Re: Tenkan - advanced
Initiating a turn from the hips and following though with the hips will almost certainly lead to one side weightedness and control-of you-through that hip. There are ways to turn that way that is still from the hip but can be a more powerful that involve winding but it is still nit optimal movement. There are better ways to move that do not initiate that way and make tenkan hilariously more powerful and magnetic in feel and is much more free at the same time.
The best way I demonstrate this specifically FOR aikido folks is to have them push directly into my hip, say a 240 pound man using a two hand push directly into my hip to keep it planted. I then try turning it toward him and I am stuck and cannot move. Next I initiate movement from the waist/kua and turn inside paying attention just as much to turning away as turning toward. Typically I bounce them out, or else I just lift the leg and show how i can kick them or throw them at will and they cannot stop it from happening.
It is worth considering how can you be turning from the center-and yet pushing and moving a hip? Answer....you're not, you just think you are because you really don't know how to move from your center and have not trained with those who do.
While I am no fan of tenkan in general, there are at least ways to make it more viable. While some people advocate certain internal exercises that turn from the hips,and keep the hips and shoulders aligned- this is antithetical to Japanese weapons use in most of the older traditions and is simply not the optimal way to move. It is worth mentioning that the vast majority of martial artists move that way...so it is understandable how they can't escape from that mindset even transitioning to internal movement. It is a) not the most powerful way to move and b) not the free-est and most versatile way to move either. I have watched videos of some of these exercises and it is obvious that you cannot put weapons in their hand and have the movement be consistent. Oh well.
There is no effective way to describe how to fix it that I have seen. It takes detailed and repetitive work-hands on. I've not met the aikido teacher who wanted to EVER go back to the way they were taught to move, and had been moving after learning how to move from their centers. The difference is stunningly obvious and immediately relevant in their practice.
There is a consistency throughout that is at the heart of aiki. What manifests aiki in your body, manifests aiki in your form, and manifests aiki on contact at any point on your body and manifests aiki in the contact with long weapons. And it ain't from turning the hips!
In a section from the training notes from a student of Sagawa's from the 60's through the 70's he notes a class on aiki-turning in which Sagawa shouts "Face forward and remember..."DO NOT TWIST THE HIPS!"
As the rest of the world goes by doing exactly the opposite and wandering about the crazy power from these old time greats and how they did it!
So it goes....
Last edited by DH : 06-25-2010 at 12:31 PM.