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Old 10-13-2006, 11:13 AM   #26
CitoMaramba
 
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Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

Good on you mate, just keep training, it'll come to you.
Just remember, the chance to learn by being uke to an expert is only 3 hours away by bus .
Hope I get the chance to train with you again soon, when I visit the PH or if by chance we run into each other abroad.
Please give my best regards to Rey Sensei and to your Sempai, Randy!

Cito
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Old 10-13-2006, 12:03 PM   #27
raul rodrigo
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Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

Quote:
Laurel Seacord wrote:
As some have mentioned, it is not a "trick". In addition to the mechanics of relaxation, one of my teachers recently explained that your posture/attitude is communicating to the people trying to lift you that it's an impossible task.
Your posture communicates to them that it's impossible? So its a kind of Jedi mind trick? I am not being flippant. Just trying to understand. So in addition to the biomechanical aspect, you are also trying to influences the ukes' minds?

Of course, in the very broadest sense, yes, minds are being influenced in the course of aikido waza. But a technique by Chiba or Arikawa or Isoyama or Morihiro Saito doesnt require influencing uke's mind. You go down no matter what you think.

best,


R
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Old 10-13-2006, 01:44 PM   #28
Larry Cuvin
 
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Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

Raul,
Check the PM I wrote to you about the principle of non-dissension and correlate that to what Laurel Seacord said. You will find that in fact, you are influencing your partners mind in the way they react to what you are giving them. If you have a fighting mind, there's already a collision. Leading starts with the proper mind set. That is why I think great aikidokas can whip you around even with your intention of applying full resistance, you find yourself on the mat wondering what just happened.

Plus Ki
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Old 10-13-2006, 01:59 PM   #29
graham
 
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Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

Yeah. I've got to agree, Raul. My daughter's done this exercise with 2 adults who didn't know what she was going to do and certainly were under no impressions that she was about to perform some exceptional feat of martial excellence.
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Old 10-13-2006, 02:48 PM   #30
CitoMaramba
 
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Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

Raul, you got PM from me too. Mabuhay!
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Old 10-13-2006, 09:00 PM   #31
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Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

I've got a lot of inputs from many of you people, and its really all of a piece. Thank you all. Will be working on these things for a while. I would be glad to train with Batobalani sensei some day, Cito; I will get to Urdaneta one of these days.
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Old 10-14-2006, 10:14 AM   #32
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Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

I can't help but put my 2 cents here...

Some of you have probably read "Aikido for Life" by Homma Gaku Sensei.

On page 5, he says:
"Impressive and mysterious feats will naturally attract students who would like to learn to perform them. I am not condemning this practice out of hand, but I do feel it is misleading to present Aikido as a series of magic tricks."

On page 5, he talks about lifting the Sensei:
"On the second try, they cannot lift him at all! Amazing! But there is a slight difference in the demonstrator's stance; he is controlling the leverage the two men can exert by repositioning them awkwardly. If the men simply relax, squat down, and lift the demonstrator with the power in their legs, he can be easily lifted.... Even the highest ranking masters can be lifted in this way"

On page 6, he talks about the something similar to the demonstration in the video (about being pushed backwards):
"Observe very carefully the position of his hands. He places them under the first person's elbows, directing all the force that comes from the first person upward and beyond him, thus making it impossible to push him over. If the first person could push squarely, it wouldn't be hard for just one person to push the demonstrator over"
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Old 10-14-2006, 09:12 PM   #33
alex padilla
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Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

I agree with Kokyu.
I mean with the book of Gaku Sensei, I haven't read the book myself but upon observation of certain movements in Aikido such feats can be decoded.
I believe that to unbalance the master, one must first know what to do. If a civilian will put a master out of balance, he simply can not do it.
IMO, The reason it is practice in Aikido is to develop inherent strengths in all of us and to practice some laws of physics in the guise of the esoteric or the mystical.
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Old 10-15-2006, 01:13 AM   #34
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Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

We practice these "tricks" but we don't try to hide behind mystical explanations. Rod Kobayashi Sensei didn't want these things shrouded in mystery. They are explained to us in terms of relaxation, intent, posture, positioning, balance, angles, extension, centering, effective range, etc. Perhaps all of that together is ki (but that's been discussed countless times in other threads).

We will also show that the point of the activity isn't that you can't be moved, the point is that with proper---all that stuff above---it is more difficult i.e. uke has to use more effort when I've got everything right and I have to use less.

Just my take,

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 10-16-2006, 01:18 AM   #35
Talon
 
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Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

I've performed the lifting up "trick" a couple of times at the Dojo and once with two "non believing" friends. They were all stunned that they could not lift me. The first time I did it I was stunned they could not lift me.

The way I did it was. first I thought I'm incredibly light and when they lifted me it was easy for them to lift me.

The second time around I imagined being rooted into the ground and extremely heavy and relaxed. The two guys could not lift me. Both of my non believing friends are engineers and they were completely stunned when I showed them they could not lift me.

Riight away I got theories why they could not lift me..The most common explanation was that I must have been shifting my weight forward and back and they just could not get balanced. This is probably right and I told them that its a pretty good theory, however thats not the neat thing. The neat thing is that just by thinking that I was heavy, my mind controlled my body in a way that made it heavy to them...

Anyway, these "tricks" work...

Paul
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Old 10-16-2006, 02:53 AM   #36
Aran Bright
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Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

I think all of these tricks or ki tests or whatever you want to call them are pretty neat. My favourite is when you cut the banana with ki and then peel it and the banana comes out split!

Okay i made that one up but the value in these exercises is learning to work with your body in different ways than just push as hard a possible.

I attended a seminar with one Maruyama sensei who was at one time el presidente of ki soc. He has little to no real strength at age seventy and he seems to have no problem throwing anyone including guys at 120 kg (about 200 pound)

There is one staple technique of relaxation that we use as a beginners way to learn kokyunage. You get someone to stand with the arm extended in front of there body and ask them to position themselves in any way they like to be strong. The object of the exercise is to cut through there arm using as little strength as possible. When sensei did it to me it wasn't like a ten tonne brick hit me, it was just like my arm when limp and collapsed.

Whatever happened I don't know but something did.

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Old 10-16-2006, 07:22 AM   #37
kokyu
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Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

Quote:
Bronson Diffin wrote:
We will also show that the point of the activity isn't that you can't be moved, the point is that with proper---all that stuff above---it is more difficult i.e. uke has to use more effort when I've got everything right and I have to use less.Bronson
I completely agree. It's not impossible to move nage/tori or that he has done something miraculous. It's just harder to move his center and/or take his balance.

However (and I'm opening myself to getting flamed here)... could it sometimes become a self-fulfilling prophecy? In every class, we have the demonstration before the practice... so both nage/uke already have expectations in their heads.. they expect it to be more difficult (or impossible) when uke relaxes and keeps one point... the friendly senior student comes around and says, "Now relax and think forward/let weight go underside" and then nage expects to find it very difficult/impossible to do it the second time around.

But I think this has been discussed on all sides in other threads, so as the song says - "Let it be"
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Old 10-16-2006, 08:54 AM   #38
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Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

Quote:
Soon-Kian Phang wrote:
I completely agree. It's not impossible to move nage/tori or that he has done something miraculous. It's just harder to move his center and/or take his balance.

However (and I'm opening myself to getting flamed here)... could it sometimes become a self-fulfilling prophecy? In every class, we have the demonstration before the practice... so both nage/uke already have expectations in their heads.. they expect it to be more difficult (or impossible) when uke relaxes and keeps one point... the friendly senior student comes around and says, "Now relax and think forward/let weight go underside" and then nage expects to find it very difficult/impossible to do it the second time around.

But I think this has been discussed on all sides in other threads, so as the song says - "Let it be"
I agree a lot of martial arts runs the risk of group think. Isolation of ones self and art can lead to a problem you just described. It's how the 'martial artists' who claim to do no touch knock outs can do their tricks on their students, but need to make excuses on others (Oh, you must of had your tounge in the wrong place.).

I personally found I had slipped into that trap. In my mind my teachers were some kind of super human masters. Every little thing they did was amazing and I found myself helpless against their power. My aikido teacher had wrists that seemed like tree trunks, my judo instructor had a pull that seemed like it came from the center of the earth. And I was simply helpless. Once I realized it was all in my head I was able to push it aside and focus on training. Now wrists are just wrists, my judo instructor has flaws that can be exploited (althogh rarely) just like any other guy, and I have learned to always be skeptical and test any claim with an open mind.

Sugestion is a powerful tool, but only against those who want to be given suggestions. It does not work on someone who does not want to belive in the suggestion. As long as you are vigilant and skeptical, you can rule out suggestion.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:27 AM   #39
Talon
 
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Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

I wanted to rule out suggestion in the "lift" trick, so I did not tell these people that now they won't be able to lift me. They still couldn't lift me, so in that particular "trick" suggestion was not the main cause. They asked me how did you do this? This was afterwards, and I told them I just imagined myself really heavy and relaxed...

Paul
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:46 AM   #40
Kim Rivers
 
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Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

The aikido organisation (Berkshire Hills AikIdo) I train with now used to be part of Kokikai Aikido, headed up by Maruyama Sensei. Anyways, this topic of Ki, ki exercises, and it's effects on uke (and let's not forget nage) is really interesting. Berkshire Hills Aikido puts a lot of emphasis on ki development and we use many of the ki testing execises such as lifting, pushing, unbendable arm, and weight underside to teach students the ideas of relaxing, extending ki, and keeping one's center as ways to experience the feeling of and as a way to conceptualise developing ki.

I have just started teaching aikido at a community college and students already can do unbendable arm and weight underside. Seems to me that relaxing the mind is the most important, then the body will follow. Even w/ the skeptics if I can encourage them to relax and visualise flowing energy or something like that, they find that they can be very strong and immoveable when relaxed. I never tire of ki demonstrations for their simplicity and yet unending refinement as one progresses through training. -Kim

Quote:
I attended a seminar with one Maruyama sensei who was at one time el presidente of ki soc. He has little to no real strength at age seventy and he seems to have no problem throwing anyone including guys at 120 kg (about 200 pound)

Last edited by Kim Rivers : 10-16-2006 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 10-16-2006, 11:22 AM   #41
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You might not believe this

You might not believe this.

I'm not sure whether I understand ki as something scientific or something mystical. What I do know is that I have seen Igarashi Sensei do the unliftable body demonstration in an amazing way. The guy is absolutely tiny and nobody can lift him.

Here's the amazing part. While people are trying to lift him, he can lift his feet off the ground and they still cannot lift him.

Explain that one with science.

Conrad
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Old 10-16-2006, 11:36 AM   #42
kironin
 
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Unhappy Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

Quote:
Soon-Kian Phang wrote:
I can't help but put my 2 cents here...

Some of you have probably read "Aikido for Life" by Homma Gaku Sensei.

On page 5, he says:
"Impressive and mysterious feats will naturally attract students who would like to learn to perform them. I am not condemning this practice out of hand, but I do feel it is misleading to present Aikido as a series of magic tricks."
Here Gaku is setting up a straw man to knock down. Generally it is jokers like this showman Criss Angel that take ki development out of the context of Aikido that present this stuff as magic tricks. Aikido is not even in the picture at that point. My experience in the Ki Society and from stories of my seniors training with Tohei Sensei is the sequence goes like this: first he demonstrates and students get too feel what is going on, then they learn how to do it themselves through instruction and practice. Nothing mysterious or magical. I do the same with students. At a demo, it's a great way to get audience participation without having to know how to fall. No one walks away thinking it's magic but maybe a little better appreciation of what learning to relax can do for them and why techniques they see might be possible. And I have received plenty of training on to make it relevant to my aikido waza.

Quote:
On page 5, he talks about lifting the Sensei:
"On the second try, they cannot lift him at all! Amazing! But there is a slight difference in the demonstrator's stance; he is controlling the leverage the two men can exert by repositioning them awkwardly. If the men simply relax, squat down, and lift the demonstrator with the power in their legs, he can be easily lifted.... Even the highest ranking masters can be lifted in this way"
Either Gaku never took the time to learn the correct way to do the exercise or I have to assume he is simply lying here to further his agenda. Sure there are plenty of ways to make ki training into a bag of tricks. Shifting stance is certainly one of them, but it like the rest of the tricks is an utter waste of time for someone really trying to get a handle on ki development. The point is to learn how to change your state of mind. It also often gets forgotten that most of what we are talking about is exercises down at the beginner level. High level ki testing has more akin to kokyu dosa, in which tester's ability to follow ki principles is just as critical as that of the testee.
In that context, a greater challenge exists for someone being lifted that has two people who also understand the correct state of mind.
Just the same as in kokyu dosa, if I as a lifter am able to extend and capture your mind, up you go. By the same token, when you do the higher level exercise where you allow them capture and to lift you first and then apply ki principles so that you quickly drop back to the floor because you changed your state of mind, relaxation, etc. and move through them just as connect and move through some one holding you during kokyu dosa.

Quote:
On page 6, he talks about the something similar to the demonstration in the video (about being pushed backwards):
"Observe very carefully the position of his hands. He places them under the first person's elbows, directing all the force that comes from the first person upward and beyond him, thus making it impossible to push him over. If the first person could push squarely, it wouldn't be hard for just one person to push the demonstrator over"
first off, it is considered incorrect ki exercise to push and definitely not pushing at the elbows. What Criss Angel is doing is purely mechanical (notice his posture under pressure - it's not anything like what it should be) and again Gaku misses the point or chooses to miss the point. Correctly done, you touch very lightly the forearms and it becomes an exercise of learning to have the correct internal state, not about relying on leverage. One person is enough of a challenge. Beyond about three people, as someone else said, it is all show. And of course there is the exercise where you do it without your arms. Ki development is not about entertainment. It's about learning what can't be seen.

that youtube video makes me ill.

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Old 10-16-2006, 12:20 PM   #43
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote:
I've seen an aikido shihan, Motohiro Fukakusa, do the unliftable body trick. I have no idea how he does it.
Quote:
Conrad Gustafson wrote:
What I do know is that I have seen Igarashi Sensei do the unliftable body demonstration in an amazing way. The guy is absolutely tiny and nobody can lift him.

Here's the amazing part. While people are trying to lift him, he can lift his feet off the ground and they still cannot lift him.
I believe it. He creates a four-hinged arch problem. The kokyu control of the shoulder girdle is the key.

The only way to to lift him is to form an arch action across the shoulder girdle capable of bearing his weight. If he allows his shoulders to be pinned together so that they rotate together (at the neck, by relaxing both -- or by opposing force in extending both downward), then he can be lifted. A three hinge arch is stable.

If he keeps both shoulders independent of one another, neither extending or relaxing them in the same direction at the same time, he cannot be lifted, because a four hinged arch is a mechanism and cannot bear eccentric vertical loads without mechanical collapse.

Think tenchinage with the shoulders alone.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 10-16-2006 at 12:25 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 10-16-2006, 12:52 PM   #44
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Re: You might not believe this

Quote:
Conrad Gustafson wrote:
...Here's the amazing part. While people are trying to lift him, he can lift his feet off the ground and they still cannot lift him.
Conrad,

I can't really see what difference that would make. Maybe it would make it harder for Criss Angel, but the way it is done at our dojo, I can't see that it would be a factor.
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Old 10-16-2006, 01:32 PM   #45
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Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote:
Here Gaku is setting up a straw man to knock down.
You beat me to it Craig, was going to say much the same thing. Its such a shame that ki soc stuff is so often misrepresented, usually by people simply not knowing anything about it and making up their minds without trying to really understand it.

But thats politics for you I suppose <sigh>...

Its not a bag of tricks, its not unscientific mysticism and its not nonsense either....

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 10-17-2006, 01:23 AM   #46
kocakb
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Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote:
Its such a shame that ki soc stuff is so often misrepresented, usually by people simply not knowing anything about it and making up their minds without trying to really understand it.
But thats politics for you I suppose <sigh>...
Its not a bag of tricks, its not unscientific mysticism and its not nonsense either....
Mike
That is exactly what I am thinking, too. We are training aikido, and without ki study, it would be aido
IMO, training the Ki exercises, improves our techniques. Less power, more effectiveness - and it is then aikido. Unfortunately, we do not focus much on Ki development.
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Old 10-17-2006, 03:15 AM   #47
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Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

Quote:
Guillaume Erard wrote:
Although I am understand the basic concepts of vital energy and so on, I have never experienced such a Ki demonstration myself. All I have seen came form from O Sensei and Tohei's videos. I really wish I could have witnessed such a thing but as a scientist, I find it hard to believe since no study has ever shown the manifestation of theis Ki.
The thing that bemuses me the most is the video where OS holds a stick pushed at a 90 degrees angle by several students. Did he actually control his Ki or his student's mind? We might actually be looking at the wrong person during these exercises...

Does anyone here has personnally experienced (or mastered??) one of these exrecises?

As for the guy's video, he also walks up walls in another video... gravity is one thing I DO believe in...
Do a search on this board.
Already been covered.
Yes it exists, and if you want to see similar tricks do a search for "Akuzawa", "We Pei Sheng", "Shioda Gozo" etc in Youtube to see various Chinese/ Japanese guys in different arts pulling the same kind of stunts.
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Old 10-17-2006, 03:30 AM   #48
Upyu
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Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
<snip>
If he keeps both shoulders independent of one another, neither extending or relaxing them in the same direction at the same time, he cannot be lifted, because a four hinged arch is a mechanism and cannot bear eccentric vertical loads without mechanical collapse.

Think tenchinage with the shoulders alone.
If both guys are using "typical" strength, then yea he'd probably be pretty hard to lift. Get anyone with a modiocum of a connected structure and they'd probably be able to destroy his ground connection and then lift him pretty easily.
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Old 10-17-2006, 07:28 AM   #49
ian
 
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Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

1. pushing exercise - lifting ukes elbows (illustrates importance of elbows being kept low, and control of elbow essential to techniques)
2. lifting exercise - relaxation of shoulders and arms (teaches that relaxation prevents others controlling your body via the arms i.e. ligaments and natural stretch of body disconnects their control)
3. unbendable arm - stretching so force redirected into ukes shoulder (illustrates that only need strength to hold your own body, their stength can be redirected into their body)
4. throwing someone golding jo held outwards (person is just trying to hold jo still, the nage cuts the jo diagonally to ukes left or right front corner) - illustrates the basic direction for unbalancing someone with an ikkyo type technique.

I would like to see a ki master within the olympic power lifting competitions - it just doesn't happen. I think ki is a model for a combination of technical mechanical, timed and psychological principles brought together. I expect it could be explained with science, but for some it is easier to think of 'ki'. Power lifters are 'ki masters' but they learn from experience. The concept of ki is complex, best just to learn the principles (e.g. as was said before, just feeling rooted and relaxing and heavy) and let it happen for itself. Ki demonstrations are also unconvincing on compliant people - they should be demonstrated on people from the audience.

The psychological aspect of aikido I think is an enormously overlooked part. An interesting trick is to train gently with someone, and then grab them really hard, but with no tension in your shoulders. Many uke suddenly tense up as a reaction to your tight grab and find the technique much harder, even though it should be easier. I think much of the relaxation is about not giving feedback to uke about where the force is coming from and what you are doing. You just have to look at the relaxation in top ground-fighters; is that ki?

Last edited by ian : 10-17-2006 at 07:36 AM.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 10-17-2006, 07:45 AM   #50
raul rodrigo
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Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei

Quote:
Ian Dodkins wrote:
1. pushing exercise - lifting ukes elbows (illustrates importance of elbows being kept low, and control of elbow essential to techniques)
Actually the instruction I was given in the pushing exercise is to touch uke's elbows but not push or lift them up, just to lightly connect with the incoming force and let it flow down through one's body to the ground.


R
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