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Old 07-29-2012, 03:30 PM   #101
mathewjgano
 
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Re: hips and shoulders

I don't know if I'm helping here, and I apologize if I'm just adding to the distraction, but here's what I have to offer:
I've included hyperlinks to the quote I took of Dan's. I don't know how he could get more clear in expressing how some folks in Aikido do/did indeed express the aiki he talks about (which relates to how to connect and use the hips and shoulders). His argument seems to be that somewhere in the huge expansion of Aikido, the internal methods/relationships were generally missed or otherwise not brought to the forefront. If the internal relationships aren't present or aren't present enough, I can see how understanding things like hip and shoulder relationships might be hit-or-miss, or might not be as well understood as "should" be...of course "should" will also depend on inividual standards and people are entitled to whatever standards they want. Recognizing we will each have our own metrics involved, let's appreciate honest opinions given for their honest intent. Even if an opinion is wrong I don't believe it matters much. All that matters is how we approach our own training and an honest opinion given is yet one more area for us to consider on our own path, whatever it may be.
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
...we have; Ueshiba, Inue, Tohei, Shioda, Shirata, Mochizuki, Tomiki. Then, Takeda, Sagawa, Kodo, Hisa, etc. I am sure I missed people.
I'm adding this video of Gleason Sensei, not because of any clue I may or may not have about what it demonstrates, but because I know he's trained in the way Dan is talking about. This video is about 3 years old though so I have no idea how representative it is. However, I really like the first part which I think shows some interesting "shoulder" application.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMRxbSoal-0
Sincerely,
Matt
p.s. I'm adding this video also because I think it provides a great description and example to observe...although, again, I'm very ignorant so make no claim of understanding what I'm seeing.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 07-29-2012 at 03:39 PM.

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Old 07-29-2012, 03:58 PM   #102
graham christian
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Re: hips and shoulders

Nice video Matthew.

Peace.G.
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Old 07-29-2012, 04:32 PM   #103
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Re: hips and shoulders

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Can you talk more about invisible shoulders, Graham?
There's been a lot of amazing stuff posted here over the years, but I think this is the best post i've ever seen.
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:56 PM   #104
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Re: hips and shoulders

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I don't know if I'm helping here, and I apologize if I'm just adding to the distraction, but here's what I have to offer:
I've included hyperlinks to the quote I took of Dan's. I don't know how he could get more clear in expressing how some folks in Aikido do/did indeed express the aiki he talks about (which relates to how to connect and use the hips and shoulders). His argument seems to be that somewhere in the huge expansion of Aikido, the internal methods/relationships were generally missed or otherwise not brought to the forefront. If the internal relationships aren't present or aren't present enough, I can see how understanding things like hip and shoulder relationships might be hit-or-miss, or might not be as well understood as "should" be...of course "should" will also depend on inividual standards and people are entitled to whatever standards they want. Recognizing we will each have our own metrics involved, let's appreciate honest opinions given for their honest intent. Even if an opinion is wrong I don't believe it matters much. All that matters is how we approach our own training and an honest opinion given is yet one more area for us to consider on our own path, whatever it may be.

I'm adding this video of Gleason Sensei, not because of any clue I may or may not have about what it demonstrates, but because I know he's trained in the way Dan is talking about. This video is about 3 years old though so I have no idea how representative it is. However, I really like the first part which I think shows some interesting "shoulder" application.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMRxbSoal-0

Sincerely,
Matt
p.s. I'm adding this video also because I think it provides a great description and example to observe...although, again, I'm very ignorant so make no claim of understanding what I'm seeing
.
Good example of a non-Japanese senior Aikidoka with connection - it is all in the video for those that know what to look for. Absolutely no one else looks the same as Bill after the first half turns to a group session; everyone else is trying to mimic Bill's movements by blending externally with uke; no one else has any internal connection to start with. This video is three years old; Bill is even more connected today

Greg
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:46 AM   #105
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Re: hips and shoulders

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
However, I really like the first part which I think shows some interesting "shoulder" application. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMRxbSoal-0
Gleason Sensei does provide an interesting illustration.

Much of which I would not visually see if I had not kinesthetically felt in person.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:05 AM   #106
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Re: hips and shoulders

But not so much hips! Recently when training with Gleason Sensei in DC, he said

Quote:
"One of the biggest problems Aikidoka have is that they still think that they move with their hips! NO. You move from hara."
That was almost an aside in a one hour training session, so I've been trying to figure out what that means. However, by moving my center of thought from my hips to this point above them, and moving that (with a tightening of the abs, too) I seem to be getting some interesting movements happening.

Now as to weather or not those are correct movements or not, time and training will tell.
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:07 AM   #107
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Re: hips and shoulders

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote:

Can you talk more about invisible shoulders, Graham?

Quote:
Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
There's been a lot of amazing stuff posted here over the years, but I think this is the best post i've ever seen.
+ 1
I was going to add five stars *****

Henry Ellis
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http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:53 AM   #108
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Re: hips and shoulders

Henry and Graham...you wouldn't be making fun of me would you?

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Old 07-30-2012, 09:48 AM   #109
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Re: hips and shoulders

Quote:
Nathan Mishler wrote: View Post
But not so much hips! Recently when training with Gleason Sensei in DC, he said

"One of the biggest problems Aikidoka have is that they still think that they move with their hips! NO. You move from hara."

That was almost an aside in a one hour training session, so I've been trying to figure out what that means. However, by moving my center of thought from my hips to this point above them, and moving that (with a tightening of the abs, too) I seem to be getting some interesting movements happening.

Now as to weather or not those are correct movements or not, time and training will tell.
It is my understanding that hips can't move themselves, rather have to move as part of a chain of movement that starts with the legs or somewhere else. The appearance is that that hips move as the most visible aspect of larger circles....the larger hip movement that is generally called turning from the hips. To me smaller circles are initiated somewhere else with the legs joining in to some degree and possibly little or no movement visible through the hips...

As for moving from points above the hips, I would rather sink down into my core and turn from there...with the hips following at some point. Raising the center is one of the ways that you destablize others so why take that chance with yourself?

just my thoughts
Gary
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:06 AM   #110
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Re: hips and shoulders

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Henry and Graham...you wouldn't be making fun of me would you?
Would I be so bold ?

Henry Ellis
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http://rik-ellis.blogspot.com/
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:21 AM   #111
Keith Larman
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Re: hips and shoulders

Quote:
Gary Welborn wrote: View Post
It is my understanding that hips can't move themselves, rather have to move as part of a chain of movement that starts with the legs or somewhere else. The appearance is that that hips move as the most visible aspect of larger circles....the larger hip movement that is generally called turning from the hips. To me smaller circles are initiated somewhere else with the legs joining in to some degree and possibly little or no movement visible through the hips...

As for moving from points above the hips, I would rather sink down into my core and turn from there...with the hips following at some point. Raising the center is one of the ways that you destablize others so why take that chance with yourself?

just my thoughts
Gary
Yah, been working on this myself. We are a bunch of tight-assed people. We turn like stiff cylinders rather than like the complicated articulated mechanisms we really are. I keep flashing on hearing Toby talk about "pulling" the body forward from the front foot in a sword movement. I've spent a lot of time thinking about that. Then guys like Dan and Mike on how to turn. It isn't this stiff turning but one hip opening, the other closing, one knee opening, the other closing, and so on throughout the body. A coordinated use of *everything*, all at once, maintaining a larger integrity, balance and orientation. The "power" comes from everywhere and nowhere at once. And done correctly the point of "connection" is really, well, everywhere... Then the problem is integrating this completely in to all movement.

And that's just the beginning... It sure changes perspective.

Still trying to grok it myself. And more importantly... To just be able to do it.

Me, I like to watch Kuroda moving. I like watching some of the Gracies. And on and on... Or watching an animal run in slow motion. Or watching an Olympic athlete moving in slow motion. Everything works together, but not stiffly, not "solidly", but connected throughout and fluidly powerful...

We need a better vocabulary and model to talk about this stuff...

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Old 07-30-2012, 11:00 AM   #112
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Straight Face Re: hips and shoulders

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
I keep flashing on hearing Toby talk about "pullin" the body forward from the front foot in a sword movement. I've spent a lot of time thinking about that....
Pushing off the back foot tends to raise the center...... You can destabilize yourself

Common terms and descriptions come out of meeting together ........ Not much of that happening....

Gary
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:42 AM   #113
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Re: hips and shoulders

Quote:
Gary Welborn wrote: View Post
Pushing off the back foot tends to raise the center...... You can destabilize yourself

Common terms and descriptions come out of meeting together ........ Not much of that happening....

Gary
Not pushing off the back foot, but connecting to the ground through the back foot, allowing the back hip to open as the front hip closes and you move forward without rising or falling... If that makes any sense...

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Old 07-30-2012, 12:18 PM   #114
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Re: hips and shoulders

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Not pushing off the back foot, but connecting to the ground through the back foot, allowing the back hip to open as the front hip closes and you move forward without rising or falling... If that makes any sense...
Keith

Works for me and is how I think....... But a whole lot of pushing off the back foot goes on..... I see it all the time.

You know that Jack Dempsey used to drop from the front foot to generate his very powerful and effect jabs.... Interesting to figure out how he did that and how to make it work, if it fits, with what is being worked on now......

Gary
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:25 PM   #115
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Re: hips and shoulders

The exercise I was talking about wrt to Toby you're moving forward against pressure by pulling forward from the front foot. Sinking forward while retaining structure and balance is how my brain wraps around it. Interesting exercise to say the least.

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Old 07-30-2012, 12:31 PM   #116
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Re: hips and shoulders

Quote:
Henry Ellis wrote: View Post
Would I be so bold ?

Henry Ellis
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
http://rik-ellis.blogspot.com/
Would we call it bold?

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Old 07-30-2012, 12:44 PM   #117
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Re: hips and shoulders

Quote:
Nathan Mishler wrote: View Post
But not so much hips! Recently when training with Gleason Sensei in DC, he said

That was almost an aside in a one hour training session, so I've been trying to figure out what that means. However, by moving my center of thought from my hips to this point above them, and moving that (with a tightening of the abs, too) I seem to be getting some interesting movements happening.

Now as to weather or not those are correct movements or not, time and training will tell.
Last time I checked my center was in the area between my hips. No tightening is necessary... any tightening means you are using muscle....relax, relax and then relax some more.

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Old 07-30-2012, 01:10 PM   #118
mathewjgano
 
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Re: hips and shoulders

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
Good example of a non-Japanese senior Aikidoka with connection - it is all in the video for those that know what to look for. Absolutely no one else looks the same as Bill after the first half turns to a group session; everyone else is trying to mimic Bill's movements by blending externally with uke; no one else has any internal connection to start with. This video is three years old; Bill is even more connected today

Greg
Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Gleason Sensei does provide an interesting illustration.

Much of which I would not visually see if I had not kinesthetically felt in person.
Quote:
Nathan Mishler wrote: View Post
But not so much hips...I've been trying to figure out what that means. However, by moving my center of thought from my hips to this point above them, and moving that (with a tightening of the abs, too) I seem to be getting some interesting movements happening.
Cool! I just figured out the obvious "multi-quote" function. I'm so quick, lol!
I'm still in the process of reading his book on Kototama and it's a very interesting read...one I find I have reread each passage as I go.
What stands out to my largely untrained eye is what seems to be very strong vertical musubi, upon which his body is stacked, so that when a force comes into it, it's already resting on a kind of central pillar. Again, I make no claims of "real" or functional understanding, but the conceptual framework I've been trying to learn places a huge emphasis on this relaxed-but-extended vertical connection, around which everything seems to depend. I recently read Rob John as describing the need to translate incoming force into the naturally strong vertical load-bearing qualities of the body. This seems to relate to what I've come to think of as the need to be able to "stand up" into the attack, which comes from my meager understanding of vertical musubi (connection of Heaven and Earth within the mind and body) as taught to me by my teacher.
The shoulder girdle (and hips), being the points through which the limbs access the spine's (essentially) vertical load pathway, seems to be pretty important to establishing strong vertical musubi as it relates to any interaction with the arms. Being that they're ball-socket joints, too, they trade stability for maneuverability so I would guess them to be great places for problems in handling large loads. Fortunately they're wrapped in layers of connective tissues which can help bear the loads, not unlike rope, which when symetrically wrapped around itself, becomes very strong.
Of course, these are largely guesses on my part. I am not even a shodan and am just returning to something resembling "serious" (i.e. consistent) practice. None of this is meant to be representative of a good understanding of anything. I do not wish to misrepresent my teacher, nor do I want to give the impression to anyone that I know what I'm talking about. This is just me sharing my personal haphazard thoughts (and at this point they certainly are that) in the hopes that people who know better can help me fill in the holes or give other ideas to consider.
...Anyhow, for whatever it may be worth.
Take care,
Matt
Quote:
Keith Larman wrote:
The exercise I was talking about wrt to Toby you're moving forward against pressure by pulling forward from the front foot.
That's very interesting! It reminds me a bit of what I've been playing with. One moment in particular I kept getting stuck while trying to do ikkyo and when I thought about my feet moving similar to that, it became MUCH easier. Not sure if it exactly relates, but that's interesting. Thank you to both Keith and Gary for sharing your thinking! It seems to make a lot of sense to me; I'll have to try and be more mindful of that the next time I'm on the mat and see what I get.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 07-30-2012 at 01:16 PM.

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Old 07-30-2012, 01:11 PM   #119
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Re: hips and shoulders

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
The exercise I was talking about wrt to Toby you're moving forward against pressure by pulling forward from the front foot. Sinking forward while retaining structure and balance is how my brain wraps around it. Interesting exercise to say the least.
Keith
A Clodig thing also....
Gary
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:54 PM   #120
gregstec
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Re: hips and shoulders

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
What stands out to my largely untrained eye is what seems to be very strong vertical musubi, upon which his body is stacked, so that when a force comes into it, it's already resting on a kind of central pillar. Again, I make no claims of "real" or functional understanding, but the conceptual framework I've been trying to learn places a huge emphasis on this relaxed-but-extended vertical connection, around which everything seems to depend.
It is not just in the vertical; it is in the horizontal as well - through in a little spiral energy and you got it everywhere all at once - makes for a nicely balanced (read here aiki) body)

Greg
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:06 PM   #121
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Re: hips and shoulders

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
It is not just in the vertical; it is in the horizontal as well - through in a little spiral energy and you got it everywhere all at once - makes for a nicely balanced (read here aiki) body)

Greg
It's that everywhere all at once thing I have a hard time with...no wait...it's the parts of it too.

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Old 07-30-2012, 03:05 PM   #122
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Re: hips and shoulders

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
It is not just in the vertical; it is in the horizontal as well - through in a little spiral energy and you got it everywhere all at once - makes for a nicely balanced (read here aiki) body)

Greg
For me one has to consider also how that vertical stack is held together and doesn't get compromised. So lots going on to keep the integrity of something apparently so simple. FWIW.

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Old 07-30-2012, 03:26 PM   #123
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Re: hips and shoulders

I think it's more of 'originating' movement of the arms and legs from the center instead of from the shoulders and hips... And then later, not so much of 'originating' but just a single central line floating. Hands and legs floating too. Can't muscle something that floats, and can't muscle a sword either.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:43 PM   #124
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Re: hips and shoulders

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Not pushing off the back foot, but connecting to the ground through the back foot, allowing the back hip to open as the front hip closes and you move forward without rising or falling... If that makes any sense...
it sounds like we have been working on a lot of the same stuff lately. Particularly pulling yourself forward from your front foot. I've found it has made my kokyu throws much more effective.
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:07 PM   #125
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Re: hips and shoulders

The admonition that your center was three fingers below your navel or "between your hips" is wrong for martial arts.

So, enough already......
There are a number of world famous experts in the Japanese arts out there in public teaching internal power and aiki. You know them, you know who I am talking about. Ask them the following;

1. Questions
Three inches below navel
1. For energy why would that point matter?
2. For power and making aiki why would it not matter much at all?
3. What is your center connected to?
4. How?
5. What makes it matter?
6. Where is the bottom?
7. Where is the top?
8. Where is back?
9. Where is the front?
10. how do you train to make *it* move as the driver and NOT the hips?
11. Why...is that a better way to move and important?
12. What are five important principles in play that effect the expression of it?

Ask for detailed answers and to be taught.

2.Results
What you are going to discover is one or several of the following;
a. They really don't know the answers
b. They wont tell you the answer
c. They know some, not all
d. They have no clue how to actually teach what they do
e. They don't care to teach you

3. Conclusions
a. If.........they don't know?
b. Why....don't they know?
After all is said and done
c. Why don't you know?
d. Why do you feel like most every other Tom, Dick and Harry on the planet?
e. When, where and how, do you propose to make a difference toward excellence in your budo? More Kata?


Secondarily, I would add that there are valid teachings that are partially (and only partially) true and others that are more complete. Therefore getting *some* results from one practice and using it to validate *all* of that practice as deep...is a huge pitfall.

Dan

Last edited by DH : 07-30-2012 at 04:17 PM.
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