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-   -   6 Directions (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23032)

mathewjgano 10-06-2013 03:09 PM

6 Directions
 
One thing that keeps coming to my mind when I read about intent in "6 directions" (i.e. all directions, right?) is zanshin. Do zanshin and 6-directional intent directly relate? What might that Venn Diagram look like (apart from "a pair of circles" of course :D)? If they relate, what are some of the physical differences you exhibit between having good zanshin and bad zanshin?
Whatever the case regarding zanshin may be, what are you doing to engage 6 direction intent? What is your understanding of it?

Rupert Atkinson 10-06-2013 04:56 PM

Re: 6 Directions
 
In terms of left,right, front, back, up and down - I have always thought of it as the x, y, and z axes in 3D. And my way of analyzing stuff - well, for movement I like to think in 8 directions. So, when cutting with a sword, I like 8. But sometimes, 12, like a clock - because I want to be able to attack and defend from all directions, and you can only do that if you practice it. I think you can do whatever you like, as long as you do something. But for balance and body structure, both of the self and of your partner/opponent I think 6 is fine as it is just - logical.

I can't see how it is directly related to zanshin though. You do need to be aware/awake/alive, of course, always.

Cady Goldfield 10-06-2013 06:04 PM

Re: 6 Directions
 
Matt,
It's more the wordless willfulness that precedes any action. When you reach for the cup of coffee, it's intent that initiates and drives the event, from the time you desire a sip of coffee, to the moment the cup is at your lips. Desire fires intent, intent initiates and effects action.

When we work the 6 directions we are also using that process to simultaneously push out and draw in, in all directions (6 directions really is 360-degrees of 3-dimensional direction -- a sphere, but we use 6 "compass points" to provide some context, especially for beginners).

mathewjgano 10-06-2013 11:55 PM

Re: 6 Directions
 
Thank you, Rupert and Cady! Very cool!

As for zanshin, I think it was the idea of 360 degrees (omnidirectional/spherical) awareness that caused the association.
Quote:

Wikipedia wrote:
...the higher meaning of zanshin, which is a mental aspect maintained before, during, and after an action.
...zanshin is practiced as general awareness of one's surroundings, of which uke is just a small part.

I can see how they wouldn't necessarily be the same things; I'm guessing perhaps zanshin refers more to a mental state than a mind-body state? Being "in the moment" as opposed to being able to absorb and redirect (or whatever) instantly?

Lee Salzman 10-07-2013 02:30 AM

Re: 6 Directions
 
Quote:

Rupert Atkinson wrote: (Post 330643)
In terms of left,right, front, back, up and down - I have always thought of it as the x, y, and z axes in 3D. And my way of analyzing stuff - well, for movement I like to think in 8 directions. So, when cutting with a sword, I like 8. But sometimes, 12, like a clock - because I want to be able to attack and defend from all directions, and you can only do that if you practice it. I think you can do whatever you like, as long as you do something. But for balance and body structure, both of the self and of your partner/opponent I think 6 is fine as it is just - logical.

I can't see how it is directly related to zanshin though. You do need to be aware/awake/alive, of course, always.

Just be aware, it's not movement (in space, external) here that's being looked at. Like Cady said, it is intent, that happens solely within the body-mind before any external movement has been involved. And the fact that it is called "6 directions" does not even mean that those are the lines we are actually initially working with, think of it just as a descriptive allusion, i.e. the cross-lines of fascia through the body, motivated with intent, can effect horizontal and vertical stability and are initially more important than any lines that would actually run horizontal on some imaginary 6 direction compass.

Quote:

Matthew Gano wrote: (Post 330661)
Thank you, Rupert and Cady! Very cool!

As for zanshin, I think it was the idea of 360 degrees (omnidirectional/spherical) awareness that caused the association.

I can see how they wouldn't necessarily be the same things; I'm guessing perhaps zanshin refers more to a mental state than a mind-body state? Being "in the moment" as opposed to being able to absorb and redirect (or whatever) instantly?

It is also possible that our understanding of zanshin was backwards all along. Rather, once we learn IP, we learn maybe our zanshin needs to draw more from our IP than our IP from what we may have mistakenly thought was our zanshin. :)

Carl Thompson 10-07-2013 03:16 AM

Re: 6 Directions
 
Quote:

Cady Goldfield wrote: (Post 330653)
Matt,
When you reach for the cup of coffee, it's intent that initiates and drives the event, from the time you desire a sip of coffee, to the moment the cup is at your lips.

FWIW I've heard exactly the same analogy used by a teacher who learned from Osensei.

Rupert Atkinson 10-07-2013 04:08 AM

Re: 6 Directions
 
Quote:

Lee Salzman wrote: (Post 330662)
Just be aware, it's not movement (in space, external) here that's being looked at. Like Cady said, it is intent, that happens solely within the body-mind before any external movement has been involved. And the fact that it is called "6 directions" does not even mean that those are the lines we are actually initially working with, think of it just as a descriptive allusion, i.e. the cross-lines of fascia through the body, motivated with intent, can effect horizontal and vertical stability and are initially more important than any lines that would actually run horizontal on some imaginary 6 direction compass.

I have always followed the idea that in essence, everything is really quite simple. If something seems difficult, it is simply because you can't see it yet. If people make things complicated, it means either: they do not understand, or, they are trying to complicate things for no reason. Everything should be simple.

Cady Goldfield 10-07-2013 11:00 AM

Re: 6 Directions
 
Quote:

Carl Thompson wrote: (Post 330665)
FWIW I've heard exactly the same analogy used by a teacher who learned from Osensei.

No surprise there, Carl, though I would have thought the cup would be of tea or sake, not coffee... :)
Desiring something and reaching for it is such a universal thing that almost everyone can relate, which is why it serves as an example of intent, in action.

Cady Goldfield 10-07-2013 11:28 AM

Re: 6 Directions
 
Quote:

Lee Salzman wrote: (Post 330662)
It is also possible that our understanding of zanshin was backwards all along. Rather, once we learn IP, we learn maybe our zanshin needs to draw more from our IP than our IP from what we may have mistakenly thought was our zanshin. :)

Yep, that's going in the right direction.
Awareness begins -of ourselves- from within ourselves. In other words, when we work "internally," we have to become intensely aware of everything that we are doing "inside," and the effects it has on us. We also have to be aware of our immediate environment as that is what our physical bodies are dealing with - gravity, our spatial relationship to our surroundings, etc.

It's like concentric circles of awareness radiating outward, but starting from within us. The whole process of learning to cultivate IP and aiki heightens our awareness of ourselves and our environment; you can't be a closed vessel. Once we're aware of ourselves, we then work on awareness of and sensitivity toward the opponent and his processes. Then we can learn to use our internal manipulate both the intent and body of another, and even learn to read someone's intentions before they have initiated any actions.

jonreading 10-07-2013 12:06 PM

Re: 6 Directions
 
I am with Cady and Lee.

From what I've been working on, 6 directions is based on the concept of tensegrity, a structure based upon tension. Bucky balls. The mechanic is resistant to compression or expansion pressure. It also has a natural tendency to distribute percussion through the structure to some extent.

The idea [I think] is to create structural integrity through the imagery/intent of "pulling" your key body points in 6 directions to create tensile pressure. As best as I can tell, in the beginning we use cardinal directions to help the imagery. Advanced imagery does not rely on either axis directions or linear restrictions.

The intent to create a tensile body does not appear to be the same as the consciousness of awareness. I reserve the right to change my opinion. In fact, in the beginning we noticed a distinct lack of awareness when focusing on creating our shapes. We had difficulty feeling if our partner was even pushing, let alone a qualitative sense. This observation indicating that the two are not the same as we could have some level of structure with no awareness, or greater awareness with no structure.

As a point of comment, six directions v. universal presence seems to be one of those "lost in translations" that maybe gave us a bit of mis-direction. I think Chris had a blog/facebook/something on this a while back. From what I remember, six directions is sometimes a reference to a larger imagery... I have several books myself that "being the universe" probably meant , "think six directions" or some such thing. I reserve the right to be wrong. However, given that issue it may not be clear when O Sensei was speaking literally or figuratively, especially if we understand being one with the universe as a comment about zanshin.

Rob Watson 10-07-2013 12:28 PM

Re: 6 Directions
 
Quote:

Rupert Atkinson wrote: (Post 330667)
I have always followed the idea that in essence, everything is really quite simple. If something seems difficult, it is simply because you can't see it yet. If people make things complicated, it means either: they do not understand, or, they are trying to complicate things for no reason. Everything should be simple.

Calculus is simple ... unless you don't know algebra, analytic geometry, etc. The complex becomes simple when built on a solid broad foundation. A fine castle is not just a pile of bricks except that it is ... some piles are just a bit more orderly than others.

Rupert Atkinson 10-07-2013 01:01 PM

Re: 6 Directions
 
Quote:

Robert M Watson Jr wrote: (Post 330686)
Calculus is simple ... unless you don't know algebra, analytic geometry, etc. The complex becomes simple when built on a solid broad foundation. A fine castle is not just a pile of bricks except that it is ... some piles are just a bit more orderly than others.

You are right, of course. I learned calculus too and it was easy because my teacher was good. He showed us how to do it, and we could do it.

Carl Thompson 10-07-2013 03:17 PM

Re: 6 Directions
 
Quote:

Cady Goldfield wrote: (Post 330682)
No surprise there, Carl, though I would have thought the cup would be of tea or sake, not coffee... :)

You got me there... I think I've heard it variously as tea, beer, sake or just as "a drink" (nomimono).

Alfonso 10-08-2013 12:33 PM

Re: 6 Directions
 
This extensive blog post covers the subject really well. It is fascinating to see how online conversation goes nowhere.

http://mikesigman.blogspot.com/2012/...-movement.html

Janet Rosen 10-08-2013 02:56 PM

Re: 6 Directions
 
Quote:

Jon Reading wrote: (Post 330685)
The intent to create a tensile body does not appear to be the same as the consciousness of awareness.

Agree they are not the same. I see 6 directions as part of developing/training structure. I see intent as something one can use to alter structure as well as to do other things both inside oneself and in connection with a partner - I explicitly train my beginning Low Impact students in intent and tools for embodying/expressing it but not in 6 directions or tensile body.

Keith Larman 10-08-2013 03:21 PM

Re: 6 Directions
 
Quote:

Alfonso Adriasola wrote: (Post 330728)
It is fascinating to see how online conversation goes nowhere.

Yeah, that.

I just keep training by myself and hitting seminars. I don't try to explain because frankly while some makes perfect sense to me, most of that "enlightenment" on my part came while having someone push me or move me or adjust me or punch me or . . . None of the significant realizations happened while reading forums or blog posts.

I sat here for a few minutes thinking about this very topic. And realized most anything I would have written would be trite, empty, and probably wrong on some level. So I'm just gonna go work on a few things by myself instead. Much better use of my time.

Not to say these sorts of discussions and blogs aren't helpful, they are, but the things that significantly altered my understandings were all done in person. Shrug.

Chris Li 10-08-2013 03:32 PM

Re: 6 Directions
 
Quote:

Alfonso Adriasola wrote: (Post 330728)
This extensive blog post covers the subject really well. It is fascinating to see how online conversation goes nowhere.

http://mikesigman.blogspot.com/2012/...-movement.html

Mike is talking about 6 harmonies in the above post (also important!), which is not quite the same as six directions.

FWIW, here's a little about 6 directions from Morihei Ueshiba.

Best,

Chris

Alfonso 10-08-2013 04:41 PM

Re: 6 Directions
 
Quote:

Christopher Li wrote: (Post 330733)
Mike is talking about 6 harmonies in the above post (also important!), which is not quite the same as six directions.

FWIW, here's a little about 6 directions from Morihei Ueshiba.

Best,

Chris

its somewhere in there , but I get your point. We do it too.

Cady Goldfield 10-08-2013 05:15 PM

Re: 6 Directions
 
Quote:

Keith Larman wrote: (Post 330732)
Yeah, that.

I just keep training by myself and hitting seminars. I don't try to explain because frankly while some makes perfect sense to me, most of that "enlightenment" on my part came while having someone push me or move me or adjust me or punch me or . . . None of the significant realizations happened while reading forums or blog posts.

I sat here for a few minutes thinking about this very topic. And realized most anything I would have written would be trite, empty, and probably wrong on some level. So I'm just gonna go work on a few things by myself instead. Much better use of my time.

Not to say these sorts of discussions and blogs aren't helpful, they are, but the things that significantly altered my understandings were all done in person. Shrug.

Well, we don't have to read this forum, or post to it. Yet... we do. :D
I wouldn't say that online discussions go nowhere. In some cases they do provide a bit of clarification. For those of us who train in the discipline, regardless of for how long, these forum discussions have their purposes, particularly when they can answer some questions or compare notes on things we are doing in our training.

Cady Goldfield 10-08-2013 05:54 PM

Re: 6 Directions
 
Quote:

Alfonso Adriasola wrote: (Post 330734)
its somewhere in there , but I get your point. We do it too.

I suspect that what you are doing is actually quite different from what was being described in Chris's wonderful translation. There is a very specific process going on there which has largely been lost or hidden in most contemporary schools of aikido, and in many formerly internal Chinese martial arts as well!

Alfonso 10-08-2013 06:09 PM

Re: 6 Directions
 
I have absolutely no idea what you could be possibly talking about.

What I do has never been discussed here. Where could you possibly come up with a suspicion of my training?

truly fascinating

PS - if this is spurred by "we do it too" , I meant that in the typical jokey sense that is much often used in the IP world

thisisnotreal 10-08-2013 09:08 PM

Re: 6 Directions
 
Quote:

Alfonso Adriasola wrote: (Post 330728)
It is fascinating to see how online conversation goes nowhere.

Hi. I disagree in a way. I feel the real changes are in our lives. In some unexplainable way I feel linkedup with these strangers' and the way they see this multifaceted jewel. Like some insane cosmic class project where for once my partners are not complete leeches! I feel coupled to all who see the jewel gleaming. I am happy to see some old names on my screen, to know they are alive, and kicking, and learning and struggling to grab hold. And to read of their progress and to reflect upon mine.

Quote:

Alfonso Adriasola wrote: (Post 330734)
its somewhere in there , but I get your point. We do it too.

could it be something like the following
-highlighted difference: precise delineation of very specific things. of course they are all coupled, but trying to isolate and i.d. the constituent components
delineate between
six harmonies ==> relationships in silk reeling movement
six directions ==> H.E.M. (heaven earth man, opening the body, tensegrity stuff as above)

----
Off topic; and to anyone who could say:
So roppo=six...Wondering about the name Roppokai. Is it about 6-directions?

regards,

Cady Goldfield 10-08-2013 09:33 PM

Re: 6 Directions
 
Quote:

Alfonso Adriasola wrote: (Post 330737)
PS - if this is spurred by "we do it too" , I meant that in the typical jokey sense that is much often used in the IP world

That's what did it. "We do it too" always raises a red flag. ;)
Carry on.

Michael Varin 10-09-2013 02:59 AM

Re: 6 Directions
 
Quote:

Cady Goldfield wrote: (Post 330683)
Yep, that's going in the right direction.
Awareness begins -of ourselves- from within ourselves. In other words, when we work "internally," we have to become intensely aware of everything that we are doing "inside," and the effects it has on us. We also have to be aware of our immediate environment as that is what our physical bodies are dealing with - gravity, our spatial relationship to our surroundings, etc.

It's like concentric circles of awareness radiating outward, but starting from within us. The whole process of learning to cultivate IP and aiki heightens our awareness of ourselves and our environment; you can't be a closed vessel. Once we're aware of ourselves, we then work on awareness of and sensitivity toward the opponent and his processes. Then we can learn to use our internal manipulate both the intent and body of another, and even learn to read someone's intentions before they have initiated any actions.

Could it be that after all these years aiki is actually, finally being mentioned in an "IP/IT/IS" thread?! By an "IP/IT/IS" proponent no less!

This is admittedly off topic, but I have never liked the use of terms such as "our internal" as used above. What is it that is being used? It requires further explanation and/or specification, and frankly, it's lazy.

Having said that, Cady, can you do this? Please, describe this skill in more depth. How does it manifest? How do you use it? Why is it important? And . . . whatever else you want to talk about.

RonRagusa 10-09-2013 07:37 AM

Re: 6 Directions
 
Quote:

Michael Varin wrote: (Post 330762)
Having said that, Cady, can you do this? Please, describe this skill in more depth. How does it manifest? How do you use it? Why is it important? And . . . whatever else you want to talk about.

Better still, how about a short video clip demonstrating it.

Ron


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