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Old 08-28-2009, 12:18 PM   #27
Ellis Amdur
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Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 899
Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

No! that's not what I mean. The question was about ukemi as power building. <power> Chin-ups are power building. Many things - most things - in martial arts are power building without being related to internal training.
This is why some folks get very finicky about language. (Refer to some recent threads on this site where a few people have arbitrarily decided on their own definitions for terms like "internal strength."
There was a guy at the AIkikai Honbu named Yokoyama - a rich guy who owned a tire company. 7th dan. Not very skilled - but he had the status to tell people to do things and they would. We called him the "ukemi machine." Because he'd haze people, particularly foreigners. After Doshu's class - 6:30-7:30 in the morning, there was a half hour break before the next class. And he'd grab someone, usually non-Japanese, and have them take falls for him, non-stop, for 1/2 hour. he'd wave his arms, tai-sabaki and over you would go. And in mid-air, he'd add a little juice, and you'd slam down. Never hurtful - but hundreds of falls in rapid succession.
And the guys who "submitted" to him for a couple of months had incredible endurance and strong legs. And then, in the natural course of things, he'd invite you to take falls, and you'd grin and refuse and he'd find someone else.
The only thing I added in my post was a speculation that one could TURN anything - including taking falls - into a proper internal training, with the proper breathing and attention.
Ellis Amdur

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