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Old 02-06-2012, 08:34 PM   #7
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,511
Re: Facial Expression and Internal Power

Josh Philipson wrote: View Post
David, I do not think Takeda subscribed to your smiling/aiki power theory.
Well, it's not my theory. I used to hear it a lot but I never took it seriously. The thing is, I just recently noticed this and it hit me as very profound. And that made me wonder if, in fact, there could be something to it because of the direct connection to hara. And then I wondered if there could be different effects from smiling or frowning. I'm sure that a very upset, angry, or distasteful face reflects a hara that is "tied up in knots," and therefore unable to transfer the physical force of the legs into the upper body with complete fidelity. But could it make a difference whether you have a "calm" face, a "stern" face or a "smiley" face?

When I was beginning aikido, we were taught to have an expressionless face or the "poker" face. No one ever told me to "smile" during techniques in those days except people who seemed to think that aikido was a sort of New Age dance form with swords...and when they "smiled" during techniques, it looked very smug and rather arrogant. And, again, their technique didn't impress me.

Josh Philipson wrote: View Post
It is a good thought. I also noticed that the fear reaction in me (my o my; seems I get fearful an awful lot) causes 'ki to rise'. My 10,000 reps has been to resink it back down to qihai point. Funny thing is; I can't fake it. When i can do it...yes; i feel it in dantian and in my face. Staying relaxed so that ki stays under control...seems so far away to me. Almost unimaginably far away in a fight...
I understand that very well. Lately, though, when I feel perturbed, I monitor my facial tension and I can feel a relaxation in my stomach and a release of needless effort. I use the facial expression to affect the condition of the hara.

And I want to point out that the emotions are one of the biggest influences on the condition of the hara. That's why great martial artists are always known as calm-minded people. If you get too excited in any way, whether angry or silly, the hara takes on certain tensions that prevent the proper transfer of force from the ground and legs into the upper body. So to control the hara, you have to have a calm presence just to get the hara in the condition that will let you use it. And finding that in places like the face and the fingers can show you just how subtle the hara's condition is. And you can make a pretty interesting hobby of feeling the hara and how its movement transfers to other parts of the body.

As for fear when it comes to physical confrontations...I think tough training takes out a lot of the mysteries that generate fear. You never know who anyone really is or what they might do in desperation, but tough training teaches you a lot about what you'll likely encounter and long term, it teaches us about ourselves. And that can do a lot to eliminate fear in a confrontation.

Josh Philipson wrote: View Post
re: sock
Sometimes i feel like it's more of the veins on a leaf than the sock; but you had some really interesting thoughts.

stay crazy,
Well, the whole thing about "the ki body" being "more real than the physical body" is just a matter of perspective. If you focus on "mind," then mind is the "real" thing to you. If you focus on "body," the body is more real. And if you really focus on the ki aspect of your being, it will be the most real because that's the part you're working with and using. In fact, of course, they're all equally real, but when you use the ki, you have to be fully in the reality of it and then you can see that, rather than balling it up in your stomach, you have to put it all the way down into the arms and legs--right to the fingertips and toes. And in that sense, I say the body is like a sock that the ki pushes into. It's just another saying to draw attention with a little humor.

Thanks for the comments!


"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"
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