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Old 11-30-2006, 07:50 PM   #312
Gernot Hassenpflug
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 319
Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Mike Sigman wrote:
I dunno, Gernot. I think a variety of factors enter here. In a lot of ways, we could say that the use of jin and ki-development is a sort of trick that gives you strength without requiring bulk and it utilizes highly efficient body-mechanics. So a person who is "not too physically big" only tells you something if you instinctively relate "strong" and "bulk", the way most of us automatically do.
Fair enough, I wasn't expecting a simple answer :-) I had the naive idea that once one develops jin and emphasizes the much higher ROI type training, then one can learn to "use one's body weight" more efficiently. So I assumed that meant one could use extra muscle better too in the paradigm of the jin training (but see below).

Mike Sigman wrote:
The big thing is jin, in terms of a rapid advantage. If you know how to manipulate jin, even rudimentarily and with the addition of a lot of muscle, you have an advantage that the uninformed can't understand very well. This is a key point.... the reluctance to show people how to do the ki/kokyu things has to do with not giving away the edge to just anyone./../

There are some pictures of some Chinese guys with "qi skills" that I think of. A surprising number of them are skinny (although an appreciable number can be bulky, too). The real ki skills can be thought of as necessarily tied to the type of fascia development done through breathing, beating the body, stretching /../ and so on. If we make a sort of general comparison of the "fascia" as related to a piece of rawhide (the semi-translucent scraped raw hide that is stretched, for example, over the head of a drum), we can intuitively understand that for the toughest rawhide, we want a range-fed steer, not the plump, grain-fed family pet that live in the feed-yard. Fat in the tissue weakens the ki/fascia structure, so the really strong guys are almost always unusually thin, by most comparisons. It's that type of thinness that enters into the equationof what you're asking. Old age, deliberate thinness, etc., etc., is a question I often have when I'm trying to evaluate some "old master". Are they just atrophying or are they exhibiting the deliberate thinness of some of the qigong/martial practitioners who have sinews like steel?
Aha, now I am beginning to feel the void :-) That there is a point of no return - you never go back to the previous type of body, ever! One continues to further and further develop these "ki" aspects of the body. Does that start to approach the "flip in thinking" and lifestyle that people mention when they progress on this path?

It's funny, because last month in ballet class I was mentioning how strong one of the young dancers is (hip, leg development). The reply from my senior was that yes, strong, but wrong: the "stretch training" of ballet needs to take over, and the muscle mass will shrink and his body will become thin - but much stronger. NOt "ki" or "jin" by any means, but certainly tendon and sinew-focussed training.

Thanks for the eye-opening pointers.
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