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Old 06-02-2009, 03:00 PM   #1
George S. Ledyard
 
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Principles of Aiki

There are three things I wish I had benn told when I started Aikido. First, there is no pushing or pulling in Aikido. The arm muscles normally associated with these actions do not fire in proper technique.

Two, the action of the pelvis, as controlled by tucking the tail bone, is central to causing a partner to "float" off his base.

Three, the ability to accept the energy of an attack and to join with it (ittai-ka or single body) physically is dependent on sliding the shoulder blades together without tensing the shoulders together.

These three elements should be the main focus of early training in the art. Acquisition of lots of techniques should take place only after theseprinciples are understood. George S Ledyard 425-802-3125 www.aikieast.comhttp://www.aikiweb.com//blogger.goog...t.blogspot.com


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Old 06-06-2009, 11:34 PM   #2
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Re: Principles of Aiki

George,

I was wondering if you have any opinion on "yin yoga" and its benefit as far as conditioning as part of aikido to strengthen joints, ligaments, tendons especially to help increase power generation and body connection..

Blair Presson
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:21 AM   #3
Janet Rosen
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Re: Principles of Aiki

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Three, the ability to accept the energy of an attack and to join with it (ittai-ka or single body) physically is dependent on sliding the shoulder blades together without tensing the shoulders together.
I'm fascinated because it is the first time anybody associated with aikido has mentioned it where I could read/hear it.
Many years ago my myofascial therapy guy (who appears to have vanished into the Yucatan peninsula sometime before/during their last big hurricane) taught me how to isolate and use the muscles that pull the shoulder blades down and together from below, as a posture correcting maneuver.
I do find myself doing it on the mat as part of my preparation for training; now I'll have to think about why and what role it seems to be playing.
Do you have more information about it?

Janet Rosen
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:08 AM   #4
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Re: Principles of Aiki

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I'm fascinated because it is the first time anybody associated with aikido has mentioned it where I could read/hear it.
Many years ago my myofascial therapy guy (who appears to have vanished into the Yucatan peninsula sometime before/during their last big hurricane) taught me how to isolate and use the muscles that pull the shoulder blades down and together from below, as a posture correcting maneuver.
I do find myself doing it on the mat as part of my preparation for training; now I'll have to think about why and what role it seems to be playing.
Do you have more information about it?
The first person I heard talk about it was Akuzawa Sensei when he was at our dojo. The context was slightly different... He was showing some conditioning exercises and they involved pulling the shoulder blades together. Most of his description centered around developing power by bring everything to the spine.

I was playing with a static technique shortly after his seminar and noticed that when I slid my shoulder blades together (without tightening the shoulder muscles) the partner fel slightly into my space. I started messing with it and realized that this was how you brought the power you received from the partner to your spine. It is in everything!

Ushiro Kenji was teaching at the Rocky Mountain Summer Camp the last three years and I asked him about it and his response was more less "of course"... Their guys learn it from their kata. It's part of the myriad structural details which are hidden in quite ordinary kata.

Ushiro Sensei actually had a bunch of drawings he used for class. At first I didn't quite get them... they were ovals with little dots and arrows pointing from one to another. I finally realized that the ovals were a top down view of a body and the dot was the spine. The arrows were the power of the attack and the whole thing was about how to take the power of the attack, in this case coming from two points of contact on the shoulders into a single point i.e. the spine.

This is HUGE! It is in everything, or should be. When you combine the shoulder blade element with an understanding of what happens when you tuck your tail bone, your Aikido goes to an entirely different level. The tail bone straightens the spine and allows the pelvis to rotate forward. When this happens, the energy in your arms starts aiming upwards so that when the partner grabs you he is automatically being taken up off his base. This all comes from the core without the arms tensing at all.

Normally, when folks get grabbed at two points of contact, they try to rotate the hips to turn but that merely ends up with one point pulling and the other point pushing, both are hitting the partner's structure. When you bring the shoulder blades togther, the power of the two contact points is brought to the single point of the vertical axis of the spine. At that point truning is effortless.

I think this whole thing is absolutely emblematic of the mess that is the Aikido teaching methodology, or lack thereof. These are relatively simple mechanical things that other arts are quite aware of and consider to be foundational. Yet most of us in Aikido trained for years without ever hearing a mention of these things from our teachers. No wonder we couldn't duplicate what our teachers were doing...

George S. Ledyard
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Old 06-07-2009, 04:57 PM   #5
Janet Rosen
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Re: Principles of Aiki

Thank you. It DID take some doing to learn to isolate that movement - my guy started me leaning forward into a wall to get all my other arm, shoulder, and upper back muscles out of the equation and just get these little things firing under the bottom of my scapulae to slide them down and together - but since I can do both that and the tailbone thing now it's "just" (hah) a matter of integrating it into the training.

Janet Rosen
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:00 PM   #6
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Re: Principles of Aiki

When you talk about tucking the tailbone in, do you mean sucking the perineum upwards like qi gong or the straightening the spine like systema?

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Old 06-08-2009, 07:00 AM   #7
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Re: Principles of Aiki

George,

I have been following the contributions of Mike Sigman, Dan Harden and yourself on these topics from a distance but with great interest.

A few years ago I discovered that the shoulder blades were somehow crucial from a completely independent source: Scaravelli Yoga. In this way of practice (as I have learned it, at least), the arms and legs are connected very directly with the spine - not rigidly, but in a very alive way. This is quite different from the emphasis on outer form and superficial stretching that you might find in many yoga classes. As far as the shoulders go, they are not dropped (as you might instinctively try to do when told to "relax"), or "stretched" outwards, but suspended as if each shoulder blade were sitting in its own hammock, and with a little tension in towards the spine.

The two most strikingly beneficial effects of my yoga practice on my aikido are an increased awareness of my feet, and a growing sense that inner power comes from the spine, rather than primarily from the belly as we were taught in the old days. I find that when I show my students how to connect the arms through the shoulder blades to the spine, everything suddenly works (well, sometimes...) with much more power and less effort.

What you say about the tailbone is also fascinating, and again close to what is taught in the Scaravelli yoga tradition. We used to be encouraged in aikido to push the tanden forward and to tilt the front of the pelvis downward: this resulted in excessive curvature of the lumbar region, and the tailbone to be tilted up and back (and incidentally often to long-term spinal damage). My present yoga teachers, by contrast, teach that there should be a "fullness" in the lower back, and although they tend not to talk very explicitly about the tailbone or pelvis, results in the coccyx being aligned more forward, under the pelvis. Again, I have found that this has really improved my ability to relax and deliver power in aikido. The hard part of this, in my experience, is that to get this alignment of the spine to happen naturally, the front muscles of the thigh (quadriceps) need to be quite soft, and mine certainly aren't, although I'm working on this!

Interestingly, when I watch my own teacher (Kanetsuka Sensei), I notice that his lower spine is almost straight, as have many practitioners of Chinese arts, while many other senior aikido teachers have that pronounced concavity in the lower back which pushes the tailbone backwards.

Alex
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:46 PM   #8
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Re: Principles of Aiki

Which way do we "tuck" the tailbone? Do we push the bottom part toward the front, or toward the back?
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Old 06-08-2009, 05:26 PM   #9
Janet Rosen
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Re: Principles of Aiki

I tried the shoulder and tuck thing with a little bokken work and tai sabaki this morning. An interesting thing happened: One of my former teachers in SF, Elaine Yoder, was often reminding us to have an awareness of our backs and of the fullness of the space behind our backs as we moved. With these musculoskeletal adjustments, I accomplished that feeling without having to resort to visualization/metaphor.
If I could train tonight I'd try it at the dojo w/ partners attached to self; unfortunately residual from today's dental work means I'll have a wait a couple of days...

Janet Rosen
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:34 PM   #10
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Re: Principles of Aiki

most folks have tight lower back. by "tucking the tail bone", it stretched the lower back, the area opposite of your hara, methink the chinese called it mingmen (gate of life?), and relax it somewhat. you can rotate your hips back and forth (don't do in-front of member of opposite sex, too suggestive for that ) there is a point where your entire body seemed to sat on top of your leg/hips bone/joints (kinda hard to describe) so that your shoulders feel like they sat on top of your feet. in that place, the power from your shoulders can pass to the ground and vice versa. what received send. hmmm gate of life, tightness = gate closed, i.e. no energy flow. by bringing the shoulders into the spine, energy flow unobtrusively from finger tips to feet, providing that you are not tensing up various places around your body. weak conduit points are hip joints, shoulder joints, ankle joints, wrists. most folks have strong muscles, but weak around the joints, thus unconsciously tighten muscle around the joints to compensate and ended up blocking the flow.

just some of my random thoughts. probably won't worth much. wonder if i could trade for a hotdog and a drink.
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:33 PM   #11
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Re: Principles of Aiki

1 exercise that we do in qi gong is to tuck our perineum upwards and thereby bringing forward the tailbone a bit. But I find this comfortable to only if you slight bend the knees. It just doesn't mesh with our typical aikido stance. As I feel most of my weight not is lying on the back feet.

But doing it another way is to imagine a string pulling our spine upwards from the head up. It gently aligns the spine and makes me lighter on my feet.

As for the connectivity to the spine, although I'm doing some body work now to correct my back injury, and the exercises do shed some light on Mike's fascia work, they are pretty hard to do. I prefer just imagining the connectivity, that way when I turn my hand is felt to be more connected to the spine as opposed to be an extended limb. It ties in with taking the slack out.

I wonder if this is in anyway relevant?

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:28 AM   #12
Janet Rosen
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Re: Principles of Aiki

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Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
1 exercise that we do in qi gong is to tuck our perineum upwards and thereby bringing forward the tailbone a bit. But I find this comfortable to only if you slight bend the knees. It just doesn't mesh with our typical aikido stance. As I feel most of my weight not is lying on the back feet.
Out of curiosity: do you not keep your knees slightly bent in your aikido stance?

Janet Rosen
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:13 AM   #13
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Principles of Aiki

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I'm fascinated because it is the first time anybody associated with aikido has mentioned it where I could read/hear it.
Hi Janet, I'm surprised to hear you say that...

Best,
Ron
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:49 AM   #14
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Principles of Aiki

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Hi Janet, I'm surprised to hear you say that...

Best,
Ron
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/search...earchid=491169
Hey Ron,
I understand Janet's comment... The folks who connected with various teachers at the Aiki Expos got their own lines into this material. Aside from that, there has been quite a bit of discussion about these things via the forums. But, the fact is, that even though the info is right here, how many folks have bothered to plow through all the "noise" to get at the good stuff. Many folks I talk to just don't read a lot of the material because the vituperation outweighs the content. They just got turned off.

Also, you really have to "feel" what these things do to understand just how central and important they are. How many folks have read or heard about these issues and then gone out of their way to experience directly what is being talked about? Out of the thousands of folks practicing Aikido and reading these forums, how many have tried to attend an event with Mike, Dan or Ark?

People generally do not want to get out of their familiar and safe social group. Training with those guys meant that you had to be on the mat with folks from all sorts of martial backgrounds... classical, mixed martial arts, aikijutsu, etc. Most folks sit and wait til one of their teachers gets out, experiences these things, digests it himself, and then starts to feed it to them.

Look at all the folks who simply couldn't see what Ushiro was doing... they just saw karate. Then Ikeda Sensei takes what he got from Ushiro and turns around and presents it all in a way folks think they recognize and it's all great.

I think it will take a while before there is a foundational shift in Aikido as a whole. There are Aikido teachers who are connecting with folks from outside our art who are incorporating very deep stuff into the art... way beyond just the internal power stuff, which is actually fairly basic once you know what you are working on. Some of the teachers I know who are seriously doing Systema or training regularly with Ushiro Sensei are working on stuff that goes way beyond the physical.

I think it will take a few Aikido teachers making this material seem accessible and comprehensible before Aikido as a whole starts to shift. And don't think it will be an easy transition. Aikido Journal had an article by Homma Sensei in which he basically said it was all physical and one simply had to get strong. Half the interview he bad mouthed Ushiro Sensei (without actually naming him). So when you have established high ranked teachers actively resisting a change to something better, you know it's an up hill battle.

I think that the folks who end up at the forefront of these changes will be women and men of smaller stature who find that suddenly they can actually throw people twice their size. Also, Aikido is an art in which we have an older demographic. The purely physical technique espoused by some people will inevitably deteriorate as they get older. I think that as people get more sophisticated, the value of actually having some "aiki" in their Aikido will be self evident. Personally, I am looking for an art which I do better at 90 than I did at 50.

It will take a while... but with folks like you out there (I never know where you might turn up) putting themselves right in the path of new experiences and teachers, it will happen eventually.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:33 AM   #15
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Principles of Aiki

Hi George,

I think I understand what you are saying, but the thing that puzzles me is that I first mentioned this in connection with my seminar exposure to Abe Sensei, at the invitation of Shaun Ravens. Fred Little was there with me, and it was his suggestion to move the shoulder blades together during kokyu ho. I also mentioned that in relation to some other teachers as well, I believe.

Gerno H. also mentioned this in relation to Abe Sensei. I've seen mention of it by other aikidoka as well.

So...with all of the aikidoka that have given me this input, and me reporting that in my blog and postings, and aikidoka confirming that practice online....I am puzzled to hear statements like "I haven't heard this in relation to aikido" from long time aikidoka.

Perhaps you are correct, it just takes time to sink in. I can tell you that physically, it is taking a LONG time for it to sink in with me.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:14 PM   #16
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Principles of Aiki

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Hi George,

I think I understand what you are saying, but the thing that puzzles me is that I first mentioned this in connection with my seminar exposure to Abe Sensei, at the invitation of Shaun Ravens. Fred Little was there with me, and it was his suggestion to move the shoulder blades together during kokyu ho. I also mentioned that in relation to some other teachers as well, I believe.

Gerno H. also mentioned this in relation to Abe Sensei. I've seen mention of it by other aikidoka as well.

So...with all of the aikidoka that have given me this input, and me reporting that in my blog and postings, and aikidoka confirming that practice online....I am puzzled to hear statements like "I haven't heard this in relation to aikido" from long time aikidoka.

Perhaps you are correct, it just takes time to sink in. I can tell you that physically, it is taking a LONG time for it to sink in with me.

Best,
Ron
I've trained under Saotome Sensei for over thirty years... not one time did he ever talk about these body centered details. In his Aikido it is clear that he does these things but really doesn't think of them in any way except holistically. If I ask him about them, he often responds "yes" or "of course".

There are Aikido teachers who simply don't know these things, there are Aikido teachers who do them but aren't really aware that they do them (they are so ingrained), there are teachers who both do them and can explain exactly what they are doing (like Abe), and there are even teachers who are not yet able to do them but know they are there and can at least tell their students what they are "trying" to do. It's a whole range.

This isn't any different than therapy and counseling... nothing can possibly change until you know and admit you have a problem. There are plenty of folks who don't want to know about this stuff; they are quite happy doing what they have been doing for years.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:16 PM   #17
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Re: Principles of Aiki

The use of the body in ways that have been mentioned is all contained in basic taisabaki if done properly. The shoulder blades thing comes into play, for example, in the comment I continually heard as a young judo student and in Japan from just about every Japanese teacher I was around... "open your chest", when your chest is open in the manner they wanted, the shoulder blades are doing what was described above. It's important to have teachers that are picky and precise in what they do and can see when you understand, or don't, and keep teaching in ways that are necessary to get you to understand. Oh yeah... they have to care whether you get it too.

Chuck Clark
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:19 PM   #18
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Principles of Aiki

Quote:
Oh yeah... they have to care whether you get it too.


Quote:
There are plenty of folks who don't want to know about this stuff; they are quite happy doing what they have been doing for years.
So true. I just heard a good story along those lines, but...propriety forbids me from sharing

Best,
Ron

PS It's going to take teachers like yourselves hitting us over the heads with bokkens until we get it...

Ron Tisdale
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:37 PM   #19
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Principles of Aiki

Quote:
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The use of the body in ways that have been mentioned is all contained in basic taisabaki if done properly. The shoulder blades thing comes into play, for example, in the comment I continually heard as a young judo student and in Japan from just about every Japanese teacher I was around... "open your chest", when your chest is open in the manner they wanted, the shoulder blades are doing what was described above. It's important to have teachers that are picky and precise in what they do and can see when you understand, or don't, and keep teaching in ways that are necessary to get you to understand. Oh yeah... they have to care whether you get it too.
Hi Chuck,
Judo is a good example, I think of the fact that merely having the information and the instruction available is no guarantee that the art goes in the right direction. There are a lot of other factors that come into play which determine whether or not the highest level instruction gets transmitted broadly within an art.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:25 PM   #20
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Re: Principles of Aiki

I agree George, budo is passed on through direct transmission from those that have it to those who are hungry to learn. Whether the "highest level instruction" gets transmitted is the real question. What that highest level IS and how it's passed on has always been in question from group to group and I suspect it'll always be that way. Human stuff...

Best regards to all in the struggle to find answers to questions.

Chuck Clark
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:33 PM   #21
Marc Abrams
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Re: Principles of Aiki

George was very helpful for my students this past weekend. I have always had as a warm-up exercise a shoulder rolling routine which helps teach students how to free up the scapula and allow it to engage in a wide range of movements. We emphasize the importance of allowing the scapula to relax back into it's structure in order to allow a technique to work with better "Aiki." His description of sliding the shoulders together gave the students another visual image that allowed them to focus anew on the importance of creating this structure.

I cannot emphasize the importance of going out taking seminars with a variety of good instructors who understand the internal aspects of our arts. Looking at things from another perspective always helps to allow you to see better what your own instructor is doing. Sometimes we get use to training with only one person and our "eyes" become lazy as to what we see and understand.

Training experiences such as what George offered at my school only help me to better cue in on what my teacher is doing. This also allows my students the same opportunity to look at what I am doing from hopefully a deeper perspective.

Marc Abrams
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:54 PM   #22
Janet Rosen
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Re: Principles of Aiki

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Hi Janet, I'm surprised to hear you say that...
Best,
Ron
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Ron, I couldn't get the link to work but in all honesty do you think every single one of us reads every single thread on aikiweb all the time, never missing anything?

Janet Rosen
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:56 PM   #23
Janet Rosen
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Re: Principles of Aiki

Quote:
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I cannot emphasize the importance of going out taking seminars with a variety of good instructors who understand the internal aspects of our arts. Looking at things from another perspective always helps to allow you to see better what your own instructor is doing. Sometimes we get use to training with only one person and our "eyes" become lazy as to what we see and understand.
Absolutely. And for many (if not most) of us, feeling is way more important the "seeing."

Janet Rosen
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:37 PM   #24
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Re: Principles of Aiki

I have had similar instruction with regards to the shoulder blades from a Russian Kettle Bell instructor. His visualization was to try to drop the "points" of the shoulder blades into the opposite back pockets (left shoulder into right back pocket, etc.).

While he has not trained in Aikido that I know of, he is proficient in many other styles of martial arts. His assertion was that this action activated the lattisimus dorsi. This pulled the shoulders into a more secure position in the shoulder "socket" and forced the lats to acts as additional shoulder stabilizers. This would create a more secure connection of the shoulders to the axial spine, meaning that axial motion is translated more powerfully through the arms. In this sense, the arms are merely conduits and connectors to the axial body's power. He used the example of strikes, but I can see how this would also translate in much more efficiency in Aikido techniques as well.
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:40 PM   #25
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Principles of Aiki

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
The first person I heard talk about it was Akuzawa Sensei when he was at our dojo. The context was slightly different... He was showing some conditioning exercises and they involved pulling the shoulder blades together. Most of his description centered around developing power by bring everything to the spine.

I was playing with a static technique shortly after his seminar and noticed that when I slid my shoulder blades together (without tightening the shoulder muscles) the partner fell slightly into my space. I started messing with it and realized that this was how you brought the power you received from the partner to your spine. It is in everything!

This is HUGE! It is in everything, or should be. When you combine the shoulder blade element with an understanding of what happens when you tuck your tail bone, your Aikido goes to an entirely different level. The tail bone straightens the spine and allows the pelvis to rotate forward. When this happens, the energy in your arms starts aiming upwards so that when the partner grabs you he is automatically being taken up off his base. This all comes from the core without the arms tensing at all.
Hooker Sensei loved sanchin no kata, which for years I never got. Ushiro Sensei does too, I understand. The same mechanics illustrated in sanchin are in our aikido.

Basically, shoulder blades together straightens the upper lordosis in the same way that the tucking tail straightens the lower lordosis. But they are inverse curves, for a reason. and both reduced curvature (tail-tuck/shoulder blades inward) and accentuated curvature (swayback/shoulder dumped forward) are used in both the high and low spine for very specific and different purposes that can combine in different sequences and effects.

Lower spine demonstration first:

Try this, stand feet apart shoulder width and tuck the tail under to its "normal" "pelvic thrust" limit and then let shift back to "neutral" -- the weight distribution moves from midfoot to toe and back again. You will also note that the sense of torque on your feet is tending to rotate them toes out -heels in.

Now, same position, but sway the back from neutral to its "normal" swayed limit and then back to neutral. The weight distribution still moves from midfoot to toes and back again. You will note that the legs are tending to rotate opposite now -- heels out - toes in (i.e. -- sanchin dachi).

The forward movement of weight distribution is seemingly the same for both (irimi) (Remember that Shioda went on about Ki being in the "Big Toe" i.e. -- the ball of foot. This is what he was referring to.). However, the vertical plane moments and lateral plane (turning torque) moments are exactly reversed .

In tucking tail the moment is forward (irimi) but in an upward arc (aiki-age) or the bottom half of the circle. In swayback, the moment is also forward but arcing down (aiki-sage) or the top half of the circle. The former you use to detach structure from its support -- the latter to pose a teetering structure in a disadvantageously fixed spot.

Lastly, favoring one side or the other in weight distribution then, by itself (review the lower spine illustration and the torque on the feet) develops both vertical plane shear of different signs AND introduces the turning torque moment from the control of the spinal shear alone.

In other words, what Saotome always taught us as a unitary concept -- irimi-tenkan.

Of course, the sequences are not fixed, and fully developed, both of these basic movements can be played with in sequence and allowing the period of rotational development to reverse aspects of the effects, i.e.-- the initial forward-up arc resolves coming down and back; and the forward-down arc resolves coming up and back. The circles of moment are always continuous.

Line backers use the lower lordosis to directly resist toppling moments from the opposing line. That is essentially an exercise of leverage with the lower spine as a sprung lever, compressing the spinal column and stretching the belly ligaments for an increase in the force couple over that fixed moment arm between the spine and the belly.

Aiki however works off shear, not increased leverage. It shifts the center of the effective moment arm around in the structure in the same way a pencil' s center of rotation can be shifted even though there is a fixed point of contact in the "rubber pencil" "illusion." It is not an illusion -- you are seeing the center of rotation actually shifting and when the center of rotation moves your eye interprets it as bending.

Now add the upper back: The shoulder rolled forward or rolled back modulates the upper spine curvature the same way as we do with the lower back. This is also explicitly demonstrated or trained in sanchin.

Rolling the shoulders forward increases upper spine curvature and rolling back decreases curvature. Rolling the shoulders back or forward adds a further component of moment therefore to that initially generated in the lower spine. If they are used in simultaneous opposition, instead of in progression sequencing, they can help stabilize the neutral structure from different applied external moments (pushes).

The increasing curvature of the spine places shear oriented out the belly and decreasing it puts shear out the back, and at a neutral position there is no shear developed. While we displace the hips to generate the initial shear when delivering it we must not have ANY shear anywhere ( especially at the spine) when this is delivered into the target. The shear must ALL be transmitted through the body to the point of application. This is the origin of the one inch punch.

If the body is disposed to transmit it efficiently this generates a cyclic shear wave through the limbs ( like the pencil) that (if done in the correctly resonant rhythm (seen in furitama, tekubi furi) it affects the opponent's structure in ways that are at once mechanically powerful and neuromuscularly sneaky by tricking stabilizing monosynaptic reflex arcs to fire at the wrong point in the balance sway (and which are faster than the voluntary suppression pathways that are trying to recover). The dead giveaway for this "trick" action is that "head snap" seen in demonstrations where the torso moves reflexively forward from a snatch on the arm while the head bobs or snaps backward. It is the inverse of the action of the one inch punch, actually.

As most are aware, when uke grab both wrists one can either drop him or take him off his base. For the maximum forward-down shear, the lower back is swayed and then the shoulders are rolled forward to throw that cyclic shear out through the arms to generate aiki-sage -- crumpling uke in front of you. Reversing this, the lower spine is tucked in and then the upper spine is straightened and the forward-up shear is thrown out the arms resulting in aiki-age, snatching uke off his base. I cannot emphasize enough the sense of weight thrown down the length of the arms, into uke's body through his arms when I do these things.

The point of all this analysis is not to teach newcomers as such but to improve the critical eye of instructors and senior students for correction of themselves and others according to sound mechanics of proven effectiveness in the art. It has improved mine, and made it easier to help others improve because I know what I am seeing happen or not happen.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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