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 > Non-Aikido Martial Traditions

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 10-21-2009, 10:34 PM   #26
Thomas Campbell
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 407
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
So how do you ever really train the real Qi/Ki if you do some hard, some soft? Don't you wind up with some (sure it can be strong, but that's not the Full Banana) muscle-based jin?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
hi Mike:

I don't really know enough about qi/ki or jin for them to be useful concepts for my training. I've found it more fruitful (for me personally) to focus on elements like alignment, breath, proprioceptive and kinesthetic awareness. I think I'm getting a little understanding of "intent" as it is talked about here on Aikiweb, but even that is not something I'm sure about in practice. So when I have the opportunity to work with someone like you or Ark or Dan, I'm really interested in the hands-on work, watching and feeling what you guys do, watching and feeling what partners do, trying to get a non-verbal kinesthetic grok on that, and keeping any discussion or questions to plain English.

So I don't know what real qi or full-banana jin is. I think I understand you to be alluding to a danger of hard/tension work building a reliance or habit of muscling and rigid frame. That may be true, and something I'll have to be on the lookout for. I guess I think about Ark's discussion about building the budo body, and seeing how he teaches and demonstrates the Aunkai exercises for beginners. There is a lot of tension work initially, and later (again, in my limited understanding), partly with improving physical condition and partly with increased internal awareness, the student can "back off" from an emphasis on tension. I can't put it any more specifically than that, given my limited experience with Aunkai.

The "soft" or cotton-end of the tension range is, in my personal experience and training, more useful with identifying an internal connection or path and following/sensing where it goes inside my body.

Don't know if any of that makes sense or relates to your question, but I tried.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2009, 10:49 PM   #27
Mark Jakabcsin
Dojo: Charlotte Systema, Charlotte, NC
Location: Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 207
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
So how do you ever really train the real Qi/Ki if you do some hard, some soft? Don't you wind up with some (sure it can be strong, but that's not the Full Banana) muscle-based jin?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Is life hard all the time?

Is life soft all the time?

Shouldn't any system be adaptable to the situation at hand, whether, soft, hard or more likely somewhere in between?

Perhaps I am missing the point but it seems to be the ability to adjust to the current situation and apply the correct amount of hardness, softness or combination of the two allows for the greatest amount of flexibility, options and opportunity for success.

Mark J.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 01:16 AM   #28
ashe
 
ashe's Avatar
Dojo: Tempe Arizona I Liq Chuan
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 145
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
Can you clarify your use of the word "energy"?
let's do basics first...

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
For edification, can you expand what each of these terms mean?
13 points are the reference points for attention within the body. things like tucking the ribs, condense to the dan tien, expand from the ming men, suspend the crown etc. since we don't have defined techniques you still need to use something to use as reference to act, so you put your attention on yourself, but that's a very vague statement, so it's been broken down into these 13 points.

the five qualities of unification are universal to all movement. absorb and project, expand and condense, the three planes, open and close and concave and convex. no matter how you move you'll be moving using those qualities, just a matter of whether or not they're coordinated properly.

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
I understand the first part of the legs supporting the dantien, but I haven't come across the last part - extending the point to the opponents feet. Can you clarify that please?

Can you expand more on this? Why? How?
there's two things here.

1. yang path and yin path form two X' on the body, yang travels away from the ming men to the hands and feet and yin travels back to the dan tien. the yang actually wraps around the hips (from the ming men) to travel down the front of the legs, to the big toe, to the little toe where it joins the yin path from the little toe to the center of the foot, up the rear of the leg, into the groin, the perineum and to the dan tien. on the upper body it travels from the ming men, across the back, down the outside of the arm to the hands and back up the inside of the arms to the front of the body to the dan tien.

it's the macrocosmic energy cycle of yin and yang, basically like two figure eights, one in the upper or one in the lower, OR one on the left and one on the right, however you want to look at it.

but that's the foundational level, before you get into spiraling out from the fascia to the skin and back into the bones.

we train to drop the breath into the dan tien and compress it there, but it's like the cylinder. the ming men is the piston, so you compress the breath into the dan tien but the power is issued from the ming men (kidney area).

2. now as far as extending the point of contact into the opponents feet is a matter of preciseness on touch.

when you touch do you only capture the opponents hands?

in this way you can at least help prevent him from acting wildly, but much of your own power is wasted.

can you capture hands and upper mass?

if so then now you have the opponent more under your control. you can prevent him from striking freely, and you can inhibit his actions more fully but he's still free to step and to kick, etc. because you haven't used the upper mass to pressure the lower mass.

if you can control the hands and the upper and lower masses, then you will in effect have "jammed" or "frozen" the opponent on touch.

it's a matter of extending your leverage and applying force precisely. if i can apply more force in such a way that i can effect your feet, then i own you.

Last edited by ashe : 10-22-2009 at 01:20 AM.

tiger at the gate
-----------------------
discipline, concentration & wisdom
Twitter-@luoyegongfu
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 01:23 AM   #29
ashe
 
ashe's Avatar
Dojo: Tempe Arizona I Liq Chuan
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 145
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

on the hard / soft issue we say that "it's cotton wrapped steel" so without the steel, there's no point in having the cotton.

cotton is the soft touch, the preciseness, but you have to do some heavy training to develop the power. you're not going to build up the ligaments and tendons with breath work alone...

here's a clip showing the wrapping training i discussed earlier. it should be done with quite a bit of tension...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLlBZx7jq0g

and another more recent clip of me doing some moving step spinning hands training with my Sifu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zz1pYD2EuY

Last edited by ashe : 10-22-2009 at 01:30 AM.

tiger at the gate
-----------------------
discipline, concentration & wisdom
Twitter-@luoyegongfu
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 02:37 AM   #30
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Ashe Higgs wrote: View Post
on the hard / soft issue we say that "it's cotton wrapped steel" so without the steel, there's no point in having the cotton.
I guess a more pertinent question would be... where do you think the "hardness" comes from? I got my own ideas but I'm curious to hear what you think first.

Quote:
Ashe Higgs wrote: View Post
now as far as extending the point of contact into the opponents feet is a matter of preciseness on touch
Actually I'm also curious to hear your thoughts on this.
When you say "preciseness on touch" what do you exactly mean? The touch at point of contact?
Physically how do you capture the other person's lower mass?
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 02:38 AM   #31
jss
Location: Rotterdam
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 459
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Mark Jakabcsin wrote: View Post
Perhaps I am missing the point but it seems to be the ability to adjust to the current situation and apply the correct amount of hardness, softness or combination of the two allows for the greatest amount of flexibility, options and opportunity for success.
Are you talking about the training or about the application of internal power? When talking about application I can agree with you. The wider your tactical options, the better. With regards to training the question boils down to how much do you want to rely on muscle? So you have to make a choice there. Even if it would be possible (which I don't think it is) to only practice exercises that are on the limits of the hardness-softness scale, you'd still average out somewhere in the middle.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 02:42 AM   #32
ashe
 
ashe's Avatar
Dojo: Tempe Arizona I Liq Chuan
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 145
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
I guess a more pertinent question would be... where do you think the "hardness" comes from? I got my own ideas but I'm curious to hear what you think first.
structure. the ligaments, tendons and bones. at least in the beginning. you gatta have the structure backing you up.

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Actually I'm also curious to hear your thoughts on this.
When you say "preciseness on touch" what do you exactly mean? The touch at point of contact?
Physically how do you capture the other person's lower mass?
yes, preciseness on the point of contact. you use the upper mass to pressure the lower mass. i was looking through my list of clips and couldn't find one of the Sifu demonstrating. it, so i'll try and describe it in better detail in the morining...

tiger at the gate
-----------------------
discipline, concentration & wisdom
Twitter-@luoyegongfu
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 02:51 AM   #33
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Ashe Higgs wrote: View Post
structure. the ligaments, tendons and bones. at least in the beginning. you gatta have the structure backing you up.
Mmm... but you can be completely "out of structure" and still generate "hardness." The "structure" part provides hardness sure, but I'd say that's only in the beginning. There's something else that provides "hardness", yet is still "flexible." Alternatively it can be soft. At least ime.
It's also what allows the "SJT" (stupid jin tricks), where you can be completely out of structure, yet still generate Jin.

Quote:
Ashe Higgs wrote: View Post
yes, preciseness on the point of contact. you use the upper mass to pressure the lower mass. i was looking through my list of clips and couldn't find one of the Sifu demonstrating. it, so i'll try and describe it in better detail in the morining...
Looking forward to it. By preciseness on point of contact, do you mean the angle of point of contact, pressure you give out etc?
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 02:53 AM   #34
jss
Location: Rotterdam
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 459
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Ashe Higgs wrote: View Post
you're not going to build up the ligaments and tendons with breath work alone...

here's a clip showing the wrapping training i discussed earlier. it should be done with quite a bit of tension...
The question remains where the tension comes from. Would you agree if I said that the basis for the tension comes from maintaining the 13 points? (Not that I know much about them, btw. I had to look them up and not all of them make sense to me based on their short description.)

For reference: the 13 points from http://ucbprogram.com/node/165
1. Center of Gravity Force - Center of the feet
2. Perineum pointing down to the balance beam line
3. Dantien - Suction & Condense
4. Mingmen - Projection & Expand
5. Crown - Suspended
6. Sternum - Suction & Condense
7. Qua - Maintain the energy on the center of the hips
8. Drop shoulders over the hips
9. Tucking of the ribs
10. Nine solid & one empty on the feet
11. Elbows always pointing down
12. Knee pointing to the toe
13. Balance the body of Yin & Yang
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 10:03 AM   #35
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Mark Jakabcsin wrote: View Post
Is life hard all the time?

Is life soft all the time?

Shouldn't any system be adaptable to the situation at hand, whether, soft, hard or more likely somewhere in between?

Perhaps I am missing the point but it seems to be the ability to adjust to the current situation and apply the correct amount of hardness, softness or combination of the two allows for the greatest amount of flexibility, options and opportunity for success.

Mark J.
I think we're talking about different things, Mark. I could think of a number of examples, but the quickest would probably be to point at the fact that in real traditional Taiji there is no use of "hard" in the training for a few years while they train the qi and jin. There's a reason for that which is very important. The "hard and soft" comparisons in Shaolin training (which is what most people on this thread are talking about) is something else.

However, as I've said before, I think it's better for people to get at least *some* skills rather than no skills, so I'm happy to see the conversations moving forward. This would be a good thread to capture, BTW, and ask some of the participants to look back on in a few years.

Best.

Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 10:05 AM   #36
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Mmm... but you can be completely "out of structure" and still generate "hardness." The "structure" part provides hardness sure, but I'd say that's only in the beginning. There's something else that provides "hardness", yet is still "flexible." Alternatively it can be soft. At least ime.
It's also what allows the "SJT" (stupid jin tricks), where you can be completely out of structure, yet still generate Jin.

Looking forward to it. By preciseness on point of contact, do you mean the angle of point of contact, pressure you give out etc?
Nice. See, it's possible to have some pretty good discussions without even a single word about anyone else's personality! Good discussion, folks.

Best.

Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 10:28 AM   #37
Adman
 
Adman's Avatar
Location: St. Louis
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 139
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
The "soft" or cotton-end of the tension range is, in my personal experience and training, more useful with identifying an internal connection or path and following/sensing where it goes inside my body.
Emphasis mine.

It's my understanding (and I mean that in mostly the intellectual sense) that that is the key. That internal path/connection is what is then strengthened, creating the "steel" aspect, isn't it? The jin/kokyu is the backbone of the "strength," which is discovered and felt through a relaxed (soft?) body. Then, there is the development of the supporting "structure" once the "path" can be found and manipulated. Isn't much of the connection/jin/kokyu a learned skill? The re-wiring, as it were? In learning any new coordinated skill, I would think a relaxed "soft" approach tends toward picking that skill up quicker. During the process, some of the key aspects of "structure" are unavoidably strengthened and identified, to then be further conditioned. Perhaps this next round of conditioning is what some are referring to as "soft" and "hard"?

I am a bit confused, however, in how what gets classified as "hard" and "soft". I think most of the time we're entering into something shoe-horned into a classification that doesn't really fit into what's going on. Not to mention the distinction between training and application.

I'll sit back now and hope the rest of you can clear up my confusion.

Thanks,
Adam

P.S. Sorry about my lavish use of quotes, but I'm trying to use the common phrases bandied about, without committing to them, until I know more.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 11:06 AM   #38
Adman
 
Adman's Avatar
Location: St. Louis
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 139
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Ashe Higgs wrote: View Post
here's a clip showing the wrapping training i discussed earlier. it should be done with quite a bit of tension...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLlBZx7jq0g
That's an interesting clip. I need to study it more along with what he's saying. However, with my cursory glance, what is gained by performing this exercise with tension, over remaining as relaxed as possible? I'm asking because, I'd be worried that an exercise, such as this, performed with "tension" might encourage unnecessary tightness in the shoulders and lower back. Unless I'm misunderstanding your use of the word, "tension"? Not to mention an implied amount of previous training that would supposedly address these issues?

Thanks,
Adam
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 11:33 AM   #39
jss
Location: Rotterdam
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 459
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Ashe Higgs wrote: View Post
here's a clip showing the wrapping training i discussed earlier. it should be done with quite a bit of tension...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLlBZx7jq0g
Seems to be similar to what this guy is doing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzDsAzbsyH4, only the movements are bigger.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 01:28 PM   #40
Thomas Campbell
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 407
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Adam Bauder wrote: View Post
Emphasis mine.

It's my understanding (and I mean that in mostly the intellectual sense) that that is the key. That internal path/connection is what is then strengthened, creating the "steel" aspect, isn't it?
Well, Adam, I probably know even less than you on how to credibly explain, in words, what I'm working on. Again, I don't refer to or use jin, kokyu or ki in my personal efforts to work on this stuff. I appreciate others' use of such terminology, and that it gives a nod to Asian sources for specific concepts and exercises, but for me it's an overlay that's been somewhat confusing. What I do understand are ideas like groundpath, and structure, and awareness, and breath. I'm even beginning to get a faint idea of what "internal connection" means.

That is why I appreciate the pioneering efforts of people like Dan Harden and Mike Sigman, and more recently, Akuzawa Minoru, who emphasize hands-on work and are open to questions about what they are showing and how they do what they do. When I compare the insights and material I've gotten from working in person versus flailing around on the Internet, the difference is huge.

So, back to your question about "soft" practices building the awareness of internal connection, which can then be further strengthened through conditioning that includes "hard" practices. I think that awareness of the internal path and internal connection can also be found in the contrast between working in an area with tension and then working in the area with significantly less tension. For example, in working on finding and maintaining the "juji" or cross in the upper body that Akuzawa teaches about (I use the Aunkai term juji, but I think of it as cross), when I relax somewhat after holding a position with significant tension, the remembered sensation of that cross remains, and I can "find" it again with much less tension. In that context, I've found alternating relatively "hard" with relatively "soft" degrees of tension to be useful in establishing awareness and the ability to return to a structure or connection.

I agree that there is not a black-and-white categorization for hard and soft, at least for me. That's why I tried to describe it as managing a full spectrum or range of degrees of tension. The more I work with these ideas and practices, the more I think of them in terms of a sophisticated coordination involving internal connections, rather than "hard" and "soft."

For example, sometimes people interested in internal strength skill talk about getting the large skeletal movers out of the way and working with the frame and deeper core muscles to lessen the overall effort of maintaining a frame and moving the opponent's force through or generating force back out. To me this means becoming aware of and learning to coordinate and control connections, structures and musculature in ways not typically found in conventional, everyday movement and neuromuscular habits (that's why these skills have to be trained, right?). And in that initial step of becoming aware of what is going on inside, I've found alternation of more and less tension in the area being worked to be helpful.

I agree that working primarily with high-tension exercises initially could induce neuromusculature habits that might be counterproductive. I've just found that working with a full range of tension from hard to soft, or tight to loose, can be useful. Now let's see where it leaves me in a year or five.

What about working fast versus slow? Again, I think working in a range of speeds can be interesting. Working slow makes it easier to pay attention, for example, to the coordination from the hips down to the feet and the hips through the shoulders to the hands in different martial movements. Increasing the speed gradually until you're really snapping out, say, a punch can help point out the "breaks" in the series of connections that a beginner like me inevitably has. So I go back to working slow.

Another example comes with deep squats, of the kind a friend who does Russian martial arts introduced me to. Moving quickly and lightly through a deep squat induces less tension for me than squatting slowly through the same full range. But the contrast between fast and slow squats relating to how breath fills and binds connections for me was illuminating. I took that insight over to the Aunkai "tenchijin" (Heaven Earth Man) exercise--which can't be done "fast" and correctly--and got much better awareness of what is happening inside when I do the exercise.

While it's absolutely important to be systematic in order to make progress, a certain degree of playful exploration is helpful too.

I'm working on this material for certain specific personal reasons, and I don't aspire to teach it. You've got much better resources in folks with demonstrated skills and understanding who are out there teaching this.

Cheers.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 01:31 PM   #41
ashe
 
ashe's Avatar
Dojo: Tempe Arizona I Liq Chuan
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 145
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Mmm... but you can be completely "out of structure" and still generate "hardness." The "structure" part provides hardness sure, but I'd say that's only in the beginning. There's something else that provides "hardness", yet is still "flexible." Alternatively it can be soft. At least ime.
mmm, i don't know. as long as the structure (bones) is being supported by the ligaments and tendons and not the muscles, then you can be relaxed and generate force. it's the muscular tension that screws up the power.

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Looking forward to it. By preciseness on point of contact, do you mean the angle of point of contact, pressure you give out etc?
pretty much.

BTW, did you know Nozomo is back in Japan? He went to Malaysia this year with Sifu and the others.

Quote:
Adam Bauder wrote: View Post
That's an interesting clip. I need to study it more along with what he's saying. However, with my cursory glance, what is gained by performing this exercise with tension, over remaining as relaxed as possible? I'm asking because, I'd be worried that an exercise, such as this, performed with "tension" might encourage unnecessary tightness in the shoulders and lower back. Unless I'm misunderstanding your use of the word, "tension"? Not to mention an implied amount of previous training that would supposedly address these issues?

Thanks,
Adam
well, physically you want to develop the ligaments and tendons (and fascia). it's will give you that type of power that lasts into old age. but you also want to train to maintain the 13 points, recognize / coordinate the five qualities as well as concepts like recognizing circle with center, center with cross and center to center within your movements. (lot's of awareness training going on here).

( you can see a short clip of a couple guys working with circle to center here, scroll down a little, it's the second video clip. you should be able to view without being logged in.circle with center)

but, tension isn't the same thing as being stiff or rigid. it's a type of elasticness. you start out drawing your circles loosley, then you start winding them tighter into softness and then tighter still into elasticness, then you can draw them tighter still and then release (fa jin).

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
Seems to be similar to what this guy is doing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzDsAzbsyH4, only the movements are bigger.
yes, the idea is the same.

tiger at the gate
-----------------------
discipline, concentration & wisdom
Twitter-@luoyegongfu
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 02:05 PM   #42
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Ashe Higgs wrote: View Post
( you can see a short clip of a couple guys working with circle to center here, scroll down a little, it's the second video clip. you should be able to view without being logged in.circle with center)
I'm missing the point. Sam is using jin. The other guy doesn't know how to use jin. Sam is not very clear in explaining it, so I expect it will be a long time before the jin concept is understood.

In terms of "tension" and all that, I think it's an interesting topic and it's a good way to go down a path toward muscle-jin. But then, having offered that good advice, I think I'm going to start taking Dan's advice and just let people I don't know do what they want to do. Wasting a few years is just part of the learning process.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 02:14 PM   #43
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Ashe Higgs wrote: View Post
yes, the idea is the same.
I was going to say that more than the ligaments/tendons/bone it's the connective fascia that also can provide an alternate sort of hardness, as well as the softness.

But isn't capturing mass more dependent on how you manage the forces in the body, with external angles ad nausem being of only tertiary importance?

Last edited by Upyu : 10-22-2009 at 02:19 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 02:24 PM   #44
Adman
 
Adman's Avatar
Location: St. Louis
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 139
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Ashe Higgs wrote: View Post
...but, tension isn't the same thing as being stiff or rigid. it's a type of elasticness. you start out drawing your circles loosley, then you start winding them tighter into softness and then tighter still into elasticness, then you can draw them tighter still and then release (fa jin
What you wrote above makes more sense, then what might be typically meant by "tension". For instance, I would refer to it as "taking out the slack" (a by-product term from my aikido upbringing ) and it's not a muscular thing. However, shouldn't any type of exercise have "taking out the slack" as a requirement? This is where the distinction between hard and soft sometimes gets lost on me. 'cause what Sam Chin displays in the video looks like good, soft training to me.

Thanks,
Adam
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 02:41 PM   #45
jss
Location: Rotterdam
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 459
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Ashe Higgs wrote: View Post
you start out drawing your circles loosley, then you start winding them tighter into softness and then tighter still into elasticness, then you can draw them tighter still and then release (fa jin).
That's not very helpful, is it? Why not say that it's the manipulation by the mind of the tension created by adhering to the 13 points that draws the circles?
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 03:43 PM   #46
Adman
 
Adman's Avatar
Location: St. Louis
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 139
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
So, back to your question about "soft" practices building the awareness of internal connection, which can then be further strengthened through conditioning that includes "hard" practices. I think that awareness of the internal path and internal connection can also be found in the contrast between working in an area with tension and then working in the area with significantly less tension. For example, in working on finding and maintaining the "juji" or cross in the upper body that Akuzawa teaches about (I use the Aunkai term juji, but I think of it as cross), when I relax somewhat after holding a position with significant tension, the remembered sensation of that cross remains, and I can "find" it again with much less tension. In that context, I've found alternating relatively "hard" with relatively "soft" degrees of tension to be useful in establishing awareness and the ability to return to a structure or connection.
Hi Thomas,

Thanks for the response. In your above example, I could do a similar exercise (as far as remembered sensations) by isometrically pushing the backs of my wrists into a door jam for a good minute, walk away from the door and suddenly, without any effort, allow my hands/arms to rise up to my shoulders. Not an internal training method (I'm pretty sure), and more than likely not the intent of the use of "tension" with the Aunkai training. However, could it be that some of what your describing could be attributed to that phenomenon? Not saying thats a bad thing, and it may be a great training device. I just haven't pursued that direction, so bare with me as...I'm in the dark.

Now that I think of it, this sounds like it would place emphasis on what Mike Sigman would refer to as the "suit". For example, in my crude door-jam example, my arms rose from a sort of flexed memory, as opposed to any form of support pushing up from the ground (so I guess my example is definitely not an internal method ). Since "tension" seems to have different meanings in different training methodologies, would "stretch" be a better fit than "tension," as far as the Aunkai is concerned? Or does it mean exactly what "tension" commonly means?

Thanks,
Adam

(I think this is the most I've ever posted in one day. Excuse me while I take a nap.)
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 03:57 PM   #47
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Adam Bauder wrote: View Post
Now that I think of it, this sounds like it would place emphasis on what Mike Sigman would refer to as the "suit". For example, in my crude door-jam example, my arms rose from a sort of flexed memory, as opposed to any form of support pushing up from the ground (so I guess my example is definitely not an internal method ). Since "tension" seems to have different meanings in different training methodologies, would "stretch" be a better fit than "tension," as far as the Aunkai is concerned? Or does it mean exactly what "tension" commonly means?
Hi Adam:

Just to interject a word of caution... you're right that there are different meanings to "tension" and one of the famously known errors between "internal" and "external" arts is this type of misunderstanding. Like I said, I've finally come around to letting people just pick for themselves, since they've historically done such a good job... so Dan and I agree on this part of it, finally.

Frankly, as long as someone is still using arm and shoulder power, none of this matters a lot, because the arm and shoulder usage will obviate any worries about what is the proper meaning of "tension".

FWIW

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 04:33 PM   #48
Thomas Campbell
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 407
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Adam Bauder wrote: View Post
[snip] this sounds like it would place emphasis on what Mike Sigman would refer to as the "suit".

[snip]

Since "tension" seems to have different meanings in different training methodologies, would "stretch" be a better fit than "tension," as far as the Aunkai is concerned? Or does it mean exactly what "tension" commonly means?

Thanks,
Adam
Adam,

I only have an ambiguous idea of what the "suit" or "body suit" means in actual practice as far as how Mike uses it. So beyond generally acknowledging that there is a reference to the connective tissue winding through the body, I would refer you to Mike for specific questions on that.

I'm similarly not in a position to distinguish between "stretch" and "tension" as it is "commonly" used means, in terms of the Aunkai methodology.

The one thing I can specifically agree with you on is that "tension seems to have different meanings in different training methodologies." That is probably safe to say. And it's a good reminder that the most carefully thought out exchanges on a forum may turn out to be way off base when it comes to getting together--with someone who has some measure of these skills--and training.

I hope I'm not frustrating you too much. I'm not very good with internal skills and I'm not a teacher. I only wanted to say something on this thread about my personal perspective on training a full spectrum of tension instead of seeing things simply as "hard" or "soft."
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 05:02 PM   #49
Adman
 
Adman's Avatar
Location: St. Louis
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 139
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
I hope I'm not frustrating you too much. I'm not very good with internal skills and I'm not a teacher. I only wanted to say something on this thread about my personal perspective on training a full spectrum of tension instead of seeing things simply as "hard" or "soft."
Oh, I'm not frustrated. I appreciate the idea of the OP and the discussion it was meant to spark. And I'm in the same boat you are (while trying to keep the water out ). Just thought I'd add to the racket and see what popped up. Thanks for taking the time.

Adam
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 08:08 PM   #50
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Adam Bauder wrote: View Post
different meanings in different training methodologies, would "stretch" be a better fit than "tension," as far as the Aunkai is concerned?
Yes, bingo
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Aikido of Northern VA Seminars - Doran-sensei in Northern Virginia, March 2015



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
Yoshinkan and "aiki" MM Non-Aikido Martial Traditions 105 05-14-2010 01:59 PM
What is "IT"? Buck Language 210 10-15-2009 11:42 PM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 14 Peter Goldsbury Columns 38 08-01-2009 12:19 AM
Aikido as External Art -or- Where's the Chewy Center? ChrisMoses Training 130 03-17-2007 04:21 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:28 AM.



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