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Old 01-10-2005, 12:14 AM   #9
Ellis Amdur
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Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 899
Re: Aikido & Pilates

No, never did Pilates. I've studied (and continue to study) Gyrotonic. This is another method of core strength building. Perhaps the best way to distinguish the two is that Pilates emphasizes contraction and linear movement, whereas Gyrotonic focuses on spiral expansion out from the core. Sort of like Bagua compared to xingyi . . . or Yamaguchi's aikido compared to Saito's. What both these system's offer the martial artist is the building of flexible strength for the stabilizer muscles - the muscles lengthen, and most of the strength building is at the attachments rather than the belly of the muscle. One becomes stronger in an almost infinite amount of configurations, so that in the random movements, torques and stresses of martial practice, the body is protected. Finally, the focus on the core (trunk/abdomen/ perinium) means that the back is protected and that one trains to move powerfully with integrated strength. As for Gyrotonic, you can get some idea of it (and some pictures of the equipment) at



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