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 08-07-2006, 05:16 PM   #1
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Training the Body for Martial Movement

So I decided to post that article that was in the works. Since bullshido is being a little kid and "moderating" the article (for who knows what reason) I thought I'd throw it to the wolves here.
Have at it:
WARNING. It is long. My apologies I intended for it to be shorter.
Also, it was originally intended for Bullshido, but the body mechanics I refer to are pertinent to ALL MAs I think, Aikido included. Keeping that in mind, please forgive the anti TMA slant since that was originally done on purpose to pacify the BJJ/MT nutriders.



******************************************************************************
Everyone that does MAs seriously understands the need for a properly conditioned body. Without a properly conditioned body, techniques are garbage. Kicks are weak, submissions won't hold, throws don't work and punches fail to knockout.

In the quest for more power, there are many different schools of thought on what constitutes the best way to aquire a body that can deliver martial power.
The quickest and easiest are the ones that involve weight training, bench pressing, squats, and the like.
Still others are of the school of thought that body weight is the best way to train. Others may emphasize weapons work.
Many will agree that the body needs to be trained as a "unit." But I think that few people stop to consider what this exactly entails.

This article is about what exactly supports the human body as it relates to martial movement, how to strengthen it, and entertains the notion that perhaps what we've all held to be efficient movement isn't so efficient after all.


///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Making fun of TMAs
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

I know how everyone from the TMAs like to talk about the importance of "center" and "tanden/dantien." Most of them will tell you that if you want any kind of deep penetrating power, that the seat of that power is the hara/dantien/tanden whatever. However, for any TMAers reading this, forget it. Take that thought and toss it in the garbage can for now.

Even the average boxer with a decent cross would tell you there's more to generating power than just that.

In reality, the middle is important for generating efficient movement.
However, other other key parts of the body need to be
controlled/strengthened/stabilized before you can even utilize movement from that part of the body efficiently.
The middle is only one part of the whole.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
"Efficient movement vs power"
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Efficient movement and structure are the backbone of power.

Not muscle. You can flame me for this later.

Power should simply be a result of the correct structural parts aligned, then "maintained" during a particular movement.

*There is more to the power chain, such as compression and expansion of the spinal area, but for now let's stick to the
definition outlined above.

To make one thing clear, while I say "muscle" is not the backbone of power, I do not mean muscle is not important. Far from it.
But before you being to develop your muscles, you can need to first
understand how the human skeleton is designed, what constitutes an efficient structure, and which muscles are used to help support this structure.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Structure
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

The human skeletal structure is a wonderfully designed machine frame.
But like any other structure, it is subject to the laws of physics.
This means that unless key parts of this structure are
strengthened/balanced, and stress is properly distributed, it can never realize its whole potential.

First let's cut the human body in three general parts.

Upper: Head to upper chest
Middle: Upper Chest to Navel/midsection
Lower: Everything below the midsection

******************************************************************************
Here's a craptastic illustration for those of you without an imagination:
http://i79.photobucket.com/albums/j1...agrams-UML.gif
******************************************************************************

Traditionally, some have been told that if you "move" from the middle area (specifically tanden) that everything else will follow, and move in accord.

But what if the rest of these individual general areas are disconnected within themselves?
Moving from the "middle" wouldn't mean anything if your lower and upper parts were disconnected within themselves.


////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Upper
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
The upper area is perhaps the most ignored, but may also be the
most important area to stabilize before connecting the rest of the body.


First let's examine the upper area in more detail:
The upper area more specifically contains the head, neck, arms, upper chest area etc.

**********
Head
**********
The head is probably the "heaviest" part of the human body. Not in terms of weight/mass, but the effect that it has on the rest of the body as a counter-weight.If support of the head isn't properly realized, the rest of the body goes out of whack, as I'm sure many MAists are readily aware.
(Control the head, and its pretty amusing to see what you can do with a partner).

Because support/control of the head is so important, many MAs will use the analogy of "lifting" the head etc. The effect of this is inducing a little bit of supporting tension in the base of the neck. So if silken threads pulled by fat golden budhhas sitting in heaven don't float your boat, putting a little tension in the base of the neck will do the same thing for now.

***********
Arms
***********
The arms are extensions of the body. And since limbs are long, they can exert a large amount of imbalance on the body if they aren't properly controlled/stabilized.

First, it should be realized is that the arms are not separate units. They are connected through the back, and they need to be physically felt as one unit.
This is not intended to be a metaphysical concept. Rather, certain physical exercises need to be performed to increase/solidify the sensation of the arms acting as one cohesive unit.
More specifically, action at the end of one arm should travel through the back and affect the end of the other arm.



***************************
Chest/Shoulderblades
***************************

The chest and shoulder blade area (which correspond to the chest area in the back) serve to hold the arms, head and the rest of the upper body together.



******************************************************************************
Illustration of shoulderblade
http://education.yahoo.com/reference.../figure?id=204
******************************************************************************


Stabilization of the chest area is extremely important. Wrestlers appear to recognize this and use destabilization of this area to great effect when doing certain takedowns. Same thing occurs when an Ikkyo, or Nikyo etc is applied.
This means if you don't understand how to strengthen/stabilize these areas, your "root"(read: how stable you feel to your opponent) will always be weaker than it could be.

Breaking this down even further, stabilization of this area means that you should be able to use the lower extremeities of the body without affecting your upper structure.

***Three Axes***


Stabilization of the chest area is directly related to recognizing and
stabilizing three axes.

First, let's define what the three axes are.

The left and right axes are two imaginary lines running from the left
shoulder to the left hipjoint and knee, and the right shoulder to the right hipjoint and knee.
The center axis, as one might imagine, runs from the crown of your head down between your legs. Or to get graphic, imagine your wang drilling the ground (females, imagine your imaginary wang drilling into the ground).

******************************************************************************
Yet another Craptastic Illustration:
http://i79.photobucket.com/albums/j1...grams-Axis.gif
******************************************************************************


The leg raising exercises found in many CMA are *supposed* to strengthen and balance these three axes, but often people focus on how high they can kick...(I'm ub3r cuz I can touch my foot to my nose), but enough TMA bashing.

Try this experiment.
Stand with feet together, arms at the sides.
Knees straight.
Spread your arms outwards.
Push the palms outward, fingers pointing up.
Draw the shoulder blades in, drop the shoulders down.
Elbows should be straight and turned down.
There should be tension running from fingertip to fingertip now.
This should also induce the feeling of a "cross" of tension within the
chest.

This tension should be felt right smack in the middle of the sternum bone.
Or close abouts.
******************************************************************************
Illustration of sternum bone in the chest
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Gray116.png
******************************************************************************

You should look like a cross.
The induced tension should feel very uncomfortable. Don't worry, it's normal.

Now, with feet together raise your leg without disturbing the structure in the upper area.
When I say "without disturbing" I mean that there should be virtually no movement of the upper part of the body.
If your hands move from side to side or up/down, or your head bobs, etc., it means that your upper structure is on the whole, unbalanced, weak, uncoordinated or some combination of those.

Many people will bob/waver from side to side, which means that their left and right axis aren't developed. Without mastery of this left and right axis, you can't even begin to stabilize the much vaunted centerline, much less the "one point."

Back to the exercise:

If you can do this without moving the upper structure, awesome.
Now try it moving. Try stepping and raising the leg without disturbing this upper structure at all. This will almost certainly cause the body to fall apart even more. Once you can do this exercise without affecting the upper area at all, you can start to focus on integrating the other parts of the body.


////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Spine part I
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Before we move onto the next segment, I wanted to first cover the spine, since it tends to be overlooked, and a certain concept regarding the spine first needs to be understood before moving on to the next segment.

Taking a closer look, we see the spine connects the head all the way down to the pelvic region, joining upper, lower and middle parts together.

The two most important parts of the spine to "realize" are the base of the the neck (close to where the spine starts, and is probably the seventh vertabra down, but I'm no doctor) and the sacral area. (which actually is close to parallel with the over-hyped dantien point)

******************************************************************************
The spine in its natural state:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:G...ral_column.png
*******************************************************************************

Normally the spine forms a slight "S" shape.
Now what comes next is going to sound a little weird.
Imagine the spine like a "bowstring". That is, you can induce an opposing tension along the spine, running up and down, by pulling it slightly taut like a bowstring.(This doesn't mean you hold the spine curved like a bow though!)

This up/down contradictory tension might not make sense at first to some, but it's essential if you want to transfer power "cleanly" from the spine.


Boxers will tell you to tuck your chin in, and while they probably didn't have this in mind at first, it has the effect of pulling the base of the neck up slightly, pulling the spinal cord slightly up.

This is part of the "upwards" tension.

Tai chi peeps [practitioners maybe?] do the same by touching the roof of the mouth with their tongue.
This also induces a slight tension in the base of the neck which "pulls" the spine up.
Interestingly enough this tongue touching granola stuff has been used in recent mouthguards like "Shockdoctor" to improve performance in athletes
(MORA is the current buzzward for this configuration.)

******************************************************************************Fo r those that're bored, here's an informal look at what doctors "think" is going on.
http://www.myoresearch.com/cms/index.php?mora
My own opinoin is that the increase in strength is mainly due to the
increase in support from the actual skeletal structure, which MORA induces.
******************************************************************************

Strengthening this up/down tension serves to give a proverbial kick in the ass to the spine and make it support the body at a ramped up efficiency. (Or provide a more stable base, for you BJJers out there). Strengthening the opposing up/down tension along the spine has the effect of stabilizing your kicks/strikes while making them more solid and penetrating, since the body has a cleaner/more stable base with which to transfer power.



More on how to induce and increase the opposing "down" tension later.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Lower Part
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
But what about the middle? the ub3r DanT1en?!

Forget the middle and the dantien. It's not that important. Besides it's in the garbage can right??
I'm kidding.
The middle recieves so much attention anyway, I think we should focus on the lower part next. We'll come back to the middle in a bit.
Actually compared to the upper, I feel the lower part of the body deserves the next most attention compared to the middle, especially when first developing your body.

Without a strong, stable base, a structure made out of the most durable materials will collapse. Any structure will collapse pretty easily if the stress isn't properly distributed. The same goes for a human body.

So how does one "properly distribute?"
Well, let's take a look at the way the lower body is arranged.

The first portion consists of the legs, or more specifically, the feet, ankles, knees, and hips/pelvic region.

******************************************************************************
For your viewing pleasure
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Legs.jpg
******************************************************************************


In order to provide proper support to the base spinal area, the legs along with the surrounding muscular skeletal region must first be properly trained.

***Arch****
In order to provide extra support to the base spinal area we work on
creating an "arch" of tension running along the inside of the legs.

******************************************************************************
http://www.anatomyatlases.org/atlaso...es/plate15.jpg
******************************************************************************

Like a bridge, the "keystone" (in this case the sacrum of the spine) serves to hold everything together and prop up the spinal cord. The power generated by this arch travels up the spine, and can then be utilized by other extremeities of the body as support and balance. (This means extra penetrating power for you strikers out there.)

******************************************************************************
Just a pic of a bridge:
http://www.sddot.com/pe/bridge/Image...ewyebridge.gif
******************************************************************************

While the arch is prominentaly induced in the exercises to be shown later, it needs to be present in a "normal" posture as well, where the "arch" is otherwise not visible, such as when you're standing normally.

***Pelvic Crease***

Once the base of the spine is having force properly propagated to it, we can look at the pelvic crease, here on after referred to as the p.c.

The crease referred to is the "space" between the illium and Leg, but NOT the joint.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Gray343.png

The p.c. adds yet another factor to supporting the rest of the
structure and delivering force along the skeletal structure.

Opening the p.c. (by pushing the knees out) causes a further "upwards" force to be sent to the base of the spine, while at the same time pulling "inwards" to the pelvic joint(see illustration) causes the base of the spine (sacrum area) to be pulled downward, flattening the small of the back.

This has the effect of pulling the spine taut, like a bow, inducing the
"downwards" force of the "up/down" contradictory force generated along the spine which was mentioned earlier.



/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Middle
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Now we get to that holiest of holy places in TMAs...

teh M1DDL3

For now let's just arbitrarily define the middle portion as the sternum down to the tanden,dant1eN, that spot about 2 inches below your navel, or in simple terms, your center of gravity.

The dantien/tanden is a subject covered by many TMAs, mostly in regards to breathing and the seat of power etc., etc.
And because of that, we won't cover it here. Because it is mostly a lot of BS, or the effects aren't really worth it.
I'm kidding. I think.

What is important is that the h0ly place two inches below the navel is not only the center of gravity in most people, but it also corresponds to the sacrum area of the spine, which also makes up the small of the back.
Being able to "connect" the point in the sternum discussed earlier, to the tanden point serves to bring the Upper and Lower parts together, and unify them on the front side. (The spine unifies the upper and lower parts together from the back). Being able to physically use these two parts together in a unified manner allows the skeletal structure to propogate force in the human body in the most efficient way possible.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Spine part II and Six Directional Contradictory Tension
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

We covered inducing an up/down opposing tension.

Now we start to get really weird.

The up/down tension induced in the spine is only the beginning in creating a skeletal structure that has superior balance.

Next a forwards backwards tension is induced by a "push/pull" line of tension between two sets of points.

The first is a push pull of tension maintained between the "cross" in the chest,and the base of the neck.

The second is a push pull of tension between the sacrum and the tanden point.

Finally, an opposing left/right tension needs to be
induced and held first [do you need this "first"?] between the shoulder blades, which connects both arms
as one unit.

If the body is trained in a manner to strengthen these connective six
directional opposing tensions, you train a body that naturally desires to stay in balance, even as you punch/strike/kick/grapple/pound/pwn or however you wish to unleash unholy damage on your opponent.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
So how is this at all beneficial????
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

I might catch a lot of flak for what I'm about to write, so don't take this as a rule that applies to everyone. This is only from what I've experienced so far.

Taking the typical punch as an example. In this case, I'm talking more of a cross than a jab.
You average to above average striker uses a mechanism, (in this case punching) that's succinctly described by Kotoryu. That is (and I'm being very general here) it's more or less generated by dropping your mass, twisting the waist, "whirling" the shoulders, turning the feet, and by getting your "all" behind the punch. F=MA right?

But what if "M" isn't 100%? (Even though you think it is)

The power being generated by this mechanism tends to be one that's generated by individual muscles being first "loaded" then "unloaded" in a segmented fashion towards the target. The result of this is that while you *think*, and may even feel as if you're putting your entire body behind the punch, you aren't.

Punching in this manner generally means that you're activating only the muscles on the side needed for the punch, and commiting all power towards the target, while leaving the other side, particularly the leg connected to the ground not contributing to the punch at all.

In other words, the drop mentioned in Kotoryu's article (refer to http://www.bullshido.net/modules.php...article&id=127) contributes 100%
body mass behind the punch initially, but on contact the force isn't
efficiently transfered and ends up dispersing. The load/unload mechanism of the muscles mentioned earlier contributes to a more segmented fashion of the body being aligned, and the punch is maybe 60% of what you could deliver dispersed over a wide area.

This goes for generally any martially based movement whether it be punching, kicking, grappling, take downs, throws etc, even though they may think they're paying attention to aligment and proper body mechanics etc.

The following is a quote from Dan Harden, mma'er who uses Japanese Koryu Weaponary to condition his body for Vale Tudo.

While this was originally written for an Aikidoh forum, he describes very succinctly the body mechanics elaborated above.


******************************************************************************
About the cross or the back chest area:

Imagine shoving a drive shraft or any pole into a hole in the floor then
slide a peg through it horizontally. Next grab the peg as it sticks out left to right with both your hands.
Now imagine the hole you stuck the pole into is attached to an engine with 1000 ft. lb. of torque and I turn it on.
When you get out of hospital with your broken arms healed you can understand how powerful it can be if:

1. the pole is your spine

2. the peg is tension held across the back and chest

3. and the engine is the ground through your legs through your hips that turn the spine or pole at the waist.

Everything attached to it is launched without you dedicating much to the effort in a forward direction. It makes powerful kicks, punches, throws, and shoves without you giving much to lose or have someone take your balance.
You are wholely dedicated without being dedicated.
The frame is strengthened through connections throughout the body which can be strengthened further still through breathing and pressures there. You are using the ground for power. Of course, it is the way you are connected that allows this power move through the whole body from foot to hand.

The above example can be quite effective in ground grappling for reversals when you are on your back with someone on you giving you weight. You hold tension in the cross and turn using the ground from your feet through the hips, turning the spine like a drive shaft .....which......... turns the peg (your scapula area). Whats attached to the peg? Your shoulders and arms.
I have seen guys lifted off the floor and thrown. The key is to not try to throw them but to maintain connection and just turn into yourself.
Breathing and certain other things add to this.
******************************************************************************

*Addendum*
For any structural engineers/physicists that want to tear apart the above statement with force diagrams, "using the ground for power", refers to a metaphor of what the practicioner feels. You are NOT absorbing chi from the ground.
The above refers to the optimal skeletal aligment to the ground, and
utilizing that when striking/throwing/grappling. Ultimately the resulting equalized tension has been described as "feeling the ground in your hands" etc. It is simply the result of having stress properly propagated throughout the skeletal structure.

A body properly conditioned to be connected through specific training exercises, such as those described in the next segment, allows the body to naturally utilize all of the joints, keep them aligned, and use the body as a single unit,keeping those muscles which need to be tensed tense at just the right amount, while the other muscles relaxed at just the right amount. This allows the the body to remain in balance, no matter what the opponent is
doing (pushing, pulling, tugging, having a double leg being done to you) but also means that the whole body can be placed behind the mechanics of a strike, lock, takedown, or whatever movement you're trying to execute at the same time. In fact, this kind of movement isn't only efficient for fighting, it's also more efficient for daily movement as well, but has to be "retrained" and hardwired into the body.



///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Ah huh... so how do I train this??
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Next I'm going to cover exercises that develop the body in the manner outlined above.

If you want me to
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2006, 05:33 PM   #2
Alfonso
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 346
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

by all means keep it going, good stuff

Alfonso Adriasola
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2006, 07:32 PM   #3
Gernot Hassenpflug
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 319
Japan
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

On the roll! Yee-ha!
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2006, 06:43 AM   #4
Ben Joiner
Dojo: Templegate Dojo
Location: Cardiff
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 29
Wales
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

Come on then, don't stop now, this is the you can do it too 'like this' bit that's always missing.

Ben
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2006, 07:14 AM   #5
Nick Pagnucco
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 107
United_States
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

Rob,

What did they want to 'moderate' in that piece? And how much is this 'Ark gospel'? I'd assume a lot?

I need to read it a few more times, but yeah, this seems very useful to me. Thank you.

Last edited by Nick Pagnucco : 08-08-2006 at 07:21 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2006, 07:30 AM   #6
ian
 
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

I'd say what you have written is mentioned in TMAs but not always understood (instead passed down as some mystical knowledge)

Good article, maybe if you shorten it, make it more direct, and take at the humorous bits you could shove it in aikiwiki under something like body-conditioning or training methods?

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2006, 07:38 AM   #7
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,711
United_States
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

Compliments and appreciation.
Domo Arigato.

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!
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2006, 08:24 AM   #8
jk
Location: Indonesia
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 245
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

Good Lord, that was quite readable; you should get an award for that alone. Let me guess...you train all this by just doing overhead squats, right?

Thank you for posting this; I'm sure more than a few of us are looking forward to the next installment...
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2006, 08:59 AM   #9
Nick Pagnucco
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 107
United_States
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Ah huh... so how do I train this??
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Next I'm going to cover exercises that develop the body in the manner outlined above.

If you want me to
FIrst, yes, I want you to

Second, if I understood this stuff better, the kind of understanding that happens outside of reading text, I would be VERY interested in seeing how all this could apply to the aiki taiso training exercises before class. IIRC, Ellis Amdur & Mike Sigman both say the exercises could definitely be done in a way to train in things like this.

As it stands, I take hints from what I read, but until my situation changes in about 4 ways, I won't have the ability to hunt anyone down to learn this stuff in person. So, in a word, phooey.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2006, 09:08 AM   #10
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

I'm glad that it's recieved such a positive response so far

Just in case some of you haven't noticed, I've already posted the next installment under the "Training the Body for Martial Movement: Exercises" thread.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2006, 09:20 AM   #11
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

I'll be printing that out to give it a proper read. And waiting for the next installment, thanks!

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2006, 07:18 PM   #12
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

Quote:
Nicholas Pagnucco wrote:
Rob,

What did they want to 'moderate' in that piece? And how much is this 'Ark gospel'? I'd assume a lot?

I need to read it a few more times, but yeah, this seems very useful to me. Thank you.
Who knows. They're a funny bunch.
Always wanting to see "video" of stuff, but when you invite them to check you out hardly anyone steps up.

I guess you could say all of the stuff written is what I've understood so far training under Ark. My understanding on the matter definitely wouldn't be what it is if it weren't for the late night drinking sessions (where half of class tends to take place )
A lot of it he did explain to me, but I had to develop the feel in person as well as the skill before I could write it in the manner I can now.
I'm still at the very beginning stages though.
Everything I described is only the tip of the iceberg, on top of which you can layer different methods of internal "torque", breathing, dis-connections, waves,"input force", etc. But unless the bodies foundation is trained this way first, you can't develop the other stuff.

There's an article on http://www.aunkai.net/eng/bujyutu/index.html which I translated from Japanese describing the overall training process, called Kei-Kou-Hou, for those interested.

In fact if people are bored enough, feel free to give me feedback on that as well
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2006, 02:35 AM   #13
Alec Corper
 
Alec Corper's Avatar
Dojo: Itten Suginami Dojo, Nunspeet
Location: Wapenveld
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 266
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

Nice one Rob. In absence of actually feeling Ark in action this is a good beginning to outline what he is teaching at a mechanical level. The spirit of tanren as it relates to Budo practise is also something I felt from Ark very strongly, in a way that people without contact fighting experience might not relate to so much. Ideas like ma ai and sen become palpable when yi is developed into the body, as it is in Ark.

keep up the good work, Alec

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2006, 10:20 AM   #14
Budd
 
Budd's Avatar
Dojo: Taikyoku Budo
Location: Williamsville, NY
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 931
United_States
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

Very informative article, Rob, and I look forward to continued installments.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2006, 10:23 AM   #15
Adman
 
Adman's Avatar
Location: St. Louis
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 139
United_States
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

Quote:
So if silken threads pulled by fat golden budhhas sitting in heaven don't float your boat,
Too funny!

Thanks for posting!
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2006, 04:21 AM   #16
davidafindlay
Dojo: Shodokan
Location: London, UK
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 52
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

Hi Rob,

Thanks for posting your article - interesting reading. I've got a couple of questions / observations at a few points - it would be useful to get some clarification.. Chucking them all together makes for a long post (though only a fraction of yours! ), but lets see how we go.. Ok, I'm just going to get straight into it...

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
Because support/control of the head is so important, many MAs will use the analogy of "lifting" the head etc. The effect of this is inducing a little bit of supporting tension in the base of the neck. So if silken threads pulled by fat golden budhhas sitting in heaven don't float your boat, putting a little tension in the base of the neck will do the same thing for now.
Does this mean tension in the front of the neck (eg dip between the clavicles) or behind the neck (between, umm, the traps) or around the whole lot (like wearing a necklace). It feels like if you raise / suspend the crown through the ba-huei (sp?) - which is what I've been taught for this (ie, behind the "top" of the head), then the tension comes to the back of the neck more than the front.

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
First, let's define what the three axes are.
Sorry, I'm stoopid, it seems we're talking axis here, not (sagittal) planes.. yes/no?

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
Try this experiment.
Stand with feet together, arms at the sides.
Knees straight.
Spread your arms outwards.
Push the palms outward, fingers pointing up.
Draw the shoulder blades in, drop the shoulders down.
Elbows should be straight and turned down.
There should be tension running from fingertip to fingertip now.
This should also induce the feeling of a "cross" of tension within the
chest.
Ok,
1) Feet together - how close? big toe pointing in which direction? The distance between the feet changes the feeling and difficulty of this test a lot, needless to say.
2) Arms open to the sides or straight ahead?
3) Can you comment on the attention one should pay to the up/down on the spine during this exercise?
4) Can you describe where the tension paths run in the arms? To me it feels like the underneath of the forearm, almost through the exposed "hollow" between the bicep and triceps on the front/underside of the humerus, then kinda through the lats/pecs, but more like close to the bone, as opposed to the muscles themselves... (maybe weird description, I know)

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
Now, with feet together raise your leg without disturbing the structure in the upper area.
"Raise the leg".
1) out to the side? Out in front?
2) raise the foot (whole leg straight)? Raise the knee (shin vertical)?

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
The two most important parts of the spine to "realize" are the base of the the neck (close to where the spine starts, and is probably the seventh vertabra down, but I'm no doctor) and the sacral area. (which actually is close to parallel with the over-hyped dantien point)
So is this tying the uber dantien near-enough in front of the sacral connection of the spine to the pelvic girdle?

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
***Pelvic Crease***
pc = kua?

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
The first is a push pull of tension maintained between the "cross" in the chest,and the base of the neck. The second is a push pull of tension between the sacrum and the tanden point. Finally, an opposing left/right tension needs to be
induced and held first [do you need this "first"?] between the shoulder blades, which connects both arms
as one unit.
So, should the cross manifest more in front, or behind, or through, or around the torso? I'm looking for a description to compare my own feeling. In my case what I'm doing feels both in front and behind, but also somehow connected between the two, mainly _under_ the arms, I think (?)...

Ok, so you've mentioned L-R, F-B and U-D tension around the cross in the upper body. And also U-P, F-B in the middle area. Can I hazard that the opening of the pc by maintaining an arch or bow in the legs and relaxing the kua helps manifest a L-R tension in the middle (pelvic region) too?

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
*Addendum*
For any structural engineers/physicists that want to tear apart the above statement with force diagrams
I'm an engineer, btw, and the descriptions make sense to me...

I'll get to Part II tomorrow - look forward to comments.

Cheers,
Dave.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2006, 06:46 AM   #17
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

Good questions Dave,
since a lot of this stuff can be open for interpreation until its been shown in person.

Quote:
Dave Findlay wrote:

Does this mean tension in the front of the neck (eg dip between the clavicles) or behind the neck (between, umm, the traps) or around the whole lot (like wearing a necklace). It feels like if you raise / suspend the crown through the ba-huei (sp?) - which is what I've been taught for this (ie, behind the "top" of the head), then the tension comes to the back of the neck more than the front.
I understand what you mean by the "necklace" feeling, but I wasn't referring to that (though I don't think its necessarily wrong).
I was referring to the top point between the scaps when they're pinched together.
And yes, more to the back, you ideally dont want much in the front.


Quote:
Dave Findlay wrote:
Sorry, I'm stoopid, it seems we're talking axis here, not (sagittal) planes.. yes/no?
Yes, axis, not planes. (Planes come into play later)


Quote:
Dave Findlay wrote:
1) Feet together - how close? big toe pointing in which direction? The distance between the feet changes the feeling and difficulty of this test a lot, needless to say.
2) Arms open to the sides or straight ahead?
3) Can you comment on the attention one should pay to the up/down on the spine during this exercise?
4) Can you describe where the tension paths run in the arms? To me it feels like the underneath of the forearm, almost through the
1) Feet facing front, and more or less together. As in smaller than shoulder width, but don't force them to stick together.

2) Sides. I hope no one misinterpreted that O_o

3) There is an up/down pull you want to focus on later.
But for developmental purposes, I think the sternum tension should be paid attention to first. If you do this exercise daily and think about it, it should be natural to realize that you have to stabilitze the back somehow, otherwise your sternum/cross will be all over the place.

4) I don't think its weird at all.
I hesitate to give any "this is the feeling you should have exactly" since it'll change as your muscles/sniews adapt and change. I'll just say that I don't think you're wrong.
If you think about it harder, since the tension doesn't run through the "top" of the shoulder (since they should be droped) it should cause the tension to run "deeper". Possibly on the undersides at times

Quote:
Dave Findlay wrote:
"Raise the leg".
1) out to the side? Out in front?
2) raise the foot (whole leg straight)? Raise the knee (shin vertical)?
1) Front for now. Later you can do it to the side. If you want to see the range of ways you can do this exericse, type in "jibengong" and "wushu" into google. Just do the same exercises while adhereing to principle.
2) Experiement. You'll find your body will be imbalanced in different ways according to how you raise your leg.

Quote:
Dave Findlay wrote:
So is this tying the uber dantien near-enough in front of the sacral connection of the spine to the pelvic girdle?
Nice observation
You should be able to stick a shaft through the two points.
I don't recommend actually doing so. Might be hazardous to your health.


Quote:
Dave Findlay wrote:
pc = kua?
Bingo.
I avoided that term since a lot of people don't know what it is.

Quote:
Dave Findlay wrote:
So, should the cross manifest more in front, or behind, or through, or around the torso? I'm looking for a description to compare my own feeling. In my case what I'm doing feels both in front and behind, but also somehow connected between the two, mainly _under_ the arms, I think (?)...
Again, I hestitate to give an exact yes or no. The exercises will change with you the longer you do them.
In the beginning, you'll want the cross to the front more or less.
This should change over time.


Quote:
Dave Findlay wrote:

Ok, so you've mentioned L-R, F-B and U-D tension around the cross in the upper body. And also U-P, F-B in the middle area. Can I hazard that the opening of the pc by maintaining an arch or bow in the legs and relaxing the kua helps manifest a L-R tension in the middle (pelvic region) too?
Not for me. Don't think *too hard about it yet.


Good questions though,
I'm glad to know some people are playing around with it to see what kind of feedback they get in their own bodies.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2006, 08:53 AM   #18
davidafindlay
Dojo: Shodokan
Location: London, UK
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 52
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
...since a lot of this stuff can be open for interpreation until its been shown in person.
That's the bit that kinda sucks well, its an obvious limit of this medium, but we takes what we can guess I s'pose (gratiously, of course )

Thanks a lot for the feedback - I'll give them a think and might have some additional questions on them. And as mentioned, will ask about Pt II tomorrow (gotta go to bed now...)

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
Good questions though,
I'm glad to know some people are playing around with it to see what kind of feedback they get in their own bodies.
Hey, I've gotta ask! Especially given I actually want to get more of a handle on this stuff. The problem I'm finding is that it is almost like a secret code - and not perhaps that all the time its _meant_ to be, but its just that the nature of the beast lends itself to somewhat indefinite terminology. Golden buddahs, silver threads, and "ki" (lets not go there just now!! ) are cases in point... But, bit by bit, its trying to peel the onion - (yes, yes, crying analogies very relevant )

Thanks. Ja - mata,
Dave Findlay
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2006, 04:02 AM   #19
davidafindlay
Dojo: Shodokan
Location: London, UK
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 52
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
I was referring to the top point between the scaps when they're pinched together.
Top of the scapulas? (scapulae?)... that's about an inch lower than where I was feeling. Maybe I wasn't drawing them close enough together. I was feeling it more around the first vertebra with the big bump on it. Actually, maybe I need to relax the shoulders (more). Hang on ... just testing .. yup, as they relax more, the primary location of the tension drops a bit, and also the lines of tension along the underside of the forearm and underside of the fingers (mainly middle & index) increases. Feels nice.

Is there a comment here about the tension flow through the yin areas vs yang? If I add to the further relaxed shoulders as above, and envisage pushing more out using the lats, outside of the humerus and tops of the forearms, it seems to bring in a deeper tension to the tension paths, with a more relaxed feeling in them too. This feeling of further relaxed tension does not happed if I just push out with the whole arm.

<Sorry, testing as I write...>

Oh, hang on, this feels more like a shoulder related thing too. When thinking about pushing out on the yang surfaces, it seems I don't raise the shoulders, whereas when "just pushing out with the arms" it raises the shoulders a tiny bit, taking me back to the inital feeling and conclusion about shoulders. So maybe its more about point one above - relax the shoulders (more!), rather than me getting too cerebral about yin/yang. Hmm, oh well

Comments?

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
1) Feet facing front, and more or less together. As in smaller than shoulder width, but don't force them to stick together.
Cool. Wider than shoulder with (or hip with actually) is pretty difficult :/

Have you come across the thing where you edge yourself up sideways to a wall until your shoulder touches, then try to raise the foot furthest from the wall?

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
2) Sides. I hope no one misinterpreted that O_o
No, just being particular


Quote:
Robert John wrote:
it should be natural to realize that you have to stabilitze the back somehow, otherwise your sternum/cross will be all over the place.
"all over the place"? ... Like out getting boozed while it should be at home with the family and kids? Do you mean the torso will wobble, or the feeling of the cross will move around over one's chest?

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
The center axis, as one might imagine, runs from the crown of your head down between your legs. Or to get graphic, imagine your wang drilling the ground (females, imagine your imaginary wang drilling into the ground).
Similar to asking about which part of the head to raise (top vs ba huei), this thing about imaginary wangs has me a bit confused. I'm used to the idea of pulling down the spine through the perinium (for those who aren't familiar that's between the anus and the genitals). Is it this location you're referring to? My thoughts are that when this location is concentrated on, the pelvis is maintained in a more neutral (horizontal?) postion, and relaxation of the pelvic crease must also go hand-in-hand. If I change focus to the aforementioned wang <ahem>, the central axis feels like its brought forward and consequently the butt has a slight tendancy to stick out, and the pc can also be forgotten about...

Thanks,
Dave Findlay
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2006, 04:59 PM   #20
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

Quote:
Dave Findlay wrote:
Top of the scapulas? (scapulae?)... that's about an inch lower than where I was feeling. Maybe I wasn't drawing them close enough together. I was feeling it more around the first vertebra with the big bump on it.
Sounds good
And yes you're right, the first vertabrae with the bump on it.
For me it's dropped further down to the hollow between the first "bump" and the second "bump". But to each his own

Quote:
Dave Findlay wrote:
and envisage pushing more out using the lats, outside of the humerus and tops of the forearms, it seems to bring in a deeper tension to the tension paths, with a more relaxed feeling in them too.
Sounds good, again, it'll change with time. As long as you're not tensing the lats, you should be fine. Relaxed tension, as long as its not easy, sounds good.

Quote:
Dave Findlay wrote:
about point one above - relax the shoulders (more!), rather than me getting too cerebral about yin/yang. Hmm, oh well
Bingo. Yin/yang relationships are a result. Don't try and "make" your body conform to it yet. It needs to change a bit first (phsyiologcially, but I'm no doctor)
Yes, relaxing the shoulders more induces more tension

Quote:
Dave Findlay wrote:
Have you come across the thing where you edge yourself up sideways to a wall until your shoulder touches, then try to raise the foot furthest from the wall?
Just tried it...damn that's mad hard!
At least I don't come undone. I know exactly what that's challenging I think. Not to mention I think I've seen Ark do that in class from time to time when he's messing around
Basically tests how well you can "stand" from side to side. If you lean on the wall in any manner when your balance shifts to the leg closest to the wall then you wont be able to raise the other leg. Its a good barometer and exercise. Nice one Dave!

Quote:
Dave Findlay wrote:
No, just being particular
You asshat engineers.




Quote:
Dave Findlay wrote:
"all over the place"? ... Like out getting boozed while it should be at home with the family and kids?
Yes, exactly. And hitting on girls at the bar while trying to handle calls from your other three gfs.

Seriously, I meant either or. Most likely your torso will wobble and be unstable. Though at the beginning stages the cross will also move around and you want to avoid that.

Quote:
Dave Findlay wrote:
Similar to asking about which part of the head to raise (top vs ba huei), this thing about imaginary wangs has me a bit confused. I'm used to the idea of pulling down the spine through the perinium (for
I'm not that particular, the chinese say perinium. I happen to find the wang idea more uh..."powerful" mentally

Quote:
Dave Findlay wrote:
My thoughts are that when this location is concentrated on, the pelvis is maintained in a more neutral (horizontal?) postion, and relaxation of the pelvic crease must also go hand-in-hand. If I change focus to the aforementioned wang <ahem>, the central axis feels like its brought forward and consequently the butt has a slight tendancy to stick out, and the pc can also be forgotten about...
Ur tHiNKing 2 muCH
Do whatever you need to do to stabilize it.
Btw, I used to think like you do, wonder about the "why".
(Which would get me a smack on the head from Ark)
Just be sure you seperate between what you "need" to know now, and what you can afford to figure out "later".
As in, maybe the pelvis is maintained in a more neutral position etc, but really it doesn't matter for now. Just adjust those points to where you are the most stable.
Play with the connections and see where it leads you
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2006, 03:59 AM   #21
davidafindlay
Dojo: Shodokan
Location: London, UK
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 52
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
Relaxed tension, as long as its not easy, sounds good.
No, its definitely not easy! What is easy is to find myself thinking about something else - maybe one part of my body, or maybe who was the saddist who dreamed up these exercises - and then return my awareness to find I've let something in the structure slip. The exercises "sound" easy, but doing them with awareness is another matter. There's a lot to pay attention to!

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
Yin/yang relationships are a result.
Hey cool.
Quote:
Robert John wrote:
Just tried it...damn that's mad hard!
Ha! Back at 'cha! Ha! Take that!
Quote:
Robert John wrote:
At least I don't come undone. I know exactly what that's challenging I think. Not to mention I think I've seen Ark do that in class from time to time when he's messing around. Basically tests how well you can "stand" from side to side. If you lean on the wall in any manner when your balance shifts to the leg closest to the wall then you wont be able to raise the other leg. Its a good barometer and exercise.
Yeah, I recalled it when reading about your leg-raising exercise and trying to figure out how far apart I should have my feet with respect to the left/right axes and what constitutes a wobble. When I try it, I find that I just can't raise that outside foot. I try and try, but I know that if it comes off the floor I'm going to topple. In some ways its like having the foot stuck to the floor, but the only thing sticking it there is my desire not to fall...

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
You asshat engineers.
Quote:
Robert John wrote:
Ur tHiNKing 2 muCH <snip> Btw, I used to think like you do, wonder about the "why".
That's cool

Funnily enough when I "teach" (loose term) , I'm often loath to answer some questions about some detail because I would prefer the asker to, say, concentrate on having good posture and position during waza 'cos that's the thing I'm trying to correct, rather than worrying about the angle of their hand or something. Saying that, I know when I started aikido, I asked _heaps_ of questions - I sometimes wonder how my instructor didn't just whack me one, actually.

So, don't worry, I get your point. I did actually cull a few additional questions from my original list the other day, you know. (0_0)

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
Just be sure you separate between what you "need" to know now, and what you can afford to figure out "later".
Now that _is_ good advice on this issue. It puts the onus back on the student to work out what they're learning, makes them observe more what the instructor is doing, and maybe be more active in the process of digesting information.

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
Play with the connections and see where it leads you
... I bet it leads me back to the WALL :/

Cheers,
Dave Findlay

Last edited by davidafindlay : 08-16-2006 at 04:03 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2006, 12:02 AM   #22
Michael Young
 
Michael Young's Avatar
Dojo: Alamo City Aikido
Location: San Antonio, TX
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 133
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

Hi Robert,

Would it be possible for you to post a video of this excercise? (Like you did for Number 2) A video showing not only the correct way to do this, but maybe one with some common errors you usually see beginners perform. The vid you posted for number 2 was immensely helpful.

Thanks!
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2006, 01:37 PM   #23
Michael McCaslin
Dojo: aikijujitsu, unaffiliated
Location: New Orleans
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 35
United_States
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

Bttt
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2006, 01:55 PM   #24
DonMagee
Location: Indiana
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,311
United_States
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

So did bullshido moderate your post, or just call you out and claim you are full of crap? Can you provide a link to your post there? I'd like to read it.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2006, 08:27 PM   #25
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

No, they eventually posted it. (Took theis time though -_- )

There's a thread on Ark with a post by Luan who trained at Alliance in Atlanta(BJJ&Muaythai) who came over.
http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...=26158&page=15

The article on Body Training was posted here:
http://www.bullshido.net/modules.php...article&id=259
  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
How to teach and train relaxation Mark Jakabcsin General 525 01-24-2007 07:59 AM
Using tension to understand relaxation Mark Jakabcsin Training 0 12-28-2006 07:34 AM
Aikido: The learning of natural movement Mike Hamer General 517 12-12-2006 03:15 PM
Omoto-kyo Theology senshincenter Spiritual 77 12-04-2005 09:50 PM
Training iai as a part of aikido Stefaan Six General 4 07-27-2005 06:20 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:09 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 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