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Old 07-17-2006, 09:37 PM   #101
NagaBaba
 
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
David Knowlton wrote:
Sir, I propose that if you can not, will not, answer questions posed that you stop wasting our time and hold your tongue.
David
Your proposition was rejected.

Nagababa

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Old 07-17-2006, 09:54 PM   #102
dps
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
David Knowlton wrote:
Nagababa,When you face multiple opponents, and you have three to six seconds before the signal to begin, do you strategize? Do you size up the people, consider their strengths and weaknesses? Or do you waste the three to six seconds and hope your 'highly trained instincts' carry you through?
In competition yes, in real life maybe no. If you have three to six seconds to strategize, tell a joke or run like hell!! If you have no time you must rely on 'highly trained instincts' and mushy mind, wait, no musin no shin, no musin no mushim, you know react without thinking.
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Old 07-18-2006, 03:45 AM   #103
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Your proposition was rejected.
I like you, you of unspellable name.

I wuoldsay, at this moment in my training, that "highly trained instincts" is "highly trained" but not "instinct". I train to "stand", and focus on this throughout whatever movement I make of contact there is with the others. If I fail to remain "standing" (or "sitting" for that matter) no power issues forth, so I concentrate solely on the "standing" part. The rest takes care of itself, in the background.
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:41 AM   #104
billybob
 
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Re: What is the One Point?

Nagababa
Quote:
Your proposition was rejected.
Good! I wouldn't expect someone of good character to take that at face value. I was in fact trying to make a point.

Will you entertain the discussion Sir? I intend it as training -- and I will show you the respect you are due.

David
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Old 07-18-2006, 02:33 PM   #105
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Re: What is the One Point?

What advice could you guys give to non-dan aikidoa on how to begin to find their one point and start to use it in their aikido?

If you're hungry, keep moving.
If you're tired, keep moving.
If you value you're life, keep moving.

You don't own what you can't defend
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Old 07-18-2006, 03:31 PM   #106
Adam Alexander
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote:
What advice could you guys give to non-dan aikidoa on how to begin to find their one point and start to use it in their aikido?
If I'm on the right path, I'd say that I'm discovering/developing it by sticking with the warm-up exercises and practicing.
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Old 07-18-2006, 05:18 PM   #107
Upyu
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Gernot Hassenpflug wrote:
I like you, you of unspellable name.

I wuoldsay, at this moment in my training, that "highly trained instincts" is "highly trained" but not "instinct". I train to "stand", and focus on this throughout whatever movement I make of contact there is with the others. If I fail to remain "standing" (or "sitting" for that matter) no power issues forth, so I concentrate solely on the "standing" part. The rest takes care of itself, in the background.
And so really really really good advice goes un-noticed. Funny how that works isn't it Gernot?
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Old 07-18-2006, 05:53 PM   #108
MaryKaye
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote:
What advice could you guys give to non-dan aikidoa on how to begin to find their one point and start to use it in their aikido?
As a kyu rank myself, I'd say that the "partner funekogi" exercise was one of the best for me. Funekogi is the rowing exercise where you move your hips forward, then thrust out your arms; move your hips back, then retract your arms. The partner version adds someone holding you by both wrists.

This is very unforgiving if you are off-balance, not moving from your center, or leaving out the hip movements and trying to use your arms. If partner is well-balanced himself he can easily stop you, whereas if you do it right, you can move almost anyone.

Another good one is the "stooping" ki test. You stand in hanmi and then bend over as if you intend to tie your shoe. You should be low enough that your fingers brush the top of your foot. Partner pushes your hips forward from behind. The difference between having bent over "from one point" and in other ways is immediately (and embarrassingly) evident.

When you have a feeling for this, you can take a technique that is not working very well and look for places where you can move more like you move in those exercises. Experiment; see what happens.

Mary Kaye
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Old 07-18-2006, 06:23 PM   #109
Mike Sigman
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Mary Kuhner wrote:
(snip) If partner is well-balanced himself he can easily stop you, whereas if you do it right, you can move almost anyone.

Another good one is the "stooping" ki test. You stand in hanmi and then bend over as if you intend to tie your shoe. You should be low enough that your fingers brush the top of your foot. Partner pushes your hips forward from behind. The difference between having bent over "from one point" and in other ways is immediately (and embarrassingly) evident.
In both cases, the optimum response has partner's force and/or uke's response coming as much from the foot as possible. A resistance from higher in the body simply provides a lever-arm from which to break the foot's connection with the ground. I.e., "keeping the one point" in this case means the same thing that "sinking the qi" means.... source the force from as low as possible in the body. When done correctly, it is easy to feel the compression in the foot.

That was a good post, Mary.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 07-18-2006, 11:42 PM   #110
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
In both cases, the optimum response has partner's force and/or uke's response coming as much from the foot as possible. A resistance from higher in the body simply provides a lever-arm from which to break the foot's connection with the ground. I.e., "keeping the one point" in this case means the same thing that "sinking the qi" means.... source the force from as low as possible in the body. When done correctly, it is easy to feel the compression in the foot.

That was a good post, Mary.
Very enlightening stuff! I wonder if this is similar: standing in the train facing direction of motion, and remaining standing against any de/acceleration. Acceleration is the killer. When managing to "pull oneself up" against either, which I do by forcing myself to stretch upwards through the spine (focussing on the neck area) even more strongly, then the ankles and roof of the feet seem to alternately float or pull (and the weight settle in the heels in both cases). An important factor seems to be whether the waist area (say between the top of the hips and the ribs) can be felt to be stretched apart. Once that feeling is reached (on top of pulling up from the back of the neck) the effort of remaining straight (not bending at the center) is no longer felt as an effort.

I do find it hard to balance "upward stretch" with "relaxation" and "focus on center", so I was happy to see that what I wrote about above made a big difference in how "relaxed" I felt to the partner in the dojo even though the "upward stretch" remained the same focus as before. It's like if you aren't really stretching the partner can feel the tension (due to separation of upper and lower and the subsequent action of muscles to support the "floating" upper part), but if you are stretching really all the parts, the partner feels the ground. I think !

Regards,
Gernot
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Old 07-19-2006, 05:29 AM   #111
Mark Freeman
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Mary Kuhner wrote:
As a kyu rank myself, I'd say that the "partner funekogi" exercise was one of the best for me. Funekogi is the rowing exercise where you move your hips forward, then thrust out your arms; move your hips back, then retract your arms. The partner version adds someone holding you by both wrists.

This is very unforgiving if you are off-balance, not moving from your center, or leaving out the hip movements and trying to use your arms. If partner is well-balanced himself he can easily stop you, whereas if you do it right, you can move almost anyone.
This is a good exercise for highlighting if someone is moving from 'one point'.

I have found that there are two distinct types of uke for this exercise, the first is where the (well co-ordinated) uke holds the outstretched wrists and if the partner does not move correctly from their centre, they stay put, thereby showing up the fault in tori's movement. The second is when the uke moves with 'non resistance' by this I mean that they follow tori's movement completely, if the movement is being done with any tension this will manifest by the co-ordinated uke following this to its conclusion, which usually means moving tori backwards. This second method is a higher level of testing as it requires uke to be totally non resistant, something that comes with a fair amount of practice as most people do not step onto the mat with this skill.

Great exercise, easy to get wrong, easy to get right

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 07-19-2006, 05:59 AM   #112
Mark Freeman
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote:
What advice could you guys give to non-dan aikidoa on how to begin to find their one point and start to use it in their aikido?
Hi Grant,

a short story....

before I started aikido, I picked up Tohei's book Aikido in Daily life, I was on a trip abroad, and after reading just a couple of chapters decided that when I got home I would start ( and never stop! ) this art.

Anyway, I spent the summer working for a friend up in the Gaspe Penninsular, who owned a fish restaurant. The first day I was there we went out into the sea in a zodiac ( inflatable ) type boat, to catch the evenings mackerel for supper. Things were going well, our bucket was full of fish , then we noticed the weather closing in pretty fast, we were quite a way out, so we decided to head back at full speed.
I was sitting to one side near the front, holding onto the bow rope, the rain had started, the wind was getting up and the sea was getting choppy. I could see the shore, but knew there was about 15-20 minutes of flat out motoring to get back.
I had a tight grip on the rope, I was being bounced around quite roughly on the inflatable side, my jaws were glamped tight shut and my eyes were squinted. I was a mass of tension, and I thought, I'll be lucky to last the next 15 mins. It then crossed my mind to try to use the 'one point' concept that I had read about in the book. So I just let everything in my mind 'sink' to below my navel, and within seconds, I found that I was able to release my tight grip on the rope, my balance became connected with the surface I was sitting on, my eyes opened and I even started to enjoy the feeling of the riain hitting my face ( quite hard! ). My journey back was transformed from one of dread to one of exhilarated enjoyment. I stepped onto dry land invigorated and 'transformed'. I knew from that moment that knowing about or rather using 'one point' was a useful everyday state. I still after 14 years of aikido think that, even more so.

Finding your one point is easy, keeping the 'feeling' is not so easy and is where the practice comes in. Finding the right teacher to reinforce the practice is also useful. Relaxation, breath work, mental imagary / meditation, all help to reinforce the state.

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 07-19-2006, 07:53 AM   #113
happysod
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Partner pushes your hips forward from behind. The difference between having bent over "from one point" and in other ways is immediately (and embarrassingly) evident.
Please god no, not the shoe-lace test Mary, I've been trying to get that one banned for years on the grounds you look like a complete and utter perv doing it...

Continuing the possible exercises - use just the compression part of say undo so the arm is already across ukes chest, try to get the feeling of sinking into your "one point" and having an effect. Make sure there's no semaphore of the arms or upward body strength used and that the other hand is used during the say undo, not just dangling.

Assuming that works, a three person exercise with the say undo exercise on the move, both ukes varying the distance nage has to travel to them - adds a bit of stress to the test
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Old 07-19-2006, 12:07 PM   #114
Robert Rumpf
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Re: What is the One Point?

Mike Sigman - your posts (on several threads) here have been very helpful in terms of explaining what you're interested in, in no uncertain terms. I now understand better the comments you made about my comments being tangential to what you believe is the essence of the concept (and consequently, unhelpful).

I suppose I could have done research or understood what you meant better from your responses, but I can be a bit dense. Thanks for continuing to post.

That said, let me ask you a different question... What do you think about the available literature out there on this subject? Is it helpful or accurate in terms of useful exercises and concepts?

Two examples that come to mind are:
Ki in Daily Life, by Koichi Tohei
Ki in Aikido: A Sampler of Ki Exercises, by C. M. Shifflett

Do you have anything that you could recommend as being interesting or insightful from the Chinese side of things (or at least things not in mainstream Aikido, which is where my interests have been)?

Videos would count too..

Thanks,
Rob

Last edited by Robert Rumpf : 07-19-2006 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 07-19-2006, 12:31 PM   #115
Mike Sigman
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Robert Rumpf wrote:
That said, let me ask you a different question... What do you think about the available literature out there on this subject? Is it helpful or accurate in terms of useful exercises and concepts?

Two examples that come to mind are:
Ki in Daily Life, by Koichi Tohei
Ki in Aikido: A Sampler of Ki Exercises, by C. M. Shifflett
Well, I've read (in the past) all the Tohei stuff I could get my hands on and, to be frank, I don't think it tells you how to do much. Just as a simple example, the essence of "breathing to the dantien" is to gradually build up the "pressure", etc., in the abdominal area (I'm speaking generally to make a point). If that point is not made, all the talk about "breathe the Ki of the Universe to your One Point" is off the topic or even misleading. Constantly, Tohei stays, in my opinion, on the unproductive or on the self-aggrandizing. I wouldn't recommend his books, even though I looked with the greatest positive hopes for years at his stuff.

I bought one of Carol Shifflett's books and I think they're nice books and that she's a good person. But just copying exercises without knowing how to arrange the mind and forces and pressures won't lead anywhere. It's like "doing a Taiji form" and expecting it to produce dramatic results in terms of self-defence, health, whatever. It won't happen. The secret is in how to manipulate the internal forces in the body and that's what "Ki exercises" are supposed to do, as well. It's always a dead end to "learn a form" or "learn an exercise" without having been shown how the body forces and pressures are manipulated inside. A form or an exercise is not any more effective than chanting some magical incantation, no matter how many times you do it.... *unless* you know how to manipulate the forces, etc.
Quote:
Do you have anything that you could recommend as being interesting or insightful from the Chinese side of things (or at least things not in mainstream Aikido, which is where my interests have been)?
It's one of those weird situations where most of the good books and videos that contain any good knowledge (and there are very few of those, in relation to the Ki stuff) don't do you any good unless you already have some knowledge. The good thing is that the basic principles of the ki and jin/kokyu stuff is the same throughout all the Asian martial arts, for all practical purposes. So your opportunities to gather information are enlarged with so many sources. Of course, it has to be borne in mind that many arts have developed different approaches to the use and training of these skills, so the way that a karate (or other style) guy uses/develops his skills may not be quite the same approach that Ueshiba used. The idea is to try to find the *principles* beneath the commonalities.

My best suggestion would be to get a foot in the door somehow and *then* start researching all the available training sources, but only those from the best known experts. Anyone can write a book or produce a video.... and they often do.

Best.

Mike
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Old 07-19-2006, 03:38 PM   #116
Ron Tisdale
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Re: What is the One Point?

I really appreciate where this thread has gone...thanks to all! Maybe if we keep this up we can ask Jun for our own sub-forum for this type of discussion.
Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 07-19-2006, 04:20 PM   #117
Robert Rumpf
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
only those from the best known experts
Ok.. so I guess what I'm asking is who those well known experts are. The main "best known expert" whose work is accessible to me that I can think of is Tohei, whose works you've said you didn't find particularly helpful.

The only people that I've seen do this stuff in a way that I found convincing are people who haven't been published, are not readily available to me, and for that matter don't speak English well. The one Japanese instructor whom I mentioned on another thread used to have us memorize Tohei's book of Ki Sayings, which gives you some idea of what he valued. Unfortunately, he is in Japan and I am not.

Those Ki Sayings have certainly given me much to think about, but I haven't been able to do much with them in terms of direct application to Aikido technique. Its probably due to the different focus that my training takes these days.

I guess I can reread your posts to see what you talk about in context... However, one source of information on anything leads to blind-spots and misinformation. Isn't it to late to worry about being misled?

I'd just like to ask again, will you please provide the names of known experts of this type of work in Aikido or other areas that use this knowledge? I'd prefer that they were people who have published or recorded information on this subject, or whom were local to me and spoke my language. I'll even try to hold off on looking at it until after I get a clue.

Or is such a request for information cheating...? It sounds like you're trying to do me (and others) the favor of not endorsing anything so as to discourage misinterpretation or distortion of truth.

Of course, here I sit on Aikiweb, in front of the Internet - a vast storehouse of useless and useful information. As I learn at work, any help on what is best (even help that is incorrect), and any indication on who has knows something useful or at least interesting helps to at least filter out the noise.

Can you please give some thought and provide some of this - even if I won't be able to currently understand it or may get misled?

I'd at least like to understand the terminology.

I've read lots of works on Zen, Aikido, and many other things by other people on martial arts. These things have had a very strong contribution to my knowledge of Aikido and my personal training, even though I don't know (or to be honest, care overly much) about whether or not I understand everything they say exactly and correctly on a first look, or whether or not I understand what they meant in the first place. It is a net gain.

What I'm interested in is accumulating enough knowledge (even the apocryphal knowledge) so that my intuition can make leaps on its own. I have found this approach to be helpful in the past.

In addition, if the movements in Aikido are rooted in these ideas, and I have some small amount of experience in Aikido, shouldn't I at some point (10 years from now) be able to connect at least some of the dots on my own, if I do enough exercises without understanding while listening to other people's words about what it should mean?

In fact, isn't that what learning martial arts is all about?

I don't mean to expression frustration, or attempt to beat a dead horse.

Rob
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Old 07-19-2006, 04:46 PM   #118
ChrisMoses
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Re: What is the One Point?

Against my better judgement I'll attempt to offer some useful information (I try to limit my postings to sarcasm, personal insults and rhetoric but what the hey...).

I got my shodan from Seikikai aikido and while not affiliated with Ki Society they used a lot of Tohei's teachings. This should be expected since Kurita Minouru left the Aikikai with Tohei, and then split off to become independant. Just for the record I don't really like "One Point" as a teaching tool. Tohei seemed to spend a great deal of time talking about the one point without offering much in the way of instruction as to what it actually was, or how really to use it. Just, "Keep One Point!" What I think he was getting at by stressing the one point was a way to connect your intent with your root and your extension. If your core isn't connecting your base (legs and feet) with your points of contact (hands and arms) and doing so in a coordinated way with you intention, your technique isn't going to go anywhere. There is a certain degree of tension required in the lower abdominal muscles to accomplish this. Focusing ones concentration on this part of the body also helps one relax some of the larger muscles that get pulled into a technique, but generally hamper what you're trying to do (biceps and pecs for example). It's hard to think about a muscle group and not tense it slightly, so other side benefits of "keeping one point' are inproved posture. One exercise I used to do was try to do my waza visualizing a string coming from my base foot, through the one point and then out to my connecting/driving hand. I don't know where I picked this up to be honest, I don't recall reading it in Tohei or hearing my teacher at the time talk about it.

I do have some problems with one point as a teaching methodology. If you're in a Ki Society dojo (or an offshoot i.e. Seikikai or Kokikai) you're going to have to learn to love it. I feel that it offers a convenient escape for instructors when they don't know how to explain how to do something, or do it better. "Sensei, I can't make Karl fall down..." "AHA! You're not keepingonepointextendingkikeepingweightunderside! Now try it!" Um, yeah, thanks. I think it also offers a black feather to students, meaning that they get the sense that if they simply believe enough about their one point all their waza will work. If they blow a technique, they weren't concentrating on one point enough. I also feel that the 'exercises' that are used in the Ki Society do little to actually develop the skills that would help the student use the one point. They ammount more to tests, rather than exercises if that makes any sense. I don't think you should test someone to teach it to them.

Hope that helps.
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Old 07-19-2006, 04:49 PM   #119
Mike Sigman
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Robert Rumpf wrote:
The only people that I've seen do this stuff in a way that I found convincing are people who haven't been published, are not readily available to me, and for that matter don't speak English well.
I agree, it's a problem. I read a very "spot-on" interview in Aikido Journal with Inaba Sensei that was perfect, but unfortunately, it's an interview for the simple reason that he doesn't speak English. Gernot Hassenpflug studies with Abe Sensei and everything that Gernot posts here and on other lists from Abe is pretty dead-on stuff, even though it's apparent that Abe is limiting how much he reveals. The point is that a lot of what we know in the West is based mostly on very limited translated material. The result is that you have English-speaking forums like this one in which the level of knowledge is simply limited... which limits the available resources greatly. I.e., I don't have a simple answer for you in terms of good resources. Maybe a request should be put out to the Japanese speakers like Gernot, Rob John, and some others who actually are getting a grip on these body mechanics and ask them to help by forwarding any germane material they encounter in Japanese writings. This sort of stuff conveyed by them would be an enormous help to the western Aikido community, IMO.
Quote:
I guess I can reread your posts to see what you talk about in context... However, one source of information on anything leads to blind-spots and misinformation. Isn't it to late to worry about being misled?
I agree, but attempts have to be made to limit the damage by curtailing how much of the current misinformation continues to be used as "source material" by "experienced Aikido teachers". No offense to anyone, but this is a big obstacle.
Quote:
It sounds like you're trying to do me (and others) the favor of not endorsing anything so as to discourage misinterpretation or distortion of truth.
Well, of course there's no such thing as someone with all the information... no one is the perfect source, although for all practical purposes people like Abe, Tohei, and some others know enough that neophytes quibbling over their credentials is a waste of time. Anyone that knows more than me/us is a viable source, assuming they're giving up some of that information demonstrably.
Quote:
What I'm interested in is accumulating enough knowledge (even the apocryphal knowledge) so that my intuition can make leaps on its own. I have found this approach to be helpful in the past.
I've tried to lay out the general picture before, as best I can considering the limitations of the written word. Ultimately, there is (1.) the mental manipulation and strengthening of forces and some usually-autonomic areas of the body's fascia-related structures, (2.) the strengthening all over of the fascia-related structures, and (3.) a type of "feeling" or even a real set of electro-magnetic phenomena related to the fascia-related structures. This set of 3 main features are the holistic makeup of the body's "ki". Everything described as "ki" is going to be some combination of those factors. And when I didn't have any substantive knowledge about those 3 factors, I would have been the first to scoff at the idea of them... it's something that has to be shown. But once someone is shown, those leaps and extrapolations are possible, so your plan is a good one, IMO.
Quote:
In addition, if the movements in Aikido are rooted in these ideas, and I have some small amount of experience in Aikido, shouldn't I at some point (10 years from now) be able to connect at least some of the dots on my own, if I do enough exercises without understanding while listening to other people's words about what it should mean?
Well, different people have different amounts of information on these things and the average is pretty low, not only in Aikido but in other arts as well. So the actual time you've spent "doing Aikido" doesn't really tell us much. Take a look at Gernot, as an example... he studies with a teacher that I have no problem pointing at and saying "he knows", yet Gernot will be the first to tell you that because Abe Sensei knows something doesn't mean that all of his students know what Abe knows, even if they'd studied with Abe for a lengthy period of time.

Frustratin', ain't it?

Regards,

Mike
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Old 07-19-2006, 06:47 PM   #120
MaryKaye
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote:
I feel that it offers a convenient escape for instructors when they don't know how to explain how to do something, or do it better. "Sensei, I can't make Karl fall down..." "AHA! You're not keepingonepointextendingkikeepingweightunderside! Now try it!" Um, yeah, thanks. I think it also offers a black feather to students, meaning that they get the sense that if they simply believe enough about their one point all their waza will work. If they blow a technique, they weren't concentrating on one point enough.
If I understood him correctly, Shinichi Tohei sensei has been saying lately "Learn what the needed feeling is by concentrating on one point, so that you can maintain it without concentrating on one point; otherwise your mind will be busy concentrating all the time and you'll never get anything done."

It's a toss-up, for any specific throw, whether the Four Principles-based explanation is going to do me any good. But that seems to be the case for any explanation at all. I've never had a teacher who could always tell me how to fix something. I think it might require magic. Being a verbal learner, I really enjoy Ki Society's attempts to do it, even though they don't always work: "train in silence" approaches don't work for me at all.

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote:
I also feel that the 'exercises' that are used in the Ki Society do little to actually develop the skills that would help the student use the one point. They ammount more to tests, rather than exercises if that makes any sense. I don't think you should test someone to teach it to them.
My teachers are pretty insistent that "test" is a misnomer. The partner-funekogi that I described works as an exercise for me. I agree that some of them, particularly "unbendable arm", don't particularly.

I worked on the techniques related to the "shoe-tying" test and fell over a lot; it was practicing that doggone test, over and over, with consequent embarrassment, that finally allowed me to do them.

What would you recommend as exercises for this?

Mary Kaye
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Old 07-19-2006, 07:38 PM   #121
Mike Sigman
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Mary Kuhner wrote:
If I understood him correctly, Shinichi Tohei sensei has been saying lately "Learn what the needed feeling is by concentrating on one point, so that you can maintain it without concentrating on one point; otherwise your mind will be busy concentrating all the time and you'll never get anything done."
Ultimately, in the case of a partner pushing on you somewhere, you want him to as purely as possible feel the ground. My advice to people beginning their training is to "worry about how purely the partner feels the ground wherever he touches". Don't worry about the dantien, the angle of the foot, the knot of the obi, etc.... only try to make the partner feel the purest (unhindered by any tight joints; shortest path to the ground from the point of contact, through the body) "ground" wherever he touches. There is a saying to "not concentrate on the qi"... it's the same general meaning as what Shinichi Tohei is saying.
Quote:
What would you recommend as exercises for this?
I'm not Chris, but I'd recommend "try to always make the partner feel the purest ground at every moment of contact".

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 07-20-2006, 05:48 AM   #122
Mark Freeman
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote:
I do have some problems with one point as a teaching methodology. If you're in a Ki Society dojo (or an offshoot i.e. Seikikai or Kokikai) you're going to have to learn to love it. I feel that it offers a convenient escape for instructors when they don't know how to explain how to do something, or do it better. "Sensei, I can't make Karl fall down..." "AHA! You're not keepingonepointextendingkikeepingweightunderside! Now try it!" Um, yeah, thanks. I think it also offers a black feather to students, meaning that they get the sense that if they simply believe enough about their one point all their waza will work. If they blow a technique, they weren't concentrating on one point enough. I also feel that the 'exercises' that are used in the Ki Society do little to actually develop the skills that would help the student use the one point. They ammount more to tests, rather than exercises if that makes any sense. I don't think you should test someone to teach it to them.

Hope that helps.
I'd like to respectfully disagree with some of the above.

Testing in ki exercises is a method to help learn the correct mind/body state that allows one to perform aikido. When practiced properly, both the tester and the testee, are looking to deepen their understanding of the mind body connection. All of my skills in aikido ( such as they are) have been built on these ki developement exercises. I know how to use my one point, and this I put down to the teaching through these methods. And while I accept it is possible to practice aikido without these exercises, or even mentioning 'ki'. It by no means means that the ki test are bogus.

Learning to 'test' properly is an art in itself, if someone has had a brief exposure to these test/exercises they are in no position to teach it them someone else. They may have some knowledge but as we know that can be a counterproductive thing.

If teachers hide behind obscure terms, because they can't deliver, then that is a shame, and a bad reflection on them.

If teachers use these terms and they can deliver, then they should be respected for knowing something that others don't, and that if you want to be able to do what they can do, you get on and train the way they teach.

The reason I continue with my teacher is that he can do what he says he can do. If he say's the reason that I'm not getting a technique right is that I'm not extending ki, or that I need to 'drop' my one point or some such, I know exactly what he means, and try to do better in my next attempt.

regards,

Mark

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Old 07-20-2006, 08:40 AM   #123
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: What is the One Point?

Another way to think of "feeling the ground" as Mike says is to be conscious of how your feet feel on the earth. You can experience it so you have become part of the earth...if someone tried to pick you up they would have to pick up the whole world.

Relax into this. Then have someone try to lift you by your bent elbows from behind. Have them lift in a gentle way at first so you can see the difference in feeling for yourself. If you can't fell it at first...it's ok...join the rest of the human race...keep working at it...devoloping correct feeling takes practice....then you get to see if you actually trust the feeling...another huge part of the process....it keeps training really interesting.

Another idea is to take the feeling of consciousness that is around your eyes and let it drop to your center....then have someone gently push on your shoulder...if you are centered you will not move. If you cannot feel your center on the inside yet...put your hand on your abdomen just below your navel.

In Kokikai we spent so much time developing correct feeling.....I am so surprised that everyone does not know this stuff. That is why I never talked about it. I thought every style of Aikido did it...Just goes to show ya I ave a lot to learn.;o).


Mary
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Old 07-20-2006, 09:45 AM   #124
ChrisMoses
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
I'd like to respectfully disagree with some of the above.

And while I accept it is possible to practice aikido without these exercises, or even mentioning 'ki'. It by no means means that the ki test are bogus.

If teachers use these terms and they can deliver, then they should be respected for knowing something that others don't, and that if you want to be able to do what they can do, you get on and train the way they teach.

regards,

Mark
Your perfectly welcome to disagree with me, and being from a Ki Society background you *should* disagree with me. Like I said in my post, if you're in a Tohei influenced dojo, you better love it or learn to love it. Different people learn through different paradigms. I consider the Ki Society's approach to be metaphorical, and that kind of teaching can really hit home with some people. I'm not one of them, I need to know which muscle groups are doing what and what structures are providing base/structure etc... Because that's how I learn and think, I find metaphor less helpful. Granted even in the blood and sinew method of instructing, metaphor comes into play, we need mental images. I find however that metaphor without concrete anatomic structure creates far too much ambiguity. In the sword line I study, a student spends the first few years working almost exclusively on physical structure. Are the feet in the correct position, where is their weight, what is the angle of the back, how much float is in the back heel, is the pelvis at the right level, where is tension being held (shoulders or back)? Only after the gross structure is in place and has become muscle memory does the subtle metaphor stuff come into play. At this point the student has the physical root which will allow them to begin to explore the more esoteric concepts which in turn reenforce the physical. They add depth of understanding rather than new information.

Finally I make a distinction between being a practitioner and a teacher. I've met a lot of shihan who I consider to be terrible teachers. I think in the old koryu model of budo instruction, being a good practitioner made one more qualified to transmit information to subsuquent generations than it does in the more classroom/military style that is the common teaching paradigm in Aikido. Teaching effectively requires a different level of understanding and a different skill set than being adept at the art in question. (Please don't take this last bit personally, it's not meant to attack your teacher, merely to comment on your statement.)
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Old 07-20-2006, 10:29 AM   #125
Mark Freeman
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote:
Teaching effectively requires a different level of understanding and a different skill set than being adept at the art in question. (Please don't take this last bit personally, it's not meant to attack your teacher, merely to comment on your statement.)
Hi Christian, good post, I don't take any of what is written here personally ( I learnt my lesson fast when I first started posting, I got really upset with someone with very little experience, explaining to me how I should be doing something )

I respect your need for concrete 'muscular' explanations, at least you know what style works for your own learning. My students just have to put up with my way of explaining things, given what I have learnt myself.

I accept that being adept at any skill does not qualify you to 'teach' although it is a good start, and better than teaching with little skill in the art in question.

As for the Ki Society, I don't know what they do as I have not trained in one of their dojos. My own teacher learnt his aikido mainly from Kenshiro Abbe, after Abbe passed away, he studied with Tohei, which is where he learned the teaching model that we now use. After he went independent, he changed some of the wording and terminology, to make it more accessible. Last year he celebrated 50 years in Aikido, so whatever he instructs I listen!

If you were to train with him, you wouldn't get the type of explanation you were looking for, but you would certainly get instruction on how to do 'good' aikido

regards,

Mark

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