Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Training

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-27-2009, 09:01 AM   #1
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

I was sorting through another thread and found what I feel was one of the best posts to focus in on ki/jin/kokyu development in Aikido. I've quoted that post below, and offer it as a seperate starting point for some specific discussions on the development exercises others are using and how they apply the product of those exercises specifcally in their Aikido.

Quote:
(modified from a post on the QiJin forum)

Pretty much all the Asian martial arts use or previously used some degree of qi and jin (ki and kokyu) skills. So to call jin or suit stuff "internal" is not accurate unless you specify that it has to do with "internal strength" ("nei jin" in Chinese). Both "internal styles" (nei jia) and "external styles" (wai jia) have "nei gongs" ("internal exercises") that develop "nei jin".

When someone says that Taijiquan, Xingyquan, Baguazhang, Wujiquan, Liu He Ba Fa, etc., are "internal styles", the general inference points to the fact that they use the dantien as a major motivator of all movements and the "six harmonies" natural winding of the body is present. The problem is that there is no clear line, in many cases, where some style fully or partially or not-very-much uses the dantien.

In a case I was talking about to someone in p.m., I noted that a certain Taiji person actually had a strong Bajiquan (fairly linear, but very powerful) way of moving. But Baji is a so-called "external martial art" and Taiji is an "internal martial art", so what the crossover highlights is that the basic qi and jin skills are common. The mode of movement is different enough that just about anyone with a modicum of experience can spot the Baji dominance in a supposed Taiji expert.

In Aikido there is a similar problem. Watching Ueshiba perform some swordwork in the 1930's (on film) I could see that he had more idea of store-and-release than I would have thought. And because movements get smaller with practice over the years, it's a hard thing to pick up in later films of him. I've never seen Tohei do this sort of thing even though I've watched many films very closely; in my opinion Tohei does not know how to do them. So the point I'd make is that there is a potential disparity between Ueshiba's use of the dantien/hara and that of Tohei. It's enough of a disparity that it's similar to the "internal" versus "external" discussion in CMA's. So what's the correct mode of training for Aikido?

If my evaluation of Ueshiba's movement and knowledge is correct, then Ueshiba used backbow and dantien in a whole-body method that was different from Tohei's more linear use of qi and jin. Both Ueshiba and Tohei used the soft-repetition method of developing suit to augment their jin, but I suspect that Ueshiba's training was probably more vigorous and broad-spectrum, overall. I don't think that either of these men used any of the more Shaolin-derived methods of extended tension and "squeezing" conditioning, that I see offered as substitutes for Ueshiba's qi and jin development methods. I.e., I tend to suggest people do a little thinking about exactly the mode of training that was used originally.

There are a number of methods to train "nei jin". Traditionally, the extended postures, "structure", dynamic-tension, etc., approaches are more from the "external" modes. The softer approach of jin training accompanied with breathing/suit training are going to mark the "internal styles". Being extraordinarily strong and conditioned though isn't going to handle the question of just how "wholebody" a method is, nor does it address the question of how dominant is the control of the dantien/hara. As I've said before, there are many levels and gradations of these skills.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
Post and thread available from here: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...4&postcount=74

One technique that seems (at least to me) to have a good oppotunity to test the product of this type of training is Tenchinage. Here we have the opportunity to use sinking (aiki sage) and rising (aiki-age) power, as well as winding, splitting uke's body and power along the central axis, using the power of the in breath while connecting that to outer movement, and other things as well, I'm sure.

I would greatly appreciate any relevent additions to this topic.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 09:16 AM   #2
thisisnotreal
 
thisisnotreal's Avatar
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 692
Offline
Re: kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Hi, good idea Ron.
A lot of issues are connected here (sorry for the pun) ; so although not kokyu specifically and i'm not sure if it is outside what you were looking for; but i liked this basic description and seems to me it's relevant;

Quote:

Mo Jing: In Search of Internal Strength
By Tu-Ky Lam

Do you know what to do when you practice zhan-zhuang? Many people do not. During zhan-zhuang, we do an exercise called "Mo-jing", which means feeling or searching for internal strength. Once we have found or built up our internal strength, it will accumulate and our internal strength will get stronger and stronger. Mo-jing requires that we have a correct posture with good zheng-li (which means opposite tension), use mind and not force, and move slowly with very small movements. We will discuss this in greater details in here.

ZHENG-LI
Top and bottom.

We must place our torso properly on the top of our legs, which can make our weight and energy sink to our feet, thus making us firmly planted on the ground. Then we must lift the top of our head up. So our head and our feet are going in opposite directions -- one up and the other down, and create some tension from the top of head down to our feet. This top-and-bottom zheng-li gives us strength to perform all the tasks we are required to do and so it is the most important opposite tension or zheng-li in our body. Sitting properly on our legs and lift the top of our head up is also the most important requirement for a correct posture.

In zhan-zuang, the top and bottom zheng-li mainly applies in our head and our feet, of which the opposite tension stretches our body to make it longer, and also produces strength. (In shi-li, it may apply between the hands, such as in "chang fa" meaning palm strikes where one hand is up and the other down.)

Left and right.

Left and right zheng-li applies mainly in our arms. In "Cheng bao zhuang" (Embrace-a-Balloon) or "Hunyuan zhuang" (Embrace-a-Tree) posture, we need to extend our elbows to make them go in opposite directions -- left elbow to the left and right elbow to the right, and we also need to imagine that between the thumbs and fingers of our hands there are five elastics tying them together (thumb to thumb, index finger to index finger, etc.). At the same time we move our elbows away from each other, we do the same to our thumbs and fingers (imaging our thumbs and fingers are pulling the elastics to stretch them) to produce the left and right zheng-li.

We also move our elbows and hands to the front a little bit to keep them away from our shoulders to produce the front and back zheng-li. This move can make us feel that our back is round, and "jing" from our feet can easily come out to our hands.

Front and back.

Front and back zheng-li mainly applies to our legs. (But it also applies to our hands or elbows like in the above situation) When we practice "Hunyuan zhuang" (Embrace-a-tree posture) with one foot in front and the other at the back, we sit more on our back leg (70%). We make our back hip moves slightly backwards and our front knee move slightly forwards to produce the front and back zheng-li.

These three different kinds of zheng-li stretch our whole body in six different directions, and make us feel that our body is round like a ball. We should always maintain all these kinds of zheng-li during our practice. They make our energy flow and our internal strength increase.

MO-JING MOVEMENTS

During zhan-zhuang, we always imagine that we are holding a balloon, embracing a tree, or standing in a swimming pool holding a flutter board, etc. In the case of holding a balloon or a tree, we imagine we want to move the balloon or push the tree forwards, and then we want to move them back. Our body moves slightly (about a quarter of an inch or 2 mm) forwards and backwards with our visualization.

How do we make our body move during zhan-zhuang? In "Cheng-bao zhuang" (Embrace-a-Balloon) and other standing postures, where our feet are parallel to each other, our head has to lead the move. When we imagine that we are moving a balloon forwards, our head (which lifts up all the time during training) has to move slightly forwards (2 mm) at the same time the ball of our feet must push the ground and our knees move inwards (toward each other) for 1 mili-meter to send our body forward. Our hands moves slightly inwards, downwards and forwards (also about 2 mm).

When we want to move the balloon back to the starting position, the process is reversed. Our head moves backwards, and the ball of our feet pushes backwards. Our knees move outwards (away from each other) for 1 mili-meter, and our hands move outwards, upwards and backwards for about 2 mili-meters.

When we stand in the fighting stance where one foot is at the front and the other at the back, we must remember that our back hip has to sit back (which will bring our back knee backwards) and our front knee moves slightly forwards to produce zheng-li. When we want to push a tree (or anything else in your imagination) forwards, our head will move forwards to lead the move. Our front foot must push straight into the ground and our front knee must not move forwards. In fact, our front knee moves slightly backwards, but we do not feel it. Our back leg (mainly the ball of our back foot) has to push the ground to send our body forwards (2 mm). This way, our knee moves closer to each other.

When we want to pull the tree back, our front knee must not move backwards. Instead, it has to move slightly forwards, upwards and push backwards (with the help of the ball of our front foot) to help send our torso back to the starting position before we push the tree. At the same time, our head moves back and our hip must sit back to bring back our body for about 2 mili-meters. our hands move outwards, upwards, and backwards slightly (2mm) and we are back to the starting position again. Mo jing movements will go like this during zhan-zhuang.

USE MIND AND NOT FORCE

The above section shows how our body moves slightly forwards and backwards during zhan-zhuang. The movements are very small and totally under the control of our mind and we have to relax and should not use force. This is very difficult for beginners who tend to use force to move forwards and backwards and their movement is usually big because they cannot do it small.

Beginners cannot avoid doing the movement big. But they should try to do it small later on. For example, as soon as we push the tree forwards, we pull it back immediately, and then push it forwards and pull it immediately back again. It just goes on like this. Slowly we will find that we move very little or hardly move at all. (Doing so gives us no time to tense up and use force and so helps us to relax.)

Wang Xiang-zhai, Yiquan founder, said, "Big movement is not so good as small movement, and small movement is not so good as no movement…" When we do a big move, our energy will tend to disperse and lack strength. Therefore, small movement is stronger than big movement.

No movement in zhan-zhuang does not mean absolutely motionless. It is mo-jing at its highest level where the movement is so tiny and not noticeable. Here our internal strength is placed at the best optimal position, ready for us to pounce at the enemy. That is why no movement is better than small movements.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN MO-JING

By doing mo-jing what do we try to find? We want to find internal strength, but we will not find it directly and straight away. For people who have practiced zhan-zhuang an hour a day, they will gradually find that there is a big "lump" in their body which moves forwards and backwards at the same time they move their body forward and backward. This big "lump" -- from our head down to our feet - feels like our body weight. When we have better control of it -- being able to move it forwards and backwards at will - we can apply it to our opponent. This is the first sign of our internal strength.

To find this "lump" and to be able to use it, we have to be very relaxed. If we use force which can make our whole body tense up, we will never find it. It will certainly help if we try to feel our body weight shifting forwards and backwards during zhan-zhuang. We usually feel the "outer" body weight which will slowly move inside our body to give us the feeling of a big lump.

Our internal strength is this big "lump" plus the movement of the whole body as described in the section "Mo-jing movements". As for how internal strength works, see my article "How Does Hunyuanli Works?" also posted on this website.
CONCLUSION

Our internal strength is this big "lump" plus the movement of the whole body as described in the section "Mo-jing movements". As for how internal strength works, see my article "How Does Hunyuanli Works?" also posted on this website.
From<

lump = dantien region
i liked the way he describes the outer body and the inner body centers of gravity.

Ron, was this okay? or too far off?
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 09:40 AM   #3
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Yes, this is a good start. I think this gives an accurate description of developing the skills required that are then used in Tenchinage. Some things it did not address:

Removing slack from the partner's body.

Breathing.

Use of open/close in our body in coordination with the waza.

But I think you've handed me a foundation at least to discuss some of the things that need to go on. If someone has some Japanese terms for some of these same things, that would be good too.

Could you speak a little about how you would apply these things in Tenchinage?

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 10:03 AM   #4
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Oh, and if others feel there are other posts in that thread that will push the discussion along, please feel free to reference them here.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 10:42 AM   #5
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Hi Ron:

Perhaps a good question or focus can be made about the use of the hara (dantien/tanden/One-Point etc.) in Aikido training (although the same principle will functionally apply in any art that seriously tries to 'move from the hara'). If you move from the hara, the hara controls the movement. In fact, the body has to develop to the point that "the hara IS the hands", in order for their to be true 'movement from the hara'.

So in effect, to cut to the chase, a lot of the various modes of training are really to build up and connect the hara to whatever point of the body is needed at a particular instant. The hara draws its power from the solidity of the ground or the down-weight of the body, the power of the legs, the hips, and the natural power of the hara, also. There's more to it than that, but the general statement is good enough.

The question becomes "how much hara control is used in Aikido?". As I noted in that post you quoted from, there's a valid question about how dominant the hara controls are in Aikido: Ueshiba appears to use more and better hara controls than I see in Tohei (this is a personal observation and is, of course, open to debate). The more dominant the use of the hara, the more a person gains actual "whole-body" controls and the purer the "mind-body" controls.

As I've said many times, there are many levels and gradations of the ki/kokyu skills and sometimes practicing one style will forever pattern you in such a way that you cannot switch over. It's a subtle but important point.

On the other hand, let's say for the sake of discussion that Tohei (and some others) indeed had a variant that was not as hara-dominant as Ueshiba's movement... how much difference did that make in their Aikido? Wasn't Tohei given a 10th dan by Ueshiba? Maybe the hara dominance is, for the purposes of Aikido, a difference without an important distinction?

If we circumvent the hara-dominance question, we still have to look at the question of hooking the hara to all parts of the body as the main (general) answer to your question, in terms of developing the skills. The parts of your question that have to do with the technique itself and handling of Uke's body are, to me, sort of separate issues. If the kokyu skills are 'pure', the handling of a given Uke will be done one way; if the kokyu skills or 'not pure' (or non-existent), the handling of Uke must be different, logically.

My 2 cents.

Best.

Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 10:48 AM   #6
thisisnotreal
 
thisisnotreal's Avatar
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 692
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Hi Ron,
these are some of my scattered thoughts. are they of any use to you, or anyone? I am a bag of marbles open on a table..

Quote:
Ron wrote:
...opportunity to test the product of this type of training is Tenchinage. Here we have the opportunity to use
-sinking (aiki sage) and
-rising (aiki-age) power, as well as
-winding,
-splitting uke's body and power along the central axis,
-using the power of the in breath while
-connecting that to outer movement...
Well, I really do want to be corrected; if i'm wrong. i'm reluctant to talk about this cause it really shows how piss poor the understanding of internals are..but maybe, our betters will step in to help (me) floundering..
MS encouraged people to 'talk it out' so i'll give it another shot. I think the nuts and bolts is important.. but maybe useless and too difficult online. despite my better judgement... here goes

Well, I hear what MS and others talking about various types of internal power methods and schemes..but I think it is a safe assumption, since aikido came from DR, that DR body methods are compatible (amongst others?) with the desired aiki of aikido. What I think it is that we are hunting for. So..let me (please) pick up on that..Dan has kindly planted many seeds throughout the web…even here…and I'll put some in this post.(hope it's okay; I apologize in advance if not)

First of all; talking about this stuff is hard. For instance From<
Quote:
Dan wrote:
It is important to know what is connected to what and what to move to draw-in on and push against and engage
I take these words as a basis for nomenclature defining the kind of internal chaining that will result in transfer of power. I understand this (I hope) as being the underlying foundational type of 'thing' going on in both aiki age and aiki sage. agree? Underlying this is an obvious need for structure. This is a constant in all this work, and never goes away. Structure/alignment is critical and to be taken as a given.

Slack
in my humble understanding of sinking and rising energy these are powered internally by the hara region as well as knowing how ‘what to move to draw-in on and push against and engage". First the slack has to come out of you, from your shugyo training. This is the body conditioning and 'the changed body' that is pointed to. As that happens then (it was written) smaller and smaller movements of you will have more profound effects on uke. Good basic technique of tenchi nage will have to take out the slack to get access to his center..I think this always and still remains a prerequisite to direct-center-to-center manipulation. Even at high level I assume. (agree?)

Breathing
I don't know what to say. I think that when you take the mechanical slack (i.e. joints aligned, kokyu established in uke) then you go into what MS terms the suit (I do not recall Dan using any term like/equivalent (to) that. agree?). I think that once the low-order mechanical slack is removed..then (/simultaneously) remove slack in the suit; by inflating it with breath pressure (i.e. similar to intra-abdomal pressure of valsalva maneuver, but with epiglottis open).
A part of this is the hara/dantien region. Pumping the hara region. Actually; i think this should be on from before the beginning of the encounter. (agree?). I currently think of the hara as a trim-pot (/tuning mechanism) or bridge between strictly the alignment (/kokyu or groundpath) stuff and the bodysuit stuff. It allows these two systems to 'mix' and/or communicate and/or change incoming/outgoing forces. I called that the 'Intent System' previously. My model may be faulty; buyer beware.
re: Breath pressure: This pressure can be moved by will power (via dantien rotation.. when structure is established.. this I think is moving the "ki" to where it is needed). I think in tenchinage it needs to go both upward in the aiki-age arm and down in the aiki sage arm. This points to a splitting of your power upwards and downwards. I am not sure on that. Perhaps downward is more passive; just using body-weight and kokyu connection. I do not know.

in regards to the splitting your body into aiki-age and aiki-sage.
(again talking waaay over my pay grade… but hoping for correction(s) and some interesting conversation)
-I think we should consider the model of the internal-flows (/fields of influence of the body); where Dan talks about dual-helixes in the body.
again; Here<
Quote:
Dan wrote:
"that unarmed training mode l of cross-line work, turning and drawing through the waist to leave the weight centered and non dedicated"
..
"The same paths lead to the use of spiral energy in the body in paired and solo training. It is only a part of a more complicated training involving uses from even a simple self-rotation, to spiral energy from feet to groin to waist to spine to hand along two different lines that also converge differently front and back. It is important to know what is connected to what and what to move to draw-in on and push against and engage
okay; I'm going to totally butcher it; but I hope you know what I mean (at least; and please correct me!). So; each side of the body supports the other; and you are suspended in the middle on the spine, acting like a scale. part of the ground path strength comes thru each side of the hips/groin area as you rotate around the spine. one side goes up, the other down. (inside yourself)

I think the dual-helixes of internal flowing go in different directions, simultaneously; one resulting in rising aiki-age and one resulting in falling aiki-sage. This ultimately powered by the moving of 'ki' pressure where you need it, as well as the 'moving and drawing-in' that was defined above.
This results in loading uke in both directions simultaneously.

I do not understand the relation of these to the aiki technique itself.

re: open/close
just thoughts:
-I can see a close when on the entry you close and draw uke in front of yoursef.
-I can see the open, on the rising hand; when you turn your hips on the rising hand entry
-I can see another closing of the body on the lead into and follow through of the projection.
you?

..I'm done and more than a little embarrassed … hoping something good can some of this…

What do you think Ron?

p.s. i'm well f*n aware that yakking and doing it are 2 different things. but you gotta know what you're after. don't ya'?
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 11:01 AM   #7
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Agreed, Josh, ya gotta start where you are.

I think I follow you on just about everything you posted...let me offer a clarification on the open/close.

I think of open coordinated with the in breath and seperating the hands, to split uke. This would fit with the back bow mentioned in the article you quoted and the other things that go along with that.

I think of the close on the actual throw, the hands coming together, front knee bent, zanshin posture, breathing out. I don't mean these to be set in stone, but in general, this is what seems to occur with this particular waza.

Quote:
re: Breath pressure: This pressure can be moved by will power (via dantien rotation.. when structure is established.. this I think is moving the "ki" to where it is needed). I think in tenchinage it needs to go both upward in the aiki-age arm and down in the aiki sage arm. This points to a splitting of your power upwards and downwards. I am not sure on that. Perhaps downward is more passive; just using body-weight and kokyu connection. I do not know.
Well, in my limited experience, the down hand is less passive, the higher hand more passive. But I am completely willing to entertain other ways of doing it for the sake of discussion.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 11:11 AM   #8
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Hi Mike,

Well, the differences between say, Ueshiba, Tohei, and Shioda are of particular interest to me. And how NOT to limit myself too much by choosing development methods that will basically knock me out of the ball park of all 3.

Do I understand this correctly:

Ueshiba, very soft training methods, hara dominant, pretty circular

Tohei, still pretty soft, more linear

Shioda, seems to be much harder, much more explosive, and sometimes extremely linear.

It would seem to me stressing either Ueshiba's methods or Tohei's methods could still lend a great deal of progress in moving in Shioda's way...but perhaps not so much in the other direction?

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 11:24 AM   #9
MM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
One technique that seems (at least to me) to have a good oppotunity to test the product of this type of training is Tenchinage. Here we have the opportunity to use sinking (aiki sage) and rising (aiki-age) power, as well as winding, splitting uke's body and power along the central axis, using the power of the in breath while connecting that to outer movement, and other things as well, I'm sure.

I would greatly appreciate any relevent additions to this topic.

Best,
Ron
Hi Ron,

Here's my training thoughts. From a beginner, mind you.

1. I first started learning how to build a pathway inside my body. In other words, working with a push coming into my outstretched right hand and letting that energy go into the ground under my left foot.

That didn't help with any techniques, for example tenchi nage. I needed to move to do the technique. When I moved, I lost those pathways. Never mind the fact that I still had tons of slack in my body.

2. I was also working on contradictory forces. So when working on that same push to my right hand, not only was the force going into me, but I was using intent to send energy out my arms.

That didn't help with any techniques, for example tenchi nage. I needed to move to do the technique. When I moved, I lost those pathways and that intent on contradictory forces. Never mind the fact that I still had tons of slack in my body.

3. I was working on contradictory forces in the spine. And you get the point.

4. Now, add in the shiko exercise. I'm trying to do 1-3 throughout the exercise. It's helping me to get better and I'm using simple movements with no external pressure or energy.

5. Okay, so then I start trying to learn how to send intent outwards more. Simple paired exercises, connecting to a partner helped to work on this. Light pushes to start with and focusing intent or multiple intents.

6. Add #5 into shiko exercises.

7. Progressing to trying to learn spirals. Holding multiple intents in contradictory directions. Add to shiko.

8. Working on lower cross in hip area. Trying to learn open/close of hips. Add to shiko. Failing miserably trying to keep everything going in this simple exercise.

9. Add in the spine pull as the focus to raise legs. Add to shiko.

I'll stop there. My point is that in one exercise, shiko, I have found a vehicle for all internal exercises. Not only that, but there are other exercises that I do, like shiko, that also encapsulates internal training.

Focusing on shiko, though, what does it give me? Well, I don't have to worry about outside pressures interacting with me. I don't have to worry about outside energy overloading me. I am forced to focus on me and internal mechanics.

As I progressed through those solo exercises, I also worked on paired exercises to help identify, strengthen, and work those internal areas. And this gave me a way to get outside pressure and outside energy to load my system to the point of failure and work through that.

And now, I'm working on "technique", like tenchi nage. Only I really don't work it as a technique at all. I see aikido techniques as a vehicle for training aiki. What I mean by that is now that the solo and paired exercises are coming along, I have another step in my training. Simple dynamic movement under load and pressure. Not technique. I don't want to think that I'm trying to do something to someone because that kills everything I'm training in internal skills.

The short answer to your question is, yes. Tenchi nage can be a great vehicle to use to work aiki.

For me, though, I wasn't ready to do that until after I trained in solo and paired exercises. Even now, I don't view them as techniques, but simple dynamic exercises. Once I get better, I'll try better dynamic environments ... all the while still working all previous exercises.

Everyone works and trains differently. I had trouble trying to do Aikido techniques while working solo and paired exercises. I quit doing techniques and for me, it helped exponentially. Other people are doing other things.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 11:52 AM   #10
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Thanks Mark. I understand your point about needing to work the solo, and that's kind of a given in my opinion. But I think there are enough people out there now working on that given, and I'd like to try to see **how** others are applying that solo work **now** in their waza, whether or not they have progressed beyond "doing something" to uke. Of course, this does not make the sentiments you expressed any less valid.

I'll use your mention of shiko as a spring board. One of the things that I picked up online is why the bent arm on the leg that is lifting is turned palm down. I found that when my intent was to kind of use the palm to push down into the opposite weighted leg, at the same time that I pushed up from the ground into that palm, my whole sense of balance was radiacally (for me) changed. Then I realized that I could do that same thing mentally **wherever** my hands were, in **whatever** exercise I was doing. And then **whenever** moving. Carrying that sense of what I'll call "weighting accross the body" **whenever** is mentally fatiguing, but it does seem to improve my balance quite a bit, and to enhance the develpment of structure as well.

I'm going to stop here for now...but maybe in a later post I can tie that into the technique at hand.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 12:11 PM   #11
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Do I understand this correctly:

Ueshiba, very soft training methods, hara dominant, pretty circular

Tohei, still pretty soft, more linear

Shioda, seems to be much harder, much more explosive, and sometimes extremely linear.
With a couple of minor caveats, I'd say yes, there are differences along those lines, Ron. But someone who has only learned one approach is not going to fully understand all the ramifications... and worst of all, it can lead to someone teaching/leading people down a hard-to-change path (the why is pretty easy to show).

Just to complicate matters, though, divergences can and do start anywhere. Generally, though, you can see that different approaches by Ueshiba, by Tohei, and by Shioda led to (some of the better) students of each having a noticeably different flavor to their Aikido. It's a good topic and will merit more discussion in the future times.

Quote:
It would seem to me stressing either Ueshiba's methods or Tohei's methods could still lend a great deal of progress in moving in Shioda's way...but perhaps not so much in the other direction?
Oh, I agree. Everyone needs a foot-in-the-door to the basic skills, but the divergences will start at that time of foot-in-the-door, too. So it's worth thinking about. I realize that not everyone will see the problem, but it's just one more of the many "I.Q. tests" that are part of learning these skills.

Best.

Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 01:02 PM   #12
Jeff Scheurer
Location: Prescott, AZ
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 12
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Hey Ron! Here's my overly simplistic, probably erroneous take on Tenchi Nage. As far as removing slack from uke, I think If you source the two forces correctly (Aiki-sage and Aiki-age) it makes your partner unconciously "want" to hold on to your wrists. In the Aiki-sage hand you're basically leading their center into a hole behind them, which makes your wrist their main source of earth reference. Similarly, in the Aiki-age hand your center is basically driving up underneath them causing them to float which has the same basic effect of them relying on you for balance. As your arms spread out, uke's arms naturally have to spread out also, creating a connection across hos upper body?
For the breathing, as you take the first step you inhale to increase the pressure in the back bow for more power, and the pressure/connection in the arms and the upper cross. As you throw, exhaling adds more power by dropping the hara suddenly.
I think you're dead on about the open/close aspect. That's exactly how I see it, which could be bad news for you!
Again, just my two cents, and it may not even be that much!
Jeff
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 01:10 PM   #13
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
I think If you source the two forces correctly (Aiki-sage and Aiki-age) it makes your partner unconciously "want" to hold on to your wrists.
Hi Jeff! I think this making your partner *want* to maintain their grip is important. I think what Mike calls the "suit" comes into play here as well, but I'm not far enough along to describe it well. Things that can play into uke keeping the connection:

The correct amount of startle affect (this can weaken the training of the other aspects though...when training slowly to work on other aspects, you don't really have the benefit of this)

A kind of magnetic or sticky feeling for uke when they grab you...any further suggestions for how to develop that feel outside of the technique??

A feeling of where you are grasped kind of "expanding" or pressurizing to fit uke's grip.

Any others?

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 01:28 PM   #14
Jeff Scheurer
Location: Prescott, AZ
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 12
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Ron,
My understanding of the "suit" aspect is pretty elementary but I think it would have to do with keeping the pressure/connection in your own arms, rather than uke''s. If you're developed enough I think this pressure is what keeps your arms stable, rather than muscle.
I'm personally, not a big fan of the startle effect. It depends too much on individual response to stimuli. Some people could hold on for dear life, but others' instinct could be to retract and let go.
One thing that I was working on before my hiatus was using my intent to affect my partner. There is a tangible feeling in both parties when it's done correctly. If I could effectively direct my intent into uke through arms and touch their center with mine, I found I could make them do some interesting things. I couldn't always pull it off but when I did i definitely saw the potential for such training.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 01:36 PM   #15
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

We are on the same page with the startle affect.

Yeah, I'm pretty weak in my understanding of suit still...well, weaker than all the other stuff I weakly understand...

One of the last things someone said to me while training was that they felt a spiraling of energy when I focused on the xbody weighting intention while doing a step in throw / kokyunage. I need to see how that can apply when working with a partner on tenchinage now...

B,
R

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 08-27-2009 at 01:39 PM.

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 03:37 PM   #16
Keith Larman
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,536
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Well, one of my sensei often says that the one-point is where the power is generated - the arms, hands, etc. just direct it. Usually the point being that the controlled relaxation along with the feeling of letting the ki flow from the one-point allows the technique to happen. My experience with tenchinage is that at first students tend to focus on upsetting the balance with the high hand then dropping them with either the low or going over the top and powering them down. Eventually they start to clue in that both hands are working together but they still tend to emphasize something "out there" at the connection in the hands. But the ideal for me speaking personally is to get the connection to their center, enter by moving the center then drop both of our centers. Tenchinage just "happens" when I can get that level of "connectedness". So soft, controlled arms, enter maintaining that structure -- one goes up, the other stays low. Drop center. Person goes plop. Or kaboom if you give it a bit extra "umpphhh" along the way.

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 03:39 PM   #17
Keith Larman
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,536
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Oh, and fwiw after Mike's seminar I went back to my dojo and taught a class that included tenchinage because I wanted to work on that store/release feeling myself and work out how it might fit into what I do. I find it helpful for starting and finishing -- puts a new "spark" into things and I find it helps me have a better form on the initial movement.

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 03:41 PM   #18
Keith Larman
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,536
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

And on startle and tenchinage -- I find it counterproductive. Done "softly" with a good solid structure it can be done relatively slowly with the recipient feeling like they have you right up until that moment when the bottom drops out...

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 04:47 PM   #19
Jeff Scheurer
Location: Prescott, AZ
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 12
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Personally, I think Tenchi Nage is one of the best traditional techniques for exploring ki and kokyu. We worked on it at my first Mike Sigman seminar and I found it to be a very useful tool for working on what was supposed to be happening internally. If it's done slowly and in a very relaxed manner that is.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 05:56 PM   #20
eyrie
 
eyrie's Avatar
Location: Summerholm, Queensland
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,126
Australia
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
One technique that seems (at least to me) to have a good oppotunity to test the product of this type of training is Tenchinage. Here we have the opportunity to use sinking (aiki sage) and rising (aiki-age) power, as well as winding, splitting uke's body and power along the central axis, using the power of the in breath while connecting that to outer movement, and other things as well, I'm sure.
Why tenchinage? If you can start to understand that much... why not *any* technique?

Ignatius
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 07:33 PM   #21
Fred Little
Dojo: NJIT Budokai
Location: State Line NJ/NY
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 610
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
Why tenchinage? If you can start to understand that much... why not *any* technique?
Why tenchinage? Because it's a robust catalog of multiple factors.

Why not "any" technique? Give it time and it will get there.

Best,

FL

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 07:40 PM   #22
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
Why tenchinage? Because it's a robust catalog of multiple factors.
Frankly, Fredly, I think that the multiple factors are exactly why I wouldn't recommend Tenchinage as a very beginning case study. But since you bought the last beer and may inadvertantly buy the next one, I'll let it pass.

Best.

Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 09:35 PM   #23
eyrie
 
eyrie's Avatar
Location: Summerholm, Queensland
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,126
Australia
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
...the multiple factors are exactly why I wouldn't recommend Tenchinage as a very beginning case study...
My sentiments exactly... there is already so much going on in "simple" bi-directional training exercises that you don't need the added complexities, certainly not in an initial case study, and especially not as a training product test in the early stages. Any such testing would be pointless and pretty much inconclusive, other than to confirm what you and probably everyone else already knows.... that you s... er... still have a lot of work to do.

And since the topic title is about kokyu development for aiki in Aikido, why not stick to the really basic stuff, like... er... kokyu-ho instead? I mean, isn't that the entire point of kokyu-ho; for kokyu development? Or am I missing the context because I wasn't at the seminar?

Ignatius
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 09:49 PM   #24
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
And since the topic title is about kokyu development for aiki in Aikido, why not stick to the really basic stuff, like... er... kokyu-ho instead? I mean, isn't that the entire point of kokyu-ho; for kokyu development? Or am I missing the context because I wasn't at the seminar?
I agree. Tenchinage involves both "heaven" and "earth" at the same time. Why not just do "earth" (the groundpath, jin, Yang Qi, etc.) instead of trying to do both at once as a first start?

This is why I so often simply ask people to just "push me" as a first evaluation of what they can do. It's easy to feel the development that they have for just the one skill. If they have very good development, it's easiest to *then* jump to something else in terms of evaluation.

Speaking of development, that reminds me of one of my old favorite anecdotes (I'm sure that I've told it before, but just roll with me). One of my teachers was very well known in mainland China in martial-arts circles. When he first came to the U.S., a Chinese man from Taiwan issued a challenge to him to push-hands. My teacher was a little discomfitted because while he did push-hands OK, he admitted that it was not his specialty and that he only did it "so-so". We were all at a friend's house when the doorbell rang and my teacher was introduced to the challenger and they shook hands. After the handshake, my teacher passed by me on the way to the push-hands room and whispered to me sotto voce, "no problem". He easily and diplomatically handled his challenger.

My point is that the initial probe is always for basic skills and then work upward. If someone doesn't have the basic skills, by inference their upper-level skills are going to be lacking, no matter how "powerful" they are, how much of a push they can take, and so on. It's the purity of the skills that determines the ultimate higher levels.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2009, 10:25 PM   #25
Keith Larman
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,536
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Frankly, Fredly, I think that the multiple factors are exactly why I wouldn't recommend Tenchinage as a very beginning case study. But since you bought the last beer and may inadvertantly buy the next one, I'll let it pass.

Best.

Mike
I'm not Mr. Little by any stretch of the imagination, but it happened to be a technique I was taught years ago as a case study in learning to do as little as possible with the hands and simply moving the entire body in a unified fashion -- a ki test of sorts. I remember the light bulb going on years ago on that technique on how powerful it could be while being done very, very softly. So it was a natural thing for me to explore a bit by reconfiguring some of my ways of doing it.

Teaching it (like I always teach it) was just my way of making sure I got a chance to practice so I could fiddle around a bit more in class especially with students who didn't know I was fiddling around. So it was one of those classes you teach to allow yourself room to explore and play. I had a few experienced people in the class and one of them asked me "what was that -- it felt different". I just smiled and went on with the lesson...

Exploration... I also started the class with lots of one-point testing from all sorts of angles. Including pushing on an outstretched arm bent at the elbow 90 degrees parallel to the ground...

Practice, practice, practice...

  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Budo Bear Patterns - Sewing pattern for Women's (and Men's) dogi.



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Why do some people hate Aikido? Guilty Spark General 609 12-29-2010 04:29 AM
Steven Seagal Interview ad_adrian General 45 01-15-2010 03:34 PM
Aikido Scam by an Indian group ze'ev erlich General 10 08-02-2009 06:46 PM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5 Peter Goldsbury Columns 69 12-31-2008 11:41 AM
Two things. Veers General 8 04-04-2003 01:54 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:05 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate