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Old 04-01-2011, 09:41 AM   #1
HL1978
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playing with weight and a question

So anyone who has wrestled or practiced BJJ should have a fair idea of how being relaxed lets you transmit more weight into your opponent. In particular, resting the weight of your torso directly onto your opponent's torso so that the opponent has to hold you up as well as themselves.

Side control for example is a good example of the guy on the bottom holding up his opponent's torso's weight. When the guy on top is relaxed it makes it hard for the guy on the bottom to breath.



It is only more recently that I have been able to get not only the weight of my arms, but some of the weight of my torso into my partner through a tremendous amount of relaxation. If I try and add to the force generated by my arms with my arms it lessens the amount of weight my partner has to hold up and makes my arms feel lighter to my partner. Likewise I have to make sure that this weight is directed straight down into the ground; I can not be leaning or committed, nor can I try to be pushing into my partner. If I do this right, my opponent/partner quickly fatigues if they try and hold my arms/upper body up with their own muscles. If they can counter it with their own weight then it stays in equillibrium, much like two concrete slabs leaning into one another.

Now the way to test this is fairly simple, if you are familiar with the aunkai pushout exercise, you know that if someone is leaning, you can pull away and they fall forwards because they have committed their weight forwards instead of keeping it down. A similar thing may happen with the arms, if your arms are tense and your partner pulls away, your arms will stay up. If your partner pulls away and your arms drop, just like a weighted chain would when you unhook it from a pole, then your arms are relaxed.



Anyone who has had the opportunity to attend one of Mike Sigman's workshops is familiar with the concept of a ground path. If you have not, I highly recomend it to get a foot in the door to understand what these skills are. As a quick review, you basically let your opponent's push passively transmit through your body rebound off the ground (ala Newton's third law) so that your opponent is pushing the ground via your own body. I assumed this was along the lines of what was meant by peng jin. For a long time, I played with trying to add something to that push. I knew from the aunkai pushout exercise that pushing back with the arms and shoulders only pushed myself away so I tried pushing back with other parts of the body.

(the famous diagram)


I tried pushing with the legs, I tried pushing with the lower back. I learned that if I could move the force from the lower back to the core area I could take more force, but not exactly push back along the same path. If I used structure, I could push back along the same lines with my legs, but I was sure this wasn't really what was meant in Mike and Dan's discussions. More recently thanks to the guidance of a fellow student in the DC area who has helped me signifigantly relax my upper body (still have a way to go, I can only relax down to the sternum), I have learned how to get under my arms. Namely, how to support my arms with the middle of my body. In particular this means that when someone pushes my arms I feel the load in the the crotch area. This seems a bit different from a groundpath where when I had good structural alignment and someone pushed I felt the the pressure increase in my feet.

It seems that when you combine relaxing the weight of your upper body on your opponent and commiting your weight straight down (no leaning) with supporting the arms from the crotch is the additive I needed to cause my opponent to push themselves away.

Now I have a question for far more experienced people than me, feel free to PM me if you like.



As I said earlier, I feel this load in the crotch, in particular the kua as shown above or the perineum, but definitely more the kua. I don't generally feel it in the area associated with the dantien. Is this because the muscles in the crotch area are so weak that they need to be built up first? Am I focusing on the wrong thing or you will wind up feeling the loads in a number of places in the lower torso.
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:53 AM   #2
John Brockington
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Re: playing with weight and a question

Hunter-

Interesting to see the lack of response to your question- maybe some of the people who perhaps could answer it have been on vacation or something. Maybe you've gotten some PM's. But hopefully we'll see something from this forum other than another seminar announcement. I am not more experienced than you, I am pretty sure, and so can not answer your question.

But I do have a question for you- I was wondering why you suggest that there is a need to feel the load you are supporting in the dantien. I may have misinterpreted what you are saying, but your post seems to suggest a hierarchy of desirable load-bearing structures, with feet being the most basic, then kua as more advanced, then dantien. I always thought of dantien as more of a focal point for initiating movement that was primarily supported/driven by the ground, via the feet.

I do understand that you want to support your arms with your midsection, to shift away local muscle use in the arms themselves. But I have trouble seeing the dantien as a load-bearing structure that is not itself supported by another, lower, load bearing structure. Of course, I am still in the early learning stages of this, too, and may be conceptually limited as much as physically, accordingly.

John
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:22 PM   #3
DH
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Re: playing with weight and a question

Quote:
John Brockington wrote: View Post
Hunter-
Interesting to see the lack of response to your question- maybe some of the people who perhaps could answer it have been on vacation or something. Maybe you've gotten some PM's. But hopefully we'll see something from this forum other than another seminar announcement. I am not more experienced than you, I am pretty sure, and so can not answer your question.
John
Seriously?
You don't know why?
I am reasonably certain few, (if any at all) outside of your own association who know anything, at any level... will be much interested in talkng, once certain affilliations are made known. A reasonable person may ask "Why people who claim in writing to be thee source for internal power on the web- are here asking anyone, anything at all?"
I am not interested in a discussion or debate and bear no ill will. I just thought you should at least be told why.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 04-04-2011 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:46 AM   #4
chillzATL
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Re: playing with weight and a question

Hunter,

If you're feeling the load in your kua, wouldn't that just be the result of tension still remaining in the kua? Wouldn't you want the force/weight to just drop through your kua to your feet?

Last week we were doing kata-otoshi and I was playing with a scenario much like what you described. I would start with my arm out against uke's shoulder and then connect to their center. That being, either they would lean slightly into me or if not, I would slightly push into them. Once connected I would just sink my weight into them and towards their gate. There's a definite balancing act in putting your weight into them without committing your balance as well, but after several times doing it statically like this it became much less deliberate. When there was a little more forward force from uke then it became more of a straight drop rather than a out and down kind of thing, because they were giving me the connection.
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:00 AM   #5
chillzATL
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Re: playing with weight and a question

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Seriously?
You don't know why?
I am reasonably certain few, (if any at all) outside of your own association who know anything, at any level... will be much interested in talkng, once certain affilliations are made known. A reasonable person may ask "Why people who claim in writing to be thee source for internal power on the web- are here asking anyone, anything at all?"
I am not interested in a discussion or debate and bear no ill will. I just thought you should at least be told why.
Dan
No offense Dan, but why drop into a thread to take a vague passive-aggressive shot at "someone" when you're not interested in discussing anything anyway? Also, a lot of us, most probably, don't claim or care to claim any affiliation, so insightful discussion is still welcome here for those who can be bothered to participate.
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:16 AM   #6
graham christian
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Re: playing with weight and a question

Hunter.
I am not familiar with the terminology you are using. I am also not familiar with the terminology of internal power. However I am familiar with the concept of which you are talking.

Relaxing and allowing weight to go down. To difeerenciate between 'dantien' or center and even hara I teach and practice this and explain it as Koshi.

Now even if you are at this moment sitting in a chair and you relax and let the weight go down through the chair to earth. Of course have good posture as you do this.(center line) (basically you are aligning with gravity)

Notice as you do this the relaxation allows the energy to go straight down through the bottom of the spine, where the spine meets the hip. Koshi is the back of the hip, not as a lot of westerners call the hip which makes them feel hip equals the sides.

It actually feels like a space is opening at that point at the back of the hip.

It is from that point rather than center that you develope this particular aspect. Every time you tense up that koshi you lose connection or block the path of that power.

Hope this helps. G.
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:24 AM   #7
phitruong
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Re: playing with weight and a question

Quote:
John Brockington wrote: View Post
But I do have a question for you- I was wondering why you suggest that there is a need to feel the load you are supporting in the dantien. I may have misinterpreted what you are saying, but your post seems to suggest a hierarchy of desirable load-bearing structures, with feet being the most basic, then kua as more advanced, then dantien. I always thought of dantien as more of a focal point for initiating movement that was primarily supported/driven by the ground, via the feet.
John
when you roll on the ground, the ground path doesn't always toward your legs. often it goes through the other person if you are on top or through your back if you are at the bottom or through your own arms. so using your middle as the control, from my point of view, would be better. but that's just me.

Last edited by akiy : 04-05-2011 at 09:40 AM. Reason: Fixed quote tag
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:53 AM   #8
Mark Freeman
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Re: playing with weight and a question

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post

Now the way to test this is fairly simple, if you are familiar with the aunkai pushout exercise, you know that if someone is leaning, you can pull away and they fall forwards because they have committed their weight forwards instead of keeping it down. A similar thing may happen with the arms, if your arms are tense and your partner pulls away, your arms will stay up. If your partner pulls away and your arms drop, just like a weighted chain would when you unhook it from a pole, then your arms are relaxed.
Hi Hunter,

there is a 'third way' with the arms, the phrase you use, that I have bolded, I refer to as 'collapsed', not relaxed. You can keep 'collapsed' arms in the air with the mind - no tension, no push, just extended ki/mind (of course there must be some muscular input somewhere, but only enough to keep the hand at a fixed point in space), this for me is relaxed. The connection must be direct from the dantien to the hand. In my limited experience, the shoulder muscles are the biggest obstacle to finding the right feeling. The hands should be 'slaves' of the movement of the centre.

regards

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:57 AM   #9
DH
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Re: playing with weight and a question

Double post
Dan

Last edited by DH : 04-05-2011 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:01 AM   #10
DH
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Re: playing with weight and a question

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Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
No offense Dan, but why drop into a thread to take a vague passive-aggressive shot at "someone" when you're not interested in discussing anything anyway? Also, a lot of us, most probably, don't claim or care to claim any affiliation, so insightful discussion is still welcome here for those who can be bothered to participate.
John
I was not making any passive agressive comment. I was definitive and clear. You are going to find yourselves talking to yourselves or to people who don't know the subject. More and more people are discovering what the fall out is for having anything to do with your group.
Your peers have the freedom to say what you want about people behind their backs.
We have the right to develop an opinion and decide to avoid those affiliated with you.
It seems ironic for us to be the recipient of so much vitriol and then be chastised again for daring to acknowledge it. Did you guys think you can do or say anything you want and get a free pass? I say have the guts and honesty to do and say and approve of what is being said...in the light of day. That way we all know where you and your friends stand and who to avoid.
You asked why so many who can share information with you won't reply. Now you know. I hardly think that me explaining why people are avoiding you warrants further attacks. It is what you made it to be.
Good luck with the outcome.
Dan
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:10 AM   #11
John Brockington
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Re: playing with weight and a question

Hey Dan-

I could be wrong, but I think you may be referring to Jason's post, in terms of the "passive-aggressive" comment. I thought your post was clear and addressed my question.

I was really just voicing disappointment that this forum does seem to have gone a bit quiet. This is unfortunate, because Aikiweb has been a source of inspiration and motivation for many of us who are now trying to develop or follow a cohesive methodology in internal training. The old "Baseline skills set" thread was such an example. It would be nice to see something like this again, for so many reasons.

It is hard to walk away from a situation that one feels passionate about. It is even harder to stay and try to fix it.

John
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:41 AM   #12
John Brockington
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Re: playing with weight and a question

Hey Phi-

I agree with you in that the feet are not necessarily the focal point of load bearing. The ground is, or should be. And of course, dantien/tanden is the control point/initiation point for movement.

But in his post, Hunter was asking about why he doesn't feel the load of his upper body in his dantien, and I was suggesting that maybe that shouldn't be the focus.

The dantien has to be supported by something itself, doesn't it? Feet on the ground, backside on the ground, opponent on the ground- all the same, all support dantien, right? Dantien moves the load of upper body, but the ultimate support is whatever is on the ground, so dantien isn't the main support structure, just the steering wheel.

On the other hand, maybe my dantien is so underdeveloped, my concepts are wrong.

John
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:28 PM   #13
HL1978
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Re: playing with weight and a question

Quote:
John Brockington wrote: View Post

But I do have a question for you- I was wondering why you suggest that there is a need to feel the load you are supporting in the dantien. I may have misinterpreted what you are saying, but your post seems to suggest a hierarchy of desirable load-bearing structures, with feet being the most basic, then kua as more advanced, then dantien. I always thought of dantien as more of a focal point for initiating movement that was primarily supported/driven by the ground, via the feet.

I do understand that you want to support your arms with your midsection, to shift away local muscle use in the arms themselves. But I have trouble seeing the dantien as a load-bearing structure that is not itself supported by another, lower, load bearing structure. Of course, I am still in the early learning stages of this, too, and may be conceptually limited as much as physically, accordingly.

John
To be honest I am not sure if there is a hierarchy, I do know it is relatively easy to feel pressure in one's foot as a foot in the door kind of thing. Now I know in solo training I can get the weight of my arms in various positions concentrated in the dantien area. Likewise I can "pull" the arms a few inches with the middle. Its when I do some of the two person stuff where I do not feel it concentrated there, instead more in the kua.

Given the amount of dantien development we see in some CMA practicioners, I would assume that the tanden/dantien is more than just a manipulator, that it must be an additive. Afterall we hear stuff about bringing the middle on out to the hands.
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:33 PM   #14
HL1978
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Re: playing with weight and a question

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
Hunter,

If you're feeling the load in your kua, wouldn't that just be the result of tension still remaining in the kua? Wouldn't you want the force/weight to just drop through your kua to your feet?
Thats a good question. I thought for a long time that you wanted to pass everything to the foot, but new that I had to somehow add to the persons push. The difference seems to be that when I do it in this manner, I'm not "Resisting" like when I tried to push with the legs or lower back. While, there is some muscle involved it seems to my partner like they are pushing themesleves away.

Thats a good question and I don't nearly have enough knowledge to say what is right or wrong. It seems to be working for the moment, but in 6 months perhaps my mind will have changed?

Quote:
Last week we were doing kata-otoshi and I was playing with a scenario much like what you described. I would start with my arm out against uke's shoulder and then connect to their center. That being, either they would lean slightly into me or if not, I would slightly push into them. Once connected I would just sink my weight into them and towards their gate. There's a definite balancing act in putting your weight into them without committing your balance as well, but after several times doing it statically like this it became much less deliberate. When there was a little more forward force from uke then it became more of a straight drop rather than a out and down kind of thing, because they were giving me the connection.
Yeah its really tough to figure out how to not commit that weight. I recognize when I can do it, but I can't do it consistantly. One thing that seems to be helping is that my pivot point keeps on moving lower, I'm trying not to pivot about the upper body. In something like pushout I'm trying to pivot about the ankle.
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:54 PM   #15
Tim Fong
 
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Re: playing with weight and a question

Hunter,
One thing that has worked for me is to do a lot of standing. 20 minutes, 5/6 times a week for 8 weeks gave me a greater awareness of carrying the load on the lower abdomen-- and also helped my shoulders relax.

Tim
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:10 PM   #16
HL1978
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Re: playing with weight and a question

I did various exercises over the weekend and got some helpful feedback.

Now when lowering the body I have been trying to "sit" into the lowering. Mainly folding/bending the kua rather than trying to bear the load in the thighs. The gentleman who leads our practice group suggested doing more than just that, in an approach that made me think of a scissor jack.



Now I mentioned in one of my previous posts about pivoting from the ankle, but now its more like a chain of bends. I bend the ankle, then the knee, then the hip/kua area. Looking at the scissor jack, the top par is my shoulders, and the bottom is the ankle. My knees and hips go outwards. Doing it in this way, along with which muscles I use on the front and back of the legs leads to the fronts of the thighs not being engaged while doing standing or the various aunkai exercises.
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:04 PM   #17
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: playing with weight and a question

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
I did various exercises over the weekend and got some helpful feedback.

Now when lowering the body I have been trying to "sit" into the lowering. Mainly folding/bending the kua rather than trying to bear the load in the thighs. The gentleman who leads our practice group suggested doing more than just that, in an approach that made me think of a scissor jack.



Now I mentioned in one of my previous posts about pivoting from the ankle, but now its more like a chain of bends. I bend the ankle, then the knee, then the hip/kua area. Looking at the scissor jack, the top par is my shoulders, and the bottom is the ankle. My knees and hips go outwards. Doing it in this way, along with which muscles I use on the front and back of the legs leads to the fronts of the thighs not being engaged while doing standing or the various aunkai exercises.
That's funny. I recently started to do my squats like this. Instead of thinking of pushing my torso up and easing it down, I think of my hips moving back and forth (bending and straightening my body at the hips and knees). It feels like my thighs have to work less.

Last edited by Dave de Vos : 04-25-2011 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:32 PM   #18
Mike Sigman
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Re: playing with weight and a question

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
As I said earlier, I feel this load in the crotch, in particular the kua as shown above or the perineum, but definitely more the kua. I don't generally feel it in the area associated with the dantien. Is this because the muscles in the crotch area are so weak that they need to be built up first? Am I focusing on the wrong thing or you will wind up feeling the loads in a number of places in the lower torso.
Hi Hunter:

Reading your question and knowing that you're an Akuzawa guy, I suddenly thought to ask what Akuzawa might possibly do for down-weighting situations like you're describing. I know that he has the "push-out" thing you mentioned above (for groundpath stuff) and I was wondering if he also had something similar to practice for down-weighting?

Best.

Mike Sigman
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:58 AM   #19
HL1978
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Re: playing with weight and a question

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Hi Hunter:
Reading your question and knowing that you're an Akuzawa guy, I suddenly thought to ask what Akuzawa might possibly do for down-weighting situations like you're describing. I know that he has the "push-out" thing you mentioned above (for groundpath stuff) and I was wondering if he also had something similar to practice for down-weighting?
Best.
Mike Sigman
Hi Mike,

I haven't been to Tokyo in 2 years, so what I write below is my own interpretation of what I think Ark's exercises are supposed to teach for down-weight. I can't recall in class or seminars, Akuzawa explicitly saying that these exercises were for down weighting, but on the other hand he has his own lexicography. At the moment I'm thinking that utilizing gravity is really what this "heaviness" feels like, but it is a centered gravity, not a leaning off balanced use of gravity. I'm not 100% sure if what I am doing right now is considered "down power" or "down weighting", so clarification of the term would help me figure out if we are talking about the same thing or not.

Note, some of these videos are done by students rather than Akuzawa and for illustrative purposes of the general shape of things. Unless performed by Akuzawa I wouldn't inherently consider them "correct"..

Solo exercises:
Mabu: Horse stance with arms stretched out forwards. Hands must stay heavy. If the shoulders engage they wont be heavy. If you watch Akuzawa's videos he goes around to check for this by taping/pushing on the palms. If the shoulders are holding up the arms and not relaxed, the person's shoulders jerk back when the palms are hit. If they are relaxed that push seems to travel down to the foot and the upper body doesn't move. Other than when you initially raise the arms, I don't see an open/close movement

Tenchijin Analagous to your universal exercise, though I certainly do not utilize a breath powered version yet as I focus soley on connecting the arms to the middle and keeping the hands "heavy" throughout the movement. I also add the "scissor jack" type movement discussed above, while sort of driving the kua area down in the front and using the back of the thigh to kind of push upwards. This causes an open to initiate the raise of the arms. Likewise when lowering the arms, you "sit" into it to initate a close to bring the arms down. If the arms remain heavy, someone should be able to push on them the whole way down without your shoulder kicking in to push back.

Shiko (legs need to keep the weight in them): the sumo stomp, but no focus on stomping into the ground, rather keeping weight in the legs causes the upper body to tilt over. I focus a lot more on keeping both of the feet heavy (and hands supported by the middle and heavy) instead of moving tension/pressure around the upper body. This drives the "lifting leg" outwards and initates the tilt over. Wether you are doing a linear or "winding" version of shiko (which I can not do), maintaining this heavyness at all times, and initiating the raises and lowering of the body and resultant arm movement by folding the kua/scissors movement seems to be required.

Partner exercises:
Pushout

Mabu walking (Looks like a variation of Forrest Chang's I Dream of Jeannie exercise)

For all of these exercises, at a starting point at least you have to keep the hands/arms "heavy". This does not mean pushing the arms down with the shoulders to make them heavy, but requires that the arms and shoulders are relaxed. Therefore something else must be pushing keeping them held upright. In partner training this could be your partner in the manner I discussed in my initial post, which is not a bad starting point if you are new to this sort of training. For solo training, I tried to lay some of it out above, but feel there is a high probability that my point would not get across properly. None the less, I think in order to do any of these exercises correctly beyond an initial stage, they need to be preformed with more than just relaxing the upper body, but rather supporting from the lower middle area.

I don't seem to actively open or close the upper part of the body for these exercises, though the kua opens and closes as part of driving the weight of the leg from back to front as you step forwards. You could of course close the upper body for walking mabu while keeping weight in the arms to "win" to take your partners balance and then maintain that and move more quickly, but one easily could get sidetracked on winning.

Now a while back on a different forum, you had mentioned that you thought some of these exercises were fairly advanced. I disagreed at the time as I was in fact doing them wrong, and now I have to say I would agree. There are simpler ways of getting your foot in the door for establishing ground paths, or learning how to relax your weight onto your opponent than the aunkai exercises. I'm not saying they are bad exercises by any means, you can just wind up working the wrong muscle groups if you don't have direct feedback from a teacher/partner who knows, or don't nearly think about it enough yourself. I had to start all over again about a year back to figure that out.

Alex has us do a number of simplified versions or warm ups prior to doing the actual aunkai exercises. Some of them are as simple as a very simple tenchijin. Essentially doing the whole getting under your hands thing I have spoke about in other posts (opening/forcing the kua down, and lengthing the backs of the legs) then simply relaxing and dropping your arms once your arms are over head. I don't pull the arms down, just let the force of gravity drop them down like if you dropped a wound up chain. You could of course add to the force of gravity with the dropped arms by closing, but I haven't been practicing that way.

If you can at least relax onto your opponent for pushout, pushout changes dramatically, for both partners as I spoke of in the manner in my original post. For a long time I merely pushed my arms out from the shoulder in a straight line. Now by relaxing the make an arc like a swinging pendulum. I can add to it, taking the weight of my opponent and arms into the crotch and by kind of pushing outwards/forwards from the kua/ top of the thigh right below the crotch to drive the arms forwards.

Before I discuss walking mabu in more depth, as a matter of form, the walking mabu exercise generally is preformed differently with both partners arms outstretched, or both bent and relaxed. None the less, it can be preformed by resting bodyweight onto your opponent, forcing them to hold you up muscularly or by countering by relaxing their weight back onto you resulting in equilibrium. Of course you have to add to it, by figuring out how to shift bodyweight from foot to foot, and resting your bodyweight+your opponents onto the kua area, down to the ground and rebounding back up.

Any feedback is kindly appreciated,

Hunter
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:20 PM   #20
HL1978
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Re: playing with weight and a question

Wow, you really can make your feet get heavier by not only taking your opponents weight and adding to your weight, but by adding even more pressure/weight.

I also learned today that making my opponenet hold up my bodyweight doesn't work nearly as well as counterbalancing my own arm weight elsewhere. If I just rest my weight then the quads push back if I try and walk forwards while my partner exerts pressure on me. Instead, if i can counterbalance it it seems like the kua can push down to add extra pressure to what my opponent is giving me.
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:46 PM   #21
jester
 
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Re: playing with weight and a question

Go check out the book "The Secrets of Judo".

It's about the scientific principals used in Judo. Some people, like myself, like to know why something works. This book explains it very well!

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Old 05-29-2011, 09:53 PM   #22
Mike Sigman
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Re: playing with weight and a question

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
Wow, you really can make your feet get heavier by not only taking your opponents weight and adding to your weight, but by adding even more pressure/weight.
Hi Hunter:

Just reading that I run into a wall. Add your opponent's weight with your weight and then add even more pressure/weight? Where do you get the last bit? It has to come from somewhere.

Best.

Mike
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:46 AM   #23
Michael Varin
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Re: playing with weight and a question

Hunter,

Weren't you going to post some videos of a few exercises or some things you are working on? Whatever happened to that? Don't you think you should stand by your word?

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote:
For all of these exercises, at a starting point at least you have to keep the hands/arms "heavy". This does not mean pushing the arms down with the shoulders to make them heavy, but requires that the arms and shoulders are relaxed. Therefore something else must be pushing keeping them held upright.
I know anatomy and kinesiology is a challenge for many of you, but, and this may come as a surprise, your shoulders cannot "push" the arms down.

So, if the shoulders are "relaxed" how do the arms raise?

Seriously. What does "relaxed" mean to you? Do you truly believe that it is possible to raise the arms without the deltoids activating? Or are you really referring to "feelings" that you want to develop in your body?

Listen, I agree that directing your weight straight down, using gravity, not depending on anything/anyone else for your balance, being relaxed, and favoring the lower body are all positive qualities, but I really feel you need to communicate much more clearly about the ideas you bring up for discussion.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:03 PM   #24
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Re: playing with weight and a question

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Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
....Now I mentioned in one of my previous posts about pivoting from the ankle, but now its more like a chain of bends. I bend the ankle, then the knee, then the hip/kua area. Looking at the scissor jack, the top par is my shoulders, and the bottom is the ankle. My knees and hips go outwards. Doing it in this way, along with which muscles I use on the front and back of the legs leads to the fronts of the thighs not being engaged while doing standing or the various aunkai exercises.
You might consult with a Goju-Ryu sensei and think about taking classes as they often train students in IP while also doing traditional kata instruction. In Aikido I have gotten some IP instruction when doing SUWARIWAZA - kokyuho and there are many shihans in Aikido who can give you instruction in this area if you ask them about it.
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:34 AM   #25
HL1978
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Re: playing with weight and a question

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Hi Hunter:

Just reading that I run into a wall. Add your opponent's weight with your weight and then add even more pressure/weight? Where do you get the last bit? It has to come from somewhere.

Best.

Mike
It would be pretty sweet if I could magically add more weight than the sum of my opponents weight and my own. Of course I doubt I could get 100% percent of my opponents weight either. By using muslces in the pelvic area, it seems like you feel additional pressure on the feet which I am associating with a weighted feeling. Contracting or relaxing a muscle can't add additional mass/weight, but only convey existing weight more clearly. I probably didn't convey the part about the kua/pelvic area on the last section of my previous post.

Alex showed it this way the other day. I had one foot forwards and one foot back. Alex stood on my rear foot and told me to move it forwards. Forrest had us do this exercise at his seminar last year. What most people who try it the first time do is try and pull with the rear leg while leaning forwards and they can't overcome the other persons weight easily. What Forrest showed was of course different.

He said that you would put jin in the front foot to pull the rear up. The front foot basically gets really heavy and it becomes relatively easy to pull the rear foot up at the same time while closing the front leg. I think at the time I was using the quads to pull it up, but I can use the inner thigh and pelvic crease to contract. I still use those muscles now, but not so much contracting them.

Now what do I mean by heavy? Well not just relaxed, but more like this, when I pick my foot off the ground there is no longer any pressure on the bottom of the foot so the foot feels "light". If you walk forwards the way someone typically does, each foot alternates between being "light" and heavy, in part because of the weight shift. Likewise pulling/pushing with the quads, as discussed below makes the foot get light. FYI I have no clue if Akuzawa talks about things going light or heavy, I don't recall. It might be Alex's own definition.

Alex had a different approach. The way that Forrest had us do it, the rear foot winds up getting light while being pulled forwards, or at least thats how I interpreted it during the seminar as it seemed to work for me. Perhaps Forrest explicitly said to keep it in the rear foot as well, but my notes don't reflect that for that specific exercise. I bet Forrest probably was keeping it in the rear from his Radio JIN rule: all jin all the time. Keeping jin at the point of contact with your partner. Alex's approach just reiterates that point, and explicitly tells you to keep it in the rear.

Alex had me keep both feet heavy throughout the entire time. The rear foot felt more pressure of course because I had someone standing on it. Now, like i said above, if i try and push and pull with the quads so that the foot goes off the ground the foot gets light. This could be the result of pushing the foot off the ground, or pulling it off the ground. Either way, despite the assistance of the front leg, you still have the rear leg fighting the weight of the person standing on your foot. In the manner Alex showed, you don't fight the weight (and never do), you keep the foot heavy as it moves forwards, by instead using the pelvic area to push into the ground through an elongation, likewise the rear of the thigh elongating.

This is a bit different from the typical movement where one muscle elongates while the other contracts. By pushing the muscles in the pelvic area down, it elongates and the leg straightens, coupled with the rear of the thigh elongating. Might just be a intent cue, because normaly if we relax a muscle it elongates, but if I was to relax more I would wind up getting lower to the ground.

Now the pressure in my foot seemed to actually increase (getting "heavier") and there was no fighting with my partners weight. I still did the same close with the front as how Forrest indicated. It was substantially easier to move the rear leg up.

Now this mechanic works just as well for the aunkai mabu walking, or Forrest's i dream of genie exercise. It also seems to make for seriously strong kicks when coupled with "falling into" your opponent. I'm trying this with every exercise I do and it is amazing how often my feet get light or heavy if I shift my posture from one direction to another. So for a kick this means that I have my body weight behind the kicking foot, but not IN the kicking foot. Only local muscle and the weight of the leg would be in that kick. Likewise it seems like it makes you a lot harder to unbalance.

It is becoming easier to shift my posture but keep the foot in the opposite direction of my shift to stay heavy.

Last edited by HL1978 : 05-31-2011 at 08:39 AM.
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