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niall
08-21-2012, 09:26 PM
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7053/6858612077_1429297229.jpg
Dancing in the Streets (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbhthescots/6858612077/) by John Henderson

The emperor his father published an edict, commanding all his subjects, upon great penalties, to break the smaller end of their eggs. The people so highly resented this law, that our histories tell us, there have been six rebellions raised on that account; wherein one emperor lost his life, and another his crown.
Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
T S Eliot, Ash Wednesday

Much of our early work was getting me to pose simply with the one point in mind. I would get up on my one foot and cock my bat, all the while remaining conscious of this energy center in my lower abdomen.
Sadaharu Oh

What is the best way to turn? On the ball of your foot? Or on your heel?

It is a simple question. But it's a very good question. It can get some heated replies. In fact the answer is complex and subtle.

Kobudo - old martial arts - often use the heels to turn. Turning on your heels keeps your centre fixed and stable. It is easy to change direction without altering the position of your centre and thus your balance. Any movement using the balls of the feet automatically makes an adjustment to your centre line. And in traditional kenjutsu any movement that disturbed the centre was unacceptable. One side benefit of turning with the heels is that it is easier to open your front foot. You can see this in the stances of some traditional styles of aikido.

Gendai budo - modern martial arts - usually use the balls of the feet to turn. Speed, momentum and power are important. And a motionless centre is irrelevant when the centre line is in motion. A judoka turning in fast for a forward throw like seoi nage or uchimata uses the balls of the feet. In karate the toes are very important. Karateka can use the side of the foot or even the whole foot but pivoting movements are mainly done using the balls of the feet.

Turning in aikido depends on the style and on the movement. Irimi entering movements usually use the balls of the feet. The danger is that the front foot can remain closed. And that interferes with turning freely.

In applied aikido techniques the most efficient turn is often made on one leg. The flamingo stance used by Sadaharu Oh, one of the great batters in Japanese baseball history, came from Morihei Ueshiba the founder of aikido.

So the right answer to the original questions about how to turn is, Both. Turn on your heel. Or on the ball of your foot. Whatever is right for that moment.

Niall

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/829
Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels e-book on project gutenberg

http://bibliotecaignoria.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/t-s-eliot-en-su-voz-ash-wednesday.html (http://bibliotecaignoria.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/t-s-eliot-en-su-voz-ash-wednesday.html)
T S Eliot, Ash Wednesday online

http://www.mokurendojo.com/2008/10/want-to-be-great-at-baseball-learn.html
Cool Mokuren Dojo blog post about Sadaharu Oh and aikido
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilliput_and_Blefuscu

photo: Dancing in the Streets by John Henderson
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7053/6858612077_1429297229.jpg (http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7053/6858612077_1429297229.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbhthescots/6858612077/

my blog on aikiweb (http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/moon-in-the-water-19051/) | my blog on wordpress (http://mooninthewater.net/aikido)

niall matthews 2012
Niall Matthews lives with his family in Japan. He teaches aikibudo and community self-defence courses and has taught budo for twenty-five years. He was the senior deshi of Kinjo Asoh Sensei, 7 dan Aikikai. He was the exclusive uke of Sadateru Arikawa Sensei, 9 dan Aikikai, at the hombu dojo in Tokyo for thirteen years until Arikawa Sensei's death in 2003. He has trained in several other martial arts to complement his aikido training, including judo (he has 4 dan from the Kodokan in Tokyo), kenjutsu (for about ten years) and karate (for about three years). He originally went to Japan as a staff member of the EU almost thirty years ago. He received 5 dan from Arikawa Sensei in 1995. This 5 dan is the last aikido dan he will receive in his life. His dojo is called Aikibudo Kokkijuku 合気武道克輝塾. Arikawa Sensei personally gave him the character for ki in kokki. It is the same character as teru in Sadateru - not the normal spelling of kokki 克己. It means you make your life shining and clear yourself.

robin_jet_alt
08-22-2012, 12:30 AM
Thanks Niall,

I have recently been working on turning on my heels for some techniques. It makes a big difference for shiho-nage. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has been looking at it.

Robin

Tom Verhoeven
08-22-2012, 07:37 AM
Flamingo stance? Beautiful image, but this is the first time I have seen it mentioned. Crane stance is what I am familiar with. Are there any flamingo in Japan?
I have found that turning on a wooden floor or on traditional tatami is different from turning on modern tatami. Modern tatami are rather soft. When turning on the ball of the foot this may lead to knee-injuries.
Nice article and I love the photo's and literary quotes that you manage to find!
Tom

HL1978
08-22-2012, 09:19 AM
Using the hips instead of the knees or waist? Doesn't matter if you try to learn IS or not, i think most martial artists agree using the hips is key.

Kevin Leavitt
08-22-2012, 10:10 AM
For Soldiers, or really anyone on the street dealing with shoes and high friction surfaces, I emphasize actually moving, shifting center and pointing in the direction you need to go and lifting the foot placing it back down. I've seen too many injuries resulting from torsional loads on knees from pivoting on heels or balls of feet. Primarily moving your hips and shifting body weight correctly in the direction you want to go and leading from that area, then moving the foot not under load makes for safe movement and a stable platform.

Not that I have any issue with your article in the context that you have framed it for training.

Makochan
08-23-2012, 08:20 AM
Thanks for this Niall. I am pleased as you know how I turn (with a load bearing crane these days) and my student's often ask why. I will make sure that they all read the above as it is very valuable information. We have grading next week so, I should be doing some shouting on Saturday and maybe upset one or two students. Kindest, your friend, Billy

Gerardo Torres
08-23-2012, 01:42 PM
For Soldiers, or really anyone on the street dealing with shoes and high friction surfaces, I emphasize actually moving, shifting center and pointing in the direction you need to go and lifting the foot placing it back down. I've seen too many injuries resulting from torsional loads on knees from pivoting on heels or balls of feet. Primarily moving your hips and shifting body weight correctly in the direction you want to go and leading from that area, then moving the foot not under load makes for safe movement and a stable platform.
^ This.

I keep telling people who train with me that the only place where they could glide their feet and perform big smooth taisabaki, moving and turning the way you see in aikido is, well, only while barefooted doing said aikido indoors in a nice smooth tatami. Outside, with shoes or in different terrain, it doesn't work as well. Certainly old battlefield-oriented kobudo, would have used more "stepping" and non-committed load while turning and moving. At least in the koryu I know of I have not seen mentioned turning from the balls of the feet or from the heel.

When I turn, say to deal with things happening at 90 or 180 degrees, I'm currently training to move from the center and move everything together while lifting the legs to place them where they should be to deal with incoming/outgoing force. I don't really think about turning on balls of feet or heel anymore, but if I were to guess I'd say the turning is happening more at the center of the foot as a natural extension of the whole leg, or, more likely the whole foot turns (the load is spread on the whole foot). It's less "elegant" when I do aikido as I don't slide my feet that much anymore (there's more lifting or "stepping"), but I also train a lot on wooden floors, concrete floors, smooth surfaces, sticky surfaces, outside on lawn and dirt, and with shoes, so I had to find a way to move that would work in all scenarios.

graham christian
08-23-2012, 05:15 PM
Thanks Niall.

Turning with feet 'gliding' like an ice skater who can stop and start at any moment, from stillness to grace.

Times when turning 'from' heel and hips, times when turning from ball of foot and centre, as put.....all ways fit various situations.

I say with regards to 'gliding' that it has nothing to do with the terrain but more to do with learning how to on any terrain.

If I was to look at turning and basics then I would look at all kinds of turning and this includes ukemi for that too is turning and turning through the air as well as on the ground. Thus I see the most important factors, the ones which apply to all types of turning, the ones which are always there.

Centre is always involved but of equal importance on this subject is centre line. For what is a centre line but an axis be it vertical or horizontal etc. Everything turns around an axis.

Peace.G.

robin_jet_alt
08-24-2012, 12:07 AM
^ This.
I don't really think about turning on balls of feet or heel anymore, but if I were to guess I'd say the turning is happening more at the center of the foot as a natural extension of the whole leg, or, more likely the whole foot turns (the load is spread on the whole foot).

How is this possible? Broadly speaking, your foot has 2 points of contact with the ground, your ball and your heel. It is easy to pivot around a point that is in contact with the ground. The middle of your foot, however, is not in contact with the ground, and turning around this point necessitates sliding the front and back of your foot simultaneously in opposite directions. I just tried it, and it's not completely impossible, but it's very difficult and puts a lot of strain on your knees while being slow and inefficient.

I understand the stepping thing when you are talking about actually moving your feet, but what about when you are turning 180 degrees without moving your feet as you would do for a happo-giri? it seems very unwieldy to pick up each foot and put it back down again for this movement, unless you are jumping, which has its own problems.

Please don't tell me I will never get it because I don't understand aiki. ;)

Mary Eastland
08-24-2012, 06:55 AM
With "no weight on your feet" the turn happens naturally. Thank you for a thought provoking column.

phitruong
08-24-2012, 07:45 AM
I understand the stepping thing when you are talking about actually moving your feet, but what about when you are turning 180 degrees without moving your feet as you would do for a happo-giri? it seems very unwieldy to pick up each foot and put it back down again for this movement, unless you are jumping, which has its own problems.


you need to pickup your feet. we practice weapon works outdoor wearing shoes. we practice on uneven grass surface (slippery as hell in the morning dews) and on asphalt. you learn very quickly that the footwork on smooth tatami surface doesn't work well here. the trick is to soften your hips or the kua (in chinese term) along with the knees and ankles. stiffen those and you are in for a very painful practice.

if you know a taekwondo person, ask him/her to do a spin back kick, then watch their feet.

and yes, you need to understand aiki. :)

robin_jet_alt
08-24-2012, 05:53 PM
you need to pickup your feet. we practice weapon works outdoor wearing shoes. we practice on uneven grass surface (slippery as hell in the morning dews) and on asphalt. you learn very quickly that the footwork on smooth tatami surface doesn't work well here. the trick is to soften your hips or the kua (in chinese term) along with the knees and ankles. stiffen those and you are in for a very painful practice.

if you know a taekwondo person, ask him/her to do a spin back kick, then watch their feet.

and yes, you need to understand aiki. :)

I will have a play with it at training this morning.

graham christian
08-24-2012, 06:16 PM
Slide and glide and turn and spin,
Up and down???? No, for that's walking,
Walking is stepping and you will find,
There is no flow just an up and down mind.

Peace.G.

Anthony Loeppert
08-25-2012, 12:01 AM
Slide and glide and turn and spin,
Up and down???? No, for that's walking,
Walking is stepping and you will find,
There is no flow just an up and down mind.

Peace.G.

Graham, do we agree, up is irrelevant in this context? Forward as I understand things is more important, though I didn't compose prose to support myself.

robin_jet_alt
08-25-2012, 03:28 AM
you need to pickup your feet. we practice weapon works outdoor wearing shoes. we practice on uneven grass surface (slippery as hell in the morning dews) and on asphalt. you learn very quickly that the footwork on smooth tatami surface doesn't work well here. the trick is to soften your hips or the kua (in chinese term) along with the knees and ankles. stiffen those and you are in for a very painful practice.

if you know a taekwondo person, ask him/her to do a spin back kick, then watch their feet.

and yes, you need to understand aiki. :)

I think I get where you are coming from with the picking up the feet thing now. Endo-sensei talks about it when stepping, but I had never thought about it when doing a pivot (not a tenkan). I'll experiment a bit more.

danj
08-25-2012, 05:16 AM
I like the idea of turns as best suits, turning on heels or toes changes the ma-ai and suits entering/drawing movements in each situation.
Re: lifting feet/ unweighting I remember Yoshigasaki sensei teaching for something like the tenkan movement one foot moves (so you end uo in a kind of horse stance) then the other foot moves - to regain Hanmi. Its a great may to avoid knee twisting forces

graham christian
08-25-2012, 01:11 PM
Graham, do we agree, up is irrelevant in this context? Forward as I understand things is more important, though I didn't compose prose to support myself.

Seems like we agree, yes. No up so it's like moving on one plane. The up and thus up and down movement I always say is a reflection of unsettled mind.

Not sure what you mean by forward.

Peace.G.

MM
08-25-2012, 07:18 PM
I tend to agree with Kevin, Gerardo, and Phi concerning movement. In fact, Ueshiba stated that to place the feet in six directional posture. Up/down is included in that. Speaking of ... watch video of Ueshiba. Slow it down. Notice how he moves. Not a lot of sliding going on. Lot of stepping, though.

Chris Li
08-25-2012, 07:45 PM
I tend to agree with Kevin, Gerardo, and Phi concerning movement. In fact, Ueshiba stated that to place the feet in six directional posture. Up/down is included in that. Speaking of ... watch video of Ueshiba. Slow it down. Notice how he moves. Not a lot of sliding going on. Lot of stepping, though.

If you don't have any up at all then it's going to be very difficult to move on any normal surface, that's just the physics of friction. OTOH, there are ways of moving with an up component that don't have the the body actually moving upward and bobbing up and down.

This should be a no-brainer for anyone who trains outside on a regular basis.

More to the topic - heel or toe or bubbling well - what mostly matters is the weighting, IMO. Also, I'd say that turning badly accounts for most (all?) of the knee problems that are so common among Aikido folks.

Best,

Chris

Anthony Loeppert
08-25-2012, 11:13 PM
If you don't have any up at all then it's going to be very difficult to move on any normal surface, that's just the physics of friction. OTOH, there are ways of moving with an up component that don't have the the body actually moving upward and bobbing up and down.

This should be a no-brainer for anyone who trains outside on a regular basis.

More to the topic - heel or toe or bubbling well - what mostly matters is the weighting, IMO. Also, I'd say that turning badly accounts for most (all?) of the knee problems that are so common among Aikido folks.


It took my internalizing and consulting with my instructors to understand the knee pain I had was the result of leaving my foot in place while the knee started the turn. The knee can't be ahead of the foot (torquing the knee), the knee and the foot turn as one. This is my current understanding... and my knees don't hurt anymore!

As far as up and down, I've been taught to turn without raising the hips (still working on it - 1st kyu here). You give something back to uke you (should) have taken earlier. I suppose that doesn't preclude the foot itself moving up and down with the knee absorbing the up and down to keep the hips from bobbing.

To Graham, as to my other comment on "forward" I meant the intent of the turn shouldn't ever be backwards. Same with pivots.

Working through this myself... not preaching

graham christian
08-26-2012, 12:39 AM
It took my internalizing and consulting with my instructors to understand the knee pain I had was the result of leaving my foot in place while the knee started the turn. The knee can't be ahead of the foot (torquing the knee), the knee and the foot turn as one. This is my current understanding... and my knees don't hurt anymore!

As far as up and down, I've been taught to turn without raising the hips (still working on it - 1st kyu here). You give something back to uke you (should) have taken earlier. I suppose that doesn't preclude the foot itself moving up and down with the knee absorbing the up and down to keep the hips from bobbing.

To Graham, as to my other comment on "forward" I meant the intent of the turn shouldn't ever be backwards. Same with pivots.

Working through this myself... not preaching

Thanks. Of course you're not preaching, we are merely communicating.

Yes, attention on going forward and never backwards I understand and is indeed to be understood and practiced and as usual lead you to various realizations and accomplishments and improvements. That's all good.

As a circle or turn or energy can go clockwise or anti clockwise or along any number of paths and directions then eventually we would then learn to turn backwards just as comfortably as forwards talking physically but if you then look again and notice that we are aware of and moving with and even leading then the physical direction whether physically forwards or backwards to us is always forwards.

As far as no up and down goes then I know we are on the same page. Once again the words may get in the way for some and thus the misunderstanding.

Funny you mention knees. Here's an interesting point and it's to do with knees and turning both.

In my experience I have found many, especially non Japanese have problems doing techniques from the knees ie: suwariwaza, kokyudosa etc. "Ah, my knees hurt or I've got bad knees through doing that or too much of that or........"

Anyway, I give them a cure for it and voila no problem with the knees. It all boils down to turning correctly. Turning incorrectly gives them bad knees. Notice in this example I give here there are no feet supporting you and the knees have now become the 'feet'. Thus there is also a major lesson to learn from doing all moves from the knees in good fluid flowing effective motion and that is that the turning has very little in essence to do with the feet.

Continuous taisabakis from kneeling is where this is learned but if not done properly merely leads to damaged knees and the thereafter focus and debates on knees this kness that and knees the other and all kinds of added on theories all because the essence and principle was missed in the first place.

A bit like feet debates really I would say.

Peace.G.

MM
08-26-2012, 09:25 AM
Morihei Ueshiba talked a lot about opposites working simultaneously. He didn't speak of ka without mi. There was fire and water. Yin and Yang. In/Yo. Upwards with downwards. There can be no forward without backward - both together. In turning, in stepping, in everything one does in aikido, Sending out while receiving in. Without that basic understanding, then one cannot truly begin to understand Ueshiba's aikido, IMO.

graham christian
08-26-2012, 12:31 PM
Morihei Ueshiba talked a lot about opposites working simultaneously. He didn't speak of ka without mi. There was fire and water. Yin and Yang. In/Yo. Upwards with downwards. There can be no forward without backward - both together. In turning, in stepping, in everything one does in aikido, Sending out while receiving in. Without that basic understanding, then one cannot truly begin to understand Ueshiba's aikido, IMO.

Yes. Nice theory and I agree with it. Every molecule and every universe and every motion has this intinsic to it. You still have to learn how to turn properly though.

What is a 'step' to you?

Peace.G.

niall
08-28-2012, 10:33 AM
Thanks for everyone's comments.

Tom I believe Sadaharu Oh himself called it a flamingo (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1014138/index.htm) stance in A Zen Way of Baseball (http://www.amazon.com/Sadaharu-Oh-Zen-Way-Baseball/dp/0812911091) but I no longer have a copy. It's a good read.

On the slightly different point of moving on a plane of course the plane does not have to be parallel to the ground although it often is. It can be slightly upward or slightly downward depending on the movement and the intention.

If you believe that going forwards means simultaneously going backwards I wish you luck. You obviously need it.

The idea that Morihei Ueshiba didn't speak of ka without mi is nonsense. Ka is a letter of the Japanese alphabet as well as a word in Japanese with several meanings. It is used in hundreds of compound words that do not contain mi.

Chris Li
08-28-2012, 11:33 AM
Thanks for everyone's comments.

Tom I believe Sadaharu Oh himself called it a flamingo (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1014138/index.htm) stance in A Zen Way of Baseball (http://www.amazon.com/Sadaharu-Oh-Zen-Way-Baseball/dp/0812911091) but I no longer have a copy. It's a good read.

On the slightly different point of moving on a plane of course the plane does not have to be parallel to the ground although it often is. It can be slightly upward or slightly downward depending on the movement and the intention.

If you believe that going forwards means simultaneously going backwards I wish you luck. You obviously need it.

The idea that Morihei Ueshiba didn't speak of ka without mi is nonsense. Ka is a letter of the Japanese alphabet as well as a word in Japanese with several meanings. It is used in hundreds of compound words that do not contain mi.

I think that Mark's referring to things like:

火と水の合気にくみし橋の上大海原にいける山彦

Of course, this is harder to portray in romaji - but there are hundreds of examples of this kind of usage in "Take Musu Aiki" and other places.

Forward without going backward is (I assume) in reference to the Chinese Mao Dun Zheng Li (矛盾争力, opposing force pairs) - which Ueshiba also referenced in "Take Musu Aiki" and other places.

Best,

Chris

Keith Larman
08-28-2012, 11:47 AM
FWIW I was talking about this with a Japanese Lady who trained for years with Tohei in Japan before moving here. She noticed I was wearing one of my knee braces (muscles get out of balance then my kneecap likes to dislocate and things go from bad to worse). I asked her if Tohei ever talked about whether to move from the balls of the feet or the heels. She told me that it didn't matter which as long as things were moving together. In other words, you don't let any part of the body "drive" any other part. I think this goes to Kevin's comment about torsional stresses on knees, etc. She said a body with "ki flowing" will move naturally and smoothly, all connected, all working together to create movement. No one part makes other parts move. So my take away from that comment was to be connected up correctly and to allow every part of the "chain" to work together in movement rather than being the usually stiff-hipped guy I normally am. That's what I fight. Sink a bit more, get the hips moving, then things start to loosen up all over the place. Then I can move and turn from the balls of the feet, or the heels, just depending on which works better for what I'm doing. Which is now sounding exactly like what has already been said... :)

Keith Larman
08-28-2012, 11:51 AM
I left out one thing. The point, I think, was that if you move in a coordinated fashion with all parts in the chain contributing to the movement rather than "following" (in a sense), then the proper way to turn will be whichever you want to employ. If in a rather stationary place then the heels might be perfectly reasonable. If you're exploding forward and turning then the balls of the feet. I found myself goofing around after class trying to turn different ways and had a blast turning 180 in place with the forward foot on the ball of the foot, the back foot on the heel. Interesting stuff.

Chris Li
08-28-2012, 11:56 AM
FWIW I was talking about this with a Japanese Lady who trained for years with Tohei in Japan before moving here. She noticed I was wearing one of my knee braces (muscles get out of balance then my kneecap likes to dislocate and things go from bad to worse). I asked her if Tohei ever talked about whether to move from the balls of the feet or the heels. She told me that it didn't matter which as long as things were moving together. In other words, you don't let any part of the body "drive" any other part. I think this goes to Kevin's comment about torsional stresses on knees, etc. She said a body with "ki flowing" will move naturally and smoothly, all connected, all working together to create movement. No one part makes other parts move. So my take away from that comment was to be connected up correctly and to allow every part of the "chain" to work together in movement rather than being the usually stiff-hipped guy I normally am. That's what I fight. Sink a bit more, get the hips moving, then things start to loosen up all over the place. Then I can move and turn from the balls of the feet, or the heels, just depending on which works better for what I'm doing. Which is now sounding exactly like what has already been said... :)

"One thing moves everything moves" (I tung chuan tung) - I read that in a book somewhere. :D

Best,

Chris

Keith Larman
08-28-2012, 12:01 PM
"One thing moves everything moves" (I tung chuan tung) - I read that in a book somewhere. :D

Best,

Chris

Yup... :)

niall
08-30-2012, 11:13 AM
Of course, this is harder to portray in romaji

Chris when someone makes a categorical statement that Morihei Ueshiba didn't speak of ka without mi they had better be able to back it up. It doesn't make any difference if it is in romaji or kana or kanji . Either he did or he didn't.

Chris Li
08-30-2012, 11:26 AM
Chris when someone makes a categorical statement that Morihei Ueshiba didn't speak of ka without mi they had better be able to back it up. It doesn't make any difference if it is in romaji or kana or kanji . Either he did or he didn't.

He did - in that Mark was referring specifically to the paired kanji for Fire and Water - not phonetic syllables (or so I read his intentions).

Ueshiba cited that pair repeatedly and incessantly, all through "Take Musu Aiki".

Best,

Chris

niall
08-30-2012, 11:45 AM
Actually Chris he didn't refer to anything else. Specifically or otherwise. He said Morihei Ueshiba didn't speak of ka without mi.

And as for not using the kanji for fire without the kanji for water? Every time O Sensei said I'll see you on Tuesday he was using the word for fire without the word for water.

Most people on here don't speak Japanese. They would read this nonsense and think it was correct.

Chris Li
08-30-2012, 12:00 PM
Actually Chris he didn't refer to anything else. Specifically or otherwise. He said

And as for not using the kanji for fire without the kanji for water? Every time O Sensei said I'll see you on Tuesday he was using the word for fire without the word for water.

Most people on here don't speak Japanese. They would read this nonsense and think it was correct.

Even if most people don't speak Japanese, I don't see requests to explain every Japanese word in every post (aren't they all just randon syllables in romaji?) - still, I get that it can be misunderstood, which is why I elaborated.

I think that you're deliberately taking this over-literally.

Of course there would be times when he said (yo)katta (good) without "in", but that doesn't diminish any importance that Ueshiba placed on In and Yo as a paired group.

Since it's nonesense, perhaps you could explain why Ueshiba thought that Fire and Water should not be paired, or why his repeated usage (and it's very repetative) of the two is not important.

Best,

Chris

MM
08-30-2012, 12:39 PM
Chris has explained what I meant very well. Thanks Chris!

Mark

niall
08-30-2012, 11:47 PM
I won't spend any more time on this.

This is a discussion thread about a column called How to Turn. I know because I wrote it. In the comments someone made a categorical statement that was obviously wrong. I pointed that out.

I don't understand why you keep trying to defend something that was wrong. And when I point out an error it's deliberately taking this over-literally? But when you pointed out an error yesterday it was OK? That's hypocrisy.

He's an old timer, for sure, but how did he get to be "one of the founders of aikido in the USA"? The way that I count the numbers, Aikido was well established in the USA by the time he even met Ueshiba in '64.

I have not discussed fire and water except in some blog posts. For example, wind forest fire mountain (http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/moon-in-the-water-19051/wind-forest-fire-mountain-3961/). I certainly have never said they should not be paired together or that they are not important. So if you want to discuss them in the context of How to Turn please do. Otherwise start a different thread.

Chris Li
08-31-2012, 02:50 AM
I won't spend any more time on this.

This is a discussion thread about a column called How to Turn. I know because I wrote it. In the comments someone made a categorical statement that was obviously wrong. I pointed that out.

I don't understand why you keep trying to defend something that was wrong. And when I point out an error it's deliberately taking this over-literally? But when you pointed out an error yesterday it was OK? That's hypocrisy.

I think that the two case are somewhat different, but that's just my opinion.

As for Mark's statement - well, "never" may be an overstatement, if you interpret his post very literally, but I don't believe that he meant that to be the case.

Nevertheless, I think that his basic point, the conjunction of opposing forces, was entirely relevant, especially in the context in which it was being used - the use of the body in general and with regards to turning specifically.


I have not discussed fire and water except in some blog posts. For example, wind forest fire mountain (http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/moon-in-the-water-19051/wind-forest-fire-mountain-3961/). I certainly have never said they should not be paired together or that they are not important. So if you want to discuss them in the context of How to Turn please do. Otherwise start a different thread.

I think that Fire and Water in the above blog are a little different than what I had in mind, and from the context that Ueshiba uses.

The original post by Mark actually brought them up specifically discussing them in reference to turning, but you didn't seem interested in discussing it:


If you believe that going forwards means simultaneously going backwards I wish you luck. You obviously need it.

The idea that Morihei Ueshiba didn't speak of ka without mi is nonsense. Ka is a letter of the Japanese alphabet as well as a word in Japanese with several meanings. It is used in hundreds of compound words that do not contain mi.

It was that response that I was addressing. If you would like to discuss Mark's post in the context of How to Turn please do. Otherwise maybe it would be a better idea to start a different thread about how you disagree with the fundamental assumptions behind the post.

Best,

Chris

Maarten De Queecker
09-02-2012, 05:30 PM
General advice on turning: hips, foot and knee move at the same time. Knee before foot is just not natural: you're basically forcing your knee to move in a direction it isn't even made for. The more you lift your feet, the less you'll tend to turn your knee before you actually turn your foot.

As for the part of the foot I use for turning, I only turn on the ball of my foot. Turning on my heels delays any forward momentum, whereas turning on the balls of my foot allows me to step in any direction the moment my foot hits the ground.

Isn't stuff like this sport science, by the way?

Tom Verhoeven
09-03-2012, 05:05 PM
Thanks for everyone's comments.

Tom I believe Sadaharu Oh himself called it a flamingo (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1014138/index.htm) stance in A Zen Way of Baseball (http://www.amazon.com/Sadaharu-Oh-Zen-Way-Baseball/dp/0812911091) but I no longer have a copy. It's a good read.

.

Of course! Flamingo position - flamingo batting! Cannot believe that I did not recognize it. I read the book ages ago - and yes a very good read!
Thanks for letting me know - will enjoy rereading the book now!

Tom