Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Internal Training in Aikido

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-15-2013, 07:35 AM   #26
Jim Sorrentino
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Jim Sorrentino's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia, Aikido Shobukan Dojo
Location: Washington, DC
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 221
Offline
Re: Increasing Ground Awareness for Internal Strength

Quote:
Mert Gambito wrote: View Post
But see http://members.aikidojournal.com/pub...tanley-pranin/

Not having anything around to read is dangerous: you have to content yourself with life itself, and that can lead you to take risks. - M. Houellebecq, Platform
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2013, 09:06 AM   #27
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,085
United_States
Offline
Re: Increasing Ground Awareness for Internal Strength

Quote:
Bernd Lehnen wrote: View Post
I�m fully aware that you didn't say anything about hypnosis and everything what you have said so far is very down to earth, as I see it. I appreciate very much that, to me, you are one of the people who exactly know what they are saying or writing about.

I mentioned hypnosis to express more explicitly the degree of uselessness I attribute to those multiple Uke demonstrations (to my pursuit of inner power) in the context of budo. I tried to express a personal opinion.

And I tried to point to the difference in the approach to inner power between Tohei in his aikido compared to Ueshiba M. or may be Sagawa or Takeda S. in Daito Ryu

Then I tried to express that in my opinion the curriculum of aikido probably is not the road to aiki, but that aikido nevertheless can be a wonderful tool to express inner power.

I may have been carried away a bit here. I'm but a bloody newbie in his very first attempts --ever - to try and take part in these discussions. All that may be well over my head.

So please, bear with me. Feel free to correct me, whenever my choice of words, the tone or the content may be inappropriate or not to the point, so that I can learn and grow.

Thank you for your patience.
Bernd
No worries, I just didn't understand what you were getting at!

Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2013, 09:14 AM   #28
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,085
United_States
Offline
Re: Increasing Ground Awareness for Internal Strength

Quote:
Jim Sorrentino wrote: View Post
I think that Oisin Bourke gave a counter example in that thread - there's another example by Youichi Shiosaka in this post.

Sagawa did make some comments in this post about that picture, which suggests to me that the picture was probably staged.

Nothing unusual about that, most pictures from that time were posed - Stan posted a comment from Toby to that effect on the discussion of that article in response to my comment that it looked posed rather than faked.

Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2013, 09:17 AM   #29
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,085
United_States
Offline
Re: Increasing Ground Awareness for Internal Strength

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
I don't think this kind of demos are useless. They build in the minds of many spectators they are watching a very powerful person.

This attracts the ones seeking to have power and keeps away the ones looking for a fight, so it has some "martial" value.

BTW, there's a clip of Ryusei Saigusa (Yoshinkan) performing various of these "tricks", including being raised by various uke and the group collapsing under him.
I agree with you, pretty much, about the usefulness of this kind of demonstration - although it is a great show! Still, it was an interesting response from Takeda in the light of the current conversation.

Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2013, 01:29 PM   #30
Mert Gambito
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 202
Offline
Re: Increasing Ground Awareness for Internal Strength

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I think that Oisin Bourke gave a counter example in that thread - there's another example by Youichi Shiosaka in this post.

Sagawa did make some comments in this post about that picture, which suggests to me that the picture was probably staged.

Nothing unusual about that, most pictures from that time were posed - Stan posted a comment from Toby to that effect on the discussion of that article in response to my comment that it looked posed rather than faked.

Best,

Chris
Thanks Chris.

Jim --- I used that photo, staged or not, because it's so iconic. Regardless, there's no doubt Kata Guruma (whether by that name or another) is in Daito-ryu. I'm just curious if reversals to it are taught, and if so, how the various branches teach them (more of a rhetorical question / curiosity than anything else).

Mert
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2013, 03:55 PM   #31
Bernd Lehnen
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 114
Germany
Offline
Re: Increasing Ground Awareness for Internal Strength

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
IMO it's not much different than his "unliftable body" thing, in reverse. In a lot of ways, having all those uke's makes it easier because only one of them has to shift. Since they're all bunched up if one moves, the all move. If it were real... IMO. Ark does a demo where he squats and lets two people push down into shoulders and he just stands up that is, IMO, also similar under the hood.
That's about the way I see it, too.

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
No worries, I just didn't understand what you were getting at!

Best,

Chris
Fine. I hope, now you do.

Back to: Increasing Ground Awareness for Internal Strength.
I used to stand in a city bus, hands tight on the body, feet shoulderwidth apart, trying to not lose my balance without moving feet.
How about that?

Take care
Bernd
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2013, 03:56 PM   #32
hughrbeyer
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
Location: Peterborough, NH
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 653
United_States
Offline
Re: Increasing Ground Awareness for Internal Strength

I don't view "parlor tricks" as being entirely negative. They're quick, showy demonstrations of skills that are clearly unusual. As long as they are in fact showing the interesting skill--having a dozen people push on you isn't quite as hard as it looks, but does demonstrate that you're hard to push over. If all they're doing is demonstrating that you've trained your ukes to fall over when you look at them, they become less interesting.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2013, 04:42 PM   #33
Cady Goldfield
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 888
United_States
Offline
Re: Increasing Ground Awareness for Internal Strength

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
I don't view "parlor tricks" as being entirely negative. They're quick, showy demonstrations of skills that are clearly unusual. As long as they are in fact showing the interesting skill--having a dozen people push on you isn't quite as hard as it looks, but does demonstrate that you're hard to push over. If all they're doing is demonstrating that you've trained your ukes to fall over when you look at them, they become less interesting.
I don't disagree with that point, as long as the "parlor tricks" with multiple ukes are for show, not teaching.
Adding ukes where one will suffice to teach a particular body skill, is an embellishment that distracts from the core practice. I'm pretty sure that the kungfu troupe didn't train their individual skills by having 20 guys push on them. They just did a lot of solo and paired practice.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2013, 09:04 AM   #34
Mary Eastland
 
Mary Eastland's Avatar
Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,209
Offline
Re: Increasing Ground Awareness for Internal Strength

We call them Ki development exercises. A progression can be followed so that each participant is challenged by how that person is developing.

  Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2013, 05:10 AM   #35
Bernd Lehnen
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 114
Germany
Offline
Re: Increasing Ground Awareness for Internal Strength

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Shioda talked about it a lot, and quite clearly, as in "In order to generate Kokyu you must stand as if you are making your big toe sink into the surface of the ground." - he often spoke about the importance of bringing power from the ground. There's a video clip somewhere where he says it straight out, hesitates, and then changes the subject.

Ueshiba spoke about it in very classical Chinese terms, Heaven, Earth and Man. The basic model, using the same terms that Chinese arts to describe power from the ground, in the same contexts.

Daito-ryu folks talk about it too, as Keisetsu Yoshimaru points out in this article, so I guess we know how it got to Ueshiba.

Yukiyoshi Sagawa, of course, thought that building the lower body and the legs particularly was important.

I've heard two of the senior Japanese students of Seigo Yamaguchi talk about the importance of keeping your intent on the bottom of your feet, for the same reasons.

So...the ground power is an important thing, but not the only thing. Of course, it's still nothing to sneeze at.

Best,

Chris
The first picture in Chris's new blog post (Morihei Ueshiba, Bruce Frantzis and Bagua) shows a typical bagua posture, where apparently "the knees are held together and the body is sitting while walking". In addition to that, to my mind, people in the chinese arts set the heels first on the ground.
In karate exist movements, where the knees tend to be held together but the body is not "sitting while walking" , both of the feet are turned to the inside and the bodyweight seems to be equally distributed over the soles of the feet.
The second aikido doshu tended to glide as much as possible on the balls of his feet.

Non of them, although all keep their bodies very much in good balance, seem to glide like Ueshiba Morihei, who, to my eyes, moves more like a traditional japanese dancer but even more freely, without posturing and nevertheless excellently balanced. Some people would describe his as natural movement but there I wouldn't agree either.

All have awareness of the ground.
Where is the difference? Degree? Zanshin? Is awareness of the ground increased for internal strength or is it the other way round?
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2013, 10:45 AM   #36
Bernd Lehnen
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 114
Germany
Offline
Re: Increasing Ground Awareness for Internal Strength

Excuse me for an afterthought to my last post here:

Tohei, keeping the one point, and Shioda, this time not sinking the big toe into the surface of the ground, were frequently hopping around, both feet in the air. Both were in good balance, though, because they were throwing their partners without too much effort and, as a rule, were not unbalanced by them.
So, even if awareness of the ground here may be more the equivalent to a trained and now automatic awareness of the situation of your body in relation to the earth, i.e. the centre of gravity, both of them have awareness of the ground.

But both feet in the air, I suppose neither Tohei nor Shioda can bring the ground through their feet into their body nor to any effect. So ground path and structure may here be of less importance.

So, where is here internal strength to be found? Is it the equivalent to the ability to keep automatic balance?

Last edited by Bernd Lehnen : 01-28-2013 at 10:49 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2013, 09:06 PM   #37
Cady Goldfield
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 888
United_States
Offline
Re: Increasing Ground Awareness for Internal Strength

Bernd,
It doesn't appear to me, watching the many Shioda demos on YouTube, that Shioda sacrifices his ground connection when he is making serious contact with his uke. If you watch the clips, I think you will find that when he's doing his "Shioda Bounce"(TM) and is off the ground while his uke is also not grounded, he is just "helping" uke to complete an arc uke is already circumscribing in the air -- having already been off-balanced. Also, do not discount the very strong possibility that, besides the generous serving of "ham" Shioda often dished out in his public demos, his demonstration ukes did not always wait for Shioda to touch them before taking ukemi for that kind of schtick.

Whenever Shioda is actually applying aiki, he is in contact with the ground with at least one foot or his uke is in contact with the ground and Shioda is connecting to the ground through uke. As far as I can see, when Shioda is bouncing uke off his shoulder or hip -- doing aiki-age and aiki-sage, he is in solid contact with the ground.

Pushing into/engaging with the ground is an initiating step for generating force -- one of the precursors to transforming force into power at the tandan/meimon. Shioda's "sinking of the big toe into the ground" (really, pressing against the ground and gripping with the toes to exploit gravity force and to create torsion), is an example of that starting point for the force-generation process.

Being "rooted" doesn't mean being glued to the ground; mobility is essential to good martial-aikido movement. Someone with a reasonable degree of skill can exploit even just a quick "ground grab" to gain the necessary force for power generation, before moving on. I'd wager that whenever Shioda came to rest -- however briefly -- at any point between stepping and/or propelling himself around, he regained his root to initiate transmission of force.

Plenty of skips and hops here, plus a two-footed leaping slam-dunk:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrV5RgkFf9s

(BTW, this clip has the classic segment of US Sen. Robert Kennedy and his wife enjoying a private demo with Shioda, with one of the senator's Secret Service bodyguards cheerfully getting himself face-planted.)

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 01-28-2013 at 09:13 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 11:05 AM   #38
Bernd Lehnen
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 114
Germany
Offline
Re: Increasing Ground Awareness for Internal Strength

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Bernd,
It doesn't appear to me, watching the many Shioda demos on YouTube, that Shioda sacrifices his ground connection when he is making serious contact with his uke. If you watch the clips, I think you will find that when he's doing his "Shioda Bounce"(TM) and is off the ground while his uke is also not grounded, he is just "helping" uke to complete an arc uke is already circumscribing in the air -- having already been off-balanced. Also, do not discount the very strong possibility that, besides the generous serving of "ham" Shioda often dished out in his public demos, his demonstration ukes did not always wait for Shioda to touch them before taking ukemi for that kind of schtick.

Whenever Shioda is actually applying aiki, he is in contact with the ground with at least one foot or his uke is in contact with the ground and Shioda is connecting to the ground through uke. As far as I can see, when Shioda is bouncing uke off his shoulder or hip -- doing aiki-age and aiki-sage, he is in solid contact with the ground.

Pushing into/engaging with the ground is an initiating step for generating force -- one of the precursors to transforming force into power at the tandan/meimon. Shioda's "sinking of the big toe into the ground" (really, pressing against the ground and gripping with the toes to exploit gravity force and to create torsion), is an example of that starting point for the force-generation process.

Being "rooted" doesn't mean being glued to the ground; mobility is essential to good martial-aikido movement. Someone with a reasonable degree of skill can exploit even just a quick "ground grab" to gain the necessary force for power generation, before moving on. I'd wager that whenever Shioda came to rest -- however briefly -- at any point between stepping and/or propelling himself around, he regained his root to initiate transmission of force.

Plenty of skips and hops here, plus a two-footed leaping slam-dunk:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrV5RgkFf9s

(BTW, this clip has the classic segment of US Sen. Robert Kennedy and his wife enjoying a private demo with Shioda, with one of the senator's Secret Service bodyguards cheerfully getting himself face-planted.)
Cady,
True, and you must have a lot of experience with internal stuff. If not in aikido itself, all the way able to translate it into the workings of aikido.

As I see it, and I think it shows in the video you provided, Shioda, in his younger life was still building on his reputation and whence probably more concerned with throwing his partners effectively. And whence, to my eyes, he is working more “one-directionally”. In his later years, there are videos where he is seen teaching, trying to impart the inner workings of his art to his disciples. Then, as I see it, he has more become like Ueshiba Morihei, who was more circum- or omni directional in his awareness, less concerned with throwing and rather concentrated inside himself, holding back, attracting, knowing that throwing was one choice of many things he could choose. In a sense more aiki than kiai.

Now, lets make an attempt to take this a little bit further: before I start training I have to set a goal. Lets first set a goal for ones training.
With internal training for aikido I like to think in metaphors or pictures. The extreme distinction between internal and external has always failed me.

When saying “one-directionally” I think of a picture like “bow and arrow”. External part in this would be, that you can make a stronger bow (you can train your body to get stronger) and can draw the arrow farther and direct it on a certain goal (store more trigger-energy and get your partner always in front of the arrow, or if you like in front of your sword, i.e. of your strongest point). I call it “external” because it can be seen relatively easily. It’s more kiai in that you do something with your partner.

Now, for more internal or more aiki, I tend to think of a modern jetfighter, that relies heavily on its inherent instability, to be able to react or act much faster than would be possible otherwise. To become stable, it has to take advantage of kind of dynamically omni-directional loss of balance. It’s more about what you do with yourself than what you do to someone else. Here, you want to take into account awareness of the ground, you have to know where and how you are situated in relation to the rest of the world.

To combine both aspects and to take more into account a living being, I come to think e.g. of a cat, completely relaxed, sleeping on a table, getting swept of the table by someone, who doesn’t want it to be there. The cat in the fall, her body immediately, in a flash, by its always present awareness of the ground, revolves, draws and triggers from the centre and lands on her feet, again relaxed and ready for what may happen next.

The next thing would be a cat like this, that can’t be swept off the table because no one can find it.

Kept carried away a bit.

To my mind, for internal training in aikido, one has to train the body, starting with a set goal, with the intention to ingrain the body with relaxed strength and constant awareness (which includes awareness of the ground) and the ability to take dynamic advantage of ones inherent instable human body.
.

Last edited by Bernd Lehnen : 01-29-2013 at 11:11 AM. Reason: spell check didn't work
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2013, 10:45 AM   #39
Ecosamurai
 
Ecosamurai's Avatar
Dojo: Takagashira Dojo
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 519
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Increasing Ground Awareness for Internal Strength

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Shioda talked about it a lot, and quite clearly, as in "In order to generate Kokyu you must stand as if you are making your big toe sink into the surface of the ground." - he often spoke about the importance of bringing power from the ground. There's a video clip somewhere where he says it straight out, hesitates, and then changes the subject.
Amusingly, two things I happened to read today talking about the same thing, this quote is apparently something said by Kotaro Yoshida, the man who introduced Morihei Ueshiba to Sokaku Takeda, (also, for those who might not know, Kotaro Yoshida's son moved to the USA and was the teacher of Don Angier):

Quote:
You must relax when you fight or else your muscles and tendons lock up the skeletal system with their tenseness. This will impede your strength. To relax you must relax your stomach and then your joints. This gives you true strength so that when attacked, you can explode from your stomach.
When you breathe out, imagine that the breath settles down to your stomach and that any excess goes down to your big toe. Then when you hit, at the moment of impact, you explode, relaxing immediately. In the kata you explode into the movements and relax between them.
This quote may also be of passing interest (emphasis mine) in reference to the oral teaching of Sokaku Takeda:

Quote:
It had been snowing and the tree in Mr. Kimfs courtyard was barren of leaves. It had five branches pointing up at the sky like fingers of a hand. When Yoshida saw this, he said that it was good luck and that they should go out and practice catching the cosmic rays
Links to the originals here (subscription required):
http://members.aikidojournal.com/pri...aro-yoshida-1/
http://members.aikidojournal.com/pri...aro-yoshida-2/

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Handmade Aikido Gifts - Handmade functional ceramic art with aikido themes



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What technique would you apply to neutralize Brazilian Jujitsu attacker Tijani1150 Techniques 424 11-21-2014 09:53 PM
Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido Ron Tisdale Training 139 02-11-2010 08:03 AM
Baseline skillset eyrie Non-Aikido Martial Traditions 1633 05-23-2008 02:35 PM
Aikido With an Attitude: The Other Intenal Strength (or Weakness) SeiserL Columns 10 05-29-2007 07:16 AM
Too much upper body strength Bruce Baker Techniques 18 11-29-2002 02:11 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:09 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate