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Old 03-20-2006, 05:41 PM   #26
Michael Douglas
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Re: Correct Movement in Aikido

I'll give my alf-pennyworth on this ;
"Say, Mike, do you have any thoughts on what effect lactic acid build-up might have on utilizing kokyu/jin?"
(Yes, this Mike isn't that Mike)
In my tiny experience of non-muscling techniques, I'd say the effect of lactic-acid buildup
are absolutely awful for me, more affecting than on muscling techniques. My reason is
that it affects the SPEED of muscle movement/twitch way more than the force. And
since my primary use of non-muscling things is to generate relaxed speed, the lactic
just cripples those things.
BUT
using non-muscling stuff really drastically extends the time of exertion before lactic
acid builds up. Drastically.

So, I don't see it as a big problem for the extended time-span reason.
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Old 03-20-2006, 08:43 PM   #27
Dillon
Location: Burlington, Vermont
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Re: Correct Movement in Aikido

Modern sports science would indicate that you would not want to learn or practice to a great degree while exhausted. Your neural pathways develop along the lines they're used, so learning and practicing a technique while exhausted will lead to performing that technique like you're exhausted. You want to build and reinforce the neural pathways while you're fresh, albiet loose and warmed up.

That said, there is a certain, for lack of a better term, spiritual gain that can be made through practicing to and beyond the point of exhaustion.
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Old 03-22-2006, 12:13 PM   #28
Adam Alexander
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Re: Correct Movement in Aikido

Quote:
Dillon Beyer wrote:
Modern sports science would indicate that you would not want to learn or practice to a great degree while exhausted. Your neural pathways develop along the lines they're used, so learning and practicing a technique while exhausted will lead to performing that technique like you're exhausted. You want to build and reinforce the neural pathways while you're fresh, albiet loose and warmed up.

That said, there is a certain, for lack of a better term, spiritual gain that can be made through practicing to and beyond the point of exhaustion.

When I was a kid, the news reported that "the cold doesn't cause colds."

I spent years believing that...even though it seemed that I was consistently getting colds after going out without a coat.

That was the most blatant experience in my life that lead me to believe that you shouldn't follow science over experience.

Then, within the last year, the news reported "scientists made a mistake." Seems that when you're out in the cold, it activates the virus or something, causing a cold.

Maybe there's something in training exhausted that modern sports science doesn't know about.

I'm not saying that that's a fact, but, definitely worth considering.
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Old 03-22-2006, 12:21 PM   #29
Mike Sigman
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Re: Correct Movement in Aikido

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
Then, within the last year, the news reported "scientists made a mistake." Seems that when you're out in the cold, it activates the virus or something, causing a cold.

Maybe there's something in training exhausted that modern sports science doesn't know about.

I'm not saying that that's a fact, but, definitely worth considering.
Achoooooo! I think you're right.... working to exhaustion makes you more open to getting colds!!!

Mike
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Old 03-22-2006, 03:53 PM   #30
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
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Re: Correct Movement in Aikido

Here's a different thought:
Training to complete physical and mental exhaustion can produce negative effects like some members on this board noted.
But if you can target specific muscles to be exhausted so that you move "correctly", without affecting other parts of the body, then I think the old addage has some merit.

For instance, maybe doing Randori for half an hour straight, or in the case of standup, sparring, an hour straight is going to produce negative feedback.

But if you do say Agete (kokyu-ho) again and again until your arm/shoulder muscles burn and give out (without the rest of your body tiriing out) then you should still be mentally focused enough to figure out how to do that same movement more efficiently, now that you can't use your arm and shoulder muscles.

Same really goes with any Tanren(body training) method.
For instance, do Shiko about 50 times and you notice some stuff.
Do it 300 times in a row (for about 20-25 min), certain muscles start to tire out, forcing your body to move in a way that doesn't require the useage of muscles in the way you're normally used to.
There's some old school teachers who would do the Shiko movement 1000+times in a row for practice. Yet at the same time they said that you could not be MENTALLY exhausted when you performed these exercises, otherwise there would be no meaning to the training.

FWIW
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Old 03-22-2006, 04:02 PM   #31
Mike Sigman
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Re: Correct Movement in Aikido

Well..... maybe sometimes there's epiphanies, but if nothing else, Rob, take a look at the huge size of martial arts in the West (as an example)... surely of working to exhaustion had credible benefits for improving movement and taking it to kokyu and ki development, you'd see more kokyu and ki development in the West. A lot of those people work hard. Ipso facto, working to exhaustion may help, but enough to show any measureable growth in those skills in the West. So maybe it's better to learn what to do and then work as hard as you want.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 03-22-2006, 07:41 PM   #32
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
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Re: Correct Movement in Aikido

I definitely agree there. :-D
You can't just assume that working yourself to exhaustion will magically result in an epiphany. You have to have a concrete idea after what you're shooting for.
Maybe I should have made that clearer.

Even then you need both kinds, fine tuning type exercises where you don't physically exhaust yourself, as you figure out what's going on, then upping the pressure to see how your body reacts.
You need all gradiations of intensity, and there is definitely a "smarter" way to approach and improve these kind of skills...

use your head...

use your head...

use your head...

use your g#'()"#%mmed head...

is a mantra i end up wanting to tell a lot of people that I've touched hands with
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Old 03-23-2006, 12:01 AM   #33
James Young
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Re: Correct Movement in Aikido

My personal experience is that when I get close to exhaustion I start using my muscles in ways I shouldn't. I think that's because for me that's still the natural response as it is for most people. Now I'm trying to focus on learning how to supress that natural response and not use direct muscle strength in my technique; I can do that best when I'm still fresh. Hopefully someday I will be able to get to the level where not using direct muscle strength will become my natural response, even in a state of exhaustion.
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Old 03-23-2006, 04:27 PM   #34
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Correct Movement in Aikido

I think there is a time for working to exhaustion and many good lessons to be learned from it. If we do it as a parochial practice (aesthetic), it might be kinda pointless because we limit ourselves to one type of experience. I think balance is the key.

I went to Army Ranger School about 10 years ago. I really had high hopes that during that experience that I would reach a new level of enlightment. I laughed about 6 weeks into the course after many hallucinations and periods of self doubt and said "wow, this just sucks!".

10 years later, I am still unfolding new things I learned during that experience!

You can't discount stress or exhaustion as a methdology. Look at many POWs and guys like Viktor Frankl that emerged from hell and were strengthed through their experience.

That said, I don't think it is necessary all the time.

I was just watching a documentary on Ram Dass tonight. Him and Timothy Leary did lots of psychedlic drugs in the 60's hoping to acheive enlightment. They feel they did, or at least that it expanded their minds. My wife and I were discussing it...just becuase it worked for them, doesn't mean we should run out and start doing drugs. Their knowledge can be experienced by others through their example, does not have to be a direct experience to learn!

I kinda look at things like this as breaking the 4 minute mile. It was a paradigm that was held back only through our own self doubts....once it was done by one guy...many followed!

Okay, I am getting way off base now! Time to quit!
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Old 03-23-2006, 05:15 PM   #35
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
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Re: Correct Movement in Aikido

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
You can't discount stress or exhaustion as a methdology.
Hi Kevin:

Well, the question is whether exhaustion as a methodology will do anything to teach you to "move from the center" as in kokyu power or whether it will develop your ki. Logically, I can't see how working to exhaustion is going to teach anyone some skill-sets that everyone I've ever heard of had to be shown personally. However, I'm open to being convinced otherwise.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 03-23-2006, 05:41 PM   #36
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Correct Movement in Aikido

i would agree with you Mike for the most part. I think being physically tired can be a hinderance to this process.

I have though, experienced "letting go" of some of the physicalities (strength) though when training past the point of exhaustion where it becomes more crucial that you use correct posture and technique because strength and muscularity are of little use. But I do think that is much different. It simply becomes more critical that you use correct alignment. I don't think it helps teach you the alignment though.

I think it is probably better to have all your faculties and be "together" instead of having the additional stress of fatique.
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Old 03-24-2006, 01:22 PM   #37
thomas_dixon
Location: Florida, USA
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Re: Correct Movement in Aikido

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
When I was a kid, the news reported that "the cold doesn't cause colds."

I spent years believing that...even though it seemed that I was consistently getting colds after going out without a coat.

That was the most blatant experience in my life that lead me to believe that you shouldn't follow science over experience.

Then, within the last year, the news reported "scientists made a mistake." Seems that when you're out in the cold, it activates the virus or something, causing a cold.

Maybe there's something in training exhausted that modern sports science doesn't know about.

I'm not saying that that's a fact, but, definitely worth considering.
The cold doesn't cause colds. It makes you more succeptable to them yes, but what really causes colds is interaction with other humans who have them Usually in the winter you tend to "huddle" inside with other people, unlike summer.

I think training exhausted is a bad idea. Not only is it a bit uncomfortable, it could be dangerous. I don't think the point of Aikido is to "force" yourself to be relaxed by exhausting yourself, but rather learn to be relaxed on your own. If you use exhaustion as a tool and become dependant on it...doesn't sound like a good thing for you or your practicing Aikido. (to me anyway)
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Old 03-24-2006, 02:08 PM   #38
Brion Toss
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Re: Correct Movement in Aikido

Someone once asked Ken Kesey how to find inspiration for writing. He said something like, "If you want to find inspiration, you have to hang out in places that inspiration has been known to frequent." No guarantees that you'd find it, of course, but it wasn't going to happen if you didn't go there.
In the context of the current question, the elusive, difficult-to-transmit-let-alone-really-get kokyu and ki are kept from many people by what they already know, or think they know; they aren't in the places that ki and kokyu are known to frequent, and their conditioning prevents them from going there. In the current context, this is particularly true with males, especially young males, and it can be very frustrating to get them even to consider the notion that a technique might depend on something besides biceps.
So how does a teacher get past the surface tension of the student's ignorance? Sometimes, simply removing non-efficient alternatives, be they thoughts, emotional states, or muscle usage, will allow a message to get through that would otherwise be blocked. But of course simply working to exhaustion, by itself, is meaningless, or worse.
This reminds me of something Tohei sensei once told me, about the difference between American and Japanese Aikido students. He said that a Japanese student will practice a technique thousands of times, whether or not it is done correctly, while an American student will keep trying variations and asking questions until the principle is sort of clear, then say, "I got it," and have a cigarette.
Clearly, neither student has learned fully; the question is, how does one get past their learning assumptions? I think that working to exhaustion could be a tool, a means, to be selectively applied.
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Old 03-24-2006, 02:37 PM   #39
Mike Sigman
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Re: Correct Movement in Aikido

Quote:
Brion Toss wrote:
In the context of the current question, the elusive, difficult-to-transmit-let-alone-really-get kokyu and ki are kept from many people by what they already know, or think they know; they aren't in the places that ki and kokyu are known to frequent, and their conditioning prevents them from going there. In the current context, this is particularly true with males, especially young males, and it can be very frustrating to get them even to consider the notion that a technique might depend on something besides biceps.
So how does a teacher get past the surface tension of the student's ignorance?....(snip)..
Well, I think your reasoning is fine until you get to the implication that it's "males, especially young males", you sexist rogue, you. It's also "senior students" and "teachers" who have their cups full that are the problem, Brion.

And it's not just in Aikido, it's in many other martial arts. How many self-styled teachers are actively seeking this kind of information? I know some, but proportionately it's darned few. Then again... the traditional view is that there are always only a small percentage of people *actively* trying to improve their art and the rest are pretty much satisfied with the status and income and social network that they're part of. Quelle surprise.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 03-25-2006, 12:21 PM   #40
Brion Toss
Dojo: Aikido Port Townsend
Location: Port Townsend, Wa.
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Re: Correct Movement in Aikido

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Well, I think your reasoning is fine until you get to the implication that it's "males, especially young males", you sexist rogue, you. It's also "senior students" and "teachers" who have their cups full that are the problem, Brion.
Regards,

Mike
I wasn't implying; I was reporting. And I'm sorry if I seemed to imply that only young males were the problem. But of course Aikido is far from unique in having practitioners who don't "get it." We don't expect every architect to be Frank Lloyd Wright probably a good thing they're not, actually but we do expect them to work to the best of their abilities. Architecture is not a false art, despite the less-than-Protean talents of almost all of its practitioners. Nor is music, medicine, flower arranging, you name it. But all of those arts survive because enough of their practitioners keep sending back reports from the elegant edge of things, and enough of the practitioners who are back from that edge get good work done.
So I utterly expect most Aikido teachers and practitioners to be pale imitations, at best, of Ueshiba, and I seek out the ones who appear to be seeking what he sought. Meanwhile, there's enough of value in almost every dojo that I've ever been in to make for a worthwhile visit, at the least.
Oh, and stirring up foment tends to be good for any art. Afflicting the comfortable, and all that. So I'm also far from complacent about people with "full cups."
Yours,
Brion Toss
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