Michael McCaslin wrote:
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?
Well, the real bugaboo, IMO, is that you can use *some* jin skills and still be heavily allied with muscle. This is the heart of the old scornful "Shaolin!" derision by some of the so-called "internal stylists". And this is part of why I've made a few superficial comments that probably Aikido doesn't need to go so far with its worry about "internal", since most of what I've seen appears to be from the ki/qi-kokyu/jin skills of the external arts. But it's some sort of hybrid, in reality, with Ueshiba and Tohei leaning actually closer to the "internal arts" stuff sometimes. I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.
Some of what I've seen of Ueshiba in his 80's (this may be the same thing that Ellis was recently talking about) leaves me definately in the camp that Ueshiba's skill was pretty high order and not the jin&muscle stuff that is so easy to fall into. At least that's my opinion, FWIW.
So, back to your question. Pooh.... the more I think about it, the more my enthusiasm for trying to write it wanes. Yeah, legs and waist should be the source of all the power and the upper body only transmits the power. That's the best start, even though it feels absurd at first and all of someone's "many years of skills" will evaporate for a goodly while. But it needs to be shown.
Part of my problem is that while I think this stuff has to be rammed through as a missing basic, I don't think that it's going to be productive to stray to far off of the absolute basics and how to do them... so talk about control with the middle needs to be recognized as an important topic, but it's probably way to far down the road to be timely.