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Old 07-18-2011, 08:19 AM   #26
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Re: Moving with your center

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
Mary, I'll dare to put words in your mouth, this sounds like a shaddup-and-train.
I wouldn't argue with someone who wants to interpret it that way. If someone sees that as a bad thing, that's their problem and their loss. Aikido is a physical skill. I'm not going to get into any religious wars about whether it can also become something else -- mileage varies. But you can't get to the "something else" without the physical part first. It is the medium and the frame of reference, and just as you can't draw a line with a single data point, you can't extrapolate the "something else" unless you have abundant data points in the physical stuff.

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
But, what's good mechanics? Is it possible for someone to really have them after a year of training?
I'm sure you can argue the definition of "good mechanics" around to support either view, but I didn't say anything about "having" them. I was talking about working on them, and letting any "something elses" happen in their own good time.

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
And if, perhaps, good mechanics are to be regarded as what-sensei-says, and shaddup-and-train is to be regarded as do-what-sensei-says, but when sensei can't point out what's going wrong, ain't there a problem there?
Were we talking about the situation of a sensei who can't explain or good mechanics? Or is this a digression?

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
Could it be that good universal mechanics that apply to all movement is the entire problem of this whole martially-artsy-fartsy endeavor, and that if they were so basic that you already had them, and it was just a matter of applying them, there wouldn't be much point in training a lot anymore? If you only focus on what you think you already do right, what're you gonna learn?
That's the classic mistake of equating "basic" with "easily and trivially mastered". As a former sensei of mine once said, "It is simple. It isn't easy."
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:37 AM   #27
Lee Salzman
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Re: Moving with your center

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I wouldn't argue with someone who wants to interpret it that way. If someone sees that as a bad thing, that's their problem and their loss. Aikido is a physical skill. I'm not going to get into any religious wars about whether it can also become something else -- mileage varies. But you can't get to the "something else" without the physical part first. It is the medium and the frame of reference, and just as you can't draw a line with a single data point, you can't extrapolate the "something else" unless you have abundant data points in the physical stuff.
Yes, yes, abundant data points. My contention here is, I guess, that the aikido curriculum tends to have a bias in its data points, and that may reflect that it is a chopped down curriculum from something that was initially vastly bigger, and has resulted in a certain flavor, or flavors, and makes it hard to occasionally see the forest for the trees...

Quote:
I'm sure you can argue the definition of "good mechanics" around to support either view, but I didn't say anything about "having" them. I was talking about working on them, and letting any "something elses" happen in their own good time.

Were we talking about the situation of a sensei who can't explain or good mechanics? Or is this a digression?
It's not really a digression. I think it's part of the core issue. Ultimately the only authority we have for good mechanics in the beginning, and in the end, is perhaps our teachers. Monkey see, monkey do. If, even at an early phase, there are holes that even a teacher can't address, and yet mechanics the student is working on are defined by this teacher. Where there is a hole in the diagnosis, and the student is floundering, there's probably a basic missing. How do you work on something that's missing, and that nobody realizes is missing?

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That's the classic mistake of equating "basic" with "easily and trivially mastered". As a former sensei of mine once said, "It is simple. It isn't easy."
Okay, but what if it's not basic, and not simple, and that without definitive and focused training on it, you'd probably never get it, or would require several lifetimes or have a genius intellect beyond the majority of people to get it all in one lifetime, such that, with a teacher who knows what he's doing, and concentrated effort, it's still going to take a long-ass time to actually train it and do it? By not simple, I mean even if your brain fully understand what you had to do, you couldn't automatically do it. It's not simple. There is conditioning, a lot of conditioning, before it feels simple in any sense. And to be specific here, by "it" I mean elite-level athletic performance. I think we totally misrepresent the difficultly of athletics, do them a profound disservice, by calling them simple or basic, or by reducing them away with quaint aphorisms like "move with your center" or "flux-capacitate with your dantien". It's fookin' hard. It requires a guide who knows what they are doing, truly knows what they are doing beyond doubt. Effort alone is not enough, 'cause god knows a lot of people are putting in a lot of effort, mind-boggling amounts of effort, and still turning up short.

Last edited by Lee Salzman : 07-18-2011 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:42 AM   #28
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Re: Moving with your center

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Focus on basic mechanics: "energy extension" can't make up for a sloppy stance, badly distributed weight, hands held carelessly, pivoting on the heels, etc. It's my personal belief that good basic mechanics are a prerequisite to anything like "energy extension"
Speaking of diversity of viewpoints.. I just want to point out that it is my personal belief that good basic mechanics are separate from something that is called things like "energy extension." Using that terminology, energy extension can make up for sloppy stance, etc (once you are pretty good at the energy stuff). By the same token, good stances could make up for bad energy extension, so that by using special mechanical configurations, one could blow off all the "energy" work. But personally, I was pretty good at the strong stance stuff before and it only got me so far. So I'd rather go the other route.

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Mary Simonsen wrote: View Post
One problem I believe I have is I have good energy everywhere else in my body but from my shoulders to my hands I am like a hot spaghetti noodle. I have absolutely no energy from my shoulders to my hands...
I just wanted to come back to this because I realized I was barking up the wrong tree. If someone grabs your shoulder or lapels, rather than wrist, you are fine? So maybe you are GREAT at moving from your center in general, but simply have a connection deficit b/w hands and body?
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:07 AM   #29
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Re: Moving with your center

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
Let's just take that phrase, "when one thing moves, everything moves". This does not mean...your arms are rigid sticks affixed to a body that is moving, such that the arms get pushed along in space like they were just that, dead sticks. This does not mean your arms are limp noodles being whipped around as if they were injected with botulinum It means they actually move, as in they articulate, relative to their parent body. Dead sticks is no ki. Limp noodles is no ki.
Great points! The way the cart analogy was described to me (bearing in mind this was a first-day level of instruction) was that the arms are relaxed and sort of pushed by the center, but I really like that balancing Armsly analogy! I'll have to read that a few more times.

Quote:
And that gets back to, who made up the moving with the center thing anyway? Perhaps an oversimplification overglorification of that whole hara thing the Japanese seem so obsessed with? I don't think it was O'Sensei, that's for sure. Oh sure, he mentioned a hara, but did he really say it was a single point or that it operated in isolation? I really don't know the answer to those questions myself. I am no scholar or historian. But, are we putting too much stock in one, perhaps even misguided, interpretation amongst any other cool ones we could create that might work better, or just as well? Hmmm. What's aikido? What's not aikido? Probably doesn't matter at all anymore, so long as it improves performance in the thing.
In my dojo there is the concept of working on parts in order to integrate into the whole. The goal is whole-body interaction, so any time any part is given emphasis, that emphasis is (hopefully) understood to be a degree of progression, to be then added to the whole "tool set."

Last edited by mathewjgano : 07-18-2011 at 10:10 AM.

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Old 07-18-2011, 12:13 PM   #30
Lee Salzman
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Re: Moving with your center

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
In my dojo there is the concept of working on parts in order to integrate into the whole. The goal is whole-body interaction, so any time any part is given emphasis, that emphasis is (hopefully) understood to be a degree of progression, to be then added to the whole "tool set."
I'm curious. What kind of things do you focus on when working on integration of the upper body specifically?
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Old 07-18-2011, 04:53 PM   #31
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Re: Moving with your center

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
I'm curious. What kind of things do you focus on when working on integration of the upper body specifically?
When i do practice, I tend to think in general terms. Don't use the shoulders to raise the arms is the main thing for me. There are a few other things I play around with though, and I'll try to organize them here.
I should begin by saying that I haven't been a good student for quite some time and that I have only the most superficial understanding of anything (whatever I might be said to actually have an understanding of) to begin with.
On the whole, my focus is on balancing tension where ever I notice it, and trying to have a full, relaxed feeling.
Right now I begin by trying to have a strong extention along the vertical axis (spinal alignment); a feeling of "good" posture, reaching up through my crown and down through my perinium. So I start with an attempt at having a full sense of vertical expansion ("expanding my central column"). For this I try to reach up with my crown then "dangle" my body from it, then I bounce back and forth between this dangling feeling and the pushing up from the hips/legs feeling until I can have a sense of both at the same time, some times better than others. I also try to have a feeling of "sitting back within myself." Once I'm satisfied with the relaxed and expanded feeling I'll start playing with powering my arm movements by it, using my legs to lift and drop the column for cutting and raising movements, trying to use momentum more than muscle. I do a kind of "reverse furitama" where I reach through my arms and fingers and try to raise them with that up and down movement of my central column, usually bouncing my arms off my body (tricepts bouncing off chest area). For this I try to feel like my hara leads the movement: hara up pushes arms up, hara down pulls arms down. I try to time it right so I'm pulling down before gravity does.
For my upper body more specifically, I constantly try to feel my shoulder girdle pressing down until I get a sense of it resting on my spine/central column (and keeping it firmly resting there as much as I can, since once I start moving it tends to not rest "down" quite so well). I try to have my shoulders balanced with respect to the spine (e.g. my left shoulder and chest area droops and is somewhat concave compared to my right side). I try to keep my humorus drawn into the shoulder socket and pay close attention (as close as I am able) to whether or not it's being seperated. I also try to feel all the way around it at the same time. In fact this is the basis for my meager practice: sequential feeling of contiguous lines and areas. If I feel for my shoulders as I practice cuts, for example, I notice I'm usually just feeling portions of them; some more than others, and some not at all. My efforts are centered around feeling the whole thing at the same time (one thing moves everything moves?). Sometimes I feel something like a band running around the shoulder joint, more or less vertically, but I'm not sure if that's because I'm using too much latisimus dorsi or trapezius or whatever it is I'm using.
As usual, the more I write the less confident I feel. Like I said, i don't practice enough...and I probably shouldn't try to chime in because of it, but FWIW, there's a start. I might get ballsy and shoot a video of what I look like. I'll try to think more about it and see if I can't find a better description...might help to practice more too...have I mentioned I don't practice enough?
What do you tend to focus on?
p.s. in my defense I'm juggling my 2-year old, my 5-day old and this post, so I apologize for any haphazard descriptions.
Take care,
Matt

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Old 07-18-2011, 06:22 PM   #32
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Re: Moving with your center

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Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote:
As for moving with the center, you will probably get better discussion out of the non-aikido forum as well for specific exercises.
No ,if you want advice for doing mma from Dan or chinese martial arts from Mike the non-Aikido forum would be the place to go, but for Aikido stick with the Aikido portion of Aikiweb.

dps
Interesting.
I haven't heard or read much of anything here that had good practical value for training "moving from your center" from any source in aikido. I've met top Japanese teachers and many shihan under them. I've yet to meet anyone teaching modern Aikido who had students who were good at these things who learned it from within modern Aikido. They all went outside the art as well.
Can you tell us who you were referring to from Aikido™, so it just doesn't sound like sour grapes?
The fact that you still think moving from your center is different in Aikido™ then elsewhere, pretty much defines where you're at. For everyone else who knows better, your points make no sense at all.

Good luck in your search. I would suggest either going outside modern Aikido yourself or going to some of the teachers who have been going outside to learn. There are more and more of them. But wait...if you go to people like Ikeda and others like him...you are doing what you just advocated against. Because they went outside Aikido™ to get it as well.
Dan
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:28 PM   #33
Lee Salzman
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Re: Moving with your center

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
When i do practice, I tend to think in general terms. Don't use the shoulders to raise the arms is the main thing for me. There are a few other things I play around with though, and I'll try to organize them here.
I should begin by saying that I haven't been a good student for quite some time and that I have only the most superficial understanding of anything (whatever I might be said to actually have an understanding of) to begin with.
On the whole, my focus is on balancing tension where ever I notice it, and trying to have a full, relaxed feeling.
Right now I begin by trying to have a strong extention along the vertical axis (spinal alignment); a feeling of "good" posture, reaching up through my crown and down through my perinium. So I start with an attempt at having a full sense of vertical expansion ("expanding my central column"). For this I try to reach up with my crown then "dangle" my body from it, then I bounce back and forth between this dangling feeling and the pushing up from the hips/legs feeling until I can have a sense of both at the same time, some times better than others. I also try to have a feeling of "sitting back within myself." Once I'm satisfied with the relaxed and expanded feeling I'll start playing with powering my arm movements by it, using my legs to lift and drop the column for cutting and raising movements, trying to use momentum more than muscle. I do a kind of "reverse furitama" where I reach through my arms and fingers and try to raise them with that up and down movement of my central column, usually bouncing my arms off my body (tricepts bouncing off chest area). For this I try to feel like my hara leads the movement: hara up pushes arms up, hara down pulls arms down. I try to time it right so I'm pulling down before gravity does.
For my upper body more specifically, I constantly try to feel my shoulder girdle pressing down until I get a sense of it resting on my spine/central column (and keeping it firmly resting there as much as I can, since once I start moving it tends to not rest "down" quite so well). I try to have my shoulders balanced with respect to the spine (e.g. my left shoulder and chest area droops and is somewhat concave compared to my right side). I try to keep my humorus drawn into the shoulder socket and pay close attention (as close as I am able) to whether or not it's being seperated. I also try to feel all the way around it at the same time. In fact this is the basis for my meager practice: sequential feeling of contiguous lines and areas. If I feel for my shoulders as I practice cuts, for example, I notice I'm usually just feeling portions of them; some more than others, and some not at all. My efforts are centered around feeling the whole thing at the same time (one thing moves everything moves?). Sometimes I feel something like a band running around the shoulder joint, more or less vertically, but I'm not sure if that's because I'm using too much latisimus dorsi or trapezius or whatever it is I'm using.
As usual, the more I write the less confident I feel. Like I said, i don't practice enough...and I probably shouldn't try to chime in because of it, but FWIW, there's a start. I might get ballsy and shoot a video of what I look like. I'll try to think more about it and see if I can't find a better description...might help to practice more too...have I mentioned I don't practice enough?
What do you tend to focus on?
p.s. in my defense I'm juggling my 2-year old, my 5-day old and this post, so I apologize for any haphazard descriptions.
Take care,
Matt
Well, it's been a fun year. I have spent much time on trying to decipher "drive your spine into your arms" and "drive your spine into your legs" to be balanced with the koans "no sharp angles" and "you don't see naked skeletons walking around", and I didn't directly hear this one, but I think it was implied at times just by how spectacularly I managed to screw up the first two, "let's step back a moment, first try to drive your spine into your spine", actually phrased more like "no no, you're using your spine like a giant stick" , until it eventually started to sink in that it is all one drive and that it went, well, through things. That was a lot of quality time pushing walls in all number of variations - sitting on butt, on knees, facing wall, facing away from wall, shoulder against wall, arms against wall, head against wall, butt against wall, back against wall, with arms collapsing, with legs collapsing, with neck collapsing. But within each of those it was working on looking for and diagnosing collapses at specific points in the body - like pushing the head against the wall while sitting on butt for trying to monitor collapse of the cervical spine. Lots of pushing people while they are pushing on me just the same - I guess you could say sumo style - to test all that against real resistance - on the ground, standing up, on the knees, sitting down, gripping the arms, gripping the neck, gripping the legs. Then lots of practicing that in a wild variety of movements trying to make sure nothing got lost in translation, and still a lot of doing that, but for almost different reasons now.

Somewhere along the line came the realization of Mr. Armsly, that he is really Mr. Legsly, and that Mr. Legsly is really also Mr. Armsly - there is really quite a striking and beautiful symmetry to the pelvis and the ribcage, and it really still sort of amazes me. But going back a few years ago, I don't think I realized I could have and should have worked on all of that, and maybe all I would have worked on was zazen, funekogi undo, irimi-tenkan, suburi, stuff like that, and looking back on the decade of trying that, it feels like I got more out of an hour sitting on the floor pushing the top of my head into a wall than all of it, so I am starting to think it is less a matter of simply time-in than a matter of time well spent.

Last edited by Lee Salzman : 07-18-2011 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:41 PM   #34
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Re: Moving with your center

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
No ,if you want advice for doing mma from Dan or chinese martial arts from Mike the non-Aikido forum would be the place to go, but for Aikido stick with the Aikido portion of Aikiweb.

dps
Hi David
you are mistaken,if you want to understand the deeper aspects of aikido or chinese martial arts Dan can show and teach what one needs to know that is why the so called experts are studying with him.

stan
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:58 PM   #35
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Re: Moving with your center

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
my 5-day old
Congratulations, Matt.
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:08 PM   #36
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Re: Moving with your center

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Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
Congratulations, Matt.
Indeed! Wonderful news. Congratulations
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:44 PM   #37
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Re: Moving with your center

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
Well, it's been a fun year. I have spent much time on trying to decipher "drive your spine into your arms" and "drive your spine into your legs"
That's very interesting. Would you be able to describe it a bit further? Is there a specific process you follow for driving the spine into the arms, for example?

And to check if I'm going off-topic too much: would you say that working on "spine driving" helps to connect movement to center? It seems like it would, though your "giant stick" comment makes me think perhaps not necessarily so. I'd definately like to hear what ever else you could share about it.

To Thomas and Josh, thank you! I'm pretty happy, despite the lack of sleep.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 07-18-2011 at 09:46 PM.

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Old 07-18-2011, 10:33 PM   #38
Lee Salzman
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Re: Moving with your center

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
That's very interesting. Would you be able to describe it a bit further? Is there a specific process you follow for driving the spine into the arms, for example?
The term drive is meant to be descriptive. Think driving a nail into the wall with a hammer, you don't hit the nail on the side, you hit the nail on the head, driving through it into the wall. Or if you want something a little more impressive sounding, think driving a spike into the ground with a sledgehammer. There are in a sense specifics, but they are best arrived at by grasping the idea somewhere and just expanding it to everywhere else, but that will really require a teacher to help you do.

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote:
And to check if I'm going off-topic too much: would you say that working on "spine driving" helps to connect movement to center? It seems like it would, though your "giant stick" comment makes me think perhaps not necessarily so. I'd definately like to hear what ever else you could share about it.
That drive is in and of itself a sort of connection. Is it the connection in aikido we're all seeking in the end? Dunno, still working on that question, and there are certainly other interpretations or terminology, probably more mainstream ones than that. But, if the spine were nothing more than a rigid stick, then how could it drive into things? In the hammer-and-nail analogy, it's like bashing into the nail with the handle of the hammer, rather than its striking surface. You don't bash into things with the side of your spine, you drive through the spine into things. The spine must be articulated to do that, which requires doing more than holding it in place like a fixed rod, it can flex and extend.

And then there are things it runs into, like the ribcage and the pelvis, which also have significant lives of their own, and in some sense the spine drives into them, and they drive into the spine, and the limbs drive into them, and they drive into the limbs, and you can subdivide it further looking for smaller and smaller drives in between the bigger ones...

But, what provides the drive/articulates it all, and for that matter how best to articulate it (cf: "you don't see naked skeletons walking around")? That's a big can of worms, and that's again where you probably are best leaving interpretations up to a specific teacher who can guide you through figuring that out hands-on in-person with a definite plan in mind. But it is certainly using a lot more stuff throughout the body than merely doing funny movements with your stomach (cf: "flux-capacitate with your dantien").
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:15 AM   #39
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Re: Moving with your center

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Stan Baker wrote: View Post
Hi David
you are mistaken,if you want to understand the deeper aspects of aikido or chinese martial arts Dan can show and teach what one needs to know that is why the so called experts are studying with him.

stan
and Dan wonders aloud why he gets the types of messages he gets...
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:29 AM   #40
DH
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Re: Moving with your center

I agree
Stan doesn't help with these kinds of posts, and neither does personalizing an entire field of study to an individual.
Dan
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:11 AM   #41
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Moving with your center

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
... if you go to people like Ikeda ...
I will visit a seminar of Ikeda sensei next weekend. Never met him before.

And I never "met" IS/IP like you teach it and like it is discussed here so often. Just know this issue from reading here.

Can I get an impression of what you are talking about by practicing with him? (Or by watching him. I don't expect giving ukemi ...)
To what do I have to pay attention or watch out for?
Can you guide my eyes or even better my feeling , my attentivness?
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:31 AM   #42
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Re: Moving with your center

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
No ,if you want advice for doing mma from Dan or chinese martial arts from Mike the non-Aikido forum would be the place to go, but for Aikido stick with the Aikido portion of Aikiweb.

dps
I disagree pretty strongly with the above advice. Been doing aikido for 17 years plus and learned some about "moving from center," but working with Dan (just a short time) has REALLY accelerated and improved my aikido practice. Certainly it's NOT just for MMA. One of my aikido teachers from Japan is coming to visit next month and I can't wait to see if he notices changes in me.

Last edited by SteveTrinkle : 07-19-2011 at 11:32 AM. Reason: Ephasis added

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Old 07-19-2011, 02:26 PM   #43
Janet Rosen
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Re: Moving with your center

When I was at a seminar w/ Ikeda Sensei a few months ago, for the first time, and after doing some solo IS exercises for a while, I found that it is explicitly what he is teaching, in very clear terms, and that while people were training he was very active on the mat having students of all levels grab him. Enjoy!

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
I will visit a seminar of Ikeda sensei next weekend. Never met him before.

And I never "met" IS/IP like you teach it and like it is discussed here so often. Just know this issue from reading here.

Can I get an impression of what you are talking about by practicing with him? (Or by watching him. I don't expect giving ukemi ...)
To what do I have to pay attention or watch out for?
Can you guide my eyes or even better my feeling , my attentivness?

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:10 PM   #44
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Re: Moving with your center

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
I will visit a seminar of Ikeda sensei next weekend. Never met him before.

And I never "met" IS/IP like you teach it and like it is discussed here so often. Just know this issue from reading here.

Can I get an impression of what you are talking about by practicing with him? (Or by watching him. I don't expect giving ukemi ...)
To what do I have to pay attention or watch out for?
Can you guide my eyes or even better my feeling , my attentivness?
I would second what Janet said. He is basically doing the same things, though IMO you'd have some difficulty figuring out what he's asking you to do without some previous IS/IP experience.

Do not be shy about trying to get some hands on time with him.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:45 PM   #45
hughrbeyer
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
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Re: Moving with your center

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
No ,if you want advice for doing mma from Dan or chinese martial arts from Mike the non-Aikido forum would be the place to go, but for Aikido stick with the Aikido portion of Aikiweb.
I guess I'm just dense. I interpreted this to mean: If you want to talk about improving your Aikido, keep it in the Aikido portion of Aikiweb because that's where Aikido discussions belong. If you're talking about improving your Aikido with IP, keep it in the Aikido portion of AIkiweb because ditto. And if Dan or Mike or anybody else comes along to add insight about how to improve your Aikido with IP or IS or any of that internal stuff, it's fine to do that in the Aikido portion of Aikiweb because ditto.

This is one art, not two. If I want to talk about how carrying a blue plastic chew toy in my mouth improves my Aikido, I'll claim the right to do it in the AIkido portion of Aikiweb because ditto.

No ghettos.
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:07 PM   #46
lbb
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Re: Moving with your center

Heeeere comes ol' number 9, chuggin' down the tracks...and...uh...



Oh gosh darn, it happened again.
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:45 PM   #47
rob_liberti
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Re: Moving with your center

So Mary, how do you move with center? Let's get back on track.

old mcdojo had a form, aiki aiki do...
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:54 PM   #48
hughrbeyer
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Re: Moving with your center

LOL. Mary, you get extra points for the pic.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:15 PM   #49
Mike Sigman
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Re: Moving with your center

Moving with the center as part of internal-strength skills is like the rest of internal-strength.... there are levels and additions so someone showing people how to move with the middle may be, for example, totally unaware of later/fuller components. The reason I say this is because it's unclear that various "names" in Aikido (Ueshiba, Tohei, Shioda, Abe, etc., etc.) all did the same thing. It can be difficult to tell. So the implication is that "tell me how to move with my center" is not necessarily a question with a simple answer.

The question of exactly how Ueshiba, Tohei, et al moved "with their center" is another question worth taking a look at.

I've watched so many variations of "this is how to move with the center/dantien/hara" over the years that I'm more or less watching how this develops . One thing I'd point out is that to effect a physical result a certain amount of force is used; doing something "with your center" doesn't take away whatever the required force is. You have to train other parts of the body to generate the force. So if someone posts "I'm trying to use my shoulders less", I always think: "what are you doing that replaces the forces that your shoulder was providing?". Most people have no real idea. As a clue I'd point to the fact that someone who really uses his middle (say, Chen Xiaowang and many other Chinese), one of the giveaways is that they have small upper arms: if you truly generate power from the middle, that's where the muscle is.

So instead of just blindly talking about "moving with your center", shouldn't some of the questioning/commentary be around the question of "why is moving from the middle an advantage"?

2 cents.

Mike Sigman
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:37 PM   #50
DH
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Re: Moving with your center

Heh heh heh
Okay, I'll play. Moving from your center imparts a certain conditioning there. One of the giveaways of those who really don't get it is their non-conditioned loose fat belllies and stiff bodies, which rock their frame on to their heels and outer edges of their feet when they receive load- which defies any real capabilities to use dantian beyond a hopeful intellectual curiosity. It's good to get your hands on some accomplished people to see and feel the difference.

Last edited by DH : 07-19-2011 at 09:40 PM.
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