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Old 03-11-2005, 02:03 PM   #1
Adam Alexander
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About the "center"

When training, we're supposed to be focused on the center, right?

I know the say it's about an inch below the navel. However, how deep is it? If it's the center of your balance, shouldn't it be someplace within your body and not on the surface?

Thank you very much.
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Old 03-11-2005, 03:00 PM   #2
Jeff Sodeman
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Re: About the "center"

Physically yes, it's a couple inches inside when standing naturally.

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Old 03-12-2005, 07:46 AM   #3
DCP
 
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Re: About the "center"

Quote:
Jeff Sodeman wrote:
Physically yes, it's a couple inches inside when standing naturally.
I think that depends on how much girth you have! And if you have a big butt, you have to keep counter-balance in mind.

Seriously I think it's directly between the "points" of the hip bone.

A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.
- Aesop
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Old 03-12-2005, 02:14 PM   #4
Adam Alexander
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Re: About the "center"

Thank you
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Old 03-15-2005, 02:27 AM   #5
maikerus
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Re: About the "center"

Hey Jean...here's a thought for you.

Consider this exagerated image (from a Yoshinkan Perspective).

1. A straight line from the top of your neck to the outside of the back foot. And I mean really, really straight. The back knee isn't bent, the hips are tilted so the back goes straight from the back leg and you have a single straight line to the back of your neck.

2. Put your front foot at a place where your knee is over your toe and your belt is over your heal, but you don't feel like falling. If you lift your foot straight up you would start to fall because of gravity and the position of your back and back leg.

My guess would be that your "center" would be where a pendulum hanging straight down and resting on the top of your front foot would meet that back line, since that is the fulcrum (if that's the right word) of where the back line is being supported by the line formed by the pendulum.

I find this image works for me because I think we are supposed to be balanced whether we are in kamae, the first part of hiriki no yosei ichi or anywhere in between (or anywhere within any technique for that matter). How far apart our feet are depends affects how deep our stance is (and how far forward the knee is to keep it over the toe).

I find that if I lean too far forward I feel a slight bounce (kindof like when you hit the brakes hard on a car and you bounce forward and then back to stop). My goal is to never feel that bounce and to always stay balanced, but forward.

Anyway...its a thought and an image.

cheers,

--Michael

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Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 03-15-2005, 01:32 PM   #6
Adam Alexander
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Re: About the "center"

I asked about the straight line in the other thread.

What about the head? I've got the notion that the top of your head (the pointy part) extends along that line causing kind of a tucking of the chin and the ears to be aligned with the shoulders.

If your heads too far forward or back, that would cause a change in center--is that significant?

I'm under the impression that I'm supposed to be aware of the center while performing techniques. Is that accurate? If so, is the center that I'm looking for by using your technique, the center that I'm focusing on?

Thanks!
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Old 03-15-2005, 04:49 PM   #7
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: About the "center"

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
If your heads too far forward or back, that would cause a change in center--is that significant?
It would be a subtle difference but at some level I think even subtle differences become significant. So I'd say yes.

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 03-15-2005, 06:48 PM   #8
maikerus
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Re: About the "center"

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
I asked about the straight line in the other thread.

What about the head? I've got the notion that the top of your head (the pointy part) extends along that line causing kind of a tucking of the chin and the ears to be aligned with the shoulders.

If your heads too far forward or back, that would cause a change in center--is that significant?
The head is pretty heavy (unless, of course, you're an airhead ) so it definately makes a difference.

The reason I didn't include it in that straight line is mainly because I think you should be focused straight in front of you (parallel to the floor) when standing or in a wider stance. Especially when doing kihon dosa, or attacking with any of the basic strikes. I think it should probably be close, but not neccessarily perfectly straight in these instances. I think maybe I think of it this way to consciously avoid tucking in the chin and pulling back the neck/head which would probably have the affect of raising my shoulders and tightening them too much.

However, that being said, I think it would probably be more "correct" to always keep the head in that straight line when doing a technique. If you think about moving your whole body as a single unit, then having the head to unbalance the movement by being too far ahead or too far back would be bad.

Hmm...I'll have to give this some more thought. My initial impression is that this is one of the areas where kihon dosa is a training tool for kihon waza and does not necessarily match 100%.

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
I'm under the impression that I'm supposed to be aware of the center while performing techniques. Is that accurate? If so, is the center that I'm looking for by using your technique, the center that I'm focusing on?
The way its been described to me is not to be "aware of your center" but to "keep your center". It might just be semantics, but I take this to mean that its important to have good balance and stability in order to move freely and quickly.

I believe the focus of a technique is more along the circles that we make to control uke, but to do this you have to keep your center.

It probably means the same thing, but I find it easier to think of the center as something you keep because you have trained and trained until its natural, and the focus is how to affect uke because every uke is different and every attack has its own nuances.

It makes one think, eh?

Thanks,

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 03-16-2005, 02:13 PM   #9
Adam Alexander
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Re: About the "center"

Quote:
Michael Stuempel wrote:
It makes one think, eh?
Yeah, , makes me think I'll never get it

Again, thanks for all the info. You've been a tremendous help!
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Old 04-01-2005, 10:14 AM   #10
John Matsushima
 
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Re: About the "center"

Yes, I agree that the center is not on the front of your body, but inside. It's something you have to feel. To keep it, I try not to give it to my front or back foot, and always try to have a feel for it, no matter how I'm moving or positioning. I even try to keep my center when doing ukemi. Mr. Tohei mentions in one of his books that actually there are other points in which to keep your center (such as the middle of the forehead between the eyes), but that the hara works best to align them all and achieve proper posture. The thing I've never understood is when people say to keep your hands in front of your center. What is the front of a center? If we keep our posture and move properly shouldn't any position be in front of our center? This opens up more possibilites....

-John

p.s. Try tenkan with your hand to your side and pretend your side is your front.
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Old 04-02-2005, 10:10 PM   #11
Mike Sigman
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Re: About the "center"

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote:
The thing I've never understood is when people say to keep your hands in front of your center. What is the front of a center? If we keep our posture and move properly shouldn't any position be in front of our center? This opens up more possibilites....
Very true, John. If you can't put your center anywhere you want it then you couldn't strike to the side, strike down, strike behind you, etc., with your center. Keep thinking of those possibilities. The ancient saying of "the body is like hands" wouldn't be true if you couldn't put your center where you want it and there would be no need for "mind-body"... you would just keep your alignment always to the front.

Mike
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Old 04-13-2005, 10:37 PM   #12
Steven Gubkin
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Re: About the "center"

I think that by keeping your hands "in front of your center" while performing a technique, you are making sure you are in a strong position. Alot of people will move there bodies fine, but let there arms drag behind them (ex. in setting up a munen tsuki kote-gaesh (sp?) the initial tenkan may be done fine, but the person's hand stays exactly where they first put it. Thus they do not lead uke around at all). I think peoples arms are weaker at the edge of their range of motion, and keeping your hands in front means they are connected to your movement. Also it helps to have your hands in front so you don't get clocked in the nose.
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