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 > Training

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 03-15-2009, 12:25 PM   #26
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Offline
Re: Relaxing

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
Hi George,

I currently believe that connecting this way (joining our structures into one so that my partner's balance is affected by me relaxing my knee, for example, rather than by my arm pushing on them) is 'atemi' rather than what most people seem to feel constitutes ukemi. For me, 'conditioning' has been less about building strength in different areas and more about learning how to change my intent to accomplish things with more whole body movements and less (to no) usage of local musculature that we frequently unconsciously employ simply to pick up a pen or even to move my mouse while editing this document.

Ironically, right now I'm struggling with introducing the same kind of relaxation I am working on using in my atemi into my ukemi. My ukemi is altogether too tense, partly from fear, and partly from being used to deciding (most of the time) when I am going to fall rather than having the decision made for me by my partner.

I have been learning how to train slowly for years (exclusively for about two years) and I'm still having a tough time with it, but it's starting to pay off. Ironically, someone I've been training with recently told me that in his attempts to share his training with fellow students in his home dojo, he was told that they find this approach to training "boring". <shrug>

One thing that has paid off for me is that dealing with tense attackers has become "boring" to me. It's too easy. But learning to do and deal with something much more relaxed is a real challenge.
I would highly recommend doing some Systema. Kaizen Taki, the fellow who teaches the Systema classes held at my dojo is quite skilled and a fantastic teacher. He's got a seminar on "falling Off the mat" which I think would be of great help in making you more relaxed about your ukemi. I'll introduce you during the AikiWeb workshop if he shows up to watch. Anyway, the next one is in September.
Falling Off the Mat Seminar

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2009, 12:49 PM   #27
Walter Martindale
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 763
Canada
Offline
Re: Relaxing

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I don't have the anatomy so I will describe what should be happening from a "subjective" point of view. If I told someone to point at an object off in the distance, normally, they will raise their arm with a relaxed extension. Yes, the muscles do something, but the overall effort is minuscule. No one associates this movement with power or fear so they simply extend their arm up. Because you told them to point at something, their mind went "out" to that object which meant that the extension was energized by the movement of the mind. Aikido technique should not require any more effort than that.

(snip a long quote almost all of which I agree with, including what I've left behind...)

"Intention" is about the mind. It can be thought of as having two aspects, "strength of intention" and "quality of intention". "Strength of intention" is how hard or soft I project my mid towards my partner. This ranges from so small he isn't even sure if I have noticed him to feeling like I am blasting him. "Quality of intention" ranges from the benign, friendly and welcoming to the deadly, frightening, and repulsing. Regardless of what combination of "strength and quality of intention" you decide to use, physical tension and mental tension have no place in the interaction.

- George
Hi George,
I don't disagree with you, merely point out that human movement doesn't occur without neural activation of muscle fibres, which contract, pull bones, and cause position changes unless the bone end is fixed (that's called an isometric contraction).
HOW someone does that movement is an indication of how well trained they are - if someone is new or "non athletic" at a movement, their movements are jerky and rough, there are interfering co-contractions of antagonist muscles (i.e., when raising the arms, tension in the lats will make the deltoids work harder. When standing in kamae, leaning forward will cause un-necessary tension in the back muscles, and so on)

Athletes in sports who display "mastery" of their sport "look" relaxed. Aikido practitioners who have "mastery" are capable of only using the muscles that are necessary for their intended movement. It's a truism that it takes about 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to attain "mastery" - in anything. Whether that's learning a language, learning a musical instrument, a sport, a martial art, or anything. That's about 10 years, and almost 3 hours a day, every day.

On another aspect - research into human learning has shown that paying attention to the end-point of the movement causes the muscles to do "the right thing" - so - focusing on pointing at something a long way off will have the arm muscles do the right thing, while merely holding your hand up without "intent" will cause your shoulder to tire. Same muscles, different activation. If a person focuses on what he/she is trying to get the sword tip to do, the person will have a better time learning what the hands need to do, but not by focusing on the hands. Same in golf, rowing, racquet sports, or anything, really, where you're using an implement. If the focus is on what is happening at the face of the golf club, the hands will do a better job of making it hit the ball the right way, than if the person focuses on making sure the feet are x cm apart, the knees bent at angle y, the right hand held exactly here, the left hand exactly there, the elbows bent at this angle, the left arm straight, and the 30 or so other variables that can interfere with a proper golf stroke.
And - it's true as you say - just grabbing a hand and standing there is kinda silly, no matter how hard you grip. Why grab someone unless you want to gain control.

I THINK we're saying essentially the same stuff, but from different backgrounds...

Heck - look at the time - gotta go to work.
W
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2009, 01:25 PM   #28
Janet Rosen
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,339
Offline
Re: Relaxing

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
On another aspect - research into human learning has shown that paying attention to the end-point of the movement causes the muscles to do "the right thing" - so - focusing on pointing at something a long way off will have the arm muscles do the right thing, while merely holding your hand up without "intent" will cause your shoulder to tire. Same muscles, different activation.
Walter, I found this interesting and would like to know if, in the research you mention, it really is the same muscles or if it is different muscles being used to achieve the same effect. The reason I ask is that after being introduced to Pilates I started using their "go down to go up" principle in order to raise my arms for shomen block or raising a sword. The sense I have, besides having very different intent (it feels like the pointing OUT THERE that George describes) is that I'm activating the lats and other non-shoulder/arm muscles and the arm is simply being allowed to rise almost like a counter-balance, very relaxed in a sense but with extension.
Drat I have to go offline for a couple of days...look forward to your reply...

Last edited by akiy : 03-16-2009 at 11:06 AM. Reason: Fixed quoting

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2009, 02:22 PM   #29
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Offline
Re: Relaxing

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Walter, I found this interesting and would like to know if, in the research you mention, it really is the same muscles or if it is different muscles being used to achieve the same effect. The reason I ask is that after being introduced to Pilates I started using their "go down to go up" principle in order to raise my arms for shomen block or raising a sword. The sense I have, besides having very different intent (it feels like the pointing OUT THERE that George describes) is that I'm activating the lats and other non-shoulder/arm muscles and the arm is simply being allowed to rise almost like a counter-balance, very relaxed in a sense but with extension.
Drat I have to go offline for a couple of days...look forward to your reply...
We are not necessarily talking about the same things. Use of the connective tissue and fascia for transferring power is not the same thing as merely well integrated muscle movement...

One of my friends told me the following story... He was at a System Seminar with Vladimir Vasiliev. After class one of the students was showing his buddies some kettle bell exercises. This guy was pretty much a beast, lifting God knows what over his head with one arm. He was doing some serious weight and it was difficult even for him and he was a big guy. Vlad walked over, grabbed the thing and effortlessly whipped the thing over head, very much as if he had simply raised his arm. Then he said "you are working too hard", set it down and walked off. I asked my friend how he was able to do that and he said it was a combination of a conditioned structure along with breath. Breathing was totally connected to the whole thing.

Anyway, this is the difference between muscle power and what we have been calling "internal power" in the forums. It is not just integrated muscle movement but muscular relaxation is required. There are some different paradigms operating out there and folks who haven't experienced them pretty much don't get it until they feel it. I am just starting to play with this stuff myself but guys like Mike S and Dan H or my Systema friends, can do some wild stuff.

Last edited by akiy : 03-16-2009 at 11:06 AM. Reason: Fixed quoting

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2009, 04:55 PM   #30
Walter Martindale
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 763
Canada
Offline
Re: Relaxing

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
We are not necessarily talking about the same things. Use of the connective tissue and fascia for transferring power is not the same thing as merely well integrated muscle movement...

One of my friends told me the following story... He was at a System Seminar with Vladimir Vasiliev. After class one of the students was showing his buddies some kettle bell exercises. This guy was pretty much a beast, lifting God knows what over his head with one arm. He was doing some serious weight and it was difficult even for him and he was a big guy. Vlad walked over, grabbed the thing and effortlessly whipped the thing over head, very much as if he had simply raised his arm. Then he said "you are working too hard", set it down and walked off. I asked my friend how he was able to do that and he said it was a combination of a conditioned structure along with breath. Breathing was totally connected to the whole thing.

Anyway, this is the difference between muscle power and what we have been calling "internal power" in the forums. It is not just integrated muscle movement but muscular relaxation is required. There are some different paradigms operating out there and folks who haven't experienced them pretty much don't get it until they feel it. I am just starting to play with this stuff myself but guys like Mike S and Dan H or my Systema friends, can do some wild stuff.
Coordinated motion. Trainable.
We've all learned to move in different ways. We're all products of our history and our training. My movement patterns when learning Aikido were strongly influenced by 8 years of judo, including being kohai to a guy who (at 70 kg/154 lb) won the South African open weight class championship more than once.
Some aikido instructors don't like the way I move - apparently I throw too hard, but when I try to back off, I seem to throw harder. Some aikido instructors do like the way I move for the same reasons.
I've heard some Systema people talking about relaxing and absorbing things and I think I felt one guy who was beginning Aikido. I was, at the time, in a very "grip hard, move hard" dojo at the time and I felt like what sensitivity I had was pounded out of me - I think it's coming back after 4 years...

Last edited by akiy : 03-16-2009 at 11:07 AM. Reason: Fixed quoting
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2009, 12:46 PM   #31
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,938
United_States
Offline
Re: Relaxing

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I would highly recommend doing some Systema. Kaizen Taki, the fellow who teaches the Systema classes held at my dojo is quite skilled and a fantastic teacher. He's got a seminar on "falling Off the mat" which I think would be of great help in making you more relaxed about your ukemi. I'll introduce you during the AikiWeb workshop if he shows up to watch. Anyway, the next one is in September.
Falling Off the Mat Seminar
fight with everything you have and don't let them kick you down the stair backward. terrible way of using the stair!

mumble mumble *hopefully next systema practice they don't kick me down the stair backward* mumble mumble
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2009, 02:56 PM   #32
sorokod
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 817
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Relaxing

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
... research into human learning has shown that paying attention to the end-point of the movement causes the muscles to do "the right thing" - so - focusing on pointing at something a long way off will have the arm muscles do the right thing, while merely holding your hand up without "intent" will cause your shoulder to tire....
I am interested in this research, can you provide a reference?

  Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2009, 03:12 PM   #33
gdandscompserv
 
gdandscompserv's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,214
United_States
Offline
Re: Relaxing

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
On another aspect - research into human learning has shown that paying attention to the end-point of the movement causes the muscles to do "the right thing" - so - focusing on pointing at something a long way off will have the arm muscles do the right thing, while merely holding your hand up without "intent" will cause your shoulder to tire. Same muscles, different activation. If a person focuses on what he/she is trying to get the sword tip to do, the person will have a better time learning what the hands need to do, but not by focusing on the hands. Same in golf, rowing, racquet sports, or anything, really, where you're using an implement. If the focus is on what is happening at the face of the golf club, the hands will do a better job of making it hit the ball the right way, than if the person focuses on making sure the feet are x cm apart, the knees bent at angle y, the right hand held exactly here, the left hand exactly there, the elbows bent at this angle, the left arm straight, and the 30 or so other variables that can interfere with a proper golf stroke.
I learned this concept years ago in Drafting 101. Drawing "staight" lines freehand is better done by focusing a little bit ahead of the drawing instrument.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2009, 01:06 AM   #34
Janet Rosen
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,339
Offline
Re: Relaxing

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
We are not necessarily talking about the same things. Use of the connective tissue and fascia for transferring power is not the same thing as merely well integrated muscle movement...
I'm confused...I didn't say anything about connective tissue or fascia. I thought that what described *is* well, or better, coordinated muscle movement. But since I can't articulate it well, shall bow out.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2009, 06:19 PM   #35
Walter Martindale
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 763
Canada
Offline
Re: Relaxing

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
I am interested in this research, can you provide a reference?
Well...
I'll pull the citations from the reference list that's part of a friend's article - unfortunately the friend's paper is still in press at Int. J. Sport Psych.
Parr and Button - when their 2009 Special Issue comes out.

Davids, K., Button, C., & Bennett, S. J. (2007). Dynamics of Skill Aquisition: A Constraints-Led Approach. Champaign, Ill.: Human Kinetics.
Hodges, N. J., Hayes, S. J., Eaves, D. L., Horn, R. R., & Williams, A. M. (2006). End-point trajectory matching as a method for teaching kicking skills. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 37(2-3), 230-247.
McNevin, N. H., Shea, C. H., & Wulf, G. (2003). Increasing the distance of an external focus of attention enhances learning. Psychological Research, 67, 22-29.
Wulf, G. (2007). Attention and Motor Skill Learning. Champaign, Il: Human Kinetics.
Wulf, G., Hoess, M., & Prinz, W. (1998). Instructions for motor learning: Differential effects of internal versus external focus of attention. Journal of Motor Behavior, 30, 169-179.
Wulf, G., Lauterbach, B., & Toole, T. (1999). The learning advantages of an external focus of attention in golf. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 70(2), 120-126.
Wulf, G., McNevin, N., & Shea, C. H. (2001). The automaticity of complex motor skill learning as a function of attentional focus. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 54(4), 1143-1154.
Wulf, G., McNevin, N. H., Fuchs, T., Ritter, F., & Toole, T. (2000). Attentional focus in complex skill learning. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 71(3), 229-239.

To name a few... - incidentally and to reinforce this - I haven't read these cited articles - merely the paper in which they are cited. I agree with the concept, though whereby people learn better how to move an object if they think of what they're trying to get the object to do instead of how they're interacting with it through their hands.

I'm not disputing that the systema guy that Ledyard sensei described could do the technique of lifting the kettlebell in a smooth, relaxed, and fluid way, put it down, and say "you're working too hard" - But - how many times could he do it and still walk the next day? The big guy flinging the weights around was probably using the thing for training and on a one-off could probably have biffed 2-3x the weight up and around. (wasn't there, don't know - speculating). Any skilled performance comes from thousands of hours of "deliberate practice." Many moons ago when training for rowing, I could "power clean" 85 kg for 5 x 10 - do you think the first one of those 50 lifts looked any easier than the 50th? I know that the first lift was a piece of cake and I probably could have tossed the weight over my head. By #50, though, even though I had good technique (according to the coaches) I could barely hold the bar, let alone crank it up to shoulder height, and occasionally #50 didn't make it all the way up, but ended crashing to the floor with me jumping out of the way...
Ennyhoo.. I can still pull about 50 kg up to shoulder height and look fairly relaxed about it -but I can only do it once. The thousands of repetitions gave me the technique, the lack of repetitions in the intervening 25 years has taken away the endurance and strength.
Walter
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2009, 06:29 PM   #36
Walter Martindale
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 763
Canada
Offline
Re: Relaxing

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I'm confused...I didn't say anything about connective tissue or fascia. I thought that what described *is* well, or better, coordinated muscle movement. But since I can't articulate it well, shall bow out.
s'OK. In the context of human movement, nothing moves without some muscle contracting, somewhere. when you lift something, you can lift it with your legs (holding it with your hands) or you can try to lift it with your arms. Tossing a weight overhead usually starts from the floor, with the person pushing on the ground, using the musculature of the hips, legs, lower back, and using the trunk, shoulders and arms to connect the power transmission to the object being biffed around. The farther you divorce your force application from core movements (i.e., the more you try to do things with the little end point muscles) the faster you fatigue and the less fluidity in the overall motion.
Smacking a person with a fist, foot, or some sort of implement is best done by focusing on the desired outcome rather than on which muscle to contract, and when - the brain is very good at figuring out how to make the body do things, and after a few thousand repetitions, will start to display some skill. Same with learning to not get smacked and to do (say) Ikkyo/Ikkajo/"first immobilisation".
Ennyhoo - gotta go - lunch time.
W
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2009, 11:43 PM   #37
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Offline
Re: Relaxing

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
Well...
I'll pull the citations from the reference list that's part of a friend's article - unfortunately the friend's paper is still in press at Int. J. Sport Psych.
Parr and Button - when their 2009 Special Issue comes out.

Davids, K., Button, C., & Bennett, S. J. (2007). Dynamics of Skill Aquisition: A Constraints-Led Approach. Champaign, Ill.: Human Kinetics.
Hodges, N. J., Hayes, S. J., Eaves, D. L., Horn, R. R., & Williams, A. M. (2006). End-point trajectory matching as a method for teaching kicking skills. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 37(2-3), 230-247.
McNevin, N. H., Shea, C. H., & Wulf, G. (2003). Increasing the distance of an external focus of attention enhances learning. Psychological Research, 67, 22-29.
Wulf, G. (2007). Attention and Motor Skill Learning. Champaign, Il: Human Kinetics.
Wulf, G., Hoess, M., & Prinz, W. (1998). Instructions for motor learning: Differential effects of internal versus external focus of attention. Journal of Motor Behavior, 30, 169-179.
Wulf, G., Lauterbach, B., & Toole, T. (1999). The learning advantages of an external focus of attention in golf. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 70(2), 120-126.
Wulf, G., McNevin, N., & Shea, C. H. (2001). The automaticity of complex motor skill learning as a function of attentional focus. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 54(4), 1143-1154.
Wulf, G., McNevin, N. H., Fuchs, T., Ritter, F., & Toole, T. (2000). Attentional focus in complex skill learning. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 71(3), 229-239.

To name a few... - incidentally and to reinforce this - I haven't read these cited articles - merely the paper in which they are cited. I agree with the concept, though whereby people learn better how to move an object if they think of what they're trying to get the object to do instead of how they're interacting with it through their hands.

I'm not disputing that the systema guy that Ledyard sensei described could do the technique of lifting the kettlebell in a smooth, relaxed, and fluid way, put it down, and say "you're working too hard" - But - how many times could he do it and still walk the next day? The big guy flinging the weights around was probably using the thing for training and on a one-off could probably have biffed 2-3x the weight up and around. (wasn't there, don't know - speculating). Any skilled performance comes from thousands of hours of "deliberate practice." Many moons ago when training for rowing, I could "power clean" 85 kg for 5 x 10 - do you think the first one of those 50 lifts looked any easier than the 50th? I know that the first lift was a piece of cake and I probably could have tossed the weight over my head. By #50, though, even though I had good technique (according to the coaches) I could barely hold the bar, let alone crank it up to shoulder height, and occasionally #50 didn't make it all the way up, but ended crashing to the floor with me jumping out of the way...
Ennyhoo.. I can still pull about 50 kg up to shoulder height and look fairly relaxed about it -but I can only do it once. The thousands of repetitions gave me the technique, the lack of repetitions in the intervening 25 years has taken away the endurance and strength.
Walter
Vlad did it with two fingers by the way...
- George

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2009, 07:15 AM   #38
Josh Reyer
 
Josh Reyer's Avatar
Location: Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 644
Japan
Offline
Re: Relaxing

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Vlad did it with two fingers by the way...
- George
Which two fingers? Not that I'm doubting Vlad's ability; rather I'm reminded of the old hypnotist's trick where two men lift a woman in a chair using only their index fingers. The trick is, the index finger by itself can support as much weight as the palm. So Vlad may indeed have full body integration that allows him to effortlessly lift great weights, but the fact that he did it with just his fingers may not be such a great feat...

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2009, 08:22 AM   #39
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Offline
Re: Relaxing

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
Which two fingers? Not that I'm doubting Vlad's ability; rather I'm reminded of the old hypnotist's trick where two men lift a woman in a chair using only their index fingers. The trick is, the index finger by itself can support as much weight as the palm. So Vlad may indeed have full body integration that allows him to effortlessly lift great weights, but the fact that he did it with just his fingers may not be such a great feat...
The explanation I had from my friend is that it had to do with using the breath to move the weight. I don't get it myself... My point in mentioning this is that there isn't just one paradigm for how the body works. You can get a professional athlete who uses his body everyday at peak performance levels and then have them try a something like this and they won't be able to do it. Anyway, I am not an expert on this at all but I am sure it goes beyond a nice relaxed and integrated movement.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2009, 02:28 PM   #40
Walter Martindale
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 763
Canada
Offline
Re: Relaxing

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
The explanation I had from my friend is that it had to do with using the breath to move the weight. I don't get it myself... My point in mentioning this is that there isn't just one paradigm for how the body works. You can get a professional athlete who uses his body everyday at peak performance levels and then have them try a something like this and they won't be able to do it. Anyway, I am not an expert on this at all but I am sure it goes beyond a nice relaxed and integrated movement.
Oh. It's second hand. Get Vlad to show you this and explain it. I'm sure you'll find that he did nothing magic...
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2009, 01:43 AM   #41
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Offline
Re: Relaxing

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
Oh. It's second hand. Get Vlad to show you this and explain it. I'm sure you'll find that he did nothing magic...
One of the things I read in Ushiro Sensei's latest book was a statement to the effect that the belief that one understands something is the death of learning.

I'm sure you are right, Walter, there's nothing special going on here. So don't bother to check it out since you clearly already know what it's about.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2009, 02:58 AM   #42
Walter Martindale
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 763
Canada
Offline
Re: Relaxing

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
One of the things I read in Ushiro Sensei's latest book was a statement to the effect that the belief that one understands something is the death of learning.

I'm sure you are right, Walter, there's nothing special going on here. So don't bother to check it out since you clearly already know what it's about.
Oh. Ouch. Sorry - I have the misfortune of having some training in research and skepticism, so when I "hear" stories about amazing feats my bull___ detector starts going off. I still don't really know how to do Ikkyo - and most of the rest of Aikido is very confusing to me - I'm only a shodan and I'm only starting to understand just how confusing Aikido is..

I'm not sure how I can possibly check out something that happened in the US from way down here on the shore of Lake Karapiro. There's an explanation for everything. I don't claim to have the explanation, but this Vlad fellow is still a human being made of the same sorts of molecules bundled in similar ways to you and me.

His nerves transmit signals by depolarising along their length, accelerated by the myelin coating on the nerve. Muscles contract thanks to a depolarisation, some calcium dumping in to the muscle fibress, an interaction between ATP, myosin and actin (and a whole lot of stuff that I don't understand). His bones are made of a bunch of stuff including calcium... Some of the big differences between people is how they've grown up and the experiences they've had. The systema guys move in ways I don't understand - there's nobody around here practices that stuff - I haven't seen any of it since I lived in Edmonton 5 years ago, and my background may be incompatible with learning that - I _think_ I'm starting to get sensitive to what uke and nage are doing, but I also know very well that I'm only barely scratching the surface of understanding what's going on in Aikido - let alone trying to wrap my tiny little mind around systema training, too.

I don't know what Vlad was doing but I'm sure that it can be explained. A point, though is that neither of us witnessed this two-fingered feat of lifting, so neither of us know what happened except by what your friend said. Sorry if I've come across as a know-it-all - I don't know it all, but I very much doubt that what Vlad did was anything that couldn't be learned given the right teaching/coaching.

If I ever get to the Seattle area again (e.g., for Opening Day regatta at UW) let's meet for practice and some Anchor Steam (if you drink SF beers).
Truce?
Walter
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2009, 04:28 PM   #43
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Offline
Re: Relaxing

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
Oh. Ouch. Sorry - I have the misfortune of having some training in research and skepticism, so when I "hear" stories about amazing feats my bull___ detector starts going off. I still don't really know how to do Ikkyo - and most of the rest of Aikido is very confusing to me - I'm only a shodan and I'm only starting to understand just how confusing Aikido is..

I'm not sure how I can possibly check out something that happened in the US from way down here on the shore of Lake Karapiro. There's an explanation for everything. I don't claim to have the explanation, but this Vlad fellow is still a human being made of the same sorts of molecules bundled in similar ways to you and me.

His nerves transmit signals by depolarising along their length, accelerated by the myelin coating on the nerve. Muscles contract thanks to a depolarisation, some calcium dumping in to the muscle fibress, an interaction between ATP, myosin and actin (and a whole lot of stuff that I don't understand). His bones are made of a bunch of stuff including calcium... Some of the big differences between people is how they've grown up and the experiences they've had. The systema guys move in ways I don't understand - there's nobody around here practices that stuff - I haven't seen any of it since I lived in Edmonton 5 years ago, and my background may be incompatible with learning that - I _think_ I'm starting to get sensitive to what uke and nage are doing, but I also know very well that I'm only barely scratching the surface of understanding what's going on in Aikido - let alone trying to wrap my tiny little mind around systema training, too.

I don't know what Vlad was doing but I'm sure that it can be explained. A point, though is that neither of us witnessed this two-fingered feat of lifting, so neither of us know what happened except by what your friend said. Sorry if I've come across as a know-it-all - I don't know it all, but I very much doubt that what Vlad did was anything that couldn't be learned given the right teaching/coaching.

If I ever get to the Seattle area again (e.g., for Opening Day regatta at UW) let's meet for practice and some Anchor Steam (if you drink SF beers).
Truce?
Walter
Of course there are explanations. Vlad is a human being made just like the rest of us (originally). But these guys train in a very unique manner and it changes their bodies over time. This is true of the Aunkai stuff, it's true of Mike's Chinese Internal Martial Arts. etc. Mike would be in a position to understand the commonalities between what he does and what the Systema folks do (and the differences). The Aunkai work is fundamentally different than the Systema work even though both condition the body. Akuzawa Sensei doesn't do all that much with breath while the Systema folks do everything with breath. Most martial systems organize the structure of a punch from the ground up. The Systema folks organize the punch from the fist back.

I say this, not because I can explain the difference, because I can't actually do a proper Systema strike, but simply to illustrate that there are radical differences between the ways people approach training. Issues such as breath are far less emphasized in the West than in the East although (this is changing). The Russians really were the one place where the standard Western Scientific paradigm met the Eastern psychic, energy oriented paradigm head on. Unlike the US, serious scientists in Russia pursued what I would call "energetics" and were treated seriously.

Having trained with some folks who routinely operate at a level seems impossible, I am VERY open to the idea that a) I don't have any idea what is happening in some of this stuff and b) most of the folks outside these systems who think they know, don't.

If you get to Seattle, my friend Kaizen Taki is the local Systema teacher and he can explain far better than I can. But the best thing is to feel it... that's when you just shake your head...

This is very important in Aikido. There are a number of ways to use your body to accomplish a move. But most are not what I would say use "aiki". One teacher said, "If you understand what was just done to you, it wasn't aiki." After a quarter century of hard training I am having to change my paradigm completely because I was doing everything wrong. If I had stayed with my old level of understanding, I'd have been stuck as a mediocrity forever. So now I look for the folks whose technique I don't understand; the more incomprehensible the better. Then I travel to train with them or invite them to teach at my school. Then I work on it until I start to get it (or not).

Great mastery is when you do so easily that the folks watching have no idea that anything extraordinary has happened until they try it and find that they can't at all, that something is operating that they don't understand. A hundred generations of martial artists have worked to get to that level. If you can't see or feel what they did, you can't easily counter it. That level of skill is based on shifting to different paradigms of mental and motor skill.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2009, 02:25 AM   #44
Walter Martindale
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 763
Canada
Offline
Re: Relaxing

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
(major snippage of what I largely agree with, and I agree with what's below, too)

Great mastery is when you do so easily that the folks watching have no idea that anything extraordinary has happened until they try it and find that they can't at all, that something is operating that they don't understand. A hundred generations of martial artists have worked to get to that level. If you can't see or feel what they did, you can't easily counter it. That level of skill is based on shifting to different paradigms of mental and motor skill.
Yup. the "how did I end up on the floor" or "how is it that I'm getting sooooo much air time - he's just a little guy". It comes from the thousands of hours of training - "deliberate practice" - so that they can do with ease and "relaxation" what we can only watch and wonder. Sawada shihan's shihonage. Anything Kawahara shihan has done to me. At one point in 1978 I was starting to think I "got" judo - until one of the guys on the Japanese national team practiced his seoinage on me. again, and again, and again, and again, and....... and again... I had 40 pounds (about 18 kg) on him and he only came up to my shoulders.
ouch
W
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



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
Relaxing Aiki vs Yoga. TongBui Spiritual 13 01-16-2007 07:40 AM
Relaxing the hips Moses General 6 08-07-2006 08:32 AM
Relaxing Doug Mathieu Techniques 10 02-28-2003 12:39 PM
relaxing arvin m. Techniques 8 08-29-2001 09:17 AM
intuition taro General 47 06-29-2001 07:17 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:31 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2018 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2018 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