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Old 06-25-2010, 06:11 AM   #17
Dojo: Aiki Kurabu
Location: Elizabethtown, PA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,110
Re: Lesson with Akuzawa Minoru

Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
I think a failing point of that can be that it is descriptive - not prescriptive. So when you say to someone, pretend there is something flowing through your arm like it is a fire hose, or make yourself larger or more expansive, you are drawing on the person's preconceived notion of what larger means. And unfortunately, this idea of larger may not convey the actual objective feeling you are trying to get across.

Be larger where? How? I mean, you can't unload every detail of the body on some newbie, but I think there is a minimal amount of prescriptiveness that can be layered upon initially so that the complexity of the final prescription approaches the desired effect. And if you couple that gradual increase in prescription with verification of desired objective effect, then hopefully you can reconstruct the desired output.

Like, initially when someone uses the arms, maybe their mind is using their arms like a pair of disembodied hands, with the arms just kinda doing whatever to get them where the mind wants them to go. So you prescribe, extend the shoulders and the hands away from eachother. That engages the elbow joint. Then you might say extend the upper arm away from the torso. That engages the shoulder. Then you might later prescribe to extend the hand away from the lower arm, that engages the wrist. Then fingers from the hand... and so on. By the time you're done, you get a pattern of movement that is more objectively conveyed, with less room for misunderstanding.
Hi Lee,

You just touched on the major problem with teaching mental intent. Everyone's thoughts are just so subjective that it is extremely hard to get the exact same result between two people using the same words or mental image since, as you say, each interprets it differently. However, your suggestion to break it down into smaller stages that include feedback from an external source for correctness of feel, is a very logical way to approach the problem and I have had some success with that method recently.

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