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Old 12-21-2006, 12:31 AM   #151
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Regarding training relaxation, here a few thoughts on how Akuzawa's exercises tie in with Abe Seiseki's teachings. In my current view, it's a useful didactic tool for beginners like me and the university students with 1-3 years of aikido practice, to distinguish between the creation/realization of thin piano wires going through the body, and the movement of the limbs and body as a whole during training of a particular form.

The great thing about Akuzawa's exercises is that they give direction to what used to be a fruitless endeavour: namely relaxing but extending ki at the same time without getting tense. By utilizing an opening of the body (front) and a closing (from the back) across all the limbs, the squashing of two halves of an almond (as I think of it) forms an invisible line in the middle, while the outsides remain soft because the almond shell is powered by the whole body (from the belly sides and the spine, I think) and transferred bit by bit through the tissues, skin, ligaments, sinews, bones. As a result, individual body parts are relaxed in the sense that the muscles feel soft, especially those of the forearm, front of shoulder, and hips/buttocks.

Now that the invisible lines are created and felt, contact by a partner can be transferred to the ground and controlled by the hara. I've really noticed this effect when doing what I consider a difficult exercise such as ushiro ryo-katate-dori from movement (where the partner moves in to take the wrist in ai-hanmi).

Movement (whether a tenkan, or a more involved technique) keeps the almond shells in equilibrium to maintain the inner piano wire, while using - for didactic purposes - a different mechanism to move.

As this second mechanism, I suggest that while keeping the mind occupied with maintaining the two-way almond shells across the whole body to create and maintain the piano wires, the breath pressure is used to modulate the limbs in very gentle drawing in or extending out actions, and the other directions as well. I think this is in line with what Mike (Sigman) recommends for moving from center while feeling the "suit". This movement does not generate much force, certainly not in the beginning, but it will reduce the pressure felt on individual muscles, as individual muscles do not act alone, and there is directivity throughout the body. The division allows undisturbed and uninterfered "static" connection training and "dynamic" training (slowly!) at the same time. No more tension as the movement starts, no more realizing that one has lost something while moving, I find I can keep an eye on both the static requirements, and on the movement I want to do, separately.

Now, to actually use the piano wires and limb motions with power (assuming here that aikido uses the lower back a lot), I take the example of kokyu-dosa. Let's say both persons use the above method to hold and be held (so it is not trivial to raise the arms). Then one person may sink his lower spine slightly, and use that stretch to come back under the holder's force, along the piano wires which already connect between ground and holder's hands, and expand those lines slightly. One side of the wires moves: the holder's hands, and the piano wire directivity (holder's force to ground) ensures that the lower spine force goes to the holder's center, or at least to his/her shoulders.

I've had good success introducing shodans (that's 1-3 years aikido experience at university in Japan) to this, and then introducing Akuzawa's tenchijin exercise as a means to get their body to create the requisite piano wires after they're convinced the methodology has some merit.

The above ties in with what I perceive Abe Seiseki sensei to be espousing (at a basic level, he keeps iterating that this is the absolute basics) about sub-millimeter movement in one direction (rotation) and then back the other way (counter-rotation) without overstepping one's initial position of hand (or whichever body part one is moving), and of using the hara to send what feels like a jolt from the ground to the partner's shoulders (or taking their center out so they simply fall flat). As I've said before, Abe sensei does this with and without breath, and says it's trained muscle, so I don't think separating as I've done above is confusing, although breath can always add more once one has control of all the terms in this (basic) equation.

For me, I can see that there is "suit" training as well as the inner tension/piano wire training happening at the same time, and that there is enough room in tenchijin exercise to do loads of stuff, including using the breath. So I am getting the feeling that there is a lot more similarity between Akuzawa's exercises and basic aikido training methodology (various misogi) than I at first thought.

Hope this is useful, comments/criticism always appreciated.

Last edited by Gernot Hassenpflug : 12-21-2006 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 12-21-2006, 01:54 AM   #152
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Mark Jakabcsin wrote:
George, if I might impose can you share with us what the principles of aiki are as you see them and how you have learned to teach them to your students? Either here or on another thread. Possibly I have missed this in another thread if so please let me know and I will look it up.
Have stuff to do so this is all i have time for right now:
Principles of Aiki

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 12-21-2006, 04:01 AM   #153
Mark Freeman
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Have stuff to do so this is all i have time for right now:
Principles of Aiki
That is a great article, thanks George.

Merry Xmas

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 12-21-2006, 04:16 AM   #154
Robert Cowham
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

One set of reading that I have found useful myself in researching relaxation is Peter Ralston and his Cheng Hsin writings and teachings.

I can certainly recommend his latest book "Zen Body-Being".

A couple of quotes from Peter's book:

- Relaxation is letting go.

- Tension comes unbidden, relaxtion must be invited.

And finally something that I have been working with that is producing some results:

Quote:
Once I went to my teacher Wong and asked "How do I relax?"
He responded, "Relax your mind."
"Sure," I said, "but aren't there some exercises I can do to relax my body?"
"Relax your mind," he said again.
Knowing him to be a man of few words, I decided to go site down and concentrate on relaxing my mind. As I sat there, I went from not understanding what Wong meant to discovering that relaxing my mind is the same things as feeling and relaxing my whole body. They can't be separated. So I invite you to "relax your mind." Mind is where tension comes from; relaxation cannot be accomplished without letting go in the mind.
As for my personal practice, I find solo sword suburi and practice works well for looking at shoulders and things. HAve had some success getting beginners to relax very quickly by getting them to focus on their breathing.

Robert
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Old 12-21-2006, 04:40 AM   #155
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Gernot Hassenpflug wrote:
Regarding training relaxation, here a few thoughts on how Akuzawa's exercises tie in with Abe Seiseki's teachings.
Great post!

Thanks
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Old 12-21-2006, 06:08 AM   #156
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I always have this question in my mind.... if someone does not do the physical aspects of Aikido, Taiji, Karate, Jiujitsu, etc., correctly... i.e., they just do an external mimicry of movement, "blending", etc... how does that affect their "spiritual" development. ......... It gets sort of crazy, when you start pulling this discussion apart and looking at the ramifications. That's why I've never really gotten involved, even though in all the martial arts I've been involved in, there are people who like to dissect this physical/spiritual argument.
Mike,
Clearly I DID NOT propose or suggest not training the physical aspects in Aikido or any other art. I train in Systema which has a very healthy dose of the physical. The gist of my post is summed up in the last sentence of my previous post.

"One can not truly be centered without dealing with and training all aspects of the self."

I.E. to become truly centered one must work on the physical, the mental and the emotional/spiritual. Focusing on one at the exculsion of the others will ultimately limit growth/potential and is building a house of cards. A good training program will focus on all three, although at times the emphasis may be weighted towards one, but this changes over time as the student's needs change. Hence a begining student's focus will be more heavily weighted towards the physical because this is the easier aspect to grasp, accept, understand and learn. A clever teacher will introduce the student to other aspects with various drills that might seem physical at first. Dealing with fear as George writes about is a good example. In the system I train I started being exposed to the mental and emotional aspects immediately, although it took awhile for me to grasp the importance. Never the less it was there and waiting for me whenever I was ready.

Take care,

Mark J.
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Old 12-21-2006, 06:29 AM   #157
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Thanks George. I printed up the article and will give it a read later this morning.

Gernot, thank you for taking the time to write such an interesting post. I am very interested in Ark's methods and always enjoy reading about his training. I sure hope he comes to the USA sometime.

Robert, I agree that Peter Ralston's book, "Zen Body-Being" is a good book to read. I recommened it a few weeks ago on the thread about internal training. While I doubt the book contains anything for the highly experienced it is a good place to start for mere mortals. Plenty of individual drills and training exercises. I do caution that I felt the first 60 pages or so were rather repetitive and seemed to drag, although there are a few gems in those pages so I recommend reading it all.

Take care,

Mark J.
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Old 12-21-2006, 07:00 AM   #158
Mike Sigman
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Mark Jakabcsin wrote:
Mike,
Clearly I DID NOT propose or suggest not training the physical aspects in Aikido or any other art. I train in Systema which has a very healthy dose of the physical. The gist of my post is summed up in the last sentence of my previous post.

"One can not truly be centered without dealing with and training all aspects of the self."

I.E. to become truly centered one must work on the physical, the mental and the emotional/spiritual.
Hi Mark:

Well, don't get me wrong, because I don't particularly disagree. I know beyond a doubt that there are some people talking on this forum, just as others have done on other forums for years, about how to train correctly who don't really have much in the way of these basic skills. As we used to say on the old Neijia List, "It Has To Be Shown". And frankly, while I've seen some Systema people with skills, I haven't seen anyone who really uses "centering" in the same way that is common in the Asian martial arts. And trust me... I go look. I travel places to see somebody, something, whatever, as part of the caution of not wanting to get a wrong impression, one way or another.

What it all boils down to, for the most part, is something I've recommended before.... more people on the list need to get together and share and demonstrate. Less pontificating. This is a critical time in Aikido, I think.... and there will be a quiet struggle between those that want to move forward and those that want to maintain the status quo. That getting toether will be the best and friendliest way to thrash out the issue. Yes, you have to have physical and spiritual components, but not everybody's version of those two things is going to work out to be correct... it will often be someone simply selling his view. Let's let some air in.

Best.

Mike
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Old 12-21-2006, 07:25 AM   #159
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
And frankly, while I've seen some Systema people with skills, I haven't seen anyone who really uses "centering" in the same way that is common in the Asian martial arts.
Agreed the centering is not the same. Nor was it designed to be. While there are undoubtly similarities there are also differences.


Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
And trust me... I go look. I travel places to see somebody, something, whatever, as part of the caution of not wanting to get a wrong impression, one way or another.
Yes, traveling to see and experience is very important and I do a good deal myself. One potential pitfall is when one travels to see how another person/art fits into his/her view of what is right or correct. When things do not match this individuals version of correct then it is viewed as wrong and disregarded. We all do this to one degree or another. To understand the value in a difference takes more than casual observation.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
What it all boils down to, for the most part, is something I've recommended before.... more people on the list need to get together and share and demonstrate. Less pontificating. This is a critical time in Aikido, I think.... and there will be a quiet struggle between those that want to move forward and those that want to maintain the status quo. That getting toether will be the best and friendliest way to thrash out the issue.
I believe this is why Stan Pranin has hosted several Aiki Expos. Correct me if I am wrong but I also seem to remember some AIkiweb get togethers. All good stuff for those with an open mind.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Yes, you have to have physical and spiritual components, but not everybody's version of those two things is going to work out to be correct... it will often be someone simply selling his view.
Agreed to a point. I do not believe there is a universal 'correct' for these two components. I think each individual needs to study, experiment, train, think and understand in his/her own time and way. Hence selling ones views, as has frequently happened on this thread/forum, is not nearly as valuable as sharing ones experiences so another can try them out for size, use what works and shelve what does not. Note I said shelve not throw away as I have frequently found things I did not understand and could not use at the time became very valuable later when I was ready.

Take care,

Mark J.
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Old 12-21-2006, 07:46 AM   #160
Erick Mead
 
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Go look at what I said, Erick. Forces cannot be "converted" from horizontal to vertical because the horizontal component is still there, *even if you vector add the forces*. You're trying to equate vector-addition of forces with "converting". Forces cannot be converted, as I originally stated and which you don't seem to understand. Or if you suddenly do understand that I was being precise, you're too proud to admit your error.
I am not proud at all, I just understand inertial moments in a structure.You, evidently, do not. Linear inertia diminishes the quantity of a force (without effort). An inertial moment also alters its direction of effect (also without effort). They "convert" forces from one perpendicular component to the other without any active "force vector" on their part. "Juji" + , again

Even a resting object is not without inertial energy. It is the most "relaxed" form of response to force that there is. You can't even get rid of it if you wanted to.

You are disregarding the fact that we are talking about forces and reactions in different parts of the structure, which means force couples and moments of inertia in the structure between those locations. It is exceedingly rare that you can push directly in line with the center of mass -- and you have defined a problem (the chest push) where you specifically do not. Thus, there is a rotational element and a radius forming a moment of inertia about a certain axis of the structure.

In this setting, I can define the dolly problem where your push on the chest causes inertial moment to make the dolly shift toward the pusher (negative displacement). I can define the dolly problem where the same push results in the dolly shifting away from the pusher (positive displacement). This is quite obvious in iriminage (negative displacement) and kaitennage (positive displacement), for example, where I am directly manipulating those respective positive and negative rotational moments of the body.

And there is (obviously) a case in between the positive and negative regimes at which zero is attained. However, it is supercritical (top of the hill), and it takes constant energy to maintain from falling away one way or the other.

This, to me, is the antithesis of "relaxation." It is a very expensive zero.

Keeping at zero has everything to do with the shape of the load path and the conditions of support at the base, but has not a thing to do with horizontal friction. If horizontal frictional reaction would develop as a means of opposing the moment at the ground, then in frictionless setting (such as the dolly), the dolly moves one way or the other.

So if you are using ground friction, as opposed to some other means to maintain the supercritical zero displacement regime, then you will move if put on the dolly. Which was really my only point.

In the Tohei video, if he were put on a dolly, on my analysis he ought to be moved toward the attacker as he commences his attacking motion and be moved away from the attacker as he experiences kuzushi. Tohei would be moved (by the attackers own motion) through the zero regime and back again -- not be precariously maintaining himself in the middle -- not moving. It would look very much like torifune/funatori. Surprise, surprise.

I have my doubts whether maintaining this zero regime for an arbitrary length of time is of much use in aikido -- The supercritical nature of an unanticipated change of sign and the sudden downhill slide in the reverse orientation to what was expected are elements that aikido seems most readily to exploit. The load path considerations are important (which I have not really addressed). The load path defines where hinges naturally develop in either partner. Those are more important in most aikido technique than manipulating conditions of support so as "not be moved."

In other words done properly -- we move -- but always in the neighborhood of that highly critical stability area. It confounds an attack by suddenly changing the orientation of the inertial response that develops from receiving the energy of the attack at the moment of musubi or connection. If we do it perfectly, we let our body shape do the work for us, without any effort.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 12-21-2006, 07:53 AM   #161
Mike Sigman
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Mark Jakabcsin wrote:
Agreed the centering is not the same. Nor was it designed to be. While there are undoubtly similarities there are also differences.




Yes, traveling to see and experience is very important and I do a good deal myself. One potential pitfall is when one travels to see how another person/art fits into his/her view of what is right or correct. When things do not match this individuals version of correct then it is viewed as wrong and disregarded. We all do this to one degree or another. To understand the value in a difference takes more than casual observation.



I believe this is why Stan Pranin has hosted several Aiki Expos. Correct me if I am wrong but I also seem to remember some AIkiweb get togethers. All good stuff for those with an open mind.
I dunno, Mark... I've now got over 45 years in doing exclusively Asian martial arts of the Japanese and Chinese varieties. The ki/qi things are the same everywhere, when you do even a simple analysis.... and that really shouldn't be much of a surprise to anyone who really has any skills in these things. I know it's pretty well an accepted "given" in every Asian martial-arts expert that I'm acquainted with. This holding out as a possibility that there are really interpretable differences in the different arts is only true in a very limited view... in the big picture, it's not a worthwhile discussion, IMO, until the bigger picture is understood and accomplished.

I saw someone begin to use the "ego" word in a previous post and I'd say there's probably ego enough to go around. At the moment, though, I'd say the first thing to question is why Aikido got to this point that there are these semi-naive discussions about how Systema, Wing Chun, MMA, etc., is just what is needed to correct the difficiencies in Aikido. The reason it got to that point is that many "name teachers" and "name students" of the western persuasion blocked discussions in the past every time the ki/kokyu discussions came up. I saw it happen. There's the original offending ego.... none could accept even the suggestion that there was something that they didn't know, so they blocked all discussion and progress. I take it as a given (I've seen this happen in several other Asian martial arts, too) that there will be resistance and ruffled feathers from some of the powers that be. It's a factor that has to be understood and taken into consideration and circumvented.

The idea of "open mind" is a good one, just as is the discussion about the physical and spiritual aspects of Aikido (and other arts). However, from a lot of experience, there is going to be a lot of false "open mind" to some of the basics. That's why I already cautioned about the "Oh Yeah... we already do that" guys, the "can you put on a 1-hour demo to explain that to us and we'll incorporate that into our already fine Aikido?" guys, and so on. Many of the comments I've seen about various martial arts and how they "add to Aikido" are completely naive in regard to what is contained in various martial arts, when you get beyond the simple forms and techniques level. As an example, think of the karate guy who "also teaches Tai Chi" and says it with a straight face, indicating that he is completely clueless about the bona fide body mechanics of either art. It's the kind of statement you can only walk away from... the guy is ignorant, yet he is convinced he is an expert. That's the sort of thing I'm cautioning against and why I'm heavily stressing that there needs to be some get-together where these things are hashed out as extensively as possible. It will help Aikido, IMO, in more ways than one.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 12-21-2006, 07:59 AM   #162
Mike Sigman
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
I am not proud at all, I just understand ..SNIP!!!...
You are proud. I said one thing and you still are not listening or admitting you didn't read what I said: vector forces' direction cannot be converted; the only thing you can do to effect a change in direction is to vector-add other forces, causing a different resultant direction. A singular vector force cannot have its direction changed.... it is what it is. That's what I originally said; it's a simple concept.

Mike Sigman
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Old 12-21-2006, 08:52 AM   #163
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
That's the sort of thing I'm cautioning against and why I'm heavily stressing that there needs to be some get-together where these things are hashed out as extensively as possible. It will help Aikido, IMO, in more ways than one.
Yes it is a good idea and I have seen such meetings happening over the past several years. The Aiki Expo probably being the largest formal gathering but there are also a number of Aikidoka that are traveling, experiencing and learning at each opportunity. The changes are a process that no single get-together can accomplish and frankly some will join in the process and some will not.

Mike,
One question I was hoping you would answer is 'Where does tension come from?' If you have given any thought to this line of questioning I would like to hear what you have to add.

Also an FYI, if you have not met Vladimir Vasiliev of Systema he will be in the Denver/Longmont area in March 07. Nothing like working with and asking questions of the guy at the top. Information can be found on his site.

Merry Christmas,

Mark J.
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Old 12-21-2006, 09:37 AM   #164
Mike Sigman
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Mark Jakabcsin wrote:
The Aiki Expo probably being the largest formal gathering but there are also a number of Aikidoka that are traveling, experiencing and learning at each opportunity. The changes are a process that no single get-together can accomplish and frankly some will join in the process and some will not.
Hi Mark:

Well, the main thing I would have against a mixed format like AikiExpo is that we're not talking about friendly-but-knowledgeable people "listening openly" while someone "presents their views for your kind consideration". The problem in Aikido and in a number of other arts (notice that I try to consistently point out that this is not just an Aikido problem) is that the basics are missing for the most part, including in the upper hierarchy of westerners. The assumption at a friendly get-together (and I've been to TONS of them) is that most of the people who don't have a clue about basics are the first to adopt this stage persona about how they are among their "brothers" and that all the "brothers" just natcherly already know this stuff. What's needed is a more serious format where the role-playing is squelched and "craft" is hashed out with clinical precision, discussion, etc. Ultimately, if something like that is not done, there are going to be some burned fingers.... and the people whose fingers are the most likely to get burned are the very people (often) who are leading the way to the finger-burning.
Quote:
One question I was hoping you would answer is 'Where does tension come from?' If you have given any thought to this line of questioning I would like to hear what you have to add.
I thought I took a shot at it, Mark, but let me re-try:

Strength and power are needed, even if techniques attempt to borrow the other person's force, as much as possible. If someone does not have some strength/power/conditioning, they have to get it somewhere. If the only mode of movement they know is "normal" (i.e., "using muscle") movement, then they cannot avoid using some muscle, no matter how good their technique gets. Just for laughs, go around and feel the shoulder muscles of some of the teachers who talk about "don't use shoulders". Their shoulder muscles are not hypertrophied due to some genetic aberration.

If you want to "relax", you first have to start to learn to move using the jin/kokyu forces.... you have to have *something* to replace your power if you relinqish the tension of normal movement. But it gets more complicated than that. Just shooting from the lip, let me say why relaxation is needed (i.e., I'll probably leave some things out, not be too clear, etc.):

1. You can't learn kokyu movement of forces manipulation if your primary muscle-system keeps overriding (tension). It has to be a studied effort, using little or no weight at first.

2. You cannot learn to control your movement with your hara if your normal mode of movement keeps overriding. To relearn, using kokyu-forces and the ki-structure, means you have to shut tension almost completele down.

3. You cannot develop the "ki" power (this is what the Ki Society is actually doing when they do the absolutely relaxed "ignore your opponent moving" and what I do with the more extensive fascia stuff) with tension, **except to a limited degree**. This is the old contention about why the Taoists disparage "Shaolin". In *some* (not all) Shaolin sects (particularly in some of the southern stuff), there is a willful coordination of muscle tension and the ki development... results are faster, pretty damned strong, etc., but it's a somewhat more limited approach in terms of the whole picture.

There was a movie called something like "The Honor of Dong Feng Xu" a few years back. In it was a lot of vignettes of training methodology and one quick thing they showed was some guys hitting sandbags on a table with their arms. The arms were relaxed like rolled-up wet towels. The reason for this is that if they tense the arms, yes, they will develop some ki, very powerful arms and hard strikes... well beyond the abilities of most people. But unless they stay relaxed, they will never fully develop the ki. This is the consideration you have to look at in the tension approaches.

On the other hand, if you've got nothing, it's better to get something, so I stay on the fence and let people make their own choices. Certainly the vast amount of what is seen in Aikido is just external technique (no matter how subtle someone thinks their grasp of that part is). It needs to move up to where the arguments are more about whose approach to Ki is best, not these "what is ki?" discussions.
Quote:
Also an FYI, if you have not met Vladimir Vasiliev of Systema he will be in the Denver/Longmont area in March 07. Nothing like working with and asking questions of the guy at the top. Information can be found on his site.
Mark, I've never met Vladimir, but I've seen videos of him and he is an accomplished martial artist. He has some build-up of ki in his body (at some levels, some ki is going to develop because ki and strength are intertwined), but he does not use it like Aikido was originally meant to use it. I've also met some of his students, seen films, etc., etc., and while I admire Systema (just as I admire many martial arts and have seen very many), I simply don't think this love affair of Aikido/Systema is much more than an acknowledgement that things are missing from within Aikido. If I thought Systema, MMA, or whatever, would help put someone on the road to the basic skills, I'd be the first to recommend it... honest. So while I'm appreciative of Systema (at the higher levels... the "move people with a wave of the hand" stuff is bothersome, though), I frankly haven't been convinced that there is enough relationship of Systema to the Ki/Kokyu studies for me to spend the time and go. I'm always open to being convinced and I always try to stay on top of what's available.... but I'm just not a believer. You'll have to pop by and show my your ki/kokyu skills and convince me.

All the Best.

Mike
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Old 12-21-2006, 12:39 PM   #165
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Mike,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on relaxation/tension I greatly appreciate your time and effort.

As for the formal information exchange/seminar/expo you desire good luck. At best this will only happen in very small groups. However I do believe there are a number of folks in the Aikido community that have a good deal of skill and are sharing said skill, furthermore I believe there are a good number of folks that are seeking additional knowledge and sharing that as well. Will everyone partake? No but enough will that Aikido will continue to grow in it's own way in it's own time. Which is the way it should be, imo.


Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
So while I'm appreciative of Systema (at the higher levels... the "move people with a wave of the hand" stuff is bothersome, though), I frankly haven't been convinced that there is enough relationship of Systema to the Ki/Kokyu studies for me to spend the time and go. I'm always open to being convinced and I always try to stay on top of what's available.... but I'm just not a believer. You'll have to pop by and show my your ki/kokyu skills and convince me.
LOL! Definitely not my responsibility or desire to convince you of anything. Nor would my meager skill level be able to impress you.

I note that in the above paragraph you write there is not enough of a relationship of Systema to the ki/kokyu studies to spend your time but earlier when I said Systema was operating differently than the Asian systems you disagreed. Not that it really matters as it is unlikely that you could really get a feel and understanding for our training methods and goals in a single seminar. Heck I have been doing it for a number of years and I'm constantly surprised what is around each corner. Best of luck.

Take care,

Mark J.
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Old 12-21-2006, 02:17 PM   #166
Erick Mead
 
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

You know, we seem to have more disputes about things that seem pointless, only because you raise issues from a standpoint of physics, and talking about forces, vectors and friction, and then ignoring other controlling elements of the physics problem you have set up. Like inertia and inertial moments. You cannot have physical interaction that is more relaxed than plain old inertia.

I try to offer some points that may aid understanding the discussion from a physical standpoint of what may be occurring. You keep on arguing some incomplete notion of the physics, instead of sticking to whatever tradition you learned your stuff in. Do what works for you, man. I'm just trying to break this stuff down into physical terms that make sense of the actual structures, rather than their figurative (and category-overlapping) substitutes in a traditional knowledge paradigm.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
You are proud.
Says he, humbly...

Don't use physics as a metaphor for what you know from some other framework, and you'll get no further gibes from me. If you want to address it from a physical standpoiint that's okay, too. But do expect to be questioned.

And try not to take such offense at it. I know I don't. I'm not THAT proud....

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I said one thing ... vector forces' direction cannot be converted; the only thing you can do to effect a change in direction is to vector-add other forces, causing a different resultant direction. A singular vector force cannot have its direction changed.... it is what it is. That's what I originally said; it's a simple concept.
And you were wrong. And in a gravity field, at the very least, seriously incomplete. I'm sorry, Mike but you are. Inertia is NOT a force. It is Newton's First Law of Motion (ikkyo?) for a reason. It comes one law BEFORE the law that defines a force in terms of acceleration and mass. Inertia causes no acceleration of mass, which defines a force. Inertia is a spatial quality of mass. It has no defined vector until a force interacts with it -- it is the response of a body to forces impnging on it and which causes changes in the resultant force as that interaction is occurring.

Moment of inertia is also NOT a force. It accerelates no mass. Until a force interacts with it, it has no defined sign, nor a defined inertial radius or moment arm. The length of the inertial radius and orientation of the inertial moment are defined by the radius distance of the impinging force from the center of mass and the axis of its orientation at contact. It varies -- widely.

Simplistically, it is the measure of the length of crank and the relative efficency in rotating the body in that orientation

They are simple concepts. And both of them act to alter resultant forces -- in magnitude and/or direction ... And neither of them are forces. They do that whether you do anything consciously about it or not.

Human beings can manipulate their inertial moments. Olympic skaters and divers are elegant solo examples. We aikidoka learn to alter the location and angle at which an attacking force is received and the shape of the load path that it follows through the articulations of the body. The nature of the body's inertial response to the force of attack can be adjusted by selecting a given shape and orientation at the time of contact.

We continue that modification and continue to change shape as the attacking motion begins to alter, or be "converted" from one axis to another. There are a whole a set of physics principles for this axis-shifting of forces in a rotary inertial framework, but I know you hate the word, so I won't use it.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 12-21-2006, 03:07 PM   #167
Mike Sigman
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Mark Jakabcsin wrote:
LOL! Definitely not my responsibility or desire to convince you of anything. Nor would my meager skill level be able to impress you.

I note that in the above paragraph you write there is not enough of a relationship of Systema to the ki/kokyu studies to spend your time but earlier when I said Systema was operating differently than the Asian systems you disagreed. Not that it really matters as it is unlikely that you could really get a feel and understanding for our training methods and goals in a single seminar. Heck I have been doing it for a number of years and I'm constantly surprised what is around each corner.
But this is an important point, Mark. I mentioned that I'd like to see your ki/kokyu skills (in a friendly way). IF Systema had them and you were accomplished in them, that would be no big deal. I'm sure Systema has lots of surprises around the corner, but then again, so do most legitimate martial arts. The original subject had more to do with the relationship of Systema to Aikido and I frankly don't see it.... and really, I've looked. There are people who think MMA or Wing Chun is helpful to Aikido. I don't think so.... but I'm by no means putting down those arts as good, effective, etc. Frankly, I was expecting that if by now you had a glimpse/understanding of the jin/kokyu things through Systema, you would have enough to go "Bingo... I've seen those same things in Systema, too" and then we could go from there. You can extrapolate the logic from there.

But back to the topic. I didn't have any real problem demonstrating ki/kokyu skills at a Ki-Society workshop and I'm not a Ki-Society member. If I had an Aikido dojo that specialized in ki-skills (and guess what.... in Asian martial arts, that's a given) and some outsiders came in from different arts and wanted a common basis for discussion, I'd want to get an idea what they could do. Not what tests I could devise that would flummox them, but tests that anyone with real skills could do and which would give me an idea of where they were in these skills. I think that's what the other segments of Aikido need to do exactly the same thing, in terms of having basic ki tests.

I think the rest of Aikido should either join in with some of the Ki-Society basic tests or should have some similar ones. If someone wants to talk about Aikido (or Taiji, or Karate, or jujitsu or whatever), let him show his credentials.... bearing in mind that these are *basic* credentials that someone with ki skills from a *number* of different martial arts could easily do if they really have ki/kokyu skills.

The people who already have some of these skills will know when they read this that what I'm saying is true. Even though we've never met, I can tell from the conversations that Rob, Dan, Ushiro, Shaner Sensei, Abe, and many others could do a the same basic tests without any real problem.

What I'm saying is that anyone doing real Aikido should be able to do a basic set of "tests" without even thinking about it... one either has the skills or one doesn't. They can either do them relaxed or with *some* tension... but that will give away the direction of their training. And so on. Then and only then should the discussion go to the techniques and related topics.

There needs to be some sort of serious discussion about what to do and how to do it and it should be done in the near future. At the moment, things are headed just where you opined... small groups of the more interested are following the leads and many of the "old school" are hoping the topic dies away, but it's already too late (this is true in a number of other martial arts, too, BTW) to imagine that things are going to go back to the "here's my theory, tell me yours" days.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 12-21-2006, 03:43 PM   #168
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
The original subject had more to do with the relationship of Systema to Aikido and I frankly don't see it.... and really, I've looked.
Actually the original question had nothing to do with a relationship between Aikido and Systema, some how you have read that into the discussion. The question was and is
How to teach and train relaxation'. Hence the name of the thread. Hearing and learning how other teachers and students tackle this subject, regardless of the art, is of interest to me, hence the question.


Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Frankly, I was expecting that if by now you had a glimpse/understanding of the jin/kokyu things through Systema, you would have enough to go "Bingo... I've seen those same things in Systema, too" and then we could go from there. You can extrapolate the logic from there.
LOL. You do tend to read into what people post or in this case do not post. You can extrapolate the logic from there.

Gotta go train.

Take care,

Mark J.
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Old 12-21-2006, 03:58 PM   #169
Mike Sigman
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Mark Jakabcsin wrote:
Actually the original question had nothing to do with a relationship between Aikido and Systema, some how you have read that into the discussion.
No, I just meant the Systema-Aikido part, Mark.... I know what the thread header is and the original discussion, but I wasn't talking about that.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 12-21-2006, 07:25 PM   #170
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Walter Sigman wrote:
If the only mode of movement they know is "normal" (i.e., "using muscle") movement, then they cannot avoid using some muscle, no matter how good their technique gets.
It s far simpler than that in fact; no movement can be done without using muscle. Even though some like to fantasize that they can move without using muscle, most people know that even standing still one uses muscle.

Quote:
But unless they stay relaxed, they will never fully develop the ki.
I'm wondering just how one measures ki to know if it is fully developed or not?

Quote:
Certainly the vast amount of what is seen in Aikido is just external technique (no matter how subtle someone thinks their grasp of that part is).
The other side of the coin is people calling something 'internal' when they are really just waxing poetic about regular ol' external movement.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 12-21-2006, 07:33 PM   #171
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Walter Sigman wrote:
At the moment, though, I'd say the first thing to question is why Aikido got to this point that there are these semi-naive discussions about how Systema, Wing Chun, MMA, etc., is just what is needed to correct the difficiencies in Aikido.
As far as I can tell, no one is saying that aikido needs "correcting". What people are saying is that, for example, aikido doesn't focus on kicks enough, so practicing kicks, and other attacks, that are frequent in other martial arts can only be beneficial to aikido. Making aikido better is not the same as saying aikido needs "correcting".

Quote:
There's the original offending ego.... none could accept even the suggestion that there was something that they didn't know, so they blocked all discussion and progress.
Most likely some practical people found discussions of theory and fixed applications of the theory, not too useful for actual real life use of martial arts techniques; especially the revelation that pushing off the ground and gravity cause one to move forward.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 12-21-2006, 07:33 PM   #172
Mike Sigman
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Is there any reason other than to try to be irritating that you change my name to "Walter" when you reply/post to something of mine, Justin? It seems that you're simply stalking again and I'd like to ask Jun to at least intercede if your only purpose here is to play out some sick fantasy in your mind.

Mike Sigman
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Old 12-21-2006, 09:35 PM   #173
Gwion
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Is there any reason other than to try to be irritating that you change my name to "Walter" when you reply/post to something of mine, Justin? It seems that you're simply stalking again and I'd like to ask Jun to at least intercede if your only purpose here is to play out some sick fantasy in your mind.

Mike Sigman
paranoid much?
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Old 12-21-2006, 09:59 PM   #174
eyrie
 
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Back on topic...

Quote:
Mark Jakabcsin wrote:
...The question was and is
How to teach and train relaxation'. Hence the name of the thread. Hearing and learning how other teachers and students tackle this subject, regardless of the art, is of interest to me, hence the question.
Would it be presumptive of me to presume or even assume that it is the reason for the predominant focus on ukemi in most mainstream aikido? Or am I making a HUGE assumption?

I'm sure others may disagree, not to mention that the range of ukemi practice and understanding may differ from style to style. But the way I was taught, was to "soften" your ukemi (in the early learning stages at least), so that you could "sensitize" your entire body to "force" - hence the rationale for "collaborative" training.

The other reason for doing a lot of this type of ukemi (what Dan calls "catching air"), is so that as you reach the point of physical exhaustion, supposedly it suddenly dawns on you what "being relaxed" means... what "being loose but connected" means... what "moving from center" means... etc. especially when you have to get up and attack again, or have to throw someone.

Just surmising.... not saying it is right or wrong.

Ignatius
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Old 12-22-2006, 08:34 AM   #175
Cady Goldfield
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Fred Wilson wrote:
paranoid much?
What's up with that?

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 12-22-2006 at 08:47 AM.
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