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ald1225
07-11-2005, 01:03 PM
During my last class, a student ask about the footwork in Aikido etc. So the sensei asks us to do some exericise trying to compare it Aikido footwork on and off the mat, and one of the exercise that he gave us is walking/doing the tenkan on a piece of paper while on the mat.

The same student mentioned that in a show called "Kung Fu" that they do this as part of their practice but the sensei said that he has not heard of the show but it's a actually a training method by some samurais back in the day.

I'm actually curious about if it's actually possible to do a tenkan/walking on a piece of paper without making an indent. I have managed to do with little indent. I think it's pretty cool and interesting at the same time. It must be the :ki: at work.

Anyone else have tried this or went through this exercise? Any thoughts?

Jerry Miller
07-11-2005, 08:22 PM
I remember the Kung Fu shows. They were walking on rice paper. I do not know anyone who has done this however.

DustinAcuff
07-11-2005, 10:05 PM
it seems kind of anti-aiki to do it in this manner IMHO. the sliding feet are there to always keep you with both feet firmly on the ground so that you can have balance. maybe it depends on the type of mat, the type of paper or the quality of your feet???? i'm stumped.

Dazzler
07-12-2005, 03:19 AM
Walking the rice paper! Fantastic stuff starring David Carradine I believe...

Walking the rice paper and showing no trace of your steps afterwards showed you were able to graduate as a shaolin monk.

Beats taking a dan grading any day !

happysod
07-12-2005, 04:00 AM
pah - dead easy, just varnish the rice paper first!

Alex Megann
07-12-2005, 04:49 AM
Not quite the same thing, but almost...

Many years ago, when Kanetsuka Sensei was still living in Oxford, my father and I were practising some jo movements with him on his lawn.

After twenty minutes or so, Sensei stopped, and pointed at the grass. "Look at the mess you have made of the lawn!". Where the two of us had been tramping heavily, the grass was worn down to mud in places, while where Sensei had been there was almost no disturbance whatsoever...

Alex

guest89893
07-12-2005, 06:05 AM
Walking the rice paper and showing no trace of your steps afterwords showed you were able to graduate as a shaolin monk.
Beats taking a dan grading any day !
But remember Daren, the main part of the Shaolin monk test was to lift very large metal pot filled with stones that sat over a hot fire. You lifted it with your forearms, thus burning the images of the tiger and the dragon on the monk's forearms. :eek:
Well at least due to the intense heat of the iron pot, you knew the tattoo equipment was sterile. ;) :D
Gene

Dazzler
07-12-2005, 06:24 AM
But remember Daren, the main part of the Shaolin monk test was to lift very large metal pot filled with stones that sat over a hot fire. You lifted it with your forearms, thus burning the images of the tiger and the dragon on the monk's forearms. :eek:
Well at least due to the intense heat of the iron pot, you knew the tattoo equipment was sterile. ;) :D
Gene

Oh I remember this alright...I used to love it!

Of course you may also be showing your age now Gene! :D

Jory Boling
07-12-2005, 09:04 AM
Walking the rice paper! Fantastic stuff starring David Carradine I believe...

Walking the rice paper and showing no trace of your steps afterwards showed you were able to graduate as a shaolin monk.

Beats taking a dan grading any day !

yes. in conjunction with grabbing the pebble from Master Po's hand (i have season 1 on DVD)

cguzik
07-12-2005, 09:17 AM
it seems kind of anti-aiki to do it in this manner IMHO. the sliding feet are there to always keep you with both feet firmly on the ground so that you can have balance. maybe it depends on the type of mat, the type of paper or the quality of your feet???? i'm stumped.

One must be able to move freely without losing one's connection to the ground. If you cannot turn without lifting both your feet, you are stuck. If you lift both your feet to turn, how can you maintain your connection to the ground?

Perhaps the exercise with the paper provides a learning experience to help understand this.

guest89893
07-12-2005, 11:23 AM
Oh I remember this alright...I used to love it!

Of course you may also be showing your age now Gene! :D

What showing my age...Hhmmnn...I know, I saw it on the TV land channel, yeah that's it reruns... ;)
Actually, one of the interesting bits of trivia surrounding that movie, was the person they considered for the main role was Bruce Lee.
So as to not completely hijack this thread, let's see if can add some detail to the rice paper walking.
"Grasshopper, sit here near me while we talk. It is said, Look for he can not be seen. Listen for he can not be heard..."
It demonstrates great control of your balance/grounding being able to shift so the weight of your body does not press as you step, thus making no sound nor leaving a trail. It is a combat skill for recon, also hunting -since Native -Americans of several tribes were suppose to be quite adept at, too. Ninja practice it(how else you going to sneak up on us warriors), So know thy enemy and the weapons of the enemy and how they are used. Why rice paper? Because rice paper is among the most fragile of substance and almost impossible not to tear. That and it was what they had on hand. It is not a fast moving walk, rather painfully slow and involves really being able to shift your balance & weight up & down as well across the body. Oh, I almost forgot to give credit for the other group who were adept at it. The Scotsmen who were hunters and assigned to protect the royal forests from poachers. This is the group that the "guilly suit" (sp) came from that a version is in use with todays military snipers.
But hey, what do I know. We've already established that I'm old , in fact at my next birthday if you calculate it in dog years I'll be :dead: .
Gene
anybody see where I put my walker, ehh? Ehh! Speak up I can't see to good you know. ;)

ald1225
07-18-2005, 10:48 PM
I rented the show Kung Fu, I'm sorry that seems to be a very bad show way back then. :confused:

Anyway the lesson from doing the tenkan on the piece of paper is to not to actually rely on the mat too much. While doing the tenkan, the paper should not move that much. And it's easier to move with one point towards the direction that one wants to.

Joe Bowen
07-18-2005, 11:08 PM
How big a piece of paper are we talking about? An 8x10? Are both feet on the paper? or is it one piece of paper under one foot?
In the Kung Fu series, which I'll admit seems a bit corny now, but back when I was watching it as a kid seemed really cool, Caine walked on a long strech of rice paper, which tears easily.
So, one big piece or two small pieces under each foot? Recycled paper, Ok? ;)
Interesting idea, will have to give it a try...

intersimi
07-19-2005, 04:41 AM
Not quite the same thing, but almost...

Many years ago, when Kanetsuka Sensei was still living in Oxford, my father and I were practising some jo movements with him on his lawn.

After twenty minutes or so, Sensei stopped, and pointed at the grass. "Look at the mess you have made of the lawn!". Where the two of us had been tramping heavily, the grass was worn down to mud in places, while where Sensei had been there was almost no disturbance whatsoever...

Alex

It was his grass though :)

guest89893
07-19-2005, 06:23 AM
I rented the show Kung Fu, I'm sorry that seems to be a very bad show way back then. :confused:

Anyway the lesson from doing the tenkan on the piece of paper is to not to actually rely on the mat too much. While doing the tenkan, the paper should not move that much. And it's easier to move with one point towards the direction that one wants to.
No Aldrich by today 's standards it would not be very entertaining. Not to mention in today's world - the show's martial arts content and the techniques done by David Carradine would fill up all these MA websites ad nauseam in how lousy, why did they do this technique instead, etc...
Out of curiosity how does one rely on the mat to much while doing TENKAN? I grant that I rely on the mat too much when doing UKEMI, but not sure how I could be relying on the mat while doing TENKAN?
Thanks Gene
p.s. If you thought the show Kung Fu was bad then don't ever rent the Batman TV series with Adam West as Batman. :yuck:

EricH
07-19-2005, 07:47 AM
I am old enough to have seen the original Kung Fu series when it first aired ( although I was quite young at the time!) In its day it was a pretty good show. It launched me on a life-long study of the martial arts. The previous posts are correct - a long sheet of rice paper was unrolled on the ground and the initiate was supposed to walk the length without tearing it. I would point out that they walked forward in a straight line, they did not try to turn or pivot. I think they were trying to prove a different point.

ald1225
07-20-2005, 10:09 PM
The instructor explained that the move the piece of paper as a little as possible. The paper that we used was regular 8 x 11 1/2 paper (with kyu testing requirements on the other side, lol :p ). He mentioned that a newspaper works best. The foot that's supposed to stay on the paper is the one that you step forward with.

When I said relying too much on the mat, I meant was using the ball of you foot on the mat to pivot, instead he made us do lift our feet... just a wee bit. Doing tenkan on a mat is way different than the rough surface of what we walk on. I think he wanted us to do the same thing as if we were not on the mat.

Is that the batman with "wow" "ouch" "kapow" :dead: with Robin wearing stockings... I enjoyed that show back then, but looking at right now... it is corny... sort of like Kung Fu... hmm

Charlie
07-20-2005, 10:34 PM
So you shift your weight to your back foot in order to turn by lifting your foot slightly (just a wee bit)?

Joe Bowen
07-20-2005, 10:59 PM
I never thought that it made a difference whether you turned on the ball or heel or whatever of your foot, and perhaps that is your instructors point. Mitsunari Kanai Sensei has a video out that explains some really kinesiological aspects of various aikido movements, and one of the points that I took away from that video is that movement is initiated in the hips, and the feet will take care of themselves.
When I first started aikido, and attempted the tenkan motion, my thinking was firmly rooted in the positioning and motion of my feet. I equated the the foot rotation to the US Army's "rear march" from its parade drills. I now understand that this is erroneous.
By focusing the motion in the hips, you can easily control variations in the weight dispersement on the feet.

Olaf
07-21-2005, 03:52 AM
So you shift your weight to your back foot in order to turn by lifting your foot slightly (just a wee bit)?

Well,
on the street, when I walk I always lift one foot at a time, step forward with it (yes, during that motion all the weight is on the back foot) - and guess what, I don't need to shift weight/hips back to the back foot in order to be able to lift the other foot for taking the step. ;) WIthout any thinking, the hips is moving forward constantly. I don't know about you guys, but I guess that's how you walk, too. Why would be movement in Aikido anyway different - especially considering that natural movement is the ideal we strive for?!
Just a thought
Olaf

Charlie
07-21-2005, 05:29 AM
Well,
on the street, when I walk I always lift one foot at a time, step forward with it (yes, during that motion all the weight is on the back foot) - and guess what, I don't need to shift weight/hips back to the back foot in order to be able to lift the other foot for taking the step. ;) WIthout any thinking, the hips is moving forward constantly. I don't know about you guys, but I guess that's how you walk, too. Why would be movement in Aikido anyway different - especially considering that natural movement is the ideal we strive for?!
Just a thought
Olaf

Didn't know we where talking about walking forward. Thought the poster was talking about turning. I don't recall any of MY teachers saying anything about taking a normal walking step during the course of tenkan/tai no henko (2). As a matter of fact, there has always been discussion as to taking a shuffle type step where the back foot comes up fast behind the leading foot when advancing.

Of course I failed to mention this because I noticed that the original poster is from the Ki society. As it is, I come from the Yoshinkan side of the family so I refrained from drawing a comparison between our different way of doing things.

Anyway...was trying to get a picture in my head as to how one can turn on the front foot with their weight shifted to their back foot. Sounds to me like stepping -not turning.

That being said...there are a lot of things that change in the course of having to perform techniques "on the street". Giving up my stable posture for one that is shifting is not what I'm looking for. However, I don't plan on being able to turn like I do in the dojo either.

guest89893
07-21-2005, 08:27 AM
The instructor explained that the move the piece of paper as a little as possible. The paper that we used was regular 8 x 11 1/2 paper (with kyu testing requirements on the other side, lol :p ). He mentioned that a newspaper works best. The foot that's supposed to stay on the paper is the one that you step forward with.

When I said relying too much on the mat, I meant was using the ball of you foot on the mat to pivot, instead he made us do lift our feet... just a wee bit. Doing tenkan on a mat is way different than the rough surface of what we walk on. I think he wanted us to do the same thing as if we were not on the mat.

Is that the batman with "wow" "ouch" "kapow" :dead: with Robin wearing stockings... I enjoyed that show back then, but looking at right now... it is corny... sort of like Kung Fu... hmm
Thank you for explaining. Yes I agree, it is interesting to train and feel your movement and technique on different surfaces. At the Dojo were I train we have a fairly firm and fast mat, one of the places that I teach at has a "rather old" (translation ancient) and it is rather soft & tacky/sticky-ish. A difference felt in your movement and balance. And yes that is the Batman show I mean - yes it is sometimes rather amazing to see what does and does not stand the test of time.
Thanks again,
Gene

DustinAcuff
07-22-2005, 11:33 AM
Charles what the poster was describing (weight to back foot and turning on front) sounds just like a common irimi tenkan using the sliding feet. Weight displacment sounds a little off but basically correct.

Speaking of intresting surfaces to train on, we are about to start doing our techniques on stairs. YAY!