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Old 04-28-2017, 05:30 AM   #26
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: Aikido Principles: Unbendable Arm

Unbendable arm is probably the most misunderstood thing related to ki aikido I can think of. Probably because you can teach the simplest level of it in about two minutes i.e. relaxed extension, you can frame that in terms of mystical verse and talk about ki etc or you can just say "stop fighting your triceps with your biceps," whatever works best for the student.
It's this very simple unbendable arm that's (perhaps unsurprisingly) travelled far and wide. So here's a test on how you start to take this to the next level. Instead of trying to bend the elbow, try bending the elbow as you lift the wrist up. If the wrist moves up then congrats you've got an extended arm that takes a minute to learn but your arm isn't in anyway connected to the rest of you in a coordinated manner.
That's what unbendable arm is really about, it's no coincidence you find it evident in pretty much all styles of aikido, it's also related to how boxers put their weight into their hands when throwing a punch etc. So it's not restricted to aikido by any means... in fact ballroom dancers have a pretty good unbendable arm but they tend to move from their sternum rather than their hara/one point.

Last edited by Ecosamurai : 04-28-2017 at 05:36 AM.

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Old 04-28-2017, 05:31 AM   #27
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: Aikido Principles: Unbendable Arm

Quote:
Conan Theobald wrote: View Post
Frankly, I think a more important, yet often neglected point of study is the bendable leg.
If you have an unbendable leg in my dojo I'll usually make you fall over with what appears to be almost zero physical effort on my part - assuming of course that by unbendable leg you mean knees that don't bend.

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 04-28-2017, 09:27 AM   #28
shuckser
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Re: Aikido Principles: Unbendable Arm

Quote:
Conan Theobald wrote: View Post
Frankly, I think a more important, yet often neglected point of study is the bendable leg.
Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post
...assuming of course that by unbendable leg you mean knees that don't bend.
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Old 04-28-2017, 09:53 AM   #29
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: Aikido Principles: Unbendable Arm

Quote:
Conan Theobald wrote: View Post
I, er, meant to do that. It was a test to see if the internet was paying attention...

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 04-29-2017, 07:02 AM   #30
SeiserL
 
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Re: Aikido Principles: Unbendable Arm

Perhaps (for me) the best way to teach/apply the "unbendable arm" is not to focus on the arm (or point of contact/resistance) but to focus on the internal body structure/alignment (that includes the arm) and filling the 6-directions to support the arm/body and "let" it remain straight/extended ...
I used to just visualize a metal bar extended to the hall in front of me and the wall behind me and just let it pass through my arm ...

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 05-13-2017, 10:30 AM   #31
bothhandsclapping
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Re: Aikido Principles: Unbendable Arm

I may be missing something here ... For many years I was affiliated with Shizuo Imaizumi's Shin-Budo Kai Aikido organization. (Imaizumi was Tohei's main guy here in the US during the 70's). When Imaizumi would demonstrate unbendable arm or unraisable body, it was always with the understanding that your were to focus your mind on your 'one point'. In a sense, the unbendable arm was not the actual goal, it was rather a kind of validation of the 'ki power' that is unleashed when you put your mind into your belly.

And of course, the parlor trick aspect of all this was that if you actually gave your mind something to do, it would simply get out of the way and you could just relax and let your natural instincts do the rest. It's pretty clear that Tohei could have chosen his right little toe as the source of his ki power - but that probably wouldn't have sold as many books.
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