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Old 03-16-2006, 04:56 AM   #1
doronin
Location: Canada
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Question Proper tenkan

What are the ways or exercises to improve tenkan, with no regard to particular technique or application?

My understanding of it is that I'm to sync/blend my move with the opponent, and somehow to make my center to be the center of the circle we both will be moving. Then, I'm to allow him to move as he originally intended, slightly helping him if I need to prolong it. Makes sense?

When I'm practicing techniques that require it, I rarely get that feeling of the "proper" tenkan, and it happens only when my uke is one of sempai. Well, I realize that my feeling of "proper" doesn't really mean anything. Anyways, as I don't feel much progress with that, I started to think of some additional exercises, preferably with an option of doing them as solo practice.

Any ideas?

Last edited by doronin : 03-16-2006 at 04:58 AM.
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Old 03-16-2006, 08:39 AM   #2
DCP
 
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Dojo: Inaka Dojo
Location: Land of Lincoln
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Re: Proper tenkan

Since I'm a school teacher, I will do what I do best and answer your question with a question . . .

What do you want your tenkan to do?

Do you want to redirect uke's energy? Do you want to keep uke's energy going on the attack line? Do you want to ruin uke's posture? Do you want a combination of some of the previous?

I have seen many instructors do tenkan in different ways. I have seen the same instructor do tenkan in different ways.

Experiment and adjust your tenkan. That's what training is for. We may think that tenkan is simple, beginners' practice, but it is something we should work on throughout our aikido experience.

A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.
- Aesop
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Old 03-16-2006, 09:04 AM   #3
SeiserL
 
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Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
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Re: Proper tenkan

IMHO, rhythm train.

Tenkan is a simple step-and-turn pivot. Relax, keep proper spinal alignment upward, elbows in, hands on the center-line, head/shoulders/hips/knees/feet facing in the same direction, inhale as you step, and exhale as you turn.

Now, turn on some good music, something with a beat. Let the dance begin. Eventually, increase the pace.

I practice a 90-180-90-180 degree pattern.

Just a suggestions. Hope it helps.

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 03-16-2006, 09:29 AM   #4
doronin
Location: Canada
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Re: Proper tenkan

Thanks Lynn, your post helped me to realize my description is somewhat vague.

Yes, it's a simple step-and-turn pivot. But when I hold someone moving at that time, I want to to be the center of our joint move, stable enough to hold it during all the turn. This is what I want ti improve.
The obvious answer would be: just do it with a partner as much as possible - but it's not always depends on me. I remember I saw somewhere some exercises of doing solo tenkan holding different things - which was supposed to develop balance and the right "feeling" of what's going on, but I can't find it.
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Old 04-14-2006, 11:48 AM   #5
fatebass21
Dojo: Westminster Tenshinkai Aikido Dojo
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Re: Proper tenkan

I wanted to add that I study with Lynn and have watched him tenkan for a long time. Most students tend to loosely swing their arms behind their body as they turn beginning and ending with one hand behind the body; but this would really cause problems for my balance. After watching Lynn I saw that he keeps his hands at his center before and after the tenkan; neither of his hands go behind his body. Doing this helped me keep more of a center and better balance. Think sword.
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:00 PM   #6
raul rodrigo
Location: Quezon City
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Re: Proper tenkan

Quote:
Chris Sawyer wrote:
I wanted to add that I study with Lynn and have watched him tenkan for a long time. Most students tend to loosely swing their arms behind their body as they turn beginning and ending with one hand behind the body; but this would really cause problems for my balance. After watching Lynn I saw that he keeps his hands at his center before and after the tenkan; neither of his hands go behind his body. Doing this helped me keep more of a center and better balance. Think sword.

That said, Seigo Yamaguchi Shihan (9th dan) used to practice tenkan and tentai with his hands and arms swinging behind him at some points. The higher one goes, the more these generalizations go out the window. A seventh dan Japanese once showed us a powerful technique to uproot a really strong morote dori by doing a tenkan and initially leaving the arm that is being held behind your back. Another seventh dan does tentai on his heels and not the balls of his feet like we are always told. As long as it works.
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Old 04-16-2006, 08:11 AM   #7
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
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Re: Proper tenkan

Dimitry

Practice the 360 deg Tai-Sabaki more, and check your stability throughout the turn (particularly when you cut backwards). The Tenkan is simply one application of the Tai-Sabaki with minor shifts in balance, which are easy to employ once your base in the Tai-Sabaki is firm.

Amir
P.S.
Do not be afraid to ask Sensei, he will love to give you "homework"
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