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Old 11-28-2006, 11:04 AM   #1
Gernot Hassenpflug
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opening the joints

Based on the following from the To slap the ground or not thread:
Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote:
(Post #94)/../My only addition is I'm still trying to understand what the "correct body mechanics" really is, and it will take me several more years to get anywhere./../
and
Quote:
Aran Bright wrote:
(Post #95)What do you mean about opening up your joints? Say for example the elbow, do you mean to straighten if bent or extending along the length of the arm?
let me explain this. In principle, it's the same as any number of other descriptions pointing to how the body should move in a connected manner (say, the 4 principles Tohei devised and taught in the West), or as Mike, Dan, Rob and others promote as a way of using internal strength. As such it's as much a result as an effort to cause such. (For concrete training methods I suggest using the aikido misogi exercises and of course the actual keiko techniques, and exercises such as Robert John described (from Minoru Akuzawa) in the Training forum.)

Opening the joints is extension - in all directions. Opening all the correct joints (I'm not sure if there are some that remain closed) creates one point and weight underside.

Example: leaning against a wall. As one pushes, one would be surprised if the chest muscles tightened. But probably the elbow muscles are tight and the joint compressed. Effectively, one pushes against the elbow/forearm joint, not the wall. So, the shoulder joint is mostly open, but not the other arm joints. Now, one attempts to open up the elbow joint, either straight arm or slightly bent arm. A downward rotation of the elbow helps, and also opens up the shoulder joint more. If one pushes again against the wall one should now feel that one is pushing against the forearm/hand at the wrist joint rather than at the elbow joint. Using similar principles to open the wrist joint allows one to feel that one now pushes against the wall with the flat of the hand. And finally, if one continues to extend the fingers so that the hand joints open up, one may feel that one is pushing against the wall at the actual fingertips. So, one has brought one's pushing strength to the fingertips. Keeping the joints open despite pressure from various directions is hard, inward-directed work.

The basic idea is to keep such open joints already at the time of contact. A simple exercise is to slightly bend forward and pretend to pick up something a slight distance away on the floor with the fingertips, thereby extending the shoulder, elbow, wrist and finger joints. Then standing up normally again, this position of the joints is kept during the contact and subsequent movements. Think of extension of limbs and fingers as the way to open the joints rather than making a shape which needs to be preserved with hardness.

The same applies to the neck and back, hip, knee, ankle and toe joints, without whose action it will be impossible to really "sink" underneath the partner without moving at the point of contact and "lift" (or in some cases "sink/collapse") uke before the visible movements begin.

The trick is in keeping the joints open while moving the limbs in gross external motions (vertical changes via knees, rotation and lifting/sinking of the arms). For such, the limbs must be connected and powered by the center. Without the open joints, I think the power of the center cannot reach the extremities and control their motion precisely.

Last edited by Gernot Hassenpflug : 11-28-2006 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 11-28-2006, 11:19 AM   #2
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: opening the joints

I meant to add: when pushing against the wall and feeling the push at the fingertips, then a connection from center to fingertips can be obtained, and the tips and the strength precisely controlled from center. If one now opens the joints down to the toes, then one may feel connection at the extremities, or if one keep this while raising the hands up into the air (with now no contact), suspended between heaven and earth. The 6-direction training (Minoru Akuzawa's exercises are my reference here) trains the body in this manner, as does shiko (which also teaches the central control of the limbs for movement and weight transfer).
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Old 11-28-2006, 11:21 AM   #3
Thomas Campbell
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Re: opening the joints

Thanks for the detailed description, and for posting it as a separate thread (in response to the question on the other thread). A similar focus on opening the joints is trained in some Chinese martial arts. It's interesting to see discussion of joint-opening under pressure in the context of aikido.
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Old 11-28-2006, 12:22 PM   #4
DH
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Re: opening the joints

Hi Gernote

I went over that wall exercises with Tom H. It is revelevant to start to feel the pressure with the joints and identify them. It helps most guys to start with the hands higher than the shoulders. Any lower and its easier to engage isolated muscles in the shoulders and triceps. Opening up takes a while and in my view one should never stop. We love the wall.
Once they can identify and open up, then start moving the body in say a hoola hoop fashion to identify that the hips and toros are free from any tension from the feet and hands. Typically even when trained men move they will put weight in their hands unequally and unknowingly. In the smallest sense not truly feeling or controlling what they are doing with their own hands. Remaining neutral with an "empty gi" feel while offering any manner or pressure with the hands becomes a training tool on a wall. Changing your feet, by cross stepping, with the hips and knees remaining open now helps identify the knee/elbow, sternum/hip hands/feet seqentially remaining open. Most guys you can get to sart to open up (after they start to let go of the shoulder) and feel the hand and feet while on one foot. Then get them relaxing and moving the whole body while on the one foot and just feeling hand and foot. Then as soon as they start to use the other foot and transfer weight they feel it instantly that the pressure is uneven in each hand.
There are numerous ways that this becomes useful in grappling and in control of their center. Not all of which are in the hands.

Ever notice that your fingers are now like drills when you contact people?
Good Post
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 11-28-2006 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 11-28-2006, 01:24 PM   #5
DH
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Re: opening the joints

I'd also caution that the mental aspects of this repetative traning are whats paramount
I've heard "extend Ki" for years and felt many particular versions...as expressed....physically. Many times it was no more than that of a good relaxed jujutsuka stretching out of a lock.
So while stretching is good for fighting...this ain that.

Hey Gernot ever get... the buzz.... from various ways to wind these connections?

Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 11-28-2006 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 11-28-2006, 05:19 PM   #6
DH
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Re: opening the joints

Gernot,
My son just reminded me of one of his favorites.
Stand with feet and legs apart like a spread eagle standing. Hands a little down from hozizontal.
Have someone grab one of your hands and then push into you. Stand and start opening from the toes on up. Concentrate on sending out in all direction from the spine, paying attention to the opposite direction he is pushing (like you are agreeing with him)
Take your opposite hand (and enter him) by moving it in his direction just a little. The effect on his initial grab will be like he is grabbing steel and many times they bounce themselves off by their applied strength. Involving the other side- adds to that.
Next, sink while opening. Ask them what they feel.
Its a good beggining exercise. The frame supports itself without much flexation allowing you to identify the joints.
buzzz.....zZZZ.
Cheers
Dan
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Old 11-28-2006, 05:59 PM   #7
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: opening the joints

Ah, that's a good one to try out! Problem is to find stronger people though :-) My partners are mostly university students, so while I can sense that my principles aren't completely wrong, I can't say I have a lot of "strength" either. Have to confirm with Rob and Akuzawa's students next visit to Tokyo. Don't know what you mean exactly with "buzz" but I feel something all right, I classify it in my brain as heat mostly. Maybe its subjective :-)
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Old 11-28-2006, 07:15 PM   #8
Tom H.
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Re: opening the joints

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
I'd also caution that the mental aspects of this repetative traning are whats paramount
You mean, like training by yourself and imagining someone pushing and pulling?

What you are describing with the wall seems like a skill that combines maintaining a fully connected body with full mobility. I'm getting glimpses of parts of both of these things, but mostly in the context of carrying my own body weight, not interacting with force (either real or imagined).

My body is starting to suspect that mobility, stability, and connection go hand in hand. If you are getting one without the other, you're training badly.

Last edited by Tom H. : 11-28-2006 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 11-28-2006, 09:50 PM   #9
Thomas Campbell
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Re: opening the joints

One possibly analogous practice from a Chinese martial art, Baguazhang . . . circle-walking with fixed upper-body postures . . . moving zhan zhuang in a sense . . . externally stretched, internally bound, working to open the joints . . . once trained solo, the next step is "roushou," light-contact drills with a partner, circling around varying speed, pressure and contact, then more freeform, all the while trying to maintain the feeling of openness while in contact. It's not sparring (though you're practicing stepping and movements that would naturally lead to set-ups) . . . you could call it contact improvisation. The limitation is too easily getting your awareness caught up in the movement and losing the sense of externally stretched, internally bound.
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:34 AM   #10
DH
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Re: opening the joints

Quote:
Tom Holz wrote:
You mean, like training by yourself and imagining someone pushing and pulling?

What you are describing with the wall seems like a skill that combines maintaining a fully connected body with full mobility. I'm getting glimpses of parts of both of these things, but mostly in the context of carrying my own body weight, not interacting with force (either real or imagined).

My body is starting to suspect that mobility, stability, and connection go hand in hand. If you are getting one without the other, you're training badly.
Hi Tom
Mobility and freedom of movement is easy to train on a wall and in our own quiet time. But a good fighter will zero in in on just those things; finding your center to forestall mobility, and freedom of movement. So it isn't just learning to carry our weight and move with center, its learning to also hide and evade our center within us on contact while capturing theirs
Identifying then enhancing various connections in us and then how we activate and use them daily is the training. While I am a very strong advocate for solo training I am equally strong on resistence training as well. It is facinating to me to see and feel the reactions of various body types and skill levels when I encounter. And then what it either does or doesn't do to my structure. While fighting with it is fun it has to be a small part of the overall paradigm of solo then incremental experimentation.
A major in road and result of good hard work is establishing structure in us. When committed force touches it it then easier to read the center of it and capture it. While that "capture on contact" is greatly aided by the quality of your solo work. It can't be perfected in a vaccuum. Training with an attacking frame to instantly be able to find his center and then control it on a fluid, changing basis is both fun and a requirement to perfect its actual use.

The winding exercise I showed you with the axises moving together so you are neutral the push/pull? The swimming pool training? That is an excellent tool for learnng to move...with those contradictions of push/pull rise/sink clearly identified in your body. If you set it up right in you and do it correctly...you can't even move one without the other. So the whole body is involved; upper/lower, left/right, and center one launches and activates the other. Which is your comment about carrying weight.
Its also a great exercse for grappling. They touch you, they get whole body movement with a center that they can't have.

Cheers
Dan
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:56 AM   #11
DH
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Re: opening the joints

Hi Tom
I don't know anything about Bagua,.except that I met and trained with one of the big guns in it and his local guys and Iiked it. Saw some push/pull contradictions and winding movements openly taught both for training and in use.

The "expression" of these things is individualized in both "style" and in each man. So it is difficult to either dismiss or applaud style. The one thing we can look at is the goal, what does the master teacher do as a style and do you want to play, and then look at his students. Has he made any men who can do what he does.

Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 11-29-2006 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 11-29-2006, 08:20 AM   #12
Mike Sigman
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Re: opening the joints

Quote:
Gernot Hassenpflug wrote:
Opening the joints is extension - in all directions. Opening all the correct joints (I'm not sure if there are some that remain closed) creates one point and weight underside.
I think we had a similar discussion on "opening the joints" some years ago on the old Neijia List. Personally, I think it's a discussion where people only have a vague idea what they mean by "opening" the joints. It is *not* the same thing that is meant by "extend the ki", although of you can do the two at the same time. But "open the joints" is one of the buzz phrases you hear tossed out in martial arts from time to tiem when people are talking about "interna", yada, yada, yada. Probable it needs to be looked at closer. Remember, for instance the zen priests that Tohei had his encounter with and he showed he could push them over easily, despite their posture. Their "joints" were open because they use basic postural concepts to help develop the ki, but the had no jin and Tohei pushed them right over. It's worth figuring out exactly what is going on, IMO.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 11-29-2006, 09:13 AM   #13
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: opening the joints

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I think we had a similar discussion on "opening the joints" some years ago on the old Neijia List. Personally, I think it's a discussion where people only have a vague idea what they mean by "opening" the joints. It is *not* the same thing that is meant by "extend the ki", although of you can do the two at the same time. But "open the joints" is one of the buzz phrases you hear tossed out in martial arts from time to tiem when people are talking about "interna", yada, yada, yada. Probable it needs to be looked at closer. Remember, for instance the zen priests that Tohei had his encounter with and he showed he could push them over easily, despite their posture. Their "joints" were open because they use basic postural concepts to help develop the ki, but the had no jin and Tohei pushed them right over. It's worth figuring out exactly what is going on, IMO.
Well you're certainly right in that I personally have only a vague idea here, and I'm doing my best to describe what I am doing while calling it "opening the joints". Basically I notice a better connection to the extremities in this way, and relaxed in the places that Akuzawa's exercises try to get me to relax in. So I threw this out for a discussion. It's no surprise to me that people who know more can tell things are mixed up :-) I don't know what basic postural concepts the Zen priests were using to help develop ki, for example, either. What exactly is going on? I feel that more muscles are not contracted (as much) than would otherwise, so probably in this manner they are freer to respond to mental judgments of where to put an imaginary groundpath? Maybe... I'm only playing around with this since two weeks back at Akuzawa's class, so I don't have a lot of practical feedback to think about yet.
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Old 11-29-2006, 09:26 AM   #14
Mike Sigman
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Re: opening the joints

Well, remember that for clarity's sake on these lists I tend to artificially separate "ki" and the "kokyu/jin" forces. Both of these can be thought of as the Yin and Yang aspects of Ki. Both of them have to get to the extremities. If some part of your body is "closed", the ki won't go there. Does that give you an insight into a different use of the term "open"?

Regards,

Mike
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Old 11-29-2006, 11:13 AM   #15
Thomas Campbell
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Re: opening the joints

Quote:
Tom Holz wrote:
[snip]
My body is starting to suspect that mobility, stability, and connection go hand in hand. If you are getting one without the other, you're training badly.
Maybe training "incompletely" rather than "badly"? In the sense that for me, personally, stability and connection are easier to achieve, or at least glimpse, in a static exercise or test, but really difficult to get once I begin stepping. Going mobile while maintaining stability and internal connection is the goal. How to get there . . .
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Old 11-29-2006, 11:33 AM   #16
Thomas Campbell
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Re: opening the joints

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
Hi Tom
I don't know anything about Bagua,.except that I met and trained with one of the big guns in it and his local guys and Iiked it. Saw some push/pull contradictions and winding movements openly taught both for training and in use.

The "expression" of these things is individualized in both "style" and in each man. So it is difficult to either dismiss or applaud style. The one thing we can look at is the goal, what does the master teacher do as a style and do you want to play, and then look at his students. Has he made any men who can do what he does.

Cheers
Dan
I agree about the individual teacher and what is being transmitted to the students as being more important than a particular style label. I haven't had the opportunity yet to train with the bagua big gun you're referring to, but did work with a couple of different bagua teachers in Canada who demonstrated "push/pull" feeling both standing and while moving. Baguazhang is definitely not aikido, but it's interesting to explore possible commonalities to the ways they train internal connection and skill with respect to specific issues like opening of the joints. There is one godan in the U.S. who's trained baguazhang and speaks of opening of the joints as a common feature in both "ki extension" and in bagua practice. In his case you can actually feel what he means by open and closed hands-on. My own personal challenge right now is with opening my shoulders while still keeping them down.
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Old 11-29-2006, 11:55 AM   #17
Mike Sigman
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Re: opening the joints

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote:
There is one godan in the U.S. who's trained baguazhang and speaks of opening of the joints as a common feature in both "ki extension" and in bagua practice. In his case you can actually feel what he means by open and closed hands-on. My own personal challenge right now is with opening my shoulders while still keeping them down.
I can "extend ki" or shut it off without changing anything in my joints at all. In other words, this idea of expanding the joints is an old saw that I'm surprised is still around. And I know some westerners who still exhibit this kind of "extension" like it's some "secret of the Orient". It's the wrong road.

If nothing else, people should get a basic idea of what jin and qi actually are before they start looking at some of the mechanical side-effects (and misinterpret them). Besides, if you look at what a joint does and how it functions (say, the knee or the elbow), your alarms should be going off with the idea of "expanding the joint" and some perceived benefit that this supposedly accomplishes. Too many people are just parrotting the common "secrets" they hear on places like Empty Flower, E-Budo, and the like.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 11-29-2006, 01:13 PM   #18
Thomas Campbell
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Re: opening the joints

INWM.

It's not "expanding" the joints that he shows, it's the manner in which the joints are opened and the palpable change in soft tissues around the joints. It's part of what he works to teach as "good form" in aikido and in his bagua training. In the context of aikido he sees it as subsumed within "extension of ki." In physical manifestation it's similar to the zhan zhuang demonstration of a Canadian yiquan teacher when he's working on six-directional forces. Both also talk of opening of the joints in the context of the Chinese term "song," looseness (not wet-noodle relaxation), and how the "openness" of a joint is affected by tension on either side and elsewhere in the body. A lot of their hands-on correction and teaching could be called "tension management."

It may well not be what you're referring to as "extension of ki." "Ki" is a big topic, and I'm not prepared to delimit precisely what Tohei or Ueshiba had in mind when they used the term. I just got done with Kenji Tokitsu's treatment ("Ki and the Way of the Martial Arts") of the set of ideas with the referent "ki" . . . and I'm going to have to go back through it again in light of some of the discussions here. The set of meanings embraced by the Chinese "qi" and the Japanese "ki" overlap, but the terms are not completely synonymous.

But I don't want to divert from Gernot's topic . . .

"Opening the joints is extension - in all directions. Opening all the correct joints (I'm not sure if there are some that remain closed) creates one point and weight underside. [snip]

Think of extension of limbs and fingers as the way to open the joints rather than making a shape which needs to be preserved with hardness.

The same applies to the neck and back, hip, knee, ankle and toe joints, without whose action it will be impossible to really "sink" underneath the partner without moving at the point of contact and "lift" (or in some cases "sink/collapse") uke before the visible movements begin.

The trick is in keeping the joints open while moving the limbs in gross external motions (vertical changes via knees, rotation and lifting/sinking of the arms). For such, the limbs must be connected and powered by the center. Without the open joints, I think the power of the center cannot reach the extremities and control their motion precisely."


I think that the aikido teacher and the yiquan teacher I mentioned above might agree with your description, Gernot. I'll be seeing them again in January and February when I will have some free time for travel. I'll do my best (which ain't much) to physically understand what you describe and run it by them. They have real skill, so it might be an interesting comparison. But Mike's right, it's important to be clear and consistent with the terms we use to write about these things. I think I understand what you mean by "opening of the joints." I'll leave "extension of ki" aside for another thread.

cheers,

Thomas
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Old 11-29-2006, 01:27 PM   #19
jeff.
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Re: opening the joints

maybe a sidenote: but if there is a correspondence between opening the joints and anything within the 4 principles, would it be relax completely? to wit: i've often found it difficult to understand "relax completely" since we are obviously engaging and disengaging various muscles continuously. tho, of course, we should be using them minimally, minimal use is not exactly "complete relaxation", is it? so thinking of it in terms of "relax the joints", or opening them, i seem to get a better response. and as a side effect, my muscles seem to be more relaxed as well. so there you go.

jeff.
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Old 11-29-2006, 01:32 PM   #20
Mike Sigman
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Re: opening the joints

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote:
The set of meanings embraced by the Chinese "qi" and the Japanese "ki" overlap, but the terms are not completely synonymous.
Where do they diverge, then? I think most of the ideas that Japanese and Chinese ki-qi terms diverge have more to do with misunderstanding by westerners than to do with actuality. Trying to grab an example out of the air... it's like examining a Japanese automobile and an American one and saying that they "diverge". The 2 cars may diverge on color, where they were built, transmission, upholstery (I'm giving far more divergences then there are in actuality between ki and qi perspectives, just to give your comment the edge in the example, BTW). But in reality a car must have an engine, a mode of steering, a transmission, an alternator, seats, etc..... because a car is a car and the basics are necessarily the same. What I'm saying is that ki and qi aren't just singular terms, they are complex ideas that contain certain basic concepts whether in Japan or China. The extent of those complexities limits how diverse the interpretation can be, in reality.

In terms of the body skills, the same thing happens, even though some of the people on the list have tried to posit the idea the "jin" is some sort of Chinese thing and the Japanese don't have it. All it means is that they don't understand the core concept and how much it is constrained by the complexity that contains it.

Chris Moses met up with Akuzawa and, as an example, couldn't push him in some instances. That's jin. Kohei may call it "ki" or "ki power". Someone else may say "kokyu ryoku" is quite different... but they're simply ill-informed. All these things are the same things. There may be lack of information encouraging someone to posit a difference because *they* understand some terms differently, but I've never seen that theory pan out when you start breaking it down. That's why I suggest that we look at what you consider "divergents" and let's see why you think ki and qi are not synonymous. More often than not, just like in the "open joints" discussion, the problem is a misunderstanding by the westerners involved and what their peers are thinking.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 11-29-2006, 01:38 PM   #21
Mike Sigman
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Re: opening the joints

Quote:
Jeff Miller wrote:
maybe a sidenote: but if there is a correspondence between opening the joints and anything within the 4 principles, would it be relax completely? to wit: i've often found it difficult to understand "relax completely" since we are obviously engaging and disengaging various muscles continuously. tho, of course, we should be using them minimally, minimal use is not exactly "complete relaxation", is it? so thinking of it in terms of "relax the joints", or opening them, i seem to get a better response. and as a side effect, my muscles seem to be more relaxed as well.
Actually, you have to slightly "extend" the body all over in order to connect it and that is not, of course, "complete relaxtion". Once again, think how many well-known deshi you've seen with the head and back obviously extended vertically. However, this too-focused emphasis on just the joints expanding, sort of misses the point; I've seen a few guys I know spend years thinking the secret was in the joints because that's the kind of stuff that gets passed around some of forums as the "True Secrets" (tm).

Mike
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Old 11-29-2006, 02:08 PM   #22
Thomas Campbell
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Re: opening the joints

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
[snip] What I'm saying is that ki and qi aren't just singular terms, they are complex ideas that contain certain basic concepts whether in Japan or China. The extent of those complexities limits how diverse the interpretation can be, in reality.

In terms of the body skills, the same thing happens, even though some of the people on the list have tried to posit the idea the "jin" is some sort of Chinese thing and the Japanese don't have it. All it means is that they don't understand the core concept and how much it is constrained by the complexity that contains it.

[snip]
Regards,

Mike Sigman
hi Mike,

I think to the limited extent I understand "ki" and "qi," we're in agreement. I just don't want to move the discussion away from Gernot's specific posit about opening the joints.

I also don't want to argue about something that I don't believe I have a full understanding of. If I find something useful in talking with my Chinese teachers with respect to "qi," I'll bring it here on another thread, after I see them early next year. Professional obligations allowing, I hope to see the aikido/bagua fellow next month, so should have a chance to clarify hands-on with respect to opening of the joints and "ki extension" as he understands it.

As far as the body skills go, I'd agree that good martial arts, Japanese or Chinese or other tradition, make use of "jin," whatever else they might call it. In my own current training, my Chinese teachers use more prosaic terminology, and rarely if ever use the term "jin" during training. That's their particular approach, however, and I am aware of the multiplicity of "jins" in CMA theory, for example with taijiquan. Here as well, I'm not arguing with your interpretation, since I haven't made a study of it. When I have the time I will go back over what appears to be several discussions on the forum with your contribution to the topic, and see if I can gain enough understanding to offer something useful.

best,

Thomas
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Old 11-29-2006, 03:53 PM   #23
jeff.
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Re: opening the joints

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Actually, you have to slightly "extend" the body all over in order to connect it and that is not, of course, "complete relaxtion". Once again, think how many well-known deshi you've seen with the head and back obviously extended vertically. However, this too-focused emphasis on just the joints expanding, sort of misses the point; I've seen a few guys I know spend years thinking the secret was in the joints because that's the kind of stuff that gets passed around some of forums as the "True Secrets" (tm).

Mike
haha! well, i'm always after the true secrets, its true. i suppose what seems to be helping me out with the joints is that i try to extend all of my joints in some sense, which seems to just keep me extending, etc. but its also been interesting to watch how i'll "close" them (i guess you might call it) when i'm trying to draw something in. feels kind of like the standing practice (the one you described on the deep breathing thread if i'm even coming close to doing it right) does: when my hands are separating and coming back together in front of me as i breath... the coming together part feels almost magnetic, and it kind of feels like my joints close, without any kind of tightness reoccurring in my muscles.

never been taught this stuff... just using language i've read to try to describe what seems to be happening.

fun!

jeff.
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Old 11-29-2006, 03:59 PM   #24
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Re: opening the joints

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote:
my Chinese teachers use more prosaic terminology, and rarely if ever use the term "jin" during training. That's their particular approach, however, and I am aware of the multiplicity of "jins" in CMA theory, for example with taijiquan.
Well, this plays somewhat into the "opening of the joints" and all that. The "multiplicity of jins" is a misunderstanding. There is only one jin. All those other jins are simply variations and facets of the one jin. Different ways to use the one jin.

In the haste to get "all the secrets", a lot of people miss the fact that these things are pretty simple and have a basic alphabet (this is that beauty that attracted Asians into a cosmological worship of these skills). People who can do a few tricks are doing the equivalent of making a few words from the alphabet. However, making a few words and being able to write like Shakespeare are different things. The point to focus on is that the alphabet is actually fairly simple, though, regardless of what different experts, etc., show.

Mike
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Old 11-29-2006, 05:32 PM   #25
Alfonso
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 346
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Re: opening the joints

So, by "opening the joints" do you mean, "unbending the kinks" or "stretching the limbs" ?

Alfonso Adriasola
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