Michael Stuempel wrote:
I am told that when he moved around in class to help people the memories of what he did to improve their technique usually centered around the positioning of the hips and legs.
Thanks, Michael. I'm interested in any indications of exactly what standing postures Shioda recommended, but now that the possibility of some contribution by Kenichi Sawai has arisen, I'm not hopeful that I can extrapolate what Ueshiba M. may have known and taught. Sawai would naturally have trained a lot with standing postures via Wang Xiang Zhai since that is the essence of power training in Yichuan.
Ueshiba appears, to my eye, to have used standing postures to get the particular type of strength that he used, but I can't discount that he arrived there through a few other alternatives. You can get massively powerful if you know how (and you have the time to devote) to do proper standing training. It's the time that can be a killer and also the motivation... if you don't really have a need for that kind of power, it's easy to question why you're devoting the time when you have a job, a family, a life, etc. I go through cycles because of the amounts of time it can take.
My suspicion is that since this much Shaolin-based information got through to the Japanese, some indeed know how to do the standing stuff, but they probably keep it fairly close.
One other problem I have in relation to Shioda and Ueshiba is the way I've seen Ueshiba move versus the way I think Shioda moves from the still pictures. There's a rather basic difference. The thing that bothers me is the use of hips that Shioda stresses and the back-up of the legs. O-Sensei appears to use a more hip-dantien combination, but I'm unclear and probably, out of curiosity, should investigate a little further. I have videos of the old Ueshiba film-clips and I'd appreciate a recommendation for the best DVD or video that has old filmclips of Shioda. The difference is curious and if it's really there it raises some new questions.
Any possibilities of you finding out more "inside scoop" on potential contributors like Sawai, or others? It could save me some time if I knew that Sawai or others had been involved *after* Ueshiba.
All the Best.