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Old 08-05-2011, 02:46 PM   #26
graham christian
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Re: being centered no matter what

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Koshi is not mingmen, Graham. And you'd be surprised how many legitimate Japanese and Aikidoka know what it is since they use "ki", etc., exactly as the Chinese do. Perhaps, and I know this might be impossible to embrace, you have no idea what the conversation is about but you have such faith in yourself that it overcomes simple facts?

Mike Sigman
Still got a bee in your bonnet? Maybe you don't know what Koshi is. Nothing to be ashamed of.

What's a legitimate Japanese? What's a legitimate Aikidoka?

What's wrong with having great faith in yourself?

Who are this mysterious they who use Ki just as the chinese do?

Who are 'the chinese'?

I just see you wrote another thread. Interesting. So go on translate all those chinese terminologies into Aikido terminology. Now that would be very helpful.

Regards.G.
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Old 08-05-2011, 03:05 PM   #27
Mike Sigman
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Re: being centered no matter what

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
What's wrong with having great faith in yourself?
In some cases it's obviously misplaced.... i.e., faith is good; facts are better.

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-05-2011, 05:16 PM   #28
graham christian
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Re: being centered no matter what

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
In some cases it's obviously misplaced.... i.e., faith is good; facts are better.

Mike Sigman
As I thought. You don't know what faith is.

Facts are good to hide behind. Let's see now, you can have out of sequence facts, generality vague facts (them, they, the chinese...) specially chosen facts, irrelevant facts, uncorroborated facts, mmmm. lots of facts.

In fact any datum is a fact. So what's the significance?

Regards.G.
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:06 PM   #29
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Re: being centered no matter what

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
As I thought. You don't know what faith is.

Facts are good to hide behind.
I'll bet you lay this sort of silly guilt trip on your students. The problem with a public forum, your videos, etc., is that people can judge for themselves without having to bear the burdens you impose. Wear that Rasta Cap, Bruddah.... you just went on my ignore list. PLONK.

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:29 PM   #30
graham christian
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Re: being centered no matter what

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I'll bet you lay this sort of silly guilt trip on your students. The problem with a public forum, your videos, etc., is that people can judge for themselves without having to bear the burdens you impose. Wear that Rasta Cap, Bruddah.... you just went on my ignore list. PLONK.

Mike Sigman
Wow. What guilt trip? What burden? What a fascinating response.

My advice to you is be centred no matter what.

Intriguingly.G.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:34 PM   #31
RonRagusa
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Re: being centered no matter what

"Being centered no matter what", that's what the exercise is all about. Uke act, nage remain centered, see what happens. There's no right or wrong here, it's all observation. It's training stillness of spirit in the face of... whatever.

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Old 08-06-2011, 08:56 PM   #32
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Re: being centered no matter what

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Ok. So what has a force reflecting mirror got to do with centre? I think two things are being mixed here as centre is mentioned in the same sentence as 'ground force.

If people think ground force is all part of centre then they are mistaken. Two different things, in fact one is called Koshi.

What exactly did Saotome tell you he was demonstrating?

Regards.G.
it has everything to do with "being centered". "being centered" is being force neutral. when there is no external force apply, being centered meant you are neutralized gravitational force. as soon as external force apply, you have two ways to deal with it (and i don't meant getting the hell out of the way) to neutralize: absorb into your body if you are physically big enough to handle it and/or send it into the ground, similar to a lightning rod. the best scenario is to send it into the ground or some large object like a wall if your body touch it in some way. ron and mary mentioned of being pushed first then change their intent and recovered "being centered", i.e. they sent the push to ground, i.e. ground path. if they stood on a scale, the scale would have change. i mentioned that this is a reactive. the active level is to bring the ground to contact point immediately if not before, and their bodies should not being pushed then recovered. it should just "be". this is only let you handle external force up to the point your structure gave out. however, there is a way to be able to deal with even higher lever of input power than previous, by setup a "pre-redirected line" (i mentioned in the IS/IP tread of Ikeda sensei idea of "kata") or a force reflection mirror or wall if you will. sort of you tilted the internal wall at an angle to the external force applied to your body which immediately went somewhere else; thus, you are back to being force neutral, i.e. "being centered". this is a pro-active approach. of course, you can't keep this up indefinitely.

I have personally never heard Ikeda and Saotome sensei used the term koshi. they liked to explain things in English, in Saotome sensei case, Japonglish.
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Old 08-06-2011, 09:35 PM   #33
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Re: being centered no matter what

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Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
Phi, Did saotome Sensei bounced you by sinking his center or rounding his shoulders or moving his hara or did he just stand there keeping still. Did you bounce back feet first or shoulder first? Were your hands locked when you were pushing him? Was he standing shizentai
or in hanmi?

I wish you have a vid...
arms lock and shoulder lock while pushing him is equivalent of dive bunny. if you watched his videos on youtube, you think he's the kind who liked dive bunny? Ledyard sensei mentioned a number of times that when facing Saotome sensei, his job was trying to get him. if you don't, you can forget about being his uke again. watch this video on the section of Saotome sensei demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvBcNZUCO54 then ask yourself, does that kind of person like dive bunny? not to me.

he stood in what i called a walking stand. i walked in and pushed straight into his chest. i was out weighted him by 25-30 kg and physically much stronger. he just sinked forward slightly and i felt like a soft wall hit me. then i realized that was the power of my push which he fed it back to me and gave it a direction. i had to take 5-6 steps back to regain my balance (i don't give up my balance easy either. he's my shihan. either he can or he can't, make no different to me).
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:47 PM   #34
graham christian
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Re: being centered no matter what

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
it has everything to do with "being centered". "being centered" is being force neutral. when there is no external force apply, being centered meant you are neutralized gravitational force. as soon as external force apply, you have two ways to deal with it (and i don't meant getting the hell out of the way) to neutralize: absorb into your body if you are physically big enough to handle it and/or send it into the ground, similar to a lightning rod. the best scenario is to send it into the ground or some large object like a wall if your body touch it in some way. ron and mary mentioned of being pushed first then change their intent and recovered "being centered", i.e. they sent the push to ground, i.e. ground path. if they stood on a scale, the scale would have change. i mentioned that this is a reactive. the active level is to bring the ground to contact point immediately if not before, and their bodies should not being pushed then recovered. it should just "be". this is only let you handle external force up to the point your structure gave out. however, there is a way to be able to deal with even higher lever of input power than previous, by setup a "pre-redirected line" (i mentioned in the IS/IP tread of Ikeda sensei idea of "kata") or a force reflection mirror or wall if you will. sort of you tilted the internal wall at an angle to the external force applied to your body which immediately went somewhere else; thus, you are back to being force neutral, i.e. "being centered". this is a pro-active approach. of course, you can't keep this up indefinitely.

I have personally never heard Ikeda and Saotome sensei used the term koshi. they liked to explain things in English, in Saotome sensei case, Japonglish.
Phi.
Ron and Mary never mentioned changing their intent and recovering centre.

However, your description is clearly communicated and thus I can clearly see what you do.

As to being centred? Well that's not centre as I teach it. Letting energy go through to ground and dissipate is as I've said what I call Koshi.

The aim being to neutralize opens my eyes to what you are doing and why. Thus the reflective mirror part and the deflection part also. Plus your view that being centred is being force neutral.

So there you are, if that's what Saotome does and how he sees it and also if that's part of ip training then I can say mine is different but this time due to your good explanation see why.

Just to let you know some differences. Centre for me is not exactly neutral it is very active and vibrant whilst at the same time being non-resistive. Centre line on the other hand is neutral. Koshi is I describe as harmonizing with gravity and for those who want more then it is more to do with 'nothing' or as O'Sensei would say connection to the void.

There is no need to deflect energy or form any mirror shield therefore in what I do.

Thanks for the explanation.

Regards.G.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:41 AM   #35
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Re: being centered no matter what

Phi thanks for the clarification. That gives me a clearer picture.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:33 PM   #36
RonRagusa
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Re: being centered no matter what

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
ron and mary mentioned of being pushed first then change their intent and recovered "being centered",...
Hi Phi -

My intent is to constantly remain centered (have correct feeling) no matter what uke does in the way of maneuvering my body around. So while my body may move as a result of uke's push, the movement in and of itself is not an indication of a loss of correct feeling.

Ki exercises such as the one described by Mary involve both static and dynamic practice. Generally, all Ki training is about acquiring the correct feeling that comes from being centered. Specifically, static Ki exercises train the student to become accustomed to and learn to manipulate forces that enter the body at different points from different directions while dynamic Ki exercises take it one step further and introduce motion into the interaction.

The notion that I can sometimes lose my center is an incorrect description of what actually occurs. My center is always with me, it's continuous. What I can lose is my awareness of my center, a loss of correct feeling. If, because of something uke does, I momentarily lose correct feeling, I am free to reacquire it. That is, from the perspective of my awareness of it, my center is also ever returning.

The exercise described on the OP is an illustration of the idea that my Aikido is not about doing something to someone in order to maintain correct feeling (i.e. try to control or oppose uke's intent in order to keep correct feeling). My aim is rather to render the distinction between uke and myself nonexistent. In this way there is no clash, only congruent motion between us that eventually leads him to the mat.

Best,

Ron

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Old 08-08-2011, 02:36 PM   #37
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Re: being centered no matter what

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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
The notion that I can sometimes lose my center is an incorrect description of what actually occurs. My center is always with me, it's continuous. What I can lose is my awareness of my center, a loss of correct feeling.
I am pretty sure when people say "lose your center" they are referring to what you say here. Like, if I lose my car keys I actually have lost awareness of the keys' location. They're still with me, somewhere in the house, but I can't tell you where till I look around. If I remember where I put them before I actually find them, then I have no longer lost my keys even though they are not in hand-- I have regained awareness of their location.
Anyway long story short, I think "lose center" is fair shorthand for "loss of awareness of center."

One question for you Ron. If one has "all the spirits of the earth come up into his body" (if you will permit this religious terminology that refers I believe to "correct feeling" of being connected to the ground), and he is not moving, wouldn't he not move when pushed? Just like a boulder would not move if pushed? In other words doesn't it make sense to want the end-state described by Mary to already exist before the push comes in?
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Old 08-08-2011, 04:59 PM   #38
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Re: being centered no matter what

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Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
One question for you Ron. If one has "all the spirits of the earth come up into his body" (if you will permit this religious terminology that refers I believe to "correct feeling" of being connected to the ground),...
Hi Jonathan -

I think that what you are seeing as the equivalence of "correct feeling" and "connected to the ground" is like comparing Relativistic to Newtonian physics. As Newtonian physics was shown to be a special case of the broader Relativity theory, so too you can view "connection to the ground" (weight underside) to be but one aspect of correct feeling.

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Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
...and he is not moving, wouldn't he not move when pushed? Just like a boulder would not move if pushed? In other words doesn't it make sense to want the end-state described by Mary to already exist before the push comes in?
Consider Everest, a rather large boulder, no? Well even Everest will move as the Indian sub-continent continues to plow into southern Asia. A sufficiently large force will eventually overcome immobility. So I don't get too caught up in the being immovable aspect of Ki development beyond its ability to aid me in strengthening my center.

Truth be told Jonathan, I'm not as interested in the end-state as I am in the process. If one goal of my training is to be in a continual state of correct feeling then the idea of an end-state becomes irrelevant.

Best,

Ron

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Old 08-08-2011, 05:02 PM   #39
phitruong
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Re: being centered no matter what

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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Hi Phi -

My intent is to constantly remain centered (have correct feeling) no matter what uke does in the way of maneuvering my body around. So while my body may move as a result of uke's push, the movement in and of itself is not an indication of a loss of correct feeling.
Ron, first, thank you for your explanation. would you please explain the "correct feeling" aspect? what would constitute "correct feeling" vs "not correct feeling"? just trying to understand your point of view. language is such a bothersome to explain this stuffs. face to face would only take a few minutes to explain.

Quote:
The exercise described on the OP is an illustration of the idea that my Aikido is not about doing something to someone in order to maintain correct feeling (i.e. try to control or oppose uke's intent in order to keep correct feeling). My aim is rather to render the distinction between uke and myself nonexistent. In this way there is no clash, only congruent motion between us that eventually leads him to the mat.

Ron
folks to tend to shy away the idea of controlling another person. leading another person to somewhere or redirect that person's power to another place, to me is a form of controlling. doesn't make one a bad person or a good person, it just is. i believed i discussed the idea of the "four legged animal" (not going to mention which animal that i haven't eaten) which essentially unity with your uke and you just happen to be the head; as it's bad to be the other end.
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Old 08-08-2011, 05:32 PM   #40
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Re: being centered no matter what

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
Ron, first, thank you for your explanation. would you please explain the "correct feeling" aspect? what would constitute "correct feeling" vs "not correct feeling"? just trying to understand your point of view. language is such a bothersome to explain this stuffs. face to face would only take a few minutes to explain.
Hi Phi -

Correct feeling is the embodiment of the four principles: keep one point, progressive relaxation, correct posture and positive mind. When I have correct feeling I am in my strongest, most dependable state. In other words, I'm centered at one point, I am relaxed both body and mind, my internal and external postures are in correct alignment and my mind and body are focused on a common objective.

And you're right "face to face would only take a few minutes to explain."

Best,

Ron

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Old 08-08-2011, 05:44 PM   #41
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Re: being centered no matter what

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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Truth be told Jonathan, I'm not as interested in the end-state as I am in the process. If one goal of my training is to be in a continual state of correct feeling then the idea of an end-state becomes irrelevant.
Hi Ron, I totally get your angle regarding don't be static-minded, process over end-state, that kind of thing. I am just trying to talk mechanics-- I don't deny the importance of dynamism.

I just meant the ending condition described in the OP. That is, no motion, presence of ground, force neutralized. That state I feel should be ongoing, whether someone is pushing you or not. So, if you are standing still, when someone applies a push you are standing still. If you are walking forward and someone pushes, you are walking forward. In other words your state is maintained rather than turned "on." I don't mean it is because you are being pig-headed that you are not affected-- more that you have already invited the ground into you, and uke does not get to boss the ground around. I hope this makes sense.

Last edited by JW : 08-08-2011 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 08-08-2011, 06:19 PM   #42
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Re: being centered no matter what

We might be just talking past each other here....I wrote the first post because i felt a difference than I previously had. I noticed the focus on center that day allowed me to let in a new way. I was not seeking to accomplish anything...just let.
The peacefulness and connection were what made me take notice. It was enhanced.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:24 AM   #43
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Re: being centered no matter what

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
We might be just talking past each other here....
No! Really?

Honestly, I think that's all that anyone does on aikiweb anymore. Talk past each other, as loudly/condescendingly/smugly as they can.
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:54 PM   #44
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Re: being centered no matter what

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
No! Really?

Honestly, I think that's all that anyone does on aikiweb anymore. Talk past each other, as loudly/condescendingly/smugly as they can.
When I read the series of comments from Mary E, me, Phi, and Ron, I get a very interesting and coherent description of how methods are used to explore principles and bring about new forms of awareness that can be shared on aikiweb. In fact, regarding condescending or smug posts... you didn't have to post that.
Do you want to make this place better or worse? It's in our hands-- it just depends on what we choose to write.

Last edited by JW : 08-09-2011 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:18 PM   #45
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Re: being centered no matter what

I think Mary had a good experience. I am somewhat familiar with simple exercises that explore the correct body posture and structure to channel energy. As your body assumes the correct posture and structure the energy seemingly dissipates, although I think your body just retains less of the energy and more effectively channels it into the ground. I like these exercises because they give opportunity to identify force and seek to align and channel force. No pressure to perform waza. No contest from uke. Its a controlled experiment whose purpose is to build muscle memory and to feel how to absorb and channel energy.

Where I found the energy conduit most effective was in taking ukemi from the high-level guys. They put so much energy into your body that you have to have good ukemi to dissipate the energy from your body. If you hold it in and the energy is focused on your wrist, or your shoulder or whatever, you absorb a lot of force and you can be injured. Without the pressure of nage waza I think you can accept the exercise as ukemi and be content to "let" the energy flow through you without the pressure to use it for a purpose. There have been a number of guys with whom I've trained who after the several hundredth nikyo still seek to contest the shape. It worked 299 other times, but yet here they are fighting the shape and containing all that force in their body.

Similar to Phi's description of working with Saotome Sensei, I find that he and Ikeda Sensei both use your energy to stabilize their bodies while destabilizing yours and both use their internal power to affect your body (once destabilized). As a continuation of the discussion, I think stability is germane to the concept of center. I also think power is germane to the concept of center. I think both power and stability are germane to aiki. I think this exercise is one of stability, not necessarily power. Its a great exercise about me (not you).

Second, I think that at some level, we need to understand that aiki is not about yielding to our partner's pressure. Aiki is about assuming the proper role in the continuation of energy; sometimes that is assuming a recessive role, sometimes that is assuming a dominant role. This is the duality of ying and yang. I agree with Phi's point that we should not shy away from the dominate role, nor should we mask that role with soft language to make ourselves feel better about controlling another. This is somewhat tangent but I felt worth commenting [on].

Honestly, the feeling I get when I am centered is much more active. Its like my engine is running, just waiting to be thrown into gear - potential energy stored and waiting to have application. I think part of the process of channeling energy is the micro-flashes of movement from your center to make your body the most efficient shape and structure it can be.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:22 PM   #46
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Re: being centered no matter what

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Do you want to make this place better or worse? It's in our hands-- it just depends on what we choose to write.
I no longer believe I have any control over it whatsoever, no matter what I write. There's just too much noise. Any jackass can kick down a barn, and all that.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:36 PM   #47
Janet Rosen
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Re: being centered no matter what

I enjoyed the OP and follow up between her, Jonathan, Ron, Jon and Graham all of which has been respectful and offer something consider whether or not I've joined in.

Janet Rosen
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