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Old 03-09-2008, 06:32 PM   #51
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Confused as usual :-)

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Doing it is art -- understanding how it is done is physics.
For some reason, this seems to sum it up pretty well to me.

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Old 03-10-2008, 04:03 AM   #52
Timothy WK
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
If I were to try and correct anything, it would be the idea that one can "literally" move without "any" muscular effort. What you're describing is using minimal muscular effort right?
No, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm glossing over some important nuances, but I meant what I said---it's possible to generate movement without engaging the muscles.

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Old 03-10-2008, 04:21 AM   #53
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

Studies on fascial contractility:

Schleip R, Klingler W, Lehmann-Horn F.
Active fascial contractility: Fascia may be able to contract in a smooth muscle-like manner and thereby influence musculoskeletal dynamics.
Med Hypotheses. 2005;65(2):273-7.

Schleip R, Naylor IL, Ursu D, Melzer W, Zorn A, Wilke HJ, Lehmann-Horn F, Klingler W.
Passive muscle stiffness may be influenced by active contractility of intramuscular connective tissue.
Med Hypotheses. 2006;66(1):66-71. Epub 2005 Oct 4.

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:07 AM   #54
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

Quote:
Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote: View Post
No, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm glossing over some important nuances, but I meant what I said---it's possible to generate movement without engaging the muscles.
Ok so literally no muscle usage whatsoever in the body? That's very interesting! Thank you, Timothy.
Matt

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Old 03-10-2008, 08:16 AM   #55
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

Quote:
Inocencio Maramba wrote: View Post
...Fascia may be able to contract in a smooth muscle-like manner and thereby influence musculoskeletal dynamics.

...Passive muscle stiffness may be influenced by active contractility of intramuscular connective tissue.
Not that I'm doubting anyone here; I tend to latch on to key words and phrases which often causes me to miss out on the bigger picture, but do you know any studies which speak in more certain terms than these citations? "May" doesn't sound like very strong language (refering to the first citation). Also, could you elaborate on what passive muscle stiffness refers to? Is it what most folks refer to when they speak of stiff muscles; as opposed to actively contracted muscles?
Thanks Cito,
Matt

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Old 03-10-2008, 09:08 AM   #56
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

I'm curious is anyone has read ANATOMY TRAINS: myofascial meridians for manual and movement therapists, by Myers. It was listed as a reference in the wikipedia article I was just reading.
Just in case anyone else was interested in this bit of the topic...
Per Wikipedia:
"Deep fascia can contract. What happens during the fight-or-flight response is an example of rapid fascial contraction . In response to a real or imagined threat to the organism, the body responds with a temporary increase in the stiffness of the fascia. Bolstered with tensioned fascia, people are able to perform extraordinary feats of strength and speed under emergency conditions. [12] How fascia contracts is still not well understood, but appears to involve the activity of myofibroblasts. Myofibroblasts are fascial cells that are created as a response to mechanical stress. In a two step process, fibroblasts differentiate into proto-myofibroblasts that with continued mechanical stress, become differentiated myofibroblasts. [13] Fibroblasts cannot contract, but myofibroblasts are able to contract in a smooth muscle-like manner. [14]"

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Old 03-10-2008, 09:41 AM   #57
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Re: Confused as usual :-)

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
For some reason, this seems to sum it up pretty well to me.
Actually I think it reduces it too far. I'd say that it's all physiology and psychology, aiki uses both.

Chris Moses
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Old 03-10-2008, 09:51 AM   #58
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

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Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote: View Post
No, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm glossing over some important nuances, but I meant what I said---it's possible to generate movement without engaging the muscles.
I know the whole fascia thing is really hot right now, but I don't buy it. I don't think anyone can move their fascia enough to accomplish anything *by itself*. You may be able to transmit muscular movements through the fascia from some more distant part of the body, but I really don't buy that the muscles don't engage at all. Frankly it's impossible, they are all always firing and since fascia serves as a sheath around all muscles, they are all part of an integrated system. Now you may be using small muscles to create tension through the fascia or to align the skeletal structure, but the amount of movement required to do anything that would be effective martially requires the musculature.

A good example (relevant to the thread) is kokyu-ho or aiki-age. The way I have been working on it (and the way I have felt Ark and Rob do it) does not engage the muscles of the arms much at all. But that's because the muscles of the arms aren't particularly useful in raising the arms, the muscles of the back and torso (from the hara) are quite capable of lifting the arms without the upper arm muscles firing.

Anyway, something to think about.

Chris Moses
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:48 AM   #59
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Ok so literally no muscle usage whatsoever in the body? That's very interesting!
*sigh*

I admitted that I was glossing over some important details. Did I ever say "no muscle usage whatsoever"? Actually, what I said was:

Quote:
Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote: View Post
The "center" IS the abdomen, but more specifically, it's the muscles and other internal structures found in the abdomen and pelvic girdle... [M]uch of the whole "internal" thing involves utilizing the fascia (among other biomechanical processes) to augment and/or power movement.

[Emphasis added]
The idea is that the bulk---if not all---of the activity of moving happens in the body, NOT in the limbs. In a very real and literal way, the muscles and other internal structures found in the abdomen or "center" power the limbs. And I'm not talking about throwing your weight or momentum around. I am talking about, for example, lifting the arms with the muscles and/or other internal structures in the LOWER back, not the shoulders.

Awhile ago I posted a little exercise using the hand that anyone can try. That's not exactly the way internal movement works, but it illustrates the principle. You can make the fingers move without using the muscles in the forearm. Moving from the center works in a similar-sorta way, but in a much bigger and more complicated way.

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
I don't think anyone can move their fascia enough to accomplish anything *by itself*. You may be able to transmit muscular movements through the fascia from some more distant part of the body, but I really don't buy that the muscles don't engage at all.
Chris, I don't think we disagree. I was giving a simplified answer. Again, the point I was trying to make was that movement comes from within the body, not the limbs. So in that sense, you can move the limbs without engaging the muscles in the limbs.

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Old 03-10-2008, 10:52 AM   #60
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
I know the whole fascia thing is really hot right now, but I don't buy it. I don't think anyone can move their fascia enough to accomplish anything *by itself*. You may be able to transmit muscular movements through the fascia from some more distant part of the body, but I really don't buy that the muscles don't engage at all. Frankly it's impossible, they are all always firing and since fascia serves as a sheath around all muscles, they are all part of an integrated system. Now you may be using small muscles to create tension through the fascia or to align the skeletal structure, but the amount of movement required to do anything that would be effective martially requires the musculature.

A good example (relevant to the thread) is kokyu-ho or aiki-age. The way I have been working on it (and the way I have felt Ark and Rob do it) does not engage the muscles of the arms much at all. But that's because the muscles of the arms aren't particularly useful in raising the arms, the muscles of the back and torso (from the hara) are quite capable of lifting the arms without the upper arm muscles firing.

Anyway, something to think about.
Hi Chris,
well that's certainly more in line with my preexisting notions. I find it hard to believe that none of the leg and trunk muscles would be involved, but there does seem to be something to the idea that fascia can itself contract. That wikipedia article I posted has a citation referenced froma book I'm thinking about buying, so maybe some new light will be shed for me. Either way, while talking about all this is provocative, really only practicing it makes any difference. Eventually i hope to get some chances to feel these things for myself.
And as for the previous of your posts just now, i agree it's very simplistic and leaves a lot of room for explaination. Essentially i have a series of half-formed questions which I haven't presented very well, but talking it through has helped quite a bit.
Thanks for your time and efforts, I do appreciate them.
Take care,
matt

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Old 03-10-2008, 11:00 AM   #61
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

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Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote: View Post
Did I ever say "no muscle usage whatsoever"?
So you ARE talking about using the least number of muscles as possible (ie-minimal muscle usage). You did say one could "quite literally" not use "any" muscle at all. I see the misuderstanding now, thanks.
I said:
Quote:
If I were to try and correct anything, it would be the idea that one can "literally" move without "any" muscular effort. What you're describing is using minimal muscular effort right?
I wasn't referring to the arms; I was talking about the body as a whole...hence the mention of using legs and the trunk muscles to generate movement:
Quote:
Most notably being used are the legs and trunk?.
Thanks for sticking with it...I know I don't often convey my meaning very well.
Take care,
Matt

Last edited by mathewjgano : 03-10-2008 at 11:06 AM.

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Old 03-11-2008, 12:59 PM   #62
Timothy WK
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

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So you ARE talking about using the least number of muscles as possible (ie-minimal muscle usage).
Ehh... I don't like saying that.

In this context, it's too easy to misinterpret what I was trying to get at. I've had lots of teachers tell me "don't use the arms, use the legs, it should be effortless!" What they then do is use certain angles of attack and body alignment to minimize muscle strain (most notably by bringing the elbows and/or hands close to the body, and aligning the forearms with the angle of force), while they use their legs and weight/momentum to press into the strike or throw or whatever.

If I may bring in a non-Aikido example of this idea, when I worked loading trucks for UPS, I would grab heavy boxes and press them into my chest or stomach, so the weight would fall on my hips. I could then walk around with minimal, if any, upper body strain, while my legs carried the weight. I developed OK back strength, but I never developed big arms, despite carrying around, maybe... ~5000 lbs a day.

But that's not the kind of thing I'm trying to talk about. Those examples still use localized muscle. They feel "effortless" because they are, in fact, reducing the strain and workload on the body. But is there a way to maintain the workload/strain and still "feel effortless"?

Here's another example---let's say you want to push uke's chest or whatever. If you drop your arms and press into uke with your shoulder, that feels like you're "not using your arms", right? You feel that because you're NOT actually using your arms, right? So you retry it, but this time, you lock the arm straight and press. Again, it feels like you're "not using the arm", because the arm is basically pushing bone on bone. But what if you bend the elbow 90 degrees? Is there a way to make THAT action feel "effortless" for the arm?

How did Ueshiba do the "jo trick", where he held out a jo straight to the side, while someone pressed against it---at an angle perpendicular to his arm and body? How does that "use the legs"? Some have claimed that it's impossible to keep the arm steady under such conditions, that the muscles in the shoulder joint aren't strong enough to bare that sort of the load. And they're right, the shoulder can't do that. So either Ueshiba's uke was faking, or Ueshiba was accessing a different source of strength. (I can't do the jo trick, but I can appreciate how its done.)

So not to leave you hanging, all this points back to "connecting" the body, via the fascia (my belief), through the "center" nexus (abdomen), such that the strain is moved around the body, not simply reduced. Watch this video of Mike Sigman (who frequents this board). Pay attention to 5:00 - 6:15 (but also notice how he stays relaxed when someone is pushing on his *bent* arm at 0:45). Think about it and be honest with yourself---why and/or how would he (literally) feel pressure in the foot when someone torques his wrist? (And I'm sure that's not some sort of vague, half-imagined feeling he's describing.) I don't think THAT involves any muscle activity. (And similarly, I'm not sure that the "jo trick" requires any muscle, either, but I might be wrong about that.)

And one last thing (I mean it!)---even if there's a certain amount of muscle activity in the body, the quality of this activity is different. You're not just transferring the strain from, say, the shoulder to the quad, so you feel a lactic acid burn in your thigh instead of your shoulder. If you read accounts of high level practitioners, there's the recurring idea of "relaxed strength" and "effortless" movement.

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Old 03-11-2008, 10:08 PM   #63
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

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Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote: View Post
Here's another example---let's say you want to push uke's chest or whatever. ... Is there a way to make THAT action feel "effortless" for the arm?
Riddle me this. If I tie a weight on a rope and hit somebody with it -- does it have any muscle to exert effort? I can hit you with my fist the same way, driven by the motion of my center, without muscular effort for the arms. With practice you can use the arms in the same manner in less obvious but instinctively directed ways also. Funetori undo, tekubi furi and seated kokyu dosa are training in the ways in which this is done

Quote:
Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote: View Post
[/b]How did Ueshiba do the "jo trick", where he held out a jo straight to the side, while someone pressed against it---at an angle perpendicular to his arm and body? How does that "use the legs"? ... the muscles in the shoulder joint aren't strong enough to bare that sort of the load. And they're right, the shoulder can't do that. So either Ueshiba's uke was faking, or Ueshiba was accessing a different source of strength. (I can't do the jo trick, but I can appreciate how its done.)
His shoulder is not under any appreciable load, because uke's push has been dissipated into his own instability.

Look at uke's stance. He pushes the first time with his front shikaku (the direction of his push) away from O Sensie, and O Sensei plainly is entering, extending out -- projecting uke's balance perpendiculalry (juji) to the point of kuzushi where his push resolves to zero balance to push from. Clever uke realizes this stance is not working and so reverses it, leaving the open shikaku toward O Sensie, who nolonger is extending -- he now simply draws uke's balance into that shikaku toward him, instead. Obviously, it requires fine senitivitiy and instinctive adjustment to be able keep uke so precisely at the null points -- but HOW it is done is no mystery -- you can see it, and it requires no mysterious strength -- but it does require much hard training.

Quote:
Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote: View Post
So not to leave you hanging, all this points back to "connecting" the body, via the fascia (my belief), through the "center" nexus (abdomen), such that the strain is moved around the body, not simply reduced. Watch this video of Mike Sigman (who frequents this board). Pay attention to 5:00 - 6:15 (but also notice how he stays relaxed when someone is pushing on his *bent* arm at 0:45). Think about it and be honest with yourself---why and/or how would he (literally) feel pressure in the foot when someone torques his wrist? (And I'm sure that's not some sort of vague, half-imagined feeling he's describing.)
That is called a "moment" -- a potential rotation of the structure resisted by the physical elements of structure being torqued (or sprung, in a sense) against the ground, in this case, hence the pressure -- although the moments can also be resisted by elements of the structure straining against each other, like tensile muscles compressing bones.

In essence, what Mike is doing is resolving the imbalance of forces created by the push in his own body with resistance at the ground, (countering an in-plane moment with another in-plane moment (the path they travel to get there is not really that relevant)

Conversely, O Sensei is resolving the imbalance of forces in the jo trick within his opponent's balance structure, not wihtin his shoulder or body. He destroys his opponent's ability to make the "ground path" that Mike talks about -- and which is necessary to generate the push. But O Sensei does not do it by countering moment with in-plane moment -- like a beam shear moment resists bending moment . He does it by countering moment with an out of plane rotation, which alters the entire framework of uke's force problem -- rug-snatching, essentially.

Quote:
Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote: View Post
If you read accounts of high level practitioners, there's the recurring idea of "relaxed strength" and "effortless" movement.
That's becasue it actually is --there are places to act that do not require more effort than moving yourself, and radically destroy the foundation on which uke's effort is generated.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 03-11-2008 at 10:18 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:16 AM   #64
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

Here is the jo trick video I'm a bit more interested in.
"jo trick with a bunch of guys" From 2:19 - 2:30.

It would be interesting to come up with some kind of tests where we could actually test Erick's physics descriptions against what Dan or Mike or Rob J, etc. are doing. My guess is that Erick's approach is not thoroughly covering all of the aspects of how the folks are opposed and narrowing that down would be interesting to me. However, I'm not so sure that it would be tremendously helpful for people to understand how it is being done on that level unless you are trying to build a robot that can do aiki - yes "robo sensei" you heard the name here first. I'll copyright it later today.

What would be more interesting and helpful to me would be a new thread called aiki and yoga or aiki and body therapies. Where people who are working on stretching tendons in their groins to enhance their stability or working to unlock their psoas so they can get out of the way of their fascia "windings" exercises can discuss what helped the most. Or maybe this would be a better exercise for the wiki? Thoughts?

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Old 03-12-2008, 08:37 AM   #65
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

Quote:
What would be more interesting and helpful to me would be a new thread called aiki and yoga or aiki and body therapies. Where people who are working on stretching tendons in their groins to enhance their stability or working to unlock their psoas so they can get out of the way of their fascia "windings" exercises can discuss what helped the most. Or maybe this would be a better exercise for the wiki? Thoughts?

Rob
Hi Rob! I think that is an excellent topic for here:

http://www.internal-aiki.com/

I'll start it, if you don't mind, in a few minutes...

Best,
Ron

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Old 03-12-2008, 09:39 AM   #66
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

http://www.internal-aiki.com/comment...iscussionID=21

is the link for that discussion...

Best,
Ron

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Old 03-12-2008, 08:33 PM   #67
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Here is the jo trick video I'm a bit more interested in.
"jo trick with a bunch of guys" From 2:19 - 2:30.
No different. Except that if the stance of the ukes are differnt some of them are being projected into the rear shikaku -- which puts their balance recovery forward in the direction of the "push" - but with no foundation to actually push from and the balance recovery of any uke with the front shikaku exposed is rearward -- at odds with each other and therefore cancelling each other out into the same null. if there are three, then they are either all exposed the same way, or two are cancelling each other out with one defining the net dynamic of the oush. With four, either two pair offset each other completely or one pair does and two define the dynamic. The net of that is that O Sensei would feel the total imbalance in stances as the balance of, at most, one or two uke net, outward or inward, relating to the orientation of the stance to the push). Then he "simply" followed that with the appropriate extension/draw into the exposed shikaku indicated. This is, in part, what he is speaking about, in my opiniion when he addresses treating many enemies like one -- because properly managed either weakness reinforces weakness or strength cancels strength.

I do not diminish the subtlety of the sense necessary to parse through the psychological noise (as well as physical noise) of the four guys on the stick, but that is why I analytically tease these apart -- as a way of more closely looking for what I should be feeling when faced with subtle but apparently daunting problems.

I find the throw indicative (starting at the center and propagating outward).

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
It would be interesting to come up with some kind of tests where we could actually test Erick's physics descriptions against what Dan or Mike or Rob J, etc. are doing.
My guess is that Erick's approach is not thoroughly covering all of the aspects of how the folks are opposed and narrowing that down would be interesting to me.
I do not pretend to analyze other than what I can see or feel, or reasonably infer from those observations. They may do many things -- but the portion of the video offered as to Mike is demonstrably different, mechanically, from these examples of the jo trick.

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What would be more interesting and helpful to me would be ... working on stretching tendons in their groins to enhance their stability or working to unlock their psoas so they can get out of the way of their fascia "windings" exercises can discuss what helped the most. Or maybe this would be a better exercise for the wiki? Thoughts?
In my sojourn in Iwama style we did ( and I still do) ken and jo suburi plus a number of variations on happo undo. Those movements, especially the turn and extend, and the draw-in and turn movements of the core seem very close what you are talking about. The hip draws the leg forward or back. It is really the only way to move fluidly and efficiently when performing the happo undo with speed and power, especially those that incorporate more elaborate tenkan turns in addition to the more typical single step-cut-pivots. The sense of successive "winding-unwinding" power of the core is very palpable in these.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:36 AM   #68
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

Erick, once again---you really, really, REALLY NEED to just go out and feel/observe what Mike S, Dan H, Akuzawa, etc, are doing first hand, in person. You're basing your analysis on assumptions that simply aren't true, or neglect specific body mechanics that are required to make the effects you describe happen.

I can do the wrist-thing Mike is doing in the video... not nearly as well, but can I do it... and at its most basic level (which is where I'm at), it has nothing to do with the ground (though at Mike's level, he's able to bring the ground into play). It's about "connecting" the tendons, ligaments, etc in the hand and arm, such that when torque is applied to the wrist, the pressure spreads not only to the forearms, but all the way up the arm and into the body---and not in some subtle half-imagined way, but in a real, obvious way. And I'm not talking about locking out the joints and twisting the body. 99% of people, if they are honest with themselves, have to admit they can't feel the torque/pressure beyond their elbows in any real (unsubtle) way.

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Old 03-13-2008, 03:12 PM   #69
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

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Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote: View Post
I can do the wrist-thing Mike is doing in the video... not nearly as well, but can I do it... and at its most basic level (which is where I'm at), it has nothing to do with the ground (though at Mike's level, he's able to bring the ground into play). It's about "connecting" the tendons, ligaments, etc in the hand and arm, such that when torque is applied to the wrist, the pressure spreads not only to the forearms, but all the way up the arm and into the body---and not in some subtle half-imagined way, but in a real, obvious way.
I take no issue with anything Mike says about performing nikkyo or forming similar paths for transmitting what we transmit. In fact he illustrates in larger scale movements in his demonstration of funetori undo (boat-rowing exercise) -- the same transfer of moment by means of angular momentum to the hands (the wave-like action).

There is a lovely little pinkie-finger nikkyo that illustrates exactly what you are talking about. It ain't about limbs and leverage, because uke's pinkie finger will break off if I used leverage. Its about transferring moment with momentum (in my terms) -- from an extremity of the structure to the entire structure -- to progressively impair the stability system and make it inoperative -- with little effort and if necessary, the barest of connection.

Ikkyo, nikkyo, any pin or any projection should do EXACTLY what O Sensei demonstrated in the throw of the jo trick -- a progressive, propagating center-initiated surge of motion and transferred moment. In the case of a throw --taking the opponent's stability center and directing it where the dynamic naturally goes, resolving moments with imparted rotations. In the case of a pin -- turning the stability center back on itself, making his internal moments resolve against themselves.

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Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote: View Post
Erick, once again---you really, really, REALLY NEED to just go out and feel/observe what Mike S, Dan H, Akuzawa, etc, are doing first hand, in person. You're basing your analysis on assumptions that simply aren't true, or neglect specific body mechanics that are required to make the effects you describe happen.
sigh.

"A scientist is an original, an extremist, disrupting established patterns of thought. Good science involves perpetual, open debate, in which every objection is aired and dissents are sharpened and clarified, not smoothed over." John Kay.

Blossoms have no muscles.

If you want to know why that matters, please read, if not, enjoy the pretty flower:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuJfhhaxdz8

[spoiler] Ok. So, beginning at the beginning. Which assumptions? What about them is untrue? And, which specific body mechanics am I neglecting. All mechanics involves choosing some terms of convenience for the problem addressed. So if you change the terms of convenience to address the question, recognize that and reconcile the two approaches or show why one is better for this purpose than another.

If we adopted Mike's (inapt) vector preference (I'll explain why), we create a more complex, not a less complex problem. Vectors require defining the boundary path within which vectors of force travel. The most common example is the "middle third" center of gravity rule for the stability of a wall. Mike does not do this (in fairness he uses the term more loosely or metaphorically -- at least in his descriptions here and in the video). He speaks of pushing the hand from the belt line illustrated without any intervening structural path -- but that's not a proper vector. Without a defined load path it is a transferred moment.

The advantage of the moments method is you do not have to be too concerned about the precise load paths. That is why moment methods are preferred in complex structures -- they are easier to analyze.

You wrote elsewhere about your qigong teacher connecting into your structure. You said that you could feel the progress of the connection from the extremity though to your center as he did it. You were perceiving the transfer of moment -- potentials for rotation, that occur at structural discontinuities. They define where the structure is predisposed to move when the structure becomes discontinuous.

What he felt in order to do it to do is simply the reflection of what you were feeling of him doing it. Literally, he is perceiving reflected waves of momentum (as Mike illustrated on larger scales) from structural discontinuities he then aligns to the proper shape to allow his momentum to travel further and further into your structure. creating successive moments at each discontinuity. Done with the proper sensitivity and shape, the moments cascade through aligning and rotating each successive discontinuity and resolving moments with rotations ( i.e - simply conserving momentum in 3 axes (dare I say -- gyrodynamically). This is kokyu tanden ho training in Aikido.

I will grant that if one has not gotten a sense of what an integrated structure is -- it is harder to envision the transfer of moments, because there are discontinuities in the unintegrated body that will kill any sense of it occurring. How that sense of integrated structure is to be obtained is the key and there are (at least) two schools of thought contending (in these debates).

What Aunkai seems to focus on is addressing that integration of continuous structure and, in a consistent manner, actually, following a sense of vectors carefully through the body -- thus identifying and removing structural discontinuities at the hips, back, shoulders and other major transfer points within the structure. This is consistent with the "vector" approach, as Mike loosely applies it.

But frankly, it makes my head hurt. There are simpler ways to envision it that are more convenient, and accurate mechanically as well. (I know, I know, many think that nothing I write about is simple enough, but even so... ) Again, I have no brief against any of this training. I simply do not sign on to the premise that the same thing (body integration) is not accomplished by other means -- many of them not even explicitly or implicitly martial, and many not at all so static.

The headaching problem is in the linear nature of actual vector analysis. There are so many different load paths allowable (different sets of internal vectors for the same input and resultant) that mapping them out in this fashion is rather painstaking. They are not all of the same efficiency and there is no mechanical principle (at least none that I have yet seen articulated by the proponents) by which inherent efficiency can be self-assessed and corrected. Thus you keep on about "you have to FEEL it" assuming I have not in other venues from other people.

In a moments method you can look at the efficiency of transfer. You can note where the discontinuities are occurring. You feel them yourself, or see them if you are knowing what to look for. You learn the shape in the dynamic - rather than learn shape and then dynamic. The latter provides no inherent feedback.

The structure takes on a characteristic dynamic shape when discontinuities are not present. Tegatana is one static representation of that dynamic shape. The dynamic in the structure can be used to refine the shape of movement and eliminate the discontinuity once it is pointed out (as opposed to statically forming the structure to the ultimate shape of the dynamic).

Aunkai, specifically, seems to do this more statically, as does Sanchin no kata, which is highly effective and contains the same shapes, in more coiled, tightened form that I recognize from proper connected aikido movement done more dynamically. Some in DTR describe it as asagao - the characteristic shape of spiral opening and closing seen in the morning-glory blossom. The fascinating thing about the flower's dynamic is that in both opening and closing it simultaneously extends in one axis and retracts in another axis. (i.e -- juji or in-yo ho ) In mechanical terms that is conserving moment/ momentum from one axis to utilize it in another, through the dynamic shaping of the structure.[/spoiler]

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:10 PM   #70
Adman
 
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

Erick,

Are you proposing that the only way to move from (or connect with) the "Hara" -- without using the usual muscle suspects -- is with momentum?

How would one raise their arm slowly, using the "hara"?

Thanks,
Adam
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:51 PM   #71
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

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Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote: View Post
Ehh... I don't like saying that.
Fair enough

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Here's another example---... Again, it feels like you're "not using the arm", because the arm is basically pushing bone on bone. But what if you bend the elbow 90 degrees? Is there a way to make THAT action feel "effortless" for the arm?
I would say there is a holographical twisting which allows the 90 degree-bent arm to still feel effortless. Not that I can do it well, but this is what comes to my mind as an answer to your question.

Quote:
How did Ueshiba do the "jo trick", where he held out a jo straight to the side, while someone pressed against it---at an angle perpendicular to his arm and body? How does that "use the legs"?
That I really can't say. When I spoke of using the legs though, I was referring to the fact that they always support us while standing. I can either plant my legs and move people around me, or i can shift my position.

Quote:
So not to leave you hanging, all this points back to "connecting" the body, via the fascia (my belief), through the "center" nexus (abdomen), such that the strain is moved around the body, not simply reduced.
I'm not sure I understand you here...by "reduced" are you alluding to a conflict in forces? That I might somehow push against the incoming force as a way of reducing it? My understanding is that somehow I must organize in such a way that the incoming force isn't competed with. When i think in this way at least, techniques tend to happen much easier.

Quote:
Watch this video of Mike Sigman (who frequents this board). Pay attention to 5:00 - 6:15 (but also notice how he stays relaxed when someone is pushing on his *bent* arm at 0:45). Think about it and be honest with yourself---why and/or how would he (literally) feel pressure in the foot when someone torques his wrist? (And I'm sure that's not some sort of vague, half-imagined feeling he's describing.) I don't think THAT involves any muscle activity.
I know a similar feeling to what he was showing (it all looks very similar to stuff I've been told, at any rate). Would you say any muscular activity which might be present is geared toward creating the shape of the receiving body with the intent of channeling the incoming energy into the ground?

Quote:
And one last thing (I mean it!)---even if there's a certain amount of muscle activity in the body, the quality of this activity is different. You're not just transferring the strain from, say, the shoulder to the quad, so you feel a lactic acid burn in your thigh instead of your shoulder. If you read accounts of high level practitioners, there's the recurring idea of "relaxed strength" and "effortless" movement.
From what little I know from my own training, what you're saying makes sense to me. When I've been properly aligned, I feel uke's force push into the ground; a settling of my center column (spine). The idea of relaxed strength fits perfectly with my own paradigm of training, slight though my abilities are. I've always thought of it as the bones bearing the basic structural weight/force and the shape of the posture (a function of muscles and coordination) as directing it around/through me into the ground (particularly the static grabbing exercises I've done).

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:17 AM   #72
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

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Adam Bauder wrote: View Post
Erick,

Are you proposing that the only way to move from (or connect with) the "Hara" -- without using the usual muscle suspects -- is with momentum?

How would one raise their arm slowly, using the "hara"?
How does a taut rope form a standing wave, or a looser rope form a traveling wave ? There is nothing in your body that is not moving constantly, all the time, at every moment. Even if it looks static -- it is still moving back and forth and hence, yes, angular momentum, and its potential quantity of moment. The way to knock a refrigerator over is to get it rocking. The way to pull a small tree out of the ground is the same -- oh wait, O Sensei did that with Ki didn't he?

When you raise your arm slowly you are using the hara, IF you are letting the connection run freely without obstruction form the center to the fingertips as you do it. Stand with your arms hanging freely and exhale -- breathe in deeply -- notice your hand just swayed out from the body, and as you breathe out they sway back -- just like in funetori with the motion of the hips. You can raise the arm with the breath, a pneumatic lift, i.e. --the only muscular contribution is to hold the position attained until the next breath lifts the arm further. No one can usefully conclude the muscles are not involved -- it is just a particular way the muscles are involved. The dynamic is driven by the core action, and the muscles just set the ratchet in the next click of the wheel.

More importantly for martial purposes, as the dynamic level increases, the proportion of any muscular input of the limbs in this usage becomes almost nil. In other words, exactly the relationship you would want to have for a martial principle that must sustain one in a day long battle -- and if it did so successfully it would be precisely the sort of thing that would inspire the mystic awe that we associate with it -- until we start to use it, that is.

The limbs transfer the rotary dynamic of the center outward. All human motion is rotary -- there is no human motion that is linear. With sufficient dynamic the muscles have nothing they need to hold, as with the slow rasing of the arms. They just serve to guide the dynamic, no more force than the rudder uses to guide the immensely greater (and also cyclicly opposed, BTW) forces playing between the sail and keel of the boat. The action ripples out and ripples back, and the muscles just guide it to keep it from losing power.

Kokyu exercises, whether of ten/chi no kokyu breathing purely, or funetori, tekubi furi, happo undo, etc. all tend to coordinate these disparate cyclic movements into one coherent dynamic shape that may be directed. Furitama is meant to sensitize the mind (below the conscious level) the coordination of those ordinary chaotic back and forth movements into something that can respond as a resonant whole. That sensitivity cannot happen at the conscious level, it is too complex, even if the action that uses the same means as the sense itself can be mechanically described.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:06 AM   #73
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I would say there is a holographical twisting which allows the 90 degree-bent arm to still feel effortless. Not that I can do it well, but this is what comes to my mind as an answer to your question.
Hiji-riki. Elbow power. The arm shape has to approximate the funicular curve for the load or else it experiences a bending stress (i.e -- requiring effort to counter with musculature) hence placing the elbow correctly for the load reduces the bending stress close to zero reducing required effort (or viewed subjectively, makes you feel stronger under the load.)

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Would you say [1] any muscular activity which might be present is geared toward creating the shape of the receiving body with the intent [2] of channeling the incoming energy into the ground?
Yes to [1] , and I have strong misgivings as to [2]. If you place your structure between the incoming force and the ground, you have formed a one leg of a triangle or a third of a pin. If while so loaded you move in angle offset of the incoming force or moment (as with the "ground and bounce" description of some "push" exercises), you form the second leg of the triangle that makes a pin. If the opponent is sensible enough to do add his own offset extension and rotation to the mix he forms the third leg of that triangle -- voila -- you are a sprung structural truss, and pinned, or if he releases the catch on the sprung leg of the triangle -- you swing out and fall.

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
When I've been properly aligned, I feel uke's force push into the ground; a settling of my center column (spine).
OK. You are now a loaded slender column (with hinges, no less). If you are an eccentrically loaded column with hinges, you buckle and collapse. Why would you want to do that? That's what I want to do to the other guy. Load HIM up and break his structure by shifting the center of the dynamic.

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I've always thought of it as the bones bearing the basic structural weight/force and the shape of the posture (a function of muscles and coordination) as directing it around/through me into the ground (particularly the static grabbing exercises I've done).
Eighty year old men don't do well bearing the weight and force of three or four strapping young brutes. Ergo, consider the possibility that O Sensei, in the jo trick, seated pushes, etc. etc., did not bear their force, but cleverly made them bear their force on each other or on nothing (The Void) rather than him.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:00 PM   #74
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

Matthew Gano wrote:
Would you say [1] any muscular activity which might be present is geared toward creating the shape of the receiving body with the intent [2] of channeling the incoming energy into the ground?

Quote:
Yes to [1] , and I have strong misgivings as to [2]. If you place your structure between the incoming force and the ground, you have formed a one leg of a triangle or a third of a pin.
How would you describe the legs' role in floating aite?

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote:
When I've been ["properly"] aligned, I feel uke's force push into the ground; a settling of my center column (spine).

Quote:
OK. You are now a loaded slender column (with hinges, no less). If you are an eccentrically loaded column with hinges, you buckle and collapse. Why would you want to do that?
I wouldn't...that's why I'd try to avoide overly eccentric movements; keeping a strong vertical posture to keep my spine and legs as powerfully involved as possible (vis a vis: posture). To my mind, the bones are the core of the conduit/body; the other tissues are a further aspect of the conduit.

Quote:
Eighty year old men don't do well bearing the weight and force of three or four strapping young brutes. Ergo, consider the possibility that O Sensei, in the jo trick, seated pushes, etc. etc., did not bear their force, but cleverly made them bear their force on each other or on nothing (The Void) rather than him.
That's not quite what I meant...I meant that bone provides the natural strength (ie-natural force) of the posture; like an egg along its long axis, bone provides the meat and potatoes of our force capability. The curves we're seeking to use in order to operate our center are still shaped by the postures our bones form. If I had to hazard a guess, Osensei might have been "bending" their energy back into them, but I really have no clue. Assuming all was legit, I imagine Osensei was able to create a powerfull "yang"/heavy connection and as such was able to suppress their centers through the lever of the jo. The specifics of how one can make such a tight curve is beyond me...and again, I really have a slight frame of reference.

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Old 03-15-2008, 10:36 AM   #75
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Re: Connecting with "Hara"

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
... channeling the incoming energy into the ground?
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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
How would you describe the legs' role in floating aite?
Ideally, as bearing my weight. Let me give a simple example of doing it to yourself. Then we can use the same principle to float uke/aite.

Tekubi furi undo takes the the momentum of shaking out your hands over your head and synchronizes it to your hara. Done properly, the motion of shaking your hands above your head alternately lifts your weight off the floor at your heels and drives it back down again. (aiki-age and aiki-sage, in some terminology). You will also note that it also causes your diapraghm to pulse the breath in staccatto time with the motion. You should feel it in your belly. You are intermittently "floating" your own body and driving it down again -- not with your legs and gravity -- but with a mass driver -- that transferred momentum you are casting off into to "nothing" above your head (Musashi's Void). You are actually accelerating your body more than gravity does downward when you do this, even if only for a moment. But that is all you need.

When you throw your arms down vigorously in the second phase of the tekubi furi exercise, they come to a halt at the end of their natural extension. But the angular momentum you just generated has nowhere to go but back up your arms to your shoulders. That momentum lifts you off the ground at the heels with transferred momentum -- "floating" yourself.

Now these are exercises to firm the sense of connection and action of the hara with the extremities. In application the dynamic for nage is reversed -- along the same pathways and the same mechanics but the core motion and the breath cycle driving the extremities in the same fashion as the extremity drives the core and the breath cycle in the exercise. But you have done to yourself with these exercises what you are striving to do to uke when you apply them.

When applying it to uke, he is being driven at his core from the extremity where you connect with him in this manner. If you are well connected and in proper form of the action you can, quite literally, take his breath away, in the same way that you own motion drives your own breath in the exercise. (To do that routinely or for more than a very brief moment is beyond me) but the definite start that uke gets when this is well done is no in small part related to a physical involuntary disruption of their breath, even if just for a brief moment. It is unsettling.

So moving onto actually "floating" uke, in funetori we drive the angular momentum forward and recoil it back again propagating it out from center to fingertips forward and from center to fingertips back. The cycle is not reversed -- it is progressive, -- always initiated FROM the center -- NOT from the center out and then from out back to center again, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding.

With that pulse of the hips meeting uke's incoming momentum at connection, he feels the inertial "load" of diminishing my dynamic momentum. He cannot tell the difference because static strain moment (I meet his momentum with ground reaction through my body) and inertial moment (I meet his momentum with my momentum) are not distinguishable by feel of the reaction.

He has not imposed ANY static load on my structure until all my dynamic momentum is eaten up in the connection. By that time I have moved so as to project further momentum into nothingness in some direction, as with tekubi furi that achieves kuzushi -- whether up to achieve aiki-age, down to achieve aiki-sage, simultaneously in tenchinage or to either or both sides to compromise his shikaku, or lots of other combinations of the above. He never bears my structure between his force and the ground, because my Ki, my angular momentum, is shielding me in the connection for the brief moment necessary to redirect his momentum into nothing useful for him. In this case it is momentum, in others it is a poised moment , but that is just a potential for angular momentum so they really are not different.

That is what O Sensei does in the jo trick. He projects his ukes' momentum into nothingness in exactly the manner that I float myself of the ground in tekubi furi or my opponent in aiki-age

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
The curves we're seeking to use in order to operate our center are still shaped by the postures our bones form. If I had to hazard a guess, Osensei might have been "bending" their energy back into them, but I really have no clue. Assuming all was legit, I imagine Osensei was able to create a powerfull "yang"/heavy connection and as such was able to suppress their centers through the lever of the jo. The specifics of how one can make such a tight curve is beyond me...and again, I really have a slight frame of reference.
It is the dynamic itself that forms the curves you speak of, we just back it up, direct it and keep it from losing power. It is however, no kind of leverage that O Sensei is using with the jo. He did not suppress them -- he just took them tangentially to the limits of their power, and held them there at the null point. It is entirely perpendicular projection or recoil (Juji 十字) in connection with their momentum.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 03-15-2008 at 10:41 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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