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 09-01-2009, 05:37 PM   #76
Erick Mead
 
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,502
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
Hi Erick,
Do the twist but do not move the upper arm and as the radius and ulna twist the hand moves ~1/2 inch from the wall. Does this still illustrate your point without the need to include the shoulder?
Thanks
Yes, but as in my response to Ahmad it is more comprehensive than the arms -- it is the whole body. It seems like a very short actuation, but it sums over the whole length of the structure (to the ground, I suppose ) as long as there are no kinks or discontinuities. Kinks or discontinuities create points of incipient collapse. Those are often compensated by actuating a counter-leverage to stablize, which creates adverse shear, which creates the need for more counter- leverage -- well, you get the picture. Trick is to compensate by the same mechanism and NOT to let leverage come into play. Most days, most ways I get it -- but then I'll get caught out in the odd point ...

And dynamically the length of actuation is not the key -- but the reflexive sharpness and, even more critically, the sensitivity of the more guided applications of the action, Since it is tactile in sense and in action -- no mind is really involved in doing it, just a feel that is also the action being felt -- and therfore very tightly recursive in neuro-muscular terms.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2009, 10:05 PM   #77
Erick Mead
 
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,502
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Sy Labthavikul wrote: View Post
In other words, completely ignore the hand and lower arm, and focus on the upper arm, the humerus: rotate it inward fully, then rotate it outward fully.
Rob was correct, you can isolate the lower arm from the upper and the lower arm extends and retracts -- just incrementally less. Put your elbows on the desk (don't cheat and roll the flesh back and forth) . Still works. At a post-seminar dinner years ago Saotome was sitting by himself out of the way where hardly anyone was really watching him -- and he was just rotating his forearm in that waybakc and forth, and just looking at it. Might even mean something -- ya never know

Quote:
Sy Labthavikul wrote: View Post
... but how does this apply to DEVELOPING kokyu? Being able to manipulate one's biomechanical anatomy intuitively is a REPERCUSSION of understanding kokyu, i think, but just forcing body parts to move in certain ways is putting the cart before the horse, in my opinion, and might actually retard progress.
I walk with a left foot and right foot. Understanding objective mechanism AND subjective feel of using it are more useful in combination than either alone. The thing is the body parts actually WANT to move in this way. We are getting in the way of something more powerful when we isolate joints for levered action, which is a structural discontinuity precluding the free propagation of the action through the body.

These actions are not forced -- The action propagates on its own, if you understand what NOT to do which would impede it. Most of the control problem (there is a control problem to be solved, as with any mechanical action) involves accurately modulating this form of action in continuous action without creating levers. That's what the Aiki Taiso (or kokyu undo) teach.

Kokyu is a cyclic action of small amplitude, in some case barely perceptible, that is fed into by progressively larger or smaller structure (depending on the purpose of the action). This is a mechanism of action that provides the cyclic form (a spiral is just a 3D sine wave) of kokyu action that develops linear expansion and contraction (based on torsion tube mechanics -- tension and compression at right angles on the bias of the long axis). It is easily demonstrable and shows a consequential manner of movement that is NOT jointed leverage.
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/attach...9&d=1215185239

This is a sensibly "taut" form of the action, but believe it or not, the mechanics are directly related to the "loose" actions of chains and whips (which how a pliably linked structure's "tautness" acts when released or reversed and the play in the linkages is allowed.) So this approach encompasses both "types" of aikido movement -- "loose" and "still" -- and shows they are not fundamentally different -- though they have different uses.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 09-01-2009 at 10:11 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2009, 08:42 AM   #78
Adman
 
Adman's Avatar
Location: St. Louis
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 139
United_States
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Emphasis mine:
Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Well, generally the admonitions are about how the body is relaxed but there are no "wrinkles" along the surfaces, so that it is hung as one unit; the hips and lower back are relaxed while the legs hold all the weight. If the hips are relaxed and the shoulders are relaxed but the overall 'connection' of the body is stretched (not tensed though) so that there are no 'wrinkles', the twisting one part of the body will spread lines of force easily to other parts of the body.

[nikyo example snipped]

So the short answer as it refers to the hip is that the hip is relaxed and not under tension because the weight is sunk into the legs, not into the hips and lower-back, thus leaving the body relaxed and pliably connected.
Just catching up in this thread and wanted to highlight something that was staring me in the face for a long time and I didn't see it, because I thought I knew it.

Try moving (or just standing) while keeping the above requirements in place. I've found it quite difficult, eye-opening and exciting. CAUTION: your legs just might hate you for it!

Thanks,
Adam
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2010, 10:05 AM   #79
bulevardi
Dojo: Tobu Chiku Aikikai
Location: Brussels
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 99
Belgium
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
Then, if you want to talk about "testing", have someone hold your wrists and push gently, straight in with a constant force, whilst in that position. Can you bounce/push/throw them off - without moving? How much arm/shoulder are you engaging? Where is your power coming from? And how is that the same/different to basic kokyu-ho where you simply throw the uke up and back, or to the side?
I have some questions about some magic things happening in my dojo.

The sensei is telling to work with your center. An inner power coming from your belly, I suppose.
For what I could make up, it's about breathing via your belly and from that point creating a power.
But it's totally not working with me. How can you practice this?

For example with kokyu-ho.
You have to unbalance or move your opponent from a static moment, without using your arms or forces or muscles.
Somehow, the others cán create such a power from their belly with a breath-trick.
But it isn't working as I try it.
I already asked much people, but none can explain hów to do so.

I haven't read the whole thread yet, but I have large interest in that kokyu technique that I want to read some books about it.
Maybe things about Ki in Aikido (C. M. Shifflett) or Ki in Daily Life (Koichi Tohei) or good references?

Also, for general techniques in Aikido they're always talking about 'use your center'. Don't use power, but your center has to do it. I already know now that I have to point my center to the opponent, but while doing a turn or a tai sabaki it's not always possible.
Or can someone explain me how to use my 'center' in lots of Aikido techniques?
In my dojo, no one can explain what that center is. Is it my belly? Do I have to behave my belly different while doing the same technique?

  Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2010, 05:52 PM   #80
eyrie
 
eyrie's Avatar
Location: Summerholm, Queensland
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,126
Australia
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

OMG, Dirk, you've resurrected a zombie thread...

Quote:
Dirk Desmet wrote: View Post
I have some questions about some magic things happening in my dojo.
There is no such thing as magic. Magic tricks are just that... tricks and illusions.

Quote:
The sensei is telling to work with your center. An inner power coming from your belly, I suppose. For what I could make up, it's about breathing via your belly and from that point creating a power. But it's totally not working with me. How can you practice this?
Ah yes, the old "use your hara" trick. Pity, it's about as helpful as breathing fire thru your nostrils and levitating. When people talk about using their center, they usually can't/won't tell you "how". For one, it takes time and directed practice to develop the hara, and secondly, if you're not told how... good luck with that. I suggest you go back thru the forum and search for various past discussions on the topic of ki/kokyu/jin - especially those posted by Mike Sigman, Rob John and Dan Harden. There are a multitude of ways to practice developing power. It's too long and complicated to describe in a single post... as there are many layers to it. But as a starting point, power development in Aikido is vastly simplified in the forms of 2 primary exercises - funekogi undo for forward/backward power, and bokken suburi for up/down power.
Quote:
For example with kokyu-ho. You have to unbalance or move your opponent from a static moment, without using your arms or forces or muscles. Somehow, the others cán create such a power from their belly with a breath-trick. But it isn't working as I try it.
I already asked much people, but none can explain hów to do so.
Funny that... Kokyu-ho is slightly more complex, because the premise is to absorb (ground) and redirect the other person's forces, by using your weight and the ground as support, and the unity of your body connection (what Mike terms the "suit"), together with the breath, which is a power adjunct to help pressurize and maintain the cohesiveness of the "suit". There's a lot happening in kokyu-ho that is hard to understand without breaking it down and doing it statically in a limited format.

Quote:
I haven't read the whole thread yet, but I have large interest in that kokyu technique that I want to read some books about it.
Maybe things about Ki in Aikido (C. M. Shifflett) or Ki in Daily Life (Koichi Tohei) or good references?
Good luck with that. I wouldn't waste my time with it. You won't find anything more than the general admonitions to relax (which has already been discussed to death in this thread and others), and breathe (also covered here and elsewhere).

Quote:
Also, for general techniques in Aikido they're always talking about 'use your center'. Don't use power, but your center has to do it. I already know now that I have to point my center to the opponent, but while doing a turn or a tai sabaki it's not always possible. Or can someone explain me how to use my 'center' in lots of Aikido techniques? In my dojo, no one can explain what that center is. Is it my belly? Do I have to behave my belly different while doing the same technique?
That's pretty telling. It's actually the tanden no seika, or dantien (in Chinese). It's a hard, articulate muscle-like structure that's located approximately 4 fingers width below your navel and 1 fist deep in the body. Like any other "muscle" in your body - including your brain, unless you physically and consciously exercise it, it's not going to develop. Good luck with that too.

It's a lot more involved than just "use your center". If only it were that simple. Your best bet would be to search for previous discussions on this topic, particularly the baseline skillset thread. Long read, but lots of good information tidbits.

Also, find Mike Sigman's posts about jin and getting your "foot in the door". Starting anywhere else is a waste of time. Everything builds on jin and builds on everything else (See Rob John's post specifically talking about how developing one aspect develops another and feeds back into itself).

Good luck.

Last edited by eyrie : 01-29-2010 at 05:55 PM.

Ignatius
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2010, 10:12 PM   #81
JO
Dojo: Aikikai de l'Université Laval
Location: Sainte-Catherine-de-la-J.-C., Québec
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 292
Canada
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

I don't know what everybody has against old threads. Resurrection is sometimes justified.

Ignatius, the brain is not a muscle. If your going to put up a post with several anatomical elements, try to get the basics right. Personally I'd like to see a diagram of the hard, articulated muscle-like dantien. Prefereably from a reliable medical source. Anything fitting that description should show up on anatomical diagrams.

Dirk, your getting in over your head discussing kokyu-ho on a thread dominated by IS/IT discussion. These people are discussing concepts and exercises your aikido instructors have probably never heard of. Personally, I've never experienced the abilities of these internal skills guys first hand, so I reserve judgement. I'm intrigued by these guys and the discussions they’ve had here on AikiWeb, much of it seems to fit with the little I know or have felt (one thing I found interesting about Ignatius’ post is that the two solo aikido exercises I do the most often at home are the rowing exercise and bokken suburi). But all I'm familiar with is mainstream Aikikai aikido. But since that, or something similar if it’s not Aikikai, is where you're operating, here's my take on your specific issues:

Using one’s center is not a mystical breathing thing. It has more to do with where your power and your movement are developing from. Working on your posture and removing tension from your body will do more than any esoteric breathing exercises. How you breathe will affect how you hold yourself, but that also works in the other direction.

Removing tension is what is meant by relaxing. It does not mean that you don’t use your muscles. If you don’t use your muscles, you collapse into an inert mass on the tatami. Try to feel “springy” rather than brittle or stiff. Try to not contract muscles more than is needed. Your going to use your muscles, but it’s sort of the opposite of the body builder poses where all the muscles are hard and bulging.

Using one’s center has nothing to do with where it is pointed. There are many reasons in many techniques that you would be told by your instructors to keep your center facing your uke. Most of these will have to do with spacing and maintaining a dominant position and have nothing to do with kokyu-ho type strength. In rear attacks, you will have to learn to “use your center” with your uke holding you from behind. It is often specifically in a turn that you will discover whether or not you are working from you center; if you are trying to work from your extremities (arms, shoulders), it will be very hard to get a resisting uke to turn with you.

Second, it seems to me from your post that you are putting too much of your own interpretation into what your instructors are saying. I find body knowledge very hard to put into words. Words usually only help if paired with actually feeling and seeing the body skill. Then trying it yourself, to feel it in your own body, preferably with feedback from somebody qualified to tell you if you’re doing it right. If you want to able to do what your teachers are doing. Pay more attention to what they do, and a little less on what they say.

Jonathan Olson
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2010, 01:59 AM   #82
jss
Location: Rotterdam
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 459
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Dirk Desmet wrote: View Post
For what I could make up, it's about breathing via your belly and from that point creating a power.
But it's totally not working with me. How can you practice this?
The belly and the breathing is only half the story. See my comment on kokyu ho.

Quote:
For example with kokyu-ho.
You have to unbalance or move your opponent from a static moment, without using your arms or forces or muscles.
Somehow, the others cán create such a power from their belly with a breath-trick.
Ok, so you have power coming from your center/belly. What is supporting this power? Think physics here, Newton's third law of motion. If you push something with your center (through your upper body and arms), that something will be pushing back. So what is keeping the center from being moved?

And about the 'magic', Arthur C. Clarke once said "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." This also applies to body technology.

Quote:
I haven't read the whole thread yet, but I have large interest in that kokyu technique that I want to read some books about it.
You can't learn it from a book, that's why you can hear people say "It has to be shown." so often. But by all means, read books and threads here on Aikiweb as much as you can. Reading will help you understand what's happening the moment you're shown.

Quote:
Jonathan Olson wrote: View Post
Dirk, your getting in over your head discussing kokyu-ho on a thread dominated by IS/IT discussion.
I wouldn't phrase it like that, but you might not get the answers from the IS/IT crowd you're looking for.
Whether that's a good thing or a bed thing, is your call.

Last edited by jss : 01-30-2010 at 02:09 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2010, 03:59 AM   #83
eyrie
 
eyrie's Avatar
Location: Summerholm, Queensland
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,126
Australia
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Jonathan Olson wrote: View Post
Ignatius, the brain is not a muscle. If your going to put up a post with several anatomical elements, try to get the basics right.
Duh... see where I put "muscle" in double quotes? The implication is that of exercise and practice using it. Geddit?

Quote:
I'm intrigued by these guys and the discussions they've had here on AikiWeb, much of it seems to fit with the little I know or have felt (one thing I found interesting about Ignatius' post is that the two solo aikido exercises I do the most often at home are the rowing exercise and bokken suburi).
I'm not sure how to read this - as sarcasm or agreement? So what's so interesting about it? Enlighten me, especially since I wouldn't know my medulla oblongata from my gluteus maximus.

Ignatius
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2010, 09:00 AM   #84
JO
Dojo: Aikikai de l'Université Laval
Location: Sainte-Catherine-de-la-J.-C., Québec
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 292
Canada
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Hi Ignatius,

For the first part of my post that you quote, I read you better than I let on. That was sarcastic, more than was called for I guess. I'm just too much of a scientist, biologist working in the field of environmental sciences to be precise, by temperament and training to let things like that pass. I don't have much training at all in anatomy or physiology, so I tend to not pronounce myself on such topics.

As for the second part, I was writing in earnest. I decided, or discovered, several years ago, before I had ever heard of the terms Internal Training or Internal Strength, that kokyu-ho was the single most important exercise in Aikido and that everything else kind of hinged on it. From this, and under some influence of the things I've read in this thread I'll admit, I do some solo exercises at home on days I don't have aikido classes. I do breathing, stretching and warm up exercises I learned in aikido and do not claim, because of I don't have the required knowledge to do so, that what I do has any real link to the IT exercises and Internal Skills that get discussed here. But I feel they do help in the standard aikido skills of working from your center and staying relaxed that were at the heart of Dirk's questions.

Then in your post you specifically mention funegoki undo and bokken suburi, which are the two exercises that I spend the most time on in my own personal solo aikido training. So I repeat. I am intrigued by the IS/IT dicussions here and would be very curious to meet those who claim such skills so that I could feel for myself how it relates to what I have learned in traditional aikido training.

Jonathan Olson
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2010, 06:09 PM   #85
eyrie
 
eyrie's Avatar
Location: Summerholm, Queensland
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,126
Australia
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Jonathan Olson wrote: View Post
For the first part of my post that you quote, I read you better than I let on. That was sarcastic, more than was called for I guess. I'm just too much of a scientist, biologist working in the field of environmental sciences to be precise, by temperament and training to let things like that pass. I don't have much training at all in anatomy or physiology, so I tend to not pronounce myself on such topics.
Perhaps, you could try sticking to the topic instead?

Quote:
As for the second part, I was writing in earnest. I decided, or discovered, several years ago, before I had ever heard of the terms Internal Training or Internal Strength, that kokyu-ho was the single most important exercise in Aikido and that everything else kind of hinged on it. From this, and under some influence of the things I've read in this thread I'll admit, I do some solo exercises at home on days I don't have aikido classes. I do breathing, stretching and warm up exercises I learned in aikido and do not claim, because of I don't have the required knowledge to do so, that what I do has any real link to the IT exercises and Internal Skills that get discussed here. But I feel they do help in the standard aikido skills of working from your center and staying relaxed that were at the heart of Dirk's questions.
In that case, perhaps you could enlighten us as to why kokyu-ho is *the single most important exercise*? In what way? How? Rather than simply making such a broad claim, explicate it. Let the inner scientist out. Explain how and why. Otherwise, it just comes across as "no big deal. I already do *that*" - which neither progresses the discussion, nor helps anyone (e.g. Dirk).

Quote:
Then in your post you specifically mention funegoki undo and bokken suburi, which are the two exercises that I spend the most time on in my own personal solo aikido training. So I repeat. I am intrigued by the IS/IT dicussions here and would be very curious to meet those who claim such skills so that I could feel for myself how it relates to what I have learned in traditional aikido training.
Well? You're evading the question. Why is it important? What is so intriguing about my mentioning these 2 exercises, and what relevance do they have to the IS/IT discussions here - if any? What do they develop? How does that work?

I'm not entirely certain how I should read your last sentence - it comes across as a "touch hands" challenge, or that you already know/have aiki, and these IS/IT discussions are irrelevant to you, or that people who "claim" such skills don't know aiki, or all of the above? BTW, repeating the same sentence, isn't the same as clarifying it.

FWIW, I don't claim any level of skill in anything. But you're most welcome to visit and "touch hands" anytime.

Ignatius
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2010, 07:39 PM   #86
JO
Dojo: Aikikai de l'Université Laval
Location: Sainte-Catherine-de-la-J.-C., Québec
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 292
Canada
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
In that case, perhaps you could enlighten us as to why kokyu-ho is *the single most important exercise*? In what way? How? Rather than simply making such a broad claim, explicate it. Let the inner scientist out. Explain how and why. Otherwise, it just comes across as "no big deal. I already do *that*" - which neither progresses the discussion, nor helps anyone (e.g. Dirk).
The best I've been able to put body knowledge into words, I've already put in my post to Dirk. I have trouble showing and saying what I mean in person when working one to one with my kohai, let alone in type. But here goes nothing. I consider kokyu-ho to be the most important exercise because it is the exercise we do that most singles out and focusses on that feeling of relaxed strength that I consider to be at the heart of all well executed aikido techniques. It removes worrying about position, "real world application" or other such mental distractions, so that you can focus on how you are holding yourself, removing the tension from your joints (I have the most trouble with my shoulders), generating power from your center (as opposed to muscling through with yours arms and shoulders). These things help develop a way of holding yourself and of moving. When you start to feel these things, the sensei saying things like "relax", "use your center", "keep extension" stops being gibberish and starts to make sense as you can tie it to actual body feelings you are familiar with.

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
Well? You're evading the question. Why is it important? What is so intriguing about my mentioning these 2 exercises, and what relevance do they have to the IS/IT discussions here - if any? What do they develop? How does that work?
I don't really know what relevance these two exercises have to IS/IT, you brought them up. I have no knowledge of the IS/IT world outside of what I've read here or in HIPS. I use these two exercises a lot because I consider that they help develop the right posture and body feeling for aikido. Much along the same lines as I mentioned above for kokyu-ho. I guess what caught my attention was someone specifically mentioning my two "favourite" solo aikido techniques as the simplified starting point for power development. Maybe you can see how this would increase my interest in the topic (see my final paragraph below).

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
I'm not entirely certain how I should read your last sentence - it comes across as a "touch hands" challenge, or that you already know/have aiki, and these IS/IT discussions are irrelevant to you, or that people who "claim" such skills don't know aiki, or all of the above? BTW, repeating the same sentence, isn't the same as clarifying it.

FWIW, I don't claim any level of skill in anything. But you're most welcome to visit and "touch hands" anytime.
Would it help if I used curious instead of intrigued? I'm certainly not issuing any kind of challenge, nor am I claiming any ability or knowledge on the topic. Just stating a curiosity about all this IS/IT stuff, because it seems to connect to things I consider important to aikido training. I would love to feel any of those who claim these abilities to see how different, or how similar, it really is from what I've felt from various akidoka. I think "touching hands" is the only way to know.

If I saw no link to my aikido training, I would probably ignore it. I like what I do, I would like to do it better, I have limited interest in going off in another direction. For example, I could read a thread about all the hard physical training and high intesity sparring that MMA professionnals use to turn themselves into some of the most fit and strong athletes around, but I wouldn't really see the relevance to aikido. Sure I wouldn't mind being physically stronger, but I don't consider that kind of strength to be central to aikido. But seeing others discussing exercises I regularly do in an IS/IT context, makes me think that these things may actually relate to my training in ways that would make me better at aikido generally and in aspects of aikido that I take to heart specifically (such as staying centered, staying relaxed, being strong without tension or aggression). So I am intrigued, I am curious.

Jonathan Olson
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 05:40 AM   #87
jss
Location: Rotterdam
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 459
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Jonathan Olson wrote: View Post
I have trouble showing and saying what I mean in person when working one to one with my kohai, let alone in type.
<snip>
I use these two exercises a lot because I consider that they help develop the right posture and body feeling for aikido.
Describing the right posture for aikido should be doable, shouldn't it? Perhaps attach a picture? When you do these exercises, how do you check your posture?

Quote:
When you start to feel these things, the sensei saying things like "relax", "use your center", "keep extension" stops being gibberish and starts to make sense as you can tie it to actual body feelings you are familiar with.
How do you guarantee/verify that the sensei and you are talking about the same things? If I'm allowed a cynical interpretation: the sensei restricts himself to saying vague stuff, knowing that every student will at one time feel something of which the student will decide that it's what the sensei was trying to explain. And the students that don't experience such moments, will just think they're not good/sensitive/intelligent/etc. enough to get it.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 11:44 AM   #88
JO
Dojo: Aikikai de l'Université Laval
Location: Sainte-Catherine-de-la-J.-C., Québec
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 292
Canada
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
Describing the right posture for aikido should be doable, shouldn't it? Perhaps attach a picture? When you do these exercises, how do you check your posture?
I do these exercises on my own late at night after putting the kids down to bed. At that moment, it is difficult for me to check myself beyond my bodies internal position feedback. A mirror would help I guess. However, I am doing exercises that are part of my regular aikido training, where I get feedback from my instructors.

As for illustrating posture. My model for bokken, and an important model of mine for posture in general, is Claude Berthiaume Shihan. He can be seen teaching bokken suburi here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulSz3QTN6nA

I especially like how straight he holds himself and how grounded he is.

Another model of mine is Harvey Konigsberg Shihan. I consider him a great example of staying relaxed and dropping the shoulders. here is an example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNgZ_EAgI9c

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
How do you guarantee/verify that the sensei and you are talking about the same things? If I'm allowed a cynical interpretation: the sensei restricts himself to saying vague stuff, knowing that every student will at one time feel something of which the student will decide that it's what the sensei was trying to explain. And the students that don't experience such moments, will just think they're not good/sensitive/intelligent/etc. enough to get it.
I have had instructors that tended to be on the more nitpicky side of things and that spend a lot of time trying to show and explain details. I never said they restricted themselves to vague explanations. It's just that some things are hard to communicate though words, especially when there isn't a known shared experience. When the istructor telling you to relax is the one that showed you the exercises you use to develop this, when you've been both nage and uke with the instructor for the paired exercises, it is at least possible to hope you are talking about the same thing.

Also, the sensei should be able to see/feel if you're doing it right, so that when you think you feel something, it can be paired with the sensei going "yeah, that's better". I've had my instructor demonstrate a technique while exagerating my mistakes (often posture related) to show me what I was doing wrong. Then there is the pressure test. Often, the biggest, strongest guys have the most trouble with kokyu-ho because they can muscle past most people rather than using the more relaxed integrated power that I feel the exercise aims to develop.

Jonathan Olson
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 02:37 PM   #89
jss
Location: Rotterdam
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 459
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Jonathan Olson wrote: View Post
I do these exercises on my own late at night after putting the kids down to bed. At that moment, it is difficult for me to check myself beyond my bodies internal position feedback. A mirror would help I guess. However, I am doing exercises that are part of my regular aikido training, where I get feedback from my instructors.
Ok, but when you're practicing, how do you differentiate the good reps from the bad reps. Say you do one rep of funegoki undo, then you do another one and you notice the second one was better than the first one, what was it that made the second one better? What qualities were (more) present in the second one?

Quote:
My model for bokken, and an important model of mine for posture in general, is Claude Berthiaume Shihan. He can be seen teaching bokken suburi here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulSz3QTN6nA

I especially like how straight he holds himself and how grounded he is.
Posture: I'd say he should relax his lower back. Check 1:30-1:40 of the video when his side is facing the camera.
Grounded: what are the cues you look for? I'd say that he's got too much isolated arm movement going on, so he can't be grounded very well.

Quote:
Another model of mine is Harvey Konigsberg Shihan. I consider him a great example of staying relaxed and dropping the shoulders.
His shoulders stay down, sure, but that's not the most important thing. What are your reasons to think the shoulders should stay relaxed? (And I agree they should, but the why is more important than the what.)
And I'd like to see him with a less compliant uke. This one was doing his best to make Harvey Konigsberg look good.

Quote:
When the istructor telling you to relax is the one that showed you the exercises you use to develop this, when you've been both nage and uke with the instructor for the paired exercises, it is at least possible to hope you are talking about the same thing.
Also, the sensei should be able to see/feel if you're doing it right, so that when you think you feel something, it can be paired with the sensei going "yeah, that's better".
Agreed.

Last edited by jss : 02-01-2010 at 02:39 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 08:08 PM   #90
eyrie
 
eyrie's Avatar
Location: Summerholm, Queensland
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,126
Australia
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Jonathan Olson wrote: View Post
As for illustrating posture. My model for bokken, and an important model of mine for posture in general, is Claude Berthiaume Shihan.... I especially like how straight he holds himself and how grounded he is.
I'm not sure if you're associating posture with being grounded. But, the "straightness" of one's posture isn't the key dimension by which "grounded-ness" is determined. Neither is it necessarily an indication of how "grounded" someone is. One *could* be in an entirely awkward posture and still be "grounded". So, obviously "straightness" of posture is not a prerequisite for "grounded-ness". And if so, what is the criteria for having grounded-ness? What does being "grounded" mean? Is having the "right" posture and being "grounded" a criteria for kokyu development? And in particular kokyu-ho? If so, on what basis - since posture is not a prerequisite? If not, then what constitutes the primary elements of/for kokyu development? That is the point of this discussion.

Quote:
I have had instructors that tended to be on the more nitpicky side of things and that spend a lot of time trying to show and explain details. I never said they restricted themselves to vague explanations. It's just that some things are hard to communicate though words, especially when there isn't a known shared experience. When the istructor telling you to relax is the one that showed you the exercises you use to develop this, when you've been both nage and uke with the instructor for the paired exercises, it is at least possible to hope you are talking about the same thing.
Well, that's a communication issue, which is neither relevant to nor advances the discussion here.

Quote:
Also, the sensei should be able to see/feel if you're doing it right, so that when you think you feel something, it can be paired with the sensei going "yeah, that's better". I've had my instructor demonstrate a technique while exagerating my mistakes (often posture related) to show me what I was doing wrong.
No argument there. Any good teacher should be able to see/feel and correct the student's mistakes. That many may do the former and not the latter, leaving the student to fumble along, is the reason we are still having these discussions, one year later.

Quote:
Then there is the pressure test. Often, the biggest, strongest guys have the most trouble with kokyu-ho because they can muscle past most people rather than using the more relaxed integrated power that I feel the exercise aims to develop.
In the interests of averting the commonly experienced communication issues you've just described, perhaps you would care to explicate what the basis for this "relaxed", "integrated", "power" involves?

Ignatius
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 09:28 PM   #91
JO
Dojo: Aikikai de l'Université Laval
Location: Sainte-Catherine-de-la-J.-C., Québec
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 292
Canada
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

I think my ability to continue this discussion is waning. You are asking me to put body mechanics into words that I have yet to fully understand in my own body. The best I can do is this, I don’t suppose it’ll satisfy either Joep or Ignatius. As a warning, I don’t consider myself especially skilled in these exercises, and I’m not at all satisfied in my own abilities.

Rowing exercise: I consider it is going well when I stay balanced, back straight (as in head over hips), movement generated from the legs, always keeping at least part of my weight on each foot. Arms relaxed but controlled (not floppy and following a clearly defined path but without the feeling that the arm muscles are generating the motion). Feeling that the hands are being pushed out and brought in by the center directly. A bit of a snap at both the out and in, with the feeling of the energy going passed the hands on the out and into the hips on the in. Less of a snap and more of a bounce when I do it slowly.

Kokyu-ho: Ability to receive a push with tensing my arms or shoulders. Sometimes I’ll try this while keeping extension (which I find difficult as I have trouble with my shoulders tensing) and sometimes I’ll let my hand come back to my torso or thighs, in which case the feeling is similar to the “in” from the rowing exercise. Then try to work the connection through ukes hands to either lock up his arms (easy with stiff beginners, I don’t really manage it with more skilled ukes) or break up his posture by getting inside his push and raising his elbows. On the uke side, I try to push from my center without tensing the arms or shoulders (some similarity to the out of the rowing exercise, also similarity to tsuki with a bokken).

Relaxed: From a physical standpoint, removal of tension from the muscles.

Integrated: The whole body working as a whole. The opposite would be say grabbing and pulling with one arm mostly using one bicep.

Power: The ability to develop a force in the physics sense, allowing you to either negate an incoming force (as in receiving a push) or to accelerate an immobile object (as in pushing someone over or throwing them).

I never said straightness and groundedness were the same thing, just that I considered them two of Claude’s strengths posture wise. I’ll admit that my judgment of his groundedness has more to do with the many times he has thrown me and not so much that specific video. But to me, I see it in all his movements. Joep, if your going to critique my teacher, I’d like a counter-example. I’d also like to know what your experience is, what knowledge are you basing your judgement on.

As for Harvey Konigsberg, I don’t know if there are any public video clips out there with less cooperative ukes. But I will say this, I’ve trained with him and once I grab him I spend the rest of the time trying to regain my center, making it pretty hard to put together much resistance. On more than one occasion I have seen him teach where he asks his ukes to let go and strike him if they can. They often don’t manage the let go part, never mind making contact with the strike.

As for why I think the shoulders should stay relaxed. Pure empiricism, my techniques work better and are successful with more resistant ukes when they are relaxed. I don’t claim to have figured out the mechanics. When they are tight I tend to get disrupted and my center thrown off too easily. I get locked up, true both as uke and nage.

Jonathan Olson
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 10:23 PM   #92
oisin bourke
 
oisin bourke's Avatar
Dojo: Muden Juku, Ireland
Location: Kilkenny
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 313
Ireland
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Jonathan Olson wrote: View Post
I think my ability to continue this discussion is waning. . Joep, if your going to critique my teacher, I'd like a counter-example. I'd also like to know what your experience is, what knowledge are you basing your judgement on.
I have to agree with Jonathan's comments. I've followed this thread and it's becoming really irritating.

Joep and Ignatius: Instead of completely dismissing videos posted, not answering direct questions and interpreting comments as "challenges", why not give simple, direct, explicable answers to Jonathan's comments? EG what's being done along the right lines in the videos? IMO asking for videos and then dismissing them without posting anything of one's own is just ignorant.

I think you guys have a lot to offer. I'm sure ye're well skilled, but your posting style comes across as rather arrogant and dismissive.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2010, 12:03 AM   #93
eyrie
 
eyrie's Avatar
Location: Summerholm, Queensland
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,126
Australia
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
Joep and Ignatius: Instead of completely dismissing videos posted, not answering direct questions and interpreting comments as "challenges", why not give simple, direct, explicable answers to Jonathan's comments? EG what's being done along the right lines in the videos? IMO asking for videos and then dismissing them without posting anything of one's own is just ignorant.
I'm 120% sure Jonathan didn't post videos of his teachers for their performance to be critiqued. And in the interests of maintaining forum etiquette, I specifically avoided critiquing his teachers, because that's exactly what I was trying to avoid. All I did was ask a bunch of clarification questions. Show me where I have dismissed said posted videos.

I didn't know I was expected to provide "direct, explicable answers" to comments. Seeing as how answers are generally responses to questions, show me where I have not answered a direct question where I am in a position to answer?

Quote:
I think you guys have a lot to offer. I'm sure ye're well skilled, but your posting style comes across as rather arrogant and dismissive.
Talk about "interpreting comments"... perhaps you should read less into my purported tone. Given the number of questions I've asked in my preceding post, one could reasonably surmise that I have absolutely no knowledge or skillz whatsoever.

Ignatius
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2010, 01:53 AM   #94
jss
Location: Rotterdam
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 459
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
Instead of completely dismissing videos posted,
The first video was presented as an illustration of straightness and groundedness. I addressed those two specific points. About the second one, I said I'd like to see him with a less cooperative uke. Because of that, I had no further comments.
How is that completely dismissing the videos?

Quote:
not answering direct questions
Like Ignatius said: what direct questions? If I overlooked them, I apologize and will answer them.

Quote:
interpreting comments as "challenges"
That wasn't me.

Quote:
EG what's being done along the right lines in the videos
And what if I don't think that those videos are very good illustrations of the points I'd like to make? Not that that necessarily means that the persons in those videos are incapable, just that that particular video is not a very good illustration of the specific point I'd like to make?

Quote:
IMO asking for videos and then dismissing them without posting anything of one's own is just ignorant.
I didn't ask for videos. (I did suggest that providing a picture might advance the discussion on Jonathan's ideas on good posture.)
Secondly, I did not dismiss them, I addressed some specific points in them raised by Jonathan. Next time I'll just dismiss them by not commenting at all?
Finally, if I think it useful to link to a video to illustrate one of my points, I will do so.

Quote:
..., but your posting style comes across as rather arrogant and dismissive.
I agree that these IS discussions have regularly turned to some sort of weird game in which those 'in the know' (or those who think they are) are dismissive of opinions of those deemed 'not in the know' (rightfully or not). It wasn't always pretty and occasionally it overshot its purpose. I was aware of this when I replied to Jonathan. Perhaps I made the wrong decision.

p.s.: Jonathan, I'll reply to your post when I have some more time.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2010, 07:13 AM   #95
Michael Douglas
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 404
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

This puzzled me;
Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
... It's actually the tanden no seika, or dantien (in Chinese). It's a hard, articulate muscle-like structure that's located approximately 4 fingers width below your navel and 1 fist deep in the body....
I see this wasn't a direct question;
Quote:
Jonathan Olson wrote: View Post
...Personally I'd like to see a diagram of the hard, articulated muscle-like dantien. Prefereably from a reliable medical source. Anything fitting that description should show up on anatomical diagrams. ...
Here's a direct question : Ignatius please show a diagram of the hard, articulated muscle-like dantien. Preferably from a reliable medical source.

I'm with Oisin in wanting answers and illustration.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2010, 07:35 AM   #96
oisin bourke
 
oisin bourke's Avatar
Dojo: Muden Juku, Ireland
Location: Kilkenny
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 313
Ireland
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Michael Douglas wrote: View Post
This puzzled me;

I see this wasn't a direct question;

Here's a direct question : Ignatius please show a diagram of the hard, articulated muscle-like dantien. Preferably from a reliable medical source.

I'm with Oisin in wanting answers and illustration.
That's the exact quote I was going to pull before Michael beat me to it.

"That's pretty telling. It's actually the tanden no seika, or dantien (in Chinese). It's a hard, articulate muscle-like structure that's located approximately 4 fingers width below your navel and 1 fist deep in the body. Like any other "muscle" in your body - including your brain, unless you physically and consciously exercise it, it's not going to develop. Good luck with that too."

1.Why not give a clear explanation in how to isolate and develop
this muscle?

2. How does this muscle come into play when your wrists are grabbed? How do you isolate and utilize this muscle in "Kokyu-Ho"
or suburi for that matter?

Jonathan made a concerted effort to explain and describe how he trained and what he understood suburi and the rowing excercise to be over a number of posts. He provided videos to illustrate his thoughts. The "Socratic Midwife" approach is fine to an extent, but
why not just give him some clear pointers on this basic thing?
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2010, 07:40 AM   #97
jss
Location: Rotterdam
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 459
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Jonathan Olson wrote: View Post
You are asking me to put body mechanics into words that I have yet to fully understand in my own body. The best I can do is this, I don't suppose it'll satisfy either Joep or Ignatius.
There's something interesting happening here. You're posting under the assumption that if you put caveats in your post, you'll be cut some slack. I'm posting under the assumption that everything that's posted is open for discussion. I think we're both correct in our assumptions, but if we continue for too long in this way, we'll find the quality of discussion going downhill quite quickly. You'll be doing the best job you can to find the right words, only to find me critiquing everything you say. Result: we both lose.
So instead of mostly commenting on what you write, I'll focus more on adding my view on things.

Quote:
Rowing exercise: I consider it is going well when I stay balanced, back straight (as in head over hips), movement generated from the legs, always keeping at least part of my weight on each foot. Arms relaxed but controlled (not floppy and following a clearly defined path but without the feeling that the arm muscles are generating the motion). Feeling that the hands are being pushed out and brought in by the center directly. A bit of a snap at both the out and in, with the feeling of the energy going passed the hands on the out and into the hips on the in. Less of a snap and more of a bounce when I do it slowly.
Something that has worked for me is not moving my arms at all, but just doing the weight shift. That way you're sure the only power that's being generated is coming from the legs and the only thing you have to worry about is how to get that power to the hands. When that's in order, one can start moving the arms.
I haven't been working on the snapping yet. Am building up to it, but at the moment it results in too much involvement of the muscles in my arms and shoulder.

Quote:
Kokyu-ho: Ability to receive a push with tensing my arms or shoulders. Sometimes I'll try this while keeping extension (which I find difficult as I have trouble with my shoulders tensing) and sometimes I'll let my hand come back to my torso or thighs, in which case the feeling is similar to the "in" from the rowing exercise. Then try to work the connection through ukes hands to either lock up his arms (easy with stiff beginners, I don't really manage it with more skilled ukes) or break up his posture by getting inside his push and raising his elbows. On the uke side, I try to push from my center without tensing the arms or shoulders (some similarity to the out of the rowing exercise, also similarity to tsuki with a bokken).
What do you feel when you receive a push without tension in arms or shoulders? I'm happy with myself if I don't feel any tension anywhere in my body and I do feel more weight resting on my lower legs. (When standing up, I'd feel more weight resting on my feet.)
IMO, stage one for kokyu-ho would be to gound uke's push and then to come up and forward by unbending the legs without introducing any tension in the body. (Feeling the leg muscles do some work is unavoidable, of course.)
Stage two would be not to ground uke's push dead-on, but at an angle, so that he pushes himself away. (This will not work if uke realizes in time you're messing with the angles, btw. But that's not a big issue: it just means that it won't work when uke has more skill than you and is not allowing you to have it work.)

Quote:
I never said straightness and groundedness were the same thing, just that I considered them two of Claude's strengths posture wise.
By straightness you mean head over hips, right?
I wasn't trying to imply you thought those two as the same thing. I linked the two together: straight back means relaxed lower back, which improves ones groundedness.

Quote:
Joep, if your going to critique my teacher, I'd like a counter-example. I'd also like to know what your experience is, what knowledge are you basing your judgement on.
Re: the counter-example: you want a video from someone who I'd consider as someone with a relaxed lower back and little to no isolated arm movement? I can't think of one at the moment. Perhaps I can find one of an older O-Sensei doing bokken suburi, but that would be somewhat a cheap move, as videos of O-Sensei are part of the definition of Aikido.
Secondly, wouldn't it be better if I just explained why I think these things are important? See the rest of my post for this.
Thirdly, why ask for my experience? Discussing the two points I raised and seeing if I have anything meaningful to say about them seems to me more productive.
Finally, I don't think I can provide any worthwhile verifiable information on my experience or knowledge. I've practiced Aikido for about 7 years, my grade is Shodan. I've been to one Akuzawa seminar and two of Mike Sigman's. And I've been practicing Taikiken for about three years now. So what does that tell you? (I'm truly curious.)

Quote:
As for why I think the shoulders should stay relaxed. Pure empiricism, my techniques work better and are successful with more resistant ukes when they are relaxed. I don't claim to have figured out the mechanics. When they are tight I tend to get disrupted and my center thrown off too easily. I get locked up, true both as uke and nage.
Tension in the shoulder creates an easy lever for the other guy to manipulate your upper body. If you can relax your whole body and let the power pass to the ground (grounding a push) or come up from the ground (pushing) through your body, there is no easy lever for the other guy to manipulate you with. Either there is no lever (you're 'stronger' than he is) or your whole body is the lever (he's 'stronger' than you are).
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2010, 07:41 AM   #98
oisin bourke
 
oisin bourke's Avatar
Dojo: Muden Juku, Ireland
Location: Kilkenny
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 313
Ireland
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post

And what if I don't think that those videos are very good illustrations of the points I'd like to make? Not that that necessarily means that the persons in those videos are incapable, just that that particular video is not a very good illustration of the specific point I'd like to make?
Incapable of what ? Kokyu Ho?
Do you see anything in these videos that directly relates to the underlying principles of Kokyu Ho?
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2010, 07:53 AM   #99
jss
Location: Rotterdam
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 459
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
Incapable of what ? Kokyu Ho?
Do you see anything in these videos that directly relates to the underlying principles of Kokyu Ho?
Incapable of proper Aikido.
And I'm not going to discuss any videos posted by other people anymore, unless the poster explicitly asks for comments on it.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2010, 08:52 AM   #100
oisin bourke
 
oisin bourke's Avatar
Dojo: Muden Juku, Ireland
Location: Kilkenny
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 313
Ireland
Offline
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Hi Joep,

Fair dues for the explication on Kokyu ho. In terms of tension: How do you find your breathing integrates with the dispersal of tension through the body (If at all?)

Regards
  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 05:29 AM
Steven Seagal Interview ad_adrian General 45 01-15-2010 04:34 PM
Aikido Scam by an Indian group ze'ev erlich General 10 08-02-2009 07:46 PM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5 Peter Goldsbury Columns 69 12-31-2008 12:41 PM
Two things. Veers General 8 04-04-2003 02:54 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:32 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