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Old 08-20-2008, 09:58 AM   #164
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,618
Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Gleason sensei who doesn't teach this stuff directly has taught classes of imagery of flowing up through your body like a fire hose that isn't being held by anyone. He discusses the image of how it spirals in the air a bit - and tells you to imagine that and when you stick your arm out for katatetori to think of the arm being supported by those spirals.
I suggest that his intuitive imagery is far closer to mechanical reality than you may give credit. Look again at the stress tube diagram under torsion -- the compressive and tensile stresses resulting from the shear due to torsion are laid in two opposed spirals (90 degrees offset from one another) wrapping the perimeter of the tube -- one in tension the other in compression.

I have sent you some additional material in PM to avoid clobbering the purity of the "other" discussion.

Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
... intention up ... EVERYONE has some sense of intention up. So if you don't it's a reasonable presumption that you are not doing what they are doing - especially because I thought you were certainly not stating that you had any method for directly teaching these things like the "aiki" skills guys.
I am practical, despite my interest in the physical models. (I don't consider them impractical as tools). The more common sense perspective is that "intention up" in a loaded condition is NOT the same as "intention up" in an unloaded condition. While it is possible that one might simulate loading with other means ("ground sourcing" I think some have mentioned ) the more practical method for that foundation of skill is to actually handle, bear, shift and project large bulky loads ( and doing tasks involving effort at extension). Toss hay bales, hoe weeds, excavate and move fill, move lumber and sheet goods, hammer nails, chop wood, carry water. Done enough the body learns to adapt itself under actual shifting loads, and to project work. THAT is how people actually developed those foundations historically -- not with arcana of "internal" skills.

I'd be really curious about the physical work history of people who scratch their heads at the internal debate compared to those who find it appealing.

Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Well, my point here is that yes - I'm doing that initially because I believe it is the fastest method. The assumption is that I'll be able to let that mental aspect go and just maintain the feeling after it gets burned in.
I suggest actual traditional manual work will provide that faster than anything -- it forms a large part of what I intuitively understand in how to move.

I look at Rob's (very good) descriptions and illustrations of Ark's exercises and what little has been divulged here of the manner of doing others such as shiko. From that it seems, visually and intuitively that you are simulating the condition of the body in a loaded condition -- but without the load, to which my response is -- most genuinely -- But Why? Why not just work on actually loaded stability (most usefully and traditionally in doing heavy labor of the types mentioned) and then, depending on whether the ACTUAL input loads you or not, then deal with an intuitive actuality rather than some intensively conscious construct of it.

Catching a tossed sack of cement or fertilizer is my idea of handling a push. While my feet don't move, there are definite dynamic components that come very naturally in the rhythm of the loaded input, that the IMA "push" scenarios make arbitrary and artificial. That's what makes me -- well, scratch my head at the artificiality from a pure practicality standpoint. Catching and tossing bags of fertilizer is very close to funetori undo, ude furi and happo undo (Surprise! Surprise!) Things that may seem "magical" in the case of simulating loading conditions and then "testing" with unloaded pushes is a natural consequence of managing and shifting ACTUAL loads.

If you've "trained" by working with actual loads you tend respond instinctively according to ACTUAL loads -- thus the "ki of heaven" and the "ki of earth" are not mental images -- they are felt and intuitive conditions. But it is also clear they are NOT the same either as the skill contructs that are being trained on this topic. . The natural response to an unloaded push is to move not the same as your "push" with a simulated load (and yet still not ACTUALLY loaded). The body perceives it differently. To my way of thinking, I trust the body to know the difference between what is constructed and what is real. And as I see it, that is in agreement with the statement made elsewhere by someone else of some authority that there is too much attention on this topic to the "ki of earth" and not enough to the "ki of heaven."

If a lateral push occurs in an unloaded condition -- quite simply, you move.( ki of heaven) If a lateral push occurs in an loaded condition, you usually don't -- because you are loaded. (ki of earth). Depending on what you are doing, you may be in a position to accept the load or to divert it -- you can catch the sack and hold it, or receive it only to toss it on, or toss it back. Either way the push, practically speaking, is a transient because I am going to shortly stabilize under it, or transfer return that load elsewhere (or back whence it came.) So what you are looking at statically, I am looking at transiently -- pushes are pulses and so my cyclic point of view is not so far afield. I suggest that my outlook is more realistic, and more grounded in tradition.

Load conditions determine whether you are free to move. If the push does not load the structure, I am free to move -- so why wouldn't I move when he is attacking me, and I am unloaded? If I am caught in a loaded condition on the other hand, and he attacks, my options are more limited; I am not so free to move and things have to be done creatively to both handle the load and respond to the attack, or turn load into a counter. But I don't have to worry about "not moving" -- the load largely does that for me.

If I want to move in a loaded condition, why not practice moving loads? If I want to drop or project the load, why not practice dropping and projecting loads?

If you want something more "gym-like" than warehouse, construction or farmwork maybe kettlebells -- but there really is no substitute for dealing with large loads like ungainly bales or sacks of stuff or that have long wobbly awkward moment arms quite like moving lumber or sheets of plywood or drywall by yourself.

Or maybe even, in a pinch, lifting, dropping, and projecting us pantywaists in pleated skirts


Erick Mead