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Old 12-13-2006, 10:27 AM   #6
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Let me see if I can highlight the problem.

Essentially the idea is that any movement comes from the "center" (hara, tanden, dantien, "One Point", "Field of Cinnabar", whatever). So the ground, via direct vector forces up the legs, supplies the "solidity of the Earth"; the weight/gravity supplies the power in the other direction. Both of these powers reside in the middle for us to access. The trick, though, is to get these powers unhindered out to the rest of the body. It's getting these powers out to the hands, feet, or anywhere on the body that starts the discussion about "relaxation".

If you try to use jin and the strength of the muscles and joints, you will dilute your power from the Center. Yes, you can get more power than normal with this combination or muscle and kokyu forces, but if you want to aim for the higher levels, you need to follow the classical track.

The Ki Society is somewhat vague in how things are done, but generally the approach is to try to use the Center and let the mind handle the connection: it will grow over time, as they see it (this is true, but the overall effectiveness of this approach is open to discussion). Incidentally, even though I think the Ki Society approach could be clarified greatly, it is still in line with the classical approaches to these skills and if they tweaked their curriculum a bit, I think the Ki Society could wind up with an Aikido that contains good ki/kokyu skills and which is martially competent.

Other approaches than the classical soft approach generally encourage "relaxing" also, but they add different perspectives AND they add training methods that strengthen the fascia/mind connection to the Center.

{{Here I have to make a quick caveat. Misogi practices should contain methods that strengthen the connections through breathing, etc., so the Ki Society may be more explicit in the breathing technologies at the upper levels of Ki skills. I don't know.}}

The drills and exercises are all there in Aikido, it's just that they're vague or unexplained-to-the-masses or something like that.

Let me add a thought, BTW.... whether relaxed or not-completely-relaxed (say, by practicing in Sanchin Kata or some harder source of these skills), it's probably best to get something from which to start than it is to get nothing and let this important subject pass one by. So I don't object to any of the various sources of information that I presently see, even the ones that I don't consider to be relaxed enough for the full banana.


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