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Cady Goldfield
12-30-2013, 11:05 AM
To my perspective, the likelihood leans more toward the use of suwari waza being a better way to train internal methodology, than having anything to do with custom or historic connection to armored combatants. Here's why:

Proper alignment, structure and ground contact, and the absorbing, propelling and directing of force, are much easier when standing. Standing creates a more direct path from the point of contact (with an opponent/practice partner) to the point of contact with the ground. For beginners, it makes it simpler to feel the connections and alignments.

In addition, when standing, ground contact is concentrated over a smaller surface area -- the soles of the feet, the toes -- than it is when a person is kneeling or in seiza, where the contact area with the ground is dispersed across the knees, shins and tops of the feet. Doing internal method via suwariwaza thus requires much more awareness and sensitivity of what one is doing to move and direct force within one's own body, than does standing for this kind of training. Standing practice takes less sensitivity within the body to "distill" and concentrate power in and out of the ground and point of contact with the opponent. As anyone who does punching, kicking, striking, etc. would know, the smaller the surface area at the point of contact or impact, the more concentrated the force will be when delivered.

Ethan's point about suwariwaza taking away the ability of "cheating" by using superior height and mass -- and necessitating the proper use of hips -- is apt. IMO and IME. In internal training, beginners will use muscle strength and simple gravity/mass exploitation to push a technique through. Because they think they are "relaxed," and because they are not yet able to discern the difference between "muscling" and proper use of structure and internal force direction. Even intermediate-level students can easily revert to shoulder-muscle and upper-body use when training stress is increased.

More important (to me, at least), when standing it's far easier to create spiraling force from the ground, via torsion from the feet themselves. In seiza, you no longer have the feet available to work the ground, and instead must be able to do this with the parts of the body that are in contact with the ground. Again, this requires far more internal-body awareness and sensitivity.

Add to all this, that standing waza makes it very tempting for students to perform aerial acrobatics in taking ukemi. Taking ukemi from suwariwaza is not pretty or satisfying for people who like that sort of thing. ;) I have a feeling that, when Ueshiba saw students doing standing practice with those dramatic flourishes, he instantly saw them for what they were: people who were not seeing the (aiki) forest for the (pretty throws/ukemi) trees.

So, my conjecture/hypothesis in summary:

Waza while standing = Easier for beginners to start learning structure, energy/force manipulation, and point-of-contact.
Suwari waza = More advanced, For more deeply developing aiki and effective direction/transmittal at point-of-contact.

Cady Goldfield
12-30-2013, 11:28 AM
Oops - that part about the internal differences between standing and suwariwaza wasn't conjecture.

My actual conjecture is that Ueshiba would have preferred to have seen the students practicing from kneeling positions, because training that way is more in keeping with the serious study of the internal principles they should have been practicing.,, on (and from) the ground, rather than flying in the airborne division. ;)

Cady Goldfield
12-31-2013, 10:50 AM
Above was split from this thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=333837#post333837

Janet Rosen
12-31-2013, 11:25 AM
My take on suwariwaza changed after I couldn't do it anymore (knee injury).
Initially when others would do kokyudosa I would do it standing. But I felt this was missing the point of the exercise. So I tried doing it sitting cross-legged. And it was very interesting...it is what taught me, very quickly, the difference between "hips" and "center."
Sitting in seiza, you can rise up, swivel, pivot, etc.
Sitting cross-legged you are pretty rooted....so you have no recourse but to experiment with relaxation, extension, intent, and "moving your insides." It's an endlessly fascinating exercise.

Cady Goldfield
12-31-2013, 01:58 PM
Janet, it's also amazing to discover what one can do, aiki-wise, with one's butt cheeks on the ground. ;)

Janet Rosen
12-31-2013, 04:32 PM
yep, that's what I'm talking about.

Cady Goldfield
01-01-2014, 04:35 PM
Suwari waza creates a very stable kihon form because it makes it so necessary to use your hips correctly - you can't use your height or weight advantage as in tachi waza. If you can do flowing forms in suwari waza, or even better hanmi handachi, then you will gain very strong stability in your hips as well as learning how to flow under quite difficult circumstances (shikko!). Suwari waza is a very important training tool, and I'm sure that this was O-Sensei's reason for emphasizing the importance of this training. Kokyu nage are high level techniques - in a sense they are O-Sensei's jiyu waza codified, or indexed so to speak. So if he felt that people were trying to train at this level but were not actually there yet, then I can imagine he would have been angry.

Suwari waza actually are harder (or, at least, a bit more complicated ) to do than standing kokyu-nage waza if you are training the internal principles. I believe that Ueshiba may have been upset at seeing the students doing standing kokyu-nage because he knew they were focusing on the throws and the fancy ukemi, and not on the aiki and IP principles that should have been driving their technique. If the students had been doing suwari-waza (nowhere near as acrobatic-looking ukemi as standing kokyu-nage), it would have looked more to him like they were earnestly training the meat of his art instead of the dessert toppings.

SteveTrinkle
06-08-2014, 02:49 PM
Janet, it's also amazing to discover what one can do, aiki-wise, with one's butt cheeks on the ground. ;)should your butt cheeks be on the ground if you are doing suwariwaza? I thought suwariwaza was from seiza

Janet Rosen
06-08-2014, 04:35 PM
should your butt cheeks be on the ground if you are doing suwariwaza? I thought suwariwaza was from seiza

She was replying directly to my post about not being able to sit seiza and HAVING to do it on butt cheeks.

Stefan Hultberg
06-09-2014, 04:35 AM
She was replying directly to my post about not being able to sit seiza and HAVING to do it on butt cheeks.

ASS-ki-do (sorry) :D

Janet Rosen
06-09-2014, 11:28 AM
ASS-ki-do (sorry) :D

Hey, works for me :)

Keith Larman
06-09-2014, 11:58 AM
Suwari waza actually are harder (or, at least, a bit more complicated ) to do than standing kokyu-nage waza if you are training the internal principles.

Just fwiw. I have a student that I've been working with for a while and going in to some of the IP stuff. When that student does suwariwaza, she realized she wasn't able to do the techniques as well in seiza as she was standing. She asked if she was doing something wrong and I just laughed. She's vastly more stable and able to do so much more than most of the others across the board. So when she found herself a bit restricted on the floor with her legs out of the equation, she noticed the difference. But from my perspective I just saw someone still doing vastly better than the rest of them. I was happy she noticed and explained to her that the difference was that she had become quite good in integrating her lower body in to her "unification of mind and body" skills. So the increased difficulty was really about the high level of her ability overall rather than a lack thereof. She wasn't having any problems doing the techniques in seiza. She just realized they aren't exactly the same if you're using more of your body in an integrated fashion and lose *some* access to part of it.

The experience kinda toppled a couple ideas I had long held but never really thought through. I like when that happens. Good to nuke old ideas now and again...

Keith Larman
06-09-2014, 12:00 PM
She was replying directly to my post about not being able to sit seiza and HAVING to do it on butt cheeks.

Well, I suppose the sag factor could come in to play. There, now that you've tried to visualize that, my job here is done... ;) You're welcome.

Janet Rosen
06-09-2014, 01:24 PM
Well, I suppose the sag factor could come in to play. There, now that you've tried to visualize that, my job here is done... ;) You're welcome.

:D

phitruong
06-10-2014, 10:48 AM
Well, I suppose the sag factor could come in to play. There, now that you've tried to visualize that, my job here is done... ;) You're welcome.

speak for yourself. my mastery of ki gives me quite a bit of uplifting to counter any sagging. :)

Phil Van Treese
06-10-2014, 01:09 PM
Sag factor and sitting on your cheeks doing Suwari?? Well, I suppose it matters how big your "sag" is if you can move properly. I would love to see someone doing Suwari on their cheeks. I would have to call him/her Sensei for sure.

reza.n
07-18-2014, 10:58 AM
at first it was a serious thread but Janet with her knee injury inspired people to make ASS-kido and brought the thread here. :D

Amassus
04-05-2015, 03:32 PM
I like this post. Couldn't agree more! Moving correctly from centre, from the knees is a project in itself. As you get better find stronger and heavier partners. Good times.

Robert Cowham
04-07-2015, 01:02 PM
I have been discovering the power of hanmi-handachi recently with my students. Cutting down and doing some other techniques while on your knees restricts the points of freedom you have. They started getting more connected due to less possibility for things to go wrong! Alternating between the same technique in hanmi handachi and while standing was quite interesting and they could see the difference easily.

For me it's all about the power of the connections around the hips - insides of the legs for example. Might try a video.