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Old 01-25-2007, 01:37 PM   #237
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,616
Re: Baseline skillset

Eddie deGuzman wrote:
Raul mentioned rotation so let's begin there. Am I correct in thinking that you believe all motion of the human body involves rotation? Granted, without joint manipulation there isn't much going on. But are there not different types of joints? The definition I am familiar with fits more with ball and socket movement. Pronation and supination involve rotation, yet other joints, to my knowledge, involve flexion and extension. Is this also rotation to you?
Yes. Which is why it is counter-intuitive to many people. Try doing a push-up. You will notice that your forearm and upper arm are actually rotating, end for end, with respect ot the plane of the floor -- and in opposing directions. That is a "push" and a "pull" is just precisely the reverse set of opposed rotation. Kokyu does not use that.

Now, stand and put your right hand at your left shoulder, palm down. Now extend the arm as though cutting horizontally in front of you with a sword. All your limb segments (hand, forearm, upper arm) are rotating, end for end -- in the same direction -- clockwise viewed from above, both collectively -- and individually. This is "cutting" kokyu motion as distinct from "pushing" motion.

The inverse of "cutting" kokyu is "gathering" -- for lack off a better word. It is the most difficult to distinguish because most people instinctively "pull" the arm even after much correction. Hindbrain primate thing, I guess.

In the earlier cutting example given, gathering the right arm back to the left shoulder, all the parts are rotating counter-clockwise. The same extension outward is involved in the inward gathering kokyu motion as in the cutting kokyu motion, whihc is eye-goggling for some people at first. It is like gathering a big bale of something that you are trying to reach "around" as much as you are trying to bring it toward you. The arm as a whole and in all its parts all are rotating in the same direction -- but the reverse rotation as the cut with the same arm.

Gathering is the motion most commonly used initally in kokyu tanden ho (by no means exclusively). It is performed with the same extension as cutting. That extension is directly related to the type of differential rotations of the limbs and their parts. The shihonage entry absolutely depends on the correct use of this type of motion

Eddie deGuzman wrote:
When you mention moment, are you refering to speed and not moments in time? Just trying to make it clear to myself.
Moment is measure of force applied to a rotating body at a distance from the axis of rotation.

Leverage is one clever application of moment. Aikido uses some differently clever aspects of moment -- and leverage in the sense of a fixed fulcrum is not used. Rather signifcant parts of aikido are much more about "unfixing" or fiddling with the fulcrum (center or axis of rotation) that others are trying to use against us. Centers can be moved and with them the relative moments that are in play change instantaeously.

Moments can be applied and they are also inherent in the inertia of a rotating body.That inertial moment varies depending on the axis of interest.
Eddie deGuzman wrote:
As for limbs moving for opposition, it sounds very much like yin/yang, inyou principles, another subject in which I am ignorant. What I imagine here, ... is an attack force making contact and you accept that, allowing for an opposite, perhaps equal force, remaining in balance generating more power/momentum and neutralizing the attack through redirection or perhaps ending with a pin. Am I close?
Not exactly. Never opposing force. Apply force at a point "behind" his attack. That is to say, behind the point at which he is trying to apply the moments he has generated to create force, acceleration and injury to you. This allows you to shift the center of his rotation and destroy his leverage advantage. And in additon you aptypically apply your kokyu motion to the direction of the natural rotation of the other end of the body part you are addressing IF it were free to rotate. But for his immobilizing that joint with musculature -- it would naturally rotate oppsoite the attacking side. Youare in fact removing his "unnatural" restraint to his applied motion -- and not opposing the force he is applying with it at all.

You touch a point "behind" the attack, and assist the "pinned" part of the moment arm of his limb to become "unstuck." Essentially, you are removing his own resistance to the reciprocal tendency of rotation in his body caused by his own attacking motion. It frees that end of the attacking part to rotate naturally (like a stick rotates after being thrown) and his energy of attack feeds back to him naturally through his own body, instantaneously. At the very least, it destroys the stability of his aim - and if done well destroys his stability entirely.

For instance, shomenuchi ikkyo --- as soon as I can make the shoulder joint rise up and away away from the torso (the natural tendency of rotation if the hand is descending in a downward arc) the force of attack that he was using that point of fixture to generate disappears. He is no longer able to set his arm against the anchor of his torso for support through that joint.

But since he was already pushing the attacking hip forward, now the arm has risen away and (becasue of my irimi) is now rotating up and back. His upper torso is now being whipped uderneath by his own forward momentum at the hips carrying underneath the now detached "clothesline," if you will, of his own arm. This freely rotates him in the direction of the attacking turn to face away from nage, as he is also rotating to place his shoulder at the level of his hips. The natural rotation upon being unstuck at the shoulder reverberates his energy back through his spine/torso to his center, in the same way as the tekubi furi sensation is fetl in the hara, creating kuzushi. That is what ikkyo is.

I do this by engaging at his arm just behind his attacking hand and then progressively moving further inward from there, and gaining further connection with the other hand. That is waza.

But you can you perform the fundamental ikkyo interaction with one hand. That initial aspect of gathering and cutting is the basic bodyskill that ikkyo illustrates and that runs through nearly everything in one form or another. You can practice it statically in a kokyu tanden exercise with arms up in shomenuchi posture and hands up and the wrists back-to-back. and letting one attacka dn the other apply, and then reversing.
Eddie deGuzman wrote:
Eric, in my dojo we do shake our hands, but I'm not sure what you mean by furitama. Tama alone means ball so I shudder to think what shaking this tama means.
Actually, one kanji for "tama" is "jewel(s)" but let's not go there ... "Tama" [ 魂 ] means soul/spirit in this context, usually pronounced "kon" or "tamashii" when seen alone. Furitama is a more general term, but the more usual exercise is seen with the hands clasped in front of the hara, shaking them the arms and the center from that point
Eddie deGuzman wrote:
Thanks again everyone for the insight. Let's keep in mind though that no matter how much we discuss water, it still won't quench our thirst.
Amen to that . More beer!

Eddie deGuzman wrote:
Tomorrow is workout night, do I dare even broach the subject?
Do whatever your teacher says. This is analytical, a place to plan for and contemplate training, not a place to train. Just train.


Erick Mead
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