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Old 03-15-2007, 08:18 AM   #58
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Dojo: Taikyoku Budo & Kiko - NY, PA, MD
Location: Greater Philadelphia Area
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 997
Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

Mike Haft wrote: View Post
Many of the standard training exercise used by Koichi Tohei are aimed at developing the same things as CMA internal practices such as Tai Chi. Much of what Mark Murray listed in his rather trollish post is done in ki society circles although with different emphasis.
Thanks for your response.

If I'm understanding you correctly (as well as the terminology others are using), are these exercises primarily aimed at creating pathways within yourself to deal with incoming forces? Do you also train your body's structure to store and release power? Can you give any specifics on the drills (solo or paired, etc.) that you do (I'm not super familiar with Tohei's drills other than what others have mentioned on boards like these) to train these things within yourself? What kinds of benchmarks for success or failure do you use?

Mike Haft wrote: View Post
As an example I recall Ellis Amdur writing something around here about Tomiki having a bunch of young judoka trying to move his arm and not being able to. He made note that it was not the Tohei style 'unbendable arm' exercise and described unbendable arm (but inaccurately). It was in fact exactly what you should be doing if you do unbendable arm. only beginners let their elbow remain unmoved while their arm wobbles all over the place. If you are using weight underside these things do not happen. If you compare it to such CMA terms such us 6 directional pushing (I forget the exact terminology) then it is the same exercise entirely. at the higher levels of the test for unbendable arm the arm is moved at different angles and the only way to pass these tests is to create some of those internal pathways much discussed by Mike et al.
Out of curiousity, what specifically are you doing (to yourself or the other person) to use/maintain 'weight underside'? Is it strictly a matter of pathways? From your perspective, how are they directed/maintained in accordance with your structure?

Mike Haft wrote: View Post
Koichi Tohei often said "No unbendable arm, no aikido". There's a reason he is ranked 10th Dan, some of that is politics and some of it is ability. There are many many other exercises like this. Part of the problems I have with all this is that I figured out long ago that telling people they needed to do things like this to do aikido properly was just trolling. I'd rather politely listen to them and learn from them even if they don't wish to do things the way I do. After all who am I to be teaching the world, I'm no great master.
Understood, I also happen to most definitely not be a great master, which is why I like to ask questions! If you had to pick the key exercises that train the internal skills that you feel are important, which would those be and why?

Mike Haft wrote: View Post
As you asked, here's something for you to practice and think about.

Fight or flight responses. All predatory animals respond to fight stimulai by clenching the rectum and digging their claws in. If you're brave enough try an experiment at home with the cat. Sit it on your lap and lift its tail up. Get your friend to open the door and let a dog in, watch the cat's backside as it digs it's claws into your lap. Next time your practicing some of the internal stuff discussed here (if you do so) ask yourself if you're clenching your backside, if you are you aren't relaxed properly and you'll have difficulties acheiving some of what has been discussed. It's kinda crude to describe it like that but it's a really simple thing you can ask yourself during training in order to assess whether you are tense or not (sometimes it's hard to tell). The other really hard thing to learn is to use weight underside, but I've got work to do now and have wasted my time on the internet for too long this lunch break already. Maybe some other time I'll talk about it.
Cool. Do you practice tensing and untensing your buttocks as a separate drill (I think Ravishing Rick Rude used to do that in the ring in the 80's) or combine it with others? When you're willfully releasing certain areas in that region, are there others that you're willfully activating (the back, the legs, etc)? If so, how?

Thanks in advance for your responses. I also want to repeat a HUGE thank you to EVERYONE that's contributing their thoughts/experiences. It's been a very lively and informative discussion to be privvy to, but again, as a very small fry in this happy meal, I'm gonna bow back out and return to lurkdom.

Taikyoku Mind & Body
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