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Old 11-16-2011, 06:03 AM   #51
phitruong
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

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Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
In general,
Thanks for the constructive comment you all gave. I made quite a bold statement and feel nobody got offended (nor was such intended!) and everyone stayed helpful. Cudos.
it's all right. most of us have done the same at one time or another. encountered the IS folks gave me a whole different perspective. they expanded my boundary of what possible and challenged many of my assumptions. and here is the important piece. they did it with hand-on experience, and then show you the progression order how to train for it. there are folks who can demonstrate, but cannot teach. there are folks who can do both; these are rare breed.

when you rewired your body in IS mode, it won't be confused. actually, it will be confusing during the process. it feels more natural than you realized. have you notice how martial arts folks move differently when they are on the mat vs normally in their daily lives? one of the goal for IS folks is to move with IS all the time whether they are on the mat or not.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:08 AM   #52
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

Thank you friends ...
... but this is a well-behaved bureau.
I'm working as a pastor. I just cannot jump on [or around] people just as I want to.

On the other side: It is as cold in here as if the walls where made of (frictionless) ice. So jumping maybe would be a good idea. (In a wider sense.)
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:16 AM   #53
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Thank you friends ...
... but this is a well-behaved bureau.
I'm working as a pastor. I just cannot jump on [or around] people just as I want to.

On the other side: It is as cold in here as if the walls where made of (frictionless) ice. So jumping maybe would be a good idea. (In a wider sense.)
It's cold here too, but luckily not as bad as last year... Last year I was an unwilling participant in a real life version of the ice experiment, while carrying two bags of groceries, walking down what appeared to be a perfectly fine side-"walk". Ukemi takes on a new meaning as well. Boy did the people in bar next door have fun watching me get out of that one.
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:22 AM   #54
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

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Bonus gedanken: those walls are now made of perfectly frictionless ice. Now what?
OOHHH OOHHH *hands waving* This is Ed Gruberman, i know the answer to that!

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:38 AM   #55
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

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OOHHH OOHHH *hands waving* This is Ed Gruberman, i know the answer to that!
The walls are now heads, and you are a giant boot!
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:31 AM   #56
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

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I am taught that your body should learn correct posture/stance and mixing styles would seriously interfere with that. For instance, mix karate and Aikido. the stance is completely different, how would your body know what to do? Muscle memory gets confused....
And sometimes people do actually have trouble making their technique "work" as they start to incorporate IS skills. Which is probably one of the reasons why they rebel against the idea.

But I don't really think of the square posture as a "stance." More like the postural equivalent of a lab bench: a way of reducing the number of variables you need to deal with so that you can study a particular group of phenomena in their "pure" form.

Katherine
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:36 AM   #57
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

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Don't look into the stance too much. Like I said, that was one little microcosm of Greco-Roman to illustrate a point about imagination and conception, much like car pushing. But at the same time, the position of the feet are not integral to the stability of that configuration in the forward and back directions. You can go uneven, or go parallel, and maybe you gain some extra stability by going uneven, but traded for mobility, and on the other hand, the difference in stability is not enough to make or break stability there if you understand the basic ideas behind how to make that movement work.
Indeed. One exercise is to have someone continue to push you while you pick up one foot or the other, then while you move forward. (Have them take their hand away suddenly to see if you're leaning!)

Katherine
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:39 AM   #58
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

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Thanks for sharing. The use of opposing forces is something I do not focus on, but indirectly have students think of their 'other' hand when moving. Many tend to focus on the hand that is attacked...
As a next step, try thinking of a spiral stretching from the hand being grabbed (for convenience, let's say it's the left), across the shoulders, and around to the other (right) hand. To draw the person toward the left side, try extending the spiral from the right side.

Katherine
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:46 AM   #59
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

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Then - with a new teacher - not only the position of the axis shifted, but also the way to organize the body changed.
You experienced that being stable is not only an issue of where you have your feet, didn't you? So if you can not be pushed over standing with parallel feet, don't you think a "similar effect" can be shown, standing in hanmi?
Sure.

Quote:
Yes. But - other way round - it is easier to move oneself.
Yes and no. Easier to move the "light" foot, maybe, but harder to move the "heavy" foot. Wouldn't you like to be able to move either? As nage, isn't shifting uke's balance onto one foot or the other one of the ways to achieve kuzushi?

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Hm, when standing in hanmi we imagine a force coming in and up from ground in the back leg (when doing breathing excercises we breath in trough the souls of our feet), going through the tanden/center and down and into the ground in the front leg. By positioning the feet a little bit open (the front foot doesn't show to the front but a little outward. And the rear foot shows a little forward) ther is a kind of "twisting" this energy coming up and going down. (In our imagination this energy doesn't flow in a "straight line".)

When I wrote "weight" in quotation marks, I meant this "dowstream" wich feels like weight but isn't really (sorry, can't do better in english words).
In the hara/tanden/center ... /pelvis ... there is a connection to the upper body and arms and the force is kind of lead and distributed by this area.

So ... I hope you could follow to this point ... the feeling of this flow and distribution of energy is different when your body axis is in the middle or in front third or in the rear third of the of your hanmi.
In the end I think it doesn't matter. But in my experience I just feel it better and can use it better when not standing symmetric.
All this sounds very reasonable. Just a slightly different approach to the same goal.

Katherine
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:41 PM   #60
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

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Actually, one addendum I want to make, look at the beginning of this video, you'll see what I mean:

Youtube: arm drag

I didn't watch the entire video, so I can't vouch for its contents, but look at the first couple seconds.
To extent his reach (arm connects inside upperarm) and rotate his body- to what we call his third point - and take his balance. When I watch a bit further I see fragment of how we start shihonage. Also he tends to move around the center of movement. We make ourselves the center of movement. Aite is more or less a satellite in our approach. Would this be exemplary of IS applied in technique?

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:45 PM   #61
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
As a next step, try thinking of a spiral stretching from the hand being grabbed (for convenience, let's say it's the left), across the shoulders, and around to the other (right) hand. To draw the person toward the left side, try extending the spiral from the right side.

Katherine
Would this be an exercise to prevent tori to think in moving his left arm, rather than his entire body? And thus focus on the other arm to move, which then off course through the body moves the left arm without putting strength in said left arm? If so, I understand. if not, please explain further.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:07 PM   #62
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

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Would this be an exercise to prevent tori to think in moving his left arm, rather than his entire body? And thus focus on the other arm to move, which then off course through the body moves the left arm without putting strength in said left arm? If so, I understand. if not, please explain further.
At the most basic level, yes. At a more advanced level -- which I can't explain well because I can't do it consistently myself -- the "movement" is primarily internal, and therefore very difficult to actually see.

Katherine
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:42 PM   #63
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

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To extent his reach (arm connects inside upperarm) and rotate his body- to what we call his third point - and take his balance. When I watch a bit further I see fragment of how we start shihonage. Also he tends to move around the center of movement. We make ourselves the center of movement. Aite is more or less a satellite in our approach. Would this be exemplary of IS applied in technique?
The arm drag is not exemplary of applied IS, I guess most of the time anyway. But a good arm drag may as well be... iriminage? One side allows them to go their merry way, the other goes your way, in that case launched from... a parallel stance. If they resist the pull, well, more solidity for you to pull/drive yourself forward. If they don't resist, well, they just get... dragged. Fun side-effect of good external movement, one side drives the other, the other side drives the one. Did you push off them, or they push off you? Oh, looky that, you now have their back, what fun you two shall now have! Callooh! Callay! If you are invested in the outcome of who is the satellite, and who moved in absolute positioning in space, rather than in the relative positioning of the bodies, that belies a certain fixation on outcomes that is not becoming of slaying Jabberwocks.
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:23 AM   #64
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

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The arm drag is not exemplary of applied IS, I guess most of the time anyway. But a good arm drag may as well be... iriminage? One side allows them to go their merry way, the other goes your way, in that case launched from... a parallel stance. If they resist the pull, well, more solidity for you to pull/drive yourself forward. If they don't resist, well, they just get... dragged. Fun side-effect of good external movement, one side drives the other, the other side drives the one. Did you push off them, or they push off you? Oh, looky that, you now have their back, what fun you two shall now have! Callooh! Callay! If you are invested in the outcome of who is the satellite, and who moved in absolute positioning in space, rather than in the relative positioning of the bodies, that belies a certain fixation on outcomes that is not becoming of slaying Jabberwocks.
Ok I had to read that about five times, but I think I understand... I understand that the body mechanics involved are relative, but we strive to moves a little as possible. Energy conserving, more efficient and faster. But this is no golden rule. In many techniques (e.g. irimi nage ura, in fact most ura waza) we obviously do move, but only after balance has already been taken.

BTW Never heard of Jabberwocks, now I did (look it up) and sure do not want to run into one

Thanks your input helped.

@Katherine
Glad I understand at least the basic level. I suppose more advanced level is about correct dosage.
Some shihan display a kind of impulse like technique and in that exact moment take the balance and execute a technique. I suspect this eventually everything you can see 'at the outside'.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:48 AM   #65
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

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Ok I had to read that about five times, but I think I understand... I understand that the body mechanics involved are relative, but we strive to moves a little as possible. Energy conserving, more efficient and faster. But this is no golden rule. In many techniques (e.g. irimi nage ura, in fact most ura waza) we obviously do move, but only after balance has already been taken.

BTW Never heard of Jabberwocks, now I did (look it up) and sure do not want to run into one

Thanks your input helped.
Now, I only speak for myself, because mental linkages are funny things, and this particular mental linkage I am trying to decondition myself out of slowly, but... If I strive to move as little as possible, a very very nasty thing happens, my body fixates in space. This fixation, when delved deeper, is really tension in certain areas of my body that my mind is interprets as that thought of "keeping [insert something here] here".

A good example is, if I try to push myself away from the floor only, my hips actually "hold back", there is subconscious tension generated in my hip flexors. If I think of push the floor away only, my cervical spine and thoracic spine fixate, again, more subconscious tension. If I try to do both, while keeping my "center" in space, my lumbar spine fixates. The worst worst worst thing is if I fixate my head in space, this kills everything. If I stop investing in the outcome of any one thing staying in place, maybe the floor moves, maybe I move, I just stop caring, then suddenly, my movement is now unresisted, I spring into upwards extension. But the key there is that, that making the body "not care" is actually localized directional relaxation, the body not fighting its own action, and gradually I am trying to work into just associating pushing up with all those localized quirks of how my mind-body coordinates. Those subconscious mental linkages to my body I unwittingly built up in my first 30 years of life, time to kill those sacred cows. It is a process. Think how we might apply this to trying to move another human being. Investment in outcomes, aggression.

But this quirkiness also works in reverse, you can act on imaginary targets quite intensely, without moving at all, by purposely engendering that fixation, and then you can work on suddenly removing the target, and then a funny sort of thing happens...

Last edited by Lee Salzman : 11-17-2011 at 04:57 AM.
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:59 AM   #66
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

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Now, I only speak for myself, because mental linkages are funny things, and this particular mental linkage I am trying to decondition myself out of slowly, but... If I strive to move as little as possible, a very very nasty thing happens, my body fixates in space. This fixation, when delved deeper, is really tension in certain areas of my body that my mind is interpretation as that thought of "keeping [insert something here] here".

A good example is, if I try to push myself away from the floor only, my hips actually "hold back", there is subconscious tension generated in my hip flexors. If I think of push the floor away only, my cervical spine and thoracic spine fixate, again, more subconscious tension. If I try to do both, while keeping my "center" in space, my lumbar spine fixates. The worst worst worst thing is if I fixate my head in space, this kills everything. If I stop investing in the outcome of any one thing staying in place, maybe the floor moves, maybe I move, I just stop caring, then suddenly, my movement is now unresisted, I spring into upwards extension. But the key there is that, that making the body "not care" is actually localized directional relaxation, the body not fighting its own action, and gradually I am trying to work into just associating pushing up with all those localized quirks of how my mind-body coordinates. Those subconscious mental linkages to my body I unwittingly built up in my first 30 years of life, time to kill those sacred cows. It is a process. Think how we might apply this to trying to move another human being. Investment in outcomes, aggression.

But this quirkiness also works in reverse, you can act on imaginary targets quite intensely, without moving at all, by purposely engendering that fixation, and then you can work on suddenly removing the target, and then a funny sort of thing happens...
Interesting. I see what you mean. When I say do not move, I am sure you will understand, it does not mean I become entirely rigid like a stone statue. Perhaps displacement of the body in relation to the ground... basically reduce the number of actual footsteps....
I see many Aikidoka's first move their body and then (try to) unbalance aite. Again with move I mean footsteps.

I really like your take on "body fighting its own action". This has our attention in practise. Example: Why do you step back when you push? Uhm, I do know. Then stop doing that! Happens quite frequently.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:08 AM   #67
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

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Interesting. I see what you mean. When I say do not move, I am sure you will understand, it does not mean I become entirely rigid like a stone statue. Perhaps displacement of the body in relation to the ground... basically reduce the number of actual footsteps....
I see many Aikidoka's first move their body and then (try to) unbalance aite. Again with move I mean footsteps.

I really like your take on "body fighting its own action". This has our attention in practise. Example: Why do you step back when you push? Uhm, I do know. Then stop doing that! Happens quite frequently.
The "when you push, why do you step back?" problem, how do you solve that? I never found the machinery to solve that within my aikido training, or maybe it was there, it was just never pointed out how the tools could be intended to solve it. Especially the fixation of the upright, rigid spine, and how it impacts the arms, this I am still working out of my body after years of training it in in aikido practice. And on the other hand, the answer to that question does not have to be a question of the body resisting its action, but of neglecting it in most places...
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:16 AM   #68
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

excuse me ...

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Especially the fixation of the upright, rigid spine, ...
What do you mean?
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:59 AM   #69
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

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excuse me ...

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Lee Salzman wrote:
Especially the fixation of the upright, rigid spine, ...
What do you mean?
It's a torque-minimization problem. Imagine an individual bone. Push or pull on the side of it, it is a lever, a brittle one, with shear, torque, etc. Push or pull instead on the ends, it instead bears tension or compression. Now if you are standing upright, like a statue, and push on something with your arm, your body is now one giant fused lever, exerting a big torque on you.

But if you laid out all the individual bones of the skeleton, and played a "one of these things is not like the other" game, the spine kind of stands out - well, not just the spine, but the spine is sure weird. When you are standing or walking, your spine is not actually straight, it has an S curve. Your spine is partly a shock absorber, a spring, it can twist and flex. So okay, when we sink the tail-bone, raise the skull as if on a string, etc. etc. this is straightening out the S-curve, making the spine into a better bridge from up to down, getting rid of those torques acting in the vertical.

But then again, the forces we need to express or bear are not always going straight up, or straight down, and we're not always just carrying a force from end to end, sometimes we're absorbing, sometimes we're generating. You want to push something in front of you, but the ground is below you, so if the spine is rigid, no matter how you orient it, it's just a lever or a really poor bridge with big stresses sliding off at the end points, with the force absorbing or generating capabilities of it having been stamped out by fixating it. So what do you do about it?
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:13 AM   #70
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

Think of someone that graps your wrist. Now the height at which you present your wrist is a major factor in how good you are able to divert imposed forces through your body (spine) to the ground. Many, many people present their wrist way to low, in which case the entire technique renders invalid (as aite no longer pushes forward, but downward). The next thing to consider is how your body is placed 'behind' your wrist. The contactpoint, your wrist, your center and ground contact are aligned such that you can indeed minimise torque 'spill'.
This off course won't work when you are rigid in either arms, spine, legs. Torque finds your weakest 'link' and overloads it easily, thus breaking your posture.
Hope this makes some sense. Pretty hard to describe properly.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:20 AM   #71
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

I meant:

Did you learn the "fixation of the upright, rigid spine" as part or element of your aikido?
Then this would be different from what I try to develop.
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:58 AM   #72
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

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Think of someone that graps your wrist. Now the height at which you present your wrist is a major factor in how good you are able to divert imposed forces through your body (spine) to the ground. Many, many people present their wrist way to low, in which case the entire technique renders invalid (as aite no longer pushes forward, but downward). The next thing to consider is how your body is placed 'behind' your wrist. The contactpoint, your wrist, your center and ground contact are aligned such that you can indeed minimise torque 'spill'.
This off course won't work when you are rigid in either arms, spine, legs. Torque finds your weakest 'link' and overloads it easily, thus breaking your posture.
Hope this makes some sense. Pretty hard to describe properly.
Makes sense. It is good that you are thinking about these issues and presenting them to your students!

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I meant:

Did you learn the "fixation of the upright, rigid spine" as part or element of your aikido?
Then this would be different from what I try to develop.
Sometimes it is explicitly pointed out, "have good posture", or other variations of this phrase. Other times you just learn it by induction watching your teachers, I point out, say Saotome Sensei, shihan of the organization I am a member of:

Youtube link: Saotome Sensei

Now, to a point, if you ignore the orientation of the spine, but pay attention to the shape of it, he is rather stoic most of the time. Occasionally he moves it, but either he is moving it so subtly that it's hard to see, or he's not moving it much on purpose, but either way, me, as a boots on the ground student, sees that, and the message is just "have good posture". And as you move down the hierarchy of teachers, they become progressively more stoic in their movements, not less. Now, maybe if you are a clever monkey, you can reason there are other deeper things going on there that can't be seen by naive eyes, but then maybe we ASU monkeys are not very clever. We are more monkey see, monkey do.

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Old 11-17-2011, 09:25 AM   #73
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

Ok, understood.

Do you see something different here (Endo, atari and musubi), as far as the spine is concerned?
Or does this lead in the same direction you are used to?
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:53 AM   #74
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

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@Katherine
Glad I understand at least the basic level. I suppose more advanced level is about correct dosage.
Some shihan display a kind of impulse like technique and in that exact moment take the balance and execute a technique. I suspect this eventually everything you can see 'at the outside'.
With someone like Saotome Sensei, uke's balance is already gone by the time he actually touches nage. Which of course makes technique very easy.

It's possible to accomplish that without "internal" skills of any kind, through timing, body movement, etc. But it becomes more difficult the more skillful the attacker is.

Katherine
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:11 AM   #75
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Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
With someone like Saotome Sensei, uke's balance is already gone by the time he actually touches nage. Which of course makes technique very easy.
This would actually be what I/we work on to achieve. the moment the attacker decides to attack me, he has already lost

Quote:
It's possible to accomplish that without "internal" skills of any kind, through timing, body movement, etc. But it becomes more difficult the more skillful the attacker is.
Three different levels of practise exist (at least as we look at it): go tai (solid), ju tai (liquid), ki tai (gas). Where the first two the initiative lies with aite and the third at tori. One can imagine that more skilled attackers become more solid and thus harder to control. Note that solid does not mean statue like, but more to act in strong coherent way. Most of the time practise is done ju tai because it easier to learn the techniques (global form) and small errors will not disturb flow too much.

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* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
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