PM
Too many people are being way too sarcastic here. If there's even one serious person left out there, I could explain a lot more, but I can't give you any more references than I already have, most of this stuff is ingrained into me, I can't remember where I learned a lot of it. I'm a 72 year old, half senile old croaker, you'll have to do a lot of your own study.
Besides the five years in Japan, I spent way more time with chinese styles and daoism, in taiwan, vietnam and america. Not to mention korea and thailand.
Also I was raised on an indian reservation, and started with native indian martial arts.
So, if you're a straight aikidoka, a lot of my explanations might be hard, if not nearly impossible, to follow.
It would be easier if you'd give me some of your background, and something of your personal philosophies, so I would know how better to reach you.

Dear Ike,
I seem to recall a gent from Martial Arts Planet who appears to be a carbon copy of your goodself.Have you a twin or am I correct here?The gent on M.A.P. got a lot of stick from guys on M.A.P.
Cheers, Joe.

HL1978
03-09-2012, 09:29 PM
what was your take-away from that? This is also how I came to see the value of hand open. We were doing static pushes and it was fairly obvious which was the stronger of the two.

If you subscribe to Mike Sigmans suit model, spreading the fingers engages more of the suit, rather than just more musclar tension.

For stuff like this, I say just try it out rather than speculate, in particular as this doesnt seem to require lots of conditioning.

roadtoad
03-10-2012, 01:23 AM
yeah, that's me, who else?

robin_jet_alt
03-10-2012, 01:50 AM
Well, after a bit of experimentation today, I am leaning very strongly towards relaxed and slightly spread rather than the Yoshinkan style fork, or the Nishio style knife.

As for the ki gland, I think gland was the wrong word. A gland is a physical organ which secretes substances (usually hormones) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gland. A point on an acupuncture chart makes more sense.

sakumeikan
03-10-2012, 03:41 AM
yeah, that's me, who else?

Dear Ike,
I take it by your comment that you are confirming you are the gent from Martial Arts Planet? I wondered why I had not seen any of your blogs recently on said M.A.P,forums.I missed your slightly controversial viewpoints/statements on M.A.P.Hope to read some more of your views on this Forum. Hope you are well.
Cheers, Joe,

roadtoad
03-10-2012, 04:18 AM
No, I don't think I'll go there any more, as you say, they 'give me too much stick'.
I hope maybe I can get along here a little better.

feck
03-10-2012, 06:33 AM
Sorry if this has already been mentioned, i havent had a chance to read the whole thread as im mobile at the moment.

Recently my fingers were bent back by a more advanced person because i offered my hand relaxed and open, my wrist still hurts now. I still believe though that the hand should still be in a relaxed style as this enhances IMHO the connection and feeling of techique/attack from uke. A hand held even in a slightly tensed syle would again IMO would interfere with this crucial feeeling of technique.

I see it like this in a relaxed style when held, you are feeling totally your ukes energy/ki/intention/aggression etc and have only to react as you are already hopefully in a state of relaxed alertness. In a fixed hand position the muscles come into play, this alone is always in some way blocking your feeling perception etc of the attack. Also in a totally relaxed manner you can then immediately energisr or even stiffen your hand which will immefiately change the grip of your uke by having directly affected it.

roadtoad
03-10-2012, 06:20 PM
o.k., sorry all, about the ki gland, that's the way I was taught it, in either daoism, or esoteric daoism, which is another field. So, I just repeated it, and I was mistaken, sorry again.
But, in spite of that, triple warmer 4 and UB 58 are very imporrtant in the development of Ki.
To o'sensei, ki was everything, and yes, as someone mentioned, ki seems to mean almost nothing in today's aikido, to the point that people are questioning whether o'sensei could actually do all those things you see in the videos.
Well, I might be practically the last guy here that actually practiced with him, and I can tell you that he could do all of those things.
Ki was the most important thing for all aikidoka in those early days. In fact, ki was a part of your test, even for white belts. The instructor wanted to see if your ki was increasing or not.
That part of aikido, which was the most important part of aikido, seems to be lost for now.
I'm no where near that level, but I'm working on techniques to bring the 'ki development' back.
TH3 and UB 58 are certainly a part of it, also, the meeting place of the ki, which is in the middle of the sternum. And, jogging the fossa of the clavical, which is used in esoteric daoism to manipulate time.

phitruong
03-10-2012, 08:02 PM
.
I'm no where near that level, but I'm working on techniques to bring the 'ki development' back.
.

Ike, a suggestion if i may. there is a search function on aikiweb. please try the search on these names:
Mike Sigman
Dan Harden
Akuzawa Minoru
Rob John
Toby Threadgill
Howard Popkin
Ellis Amdur
Kenji Ushiro

or browse through the "Non-Aikido Martial Traditions" section of the Forums. Please browse through some of those threads.

roadtoad
03-11-2012, 01:32 AM
phi, I sure will, thanx, but that's so many names, it'll take me a long time to go through them all.

phitruong
03-11-2012, 07:38 AM
phi, I sure will, thanx, but that's so many names, it'll take me a long time to go through them all.

just the first 2 or 3 would do it. to give an idea or two on what sort of things a number of aikido folks are working with and toward.

Budd
03-12-2012, 12:56 PM
Regarding "gland" or "point", we're dealing with other peoples' translations of Asian concepts so I can allow for wiggle room.

Regarding fingers being open or closed - I think what's been determined is that some of the seniors from previous generations were advocating fingers being open for some very specific purposes around ki/qi and intent training. That should be enough of a lead for those already interested in these things to start to extrapolate some 'hows' and 'whys'.

I'd question some of the fine details as being more "someone's approach" rather than "the only correct interpretation (especially when dealing with translations and second-hand speak), but some of the things that jumped out to me with things like "asagao" and the fingers expressing the body as it opens in all directions. That's rather important in some of the basics of the internal strength paradigm and speaks to a couple things, how the body as a frame can open and close, how the power of the middle can be expressed out the fingers, etc.

But again, I'm thinking less in terms of "should the fingers be open" and more along the lines of "what would the body be doing to open the fingers"?

It's like a finger pointing at the moon . . . ;)

(Phi, haven't you asked anyone to pull your finger, yet?)

oisin bourke
03-13-2012, 08:46 AM
There is a photo in Ellis Amdur's book "hidden in plain sight" where Tomiki Kenji's Uke has his fingers spread while recieving a pin. I believe Tomiki was demonstrating for Ueshiba.The spread fingers should be apparent in both "roles", IMO.

phitruong
03-13-2012, 08:48 AM
(Phi, haven't you asked anyone to pull your finger, yet?)

Budd, ssshhhhhhhhhh .... stop telling folks my ultra-secret technique. folks don't know that my secret identity is the Spleen. i would like to keep it that way. it's very important to my survival. :D

JimClark
03-21-2012, 12:15 PM
As I remember, Shioda sensei in his book "Mastering AIkido" mentions to open up the fingers strongly in the opening pages of the book, part of kamae.

Check out this video of a yoshinkan practitioner.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEO8h0HZ6_o&feature=youtube_gdata_player

He starts with fingers spread wide while addressing uke. As soon as the waza starts, I only saw his fingers spread once, at the end of an iriminage/tenchinage, actually twice the other in a swariwaza grab. I have no idea whether this is intentional on his part or not, but he is clearly only taking the spread finger direction of Shioda Sensei in a static setup pose, not during execution of technique. (I don't think you can say Joe Thambu Shihan's aikido is weak or ineffective IMO). So once again why?

Regards,

Jim

chillzATL
03-21-2012, 12:56 PM
Check out this video of a yoshinkan practitioner.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEO8h0HZ6_o&feature=youtube_gdata_player

He starts with fingers spread wide while addressing uke. As soon as the waza starts, I only saw his fingers spread once, at the end of an iriminage/tenchinage, actually twice the other in a swariwaza grab. I have no idea whether this is intentional on his part or not, but he is clearly only taking the spread finger direction of Shioda Sensei in a static setup pose, not during execution of technique. (I don't think you can say Joe Thambu Shihan's aikido is weak or ineffective IMO). So once again why?

Regards,

Jim

As discussed elsewhere on the site the last few days, Shioda sensei also said that their kamae was not to be considered a fighting stance, but was used to instill the center line. I take that to mean their kamae is used to impart a certain physical quality to the body that he feels is not only important, but one that will not be found otherwise. I recall reading that his kamae was not stressed this way in the early days of the Yoshinkan and they made that change because it clearly found something lacking in his students.

Go watch some videos of how they do things and give it a try yoruself, see if you feel anything. Obviously one cannot practice with the hands like that at all times, but IMO, the point is that with the proper kind of practice, you eventually don't need to do that to maintain that same quality in your body. FWIW.

gregstec
03-26-2012, 08:01 AM
Check out this video of a yoshinkan practitioner.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEO8h0HZ6_o&feature=youtube_gdata_player

He starts with fingers spread wide while addressing uke. As soon as the waza starts, I only saw his fingers spread once, at the end of an iriminage/tenchinage, actually twice the other in a swariwaza grab. I have no idea whether this is intentional on his part or not, but he is clearly only taking the spread finger direction of Shioda Sensei in a static setup pose, not during execution of technique. (I don't think you can say Joe Thambu Shihan's aikido is weak or ineffective IMO). So once again why?

Regards,

Jim

Well, here is a video of a higher ranking Yoshinkan guy and it is pretty obvious throughout his entire engagement with uke he has his fingers spread. I am not a fan of the stiff Yoshikan style, but I understand Inoue's use of the fingers in his application.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Wm5JexTT9g&list=UU51K0gzdK4asqlcHOSxoN1A&index=36&feature=plcp

Greg

kfa4303
04-05-2012, 01:41 PM
I have no clue personally :), but it's interesting that we've been discussing similar issues in the dojo recently. From my Karate/Kempo days we were always taught to keep the hands closed, thumb tucked and it worked very well for striking, blocking, etc...However, based on purely anecdotal evidence, I seem to move better with a more open hand in Aikido. I think it helps to keep students from becoming too "grabby", or "choppy" too. I've noticed that Saotome Sensei, with whom my dojo is most directly affiliated, seems to use what I'll call a "hybrid hand" that's more, or less open with the middle, ring and pink fingers held somewhat more closely together while the index finger and thumb are somewhat spread apart from the rest. I'm not sure if it's conscious, or more incidental, but it is interesting and certainly seems to work.

DH
07-19-2012, 06:19 PM
Hi Joe,

I guess that if both Shioda and Chiba used that phrase the only conclusion must be that it came from O-Sensei!

I find if I let my fingers open when drinking a pint I just tend to waste beer...

Alex
Asagao or morning glory hand , didn't...come....from " Osensei" it came from Takeda " Dai sensei"
;)

The idea is not to have the fingers spread spuriously or arbitrarily. There are specific things to do with intent and reasons for them none of which has anything to do with:
Tension
Flexion
Extendors and retractors
Kokyu...ki...intent... are sounding more like buzzwords in the mouths of budoka than actual useful tools.
It's too bad teachers can't get their collective shit together and talk plainly and in a beneficial manner on the occasions when they actually posses useful information. It would at least help people differentiate between B.S. and helpful advice.
The former being far more prevalent than the later.

The training model has nothing to do with the hand shapes anyway. It's what is happening in the body. Once we know " what" to work, we become more free to understand what must be retained and what can be let go of. When I spar my hands are free to do whatever is appropriate: grabbing, punching, leading and hitting again without loss.
Dan

George S. Ledyard
07-19-2012, 11:20 PM
I have no clue personally :)I've noticed that Saotome Sensei, with whom my dojo is most directly affiliated, seems to use what I'll call a "hybrid hand" that's more, or less open with the middle, ring and pink fingers held somewhat more closely together while the index finger and thumb are somewhat spread apart from the rest. I'm not sure if it's conscious, or more incidental, but it is interesting and certainly seems to work.

The key thing about Sensei's hands are how "alive" they are. It's not about some special way to hold them but while relaxed, they are energized. Many folks, in an attempt to be relaxed, lose this and have what I call dead hands. You can see when they are about to get grabbed, their fingers are curled lifeless... I think styles that have exaggerated finger splaying were merely trying to condition folks to avoid this. Saotome Sensei's emphasis has always been on feeling "natural". the way his hands appear is a direct result of that being how they are when they are relaxed but active, as if he were playing an instrument. For him sensitivity is crucial and tension is as bad as being too relaxed and de-energized.

Carl Thompson
07-20-2012, 06:24 AM
8/28/1971
I was told by Takeda Sensei to open my hand in the way that a Morning Glory ("Asagao") blooms, but I think that this means to open the hand while rotating slightly. I conceived of my Aiki while thinking about this kind of thing.

Best,

Chris

Interesting regarding the rotation.

Thanks

Carl