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Old 07-31-2011, 01:44 PM   #26
graham christian
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

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Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
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.

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..
Jonathan.
I would say it is not a basic. There are many things to learn about it but that doesn't make it a basic. The basics for me are centre, one point,Ki extension, centre line, koshi, hara and kokyu. Then comes the natural pathways of energy and thus harmonious motion. That's enough to get on with for the first ten years at least.

Regards.G.
 
Old 07-31-2011, 02:02 PM   #27
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Jonathan.
I would say it is not a basic. There are many things to learn about it but that doesn't make it a basic. The basics for me are centre, one point,Ki extension, centre line, koshi, hara and kokyu. Then comes the natural pathways of energy and thus harmonious motion. That's enough to get on with for the first ten years at least.

Regards.G.
Well someday maybe we'll meet and I can see how this list functions. For me, basic = kokyu. Next comes improving the kokyu via ki development. That's obsessed me for 3 years and has gotten some interesting comments from partners. Next.. well I better start meeting others and seeing what amazing stuff they are doing!

ps by kokyu I mean "putting the center into the hands" and that sort of thing, which is why the comments in this thread don't seem to suggest a specific meaning for "elbow power" to me.
 
Old 07-31-2011, 02:05 PM   #28
Anthony Loeppert
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
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?
It came from me saying it on the internet - and I put my experience in there (3 years) just to say I'm not an expert by any means nor am I a beginner. I definitely do not want to put my words on anyone else.

In the form, the leg stays straight. You don't let it go light and you since you can't bend it (and stay strictly within the form), as the leg is attached, it drags behind and can aid stability because it is always active. If my analogy was poor, then just discard it.

As skill progresses (I'm told), this form becomes less important and is merely a teaching tool, so at the top level like Shioda he would have no need to rely on the basic form to remind and train the body of the fundamentals because he had already mastered them.

I just stick to the form to strive for technical perfection withinit as I'm not a martial genius and couldn't figure out a better way to do it myself. So far no dead ends.
 
Old 07-31-2011, 02:15 PM   #29
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

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Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
Well someday maybe we'll meet and I can see how this list functions. For me, basic = kokyu. Next comes improving the kokyu via ki development. That's obsessed me for 3 years and has gotten some interesting comments from partners. Next.. well I better start meeting others and seeing what amazing stuff they are doing!

ps by kokyu I mean "putting the center into the hands" and that sort of thing, which is why the comments in this thread don't seem to suggest a specific meaning for "elbow power" to me.
O.K. How about this? If that's your reality that's good. So try this: When putting centre into hands put it into tegatana. Now practice cutting in various directions and notice the elbow and what it's doing as part of your action. If you push tegatana upwards for example up your own centre line, like raising a sword, you will notice what happens elbow wise. This could then be called a way of using the elbow but to me it's a result of using tegatana from centre.

Thus I say it's not a basic but it is something to be aware of and if your aware of it you can use it when necessary. But still it's a result of moving from centre or koshi etc.

Regards.G.
 
Old 07-31-2011, 07:32 PM   #30
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Let's see, if we follow the energy path from hand to ground, we have hand, elbow, shoulder, center, kua, knee, foot, ground.

To me, elbow power is just a component of the whole structure where energy can be focused - actually, all the other points in between those above can also be a point where energy can be focused depending on what it is you want to accomplish and where the external energy is coming from and where you want to send it - of course, your opinion and mileage may vary

Greg
 
Old 07-31-2011, 07:34 PM   #31
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

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This could then be called a way of using the elbow but to me it's a result of using tegatana from centre.
Well if that's what the term means then I guess I just don't get why it would get a name. For instance, Shioda had terms that translate as things like "center power." Good name, I think. You use your center for everything, so that should be called "center power." But why talk about the elbow if there isn't something at work besides using your center?
 
Old 07-31-2011, 07:59 PM   #32
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

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Well if that's what the term means then I guess I just don't get why it would get a name. For instance, Shioda had terms that translate as things like "center power." Good name, I think. You use your center for everything, so that should be called "center power." But why talk about the elbow if there isn't something at work besides using your center?
There is not anything special other that just another point on the path of a connected body - external folks focus on the physical point of connection for their output of power and forget about the connected body - moving the focus to the elbow from the hand is just one way of getting away from that - albeit that may be more effective, there are other even more effective ways to to accomplish the same thing.

Greg
 
Old 07-31-2011, 09:00 PM   #33
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

I don't know about that; would love more Yoshinkan input to the thread...only slightly O.T. since Jonathan and I will both be at Labir Day NoCal get-together it would be very cool to have that style represented too.

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Old 08-01-2011, 12:27 AM   #34
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

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Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
Well if that's what the term means then I guess I just don't get why it would get a name. For instance, Shioda had terms that translate as things like "center power." Good name, I think. You use your center for everything, so that should be called "center power." But why talk about the elbow if there isn't something at work besides using your center?
Why? Because there are ways to use elbow power different from the center in the hand while still retaining the center in the hand. And it has some very important and useful aspects for aiki arts, grappling, punching as well as weapons.
And like I said...I haven't seen it covered yet in Aikido, Yoshinkan or otherwise. I usually get the deer in headlights look.
FWIW, saying you "use your center for everything" does not imply everyone knows everything. Lots of people say a lot of things...even well known ones. There are plenty of folks who go on and on about breath-power too. And you can hit them and they fall apart or watch them do waza and they're all shoulder, or push or stress them and watch their feet wabble.
I pay less attention to what people say over what they look and feel like. It's amazing how many supposed experts don't do very well when it comes to showing what they told you they know.
Just say'n
Dan
 
Old 08-01-2011, 04:14 AM   #35
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

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It's amazing how many supposed experts don't do very well when it comes to showing what they told you they know.
Would it be possible to understand something better than one can physically show? Would the title expert reflect their teaching ability/understanding rather than their technical ability?
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:58 AM   #36
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Why? Because there are ways to use elbow power different from the center in the hand while still retaining the center in the hand. And it has some very important and useful aspects for aiki arts, grappling, punching as well as weapons.
Hi Dan, ok this is what I thought. There must be something specific to talk about when something gets its own name.
Is there a video where someone really highlights elbow power? Ueshiba?
I don't want anyone to teach over the net. I just want to know what this term refers to. Is it like using the elbow as a mini dantian? Is it related to "unbendable arm?" Is it some kind of elbow-specific store/release? Is it poking somone in the ribs with the elbow? It's nice to know roughly the type of thing that a term refers to, even if we can't nail down specifics on the net.
 
Old 08-02-2011, 10:27 AM   #37
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

For me elbows represent an extension of your power and balance structure. If you check out the DRA and aikido budo stuff, shite uses structures that break the connection between uke's arm and his torso. This is often a kuzushi movement because in breaking the connection you destroy uke's balance structure and can seize it. That tells me there is something to maintaining your body's structure by maintaining a connection between your elbow and your torso.

I think the connection is a bridge of transference. I think something that we struggle with in aikido is successfully transferring power into our partner. Our elbows are a bridge of transferring the power from our torso into our hands. I do not recall having seen or heard any of the gooey IP stuff yet hit elbow control in aikido. I can recall several instructors who have always advocated for breaking the connection between the elbow and the torso by extending the elbow beyond its effective range of motion.

I do not think that elbow power is simply sticking your elbow in uke's face. I know far too many good fighters that have no problem with that movement. I think it is more about aligning your shoulder and elbow (and hand) with your body structure to allow your body to accept pressure from the arm and deliver pressure from the torso. I think sayo undo is [more] representative of the internal structure of aligning your body to accept and transfer energy from the ground into your arms, while keeping focus on unified movement between your elbows and your torso. That said, I think sayo undo is not performed the same as it was when it came from aiki budo.

Finally, I think that these discussions are more beneficial when we conduct them under some modesty. As Dan puts it, most us us do not "use our center for everything", nor can it be the answer to every question in aikido - Seriously, we throw that phrase around like the Smurfs use "smurf". This is a great discussion about a significant aspect of our body posture. Yet for all our talk, I have yet to read a conclusive, compelling argument as to what is elbow power. I got my eye on this thread and I am looking forward to some smurfy responses.
 
Old 08-02-2011, 01:24 PM   #38
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

if aikido is elbow power (not saying that it is or isn't, just what if), and the funny bone is part of the elbow, wouldn't that make aikido funny? and can aikido do stand-up?
 
Old 08-02-2011, 01:52 PM   #39
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

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if aikido is elbow power (not saying that it is or isn't, just what if), and the funny bone is part of the elbow, wouldn't that make aikido funny? and can aikido do stand-up?
Such a humerus post. Well, my aikido is pretty funny...and it is very stand up. Fall down. Stand up. Fall down. Stand up.

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Old 08-02-2011, 02:15 PM   #40
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

I love stand-up grappling. Gets me doubled over every time!

In other news, this post could help parse out the meaning:
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Asagao is a beautiful combining of breath power, the use of fure aiki and elbow power. For the purposes of a drill you can do some interesting things dividing the energy, but every one of those principles are displayed anywhere in the body. Extendin ki into the fingers is meaningless without a developed body and understanding of how to use it.
Dan
Maybe in some Japanese traditions there has been this term "elbow power" to refer to what the Chinese have called "peng" (peng being the upward power of the ground projected through the bones of the body in an expansive fashion)? Fits in with the fact that "kokyu" is not a 1:1 translation with "neijin"-- because "neijin" has variants and skill-subsets that don't have anything to do with "breath." Just speculating here.
 
Old 08-02-2011, 10:14 PM   #41
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

We can look at this issue differently. It is said that Aikido is using the opponent's power and is more effective if the attack is fast and strong. Why? Of course, if uke runs like crazy, then after descending upon him from the road and with a simple push, we can expect that he will fall over, or hit his head against the wall. It is a totally different matter when a boxer, standing firmly on his feet punches quickly and strongly. Not to mention, if someone skillful is using a knife at a close range.

So, to be able to take each attack we must practice with a partner in the near distance, gradually increasing the speed of the attacking hand. We have to forget about the movement of the entire body, because in a realistic situation there is no time for that; similarly, overtaking the attack. Response to the attack can only be made by trained reflexes of the deviation of the head or the trunk, and by following the uke's hand by our own hand.

Now, lets talk about the "power of the elbow". Our hand, the forearm actually, performs a circular motion (ude-mawashi) with the elbow almost motionless. In a certain moment it becomes a barrier to the returning uke's hand. There is a clash between our open palm and the uke's base of the wrist, which completely confuses the uke and gives us a fraction of a second to initiate a technique.
 
Old 08-03-2011, 07:43 AM   #42
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
if aikido is elbow power (not saying that it is or isn't, just what if), and the funny bone is part of the elbow, wouldn't that make aikido funny? and can aikido do stand-up?
we sure know how to ROFL

I have read this thread several times and still do not get it. Why the emphasis on the elbow? The only thing I come back to is to have correct posture in your technique. Every body part must be in the right place to do its part, but still the entire body works. Sure given any technique some body parts 'do' more than others, but I cannot seem to relate it to elbow power.
Perhaps the road ahead of me is even more wonderous than I had hoped....

Last edited by Tim Ruijs : 08-03-2011 at 07:47 AM.

In a real fight:
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* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:36 AM   #43
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
For me elbows represent an extension of your power and balance structure. If you check out the DRA and aikido budo stuff, shite uses structures that break the connection between uke's arm and his torso. This is often a kuzushi movement because in breaking the connection you destroy uke's balance structure and can seize it. That tells me there is something to maintaining your body's structure by maintaining a connection between your elbow and your torso.

I think the connection is a bridge of transference. I think something that we struggle with in aikido is successfully transferring power into our partner. Our elbows are a bridge of transferring the power from our torso into our hands. I do not recall having seen or heard any of the gooey IP stuff yet hit elbow control in aikido. I can recall several instructors who have always advocated for breaking the connection between the elbow and the torso by extending the elbow beyond its effective range of motion.

I do not think that elbow power is simply sticking your elbow in uke's face. I know far too many good fighters that have no problem with that movement. I think it is more about aligning your shoulder and elbow (and hand) with your body structure to allow your body to accept pressure from the arm and deliver pressure from the torso. I think sayo undo is [more] representative of the internal structure of aligning your body to accept and transfer energy from the ground into your arms, while keeping focus on unified movement between your elbows and your torso. That said, I think sayo undo is not performed the same as it was when it came from aiki budo.

Finally, I think that these discussions are more beneficial when we conduct them under some modesty. As Dan puts it, most us us do not "use our center for everything", nor can it be the answer to every question in aikido - Seriously, we throw that phrase around like the Smurfs use "smurf". This is a great discussion about a significant aspect of our body posture. Yet for all our talk, I have yet to read a conclusive, compelling argument as to what is elbow power. I got my eye on this thread and I am looking forward to some smurfy responses.
Generally, the power from the ground goes up the legs to hips and dantien and then the shortest path to the point of application. If you try to route the ground power up over the shoulders, you wind up with "normal" strength, not internal strength. Some Chinese styles (particularly southern styles like Wing Chun, Hakka, etc) keep the elbows and forearmsn in that line from the waist in order to maximize the power flow. Here's a translation from one of Tung Ying Chieh's books from the 1940's mentioning the idea:

"To loosen the shoulders and drop the elbows means not to concentrate the
force at the back of the shoulders. Actually, the strength is transmitted
through the upper part of the forearm."


The idea is a fairly common one in a number of Chinese martial-arts.

2 cents.

Mike Sigman
 
Old 08-03-2011, 09:00 AM   #44
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

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Generally, the power from the ground goes up the legs to hips and dantien and then the shortest path to the point of application. If you try to route the ground power up over the shoulders, you wind up with "normal" strength, not internal strength. Some Chinese styles (particularly southern styles like Wing Chun, Hakka, etc) keep the elbows and forearmsn in that line from the waist in order to maximize the power flow. Here's a translation from one of Tung Ying Chieh's books from the 1940's mentioning the idea:
"To loosen the shoulders and drop the elbows means not to concentrate the force at the back of the shoulders. Actually, the strength is transmitted through the upper part of the forearm."
The idea is a fairly common one in a number of Chinese martial-arts.
2 cents.
Mike Sigman
Not even close. Not even nearly complete. Yet, another idea picked up from a book.
Further, it's not in keeping with what elbow power is in the arts that coined it in Japan. Just another square peg in a round hole. Worth..well...about 2 cents.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 08-03-2011 at 09:05 AM.
 
Old 08-03-2011, 09:57 AM   #45
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

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Not even close. Not even nearly complete. Yet, another idea picked up from a book.
Further, it's not in keeping with what elbow power is in the arts that coined it in Japan. Just another square peg in a round hole. Worth..well...about 2 cents.
Dan
Hmmmmm.... I just offered it as a suggestion, but all you're saying is "not even close, not nearly complete". So I'm just mentioning it as part of the groundpath controlled on a line by the dantien. Tell me something specific in your debate other thant "not even close". Let me hear a reason it's not even close.

Mike Sigman
 
Old 08-03-2011, 10:13 AM   #46
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Thanks Mike, I appreciate the comments. I can feel it, but at this point I have no words to describe it which is where I am stuck. I think your comments start to give myself and others a place to look, even if it's Chinese in origin. And from a book. And wrong. (Sorry, had to throw in those shots, Dan's setup was too good). Seriously, I appreciate your comments, this stuff is complex.

I agree with you, I'd like to tease out some comments from Dan on this too. I think they would be valuable. It is a different feeling when you work with someone that can express this type of solidity and power.
 
Old 08-03-2011, 10:14 AM   #47
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
I love stand-up grappling. Gets me doubled over every time!

In other news, this post could help parse out the meaning:

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Asagao is a beautiful combining of breath power, the use of fure aiki and elbow power. For the purposes of a drill you can do some interesting things dividing the energy, but every one of those principles are displayed anywhere in the body. Extendin ki into the fingers is meaningless without a developed body and understanding of how to use it.
Dan
Maybe in some Japanese traditions there has been this term "elbow power" to refer to what the Chinese have called "peng" (peng being the upward power of the ground projected through the bones of the body in an expansive fashion)? Fits in with the fact that "kokyu" is not a 1:1 translation with "neijin"-- because "neijin" has variants and skill-subsets that don't have anything to do with "breath." Just speculating here.
I am not so sure that is what is being said there. Notice that he said that you would need a developed body on top of that, and that is probably more where the analog of what you are calling "peng" there might come in. So take "asagao", take out the aspects of what Dan has labeled "breath power" and "fure aiki", then what is left and conspicuous about "asagao" that he is describing there that might have some commonality with the expression "elbow power"?
 
Old 08-03-2011, 11:11 AM   #48
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Generally, the power from the ground goes up the legs to hips and dantien and then the shortest path to the point of application.

The idea is a fairly common one in a number of Chinese martial-arts.

Mike Sigman
It's a fairly common idea for punching, shooting basketball, knife throwing, opening a door etc.

-

-It seems to be all about semantics!
 
Old 08-03-2011, 11:54 AM   #49
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Thanks Mike, I appreciate the comments. I can feel it, but at this point I have no words to describe it which is where I am stuck. I think your comments start to give myself and others a place to look, even if it's Chinese in origin. And from a book. And wrong. (Sorry, had to throw in those shots, Dan's setup was too good). Seriously, I appreciate your comments, this stuff is complex.

I agree with you, I'd like to tease out some comments from Dan on this too. I think they would be valuable. It is a different feeling when you work with someone that can express this type of solidity and power.
Well, there were a couple of threads on the topic that were discussed on QiJin starting back in 2007. There are quotes (in Japanese and English) of comments by Shioda, Sagawa, and Tung. I'm on pretty safe ground, although if you look at my post, I was simply offering an observation, not making a brusque assertion.

Looking back at Dan's comment where no one he's met has ever understood, etc., I see basically that he's *saying* mostly the same thing (what he really does is a question since he has a different interpretation of 'internal strength' than I do), so I'm not sure what the conflict is: we seem to be generally in agreement.

Logically, what Tung is saying is and must be true for Elbow Power.... anyone doing 'something else' isn't using internal strength. The dantien is used to power all movements in real internal strength.... even closing the hand.

2 cents.

Mike Sigman
 
Old 08-03-2011, 04:39 PM   #50
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Re: Aikido is Elbow Power

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I think your comments start to give myself and others a place to look, even if it's Chinese in origin. And from a book.
It's interesting that instead of just making an assertion, I give a credible source and instead of "thanks for the reference" I get snarked on with the idea that I only got if from a book. Trivialization strikes again.

On the other hand, as a separate topic but related, having watched some of the mostly arm-driven "spiralling" in some of the videos of Japanese koryu, D.R., and so forth, maybe some of the discussion about "from the center" is misplaced?

Mike Sigman
 

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