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Old 11-08-2001, 06:37 AM   #10
ian
 
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Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
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Wirianto was talking about a ballet stance. Sounds very similar to soemthing I do in Chi Gung which has helped my aikido enormously - in fact some people refer to it as 'hugging the tree'; (Sorry if this is long).

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Stand with feet pointing forwards and shoulder width apart. Bend you knees such that it feels you are holding a large ball between your knees. You are also sitting on a large ball (similar feeling to perching on the end of a stool). Feet flat, weight directed just centrally, just behind the balls of your feet.

Your spine must be straight; curl in your tail bone (so back of hips is in line with spine). Stretch the top of your head upwards and straighten your neck (for most people this feels like pushing your head backwards (while keeping it straight) - to line up your spine. - if in doubt stand in stance against the edge of an open door to feel what it should be like.

Raise your (relaxed) arms in front of your body. Have bent elbows and wrists. Underneath your armpits you should imagine (have the space for) a ball the size of a tennis ball. Your arms should be rounded as if you are holding a large beach ball near the bottom (this keeps your elbows low and out).

Your wrists should not be any higher than your shoulders (and palms facing in towards you, as if you were holding this beach ball in your arms). Your shoulders should be relaxed - imagine that your elbows are supported on two balls 'floating in a stream'. Your fingers also have small marbles in between them.

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Though this sounds complicated you have to imagine these balls to get the correct position. At first it will feel that the weight of your arms is pulling them out of your shoulder sockets - but this is just your joints stretching (do not do this outside in high winds; bad for the joints). Any past injuries may also ache, but they will strengthen in time.

Try a few minutes each day. Ideally you should work up to 20 minutes (I've stuck at around 10 minutes). If your legs and arms are shaking, don't worry; but do not tense your shoulders or legs (you have to remember you are being completely supported by these balls).
Breath deeply and in a relaxed manner (without making evident noises).

Sounds surreal but its helped me with aikido and also strengthened my shoulder (I dislocated my collar bone a couple of years ago).

Ian
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