I study Aikido and Baguazhang (Gao Style) in Hong Kong, and on Monday my Sensei (Nagai Hitoshi - who had studied with Endo Seishiro Sensei for over 20 years) asked me, now that I had been studying with him for a while, if I had begun to experience tanden rotation and then proceeded to explain how he felt it move like a gyroscope and how I should be letting it lead the movement of the hands.
This was kind of shock to me, (not the concept - I had been aware of it for a while as I used to practice Taiji and from my IMA practice ), but because I didn't expect it from my Sensei - he uses a lot of power in his techniques and although he usually talks about using the centre, and removing all muscle tension from the arms and body, I had thought that he meant all this on a superficial level, such as leading from the waist. I also don't claim to have experienced any Tanden rotation in my normal practice - AIkido, Bagua or otherwise
We also do some breathing exercises at the beginning of class but they seem rather superificial, not like some the neigong practices in CIMA and they also involve breathing out of the mouth on the exhale (which I was told was a no no). So I don't know how he managed to train his Tanden. He claims it came naturally through his Aikido training but he didn't feel it until some time after he had reached dan grade.
He also mentioned that Endo Sensei never talked about the practice in terms of Ki or the Tanden, etc but always in more practical terms. So it was not taught explicitly by Endo Sensei. I have to talk to him more to see if he had other training methods, but from our initial conversation it seems he got it almost purely from training Aikido - which was the thing that surprised me most, given all the talk on Aikiweb about solo training, etc.
But I was wondering if other people had experience of their teachers talking about this. Yes and I know some people may snipe and say that he is only mouthing off and he doesn't have it etc...
Last edited by bernardkwan : 01-05-2010 at 08:50 PM.