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Old 07-29-2011, 12:00 PM   #1
Rabih Shanshiry
 
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Aikido is Elbow Power

It was referenced in this thread that Ueshiba said "Aikido is Elbow Power."

In Yoshinkan Aikido, two of the six foundational solo exercises are "Elbow Power #1" and "Elbow Power #2" [Hiriki no Yosei ichi & ni].

What IS elbow power?? And why is it so important that Ueshiba would have equated it with Aikido?
 
Old 07-29-2011, 02:49 PM   #2
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Are there any references of Ueshiba to elbow power? Or is that just Shioda?
 
Old 07-29-2011, 05:45 PM   #3
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
Are there any references of Ueshiba to elbow power? Or is that just Shioda?
I believe that it's mentioned in "Budo" as a secret technique with no explanation or photograph. It's also common to hear it referred to, I believe, in Chinese internal martial arts.

Best,

Chris

 
Old 07-29-2011, 11:18 PM   #4
Janet Rosen
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I believe that it's mentioned in "Budo" as a secret technique with no explanation or photograph. It's also common to hear it referred to, I believe, in Chinese internal martial arts.

Best,

Chris
Dunno about internal arts but anybody who rides the 30-Stockton bus thru Chinatown will testify as to the external proficiency of little old ladies' Elbow Power! Even this Brooklyn budobabe is awed. :-)

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
 
Old 07-30-2011, 04:20 AM   #5
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

As someone once said to me back in my taekwondo days, "The elbow always wins."
 
Old 07-30-2011, 04:38 AM   #6
Lee Salzman
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Quote:
Rabih Shanshiry wrote: View Post
It was referenced in this thread that Ueshiba said "Aikido is Elbow Power."

In Yoshinkan Aikido, two of the six foundational solo exercises are "Elbow Power #1" and "Elbow Power #2" [Hiriki no Yosei ichi & ni].

What IS elbow power?? And why is it so important that Ueshiba would have equated it with Aikido?
In this Gozo Shioda interview here, he states:

Quote:
Gozo Shioda wrote:
Yoshinkan Technical Method How was the original teaching method of Yoshinkan Aikido developed? I know that Ueshiba Sensei's techniques were wonderful, but what he did one day was completely different from the day before. Since Ueshiba Sensei did whatever came into his mind, those who were training watched what he was doing without understanding. There were nothing at all like the basics we do today. He would do whatever came to his mind.

But if you try to teach beginners that way, no one will learn. So I thought I had to systematize these techniques when I started teaching at the Nippon Kokan Steel Company. I began to analyze the techniques and develop a teaching system, synthesizing what I had learned up until then. Then I also organized the applications of techniques. I examined the old techniques I had learned.

Did anyone in particular assist you when you were developing your teaching method? When Kyoichi Inoue was a young student I tried out various things directly on him and developed the system. So, for example, I developed things like hiriki no yosei [elbow power development] and also assigned names.

You also assigned names? Yes. I also decided on the names. Maybe you could say they are somewhat arbitrary.
Doesn't really state what it is, but at least it clarifies that as a distinct training principle, it seems to be something Gozo Shioda isolated for the Yoshinkan system.
 
Old 07-30-2011, 10:46 AM   #7
graham christian
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

I don't know about it being a basic but it is something you become more aware of and it's usage.

However tnere is a guy who took to it and developed Hiriki Aikido.

You can look it up on google. Here's a vid.

http://youtu.be/SLZnLg13p3Y

Regards.G.
 
Old 07-30-2011, 12:13 PM   #8
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
I don't know about it being a basic but it is something you become more aware of and it's usage.

However tnere is a guy who took to it and developed Hiriki Aikido.

You can look it up on google. Here's a vid.

http://youtu.be/SLZnLg13p3Y

Regards.G.
That ain't it. Graham, you don't even enter the ballpark with this video or your own.
What elbow power actually is, isn't that simple, or crude, it is rather sophisticated and involves whole body use to enhance aiki....
I haven't personally seen it or felt it expressed in aikido....yet.

Dan
 
Old 07-30-2011, 12:30 PM   #9
graham christian
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
That ain't it. Graham, you don't even enter the ballpark with this video or your own.
What elbow power actually is, isn't that simple, or crude, it is rather sophisticated and involves whole body use to enhance aiki....
I haven't personally seen it or felt it expressed in aikido....yet.

Dan
Dan, give me some elbow room please. I didn't say that was it, I pointed out a guy who does what he says is it.

I know the ballpark thanks. Shame you haven't seen it expressed or used in Aikido.

Regards.G.
 
Old 07-30-2011, 12:37 PM   #10
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Dan, give me some elbow room please. I didn't say that was it, I pointed out a guy who does what he says is it.
I know the ballpark thanks. Shame you haven't seen it expressed or used in Aikido.

Regards.G.
Odd that you say you know yet it doesn't appear anywhere in your movement. It should be in everything you do, all that you do. Since it is not expressed in anything that you do...one would naturally ask why is that?
Dan
 
Old 07-30-2011, 12:45 PM   #11
graham christian
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Odd that you say you know yet it doesn't appear anywhere in your movement. It should be in everything you do, all that you do. Since it is not expressed in anything that you do...one would naturally ask why is that?
Dan
So elbow power, or your take on it, should be in all my movements?

I find that a very strange thing to say.

I do indeed ask naturally why you can't see what I'm doing. I also ask why is that?

Regards.G.
 
Old 07-30-2011, 03:22 PM   #12
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Elbow power is an idea, a principle and technique praticed in the kihon dosa of the Yoshinkan. It teaches one to use their whole body behind an arm movement, unifying and focusing power. Hiriki no yosei dai ni is the same thing, but adds a shifting movement. While the exact visual representation of elbow power may not be seen in every aikido techniques, the principal behind it can often be pointed out in a variety of movements.

I can't see the video, but there are some good vids of kihon dosa on the 'ole Youtube. Kihon Dosa to Kanren Waza is a great little montage of the kihon dosa coupled with a prac app technique.

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
 
Old 07-30-2011, 03:33 PM   #13
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
So elbow power, or your take on it, should be in all my movements?
I find that a very strange thing to say.
Regards.G.
It's because you really don't know what it is yet, Graham. That's okay, I'm sure you're having fun, there's no requirement that you do higher level stuff than what you know or are ready for.
All in due time..
Dan
 
Old 07-30-2011, 04:22 PM   #14
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
It's because you really don't know what it is yet, Graham. That's okay, I'm sure you're having fun, there's no requirement that you do higher level stuff than what you know or are ready for.
All in due time..
Dan
Harmony is true power. Lest we forget.

Assigning power to a body part I'll leave to you.

Regards.G.
 
Old 07-31-2011, 03:39 AM   #15
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
So elbow power, or your take on it, should be in all my movements?
I think it should. As far as I understood what I heard and read about it - I'm not doing Yoshinkan aikido, only met some people - hiriki is something which is included, or at least should be included always in any style of aikido.
I think it is just that different teachers focus on different terms and different methods of teaching to express and teach their certain understanding or interrests.

To be sure I looked it up again this morning in "Total Aikido" of Shioda Gozo. We don't to his two exercises shown there to be fundamental training methods. But I think, we always practice and train what they want to teach.
Or better what I think they want to teach: Transfering your (breath) power from the tanden (often referred to but not identical with "the hips") into and through your arms.

As a simple, practical advice we often say: "Don't lift your hand with your arm. Let uke have/hold your hand and lift your elbows with your hips (there is a connection). And have some energy just in your fingertips."
There is much more to say and learn about the tanden, the shoulders, especially the legs. All this is involved.

But as far as I understand hiriki is about the whole body being connected and transferring power through the elbows. We have our hands relaxed alway and we very seldom grab uke. So what I understand as elbow power is always part of our aikido.
And working with the sword it simply is what moves the sword. Not the hands, not the shoulders.

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 07-31-2011 at 03:42 AM.
 
Old 07-31-2011, 06:34 AM   #16
graham christian
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
I think it should. As far as I understood what I heard and read about it - I'm not doing Yoshinkan aikido, only met some people - hiriki is something which is included, or at least should be included always in any style of aikido.
I think it is just that different teachers focus on different terms and different methods of teaching to express and teach their certain understanding or interrests.

To be sure I looked it up again this morning in "Total Aikido" of Shioda Gozo. We don't to his two exercises shown there to be fundamental training methods. But I think, we always practice and train what they want to teach.
Or better what I think they want to teach: Transfering your (breath) power from the tanden (often referred to but not identical with "the hips") into and through your arms.

As a simple, practical advice we often say: "Don't lift your hand with your arm. Let uke have/hold your hand and lift your elbows with your hips (there is a connection). And have some energy just in your fingertips."
There is much more to say and learn about the tanden, the shoulders, especially the legs. All this is involved.

But as far as I understand hiriki is about the whole body being connected and transferring power through the elbows. We have our hands relaxed alway and we very seldom grab uke. So what I understand as elbow power is always part of our aikido.
And working with the sword it simply is what moves the sword. Not the hands, not the shoulders.
Hi Carsten.
I agree. Not having trained in Yoshinkan I havn't maybe had it as a basic principle as they do but I do understand and use it as you describe. This comes about through two reasons from my training.

1) The continuous use of weight underside.
2) Leading Ki.

Of course people pointing out all the time that it's based on all parts being connected applies to all moves so I don't get the significance there. It should be taught from day one.

There are many aspects to the use of the elbow the most basic being it should not be sticking out except when leading. This as you say is especially important in sword work.

In the early days my teacher would hit the elbow with the bokken every time it wasn't tucked in. As far as cutting goes I think you'll find it's not only the elbow that leads but together with the knee and foot.

For me in tight situations the elbow is merely as if I have a short arm and so is like using tegatana.

Regards.G.
 
Old 07-31-2011, 06:45 AM   #17
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Found something on youtube:
Elbow power basic excercises
 
Old 07-31-2011, 07:00 AM   #18
Lee Salzman
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Found something on youtube:
Elbow power basic excercises
One thing that always strikes me as odd in a lot of videos like this, why does the back leg get dragged around like a heavy piece of carry-on luggage? How does this help with power and mobility?
 
Old 07-31-2011, 07:50 AM   #19
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
One thing that always strikes me as odd in a lot of videos like this, why does the back leg get dragged around like a heavy piece of carry-on luggage? How does this help with power and mobility?
It isn't the luggage it is the engine ( or as least a transmission if I'm getting my Aikido / car analogy right) and anchor (ok so cars don't anchors) at different moments.

First, for power and mobility. As the leg is kept straight the, for lack of a better word, 'slack' is out of the system. So as in all good Aikido, the movement originates at the hips so even a small 'flick' of the hips due to the nature of the leg's connection to the ground translates (extremely efficiently) into force which can be focused, like the way in the exercise show. So what is holding up whatever force you're not supposed to try to lift with your arm? That same straight back leg, you should feel the weight on the arm in the back toes.

What slows you down from a really spirited shuffle and allows the upper posture to remain consistent without making the front knee work hard? Good old, always there straight back leg.

My take on it anyway as a 3 year Yoshinkan practitioner.

Basically always on connection to the ground.
 
Old 07-31-2011, 10:53 AM   #20
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
That ain't it. Graham, you don't even enter the ballpark with this video or your own.
What elbow power actually is, isn't that simple, or crude, it is rather sophisticated and involves whole body use to enhance aiki....
I haven't personally seen it or felt it expressed in aikido....yet.

Dan
While it may not be in the terms of experience you're familiar with Dan. Shoji Nishio emphasized "elbow" power and it is an integral part of our Aikido practice and has been for over 50 years. One of the first things a beginner learns and practices is the elbow kata, which helps them experience and understand that power in techniques "comes from" the elbow. I am sure it's not IP but it is a key component of our practice.

William Hazen
 
Old 07-31-2011, 11:03 AM   #21
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Found something on youtube:
Elbow power basic excercises
From our perspective it's nothing like our elbow kata at all. Our toes are pointed in towards uke, and also in our hanmi our feet are under us, not moving more that a half step always in a circular motion. The movements are smaller and more precise.

William Hazen
 
Old 07-31-2011, 11:37 AM   #22
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
While it may not be in the terms of experience you're familiar with Dan. Shoji Nishio emphasized "elbow" power and it is an integral part of our Aikido practice and has been for over 50 years. One of the first things a beginner learns and practices is the elbow kata, which helps them experience and understand that power in techniques "comes from" the elbow. I am sure it's not IP but it is a key component of our practice.

William Hazen
Hello William
Good to see you back.
Elbow power is part IP and it is also part aiki. As waza...I am uninterested. That stuff just happened after the fact. So getting all hepped up on waza is not a way I would go to understand IP or aiki. None of the uses mentioned cover all three.It is interesting and enternaining to see some peoples fluid and chameleon like changes in their posistion.
All the best
Dan
 
Old 07-31-2011, 11:39 AM   #23
Lee Salzman
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Quote:
Anthony Loeppert wrote: View Post
It isn't the luggage it is the engine ( or as least a transmission if I'm getting my Aikido / car analogy right) and anchor (ok so cars don't anchors) at different moments.

First, for power and mobility. As the leg is kept straight the, for lack of a better word, 'slack' is out of the system. So as in all good Aikido, the movement originates at the hips so even a small 'flick' of the hips due to the nature of the leg's connection to the ground translates (extremely efficiently) into force which can be focused, like the way in the exercise show. So what is holding up whatever force you're not supposed to try to lift with your arm? That same straight back leg, you should feel the weight on the arm in the back toes.

What slows you down from a really spirited shuffle and allows the upper posture to remain consistent without making the front knee work hard? Good old, always there straight back leg.

My take on it anyway as a 3 year Yoshinkan practitioner.

Basically always on connection to the ground.
But did this anchoring interpretation come from Gozo Shioda or was this the interpretation of one of Shioda's students? Wouldn't you basically want the engine to never shut off, keep it live, rather than let it sputter off?
 
Old 07-31-2011, 12:17 PM   #24
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

I still can't figure out what it means specifically. Everything Carsten said and everything Dan hinted at suggests to me:
elbow power is just another name for the basics of internal strength.

True?
And if true-- we still seem to have different people using the same term to mean non-related things.

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
Wouldn't you basically want the engine to never shut off, keep it live, rather than let it sputter off?
On this note, I really agree. It sounds more like the use of a parking brake when doing stop-and-go up a hill in a manual transmission than a continual engine engagement. I've watched a lot of Shioda videos and I just don't see him doing that back leg thing. Hey Lee, did you get my email reply to you? Check your spam filter..
 
Old 07-31-2011, 12:31 PM   #25
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Quote:
On this note, I really agree. It sounds more like the use of a parking brake when doing stop-and-go up a hill in a manual transmission than a continual engine engagement. I've watched a lot of Shioda videos and I just don't see him doing that back leg thing.
I don't mean to dispute anyone's direct experience in the Yoshinkan. It's just, yeah, when you look at videos of Shioda, his legs are always moving like live wires, springing and pivoting off the balls of his feet like he was dancing on smoldering lava. I just would like to understand the exercises and why they look so different from how Shioda moves in the end.

Quote:
Hey Lee, did you get my email reply to you? Check your spam filter..
Possibly got lost in the deluge, man. See PM.
 

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