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Old 02-13-2013, 11:24 AM   #13
Mert Gambito
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 202
Re: Tuning the "skin" video

Hi Dan,

So far, what you described seems to fall largely in line with how Mike Sigman describes "suit". Would you say that the way you're training now, with a few nomenclature preferences (e.g. tuning the [drum] skin vs. removing wrinkles and pinches from the suit), embodies all of Mike's IP/IS fundamentals? For example, Budd mentioned breath, and Mike uses breath to change the suit (e.g. open the yin surface of the body), which moves the body; and do you use the "drum" in a similar way?

When I think of your drumskin metaphor, I think of tympani: intent to draw the skin and create six directions (the tympani skin stretches in six directions, despite representing a flat [i.e. four-direction] plane) = the foot pedals; input from a training partner = the mallets (and fingers, when tuning to a given pitch); proper opening of the body (tested by a training partner applying a force) = a drum that is in tune with itself (tested using force applied by the percussionist's mallets or fingers); the tweaks to physical posture and use of intent to soften, unify and remove slack = the hand-turned tuning rods (hands are often used in IP/IS training to assist the mind in directing intent); the ability to "listen" to one's body to make the proper adjustments = the percussionist's ability to listen to the drum, as a whole, and make proper adjustments to keep the drum tuned to itself at the desired pitch.

Often, when doing exercises that open the body or practicing waza using motion in stillness (i.e. with little or no outward movements), I'll take a few moments to listen to my body to feel if it fully resonates. If there's a part that feels stiff or stuck (e.g. shoulders, lower back, kua, upper legs), I've found that using intent to restore that part's resonant qualities (if I had to describe the internal alchemy in percussion terms, I'd say getting the body to achieve a quality of bell or cymbal bronze infused with the elastic qualities of drumskin that's alive vs. dried), vs. trying to generically relax it (which I found sometimes resulted in the "dead" quality you mentioned), gets my body to be "sound" again.

Last edited by Mert Gambito : 02-13-2013 at 11:27 AM.

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