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Old 03-23-2005, 11:15 AM   #32
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Kevin Jones wrote:
back in the 70's, Koichi Tohei-sensei taught a number of "standing" exercises. Most of them were holding postures with bokken, and ranged in duration from minutes to hours

They were intended to be done with "correct mind/body unification" so I think they do fit in the category you are talking about. I don't know if the addition of a weapon makes a difference.

In older school practice, there were standing exercises, holding postures for periods of time, but I hated them and have edited them out of my memory .

More seriously, there were standing exercises in the early days of my practice. One in particular that we called jigatai, which involved standing in a straight backed stance, thighs parallel to the ground with arms extended. There was some teaching on the correct body feel and ground connection to do this right but much of it was just "suffer till you get it right".

Does that help answer your question?
Hi Kevin:

Wow. This is even worse than I thought. Looking at John Stevens' translations of some of what a lot of people think of as O-Sensei's "ramblings", it's obvious that his source material were classical directions on qigongs, mixing the "qi of heaven with the qi of earth inside of Man", etc. I.e., the essence of O-Sensei's quasi-religious "philosophy" is actually built around the esoteric practices of how to develop this kind of power and to use it. I underestimated the focus on Ki in Aikido. That means everyone else in the West is FAR underestimating it, probably, in terms of overall comprehension and use. Tohei understood the amount of emphasis, apparently; I thought he was just capitalizing on the coolest part, so I've been a little off in my appreciations.

In regard to the standings you're mentioning, this only makes things worser and worser. Can you get any idea about the source of those standings which Tohei was using? I.e., did they come via O-Sensei or somewhere else?

Personally, I'd say don't do the weapons until the empty-hand standings are correct. You are probably the only person on the list that understands the 6-directions training in postures, so I can safely just add the comment that if someone uses 6-directions training, probably about 20 minutes a day with ONE of those postures would be additive to their powers noticeably in 3-4 months (this assumes that you have limited time and you have regular Aikido to practice).

The quote from O-Sensei discussing the "six directions" really caught my eye (I need to re-find it; it's in one of 4 books here on my desk) ... I'd say the probability that he did standing posture exercises on the side is very high. This is all pretty interesting.


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