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  #51  
Old 01-15-2013, 09:40 AM
Ellis Amdur
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A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

This essay was originally published, in slightly different form, on Stanley Pranin's Aikido Journal http://blog.aikidojournal.com/ website. He has kindly allowed me to republish it on the Aikiweb site.

...

Last edited by akiy : 01-22-2013 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:21 PM   #50
Chris Li
 
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

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Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
That is surprising to hear considering the above-quoted descriptions. When Ueshiba talked about that stuff it became evidence for him following the Old Ways of Authentic 内力. When some cat says it, Chris, you don't think he is talking about the same thing?

Anyway I just find the discrepancy interesting - I'll have to reserve my opinion until I've read the parable! I'll have to go on Cliff's nice recommendations for translations.
He may well be, I didn't say he wasn't - I said "I'm not sure", since I don't have much context other than the story - which is also often quoted in the context of a Zen parable.

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-18-2013, 12:45 PM   #51
Mert Gambito
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

Jonathan,

In both translations I've read, it's clear that the old cat is cautioning the striped cat about the use of conscious projection of ki in combat (despite the striped cat stating that he uses spontaneous technique). Mind/intent leading ki leading strength is what the training is about, which in turn is about changing the body so that it adopts, increasingly over time, the qualities that one has to initially consciously develop in the body.

Also, Morihei Ueshiba reached a point in his training and skill that winning wasn't the end goal. The old cat repeatedly points how focus on the rats, or doing x, y or z to the rats, thwarts the other cats. As one IP/IS "coach" says, "Forget about the uke. Change YOU."

Mert
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:15 PM   #52
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

Have the English translations been checked against the Japanese original, whether 'modernized' or not? I seem to remember a vast amount of discussion in these forums not so long ago about the quality of certain English translations of Morihei Ueshiba's writings. Is it a well-grounded assumption that both the original writer and the translators had the requisite knowledge?

P A Goldsbury
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:31 PM   #53
Cliff Judge
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Have the English translations been checked against the Japanese original, whether 'modernized' or not? I seem to remember a vast amount of discussion in these forums not so long ago about the quality of certain English translations of Morihei Ueshiba's writings. Is it a well-grounded assumption that both the original writer and the translators had the requisite knowledge?
Karl Friday.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:44 PM   #54
Mert Gambito
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Have the English translations been checked against the Japanese original, whether 'modernized' or not? I seem to remember a vast amount of discussion in these forums not so long ago about the quality of certain English translations of Morihei Ueshiba's writings. Is it a well-grounded assumption that both the original writer and the translators had the requisite knowledge?
Yes, would be interesting to see to what degree that adjusts semantics, if not the overall morals of the story.

Mert
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:49 PM   #55
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

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Karl Friday.
Oh, I know who the translators are.

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Old 03-18-2013, 05:14 PM   #56
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

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Bob: Thank you for your very complete and thoughtful response, and thank you for allowing me to draw you out. I understand your reluctance to get involved in endless internet discussions, but what can I say--I enjoy them, and I enjoy the occasional theological or political online slugfest too.

I also apologize for giving you the impression I was riled up about the content of your first post. In trying to figure out the relationship between aikido, daito-ryu and internal arts, however defined and between Ueshiba, Takeda, and Takeda's teachers, we are all trying to put flesh on dry bones--and the bones are very dry. We'll likely never know the truth for sure, so why get all bothered about differing opinions?

So let me respond with my own view in juxtaposition to yours, though I expect little of this is new to you.

As I understand it, the argument goes like this: Takeda learned elements of internal arts from sources that are no longer clear to us. He taught them to his students, including Ueshiba and a few others. Ueshiba took these skills and the jutsu that framed them in his own direction, eventually creating a new art. Especially post-war, as the organization teaching this art grew rapidly, the internal skills were lost and the organization focused on the external form.

Dan H enters the picture as someone who learned the skills through a daito-ryu line in which they were preserved. He bounced around the interwebs making noise until the respected Mr. Ellis told him to put up or shut up. He did, started working with people publicly, and a bunch of senior aikidoka recognized what he was doing as something missing from their own art. Howard Popkin has a similar (but independent) background and shows similar skills, indicating that this isn't just a Dan thing.

Independently, Dan also started working with senior Chinese martial artists and they also recognized what he does as variants of or important elements of their arts.

So as I see it, no one is trying to jam Chinese martial arts into a Japanese art where they don't fit. Instead, they're trying to fit skills that were naturally part of the art back into it. That the fit is natural is confirmed in several ways: by the historical connection; by O-Sensei's use of metaphors and concepts that match those found in Chinese martial arts; by the reaction of senior aikido practitioners, including a few who took ukemi from O-Sensei; and by the way that the concepts Dan teaches helps decode what senior aikido practitioners are doing.

Operating from that premise, arguments about what exactly "internal power" is or even what "aiki" is are, for me, beside the point. I would expect that the Chinese arts would have a richer vocabulary and set of concepts than either daito-ryu or aikido. We're getting them filtered through one man, after all, if they even came from China at all. The historical connection to Takeda and Ueshiba is interesting and relevant--the rest of it is speculation.

And yet, the training we're doing now with Bill Gleason and Dan seems to have some relationship to the Chinese internal arts. We are explicitly taught to use "relaxation in place of timing" rather than depending on speed, perception in place of strength, whole body movement in a way that's different from the usual aikido use of the term, lots of visualization, and we try to avoid double weighting (however unsuccessful we may be). It's intriguing to think there may be a historical connection, though I don't think we'll ever know for sure what it was.

The connection between Ueshiba's skills and weapons training is a fascinating subject. I've heard Gleason Sensei say that he feels his sword practice was most helpful at giving him a head start on the skills Dan is teaching. I myself am finding all kinds of connections, though I'm not an independent voice here--both my teachers are showing the connections explicitly.

I'd love to look more closely at how spear work fits in. Anybody know a good school in the greater new england area?
Hugh, as someone wrote elswhere in this thread, it is not the spear, but how the body moves while holding the spear, or perhaps more specifically how the body is forced to move while holding the spear. It is long, and unwieldy, and requires a certain body organization which, to a thoughtful practitioner, can make quite a difference on empty hand techniques. (As an aside which will no doubt draw some ire, I don't think the jo is really adequate to the task on the development side, but certainly is once one knows what one is doing.)

Anyway, I would posit that two essential elements of discovering the internal were having to move in armor and using long heavy weapons such as the spear, staff, or battle sword. I think this is very obvious in one very prototypical sword style (katori) and one very prototypical taiji style (Chen - which I don't study by the way). (Of course there are other arts as well.) There are certainly ingredients necessary, since most cultures developed armor, but budo is, well, budo.

But to your specific query, I know of nothing directly in your area. I tentatively recommend one or both of the following: Look up the Gin Soon tai chi group in Boston. (I was for a while the student of one of Paul Chen's father's students who now teaches in Providence. There are some very, very, senior people to be found there, and some skills of a very, very high order. But like most things Chinese, very little is in the front window.) They certainly teach spear on the back end of things as I remember, and along the way one will obtain some first rate internal skills.

The other thing I recommend is to seek out the katori shinto ryu which also teaches spear on the back end. I may be wrong but I believe that Dan does, or did, study with Larry Bierry (sp?) in New York. I assume there is a work group somewhere local to you.

Thank you again for you reply. Sorry I could not be more helpful. Although I grew up in Providence, I've been down this way for nearly 40 years and am not sure what is around. Both the options I gave you would give you (eventually) what you want, but again, not right away.

best

Bob Galeone.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:57 PM   #57
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

forget the spear. spear is for wimp. look at the war club section http://sdksupplies.netfirms.com/cat_bokuto_singles.html here. now that's there, methink, a lot of internal stuffs to be had. give me two of those and i'd take on the spear any day of the week, and twice on sunday.

but this thing here is the ultimate weapon for internal stuffs on my weapon rack http://www.amazon.com/Thera-Cane-JMA.../dp/B000PRMCJU next to my karma, sai, tonfa, nunchuck, lead pipe, cosh, meat cleaver, and last but not least finger nail file and polish (one cannot do proper internal stuffs with bad nails).

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:08 PM   #58
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
... remembering back to a philosophy of religion class I took years ago where we read snippets (and snippets only, thankfully) of one of T. Aquinas' works. The man obsessed over every detail of the nature of resurrection doctrine, the nature of angels, and so forth. So there I sat dumbstruck as a few of my classmates argued about these details. ....
How can I pass this up? Aiki AND Thomas...

Quote:
Peter Goldsbury wrote:
I think that even constructing the sorites, if it is indeed that kind of paradox, is a major problem.

Though I have spent many hours discussing these issues with Ellis, I do not normally participate in these AikiWeb discussions, for they remind me too much of the fruitless (and endless) theological arguments I had before I began aikido ... the paradox that experiences both are and are not self-validating in an important way. So detailed discussions about intent, and how it guides whatever it is supposed to guide, are not convincing.
Theology, sorites and perception paradoxes ... OK you broke me...

Oddly, given the attention to the issue of "intent" on this subject there is much more connection among these things than one may imagine -- through the work of Walter Freeman on neurodynamics. Freeman viewed the Thomistic framework as the best metaphysical foundation for his neurodynamics and the mind-body problem of perception, will and action.
Quote:
Walter Freeman wrote:
Quote:
St. Thomas,"Summa Theologica" wrote:
Now whatever knows certain things cannot have any of them in its own nature, because that which is in it naturally would impede the knowledge of anything else
The last sentence in the quote above is difficult to grasp, but it is crucial, I believe, to the contribution of Aquinas. It says, I think, that the separate and immediate impacts of repeated stimuli onto receptors, and through them into the brain, do not establish in the brain either the actual forms of those stimuli or their derivatives as episodic memories. They are the individual and transient forms of matter. If the brain were to collect and save all of those impressions streaming in from all senses, the brain could not know anything. A signicant part of the energy that brains expend is used for habituation, by which unwanted and irrelevant bombardment of the senses is attenuated.

Brains try to admit only that which serves them well. Brains operate on their inputs by creative acts that make abstract forms, which constitute their knowledge about the stimuli. But the forms of that knowledge do not exist in the stimuli or vice versa.
Freeman's essay is, among other things, a frank acknowledgement of the unintended barriers that any body of learning, whether science or technical art, sets for itself when it dispenses with philosophy or a coherent effort to work out the physical and metaphysical basis of the subject in question. The problem is innate because our brains try to weed out what is "unessential" -- Intellectual work less constrained by "how we know what we know" is necessary to draw out alternate or additional (and simultaneous) perceptions we have overridden -- like the optical illusions of two faces vice a goblet. This is the value of St. Thomas -- and of careful observation and thinking, generally. Bad doctrine creates illusory problems and stymies development because of illusory borders that are self-induced -- or features that are -- <<right there>> and yet we exclude from our perception.

Someone once spoke of theology by saying that the love of God is chocolate and doctrine is the box. -- The box is not the chocolate -- but it is necessary to preserve the knowledge of the chocolate for those that have never seen or tasted it, and to ensure safe transmission and handling of the knowledge without making things a sticky mess. It is at least as important that the box be labelled correctly to know what it contains, and something of its value, as it is that it actually contain chocolate. A box labelled "Lye" should not be used for chocolate, or no one would dare try it. And a box labelled "Chocolate" should contain some chocolate, or people just get pissed at being lied to. The IP/IS crowd has lodged their complaints mainly at the latter fault -- but the former is just as much a problem, and not a trivial one.

I have maintained for some time that the nature of ki is the potential and operation of oscillatory dynamics -- a view which has significant bio-mechanical implications. Aiki relates in precisely definable ways to that basic premise about how to capture the ki concept in a purely Western idiom without losing its essential meaning and application.

The issue of what and how we perceive what happens in action and how it relates to what actually is occurring in an objective causal sense is fraught with problems especially at the speed of reflexive action (which aiki provokes, exploits and utilizes).

Furitama and tekubifuri operate at ~10 Hz -- which happens to be the natural or resonant frequency (or its first harmonic) of the human body. Most interestingly in the context of neurodynamics is that this is in the middle of the alpha wave activity frequency band (8-12Hz) which is indicative of undifferentiated awareness -- a highly martial concern-- and also mu waves which are sensorimotor rhythms at 8-13Hz.

Mu wave patterns are indicative of priming motor signals ("intent") and have a complex and interrelation with mirror neurons associated with socializaton and learning -- and specifically play a role in mapping movements of others into the brain without actually physically performing the movements -- another aspect of "intent".

I find these relationships of oscillatory similarity not at all coincidental -- one of things I have learned in the issue of sente is that proper time is neither conscious anticipation, which can be wrong and often too early; nor reaction, which is often too late; but reflexive or reflective timing -- like a mirror. And it seems hardly like "timing" at all once you train to it.

The chocolate tastes wonderful -- but to hand it on we still need a box for it.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 03-18-2013 at 11:13 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:44 AM   #59
Alex Megann
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

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Robert Galeone wrote: View Post
This is already a long reply, and it would take another very long one to pursue another idea which I mentioned in my original post. I think that what Ueshiba had, and here I think Ellis, and I know Toby Threadgill would agree, was discovered/rediscovered/cultivated by dint of classical weapons training, in particular the spear. (There are numerous reasons why the spear is called the "king of weapons"). I also think that is where the disconnect was. While Ueshiba did have classical weapon training, most of his deshi did not. Not having the classical weapon training to "self check" the shapes (and remember I said some shapes discourage double weighting, and some encourage it) practitioners used what they had -- strength, timing, and speed. Those aren't bad things, just different things.
Recent references to to your older post have reminded me of your mentioning the role of the spear in internal training.

This brought back memories of one time when Yamaguchi Sensei was in the UK in the 1980s. Kanetsuka Sensei mentioned to me that, even though Yamaguchi's fondness for sword training was well known, particularly the kesagiri from KSR, he told him that his favourite training tool was actually the yari (wooden spear). In one session during the weekend's course he had us practising spear thrusts with a jo. Shortly afterwards I went to Liverpool with Kanetsuka Sensei and we went into a martial arts shop in Chinatown to buy a couple of yari. I got bored with this exercise not long after (I was still too young ), but now I can certainly appreciate its usefulness.

Alex
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:33 AM   #60
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
How can I pass this up? Aiki AND Thomas...
The rest snipped for my sanity.

So, in conclusion, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

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Old 03-19-2013, 09:06 AM   #61
phitruong
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

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The rest snipped for my sanity.

So, in conclusion, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
12

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:20 AM   #62
Patrick Hutchinson
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

Don't be silly Phi.
The the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything is 42.
So 42 angels.
Do archangels (5th dan) take up more room?
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:52 AM   #63
Janet Rosen
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

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Don't be silly Phi.
The the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything is 42.
So 42 angels.
Do archangels (5th dan) take up more room?
Oh, so an archangel is below shihan rank?

Janet Rosen
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:00 AM   #64
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

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Oh, so an archangel is below shihan rank?
Shihan are Principalities.

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Old 03-19-2013, 10:56 AM   #65
phitruong
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

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Don't be silly Phi.
The the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything is 42.
So 42 angels.
Do archangels (5th dan) take up more room?
your answer based on computational science, which we all know cannot compute internal stuffs. my answer based on headology, which is very much in line with intention which is the foundation of internal stuffs.

The archangels have greater wing span which meant requiring more airspace for hot air columns.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:32 PM   #66
Erick Mead
 
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
The rest snipped for my sanity.

So, in conclusion, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
Wrong question.
Angels come in choirs.
They don't dance -- they sing.

But for your sanity, and with Akuzawa illustrating the box labels above:

Tekubi furi and funetori (Doka terms = "spirit of bees" and "the demon snake") applied:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snYl...434F3AB3E9CCA6

Furitama, applied (with udefuri orientation) (@1:02):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbvi...434F3AB3E9CCA6

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:59 AM   #67
Alex Megann
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Furitama and tekubifuri operate at ~10 Hz -- which happens to be the natural or resonant frequency (or its first harmonic) of the human body. Most interestingly in the context of neurodynamics is that this is in the middle of the alpha wave activity frequency band (8-12Hz) which is indicative of undifferentiated awareness -- a highly martial concern-- and also mu waves which are sensorimotor rhythms at 8-13Hz.
Hi Erick,

Does the human body (which is basically a collection of more or less loosely coupled, and more or less damped, oscillators) have a "resonant frequency"? Do you have a reference for this?

I can imagine that the lungs might act as cavity resonators, and I believe that the fluid-filled viscera indeed have a resonance at around this frequency (and hence would respond strongly to furitama), but if you bring in the arms, legs and head (as do most of us) it all gets rather complicated.

In my opinion it would be more interesting to ask what the transmission speed would be for mechanical disturbances from the wrists to the spine and from the spine to the feet (and hence derive a a characteristic time for each), and to compare this with the reaction time of the relevant parts of the neuromuscular system.

Alex
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:44 PM   #68
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

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Hi Erick,

Does the human body (which is basically a collection of more or less loosely coupled, and more or less damped, oscillators) have a "resonant frequency"? Do you have a reference for this?
Yes, it does. All structures do. And yes, I do have a reference -- some are scholarly the other is empirical. Much of the research I have gathered on the issues of vibration, inverted pendulum stability, neuromuscular aspects of reflexes, fascial smooth-muscle-like action, and the relation of oxytocin modulation to the above -- I have made available on Google Docs for those who are interested in looking at it.

As to that point specifically in the scholarship, this is most directly on point about the human body's resonance range.:
Quote:
... the resonance frequencies of
standing men vary over a wide range from 4 to 16 Hz[1]. ...
And anticipating a followup- yes -- the damping at the limb connections can be varied as well -- but this is a function of where harmonic nodes will be allowed, and as you may see below, the attempt to voluntarily change the damping at the limb segments is exploited by the mechanism that I attribute to aiki to involuntarily alter postural stability.

As to resonance empirically, perform an energetic furitama with your hands at your hara and find the frequency that drives your body to bouncing your heels on the mat -- then count the cycles according to stopwatch and find the frequency. It should be about 10 Hz unless you are very large or very small. If you do tekubi furi over your head, that resonance occurs at ~5Hz, but it feels basically the same.

While the cited work does not speak to the reason for the range or its boundaries, others do, and at least one reason is fairly commonsensical. The body has three major segments, lower limbs, torso and upper limbs -- of roughly equal length. The frequency range noted is roughly based on a ~5Hz module increment of approximately 5-10-15 across those three possible segments. Thus, depending on how the body is disposed to allow harmonic (resonance) nodes to form, the presumed ~5Hz fundamental or first harmonic may be strongest in either a ~5Hz, ~10 Hz (second harmonic) or ~15 Hz (third harmonic) mode across one, two or three segments respectively. A "whole body" (5Hz) action has only terminal nodes. A binary segment (10 Hz) action has one intermediate node at the lower dantien (disregarding the arms). A three segment (15 Hz) action has two intermediate nodes at the lower and upper dantien (upper cross) with the arms as the third segment).

Add another body in connection and nodes may be formed in both the upper or lower dantien of either partner. It creates a set of resonance nodes across a longer set of segments and which may be driven by a resonance to subdivide itself similarly. Resonance creates a "downhill" -- a low energy posture where the nodes have zero displacement (or equivalently zero stress statically) It takes more energy for the connected structure to NOT adopt the same pattern if there is a resonance involved.

More clever people may note that these segment lengths are not precisely equal, and the length between dantiens is notably shorter than the length of the limbs. But the "viscosity" of the torso is different from that of the lower and upper limbs and may explain some difference in effective length between nodes, because the properties of the transmission medium change between the limbs and the torso. In addition, the point at which the limbs are "shear neutral" under their own weight is where they they are slightly flexed (tegatana), and thus effectively shorter. In that slightly flexed condition, the elbow and knee joints have almost no surface creases or wrinkles. If the knee is fully straightened, the kneecap is wrinkled (compression) and the back of the knee is stretched taut (tension) together indicating a bending stress and thus a simultaneous shear. The elbow is similar.

Quote:
Alex Megann wrote: View Post
I can imagine that the lungs might act as cavity resonators, and I believe that the fluid-filled viscera indeed have a resonance at around this frequency (and hence would respond strongly to furitama), but if you bring in the arms, legs and head (as do most of us) it all gets rather complicated.
No, it is more basic than that -- and has to do with the structural organization of the human frame, the necessity of normal sub-perceptive vertical vibration tone that makes the human structure mechanically stable without any cognitive feedback at all, and spinal reflexive actions in the limbs that serve to protect the body structure from destructive force and are highly sensitive to such manipulation when applied in resonant pulses that drive the structure out of its normal stability regime. Research shows that when this system breaks down due to age adding artificial vibration increases balance stability.

Since the source of human (inverted pendulum) stability requires only a basic vertical oscillation of normal tone with no feedback mechanism -- if he is not prepared or trained to "surf the wave" -- so to speak -- of an applied resonance disturbance, the pure physics of the resonance nodes takes him automatically "downhill" (and unexpectedly) out of his normal and unconscious stability zone -- i.e. -- it creates kuzushi.
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Alex Megann wrote: View Post
In my opinion it would be more interesting to ask what the transmission speed would be for mechanical disturbances from the wrists to the spine and from the spine to the feet (and hence derive a a characteristic time for each), and to compare this with the reaction time of the relevant parts of the neuromuscular system.
See here -- and also linked above, and here. Speed of the waves doesn't matter -- all waves regardless of frequency or wavelength travel though the same medium at the same speed. The properties of the medium dictate that. But only resonant or harmonic frequencies form fixed point nodes at equal intervals -- and in the case of the human body at the upper and lower dantien.

We do know that the 10 Hz vibration signal screws around with the phase delay between the the stretch reflex and voluntary motor interaction to a significant degree, and causes seeming paradoxical inversion of expected action. Using a critical frequency would result in the agonist and antagonist muscles being in precisely opposite phase of the vibration (one positive, one negative) -- i.e -- in/yo). In mechanics, this is a form of shear.

Shear is a mechanical property of all wave or other oscillatory action, and is at the root of the "contradictory forces" (simultaneous tension and compression) and which can operate in 90 degree phase relationships (juji) (resonance) in aiki. A shear implies an oscillation potential.

This phase difference can be 90 degrees out of phase in time to the basic oscillation -- like pumping a swing . Or it can be 90 degrees out of phase in space (as with torsional shear) stresses (udefuri when made dynamic). The reflexive reactions called aiki age and aiki sage are premised on the relatively "static" spatial torsion driving postural nodes with the stress equivalent of dynamic resonance -- as in kokyu ho undo -- or dynamically in resonance phased in time with applied pulses -- similarly driving the postural nodes, as with furitama and tekubi furi and often directly triggering the extensor (aiki age) or flexor (aiki sage)reflexes in the lower limbs.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 03-20-2013 at 12:46 PM.

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Erick Mead
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:19 AM   #69
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Yes, it does. All structures do. And yes, I do have a reference -- some are scholarly the other is empirical. Much of the research I have gathered on the issues of vibration, inverted pendulum stability, neuromuscular aspects of reflexes, fascial smooth-muscle-like action, and the relation of oxytocin modulation to the above -- I have made available on Google Docs for those who are interested in looking at it.
Thanks, Erick - plenty of interesting material to read! I shall work through your references.

I'm still not convinced that a dynamic, responsive system full of assorted neuromuscular reflexes, and which is under some degree of conscious or otherwise control, can be described in terms of a fundamental mechanical resonance. To take this to logical extremes, an inert, unconscious body will behave quite differently to a mechanical stimulus than a trained, fit and alert one.

I do find what you say about the response of the joints to stimulus fascinating. This chimes well with certain things I am working on at the moment.

Alex
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:13 AM   #70
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

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Alex Megann wrote: View Post
Thanks, Erick - plenty of interesting material to read! I shall work through your references.
My pleasure.

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Alex Megann wrote: View Post
I'm still not convinced that a dynamic, responsive system full of assorted neuromuscular reflexes, and which is under some degree of conscious or otherwise control, can be described in terms of a fundamental mechanical resonance.
Looked at in evolutionary terms -- it actually makes a good deal of sense why this is the case for humans in particular. The vertically oscillated inverted pendulum stability is VERY energy conservative, and very limited in its demands on needed processing power to manage.

One of the things that allowed humans to devote 20% of their resting energy consumption to keeping the brain ticking over, may well be the energy savings in dispensing with a lot of our ancestors' more active neuromuscular postural feedback controls -- essentially by nothing more elaborate than becoming completely erect and just slightly bouncy and letting the stupid physics take over most of the stability work. That does however emphasize something that the IS/IP movement is emphatic about -- the frame really does matter critically to stability. But so does the underlying dynamic that creates the stability of the frame.

If you look at a gibbon for instance using ballistic and fine balance active postural controls that involve little or no conscious training -- you have some idea of the raw processing power we save to devote other purposes by making a simple physics trick do most of our stabilizing for us. Compare that with the time and effort it takes for gymnasts to meet half or less of that performance by consciously training, and you have some idea of the proportion of brain processing power that we have shifted away from our postural controls.

And yet staying erect is critically unstable without some mechanism to do it. I don't know of any other proposed mechanism with this kind of elegant simplicity of function and corroboration both in terms of its normal functions and in the consequences of its defects that reveal the need for simple oscillation to restore an impaired stability. We certainly are inverted pendulum(s). Seems to me evolution found the lowest energy means of stabilizing us like one.

Waddle, quack :: duck.

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To take this to logical extremes, an inert, unconscious body will behave quite differently to a mechanical stimulus than a trained, fit and alert one.
Precisely. Budo is about live, active bodies -- not mannequins.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 03-21-2013 at 11:18 AM.

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Erick Mead
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:15 PM   #71
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Berhn - What I'm saying is something different. Proper ukemi requires the proper use of breath, relaxation and the like. These are skills that are inherent in developing the aiki body. So quite apart from the "osmosis effect" - my term for absorbing, unconsciously, some of the skills through contact with the teacher, and consciously "stealing the technique," there is another level of basic physical culture, which Sagawa used - suburi, sumo stomps, etc. On that level, ukemi can be a component.

Ellis Amdur
Reminds me of an old teacher after some hard Ukemi pounding me in the chest while smiling saying, "Some students need the Dharma beaten into them!" LOL

Great Column and it goes along way towards fleshing out some of the chats we've had over the years.

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