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Old 12-05-2006, 11:58 AM   #46
Michael McCaslin
Dojo: aikijujitsu, unaffiliated
Location: New Orleans
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 35
Re: opening the joints

Mike Sigman wrote:
I think this is a very important point, Gernot. There are the cool parts of using the kokyu/jin forces. And there is the very powerful strengthening of the body "structure" by tying it together (although, bear in mind that there are different ideas of how this is done). But those things are only part of the whole picture and my worry, just like you said above, is that people will go for these baubles thinking they have the whole. There's more to it than that. First of all, the "muscle" issue has to do with the points of tying the body together, but not merely with just "structure" and "tension exercises". Muscle has to be foregone while you work on this new kind of strength, even though it means leaving yourself weaker for a while.
Good point, Mike. I have problems with this all the time in the dojo. Every time the going gets tough, I can feel myself abandoning the "new stuff" and resorting to old fashioned force. I don't like it when it happens, but it's quite instinctive. I suppose when the "new way" of moving becomes more ingrained this will get easier.

Mike Sigman wrote:
Secondly, and probably the big giveaway if someone is worrying whether they have the "full process", is the use of the dantien to control the whole body. And I mean control it. Not assist every now and then. If you go the route of muscle and some jin skills, you'll automatically limit forever your forward progress. When Tohei and so many others talk about "relax", they mean it, but it's a complex understanding of "relax" and what you have to do while you're "relaxed".


The use of the dantien to control the whole body is a vexing question for me. For one thing, I don't have the control and flexibility yet to make this a reality, although I am working on it.

For another, the legs provide so much available power it's hard for me to avoid relying on them. If I understand you correctly, I should be using the legs like the arms, as transmitters rather than generators. This morning I was experimenting with using the dantien to send force down one leg, then the other while standing in a natural posture. Mainly, I wanted to cultivate moving the dantien while the hips and shoulders stay fixed. This is a struggle for me!

At any rate, I'd appreciate some clarification on the role of the legs-- in one scenario, dantien turns and force goes from there out through the arms and legs. In another, the legs move the body and the dantien controls and directs this power. Which is more correct, or is the truth a hybrid?

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