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Old 01-21-2013, 12:00 PM   #26
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Posture in Iwama Aikido

Are you talking about this DDP posture?
http://www.aikidotakemusu.org/sites/...mg/adm34_3.jpg


Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:15 PM   #27
sakumeikan
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Re: Posture in Iwama Aikido

Dear All,
Any body out there an ex student of the Hunchback of Notre Dame?If there was by chance somebody currently teaching whose posture wise resembled old Quasimodo would the students copy the teacher???Cheers, Joe.

[
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:44 PM   #28
Carl Thompson
 
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Re: Posture in Iwama Aikido

Quote:
Ethan Weisgard wrote: View Post
So to sum it all up: structural integrity should by all means be kept. We do try to engage the forward hip when striking and thrusting forward, but overemphasis of this position causes the aforementioned affliction - quack quack...
Thanks Ethan

I'd just like to tally that with this:

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
Are you talking about this DDP posture?
http://www.aikidotakemusu.org/sites/...mg/adm34_3.jpg

Osensei in Iwama. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but the defining point of the DDP is something that is not always easy to see. I think the DDP has an actual kink, or exaggerated curve in the lower back, turning the hips down and the sacrum up. Osensei isn't doing that here and Ethan's explanation prohibits it.

Carl
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:00 PM   #29
Dazaifoo
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Re: Posture in Iwama Aikido

Excellent breakdown Ethan, thank you! This fills in some gaps in my knowledge that have been bugging me for a while.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:02 PM   #30
phitruong
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Re: Posture in Iwama Aikido

Quote:
Ethan Weisgard wrote: View Post
So to sum it all up: structural integrity should by all means be kept. We do try to engage the forward hip when striking and thrusting forward, but overemphasis of this position causes the aforementioned affliction - quack quack...
being meaning to ask, why engage the forward hip? just curious.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:10 AM   #31
Ethan Weisgard
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Re: Posture in Iwama Aikido

Scott - you're welcome. I'm glad I could be of help.

Phi - to answer your question: first of all, the forward hip is engaged to put more power in to the strike.

Furthermore, the weapons forms in Aiki Ken and Aiki Jo as taught in Iwama are based on the concept of "riai". Riai (ri meaning principle, and ai meaning harmony or fitting together) is the term that refers to the concept that O-Sensei emphasized in his teaching in Iwama: that the weapons forms and the tai jutsu forms fit together; the movements and the postures and positions are all the same. Saito Sensei always referred to O-Sensei saying that when using the ken or jo you should think of doing tai jutsu, and vice versa. So when we throw in tai jutsu, for instance in Irimi Nage, we engage the front hip before the downward throwing movement of the arcing arm. This creates a very strong and stable hip position and gives great power for the throw. It's the same movement in the lower body as the (Iwama) basic shomen uchi suburi. This is one of the reasons why all our basic suburi strikes, both with jo as well as ken, go down to the horizontal position, even though they are called "men uchi." Saito Sensei always said "Tsuyoi koshi wo tsukuru tame ni..." "To create strong hips."

My understanding is that if you are cutting with a live blade you can probably cut through most anything with ease, as long as you have a reasonably stable form. But the bokken should also be considered a weapon in itself, and in order to create a maximum power output in our strikes we put the hip into the strikes (as well as our tsuki and other basic attacks). If you try practicing tanren uchi it is very evident that there is a big difference in your strikes when you fully engage the front hip from when you stand in a position with your hips forward (horizontal).

Please understand that this is the way we were taught in Iwama by Saito Sensei, with his references to how he learned it from O-Sensei. There are of course many other ways of doing these forms that all have their own merits - of equal value. There is no single right way of doing things. I'm just trying my best to train the way I was taught, to understand it and to transmit it to those who wish to learn it the way I did.

In aiki,

Ethan Weisgard
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:22 AM   #32
Ethan Weisgard
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Re: Posture in Iwama Aikido

Dear all,

This question of engaging the hips made me think of the term often usen in Japanese: "koshi wo ireru" - to "put in" the hip/hips. We sometimes use the term "put your back into it" when we want to emphasize the concept of putting some oomph into a physical effort. For the sake of experimenting, I googled the term in Japanese - in romaji. The following text popped up. It is from a group that dance Nihon Buyo. A fascinating read, by the way.

http://performingarts.jp/E/art_interview/1.html

"Is the use of the lower back and hips one of the elements in the aesthetic beauty of Nihon Buyo?
Well, we speak of "applying the lower back and hips" (koshi wo ireru) in Nihon Buyo, but I don't think even the greatest master can explain what that means in a word. It isn't simply a matter of the lower back and hips (koshi) coming into play when you take a bent-knee stance, but you might say it gives you more stability, or that it plants you more firmly on the ground. An example of applying the lower back and hips (koshi wo ireru) can be seen in the familiar scene in Sumo wrestling when one wrestler tries to lift another but he can't be moved. It is if the wrestler has suddenly become heavier and can't be lifted. That wrestler can't be picked up because he is in a state of applying the lower back and hips. Another example is when you try to carry a cup that is filled to the brim with water without spilling it. We instinctively lower our center of gravity as we walk with the cup, don't we? That is also a state of applying the lower back and hips. It is hard to explain in words but it is a sense we Japanese as an agrarian people have acquired naturally."

I just wanted to share this with you.

In aiki,

Ethan Weisgard
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:00 AM   #33
Ethan Weisgard
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Re: Posture in Iwama Aikido

One more interesting article regarding Koshi is found here.
http://www.hicom.edu/Resources/Docum...shiArticle.pdf

Very interesting article, indeed!
I will leave the hips alone, now, unless I may be allowed to make a reference to the acronym of Ellis Amdur's highly recommendable book Hidden In Plain Sight :-)

In aiki,
Ethan
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:29 PM   #34
Carl Thompson
 
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Re: Posture in Iwama Aikido

Resurrecting the thread before it gets too old...

...and also taking the opportunity to thank Ethan for some interesting articles. Meanwhile, on another thread I noticed this, originally about feet but inevitably connected to other parts of the body:

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
Doing warmups is a great time to work on this, so is funakogi undo. In funakogi undo, when you drive your hips, you don't just want that motion to go forwards. Doing so makes the rear foot get light. You need to keep both feet heavy as you perform the motion. Part of that is how you drive the hips forward and back and how you involve the lower back. When driving the hips forward, the motion to drive the lower hips forward doesn't mean that you roll the hips forward with the lower back.

If you do, you will find that drives the motion upwards and makes the rear foot light. Also, I find that leaves my lower back fatigued rather than the hips. Instead drive them forwards by opening the hips. You will feel your legs want to open up too, but don't let them.
Carl
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:19 PM   #35
Stephen Nichol
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Re: Posture in Iwama Aikido

Iwama style student checking in here: Ethan's explanation is spot on.

I can say that my Sensei is very aware of this 'duck butt' and corresponding 'chicken leg' aspects of incorrect posture. We have many instructors who trained with Saito Sensei at various times during his life and like those who train with any instructor for a period of time they take away that portion of what they learned and do their best to pass it on. I can see what appears to be this 'pronounced forward lean' in some of these teachers and in some it is more so than in others. In a few it is not present at all. However I can assure you from getting a hold of all of them, they are very balanced, very solid and very smooth and quick (not that this thread implied otherwise ).

From these teachers who studied with Saito Senei for a few years to even decades... we still see 'variations' within Iwama style Aikido. It is simply another product of when one trained with a teacher and the emphasis they picked up on at that time. If that student was unable to return and train with Saito Sensei after a point when his form changed then they would not have the opportunity to adopt it and feel it for themselves and decide if it is better for them and their Aiki.

My Sensei is patient and works hard to correct us with protruding back side or the over extended/forward leaning aspects that people are discussing here. She insists on a very upright posture through all movements with strong hip in all Taijitsu and Bukiwaza as they are complimentary. Even though she demonstrates it... somehow every now and then we students perceive it differently or our bodies simply do not follow what our eyes and minds are trying to translate and tell it what to do in following Sensei.

Re-iterating what Ethan posted: I have found that people have their preferences and Iwama style is not the 'way' some people would learn about Aikido. It is just one more way, nothing more or less. Even within Iwama style there are 'flavors' taken from periods of time in Saito Senei's teaching. As with all Aikido, it makes it more interesting and just means taking time to study up and learn about it all and understand how these 'variations' come about.
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:14 PM   #36
JimClark
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Re: Posture in Iwama Aikido

This thread is kind of petering out and I appreciate all the info shared on the topic. I now think I understand the genesis and persistence of the posture. This was just posted today by Aikido Journal (although it may be a re-posting).

http://store.aikidojournal.com/hitoh...ing-kokyunage/

Hmmm.....

Learn to see everything accurately. Do not do anything useless. -Miyamoto Musashi, The Earth Scroll, The Book of Five Rings.
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:48 AM   #37
Alex Megann
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Re: Posture in Iwama Aikido

Quote:
Jim Clark wrote: View Post
This was just posted today by Aikido Journal (although it may be a re-posting).

http://store.aikidojournal.com/hitoh...ting-kokyunage

Hmmm.....
Yes, I saw that clip this morning too. I was surprised how much the posture of the ukes varied - the first and second guys in particular had the pronounced "Iwama" rearward positioning of the hips, and all of them seemed to do it more than Hitohiro Sensei himself.

The other thing that the clip reminded me of is the signature Iwama ukemi, where uke is projected horizontally and falls quite heavily. I first saw this in old films of Saito senior with Bruce Klickstein, and at the time I was very impressed by the athletic ukemi, but I wonder how sustainable this way of falling is into middle and later age.

By the way, what is the badge on Hitohiro's back? Does everyone in the Shuren-Kai wear this?

Alex

Last edited by Alex Megann : 02-15-2013 at 07:02 AM.
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