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Old 04-29-2010, 09:53 AM   #26
RED
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

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Chicko Xerri wrote: View Post
With consideration. Half a step is required to establish the advantage or to execute any technique with Aikido. Any thing more is an exaggeration.
Explain what you mean by half a step?
I'm from a federation in general that favors big movements, we do half steps, but big movement is emphasized. So I might not quite understand what you mean by a half step being sufficient.

MM
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:35 AM   #27
j0nharris
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
If you are in a left stance and start your movement do you;
David
Over time I've come to move my center first, through the inguinal fold (chinese qua) ...
As the fold relaxes, weight shifts & one foot or the other can easily move, without moving the foot first. (Does that make any sense at all?)
Another interesting idea I've come across: When I was in Chicago a few years ago for a work conference, I attended a class with a Sensei who talked about the center as a ball bearing attached to all parts of the body; so as the center starts movement, various parts of the body respond accordingly. I have no idea what his name was.. but I still think of that concept frequently, especially when explaining movement to newer students.

My two cents... .

jon harris

Life is a journey...
Now, who took my @#$%! map?!
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:07 PM   #28
John Brockington
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

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Jon Harris wrote: View Post
Over time I've come to move my center first, through the inguinal fold (chinese qua) ...
As the fold relaxes, weight shifts & one foot or the other can easily move, without moving the foot first. (Does that make any sense at all?)
Another interesting idea I've come across: When I was in Chicago a few years ago for a work conference, I attended a class with a Sensei who talked about the center as a ball bearing attached to all parts of the body; so as the center starts movement, various parts of the body respond accordingly. I have no idea what his name was.. but I still think of that concept frequently, especially when explaining movement to newer students.

My two cents... .
This "ball bearing" is the mobile dantien (aka tanden) that is commonly discussed, trained, scrutinized, etc, etc, etc, in some "internal" martial arts, particularly in China. When those practitioners say things like "all movement is initiated by the dantien/tanden," this is what they are mean. When many people in aikido say things like "move from the center," they are repeating what they have heard from other IMA practitioners, but often can not really elucidate what they mean, or else do it in terms that are so vague and conceptual and incapable of really instructing beginners as to be suspect in terms of real understanding. I wouldn't be surprised if the above Sensei had exposure to some of the Chinese martial arts, although from your post it sounds as though he did not mention his sources or how he came up with this. Very interesting, indeed.

And although the dantien/tanden is a concept, it is also a definite physical entity, not metaphysical, not purely conceptual. And it definitely is at the center (no pun intended) of many basic teachings in most internal martial arts.

All that being said, I think that if you can find out who that Sensei was, you should make serious effort to seek him out and see if he can teach you how to develop your own "ball bearing." If he can actually teach you this, he is a veritable treasure in the aikido world, and I would love to find out more about him.

Cordially-

John
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Old 04-29-2010, 07:32 PM   #29
Chicko Xerri
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

Movement within the Universe is relative. We have a mind capable of reducing and expanding a visualization. Time and distance is also relative with Aikido and visualization. We create large spirals, circles and curves, we are also able to visualize them down proportionately and arrive to the necessary Maai. Half a step with either leading or reversing foot, provided Maai is in proportion to the movement as a whole, any technique, Irimi or tenkan will be true.

This is a recent approach O'Sensei dispached when executing his technique. In his later years before his death he reduced his immediate Universe thus reducing exaggerated movements, not because he was a frail old man. O' Sensei always showed the way by example, whether his students captured his example is an other matter. Half a step is his term. I have found Posture and outlook is greatly developed with this understanding. .... Yours in Aiki. Chicko.
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Old 04-29-2010, 07:40 PM   #30
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

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Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
Explain what you mean by half a step?
I'm from a federation in general that favors big movements, we do half steps, but big movement is emphasized. So I might not quite understand what you mean by a half step being sufficient.
Hello Maggie.
Movement within the Universe is relative. We have a mind capable of reducing and expanding a visualization. Time and distance is also relative with Aikido and visualization. We create large spirals, circles and curves, we are also able to visualize them down proportionately and arrive to the necessary Maai. Half a step with either leading or reversing foot, provided Maai is in proportion to the movement as a whole, any technique, Irimi or tenkan will be true.

This is a recent approach O'Sensei dispached when executing his technique. In his later years before his death he reduced his immediate Universe thus reducing exaggerated movements, not because he was a frail old man. O' Sensei always showed the way by example, whether his students captured his example is an other matter. Half a step is his term. I have found Posture and outlook is greatly developed with this understanding. More so its an aquired feeling that brings one to the understanding....Difficult to explain, Sorry.... Yours in Aiki. Chicko.
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Old 04-30-2010, 01:10 AM   #31
Ernesto Lemke
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

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John Brockington wrote: View Post
And although the dantien/tanden is a concept, it is also a definite physical entity, not metaphysical, not purely conceptual.
Hello mr. Brockington,

Would you mind elaborating a bit on your statement that the dantien is a definite physical entity? I may be misreading you. My interest was raised by your phrasing of the dantien as something physically tangible which I took as something physically tangible on it's own. A 'real' 'ball' if you will. The dantien as a nexus point, IOW something that connects other (physical) parts is how I currently understand the dantien but I don't see it as a stand alone physical entity, like a liver for example. Conceptually yes, physically, well, hmmm, no, maybe, I dunno. Never heard of surgically removing or locating a 'real' dantien.

So I wonder if you would mind shedding some more light on this.
Best regards,

Ernesto Lemke
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:26 AM   #32
John Brockington
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

Ernesto-

I did not say the dantien is an organ, like the liver, only that it is a physical entity. So no, I do not think it can be surgically removed. Your nexus description is correct, but remember that we are talking about a physiological nexus, not a metaphorical one. Also, we are talking about the main dantien (slightly below and interior to the navel), not the lower (perineum) or upper (sternum) dantien. But all can be developed through physical training, thus physical entities. All are points of physical control or power generation. There has been some speculation that some martial artists who are/were thought to have highly developed middle dantien, like Ueshiba and Tohei, have somewhat odd physiques, not fat or overweight at all, but with protruding mid-sections which could be a visible physiological manifestation of the dantien. This is speculation, however.

Cordially-

John
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:16 AM   #33
John Brockington
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

Ernesto-

I had to abbreviate my last post due to work, but wanted to add a bit more to it and give a few examples which may help with seeing how some physiological entities do not have to be encapsulated tissues. What is confusing, I think, is that we are dealing with a physical manifestation of uncommon body skills (kokyu or jin) that is predicated on developing and enhancing body structures which are not typically considered in standard western body concepts. At least not what I learned in medical school.

But there are analogies that we do feel comfortable with, I think, such as cognitive function. Is this something that is accepted in western science as a physiological entity? Yes. Do we know how to improve or develop it or let it decline through disuse? Yes. Does it occur in a specific body location? Yes. Can it be surgically removed? Not really, in the sense that you can't extract cognition from the brain, although you can take out the brain from the cranial vault. What about conventional hand-eye coordination- can it be physically trained and enhanced or else deteriorate due to under-utilization? Yes. Do we know which body processes are necessary for this to occur? Yes. Can it be surgically removed? No.

We could probably go on and on, but my point is that we should be talking about dantien and center and kokyu and jin as physical properties, not in terms of metaphysical mumbo-jumbo.

Hope that helps?

John
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:18 PM   #34
RED
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

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Chicko Xerri wrote: View Post
Hello Maggie.
Movement within the Universe is relative. We have a mind capable of reducing and expanding a visualization. Time and distance is also relative with Aikido and visualization. We create large spirals, circles and curves, we are also able to visualize them down proportionately and arrive to the necessary Maai. Half a step with either leading or reversing foot, provided Maai is in proportion to the movement as a whole, any technique, Irimi or tenkan will be true.

This is a recent approach O'Sensei dispached when executing his technique. In his later years before his death he reduced his immediate Universe thus reducing exaggerated movements, not because he was a frail old man. O' Sensei always showed the way by example, whether his students captured his example is an other matter. Half a step is his term. I have found Posture and outlook is greatly developed with this understanding. More so its an aquired feeling that brings one to the understanding....Difficult to explain, Sorry.... Yours in Aiki. Chicko.
Okay! Thanks for the clarification.

MM
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:29 PM   #35
dps
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

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John Brockington wrote: View Post
Ernesto-

I had to abbreviate my last post due to work, but wanted to add a bit more to it and give a few examples which may help with seeing how some physiological entities do not have to be encapsulated tissues. What is confusing, I think, is that we are dealing with a physical manifestation of uncommon body skills (kokyu or jin) that is predicated on developing and enhancing body structures which are not typically considered in standard western body concepts. At least not what I learned in medical school.

But there are analogies that we do feel comfortable with, I think, such as cognitive function. Is this something that is accepted in western science as a physiological entity? Yes. Do we know how to improve or develop it or let it decline through disuse? Yes. Does it occur in a specific body location? Yes. Can it be surgically removed? Not really, in the sense that you can't extract cognition from the brain, although you can take out the brain from the cranial vault. What about conventional hand-eye coordination- can it be physically trained and enhanced or else deteriorate due to under-utilization? Yes. Do we know which body processes are necessary for this to occur? Yes. Can it be surgically removed? No.

We could probably go on and on, but my point is that we should be talking about dantien and center and kokyu and jin as physical properties, not in terms of metaphysical mumbo-jumbo.

Hope that helps?

John
If they are physical manifestations of processes of the body why not describe these processes in known western medical terms?

David
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Old 05-01-2010, 02:28 AM   #36
Ernesto Lemke
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

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John Brockington wrote: View Post
Hope that helps?
Thanks for the clarification, now if you don't mind I'll head back to bed as I came down with a severe case of stomach flu...not dantien related I hope.
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:19 PM   #37
John Brockington
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

David-

I agree completely, although I would suggest expanding the description of dantien/center/how to take a step in aikido to include not just medical terms but also terms which do not require medical training or background. This is exactly what I am saying we need to do in aikido.

The problem is finding people who want to try to do just this in aikido. The majority of this type of discussion has been relegated to the part of Aikiweb entitled "Non-aikido martial traditions." It would seem that some (many? certain?) people in aikido do not want this type of discussion, and are much happier or more comfortable with the vague or metaphysical or philosophical or whatever responses that we see in some of the other posters in your thread. Perhaps it is time to begin a serious solicitation for this type of discussion on Aikiweb, in the main forums and not in some dark and dusty corner.

You see, David, none of us doing IS have all the answers. And I am certainly, enquivocably, self-admittedly, not an expert in this. But many of us feel that to have any meaningful discussion, like what you are asking for, we have to go to Mike's forum or just discuss amongst ourselves. And make no mistake, this is EXACTLY the sort of thing that Mike has been pushing us for for years. This will have to be a revolution in the aikido world, of sorts, and a famous historian (I think it was Crane Brinton in his Anatomy of a Revolution- forgive me if I'm way off, I read that a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away) once said that in all the major revolutions, 1/3 of the population is lost. Hope that's not true, but maybe those lost will come back again in this one.

John
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Old 05-06-2010, 06:07 PM   #38
dps
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

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John Brockington wrote: View Post
David-

I agree completely, although I would suggest expanding the description of dantien/center/how to take a step in aikido to include not just medical terms but also terms which do not require medical training or background. This is exactly what I am saying we need to do in aikido.
You don't need medical training or background to understand how the body is structured, just a desire to have an accurate understanding.

Is it easier to understand what Ki is than how bones, muscles, connective tissue, etc work? I can show you a picture of these things but not Ki. I can lead you to the people whose work is understanding how the body works with hands on experience (literally). They can give a concrete physical description of how it works. The trick is to keep the description simple.

Quote:
John Brockington wrote: View Post
The problem is finding people who want to try to do just this in aikido. The majority of this type of discussion has been relegated to the part of Aikiweb entitled "Non-aikido martial traditions." It would seem that some (many? certain?) people in aikido do not want this type of discussion, and are much happier or more comfortable with the vague or metaphysical or philosophical or whatever responses that we see in some of the other posters in your thread. Perhaps it is time to begin a serious solicitation for this type of discussion on Aikiweb, in the main forums and not in some dark and dusty corner.
The "Non-Aikido Traditions" is because the people leading those discussions are outside Aikido. When the non-Aikido people jump in and dominate a thread, you can bet that at some time the thread will most likely be closed.
If these discussions were led by people in Aikido using Aikido examples of what they are talking about then maybe the discussions would be mainstream.

Lets hear from some of the people in Aikido who can relate what they have learned ( as far as IS is concerned) to Aikido.

Quote:
John Brockington wrote: View Post
You see, David, none of us doing IS have all the answers.
We are all doing IS.
IS is already in Aikido.
IS is a part of the human anatomy.
IS is a physical ability that in modern society is not as developed because of the work and life styles of modern times do no require it.

David
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Old 05-07-2010, 07:45 AM   #39
John Brockington
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
You don't need medical training or background to understand how the body is structured, just a desire to have an accurate understanding.

Is it easier to understand what Ki is than how bones, muscles, connective tissue, etc work? I can show you a picture of these things but not Ki. I can lead you to the people whose work is understanding how the body works with hands on experience (literally). They can give a concrete physical description of how it works. The trick is to keep the description simple.

The "Non-Aikido Traditions" is because the people leading those discussions are outside Aikido. When the non-Aikido people jump in and dominate a thread, you can bet that at some time the thread will most likely be closed.
If these discussions were led by people in Aikido using Aikido examples of what they are talking about then maybe the discussions would be mainstream.

Lets hear from some of the people in Aikido who can relate what they have learned ( as far as IS is concerned) to Aikido.

We are all doing IS.
IS is already in Aikido.
IS is a part of the human anatomy.
IS is a physical ability that in modern society is not as developed because of the work and life styles of modern times do no require it.

David
David-

I think we are getting into a debate which is a reflection of semantics, because I don't think you and I are talking about the same IS.

The IS I am talking about has the POTENTIAL to be in aikido, but the methodology for truly developing it is not widely practiced in conventional aikido, at least not in the Aikikai or Yoshinkan groups that I am familiar with and have trained with. Ki society? Well, I haven't trained in a Ki society dojo. I did read Tohei's books and tried to replicate his exercises, and I do agree that the general gist is probably in the direction that I am training, but details seem lacking. Maybe not in the dojo, though, but I don't know from personal experience. So I could be wrong there.

The IS I am talking about is not a part of human anatomy, it is a skill set. As an analogy, I would not, for example, say that distance running is part of the human anatomy. I do think there are body structures which can be developed or connected to develop ability in IS.

While the IS I am talking about was most certainly developed in non-industrialized societies, you might want to talk to people like Phi, who practice the type of IS that I do but who grew up in non-industrialized societies and have stated openly that heavy manual labor does not develop that specific skill set. However, I do think that the mindset to train the IS I am talking about is extremely uncommon in the West. You have to be willing to not do some cool waza or get really any ego strokes for a long, long time and do a lot of boring, difficult training. I have shown a little of what I know (which again is at a very novice stage) to a number of aikido people in this country, and to a person, they have all said that they could see the merits but did not want to do the training. Too boring.

If you ever have opportunity to go to a seminar given by Akuzawa (the Aunkai guy) or Mike Sigman, but have not yet done so, I would strongly suggest it. I haven't trained with Dan H. (would like to) but suspect his power is similar- impressive, connected, non-local muscle use, etc, etc. There is no discussion that can really accurately convey the power that those guys generate. The hands-on experience affords an appreciation for the distinctions between the IS that people think is taught in Aikido and the IS that is based on body training (not technique/waza) methodologies that go way, way back before aikido, and which was in Ueshiba's aikido, but not transmitted widely or effectively.

John
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:30 AM   #40
Aikibu
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

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Chicko Xerri wrote: View Post
With consideration. Half a step is required to establish the advantage or to execute any technique with Aikido. Any thing more is an exaggeration.
Exactly... Half Step... both feet forward...toes on the lead foot point in towards Uke...Weight balanced on both balls of the feet and grounded.

William Hazen
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Old 05-07-2010, 05:20 PM   #41
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

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The IS I am talking about is not a part of human anatomy, it is a skill set. As an analogy, I would not, for example, say that distance running is part of the human anatomy. I do think there are body structures which can be developed or connected to develop ability in IS.
My sense of his meaning was that one can look to anatomy to explain what is happening when someone acts in an aiki way. Saying a function of the body is irrelevant to anatomy discussions doesn't make sense to me.
Also, for what it's worth, I would describe the ability at distance running in particular to be "in the anatomy," for people, since we have the appropriate features which facilitate the activity.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:16 AM   #42
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

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John Brockington wrote: View Post

While the IS I am talking about was most certainly developed in non-industrialized societies, you might want to talk to people like Phi, who practice the type of IS that I do but who grew up in non-industrialized societies and have stated openly that heavy manual labor does not develop that specific skill set.
I am not talking about heavy manual labor, but the ordinary routine of people, without the labor saving devices we enjoy today, did in their daily lives.

David
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:13 PM   #43
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

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John Brockington wrote: View Post
While the IS I am talking about was most certainly developed in non-industrialized societies, you might want to talk to people like Phi, who practice the type of IS that I do but who grew up in non-industrialized societies and have stated openly that heavy manual labor does not develop that specific skill set.
John
nope! don't talk to people like phi. the bugger only knows how to eat and drink and be merry (as soon as i find out who the hell merry was i'd kick the bugger to kingdom come!). folks like us are not well educated farmers and such. we know nothing about IS and wouldn't dream of discussing it. as far as stepping goes, we just step as needed and sometimes not even take a step at all. one should be able to take step(s) in any direction without reset/preset. one thing i learned from wading hips deep in the mud was that launching from back foot would sink you deeper in the mud. i found that it was much easier to hold on to a water buffalo tail and let it dragged you across the mud which save you energy and gave you a good mud bath which really good for your skin and all. incidentally, the easiest way to walk through mud is doing the sanchin steps.
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:54 PM   #44
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

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incidentally, the easiest way to walk through mud is doing the sanchin steps.
The easiest way to walk through mud is ride the animal and let it do the walking.

David
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:18 PM   #45
phitruong
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
The easiest way to walk through mud is ride the animal and let it do the walking.

David
very true. although, the water buffalo skin was similar to human skin which is smooth and slippery when wet. so the state of riding on top and be step on often were one and the same. plus they have great sense of humor by enjoying the process of dunking you in mud and laugh about it. so i found the process of walking along side with them and held on to their tails, enjoyable by both parties and save the animal from great pain of mirth.
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:25 PM   #46
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

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very true. although, the water buffalo skin was similar to human skin which is smooth and slippery when wet. so the state of riding on top and be step on often were one and the same. plus they have great sense of humor by enjoying the process of dunking you in mud and laugh about it. so i found the process of walking along side with them and held on to their tails, enjoyable by both parties and save the animal from great pain of mirth.

People think animals are dumb beasts.
To get an animal to do what you want you have to be smarter than the animal.

David
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:32 PM   #47
Robert Calton
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

I've been at this for a short while, but I think a forward movement from the stance you described should feel a lot like the funakogi undo exercize, where you use your center to express motion in your extremities.

Except instead of a rowing motion with your arms, you use that forward moving-from-center motion to translate into your step.

Hope that adds something!
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:56 AM   #48
Cliff Judge
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

I just try to move with my center.

I pretty much pretend I am Baron Harkonnen when I am moving around that mat.
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:05 PM   #49
Phil Van Treese
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

The easiest way to step in aikido is to make it a dance step as I teach my students in my class. In dancing, especially ballroom, it all comes from the hips and body movement. If you can translate that into an aikido movement combined with irimi or tenkan, you will move swiftly, effortlessly and quite skillfully. Whenever I take my students to a seminar, almost everytime someone asks how do they move so smoothly with no effort. When they get told by ballroom dancing footwork and movement, they are amazed. It works great!!!
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