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Old 03-06-2012, 12:30 PM   #42
Chris Li
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Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,300
Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
In one sense, it's not really about angle. In another sense. it is about angle. Stand upright in a normal joe-schmoe posture with your feet just pointed neutrallyish forwardsish. Now squat down a bit by folding at the hip, and take note of how that felt. Then extend straight up and focus on extending the hip, take note of how that felt. Now turn your feet inwards so your toes are pointing at each other. Try to squat down again, then stand up again. Take note of how that felt. Now turn your feet out so yours toes are pointing straight out to the sides, the other extreme. Squat down, then stand up again. Take note of how that felt.

You might notice something like in the neutral orientation of the upper thigh with respect to the hip, force carries quite well, and the hip is quite strong. At either of the other extremes, the hip is just... weak, and easily loses connection with everything else, that connection with everything else being a very important thing to maintain. So if maintaining any stance that is to allow power to flow through, regardless of direction, that neutrality must be sought, regardless of the incidental starting position of the hip. If you take a kamae such that the hip socket is torqued, or rather, collapsed, to extremes, well, that is going to both impede external movement... and internal movement. The goal ain't to hold the hips in a position, the goal is to allow them to move actively in a powerful way.
If we're saying that the angle of the feet are going to affect the rest of the body - sure, that's a no brainer, everything's obviously connected.

My question is:
  1. Is the angle of the feet what Ueshiba was talking about?
  2. If he was (I don't believe that he was) - is the difference between 60 and 90 degrees really a deep dark martial secret?
  3. If it is the angle, and it is that vital, why do we have other close students of Ueshiba with differing opinions on the angle?



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