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Old 03-26-2017, 02:04 PM   #1
Budd
 
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Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

Been away from Aikiweb for a few years when the "Reverse breath and kokyu ho" got my attention enough to contribute some how to information to the thread. The absurdly titled "Does having aiki make you invincible" also had some moments where we could look at "how-to's". Since I believe there's still the appetite for information sharing, I'm going to try to encourage more conversations in that spirit to hopefully continue the dialogue of internal strength, how it works and some of the pragmatic considerations for training it and measuring its efficacy as a conditioned skill that has advantages for strength, mobility and technique application.

So I thought a good place to start would be on our basic connection to the ground while in an upright standing position. In some of the classical approaches, a lot of attention is paid to to the "Qi/Ki of Earth" (there's also Qi/Ki of Heaven and Qi/Ki of Man, which links nicely to the Bridging of Heaven and Earth that Ueshiba saw aikido enabling as a means to collect, contain and transmit the essence and power of the kami/spirits all around us - though it's also become increasingly apparent that such fantastic imagery were really intended to describe very pragmatic and practical truths, another theme we can explore here) as the means by which our body as a vessel can leverage the the "naturally" occurring external forces of the ground pushing us up and gravity pulling us down.

Both are enabled by the mind's ability to will the body's internal alignment of bone-muscle-tendon-tissue in ways that can increasingly direct - and in a more sophisticated manner as skill and conditioning improve - the propagation of ground and gravity powers as force multipliers to whole-body strength in ways that are less obvious to the eyes. Depending on how you approach and define "aiki", this phenomenon also has ramifications on what might pragmatically be described in practical terms as "harmonizing with energy". We will come back to this as we revisit the other aspects of Qi/Ki, but this basic intention-force management is described as"Jin" in Chinese (while often lumped in with Ki in Japanese) - of which there are multiple types that describe different aspects of ground/gravity force manegement. We will mostly refer to Peng Jin here, bringing the ground power up through your body and through another person.

Several phrases in martial practices touch on the need to be connected or rooted to the ground. In Tohei's Ki Aikido approach, a key aspect often described is "keeping weight underside", while the Chinese admonition to "sink the Qi" pops up in multiple practices, even if the specific activities may differ based on the specific aims of the practice. Many Southern Chinese styles (the precursors to Okinawan karate and several jujutsu and kempo systems) practice rooting as an explicit activity, i.e. The ability to withstand a push, hold low stances, one-legged postures, all considered fundamental exercises to establish a baseline level of strength and connection to the ground in order to properly perform any of the techniques.

The emphasis on leg development ("leg gong fu") is historically important from two perspectives - one, learning relax and connect the upper body in a way that allows maximum propagation and transference of the ground power as sourced up through the legs, waist and trunk. Any local muscle interference from the upper body breaks the chain of power that's available as well as connection to the ground. An ingenious aim of modern jujutsu schools is to practice both aiming the ground powers to an opponent or practice partner's limb or joint, thereby establishing control via disrupting the other person's connection to the ground, while also providing a means for the receiving side to practice dealing with increasing power against vulnerable points while maintaining their composure (via root and ground connection) under adverse circumstances. Ideally with drills to practice the ground-gravity checkpoints of body organization while optimizing intent-force management, which can progress up the chain to randori and even shiai.

The second area of cultivation is a focus on strengthening the legs, core and root in a way that draws the ground power up through the body (assuming the upper body is training to relax and connect to the lower body) such that the ground power can be directed out the fingers, head, shoulders, etc - again, visibly trained via the many types of drills showing receptions against a push or grab, bringing the ground up under the pusher's strength. These fundamental attributes again are not techniques themselves, but core body skills that prepare the practitioner to more ably do "aiki" in the "harmonization with energy" sense of the term.

This type of connected body with intent-force management has many levels of progression, but begins to change the conversation from merely receiving an incoming force to one more proactive. Your management of your own ground-gravity intersection in your relaxed upper body connected to the ground power driven up via the legs and trunk, creates an increasingly able body to do "aiki" with another person. By optimizing your sphere of ground-gravity force management you can harmonize with another person's ground-gravity forces to make them one unit with a single prime governor.

This is one aspect of the overall 6 Harmony suite of skills. If we can talk through how some of these ground gravity force management aspects work in various training approaches, perhaps we can productively address some of the other 6H aspects of training (Ki, kokyu, hara, etc).

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Old 03-27-2017, 03:54 AM   #2
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

Hello Budd,
Before I add my two cents to this i want to make a few observations. First off all training models are just that, a model. I have seen differences between the so called "internal" Chinese arts in terms of the energies they develop and their expression, as for example the straight line explosiveness of Hsing I versus the coiling nature of Ba Gua. I have also seen and felt that some teachers can do but not explain and others can explain but not do. The third category those who can do and teach it still need a good match with the nature of those who want to learn.
As far as I know the artificial separation into external arts and internal arts only occurred toward the end of the 19th century. According to most sources I can remember before that point all the arts were considered to be driven by some kind of internal motor. Possibly the loss of that knowledge drove a small group to designate Tai Chi, Ba Gua and Hsing I as the heart of Nei Jia, "Internal Arts".
Still, whatever the history there are certain unifying features that surpass the differences, the major one being the emphasis of using the mind to "force" the body to re-educate it's learned responses, many of which are counter productive.
For example, we all know that if you ask someone to receive a push and then stop just before making contact most people will lean into the push and lose their balance. this response, both physically and mentally, derive form our fight or flight response to stress. So judo uses this simple idea, push when pulled, pull when pushed. Aikido "refines" it somewhat with enter who pulled, turn when pushed.
What unifies these ideas is that being pulled or pushed removes our verticality so that gravity can help us to fall down. So it makes sense, at least martially, to make oneself able to maintain verticality irregardless of horizontal incoming pressures. the same logic applies to being pulled up or pushed down which hits our horizontal balance. These simple mechanics when combined, uproot and pull, plant and push, when combined with turning left or right, form the 6 directional basis of all martial techniques. Therefore, if one could equalise the application of those forces, a level of immovability would begin to manifest.
Good wrestlers and judo players learn this, both through technique and body to body contact, but it is not necessarily the same property that the "internal" proponent seeks, but touching these guys always gives a reality check.
My apologies if I take too long to get there but background is important, those who already know all this will forgive me, I hope.
So developing the "root" as Budd calls it makes complete sense as long as you have the rebound of gravity as well. The reason for is stated above, rooting or grounding someone else is one way to throw or lock or strike. Hitting a heavy bag will tell you this, if you do not have root at the moment of contact, "ground in your hands", you will bounce of the bag. If the bag disappears you will fall over, unless you are punching "within yourself", (more later). If the bag hits you and you bounce away, with good structure you land in the same posture a meter away.

So when I think about internals I also think about down force, gravity, and rebound, which is not really earth force, since the ground is not doing anything. Gravity, on the other hand, is pushing you into the ground and wherever your structure is not vertically aligned, that is where you begin to lose your balance, in a martial context, or where you begin to suffer the wear and tear of ageing, in the health context.
Getting the skeletal structure to allow gravity to pass through as unimpeded as possible is the way to go, but the habits of misalignment we already have are such that we are leaning all over the place but don't know it. We need to correct our posture from head to toe, and back again, quite literally. We need to identify the line between the top of the head through the perineum and into the centre of the feet and then recognise how the relaxed hinging of the hips, knees and ankles must continually adjust to remain in balance. This is an example of "motion in stillness". However we also want mobility so that spring quality in the joints must be enhanced by opening the spinal column. I find pulling up from the crown and lengthening the back of the neck the way that works best for me. The feet are our contact point with the ground so they need attention. Mentally divide your feet into three parts from side to side and from back to front, find approximately the middle of the middle, it will be around the area of the foot that is not on the ground. That area is the gravity pump and the area you want your middle line to fall through. The rest of the foot gives you feedback, when you direct your mind there, to whether you are swaying backwards or forwards, or left or right. If you can make constant micro adjustments you will notice a very small spinning action or rotation, "stillness in motion". The flexibility of the ankles, especially the tendons, plays a role as well in allowing the knees to take less load and maintain a slightly opened joint. For myself I try to feel as if there is a circular movement rather than an open/close joint. I practise that by including a very small backwards/ forwards roll within the hingeing action. Now most of these actions are not so difficult, but they all require attention, the "internal" component. this can also be called directed intent, the awakening of the nervous system to an area of phyiscal activity you were previously unaware of.

More later, life calls.

Last edited by Alec Corper : 03-27-2017 at 03:57 AM.

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Old 03-27-2017, 09:30 AM   #3
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

What does the "6 harmony" or "6H" stand for exactly?
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Old 03-27-2017, 10:02 AM   #4
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

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Igor Vojnović wrote: View Post
What does the "6 harmony" or "6H" stand for exactly?
http://mikesigman.blogspot.com.es/20...-movement.html
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Old 03-27-2017, 10:52 AM   #5
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

Yi intent, leads to ki, energy, leads to power, li.
Hands relate to feet, elbows to knees , shoulders to hips. These connections are steered by intent but have an external expression. It does not imply that they always move the same way in fact most technical effect comes from the different planes of movement producing spirals. There are many "3"s in CMA. For example shoulder is root of upper body, elbow is connection, hand is flower or expression..
Moving the elbow on the lateral plane whilst moving the shoulder on the vertical and front planes produces a spiral in the wrist but the hand does nothing contrary to outer forms where a wrist rotation appears to be the action. Maybe skipping ahead too much, we were only at root and just beginning.

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Old 03-27-2017, 01:17 PM   #6
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

Hi Alec, I get how you're describing your terms, but let me elaborate on the model I use as it again aligns to a specific set of terms and has a basic progression relating to the three internal harmonies and three external.

The term, Qi/Ki of Earth somewhat describes that area I'm trying to talk through - in that the ground/Earth is the most stable structure offering a resistance to the "natural" down force of gravity. Our ability to connect to it to "borrow" it's solidity (which is what enables the breaking through the "lean as response to push") is a necessary step and in some cases easier to start with (as a sinking, rooting activity) than trying to borrow the gravity force to add to our solidity (though it's found in every striking art from the dropping weight perspective).

There's many ways to resist a push. I'd argue the most effective and productive is to learn to borrow the solidity of the ground force by standing in a relaxed manner (and having a partner offering at first a dumb force on different parts of the body) so that the imagery of either bringing the solidity of the ground up through you to accept the push, bringing the solidity of the ground up through you under the push, or replying to the push with a tangent line such that the pusher starts to unbalance themselves. Adding the down force can legitimately take a bit more time from a gravity force management (at least in the model I show) based on the point of using a relaxed structure to convey the down force without trying to add any technique at the initial point.

The three external harmonies in the 6 H model have to do more with how the body is connected via bone-muscle-tendon-ligament and specific methods to condition those connections to create a much more stable body in receiving and issuing the forces being mentally managed in the three internal harmonies. Again there's a strong emphasis in a relaxed but stable structure, that over time is trained to optimally issue the strength of the legs and trunk up through the hands (head, shoulders, elbows, etc.), borrowing the down force, solidity of the ground where appropriate, but also using the elasticity of the connections to greatly augment the force/power available to the practitioner - either alone or when combined with intent ground/gravity force management in applications it creates more space to operate to resist throws/locks/chokes, it is additive power to strikes, body stability, etc.

In one sense it's like any other attribute of strength, speed, conditioning, balance, but in terms of budo it's like an attribute multiplier of all of those things. The intention based stuff is easier to learn at first while the connection based work takes a lot longer, especially if done aligning to developing the whole body connection rather than specific parts or areas.

Last edited by Budd : 03-27-2017 at 01:20 PM. Reason: Clarity

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Old 03-27-2017, 01:18 PM   #7
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

For ground, myself, my basic movement exercises demand one thing - that there be a constant line of power from foot to hand at all times when moving. If you can't move like that, there will be hiccups in your power delivery (if you don't like the word power - think - kokyu).

Once you have an idea for that, try to put the same movement in your techniques. When I observe others, even Sensei, I see hiccups / interruptions ... all over the place.

And before you say - I'm doing that already - test it out while thinking about it.

Incidentally, I once showed someone, and then later, I was on a seminar he was doing, and he was trying to show the same thing, and was not doing it himself. And he came over to me and tried to show me how to do it. This has happened a few times with different ideas I have had - bizarre what! People are messed up with ego.

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Old 03-27-2017, 01:28 PM   #8
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

Hi Rupert, I agree this is an important component - as I was mentioning it above, there's the aspects of borrowing the solidity of the ground and having that strength available out your hands. There's also the gravity aspects - then your body's conditioning and connection to convey the ground/gravity strengths. Very deep topic and a lifelong study that definitely enhances one's practice while also sometimes creating obstacles in class depending on how well you can blend in someone else's house vs. their need to correct every move.

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Old 03-28-2017, 03:09 AM   #9
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

Moving up to the hip area, but not what the Japans refer to as koshi, but to the top of the femur where they enter the hips. These ball joints and particularly the tissue around them, need to be able to move freely within themselves to both carry and transfer loads for upper to lower body and vice versa. they are the controllers that allow the middle waist area, Dantien or Tanden, to rotate and power whole body movement. I think this is possibly the most difficult area to recruit into preparatory work, especially for those who have been trained to move their hips whilst calling them "centre". For me, one of the best methods is to stand in a moderate horse stance, maintain the alignment of toes and knees at all times. Gently rotate your upper body, paying attention to the maintenance of the shoulder hip line, don't break it!
Keep your head board to maintain anchor between head and the drive shaft of the spinal column and bring you shoulder towards your chin. As you begin to turn left you will feel pull in the inguinal crease and in the side of the body wall. You will want to shift your weight left, instead push intent into your right foot and knee and try to stay in your own centre of gravity, then reverse. this is one practise to open and loosen this area as part of rooting and later issuing. Really try not to move from side to side and use a mirror. There are other exercises than this but i have found this most rewarding and difficult.
I personally find it difficult to work only with YI or awareness if i do not first awaken the area at a more physical level. When i can start to get some sensation in the specific area i will begin to try to work with less overt physical action. So I am looking at readying the body to handle heaven earth force. When the body has been properly conditioned the importance of external structural alignment becomes less and less as the the web of intent and energy are deeply woven in the tissue and tendon. In other words once you can stand up properly you don't really need to!
Now instead of going to the centre lets swing back to the head. We have spoken of keeping the head suspended. Lengthening the neck usually means tilting the chin slightly down and back. as you do this you will feel some pull on the tissue area between neck and shoulders. Maintaining that pull rotate your shoulders forwards and let them fall in a relaxed way. Imagine you have a small golfball in each armpit so that your shoulders fall forwards and slightly out. this will begin to open the area between the shoulder blades. This area is also activated by stake standing, holding the ball posture, another way to practise root. BTW its impossible to do all these things at once so you focus on bits until they start to connect naturally. One more bit for now, whilst trying to keep your body aligned and your feet meeting the ground and your head suspended relax your six pack (no problem at 65!) and think about sitting on a wall. Don't actually do anything but you should feel a shift down into your centre area. If you can keep some bits together we are almost ready to begin ;-)

Disclaimer, I'm a long time beginner not an expert. Budd suggested some dialogue on what we actually do. These are some bits of my personal practise which I am happy to share.

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Old 03-28-2017, 03:46 AM   #10
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
For ground, myself, my basic movement exercises demand one thing - that there be a constant line of power from foot to hand at all times when moving. If you can't move like that, there will be hiccups in your power delivery (if you don't like the word power - think - kokyu).

Once you have an idea for that, try to put the same movement in your techniques. When I observe others, even Sensei, I see hiccups / interruptions ... all over the place.

And before you say - I'm doing that already - test it out while thinking about it.

Incidentally, I once showed someone, and then later, I was on a seminar he was doing, and he was trying to show the same thing, and was not doing it himself. And he came over to me and tried to show me how to do it. This has happened a few times with different ideas I have had - bizarre what! People are messed up with ego.
i agree Rupert, how do you train that line? Mentally through visualisation. imagination line of sight?
Physically through throwing hands at the ground. Do you split power towards centre and skeletal structure alignment ? D you think feet to hands or hands to feet and back again? Are you heavy at the point of contact or does it remain in your body until emptiness emerges in your partner/opponent?
It is funny that a lot of guys in boxing who have knockout power are also more easily knocked out. Heavy hands-heavy root? The management of yin/yang, ( in/yo ) seems to play a vital role in this. perhaps root and centre should be everywhere and not localised?

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Old 03-28-2017, 06:28 AM   #11
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

[quote=Alec Corper;350449]i agree Rupert, how do you train that line? Mentally through visualisation. imagination line of sight? Physically through ...QUOTE]

All of that ... a bit of everything. I trained with some Taichi-ing friends years ago and got the idea to do Aikido waza by myself, Taichi style. It is ... somehow 'theraputic'. I have been walking in circles for years after reading a Robert Smith book, later got corrected / adjusted by someone ... still doing it. More recently, youtube is great for ideas. Then test it out on people etc. when training Aikido or with friends - in the past in Judo and Jujutsu too. Training with Kanetsuka Sensei years ago set me on the track to search ... still at it. I have explained a lot in my online book ... but not so easy to decipher I guess. Training against resistance is best, aiming to make it work using minimal energy. Start with leverage than transition to neutralising uke's energy, then using/manipulating uke's energy. It's a bit of a lark I guess. No one can do my idiosyncratic stuff, so it seems, but there are others out there that can do stuff I can't do ... so the search is endless. The most useful training is done by myself. I don't need any partners.

Last edited by Rupert Atkinson : 03-28-2017 at 06:34 AM.

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Old 03-28-2017, 09:39 AM   #12
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

Thanks, Alec and Rupert - good inputs. I think there's a necessary dual feedback loop regarding training the manifestation of intention force management (weight of gravity, solidity of the ground) in the body, while also training the bone-muscle-tendon-tissue via various imagery, breath and pattern based drills to build the connections to better propagate the intention force management.

Some progression things I've noticed is that it's easiest to get people doing basic ground power up through the body when receiving a dumb force push to the shoulder or hip, virtually everyone is carrying tension spots in the arms and shoulders, most of us lean when trying to bring the solidity of the ground into the hands. I'm seeing more progress get made with having simple models to follow rather than specific techniques or micro-adjustment standards (only because sometimes the big goal of ground force into hands gets lost in the "move three inches here" discussions if they stack up too much).

Alec, your mention of the ball joints in the hip areas is good, from a visualization perspective, there needs to be almost a corresponding "hammock" those joints can rest on, swing freely and elastically stretch to increase tensile strength - even as they are connected to the pressure pot area of the dantien (as ball/sphere from front of navel, down under perineum, back to other side of L2/L3 spinal area)- that "hammock" best gets built from a relaxed but connected frame that's developed over time as part of the Qi/Ki work on body connections.

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Old 03-28-2017, 10:46 AM   #13
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

Whilst I agree with you, Budd, about using pressure tests to help people get a quicker "feel" for handling forces I am of the mind that,when talking about root and standing, hands on testing needs something more. I am indebted to GM Sam Chin for helping me to see and understand the idea and method of self diagnostics in the practice of IMA. Not only do you need to recognize what you are doing but what is going wrong and why. Self correction is the essence of balancing yin and yang to achieve and maintain a neutral state. If you can't do it standing still you sure can't do it in motion.
In my thinking if I don't have at least some idea of what I am trying to do, where it fits in the developmental process and how to have some sense of it's result then my practice tends to be vague and there cannot really be yi present.
Getting back to our discussion I am avoiding talking about the big guns of dantien and mingmen since they tend to manifest when everything else is assembled, we'll get there eventually. So when you keep your head suspended and intend to sit down without actually sitting you relax the stomach and the pelvis floor begins to fall slightly in the opposite direction to the corrected head tilt. IMO this is better than trying to do an artificial hip tilt that some Tai Chi people use. The pelvic structure needs to be allowed to rotate upwards at the front and down at the back, not become more compressed. This brings us to Budd's comments about "leg fu". There is some feeling of pull that needs to pass down the legs and under the foot to increase the tugging on the central area. I think going into the idea of the directional aspects of yin and yang tissue and energy flow is a bit much when beginning to stand, but gradually intent leads energy in cycles and spirals of movement. The body is now standing in a very slightly reversed S curve. This can be expressed further with the idea of holding a ball in front and sitting on a large ball. You are now in the center of a sphere and we can begin to focus on the center point of that sphere.

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Old 03-28-2017, 12:23 PM   #14
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

That's a bit of a straw man, Alec. Of course you need a way to self-diagnose. Of course you need a way to optimize your connections and alignment. Of course you need to know what you're working on in relative scale of your actual progress (as it aligns to your framework and the path laid by your seniors).

I'm not sure I agree with your specific instances of diagnostics, but as you and I have discussed, the model and language we each use has implications - I also think we're veering more into the "it has to be felt" territory and your descriptions are useful data points for folks to think about in the realm of how broad a topic this actually is.

Last edited by Budd : 03-28-2017 at 12:28 PM. Reason: Clarity

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Old 03-28-2017, 01:00 PM   #15
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

In terms of imagination, I like to think of myself as a pyramid moving about. They say, when still be like the mountain, when moving be like the river. Well, I say no. I want to be a mountain that moves like a river. I got the idea of the pyramid from a friend in NZ (Adam - died of cancer). Basically, uke usually contacts us at the top of the pyramid (which we manipulate to be so) and our body (the greater mass of the pyramid) just steps in and through uke, with a bit of craft, in reality deflecting uke's attack. In this example, I do not avoid, I just try to walk through uke. Of course, I may avoid a micron or two, but the idea is, I do not avoid. It also develops a stronger kokyu that remains somehow fluid. My own idiosyncratic way - I have not seen others do it, and if I explain they say - it's not aikido - you must avoid! When I watch them, to me, now, they just run 'around' uke's energy. But I have a clear choice: go around, or go through - or a mixture.

As an addition to this: For me, now, irimi is to go through or to return uke's energy to him. Tenkan is to go around or let uke's energy continue on, and even if you avoid by only 1 degree, I now say that is tenkan. If I can be more irimi, my skill increases, so I like to think - not easy of course - sometimes I have to avoid, but at the slightest opportunity I take irimi. So, tenkan is not a technique anymore for me, just a means to enter irimi. Thus - doing a tenkan ikkyo is useless (except maybe for grading and learning how to move for basics). Tenkan should be done because you can't do irimi, but as soon as opportunity presents, you take irimi. Again, no one out there has this point of view, and people reject my idea. But if you look at what you do yourself, you might find it to be - reality. Again, this is all in my online book, somewhere.

It is just not so easy to explain. If you alter the way you do Aikido, you may find the means to find aiki. It's not all in the touchy-feely - the method is important too. I like the two irimi / two tenkan training approach as it makes me more ambidextrous, but it is hopeless for aiki.

I have no idea what some people on here are rambling on about in terms of six harmonies (I have read about it) or in terms of weight and this and that. With training we get heavy - so what. All that we do has an up down / left right / front back aspect - so what. But such can be focused upon. Just reading about it is not so helpful - I have to 'meet' someone. Direct transmission is the only true teaching method. I have my own idiosyncratic way - self taught, but a lot of stealing. I watch and steal. My own journey.

Last edited by Rupert Atkinson : 03-28-2017 at 01:10 PM.

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Old 03-28-2017, 02:28 PM   #16
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

Hi Rupert - I like your description of irimi and tenkan, it's similar to how we'd describe it in aikido back in the day per Ellis Amdur's Taikyoku Aikido (There is no tenkan without irimi).

As for 6 Harmonies, the link has already been included per Mike Sigman's blog and the descriptions align pretty nicely to lots of the literature that describe the internal strength thingies. I agree that hands-on is the only way, but as one of the ramblers (and other than the 6H container, I am pretty clear that I'm describing basic physical thingies) I'm trying to understand your objection. Do you disagree? Offer an alternative? I'd think using concrete things like solidity of the ground (see what I did there?) or gravity would help the general discussion rather than relying on Japanese terminology.

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Old 03-28-2017, 07:25 PM   #17
MrIggy
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

Thanks for the link.
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Old 03-29-2017, 12:48 AM   #18
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

1

1) upper/lower body should be aligned and relaxed to place its weight on arms
2) 1) can not be accomplished by hearing 'relaaaaaa~~~x' on the mat
3) 1) requires body training. I guess it's more like re-programming brain to move so.
4) up/down of weight affects uke's push or pull since the uke can't push or pull forever. Matching happens.
5) There are a lot of spaces in human body and 4) is driven by intent and certain muscles, bones and something in body moves up/down.
6) 1)~5) works for many people since their balance sucks but doesn't work for the people who trained his body for some months

Jaemin
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Old 03-29-2017, 03:55 AM   #19
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
I'm trying to understand your objection. Do you disagree? Offer an alternative? I'd think using concrete things like solidity of the ground (see what I did there?) or gravity would help the general discussion rather than relying on Japanese terminology.
I don't disagree - I have read this and that - it all sounds OK, but I can't trust what I read until I train with someone who knows what they are doing and that it matches what they are saying.

I have met people who told me this n that only to find out they don't have much skill (that helps me) upon meeting. I mean, they have some skill, but I guess, often, I have no use for it. To quote a crude but good friend of mine, "They are good at what they do, but what they do is rubbish." Well, that's what he says. I just think I am further ahead so nothing to learn for me. And then, I cannot value anything they say. I have to seek out those who are ahead, then watch, listen, feel, and try to steal.

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Old 03-29-2017, 06:32 AM   #20
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

Yep, no matter what words get said, the practitioner's ability to execute always becomes clearer on contact. Again, I don't know anyone arguing otherwise.

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Old 03-29-2017, 06:59 AM   #21
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
I don't disagree - I have read this and that - it all sounds OK, but I can't trust what I read until I train with someone who knows what they are doing and that it matches what they are saying.

I have met people who told me this n that only to find out they don't have much skill (that helps me) upon meeting. I mean, they have some skill, but I guess, often, I have no use for it. To quote a crude but good friend of mine, "They are good at what they do, but what they do is rubbish." Well, that's what he says. I just think I am further ahead so nothing to learn for me. And then, I cannot value anything they say. I have to seek out those who are ahead, then watch, listen, feel, and try to steal.
Well, I have been advocating the need to go out and get hands on with people who can do this stuff for the last 8 or 9 years. Then people say , So why don't you guys explain what you do?. Then people either dismiss it, " we do that", which I know they don't by virtue of what they can't explain clearly with reference to physical sensations and the difficulties encountered, or they say, " it's not necessary , just repeat and you will develop it".

Now we try to have a little constructive dialogue. If people aren't interested, ignore it, dont waste time endlessly complaining about what a waste of time it is to read and write about it. Personally Rupert I would be happy to touch hands if we are ever in the same part of the world but I don't think either of us will be buying an airline ticket to visit. If you can learn this stuff by, as you say, watch, listen, feel and practice what you read in a book, more power to you. I cannot see how you could learn circle walking from anything Robert Smith wrote, the text was superficial and the pictures almost useless, but you are you.
Anyway good luck with your approach,
Alec

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Old 03-29-2017, 08:42 AM   #22
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

I agree, Alec, and I think it's part of the dialogue that will get revealed as we keep having these conversations - in that there's folks that aren't doing this stuff and looking to learn more, folks that think they're doing this stuff already and may or may not be, folks home brewing via getting access to lots of people and information sources, people following an established framework - and likely every combination in between.

Per our initial dialogue - I see value in linking what's meant by "internal training in aikido" to established frameworks of the larger category of "internal strength" as described in any number of Asian texts - very often using common dialogue around ki/qi, heaven/earth/man, bridge to heaven metaphorical language that has very practical and pragmatically trained areas of study according to a number of methodologies. Where it's valuable to get participation from various folks is that 1) it gives folks a chance to understand what's out there in the world regarding various paths people are taking to explicitly work on this stuff. 2) hopefully raises the dialogue so that people are able to more explicitly describe what they're doing (not sure vs. this established framework vs. home brewing vs. other).

Anyway, I may start another thread on how to train some of the body connections.

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Old 03-29-2017, 09:04 AM   #23
RonRagusa
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

Aiki Taiso exercises - Solo mind/body coordination training, not just warmups, elementary shaping of space via motion.
Push/Pull/Lift/Compress/Torque tests/exercises - Partnered mind/body coordination training, force management training, balancing of forces within oneself, grounding/accumulating/returning incoming energy strengthening of center via progressively increasing force loads, generation of internal power by amalgamation of self generated energy with incoming energy.
Solo work with bokken/jo - Mind/body coordination training, development of softness of touch, intermediate shaping of space via motion with inanimate partner.
Partnered work with bokken/jo - Mind/body coordination training, delivering/receiving (nage/uke) power generated by unified mind and body,
Technique practice - Partnered mind/body training, advanced shaping of space via motion with one or more animate partner(s), delivery and governing of power generated by unified mind and body (nage), receiving and managing power generated by unified mind and body (uke).

Emphasis on recognizing and internalizing correct feeling associated with successful utilization of unified mind and body in performance of the above. Over time the student becomes more familiar with the feeling of mind/body coordination and is able to call on the feeling at will thereby maximizing performance.

Ron

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Old 03-29-2017, 09:29 AM   #24
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

Thanks for contributing, Ron, what you describe makes sense. Where in your activities would you emphasize the balancing of ground/gravity forces (in addition to the forces brought by a training partner or training tool such as a bokken) as enablers or additives?

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Old 03-29-2017, 09:59 AM   #25
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Re: Connection with the ground, Rooting, etc

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Aiki Taiso exercises - Solo mind/body coordination training, not just warmups, elementary shaping of space via motion.
Push/Pull/Lift/Compress/Torque tests/exercises - Partnered mind/body coordination training, force management training, balancing of forces within oneself, grounding/accumulating/returning incoming energy strengthening of center via progressively increasing force loads, generation of internal power by amalgamation of self generated energy with incoming energy.
Solo work with bokken/jo - Mind/body coordination training, development of softness of touch, intermediate shaping of space via motion with inanimate partner.
Partnered work with bokken/jo - Mind/body coordination training, delivering/receiving (nage/uke) power generated by unified mind and body,
Technique practice - Partnered mind/body training, advanced shaping of space via motion with one or more animate partner(s), delivery and governing of power generated by unified mind and body (nage), receiving and managing power generated by unified mind and body (uke).

Emphasis on recognizing and internalizing correct feeling associated with successful utilization of unified mind and body in performance of the above. Over time the student becomes more familiar with the feeling of mind/body coordination and is able to call on the feeling at will thereby maximizing performance.

Ron
Hello Ron,
Would you describe just one aiki taiso done as an internal training method, what makes it other than a warm up and what aspect of body/ mind coordination is required? I ask because i also use aiki taiso as internal training, i wonder how you actually do it.
Alec

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