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Old 01-29-2007, 11:10 AM   #271
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,619
Re: Baseline skillset

Mike Sigman wrote:
Wang Hai Jun is one of the sources that Dan uses for information ... The baseline skills will be the same, although the usages may only be "similar". Same is true of Ushiro Sensei and other outside sources, BTW. All info helps.
I read through the articles on the various chan si "reeling silk" exercises. What struck me were things described that I have trained to do -- in two different ways -- in my course of training. The figure eight free hip motion, the pushing with left leg to move someone from right to left, and the "coiling/uncoiling" strength that it delivers.

Overgeneralizing -- engaged:

In Saito's bukiwaza, particularly in the ken and jo suburi these things are very strongly developed in a small (dimensionally speaking) tight way (but never, ever stiff at all). That training is powerfully applied in the tai jutsu somewhat more expansively. This most obvious parallel to the initial example of the "fixed leg" article on Wang Hai Jun is particularly seen in irminage variations I was taught and had shown to me where seemingly contradictory hip movements result in very powerful destabilizing of uke. There are some marvelous videos of Frank Doran Sensei demonstrating some of these throws.

Conversely, in Saotome's bukiwaza, in the kumitachi and kumijo a rather larger partnered weapons movement encompasses the same body movement on more expansive terms. The training delivers that same motion somewhat more compactly in the tai jutsu. There are exercises that practice this larger flowing motion (really big flinging-arm tenkan stuff, and rotary "prayer drum" action with arms flinging back and forth). That is then captured in reduced scales of movement in the typical techniques.

I get every bit of what the articles on reeling silk are talking about, and they map very well onto what much of the trainig that I received actually does teach one to do. The weapons training was a very powerful part of that from my perspective -- and something that Saito's and Saotome's curriculum both focussed upon -- in their respective manner.

All of these operate in the same essential spectrum - just different choices of gradient.

The concepts about the uses of the hips in the "ordinary" and "contradictory" ways, (soto and uchi turns of the hips, respectively in regard to the point of conection) I have since discovered are addressed also in Muso Jikiden Eisshin-ryu iaijutsu in respect of two basic modes of cut. This adds more weight to the bukiwaza emphasis in developing properly connected movement.

I was often told that if one finds trouble in a particular technique, then put an imaginary sword in the hands at the point of the problem -- and then find the way to cut him with it, within the bounds of the technique given. It cures all sorts of problems in a very intuitive way -- and the "form" in that instance precisely channels the correct "substance" in the type of movement required.


Erick Mead
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