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Old 11-16-2012, 01:12 PM   #51
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

Jason,
I'm very open to the idea that many different people who do the same thing, may have different ideas of what is going on. That's why I would like to talk about these things openly now, in order to find some common ground among the posters.

I think a lot of the vocabulary being used here are borrowed heavily from the writings of Sun Lu-T'ang. We could bring translations and hypothesis of what he and many other Chinese scholars meant when they said the word, into our conversation, but I believe that will just take us away from intended purpose.

We (or at least I) are trying to find out what each individual means by these words, then we can really start to understand what commonalities and differences we have. And start working together to figure this thing out.

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Old 11-16-2012, 02:59 PM   #52
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

Doing that kind of taiji punch is mainly a trainning
Method. Delievery fast and power short power is one
Of the main differences that you should be looking at.
Stan

Last edited by stan baker : 11-16-2012 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:01 PM   #53
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

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Hunter,
Is what Rickson is doing related to what you would call Dantien movement, even if it's not- for lack of a better description, connected up like an IP person would be?
No, from what I have seen, it does not look from that.

I think Ricksons stuff in general is pretty good though. I think it has similarities to yoga and developing sensitivity to one's own body which can carry over well into IS training (and grappling of course).
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:47 PM   #54
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

Hey Hunter.
First, would you say there is a great difference between the term "core" as used by someone like say, Joseph Pilates, and the term "Dantien"? What would you say the major differences or similarities are?

Second, what do you think is the major advantage of using a muscular structure (Dantien) located in the abdomen, over using localized muscles? For example the muscles of the legs when doing leg presses over the Dantien. Or do you simply believe that having a strong musculature in the core area of the body will help the functioning of all other muscle groups as a whole? This would be using the core muscles as a stabilizing influence on the body as a whole.

Thanks.

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Old 11-19-2012, 08:37 PM   #55
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

Quote:
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Hey Hunter.
First, would you say there is a great difference between the term "core" as used by someone like say, Joseph Pilates, and the term "Dantien"? What would you say the major differences or similarities are?

Second, what do you think is the major advantage of using a muscular structure (Dantien) located in the abdomen, over using localized muscles? For example the muscles of the legs when doing leg presses over the Dantien. Or do you simply believe that having a strong musculature in the core area of the body will help the functioning of all other muscle groups as a whole? This would be using the core muscles as a stabilizing influence on the body as a whole.

Thanks.
Yes, there is a difference. Depending on what you are referring to as a dantien, I believe there are up to 7 dantiens, some of which correspond to chakra points like in kundalini yoga. From a martial perspective in terms of dantien usage, I'm not sure if all of these are applicable to the discussion.

I believe your question is centered more around the lower dantien. Now while pilates and internal strength both work the psoas, the psoas have more to do with the idea of the kua/dang. Thats not to negate their importance or usage, but think of the dantien as a control center in addition to typical muscle usage. Now from what I have been told, once you have control over it, the logic becomes clear and you really can move the arms with the dantien. I personally can only use mine to open and close the hips and tug on my arms a bit. Thats likely because the front side of my body is weak and my backside is strong (not shearing forces), so I will have to work on that more before i can get more access over it.

The lower dantien in this case is a kinda golfball sized area below the belly button. It is not the entirely of the abs, psoas, and pelvic floor. While I have never done pilates, I believe this is what is generally referred to as the core.

To answer your second question, think of it as a control point. That is movement in the entire body originates in that point. Pushing or pulling with this area is like squeezing a balloon animal, use it to apply pressure to stretch/comrpess one area, and it inflates another. With respect to the leg press, clearly the legs have the ability to take more weight than the dantien due to their size. You have several advantages with the dantien, you can push first with the dantien which causes the "suit" (think the balloon description above) to move and take up the load. Pushing with the dantien also causes the hip area to push as it forces them to open up then the legs etc, so as a result you have recruited more muscle.At least for me, if I try and do it with the abs, I can't get my abs to force my psoas to exert force; that's to say I have to work them separately.

Clearly having strong abs adds to stability, I think thats needed for either approach.

There are people here who have focused more on dantien centric movement than I have, hopefully they can chime in some.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:45 PM   #56
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

So what would western medical texts refer to the lower dantien? it is actually describing several muscular structures working together, correct? Or is it actually it's own unique "muscular ball"?

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Old 11-20-2012, 07:03 AM   #57
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

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So what would western medical texts refer to the lower dantien? it is actually describing several muscular structures working together, correct? Or is it actually it's own unique "muscular ball"?
I have an "anatomy for martial artists" type book at home, I will take a look and see if I can point it out.

The kua corresponds to the iliopsoas, which makes sense because kua in chinese means hip.

I certainly don't think whatever muscles make up the dantien are something unique created by the martial artists, but usage of them is non-intuitive.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Come on guys, there are plenty of other people working on this material for the past few years, or have attended various seminars. You all should be able to chime in and talk about this subject. Presumably, your bodies have changed to some degree as well and you should be able to comment on it. Additionally, others should have some idea of the theory behind your own IS practices.

Last edited by HL1978 : 11-20-2012 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:33 AM   #58
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

My understanding of "kua" is that it encompasses not just the muscles and fascia (the two-muscle makeup of the iliopsoas, and the tensor fasciae latae) that run across the hip and immediate top of the thigh where it meets the hip, but also the head of the femur/femoral ball-and-socket joint itself which is subtly acted upon.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:45 AM   #59
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

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Come on guys, there are plenty of other people working on this material for the past few years, or have attended various seminars. You all should be able to chime in and talk about this subject. Presumably, your bodies have changed to some degree as well and you should be able to comment on it. Additionally, others should have some idea of the theory behind your own IS practices.
but you are doing so well. we don't want to disrupt your progress.

i think i wrote about the dantien/hara somewhere on aikiweb. the training of hara/dantien movement required the breathing portion which Sigman mentioned. i see the hara/dantien as the initiator, accumulator and the controller of jin, manage by breath. so you have the three: jin, dantien/hara, and breath (kokyu). can't be internal without the three.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:42 AM   #60
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

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First, would you say there is a great difference between the term "core" as used by someone like say, Joseph Pilates, and the term "Dantien"? What would you say the major differences or similarities are?
I know very little about Pilates, but I believe the point is to have strong core muscles (lower back, abdomen, etc.) as a power base for all other movements. The point of the dantien (or rather one important point of, but let's not go there now) is that it's the natural control center of what Mike Sigman calls the suit and what Hunter described as a balloon animal. Developing the suit means tying your body together in a very specific and very physical way. It means that when doing e.g. Chen silk reeling you do not move that way because of choreography, but because you feel that's the way your body wants to move.
So the main difference between the term core and the term dantien is that they come form very different views of how the body moves.

One possible similarity I see is that they share the idea that the pelvic region of the human body is very important for generating power. The big difference however is what they do with that region and how they develop it. So focussing on the similarity would make to me even less sense than focussing on the similarities in leg usage and development between sprinters and marathoners.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:04 PM   #61
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
My understanding of "kua" is that it encompasses not just the muscles and fascia (the two-muscle makeup of the iliopsoas, and the tensor fasciae latae) that run across the hip and immediate top of the thigh where it meets the hip, but also the head of the femur/femoral ball-and-socket joint itself which is subtly acted upon.
Diagrams of those muscles may be found here: http://www.exrx.net/Articulations/Hip.html#anchor845056.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:38 PM   #62
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

From what I'm getting here. In your theory of "IP" you use the dantien in addition to localized muscle groups to create power. Kind of like the transmission in a car, you use weaker but centralized muscle of the core area of the body, specifically the iliopsoas, and the tensor fasciae latae (dantien) to help recruit more power and stability for localized muscle groups.

If I'm reading this right, there is also the theory that high level dantien guys can move their appendages with only the muscular contractions of the dantien. However, again if I'm reading this right, it's still most beneficial/powerful to recruit local muscular groups (muscles of the legs, arms etc) when attempting to do things as powerfully as possible. This would be kind of like chain linking the muscular groups together from the dantien out.

Is this correct, or am I missing something?

Thanks

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Old 11-20-2012, 08:13 PM   #63
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

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From what I'm getting here. In your theory of "IP" you use the dantien in addition to localized muscle groups to create power. Kind of like the transmission in a car, you use weaker but centralized muscle of the core area of the body, specifically the iliopsoas, and the tensor fasciae latae (dantien) to help recruit more power and stability for localized muscle groups.

If I'm reading this right, there is also the theory that high level dantien guys can move their appendages with only the muscular contractions of the dantien. However, again if I'm reading this right, it's still most beneficial/powerful to recruit local muscular groups (muscles of the legs, arms etc) when attempting to do things as powerfully as possible. This would be kind of like chain linking the muscular groups together from the dantien out.

Is this correct, or am I missing something?

Thanks
Hello,

It's interesting to note that Sagawa Sensei in his later years was so feeble that he could not open a jar of food. But when he got out on the tatami, he would throw you around like a ragdoll. Did he need to recruit his local muscle groups to be powerful? If you believe the stories...then no. So there has to be a better way. Maybe to be truely powerful, you have to give up being powerful(not sure if i'm ready yet).

I'm going back to the tatami...training, training, training.

Take Care,

ChrisW
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:36 AM   #64
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

Quote:
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If I'm reading this right, there is also the theory that high level dantien guys can move their appendages with only the muscular contractions of the dantien. However, again if I'm reading this right, it's still most beneficial/powerful to recruit local muscular groups (muscles of the legs, arms etc) when attempting to do things as powerfully as possible. This would be kind of like chain linking the muscular groups together from the dantien out.

Is this correct, or am I missing something?
To me this "chain linking the muscular groups together from the dantien out" sounds right. But in my current understanding, recruiting local muscles may not be beneficial at all. It has a tendency to interfere with the chain linking.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:48 AM   #65
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

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So what would western medical texts refer to the lower dantien? it is actually describing several muscular structures working together, correct? Or is it actually it's own unique "muscular ball"?
So my anatomy for martial artists spent much more time talking about pressure points and the nervous system than the musculature.

This post on rum soaked fist is probably better than what I would have said in terms of muscles, however it does little to explain the ball of movement you can see in Forrest or others demo's, even if they discuss the ball like pressurization.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:43 PM   #66
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

I have yet to read the post on "rum soaked fist", but I will.

So if you are not "chain linking" muscles together, then that means all of the power must be coming only from the muscles of the core- or at least the muscles that make up what is called the "dantien". I can't see how those muscle groups alone can manage more power then the localized muscles. If you use them together, I can see how you might edge out a little more strength (by recruiting more power from the psoas iliopsoas etc.). But if we are talking about power from muscular contraction, I can't see how more can be developed in the core of the body alone, without recruiting the localized muscles.

Is there something that is going on beyond muscular contraction? If so, what is generating the power if not muscular contraction?

I'll read that thread, and be ready for the next posts. Thanks guys for a very non-personal, thought provoking thread, thus far!

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Old 11-21-2012, 01:06 PM   #67
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

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I have yet to read the post on "rum soaked fist", but I will.

So if you are not "chain linking" muscles together, then that means all of the power must be coming only from the muscles of the core- or at least the muscles that make up what is called the "dantien". I can't see how those muscle groups alone can manage more power then the localized muscles. If you use them together, I can see how you might edge out a little more strength (by recruiting more power from the psoas iliopsoas etc.). But if we are talking about power from muscular contraction, I can't see how more can be developed in the core of the body alone, without recruiting the localized muscles.

Is there something that is going on beyond muscular contraction? If so, what is generating the power if not muscular contraction?

I'll read that thread, and be ready for the next posts. Thanks guys for a very non-personal, thought provoking thread, thus far!
So with respect to the upper body at least, if i push on someone with my arm and shoulder, due to newtons third law, I get pushed back as well. It may not be as noticible with a person since they get moved around. This same pushback occurs when you push on a wall with your arms too, but since the wall isn't going to move, all that force goes back into me. If I lock my arm and push back with my legs, this effect isn't observed to the same degree. I'm not advocating pushing with the legs.

I assume why dantien driven power appears to be stronger than using these muscle groups is that you get the weight effect, since the muscles aren't holding up the limbs and disconnecting them from the body, plus the pushback effect is reduced.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:09 PM   #68
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

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So if you are not "chain linking" muscles together, then that means all of the power must be coming only from the muscles of the core
I'm not sure if you're paraphrasing me or Hunter, but I can't find where either of us is saying this.

I did say that local muscle has a tendency to interfere with the "chain linking". IMO this means you should try to recruit everything - including local muscle - in the "chain linking", instead of allowing it to interfere. This needs to be practised and I still have a long way to go.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:12 PM   #69
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

I realize that to some, a degree of radio silence and repeated cries of IHTBF! may seem as if some elitist clique are simply avoiding answering direct questions, being disingenuous with their efforts or even being intentionally vague to drum up all that sweet sweet seminar cash.

Personally, I don't go into details much on public forums because 1) I've tried, and my comments are often misunderstood, 2) I think it's nearly impossible to discuss this stuff in detail without some degree of physical contact and 3) everyone thinks they do that too and tries to relate it to what they already know (which leads back to #1).

I really believe that there's NO point to going into details on open forums. They're great for drumming up interest and connecting with folks who want to play. That's it. Even with videos and all the detailed verbage we can muster, it's just going to end badly. This is why we can't have nice things...

Now, I can have some pretty meaningful conversations with folks who I have previously had physical contact with or who have even had contact with similar people. What Hunter has offered makes complete sense to me and I'm almost positive we could have some pretty detailed and fruitful conversations long distance. I've met him in person, but I don't remember if we've ever even done pushout together. Lorel and I have never met in person, but we've had some really good conversations and both offered some interesting lines of study to each other. Even then, sometimes we hit the, "I'd have to feel it..." point in the conversation. I'm so bummed I was super sick this summer when I went to Hawaii, because I really wanted to meet and feel Chris Li. Maybe next time...

In 2005(?) I commented on a video of Ark and Rob and said, "yeah, we do that too, looks totally familiar..." then I went and met them, and came back and said I was wrong. Sure, what they were doing LOOKED really similar. I know folks have watched some of the short videos Jeremy and I have thrown out there and said, "yeah, we do that, looks about the same" but you never REALLY know until you feel it. "But wait!" you cry, "all you elitist IP/IS snobs sure like to comment on OTHER people's videos and say you DON'T see IT!" Yes, fair enough. I would say that with a certain amount of understanding, you do become able to see *to an extent* what we're talking about in videos. Sorry, but that's the best I can do on that one. That probably seems really unfair.

Another piece that I think gets lost in the anatomical deconstructs/hypotheses is that a LOT of the training that folks are doing centers on various visualizations. It's fine to talk about the psoas and fascia chains, but it's another to actually start to propriocept and control various parts of the body that are in play. The body is a complex system and it's not helpful to simply isolate down to a particular muscle group. The body exists as a system and this is in many ways an exploration of treating the body as a system rather than an assembly of parts. I think this is one of the reasons that western style weight lifting is so counter productive to internal skill training. But most of us haven't felt the kind of coordination that we're talking about, so again, you have to feel it, then humbly go back to what you're doing and admit, you ain't doing much! Then you shut up and get back to work. Actually, that's not entirely true, I usually just keep asking questions until Dan threatens to make me pay extra for hogging all the time.

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Old 11-21-2012, 02:36 PM   #70
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

I don't think you guys said that, I was putting my own thoughts into it, trying for myself to make it a little more clear.

I should outline it more clearly.

Hypothesis 1- The muscles of the dantien (muscles in the hip/abdomen area of the body) are the only muscles moving the body.

Hypothesis 2- The muscles of the dantien (muscles in the hip/abdomen area of the body) are starting an action that makes a sequential contraction in muscles from the dantien area out towards the localized muscles, "chain linking" muscular power together.

Hypothesis 3- The muscles are not being used much at all, something else in generating force.

These three hypothesize are what I'm getting, from what I've read, so far. I would guess that Dave is more a fan of hypothesis 2, and Hunter is pointing more at hypothesis 1.

I could easily be wrong about that, and would like to hear your input. Also if there are any further hypothesis I would like to hear those.

I read the first main post on "rum soaked fist" and a few others. That post did a great job in discussing what muscles are recruited. But he didn't really talk about how that recruitment moves the appendages, other then creating a pressure inside of the abdomen area, and breathing into that area to increase the "pressure" from there out.

I did think the post by "lazyboxer" was interesting in talking about how confusing it can be to attempt to use Chinese words, from a philosophy that few martial artists really understand, can be.

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Old 11-21-2012, 02:43 PM   #71
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

Hey Christian,
Thanks for the comments. I understand the idea that you can't experience something until you've experienced it. Like coffee, you don't know how it tastes until you taste it. I think that is a fair statement to make.

However we should be able to intellectually understand what is happening, even if we can't do it, or feel it. Something is happening, so their must be a way to describe it. That's all I'm curious about at this moment.

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Old 11-21-2012, 02:44 PM   #72
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

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Hypothesis 1- The muscles of the dantien (muscles in the hip/abdomen area of the body) are the only muscles moving the body.

Hypothesis 2- The muscles of the dantien (muscles in the hip/abdomen area of the body) are starting an action that makes a sequential contraction in muscles from the dantien area out towards the localized muscles, "chain linking" muscular power together.

Hypothesis 3- The muscles are not being used much at all, something else in generating force.
This probably isn't even worth two meagre cents, but the idea of dantien comes from a tradition that did not think of the body as a system of joints an muscles. So although I find myself agreeing the most with hypothesis 2, the mentioning of 'muscles' makes me nervous, because it makes no sense in the model of the human body the idea of 'dantien' is coming from and secondly because in my own practice I focus on relaxing all muscles as much as possible.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:53 PM   #73
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

Hey Joep,

If all muscles were completely relaxed what would move the body? I think this might be the formation of a better Hypothesis 3.

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Old 11-21-2012, 03:29 PM   #74
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

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Now, I can have some pretty meaningful conversations with folks who I have previously had physical contact with or who have even had contact with similar people. What Hunter has offered makes complete sense to me and I'm almost positive we could have some pretty detailed and fruitful conversations long distance. I've met him in person, but I don't remember if we've ever even done pushout together. Lorel and I have never met in person, but we've had some really good conversations and both offered some interesting lines of study to each other. Even then, sometimes we hit the, "I'd have to feel it..." point in the conversation. I'm so bummed I was super sick this summer when I went to Hawaii, because I really wanted to meet and feel Chris Li. Maybe next time...
I think we got to at least do agete together, and we did get to share a couple of meals. I will definitely be looking you and Jeremy up the next time I'm in town. I should feel different than last time, as I certainly wasn't doing the exercises correct at the time.

I was surprised at the number of people from aikiweb, I got to meet on that trip!
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:32 PM   #75
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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Hypothesis 2- The muscles of the dantien (muscles in the hip/abdomen area of the body) are starting an action that makes a sequential contraction in muscles from the dantien area out towards the localized muscles, "chain linking" muscular power together.

<snip> I would guess that Dave is more a fan of hypothesis 2
Yes I am.
I'd like to add that the sequential contraction can also be inwards towards dantien and I'd like to note that muscle contraction can flex or extend body parts.

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
So although I find myself agreeing the most with hypothesis 2, the mentioning of 'muscles' makes me nervous, because it makes no sense in the model of the human body the idea of 'dantien' is coming from and secondly because in my own practice I focus on relaxing all muscles as much as possible.
Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
If all muscles were completely relaxed what would move the body?
I do think muscles are needed to move the body. But in my experience, opinions to the degree of this vary. Some might be tending more towards 3 or 1.

Anyway, I do think that local muscle flexing tends to interfere with "chain linking". So Joep makes perfect sense to me in the admonition to be as relaxed as possible to prevent this.
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