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Old 01-15-2007, 03:07 PM   #26
aikidoc
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
Ueshiba spoke of "a limited sphere of strength" outside of which no opposition is possible. There is reason to believe he may have been speaking at a micro-level as well as a macro-level.
The questions of "what adjustment" and "what sensation triggers adjustment" are key.

For an alternative model of adaptive static equilibrium try "Colulomb's Memoir on Statics." Jacques Heyman, tr.

The principles are graphically illustrated by an inverted chain of spheres on the cover of the 1998 edition. See here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/1860...15#reader-link

The adaptive signal for that model is any force differential outside the center of the articulating joint.

Interesting-all the geometrics are there at least unidimensionally-circle triangle square.
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Old 01-15-2007, 03:11 PM   #27
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Re: Baseline skillset

Mike, by the way, this all interests me since I am at a point where this becomes more important for me to move my Aikido ahead. My sensei (H. Kato) has it down like no one I've ever grabbed coupled with an amazing ability to lead one's ki. I see my lack of skill in this area a limiting factor. I also don't see much out there to help me. I started in the ki society years ago and the old relax, maintain, one point, extend ki etc. all help but I have always found them somewhat simplistic. So then what? Their exercises are useful to an extent but again somewhat limiting. It is my feeling this is not something mystical but something that can be trained and learned, if given the right information.
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Old 01-15-2007, 03:14 PM   #28
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
By dynamic, I meant that the movement can be subtle-almost imperceptible-sometimes with just a simple movement of the hip or wrist.

The mind aspect of it is interesting. I guess what I question there is if you think it or redirect it mentally how do you keep from having your body respond somewhat-even if it is almost imperceptible? Where the mind goes the body follows kind of thing.

When I have my students do such things, we start with bigger movements and then keep making them smaller and eventually it almost looks like a blip.
Well, I was only mentioning that in terms of stabilizing the proposed structure we were talking about... shifting force vectors without having to make even a simple movement of the hip or wrist. In other words I was offering the idea as a part of the model you suggested. Personally, I prefer a model that has the body as an inflated balloon in which forces can also be shifted by the will and in which the skin of the balloon can be tensioned in local places at will.

In terms of the body micro-adjusting when you "will" a path, etc., of course it does. If it didn't, and yet it actually changed forces, it'd be magic. You can feel a slight "tingle" when you do this sort of thing. That's the "ki" setting up.

Best.

Mike
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Old 01-15-2007, 03:34 PM   #29
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
Mike, by the way, this all interests me since I am at a point where this becomes more important for me to move my Aikido ahead. My sensei (H. Kato) has it down like no one I've ever grabbed coupled with an amazing ability to lead one's ki. I see my lack of skill in this area a limiting factor. I also don't see much out there to help me. I started in the ki society years ago and the old relax, maintain, one point, extend ki etc. all help but I have always found them somewhat simplistic. So then what? Their exercises are useful to an extent but again somewhat limiting. It is my feeling this is not something mystical but something that can be trained and learned, if given the right information.
Well, there are a bunch of grab-bag skills tied up in all of this that can add to your martial techniques, etc., and I find them pretty interesting since martial arts is my hobby, but in reality the major advantage to these kinds of training skills is not in the martial realm but in the quality of life it gives you as you get older. Shioda said that. O-Sensei said it. And it's a common thought about "cultivating" yourself with these things, in Asian tradition.

Martially, probably the main point has to do with those mind-directed forces in a conditioned body. And you're right... if you're given the information and shown how to do it, you can go further; getting that information is a pain. Come up sometime and we'll exchange info.

But back to using the mind-forces: Think of two tensegrity structures (human beings) that come together and hook up so that they are now essentially one complex, combined structure. You "will" a force through the combined structures...like it is now one single animal and you're wanting to move the hindquarters in a certain direction. That's a higher level of "aiki" than just combining someone inside of a technique after you have avoided their attack.

There is far more to powering the body than is approached by the Ki Society, etc. For instance, that video of Master Sum was somewhat about power, but there's more variations to it than what that video showed.

Still, there's a limit. It is, after all, body skills, albeit complex ones and pretty interesting ones. I know that Chen Xiao Wang's father used to be able to stand in a crowd of people and they'd lob fist-sized stones at him. With barely a twitch he'd "receive" and bounce those stones well away from him. He was considered to have skills and reactions so automatic that they were "natural" and he was at the top of the art. I heard he got shot trying to escape from prison during the cultural revolution, though.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 01-15-2007, 04:06 PM   #30
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Re: Baseline skillset

Years ago, I saw Ikeda do an interesting exercise on redirecting forces. He would stand on one leg and have someone try to pull him over. He would then move them in the opposite direction.
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Old 01-15-2007, 04:47 PM   #31
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
Interesting-all the geometrics are there at least unidimensionally-circle triangle square.
And in three dimensions you can have cube, octahedron and sphere in one figure.

The cube rectified (faces reduced to points as the points are truncated to faces) is the octahedron :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:B...e_sequence.png

The resulting transformation is a dual polyhedral:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:D...Octahedron.svg

A sphere circumscribed by a cube is inscribed by its rectified octahedron dual -- and vice versa. And all the edges of the respective duals are at right angles -- "juji" 十 字.

Changing the offset of the interaction by the precise difference between the two spheres alters the structural lines of force by 90 degrees orientation -- taking them quite literally "outside of his limited sphere of strength."

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 01-15-2007, 04:58 PM   #32
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
Years ago, I saw Ikeda do an interesting exercise on redirecting forces. He would stand on one leg and have someone try to pull him over. He would then move them in the opposite direction.
Hmmmmmm. There is a picture of Tohei standing on one leg with someone pushing on his forearm while he stands there. If he'd wanted to, it would have been a simple matter for Tohei to return into the push and push the guy away. Effectively, a pull is the same thing as a push on your opposite arm.... i.e., it's the same demonstration.

One of the problems I often run into with someone who is learning is that at first I lead them through things and there are a lot of demonstrations with them pushing me or sometimes pulling me while they gradually build up at least a beginning-level skill in how to use the ground. This is in the first hours. The weight paths take much longer to develop. Within a few hours I may be showing something and I'll say, "OK, push on me"... but suddenly, particularly with larger guys, my offhand responses may not work in some situations because they've suddenly caught on to how to "push" with a ground force. So while they may not have caught up to my experience and conditioning yet, they've quickly reached a point where I can't just blithely say "push me" and I have my way with them.

The point is that it's easy to do a lot of these demonstrations like Ikeda and Tohei did when the Uke doesn't know how to or is not using the same ground forces. When both people know how to or are using those kinds of forces, the demo's don't work so well. That's why when someone posts how people can't move him, yada, yada, it immediately tells me that either they're working with stooges or they haven't taught someone the basics that can be taught in just a few hours, in many cases (the baseline stuff).

Regards,

Mike
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Old 01-15-2007, 05:21 PM   #33
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Re: Baseline skillset

So far, we've been discussing receiving a push from hanmi... and bouncing it back. OK, fairly straightforward - once you've found it. My question is, and if we're still within the parameters of baseline skill... if the push is against your weak line (like say against the chest in shizentai), where/how do you ground the push?

Ignatius
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Old 01-15-2007, 08:18 PM   #34
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Re: Baseline skillset

This is a realm where I get confused easy. If a person is pushing where you have a weak balance, my not move your feet?

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 01-15-2007, 08:25 PM   #35
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Re: Baseline skillset

Sure... you can move your feet, pivot etc... but I would class that as tactical responses. I think we're talking about developing baseline body skills... in my mind, not the same thing.

Ignatius
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Old 01-15-2007, 08:54 PM   #36
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
So far, we've been discussing receiving a push from hanmi... and bouncing it back. OK, fairly straightforward - once you've found it. My question is, and if we're still within the parameters of baseline skill... if the push is against your weak line (like say against the chest in shizentai), where/how do you ground the push?
Well, this is one of those things that comes from practice, but I'll tell you the way I teach it, if it'll help anyone get started. First, though, let me say that it's a good hobby whenever you're standing around killing time to stand on one foot whenever you can. Even if you only lift one foot slightly off the ground or whatever.

OK, so taking a push into the chest while in a natural, parallel, or near parallel stance. Start off standing in either a left- or right-foot forward stance. Make sure the weight is fully on the back leg. A lot of Aikido people like to put the weight near the front foot and use the back leg as a "brace", but technically this is not a good way to develop central-balance. So the weight is over the back leg for this training exercise and the lower back *must* be relaxed (just slump like your mom told you not to do when sitting on the sofa). Have Uke push into the chest at no more than about 3-4 pounds and Uke should keep their elbow straight so that Nage is receiving a light but *rigid* and steady force to work with.

Nage should pretend for starters that Uke's hand in his/her sternum is really a shoulder and that Uke's shoulder is really Nage's hand.... that way Uke's force being right there can be alleviated. The idea is to let the push to the chest compress Nage into the back leg... do NOT lean forward in anticipation of the push. A push always compresses.

In order to make it easier for some people, I tell them to lean the torso slightly forward so that they're not so vertical. It makes all the difference for a lot of people to be slightly inclined forward at first.

OK, so the idea is to let the push be held by the back leg/foot and keep the lower back relaxed. Nage should be concentrating on relaxing and letting Uke feel the ground as purely as possible. This is one of the best things to worry about whenever practicing this stuff.... "how purely does Uke feel the ground coming through me where we're touching?".

After not too many times, absorbing Uke's push with the back leg/foot should feel comfortable. In fact, 100% of the push should be going into the ground at the back foot and if the front foot was not there and Uke slowly released the push, Nage should not lurch forward.

So if Nage is standing relaxed and mostly upright and he doesn't rely on the front foot, then we take the next step in the process. Slowly ease the front foot back while keeping the ground flowing as purely as possible from the back foot to Uke's hand. If you concentrate on not breaking the flow of the ground to Uke's hand at all times, you can move the front foot back to a parallel position, you can shift your weight from one foot to the other, or whatever... as long as you concentrate on Uke always feeling the purest possible ground through you. Uke should keep that unwavering light, steady push there for Nage to work with.

That should get you there, but it takes months of practice to get where you can do it easily and automatically from whatever stance.

I hope the description made sense.

Best,

Mike
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Old 01-15-2007, 09:08 PM   #37
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
So far, we've been discussing receiving a push from hanmi... and bouncing it back. ....
Which is, in what way, not resistance?

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:40 PM   #38
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
First, though, let me say that it's a good hobby whenever you're standing around killing time to stand on one foot whenever you can. Even if you only lift one foot slightly off the ground or whatever.
But that doesn't mean cant your hip like you're carrying a baby on the opposite hip....right?

Quote:
If you concentrate on not breaking the flow of the ground to Uke's hand at all times, you can move the front foot back to a parallel position, you can shift your weight from one foot to the other, or whatever... as long as you concentrate on Uke always feeling the purest possible ground through you. Uke should keep that unwavering light, steady push there for Nage to work with.
Oh good... so I'm not "cheating" then.

So this is what is meant by not being double-weighted?

Ignatius
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:51 PM   #39
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
Which is, in what way, not resistance?
Well, if uke feels the purest possible ground and you redirect that force from the ground back into them at a different vector, it's really their force that is bouncing them off, and thus not resistance, non?

You know... link yourself to true emptiness, ebb and fow of the tide, allow Heaven and Earth to act thru you, unifiy with the activity of the universe.... spring forth from the Great Earth...billow like Great Waves... stand like a tree, sit like a rock... sort of thing?

Ignatius
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Old 01-15-2007, 11:02 PM   #40
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
But that doesn't mean cant your hip like you're carrying a baby on the opposite hip....right?
Just practice balancing on one leg and building up the leg muscles. Don't worry about anything else.
Quote:
So this is what is meant by not being double-weighted?
No "double-weighted" means weighing twice what you should weigh and that's against the Law of Gravity.

Don't worry about "double-weighted"... that more or less means getting locked into a corner with your own jin, so it's beyond this conversation.

Mike
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Old 01-15-2007, 11:18 PM   #41
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Re: Baseline skillset

Sorry, I'm wearing my noob cap on this thread... so I'm asking the questions a noob would ask...

I guess the obvious question is "how does this apply martially?"

Ignatius
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Old 01-16-2007, 05:31 AM   #42
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Let's say you stand in a right hanmi with your right forearm horizontally in front of you for uke to push on in order to test your rooting ability (of course in Aikido technique you'd never conflict like this; this is only about developing the "ki strength").
Yay, something I recognize!

This is something you'd see happening at our dojo in pretty much every class. We often do this (uke pushing on tori's forearm) before practising a technique from a grab. Then the idea is to keep that connection going all through the technique. ...
Quote:
If you stay fairly relaxed and keep the push at a light level, the body will automatically acquire/recruit the muscles it needs up the torso and out the shoulder and arm. If you force it, you're going to simply pit your normal use of the muscular system against the push.
...And yes, this is what happens a lot of the time.

One of the difficulties is that if two fairly inexperienced people practice together they end up just pushing against each other and if neither has the experience to feel the difference they can't tell each other that that's what's happening. So this is a tricky way to practice in a big group, like an aikido class.

kvaak
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Old 01-16-2007, 06:07 AM   #43
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Stand in a balanced and relaxed right-foot-forward stance, facing forward. Have someone push with a few pounds of force against the right side of the ribcage, toward the direction the left foot is in, pushing slightly downard, but almost horizontal.
It's funny you guys should be discussing this today.. this is exactly what we did last night in class (it was my turn to lead the class, that might have had something to do with it, lol). I was really pleased with the results.

Basically , we started class with just what Mike is describing above, pushing each other lightly from the front and back (and side, which is much more difficult, but I'm planning to keep doing this so we'll see where we get in a few months time.)

BTW, pushing my shoulder blades together and compressing my spine a la some of the exercises Akuzawa showed made a BIG difference. But I hate compressing my spine.

Then, on a whim, I asked people to do a basic shomenuchi, while their partner kept pushing lightly from the back. IOW, raise your arm, take a step forward and cut down. We probably could have just taken a step forward without the arm swinging because people essentially forgot about the arm, taking the step was challenging enough, so the resulting shomenuchi were really wimpy, but never mind. Anyway, it was very interesting because at first there was a clear moment in the step where people would loose connection with the ground (about where they started to shift from one leg to the other) and be easily pushed over, but with a little practice, everybody got much more stable, and could keep a connection to their partners hand that was pushing on their back all through the movement.

We were 75 min. into the class before even attempting a technique. We did try gyakuhanmi shihonage and aihanmi ikkyo, trying to keep the same feeling of moving in balance and keeping a connection to the ground all through the movement, as uke as well as as tori.

The nice thing is, if uke does this as well, you don't get into the typical arguments of "uke is being mean and opposing the technique" because uke doesn't need to oppose anything. If tori looses the connection either to uke or to the ground, tori effectively opposes him/herself, all uke needs to do is to take care of their own balance. Opportunities to reverse become glaringly obvious. This is actually how we always practice in our dojo, in theory, I just tried to provide an opportunity for people to do it even more consciously and slowly. It was funny how, because people were really paying attention to how they were moving, everybody was moving at maybe 1/4 of the speed we normally practice.

I was really pleased with the way everybody's technique and especially ukemi looked towards the end of the evening.

BTW, one of the higher kyu grades and I trained a bit after class, he's bigger and stronger than me, and pretty well balanced. If i just ask him to push me, I fly. The only way I can deal with him is to make contact already before he grabs me, but when i manage to do that, it works like a charm, BUT only if at the same time I still manage to keep connecting to myself and to the ground and all that stuff, otherwise I still get squashed. I think that might be in the direction George Ledyard has been writing about lately... anyway, I don't think all this more static work working on how to move my body is in anyway contradictory to the other aspects of doing aikido like timing and taking the initiative etc. (dunno all the nice Japanese for those things).

Whew, long time since i went on like this here, glad if someone's still reading. .)

kvaak
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Old 01-16-2007, 08:02 AM   #44
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Ignatius Teo wrote:
Sorry, I'm wearing my noob cap on this thread... so I'm asking the questions a noob would ask...

I guess the obvious question is "how does this apply martially?"
If I told you, I'd have to kill you, Ignatius.

Well, it's part of your overall constant rootedness that you're building up so that you always have an advantage over a partner. Many people can do these static tests OK, but they can't move and do things while staying this rooted. And this root is the basis of the power you use and release.... and a couple of other things.

See.... you need to come over and chat.

Best,

Mike
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Old 01-16-2007, 08:07 AM   #45
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Pauliina Lievonen wrote:
We were 75 min. into the class before even attempting a technique.
I think these things are so productive, ultimately, for all techniques, that I would probably spend several classes doing nothing but practice moving correctly. The techniques can wait. What is the point of practicing techniques with incorrect body mechanics? You're only going to have to change the whole technique later on so that you do it using the correct power to handle Uke's attack, rather than arms and external technique.

Best,

Mike
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Old 01-16-2007, 08:15 AM   #46
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Re: Baseline skillset

The one leg stand, aka Stork Test, is one way to check for weak core stabilizing muscles in health care. Practicing standing on one leg is a simple way to strengthen the weak core muscles. Balance boards and exercises balls are other ways as well.
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Old 01-16-2007, 08:20 AM   #47
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
Well, if uke feels the purest possible ground and you redirect that force from the ground back into them at a different vector, it's really their force that is bouncing them off, and thus not resistance, non?
And if I contrive that uke's force is not directed at my center, by controlling my structure, it cannot alter my position or lateral momentum. I may thus continue to enter his attack, all the while being turned by his tangential input -- irimi/tenkan.

My center does not oppose it, and he cannot touch ground through my center. Thus, I cannot be any source of stabilizing support for his energy, which would be to his advantage, not mine.

By this means I recieve and convert his tangential energy into atemi or technique, i.e. -- he hits himself with his own energy fed around the periphery of my center and back through my arm -- or I apply technique with that energy I "stole" from his attack, and return to him -- since he is the proper owner . Conservation and not dissipation. No grounding, all the force is converted in the manipulaitons of radial displacement moments -- not in reaction forces, which are by definition -- resistance: equal and opposed, and which dissipate energy, rather than conserving and using it.

My feet need not move, this occurs through small integrated motions of the hips, torso and limbs, and only a very small motion takes his attack outside of its narrow range of action and reverses it (elliptically, never directly opposing) back to him. This is basic kokyu tanden ho.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 01-16-2007, 08:20 AM   #48
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
If I told you, I'd have to kill you, Ignatius.
....See.... you need to come over and chat.
I do... (hope that beer is cold, hope Durango is COLD and I can get to chop some wood).... but I think you didn't get it... I'm purposely wearing my noob hat....

Ignatius
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Old 01-16-2007, 08:23 AM   #49
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
The one leg stand, aka Stork Test, is one way to check for weak core stabilizing muscles in health care. Practicing standing on one leg is a simple way to strengthen the weak core muscles. Balance boards and exercises balls are other ways as well.
I agree, although I defer to your expertise, John. I get my mother, mother-in-law, etc., to do a little standing on one leg while one hand lightly touches a wall or kitchen-counter, etc. for balance. It has brought their balance and leg strength back to where they now walk again pretty normally.

I suggest for the first minute (or half minute) that they hold the upheld leg so that the femur is horizontal or above (preferably a couple of degrees above horizontal) and the abdomen relaxed so that the hold of the femur is done by the psoas. I'm a great believer in strengthening the psoas and in stretching the psoas (which I do with held forward lunges while slowly tucking the pelvic cage).

FWIW

Mike
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Old 01-16-2007, 08:32 AM   #50
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Erick Mead wrote:
And if I contrive that uke's force is not directed at my center, by controlling my structure, it cannot alter my position or lateral momentum. I may thus continue to enter his attack, all the while being turned by his tangential input -- irimi/tenkan.
Nope, we're not talking about tactical responses - of which irimi/tenkan is. This is even more BASIC than that. We're talking "kihon" in the purest sense... i.e. tanren.

Quote:
By this means I recieve and convert his tangential energy into atemi or technique, i.e. -- he hits himself with his own energy fed around the periphery of my center and back through my arm -- or I apply technique with that energy I "stole" from his attack, and return to him -- since he is the proper owner .
In Ellis' words, uh... good response for the Art of Peace... hit them.... I think you're missing the point.

BTW... it's equal and opposite, zero sum equilibrium.... can you do kokyu ho in space?

Ignatius
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