Mike Sigman wrote:
Most Taiji being taught to old folks is just choreography becoming a low-impact, low-aerobic exercise, John. There's a study that just came out saying that balance-specific exercises are better that tai chi. I agree with that. I read a bio about Kato Sensei a year or so ago in the AJ archives. I'm sure he uses weapons training to build these same strengths we're talking about as "baseline" and more.... just like I do and just like most martial artists do. Problem is you have to do the movements right to get the extraordinary strength and you can't just dabble at it. I'm quite sure that O-Sensei did the same thing with weapons and the famous cusom-made garden tools and also the kiko exercises he did. As has been discussed... O-Sensei wasn't all that forthcoming with what he was really doing, either. C'est la vie.
Several studies have suggested that Tai Chi is helpful to senior balance problems.
Kato Sensei does and did train a lot with weapons. His weapons are very sophisticated with a lot of center and hip connection. They are quite challenging to learn-at least to get him to not say dame des (that's not correct)
. I don't know if that is the source of his power but I'm sure he would say it has a lot to do with it.