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taro
05-05-2001, 11:49 AM
Hiya all. I'm not even sure if this subject is appropriate for this site, but I thought I'd see if anyone had any intelligent thoughts on it. I've read about focusing on your hara or center for awareness in aikido books. I've also heard about focusing on your heart to get in touch with your intuition, the "little man inside"(this heart thing is not an aikido thing as far as I know). I'm thinking it would be more effective to focus on your hara to get in touch with this intuitive ability rather than your heart area. Does anyone know of any formal research done in this area, or does anyone have any specific personal examples of this phenomenon?

Mark Cochran
05-05-2001, 02:15 PM
when you say intuition do you mean a sixth sense sorta deal or just a gut feeling that tells you not to do something. Sorta like walking down a street at night and for some reason you decide that maby it would be better not to walk down this one speicific street. I have seen some writtings on developing a form of sixth sense but these have mostly to do with developing a very accute sense of your surroundings. Sorta like senseing the displacement of air as some thing moves through it. I wish I could name you a few books for this but most of them can be found in the MA section of many large book stores. Hope I was some help.

tedehara
05-05-2001, 11:07 PM
Originally posted by taro
...I've read about focusing on your hara or center for awareness in aikido books. I've also heard about focusing on your heart to get in touch with your intuition, the "little man inside"(this heart thing is not an aikido thing as far as I know). I'm thinking it would be more effective to focus on your hara to get in touch with this intuitive ability rather than your heart area. Does anyone know of any formal research done in this area, or does anyone have any specific personal examples of this phenomenon?

In the Ki Society they use testing (http://www.aikiweb.com/spiritual/reed2.html) to determine how stable a person is. One demo is testing while the person is thinking of their one-point (hara). Then they test while the person is thinking of their third eye (a point between the eyebrows). The results that I've seen indicate a person is more stable by focusing on the one-point (hara) than the third eye. I would imagine the heart area (heart chakra?) might also give the same result.

The interesting thing about the one-point/hara/center/centre/seika tanden/tanden/tan is that it is the physical center of gravity for the human body. Both the heart area and the third eye are higher up on the body than the one-point. One could assume that by thinking at either spot, a person would raise their center of gravity and become more unstable.

If you're interested in this, you might want to read Ki in Aikido (http://www.round-earth.com/) by C.M. Shifflett.

You might also want to drop by my website (www.geocities.com/tedehara) for other stuff on :ki: Ki.

taro
05-06-2001, 11:38 AM
Hello Mark. Thanks for your input. When I say intuition, I would say the sixth sense deal and a gut feeling is pretty much the same thing. But that's just my own opinion. The example you gave is an excellent one. I would tend to think that developing a very acute sense of your surroundings is a big part of this type of intuition I was referring to. You'll have to help me out a bit though. I'm not sure what the MA section of a bookstore is(guess I don't spend much time in bookstores eh?). Thanks again.

taro
05-06-2001, 11:49 AM
Hello Ted. Thanks for your help. Funny thing, I'm reading this book by Paul Wildish called Thorson's Principles Of Aikido, and I just got to the chapter on Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido. Is this the same as the Ki Society?
I read the article on testing as well as Ki in Aikido. Interesting stuff. I've also taken a quick look at your website. Any other articles in particular I should look at? I haven't finished my chapter on Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, but I'm curious to learn the differences(and similarities) of the different branches of aikido. There are no Ki Society aikido clubs in my area, but I'm pretty sure I'd like to find some things I can learn and practice on my own here. I'm particularly interested in developing that "sixth sense" if that's what it is. One of the articles at your website touched on that. Sensing an attack before it is launched. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. But also developing my Ki, or my use of Ki(obviously I don't even understand it that well, which would be my first step, wouldn't it?). Anyway, any suggestions?

tedehara
05-07-2001, 01:52 AM
Originally posted by taro
Hello Ted. Thanks for your help. Funny thing, I'm reading this book by Paul Wildish called Thorson's Principles Of Aikido, and I just got to the chapter on Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido. Is this the same as the Ki Society?
I read the article on testing as well as Ki in Aikido. Interesting stuff. I've also taken a quick look at your website. Any other articles in particular I should look at? I haven't finished my chapter on Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, but I'm curious to learn the differences(and similarities) of the different branches of aikido. There are no Ki Society aikido clubs in my area, but I'm pretty sure I'd like to find some things I can learn and practice on my own here. I'm particularly interested in developing that "sixth sense" if that's what it is. One of the articles at your website touched on that. Sensing an attack before it is launched. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. But also developing my Ki, or my use of Ki(obviously I don't even understand it that well, which would be my first step, wouldn't it?). Anyway, any suggestions?


Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido is the same thing as Ki Society Style Aikido or Ki Aikido. Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido (Aikido with mind and body coordination) refers to Tempu Nakamura (http://www.michionline.org/spring00/page12.html) one of the major influences on Koichi Tohei (http://www-student.furman.edu/Aikido/ToheiBio.html), Founder of the Ki Society.

The best way to understand the different styles of Aikido is to visit various schools. You might not be able to try different styles now, but eventually when you travel around you might. You can also go to Aikido seminars to experience different instructors and styles. This is a lot more interesting than trying to figure things out from a book.

When you say ...Sensing an attack before it is launched. ... I'm assuming you're talking about a surprise attack. The only incident I've heard of this happening was years ago to a member of the Illinois Aikido Club.

He was standing at a bus stop, when something started to bother him. He checked himself and found he was calm, but something still disturbed him. He began to look at his surroundings and turned in time to stop an unprovoked attack from some crazy guy. The important thing that was relayed to me, was that he was calm enough to realize something was not right.

One way to deepen your relaxation is through breathing and meditation. In our classes we do ki breathing (http://unofficial.ki-society.org/Breath.html) and ki meditation (http://www.maui.net/~cdc/kokyu/meditation.html) in that order. The breathing helps to physically calm you so that your meditation session is deeper.

Despite the efforts of Inspector Clouseau of the Pink Panther films :D and others, detecting a surprise attack cannot really be practiced. What can be practiced is remaining calm in your daily life then dealing with whatever the universe sends you.

Anne
05-07-2001, 11:38 AM
There have been some scientific approaches recently. I just read an article in GEO (much like National Geographic Explorer but with lots of scientific topics) about what they called "stomach brain".
The title was "The second brain". I couldn't find an English version so I try to sum it up.
In every culture the stomach is viewed or said to be the region where our emotions, our health, intuition etc are located. Our bowels are surrounded by more than 100 million neurons, more than in the whole spinal cord. This second brain works like the one in our heads, using the same neurotransmitter, cell types and communication units. It has a big influence on our psyche. It is some kind of survival guaranty for body and soul and produces lots of chemicals that control our emotions like serotonine, dopamine and benzodiazepines.
The diversion in the two brains is during the fetal development-simply because we can't store everything in our heads. A newborn child has to be able to drink and digest right from his birth so it is better to avoid long wires and to give this survival abilities some independence.
In adults psyche and digestive system are very closely linked. E.g the digestive organs are often the first to get sick, even without obvious medical reasons when someone gets under pressure. Our intestines are also the first line of combat against intruders, organize the first answer of the immune system, and keepn our symbionts under control. It has more than 70% of all immune cells of our body.
Intestines can kept alive and reactive in nutrition liquids without any connections to brain and spinal chord-one more hint towards a brain of its own.
This brain has quite a lot of power: it controlls other organs, a whole set of reactions of its own and can process data of its own sensors. It has everything an integrative nervous system needs including a capable memory.

Our "stomach brain" guides us through our decisions by feelings stored in chemical codes and based on our experience of life. Intuition and intuitive decisions are the results of two brains working closely together. Our decisions are not only based on intellectual calculations but also on a giant catalogue of body feelings and emotional reactions of the "gut memory".

Among the scientists cited are
Michael Gershon, Columbia University, New York
and
Emeran Mayer, University of California, L.A.
so maybe you can look up the original papers.

Hope this helps,
Anne

PeterR
05-07-2001, 12:06 PM
Forgive me Ann but it sounds like the old joke. Short version follows.

The various parts of the body were arguing who was the most important and who should be boss.

The stomach said that without me you could not eat - therefore it is I.

The heart said that without me you could not get food and oxygen delivered - therefore it is I.

The brain said that without me you could not get think and find food - therefore it is I.

The legs said that without me you could not catch the food or travel to find it - therefore it is I.

etc.

Then the asshole spoke up and all the other parts of the body laughed.

The asshole became quite and shut up and soon

The stomach became queasy.
The heart became irregular.
The brain became foggy.
The legs became rubbery.
etc.

Pretty soon the asshole was elected which only goes to show (insert moral here).

My favourite is that only assholes understand true power.

Anne
05-07-2001, 02:11 PM
I just cited an article on recent scientific research. There was no judgement which "brain" was more important. They just seem to do different parts of the whole job.
Before I read this article, I didn't know about this second neuronal network either. But being a biologist, the way of thought of the cited scientists and the whole issue makes sense to me.

yours
Anne

PeterR
05-07-2001, 02:41 PM
Dear Anne;

It just reminded me of the old joke is all.

The autonomic nervous system has a great effect on our internal organs. I'm always on the look out for nice simple descriptions to pass on (not everyone on the list has basic biology).

http://www.sturgeon.ab.ca/rw/nervious_system/nerve.html

If you click on different parts of the figure you get a short description.


Originally posted by Anne
I just cited an article on recent scientific research. There was no judgement which "brain" was more important. They just seem to do different parts of the whole job.
Before I read this article, I didn't know about this second neuronal network either. But being a biologist, the way of thought of the cited scientists and the whole issue makes sense to me.

yours
Anne

Anne
05-07-2001, 02:59 PM
Ok. Posting my summary in English most certainly was no use to make this article easier to understand.

yours
Anne

Jim23
05-07-2001, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by PeterR

Pretty soon the asshole was elected which only goes to show (insert moral here).

My favourite is that only assholes understand true power.


Peter,

:D :D :D :D

Now my stomach hurts!

Some leaders also talk to their shoes "Excuse me, Stockwell. It's for you." :D

Jim23

PeterR
05-07-2001, 05:16 PM
Hi Jim;

OK a Stockwell joke - where in Canada are you.

I think I upset Anne with my joke - I was just being silly - really. But you know, I've told that joke where politics went from bad to horrible and I swear there was a marked change in the place over the next few weeks.

Back to intuition - we can refer to it as sen sen no sen which is the higher form of sen no sen (seizing the initiative). When you become really good at the latter the higher level just becomes. It can be trained as long as you start from the lower level of sen no sen. On an individual combat situation it is looking for the intake of breath, the blink of an eye, the shift in body position. On a more macro level, it requires being aware of your surroundings, how those around you are moving, where their eyes are going. All this of course without giving it away that you are observing things closely.

Be aware - intuition will follow.

Mark Cochran
05-07-2001, 06:17 PM
inturition can be trained in. I know this again from reading, but also from first hand experance. One of those experances deals with my on instructore who has a severly limited range of visoin on his one side. However even so you can't approuch him from that side without being detected. This came from years of training in MA to compinsate for that lose of vision. The secound come from training in the dark. The seiniior students blind fold us and then turn of the lights. They then procede to move about the room lauching surprise attack at us or just trying to suprise us. I've found that after only five years training I can get a pretty good feeling of were somebody is even blindfolded and in the dark. Maby it intutition of just atmosphereinc sensitivity. Oh yeah most MA sections are marked, but if yah need help you could always ask someone ;)

taro
05-07-2001, 06:46 PM
MARK...dude, what the heck is "MA"??

ANNE...very interesting article. So, this article was not in English? I'd like to do a search on this topic on the net. What term would you use, stamach brain, or second brain, or is there another one?

TED...thanks for the info. Wish there was a Ki Aikido club nearby so I could check it out. Would you happen to have any of these Ki exercises written down at a website so that I can learn and try them? Oh, and the sixth sense thing, yes, I was partly referring to the kind of "surprise attack" you mentioned, but also what Peter and Mark wrote about in their last posts.

MARK & PETER....could you guys give me any suggestions as to how to develop this intuition you both wrote about in your last posts?

thanks all.

PeterR
05-07-2001, 07:20 PM
Originally posted by taro
MARK...dude, what the heck is "MA"??

MARK & PETER....could you guys give me any suggestions as to how to develop this intuition you both wrote about in your last posts?

Not the easiest question to answer. In the Shodokan system there are specific kata which contain as part of their being training for sen no sen (seizing of the initiative) and others which for example deal with peripheral vision. In the former case think of a very rapid direct Irimi where the technique is instigated by the very beginning of a yokomen strike by uke, the very first twitch of the hand. The kata is usually done from suwariwaza.

Have uke commit very sudden attacks and work hard to begin your counter at the very instant he begins -look to the clues he drops before the attack.

The other, complimentary way, is doing lots of tanto randori. It is important to have transitions between attacking and not attacking which is pretty well impossible to achieve with multiple person randori.

Mark Cochran
05-07-2001, 08:42 PM
Oh sorry if MA was confusing. While reading some of the posts I noticed some writters would type MA instead of Martial Arts and I just started doing it too. Its a vain attempt on my part to shorten my long winded replies. As to intuition I have a hard time describing it. I feel its sort of a voice or sixth sense that alerts you to potential problems. That little voice that tell you not to use the short cut today that you've taken a hundred times before. At the same time I feel its also an increased awareness of ones surroundings. Wether it comes from being fimiliar with your surrounding or just being very sensitive to the atmosphereic pressure around you. Being able to feel when some one or thing is moving through your feild of sensitivity. This is realy the best I can do for you. I'm sorry I can't be any more specific but I just not at a level of training and expereance that I can realy put my thoughts to paper in a coherant manner.

Mark Cochran
05-07-2001, 08:49 PM
I agree with a Peter. His meathods are sound very good. I mentioned in one of my earlier replies that at my dojo we do a lot of night time and blindfolded training. Some of it resemples a form of push hands but with an Aikido twist. Others are simple free sparring were we are blindfolded or simply close our eyes, the lights are turned of and the senior students simply move about the room either attaking use or simple invading our sphere of sensitivity. This help develope your general awareness of your suroundings. Wiether its Ki exstention or a form of sixth sense it develops quickly. A home version of this is to simpley move about your house with the lights of and your eyes closed. I strongly recomend you put anything breakable safly away before doing this though.
hope I was some help.

Anne
05-08-2001, 12:58 AM
taro -

I don't know under which keyword you could find it on the internet. I was surprised myself that there was no English version available. GEO is a German magazine but they do have international versions in different languages. If I can find this article in English, I'll let you know.

For direct search I would go to the next (university) library with access to an online scientific (medical/biological) journal catalogue and look directly for the authors. If you live in a city with an university this might be faster and more satisfying.

yours
Anne

ian
05-08-2001, 08:24 AM
Often the nervous system is considered as a seperate 'brain' and the rest of the nervous system. However this is not entirely true. Although the cerebral cortex stores most of our 'memories' which we can bring to mind, the whole nervous system stores the memory of repeated body movements. (i.e. your if you've been doing aikido long enough, it is your body which remebers the techniques, not your brain).

Also, the centre is also the centre of gravity. As such, realising this as our centre enables us to keep balance more easily (because we can then move our body around this centre, rather than around another point).

Ian

taro
05-10-2001, 03:50 PM
Hey guys. Sorry I haven't been around to reply lately, been a little busy :)

Ian: Very interesting remarks. I've actually experienced this with other activities(I'm still VERY green in aikido). Playing the piano I've especially noticed this after I've learned left and right hand parts. Playing the guitar I've noticed it when trying to play it Jimi Hendrix style(reversed hands). Throwing a ball, I've noticed it when trying to throw it with the wrong hand(I end up throwing like a girl...sorry Anna :o), heck probably many other examples too. I'm guessing you've found this documented somewhere. About the C of G, you're saying that when we maintain our awareness on it, we are better able to co-ordinate full body motion, right? So focusing on our hara/one-point/center/tanden, is more of a physical phenomenon than a metaphysical one?

Anne: Thanks Anne, don't sweat it too much. I'm not exactly sure what you meant by the "next" library though

Mark: Thanks for the tips. Tried the walking in the dark thing. Walked into a chair that's at crotch level full force. OWWWCH! Just kidding. Haven't tried it, but I might keep it in mind for later :)
Seriously though, we don't do any of those types of excercises at my dojo. So if you know of any other similar exercises I can practice at home, pass 'em on. I really would like to develop this "sixth sense". It's so Jedi, isn't it?
MA - duh on my part eh? You mentioned displacement of air and also sensing [changes in?] atmospheric pressure. This has never even occurred to me. Is this your own conclusion or have you heard of it somewherre else I'm curious?

Peter: Thanks for the tips. I'll have to try some of that with the guys at the dojo after classes. About the sessions with the tanto, did you mean working in a pair and having each of us switch roles between nage and uke after each attack/counter?

PeterR
05-10-2001, 04:10 PM
Originally posted by taro
Peter: Thanks for the tips. I'll have to try some of that with the guys at the dojo after classes. About the sessions with the tanto, did you mean working in a pair and having each of us switch roles between nage and uke after each attack/counter?
Or based on time (multiple attacks). It doesn't really matter - what I think is important that both uke and tori move around accordingly. Lining up straight and attacking from a still position gets old pretty quick.

taro
05-11-2001, 10:24 AM
Gotcha. Thanks Peter.
:)

Caio
05-11-2001, 01:51 PM
I remember someone telling about this nice exercise do develop KI.
Form a circle of people each one holding a bokken (it's easier to project KI through the tip of the bokken). In the center of this circle there will be a blind folded aikidoka. One of the Aikidokas of the circle must point the bokken to the person in the middle and try to expand KI like if he/she were going to attack while the other people of the circle keep the bokken down. It's said that it is a good exercise to develop the ability to sense KI from other people.
I've never tried though! But it seems interesting.

taro
05-11-2001, 11:36 PM
Definitely sounds like an interesting excercise. Thanks Caio.

tedehara
05-13-2001, 07:48 PM
Originally posted by taro
...TED...thanks for the info. Wish there was a Ki Aikido club nearby so I could check it out. Would you happen to have any of these Ki exercises written down at a website so that I can learn and try them? Oh, and the sixth sense thing, yes, I was partly referring to the kind of "surprise attack" you mentioned, but also what Peter and Mark wrote about in their last posts....


Probably the best way to practice timing is have your uke attack you more than once, generally three times, then move and do the technique on the last attack. On the first two attacks just get a sense of their timing and intention. Correct timing is not moving before they do and not moving after they do, but move when they move. If you've seen video tapes of top Aikidoists, you'll see that they move when the uke does.

When you do this exercise, make sure that you or your uke don't get caught in a rythmn. Try to vary the timing of the attack.

Hope this helps and sorry for the delay in response.

Ted Ehara

Chocolateuke
05-14-2001, 12:08 AM
We are talking about Urshiro which is sixth sense.
in shizenkai we have a whole set of throws that are Urshiro waza which consist of the tori attacking behind the back. if you wanna learn a great recorse to chakras ( it may not be a jappaness expression) I strongly reccomend sacred science by Norman Paulson. you can order it at
http://www.solarlogosfoundation.org/ It really is a comprehensive book about the chakras and what they do. it also explaains a meditation tecqnige which is good to. well gotta hit the hay.

tedehara
05-14-2001, 06:12 AM
Originally posted by Chocolateuke
We are talking about Urshiro which is sixth sense.
in shizenkai we have a whole set of throws that are Urshiro waza which consist of the tori attacking behind the back. ...

Techniques like ushiro tekubitori kotegashi and ushiro tekubitori ikkyo might be practiced with someone holding from behind. However when the uke attacks from motion, I've always practiced that the uke attacks from the front, grabs one hand then circles around the back to grab the other hand.

I've always been told never to give someone your back, in other words never allow a person to attack from the back. Even the urshiro techniques are only done to develop awareness behind you. You should not really let this attack from the back happen. This is especially emphasized during randori.

:confused: Maybe this is a difference in teaching style?

taro
05-14-2001, 09:05 AM
Thanks Ted. No need for apologies, we all lead busy lives I'm sure. In fact, I should apologize to all of you in advance if I'm away and don't respond for some time. It's the nature of my job :)

Good advice on timing Ted. It helped me figure out (I think)what is meant by this, "If your opponent doesn't move, you don't move. If your opponent moves, you have already moved." So basically, your initial reaction to his/her movement doesn't commence until they have first moved. But once you begin your counter, you must move fast enough that you make physical contact before they do. In essence, you complete your initial movement before they do. Does this sound right to you?

tedehara
05-14-2001, 02:03 PM
Originally posted by taro
...In essence, you complete your initial movement before they do. Does this sound right to you?

OK--now here is where it gets weird.

You want to move when they move. Not before they do and not after. A spectator should look at the timing as if someone yelled "Go" and both attacker and defender moved at the same time.

How do you get this correct timing? From what I've been told it's emphathy. You should be able to feel when your attacker commits themselves to the attack. Just like a good ballroom dancer (http://www.aikidojournal.com/encyclopedia/encyclopedia_search.asp?search=OTA%2C+KENJI&submit=Submit+Query) learns to move, you practice to learn this emphatic timing. The strange thing about this is it means you're judging the attacker's state-of-mind. You are not looking for physical clues that they're about to attack, you're looking for a change in their psychology. You don't want to react to their movement, but become part of it. Told you this was strange. ;)

Chocolateuke
05-14-2001, 10:21 PM
tedehara your right but that is not what I am trying to say. what I was trying to say about Urshiro waza is that it develops your sixeth sense and by coordanation of body. it also develops that you dont move unless he does move stuff and also for you to be aware of your surroundings. Latly at my dojo we have been practacing motion form anywhere whethere you are ready for the attack or not. but All I was trying to say is Urshiro is just learning to be aware maybe I confused myselfe :) well cya

taro
05-15-2001, 07:28 PM
Ted: Okay, so you're not "reacting" to your attackers movements, is this correct? I've gotten the impression that sometimes(if not always), an aikidoka will "lead" his/her attacker (in a martial situation) by bringing up their arms for the "check"(not sure of the proper terminology here), at just the right time. When the attacker has "boiled" to the point where they are about to attack. This way, the aikidoka influences, or somewhat controls the form of attack the attacker chooses. But this only works in certain circumstances. What I'm still unclear on is how the aikidoka can read the attacker's psychology. Without any "physical" cues(muscle twitch, facial expression, tensing up etc.), I can't see how anyone could "feel" or "read" or "empathize" with the attacker's intent.

Dallas: hey, just caught your 2 postings. Thanks for the input. A little ahead of my level, but I can see how Ushiro waza could help with 6th sense stuff. Thanks.

tedehara
05-16-2001, 01:42 PM
Originally posted by taro
Ted: Okay, so you're not "reacting" to your attackers movements, is this correct? I've gotten the impression that sometimes(if not always), an aikidoka will "lead" his/her attacker (in a martial situation) by bringing up their arms for the "check"(not sure of the proper terminology here), at just the right time. When the attacker has "boiled" to the point where they are about to attack. This way, the aikidoka influences, or somewhat controls the form of attack the attacker chooses. But this only works in certain circumstances. What I'm still unclear on is how the aikidoka can read the attacker's psychology. Without any "physical" cues(muscle twitch, facial expression, tensing up etc.), I can't see how anyone could "feel" or "read" or "empathize" with the attacker's intent.

Dallas: hey, just caught your 2 postings. Thanks for the input. A little ahead of my level, but I can see how Ushiro waza could help with 6th sense stuff. Thanks.

taro: I see this thing as is transcendence. You're trying to transcend your own physical reactions and simply move when they do. The way you do this is by relaxing. By relaxing you'll be able to take in more subliminal physical clues and feel when the attacker commits to their attack. A more traditional view would say "Feel their ki and when they extend their ki, you move.". Told you this stuff was weird, but look at the films of O Sensei and see how he moves when being attacked. Does he react to the attacks or does it seems he's moving within his own time zone?

Dallas: Ushiro waza is good for development. I'm not sure it could be called a sixth sense or a subtle use of physical clues (see my reply to taro). Whatever it is, it does work and Ushiro is a good way to practice.

taro
05-16-2001, 03:07 PM
"subliminal" cues eh? Okay, so you are picking up some physical information. I'll work with "Feel their ki and when they extend their ki, you move". I'm just discovering this thing about extending ki. Not personally, mind you, just through reading etc. I expect it will be some time before I really "get" this stuff. I suspect it's something that I can only learn from experience. What I'd like to do at this stage in my training is to make my training efforts as efficient as possible. I believe you only get out what you put in. I can practice Ikkyo all day, but if my mind's not in the right place, I may as well be watching the grass grow, right? What I'm hoping to get here are some tips that will improve my training in this particular area of "sixth sense" type of stuff. I gather, from what you've told me Ted, that I should work on being relaxed during a confrontation and trying to "feel" or "sense" a potential attacker's intentions. Other than this, would you have any other suggestions for my goals here? By the way, just curious, are you an instructor?

tedehara
05-17-2001, 06:02 AM
Originally posted by taro
... I gather, from what you've told me Ted, that I should work on being relaxed during a confrontation and trying to "feel" or "sense" a potential attacker's intentions. Other than this, would you have any other suggestions for my goals here? By the way, just curious, are you an instructor?

There are some who believe that repetition of technique will give you what you need. I tend to agree with you, in that you need to use your mind as well as your body. I've always thought that most people have fairly good minds, so it's worth developing. :D

The practice of having your partner attack several times, just to get a sense of timing (the exercise I mentioned before) is a good way to learn. Observing yourself and others, live or on video tape is another way. But probably the most common way to learn how to relax is doing breathing exercises and meditation.

Sometimes I'll fill in as an instructor if there is no one else around. The dojo I go to is very small and the instructors are 6th and 5th dan, while I'm a lowly 1.5 dan. So I'm happy just to attend. However it looks like I might have to instruct more often, since I'm lazy and want to have a class closer to where I live.

taro
05-17-2001, 07:05 PM
Well, as far as repetition, I believe in mindful repetition if you're going to do that. No move will be exactly the same twice. Besides I'm a little afraid of reinforcing bad habits by repetition of techniques I know poorly.

As for relaxation, I've begun meditation practice as well as abdominal breathing(throughout the day), but I still wonder if I'll remain relaxed in a stressful situation. Not just a martial situation, but ANY kind of sudden stress. I guess the only way to test it is to subject myself to stressful situations...unless you have a better suggestion.

Lowly 1.5 Dan. I wouldn't say so. I live in a town where we're pretty lucky to even HAVE aikido. The only blackbelt is the master who is 6th dan. The two seniors who do much of the instructing in his absence(and they do a great job as far as I can tell), are both kyu rated. One is almost 1st dan. Just out of curiosity(and please don't feel you need to answer this question), how long have you been practicing aikido?

tedehara
05-18-2001, 03:21 PM
Originally posted by taro
...As for relaxation, I've begun meditation practice as well as abdominal breathing(throughout the day), but I still wonder if I'll remain relaxed in a stressful situation. Not just a martial situation, but ANY kind of sudden stress. I guess the only way to test it is to subject myself to stressful situations...unless you have a better suggestion.

...Just out of curiosity(and please don't feel you need to answer this question), how long have you been practicing aikido?

Imagine the worst things happening to you. If you stand on a curb, imagine a car hitting you. If you standing in a garden, imagine a tree falling on you. Pretty soon, you'll be so jaded that if something actually happened, you'll be ready for it, since you've already imagined yourself dead or dying a thousand times. Read this from an essay by a samurai. Seems to work, or at least keeps you occupied and not bored with your life. :)

This year I'm have almost a dozen years experience. Too short a time! ;)

taro
05-21-2001, 10:17 AM
You know it's funny. I do that on my own actually. Trying to think of the worst-case scenario for any given situation. The response I usually get from people is that I'm being too negative. I've never completely agreed with people, but it still made me re-evaluate my way of thinking. After all, I do not want to become a negative-thinker. But I have found that this approach seems to work best. If you've covered all the bases as far as what can go wrong and basically ran a simulation in your mind, then what I've found is that usually nothing bad happens. But if I don't think ahead, all hell breaks loose and I'm caught with my thumb up my ass(so to speak). Expect nothing. Be ready for anything. I've been saying this to myself since I read it somewhere not long ago. Well, now that I've gotten some validation for this kind of thinking, I'm definitely not going to worry about being too negative. Thanks again Ted.

[Censored]
05-21-2001, 06:15 PM
Originally posted by taro
You know it's funny. I do that on my own actually. Trying to think of the worst-case scenario for any given situation. The response I usually get from people is that I'm being too negative. I've never completely agreed with people, but it still made me re-evaluate my way of thinking. After all, I do not want to become a negative-thinker. But I have found that this approach seems to work best.

Reminds me of a quote from a seminar I attended this weekend: "If you learn to enjoy pain as you enjoy pleasure, you will find that the world is a beautiful place."

taro
05-22-2001, 11:44 AM
Wow. I can't say I completely understand that quote, but it reminds me of the movie Fightclub. Especially the part where Pitt's character forces Norton's character to feel his pain by pouring acid on the back of his hand. I've had this notion that if we don't experience pain in our lives mindfully and accept it, it will keep coming back until we do. What do you think?

Michell Knight
05-22-2001, 12:48 PM
..this reminds me of the inscription Prof. Wally Jay wrote inside my "Small-Circle Jujitsu" book (by Wally Jay): "pain makes believers".

Anne
05-23-2001, 03:11 PM
-taro
I've been looking around for this article about the "second brain". There is no English version available so far. But I found some web pages about the two scientists that might be interesting:
for Emeran Mayer
his email adress emayer@ucla.edu
http://www.today.ucla.edu/html/010424mindBody.html
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/000403/gut.htm

for Michael Gershon
http://cpmcnet.columbia.edu/dept/gsas/anatomy/Faculty/Gershon/
http://www.newiq.com/mentalnote/20010110.htm
http://www.neuroscience.com
http://www.thedailycamera.com/healthfitness/stories/a308761a.html
http://keithlynch.net/cryonet/56/61.html
http://www.physiciansguide.com/bkscimed.html
http://main.biol.vt.edu/Department/research/faculty/Heath/biol2406/supplemental/gut_brain.pdf

Michael Gershon wrote a book on this topic which is available from amazon.com

I hope this is some help
yours
Anne

Anne
06-28-2001, 02:58 PM
Just another note on the belly brain/ "main" brain interaction.
Last november I passed my diploma examinations at the university. I had stuffed my "head brain" for months with knowledge but my gut was really, really nervous. I had just about three hours of shallow sleep before my first exam...
Last saturday I had my shodan test in aiki toho iai (Shoji Nishio Sensei's iaido). I wasn't nervous at all, just a little bit excited. I think my body / belly brain just knew for sure that I had trained mind AND body hard for this and that it couldn't go wrong... I found this quite interesting and assuring. I was even able to sleep for half an hour right before the test which is a really good sign in my case. And so everything went fine, I even enjoyed doing the test!

yours,
Anne

taro
06-28-2001, 03:31 PM
Hello Anne, Thanks for the reply. Interesting story. Funny that I just got an email message about your post today. I was just thinking about this stuff again today. Coincidence? Hmmmm...
Anyway, I was thinking about how to be more centered in everything I do. I've been trying to follow a suggestion I read in one of my aikido books, about being aware of your center at all times. While I meditate, I try to focus on my center/hara/one-point, whatever it's called. Not an easy thing to do. I was just thinking about posting a question about this meditating on my center. I'm wondering if anyone else meditates this way and the results they've gotten. My goal when meditating is to strenghthen my mental focus, increase mental clarity and general awareness. What do you think?

Jim23
06-28-2001, 03:57 PM
I thought the goal when meditating was nothing (once you've relaxed).

You know, not the thoughts, but the space between the thoughts. ;)

Jim23

taro
06-28-2001, 05:57 PM
Well, I meant that these are the results I hope to achieve from meditation. They are the reasons why I meditate. Or have I been mislead about the purpose of meditation?

Chuck Clark
06-28-2001, 06:49 PM
There are different types of meditation that are intended to achieve very different results. You need to get the right tool for the job you want done.

Do your homework and learn about as many different types of meditative practices as you can.

The best way is to find a guide/teacher, etc. that your instincts tell you will help you get what you need.

Anne
06-29-2001, 08:17 AM
I don't meditate in a sort of Zen way very often. But I always try to keep in mind what my mom uses to say: "If you are within youself you can't be beside yourself with sth. (translation?! German version: " Wer in sich ist, kann nicht ausser sich sein.")" That helped me already in many stressful situations when I just stopped, thought about this sentence and went on more relaxed, centered and focused.

yours,
Anne