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Old 02-07-2007, 07:49 AM   #451
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote:
I had to find other ways because core strength training was not an option. Do you have an opinion on this? I would surmise that large wagon wheel is there for you to develop core strength or am I wrong?
Hi Dennis:

Well, the body has to be taught to do the mind-manipulation of the kind of forces that Tohei and Ueshiba and others showed. That skill blossoms and develops into some fairly complex skills, over time.

The body "structure" has to be trained into a cohesive whole so that it can transmit the mind-controlled forces (and use its own forces that develop, too). The middle/hara/dantien part of the body is the natural control center of the "connections" that reach out to the extremities of the body... at the same time, the hara, etc., is the natural control-point for the forces that go from the ground through the middle to the hands (not to mention the forces derived from the weight of the body, when those are needed).

Your forces control has to be practiced and developed and the body has to be conditioned so that the middle becomes a practical control-point AND so the jin forces can be conveyed without loss through the joints. One of the big points of this kind of training is the idea that you "do things from the center". Most people do *some* things from the middle, although most use a sort of fixed parody of shoving things from the middle occasionally.... not anywhere near what they need to do.

To "use the middle" means using those forces and the body in such a way that *everything* is honestly done by the middle. The middle and legs power everything, not just some things. If you pick up a can of soda and put it on the table, it should ALL be done with the legs and waist manipulating the slightly stretched "connection" of the body/arms out to the can.

I made a number of goes at these things over the years and I had some good jin skills, etc., but each time I finally got to where I knew I had to start all over again and go to the point where the middle does *everything*. I kept being stopped by the fact that I hadn't made a full-enough commitment and my middle wasn't really controlling everything.

Part of learning to control with the middle is strengthening it. I use a number of training devices to train the middle in different ways. The wagonwheel you're talking about (I had to think about it... then I remembered this last weekend seminar and who was there that might have told you about it. ) is something I use essentially to train a certain direction of middle movement. I have other methods that train all the other possible directions of power and strength. One of the very important methods I use is Bokken swinging.

I use Bokken, a long pole for shaking, the wagonwheel, some very heavy-duty bungee cords for another direction, and some other things. I'd be happy to show you sometime if you ever get out here to God's country and see what he could have done for Florida if only he'd had the money.

One of the things I use for middle development is a cellcore Mini-cycle:

http://www.promedproducts.com/s.nl/i...2&category=192

I put this mini-cycle up on a kitchen counter about stomach-chest level and turn the pedals with my hands (I used some lead-shot weights to hold it down firmly). The tension can be changed; I use a very light tension so I won't be tempted to use my arm/shoulder muscles. I turn the pedals using only my middle and legs. It's awkward for people at first, but after not too long they learn to do it with the middle; the body/hands are slightly extended out so that there is a tiny tension that connects to the hands so that the middle can legitimately turn the pedals via that connection.

I can also turn sideways and turn only one pedal with one arm and use the middle and body connection. And so on. I really like that rig. If you use it correctly, you'll strengthen the legs and the middle and you'll begin to learn to use the middle to do things.

Hope that helps.

Best.

Mike
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Old 02-07-2007, 07:57 AM   #452
Eddie deGuzman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Hi Tim, thanks for the directions...on the directions And the new perspective on watching kata. I think I tend to view harder styles through the eyes of my older karate-doh-self and softer stuff in my newer aikido-self. Thanks for giving me MORE to think about.

Iggy , math has never been my strong point. I like easy, but I also like the imagery/visualization/projection/mysterious ki talk. It sets me to thinking about stuff... I also fiddle with the guitar.

Brion, anyway you could share those ki development exercises without breaking some aiki secret law? Anything I can do in my shoebox of a room? Just not enough mat time during the week.

I don't know about you guys, but I sense a little progress here. Cool.

Eddie
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Old 02-07-2007, 08:17 AM   #453
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Eddie deGuzman wrote:
Anything I can do in my shoebox of a room? Just not enough mat time during the week.

I don't know about you guys, but I sense a little progress here. Cool.

Eddie

This may sound trite but it is not meant to be. Learn to breathe again. Unlearn bad habits we assimilate as we mature into adults. Breath control is a mighty thing in budo. Mind body and breath should move as one. Rediscover your Makoto No Kokyo or true breath. It is not just an Aikido thing and it is not a passive activity. It takes a good deal of hard work but you can do it in your room. I bet if you go to your local library there will be a number of books on breathing.

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
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Old 02-07-2007, 09:00 AM   #454
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
This one seems to be your mantra and you can't be reasoned with. You, a westerner, take a translation of a common Asian saying about not using resistance/muscle/strength and you make it into some self-styled Aikido shibboleth. ... So you just keep muttering to yourself about this one little point
也許佛他自己可以尿 我 的背脊 也不是 雨量吧.

And that's all I'll say about that.


Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 02-07-2007, 09:06 AM   #455
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

BTW, you must also be completely relaxed. But wait, if you're standing up, you must be using muscle so you can't be completely relaxed. Therefore, Erick, you should abjure any pretender to Aikido who stands up.

O-Sensei used "resistance" to hold a push to his head, to his chest, to bounce people off, to *apply force* to his kokyu throws, to chop with his sword, etc. If the common-sense level of Aikido is hidden to you, why discuss the deeper levels?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-07-2007, 09:24 AM   #456
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Baseline skillset

Lord have mercy you guys wear me out. I'm going back into hibernation until spring. Wake me when it thaws around here.

Last edited by Dennis Hooker : 02-07-2007 at 09:27 AM.

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Old 02-07-2007, 09:55 AM   #457
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Re: Baseline skillset

I'm with you Hooker sensei. I learned aikido from a man who spoke very little English, and never spoke it while explaining aikido. I spoke very little Japanese. He did spend time talking about things as I remember my legs falling asleep and my feet turning blue due to extended periods in seiza. Many times I would ask my Japanese friends for translation and they would reply that the things he was saying was difficult for them to understand, let alone translate. So I learned by doing and feeling. All of these mathematical models and esoteric explanations of aikido principles do not seem to help me understand aikido. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy reading the stuff, I just don't think it helps me understand aikido. Maybe I'm just old school.
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:02 AM   #458
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Tim Fong wrote:
Throwing technique in aikido would apparently use knees in a rotated out stance. Sanchin, since it uses the knees turned in stance, would not develop stability/connection in the knees turned out position (rotated along the y-axis that is).

Anyway I hope folks find this interesting. I may be wrong about some of it...been wrong before. I'm all for iteration though
It is a good point to discuss. There are two (basic) turn (tenkan) variations used in throws -- uchi (inward) and soto (outward). It is not always necessary that the feet move, although they often do, and so the leg posture you speak of is often obscured in the motion.

In soto mawari the hip is opening, and thus the knees are slightly outward. In uchi mawari the hip is closing and the knees are slightly inward. Neither one is static there for very long, however, even in kihon. All movement properly resolves to center, which is what effects the throw. Either turn can be used in either order, or the same one twice in succession.

So both leg posture variations are used throughout the forms of movement in aikido.

I have descibed elsewhere that I find that most techniques when observed in kihon have two fundamental beats, first "receiving" and then "sending away" as O Sensei said. Neither one, alone, is a complete "waza." This may some bearing on Hooker Sensei's point about training for Makoto no Kokyu (or at least what I have come away with in looking at breath in training) --

One typically "receives" breathing in, gathering "strength" as the oppponent is expending his, and then one "sends away" breathing out. In flowing, these syllable beats of motion are often "elided" (the musical expression) and can become one unbroken pulse. Think of singing -- where "hea-ven," may become "heav'n."

Kihon essentially unbundles the phrasing, and the isolated elements thus availble for "dissected" training are not what I would describe as "waza." In the kihon therefore you can see (and correct) things like the leg postures you describe that are hard to pick out in the bundled "waza" proper. That may help people understand what I am looking at when I think of a "basic skill" / "waza" distinction.

Along these lines in ki no kokyu terms the technique may be performed with an rather large intake of breath and a sudden reversal of the diaphragm with the final irimi or turn, but may only be a very small controlled exhalation. Think of the sudden intake of breath at being surprised and the "stop" that occurs with a small puff of air outward, but not a full exhale. Other rhythms also occur that are more balanced, or even shifted the other way, such as the sharp intake and slow, easy release of the large spiralling iriminage movements.

I would be very curious about the recommended breath in the sanchin, which the videos typically do not show, or at least not in detail.

I did a lot of solo kihon training aboard ship by myself over several deployments (shadow boxing waza and receiving waza and doing weapons forms). The thing that most struck me in that training is was how natural and fundamental the breath rhythm was to the movement of the waza. I still may screw it up after a few passes in randori, when focussing on a given technique in that class, and lose focus on the breath, and then I may get winded very fast. But if I focus on the breath rhythm of my movement instead of the technique, I have much easier time of it, I don't get too winded, although I often find myself doing something else other than the "designated" technique when contact is made in that setting. So I do find the actual breath, not merely the figurative or conceptual "breath" to be a fundamental skill.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:13 AM   #459
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
BTW, you must also be completely relaxed. But wait, if you're standing up, you must be using muscle so you can't be completely relaxed. Therefore, Erick, you should abjure any pretender to Aikido who stands up.
Aha! AaaRk Sensei doesn't have this problem. Penguins can't bend at the waist --- so his blubber holds him up. So THAT's what you meant by "fascial strength." I get it now.

http://home.earthlink.net/~jimbaker6/aa/aaark.htm

I guess with Mike's insight, now we know why O Sensei made his Antarctic expedition (see the link).

I suppose we also have to be left to wonder what AaaRk Sensei sought to learn from Hooker Sensei in Orlando. (Middle of the page -- "venerable old teacher" )

Probably makoto no kokyu. (Belly-laugh waza? If so, he aced the lesson).

And I obviously need more beer waza to get me into proper shape, and to develop a deeper, more expansive center.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 02-07-2007 at 10:17 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:41 AM   #460
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Baseline skillset

Eric, am I misreading this or do you have a problem with me? I have reread my post and I can't imagine what I might have said that you took offence at.

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:22 AM   #461
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Baseline skillset

Eric I am trying to remember you. You were a nave pilot right? Were you a flight instructor at the base? Did you at one time have a broken clavicle due to an accident?

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:23 AM   #462
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote:
Eric, am I misreading this or do you have a problem with me? I have reread my post and I can't imagine what I might have said that you took offence at.
Not at all. By no means whatsoever. I thought the penguin thing was a more gentle gibe at Mike's sarcasm in his post. And the picture of you with AaaRk on the website was a hilarious juxtaposition. I just like Jim Baker's clever (and very extensive) trope on the penguin, and his approach to humor, which is Very Obviously far more adroit than my own.

The belly laugh waza was directed at the website, not at you.

Any whupping you choose to give me, I very likely deserve and will take with the spirit intended.

No offense taken here, and none, I sincerely hope, perceived from your end.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:25 AM   #463
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote:
Eric I am trying to remember you. You were a nave pilot right? Were you a flight instructor at the base? Did you at one time have a broken clavicle due to an accident?
Right on the first one, not on the second or third.

I am unremarkable, like I said. For better or worse.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 02-07-2007, 03:57 PM   #464
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
Just...get...on...the...mats if you really, truly want to know what these people are getting at. If you just want to keep jawin' because you enjoy reading your posts, then by all means, keep posting.
And Erick, never ever criticize movies unless you have been a director yourself. And never criticize a book unless you have been an author. Or never say your mechanic did a crummy job unless you have built a car from scratch.

Cady, you seem to make the assumption that because people criticize they haven't seen any of the theorizers in action. That is probably false. In my own case, I've touched with a few people who theorized about vectors. And you know what? It felt like regular ol' non-special stuff; just given a fancy name. Maybe I wasn't sensitive enough?

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 02-07-2007, 04:07 PM   #465
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Let's take something simple like grounding a push to your forearm that is held in front of you. So if we take 3 different ways of visualizing how that push is "grounded":
In the first sentence, grounding is not in quotes. In the second sentence, grounded is in quotes. Are you saying the force is really grounded, or not?

Quote:
(3.) The more mystical approach is to "relax" and let the push be accepted by the middle via a "ki of the universe" paradigm or equivalent.
Maybe "the more classical approach" would be more accurate.

Quote:
With practice, you can't tell the two methods apart, but you can use the second method to ultimately "push" great weight upward, using the subtle movements of the whole body working in unison.
It is not clear that the first method, when done in real life not just a static demo, is not using the body working in unison. For example, in picking up a box, no one really just uses their shoulders. They'd bend their knees, hold on to the box, unbend, use their shoulders, biceps, abdomen, and back.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 02-07-2007, 04:08 PM   #466
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
One of the big problems, IMO, is that a lot of people use different terms for the same things, so there needs to be some reconciliation of terms and approaches and exceptions need to be noted. For instance, I break things down, for convenience, into the idea of "qi" and "jin", or "ki" and "kokyu-essence". The Ki-Society more or less simply uses the all-encompassing term "ki", which in traditional terminology is perfectly legitimate, although vague.
How about using terms from a standard physics course. Would that clear things up since not everyone can translate Japanese and Chinese philosophical concepts and terms?

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 02-07-2007, 04:11 PM   #467
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
You, a westerner, take a translation of a common Asian saying about not using resistance/muscle/strength and you make it into some self-styled Aikido shibboleth.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but you're a westerner, and you take your translations of ki/qi/jin/kokyu and make it into your theories as well. Hey, we all do, it is OK.

Quote:
I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that if you and I had a quick contest, you'd find that I use less "resistance" than you do.
Are you talking about actual resistance, or something else? It is hard to tell since you put so many things in quotes.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 02-07-2007, 04:16 PM   #468
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Justin Smith wrote:
In my own case, I've touched with a few people who theorized about vectors. And you know what? It felt like regular ol' non-special stuff; just given a fancy name. Maybe I wasn't sensitive enough?
Names? Your qualifications to comment on anything? So far you appear to be nothing more than some weird Cheng Man Ching cultist that haunts this list only to snipe.

I'll be in DC this month Justin... want to meet up and show my your qualifications?

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-07-2007, 04:25 PM   #469
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Baseline skillset

Justin, certainly everyone is entitled to an -opinion- regardless of their knowledge level. But the depth and veracity of that opinion will vary with the degree of knowledge the person has.

When it comes to internal physical skills, opinion from those who have not experienced them doesn't really hold any sway until they have felt them. Such observers don't know what they are looking for or at, so how can they have an opinion? How much truck would you give an opinion about colors given by a person who has been blind since birth? He can express opinions based on his observations of comments from others who have experienced such things, or from scientific or literary writings about them, but he can't speak from the first person about what these things are and truly -know- them.

I don't automatically assume anything; however, having touched some people who DO have certain skills, I can recognize the words of someone who has not yet felt them. From Erick's words, it is pretty obvious that he has never encountered the basic skills being discussed. I believe it would be to his advantage to get out there and have encounters with some of the key people in the world who are recognized to have the basics that are being discussed.

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 02-07-2007 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 02-07-2007, 04:49 PM   #470
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
... I can recognize the words of someone who has not yet felt them. From Erick's words, ...
Actually, I think I'll get back the practice of aikido ... and the law ... where one really does judge by both words and other evidence -- but even so, that judgment is always flawed, in one way or another, which is why even "final judgments" expire ...

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-07-2007, 04:56 PM   #471
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
cultist that haunts this list only to snipe.
Whew! For a minute there I thought you were describing yourself.
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Old 02-07-2007, 05:45 PM   #472
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Re: Baseline skillset

Hmmmmmm..... Ricky, can you point me to a post of yours that contributes any useable information? Thanks.

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-07-2007, 06:26 PM   #473
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Hmmmmmm..... Ricky, can you point me to a post of yours that contributes any useable information? Thanks.

Mike Sigman
The one right above yours.
Oh settle down Mike. You take this forum a bit too seriously.
Truthfully, though, I cannot say any of my posts have "contributed any useable information." I am not very good at translating what I do on the mat into "useable information." If I could do that with any degree of skill I would be writing books on aikido rather than ribbing you in this forum.
However, you seem to think that your posts are full of "useable information." I hate to break it to you Mike, but your posts haven't helped me understand aikido. I seem to be limited to learning through training.
Reading your long-winded posts, while most entertaining, just don't seem to help me with my aikido skills. Not to say that many here have not benefited from them, I just haven't been one of them. I'm sure that's because you're on such a higher plane of understanding than I am though so it's not your fault.
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Old 02-07-2007, 06:37 PM   #474
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote:
Oh settle down Mike. You take this forum a bit too seriously.
Truthfully, though, I cannot say any of my posts have "contributed any useable information."
You mistake me completely, Ricky. I take this forum (and most martial arts forums) for exactly what it is. I have respect for a certain small number of people that do Aikido. The rest are role players with hokey sigs.

Mike
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Old 02-07-2007, 06:49 PM   #475
eyrie
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Moving right along... perhaps it would be helpful to discuss what are some of the things people could do (or are already sorta doing, but should be doing differently) to start learning how to move from the middle and feel the connections - i.e. feet to middle to hands, same-side/opposite sides?

Ignatius
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