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Old 01-18-2007, 10:40 AM   #99
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,403
Re: Baseline skillset

Raul Rodrigo wrote:
I think the real question is how do you get from the basics ("your body pivots around the big toe of your front foot") to the explosive power release that we see Morihei and Shioda doing in response to a shove from uke? They do it so sharp and hard that it's way above what you see even from a "run of the mill" 6th dan.

Mike talks about store-and-release tricks with the toe. What are those? Do Iwama ryu or ASU teach that? I am not aware of Saito making a similar statement about the big toe as power source.
The power that I have learned to generate is far more about manipulations of centering and extension per what I have learned primarily in Saito's and Saotome's lineage than the "spring" potentials that Mike speaks of. Which is one of the reasons I engage these discussions.

The primary uses of that power are precisely to dissipate his energy as much as possible without opposiing it and to return what is left to him. Obviously, the more skilled I am in doing this the less of the energy "meal" that he set out for me is left over for him to have to "eat" when I leave the party. I was taught to use the energy manipulation advantage that these prinicples give me to make my effort in technique as small as possible, rather than to make it as powerful as possible to overcome his power directly. Certainly, one can equally use these principles to oppose force on force, i.e. -- resistance, but that is not Aikido as I understand it.

The Dark Side is very inviting ...

Extension and centering, irimi/tenkan, are all about changing centers and altering the radius or direction of turn(s). My understanding of this in angular momentum terms shows a square term on the inertial radius for conserving angular momentum. Reducing that radius (skater-spin) is what increases angular velocity at a constant momentum. There is also a square term for angular velocity in the kinetic energy equation. Extending that radius dissipates energy, slowing the velocity by the inverse square, and slowing the vleocity reduces energy by the inverse square.

That is a huge "force multiplier" as my army buddies are wont to say. I do not know of anything based on spring potentials that can match compounded square terms for kinetic energy magnification (or dissipation), which do exist in the extension and centering mechanics of irimi/tenkan.

And you can see from this perspective that is the small stuff that is so devilishly powerful, so quick, so hard to perceive (and to control consistently), as would be expected from this mechanical perspective, and so subject to physical misinterpretation because of the inherently small scale of the most powerful actions. "Movement in stillness" is a turn shortened down to virtually zero radius and a therefore, a huge angular velocity spike (think of the moving shrinking loop of a whip going supersonic). But it is precisely the same principle and skill set (just a different scale or compounded mode of action) that operates the otehr way as well, so seemingly without effort to evaporate the energy of attack with the same basic irimi/tenkan movement.


Erick Mead
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