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Old 02-10-2007, 03:46 PM   #1
sbrocklebank
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rowing exersize

hi
my senei has encouraged us to do the rowing exersize for 40minutes. which i have tried to do but got board! what is it that i am trying to achieve with this exersize. when i ask sensei is obscure, "you wont know till you have done it!". fair enough i suppose. but i don't even know how whether i am doing it right. i keep loosing balance slightly every 4th or 5th cycle or so. i take it i have to concentrate on moving from the centre/hips?

sim
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Old 02-10-2007, 03:59 PM   #2
Kevin Beyer
 
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Re: rowing exersize

To make a long story short: Hips then hands and maintain your center of balance.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" - Edmund Burke
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:39 PM   #3
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Re: rowing exersize

40 minutes of funakogi undo??? That's nuts!!! But hey, "practice makes perfect"
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:49 PM   #4
eyrie
 
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Re: rowing exersize

Hmmm... you might want to checkout the baseline skillset thread.... because this exercise is the one of the fundamental ways of developing kokyu power. Your "sensei" should have told you that

But a quick pointer. To start, just keep your hands/fists out in front of you and do not move them. Then simply rock your weight forward and backward whilst keeping your hands/fists in place. Focus on the feeling of pressing against the ground, and of transferring your weight forward and back.

DO IT SLOWLY.

Soon you will start to feel how the feet are connected to the hips and how the hands (which are not moving) are displaced as a result. Once you feel comfortable with this, start adding the rowing motions (GENTLY), throwing your fists out as you rock forward, and pulling them back as you rock backward.

AGAIN, DO IT SLOWLY.

Ignatius
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:52 PM   #5
Mike Sigman
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Re: rowing exersize

Quote:
Simon Brocklebank wrote:
my senei has encouraged us to do the rowing exersize for 40minutes. which i have tried to do but got board!
Wooden you just know it!
Quote:
what is it that i am trying to achieve with this exersize. when i ask sensei is obscure, "you wont know till you have done it!".
Well, then, obviously your Sensei has not done it, then, or he could have given you an answer!

If you do it right, on the forward push your fists would BE your hips pushing; on the backward pull, you hands would BE your obi pulling.

Mike
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Old 02-10-2007, 05:06 PM   #6
crbateman
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Re: rowing exercise

Simon, this exercise is fundamental in developing your breathing coordination, moving from your center, and maintaining your connective posture with the ground. It's by far not the only way, but it is a very good one. You should attempt to lose yourself in the exercise, empty your thoughts, and just move and breathe. Soft and rhythmic music in the background is one way I learned to enjoy it. Have patience, Grasshopper.
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Old 02-10-2007, 05:10 PM   #7
Mike Sigman
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Re: rowing exercise

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote:
...empty your thoughts, ......
Hmmmmm.... I wouldn't suggest that, Clark. Quite the opposite. The ki/kokyu things that are "for health" are traditionally done by emptying the mind. But the martial things are always done with "intent", quite the opposite. In order to train kokyu strength, which is a lot of what the Rowing Exercise is, you have to focus on relaxing and making your center be your arms/hands. That is actually focus, not emptying the mind.

Best.

Mike
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Old 02-10-2007, 05:26 PM   #8
eyrie
 
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Re: rowing exersize

Empty mind = empty head (euphemism for "dullard")

Ignatius
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Old 02-10-2007, 05:40 PM   #9
raul rodrigo
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Re: rowing exersize

I did boat rowing ( funekogi) for years with an empty mind, scarcely paying attention, thinking it was just an interminable formality i had to get through to get to the good stuff. And then when i finally started paying attention, i began to realize that funekogi IS the good stuff, part of it anyway, and the ability to do the waza well is a byproduct of doing the basic warmups like funekogi and kokyu ho with intent and sensitivity to one's own body.
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Old 02-10-2007, 06:46 PM   #10
Aristeia
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Re: rowing exercise

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
you have to focus on relaxing
Mike
this seems like a paradox to me?

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 02-10-2007, 06:52 PM   #11
Mike Sigman
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Re: rowing exercise

Quote:
Michael Fooks wrote:
this seems like a paradox to me?
Why? Intention strength has to do with mentally-controlled force vectors, not normal strength. If you tense up and try to use muscle, you don't ever develop the intention (kokyu) strength. So you don't use muscle, but you have to mentally focus to learn to bring the force-vector strength to where you want it... and you have to learn how.

Ask Rob. He's begun using it in BJJ.

Mike
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Old 02-10-2007, 07:41 PM   #12
Aristeia
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Re: rowing exersize

that sounds more like channelling strength to the appropriate job? In my experience the more you tell people to relax the less relaxed they become - which is why "focus on relaxation" sounds a bit like "relax harder" to me....

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 02-10-2007, 09:45 PM   #13
crbateman
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Re: rowing exersize

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
Empty mind = empty head (euphemism for "dullard")
I have, on occasion, been accused of this...

It seems best for me when I limit my thoughts to my breathing.
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Old 02-11-2007, 02:21 AM   #14
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Re: rowing exersize

Quote:
Simon Brocklebank wrote:
.....what is it that i am trying to achieve with this exersize.....
You might try looking at this thread

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...light=torifune

which in turn spawned this thread

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...light=torifune

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 02-11-2007, 05:47 AM   #15
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: rowing exersize

Interesting thread.

I just figured out that in BJJ we do a standing up swimming exercise where you and your partner move your arms over and underneath each others arms. The goal of this exercise is to acheive dominance in the clinch with underhooking your opponents arms. (ikkyo).

Done correctly, it is rythmic and you must breath correctly and move from your hips with balance.

We do this exercise sometime for like 15 or 20 minutes at the beginning of class.

I never really thought about it before, but it really is kind of the same thing except done with a partner. It helps you figure out how to connect your movements, breath, and move from the center...all necessary elements of kokyu.

sometimes I will have my BJJ students practice the rowing exercise as a warm up, especially when they are being external in their approach to study. It helps them find their center and attach their feet to the ground and become more aware of the source of their power.

I don't explain anything to them about it, nor do they care much...they just do the exercise for a few minutes and then we move on to other things. I think it helps them, even if they don't tacitly understand what is going on.
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Old 02-11-2007, 09:53 AM   #16
DonMagee
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Re: rowing exersize

15-20 minutes, man I don't think I'd be down for that. 5 minutes is enough, then lets start actually working for underhooks for another 5 minutes. It is an important skill, and very good to practice. But my classes are an hour and a half long. I wouldn't want to waste 20 minutes of my time doing an exercise I can do at home. I'd rather have my technique critiqued, or spar.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 02-11-2007, 10:09 AM   #17
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: rowing exersize

Actually, I should have explained that we interwork it with working underhooks and taking/breaking balance. I will come back to the basic exercise though so they "reset" to using their hips again as they tend to start fighitng and trying to use strength and getting out of alignment.

It is not 15 or 20 minutes straight of pummelling/swimming...that would be alot!
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Old 02-11-2007, 01:34 PM   #18
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Re: rowing exersize

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Well, then, obviously your Sensei has not done it, then, or he could have given you an answer!
Some teachers like their students to figure stuff out on their own, because then they own it instead of just reciting the empty words for years on end. I had told a student to get underneath the elbow on Ikkyo for years. He would nod his head, and I even heard him tell other students this, but he never did it. Then one day I saw him and his Ikkyo was way better. I said "hey, your Ikkyo is getting good", he replied "well I figured out if I grab the underside of the elbow it works better". Then he stared at me blankly as if I had never told him that. I took it in the ego, and truly learned that the student will only get it when he gets it.

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Old 02-11-2007, 02:19 PM   #19
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Re: rowing exersize

Kevin,
If you really think about it that pummelling exercise is alot like sumo. And its learning to pass the power of the other person, through your body to your feet, while not leaning and losing your own balance, or being pushed over.
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Old 02-11-2007, 03:43 PM   #20
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: rowing exersize

yeah I agree, I never saw that in sumo until just recently, all I saw in the past was a bunch of shoving and pushing. Today I see it in a whole different light!
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Old 02-11-2007, 04:35 PM   #21
Mike Sigman
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Re: rowing exersize

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote:
Some teachers like their students to figure stuff out on their own, because then they own it instead of just reciting the empty words for years on end. I had told a student to get underneath the elbow on Ikkyo for years. He would nod his head, and I even heard him tell other students this, but he never did it. Then one day I saw him and his Ikkyo was way better. I said "hey, your Ikkyo is getting good", he replied "well I figured out if I grab the underside of the elbow it works better". Then he stared at me blankly as if I had never told him that. I took it in the ego, and truly learned that the student will only get it when he gets it.
Chris, I hope you understand that my remark you quoted was meant as a joke, not a serious remark about the poster's teacher.

Secondly, while I totally agree that "Some teachers like their students to figure stuff out on their own", I would add for clarity (just for the sake of any neophytes that read here) that a teacher is just another human being and there are a lot of them who say things cryptically (in all m.a.'s) not because they're deliberately trying to get the student to think, but because they themselves don't really know the material deeply. And I only say that to balance the statement; no inferences at all.

Best.

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-11-2007, 04:41 PM   #22
sbrocklebank
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Re: rowing exersize

hi thanks for the advice.
when in right stance i am really struggling with this exersize because i have a very stiff left ankle since breaking it 3 years ago so i cannot shift my weight back easily without lifting my left heel off the mat. should i change my stride length to try and keep my feet on the floor or should i try to find a way of maintaining balance and moving from the hips that takes account of my slight 'disability'.
does anyone else have an experience of trying to modify technique to accommodate physical problems?
sim
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:53 PM   #23
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: rowing exersize

Simon, if you think of your ankle's tendons, sinews, muscles as connecting to your leg and into your body, then you will be able to benefit from a lot of the leg-straightening exercises seen in Pilates or ballet. Flexing is clearly difficult for you now since the range of motion is not large enough to enable you to do rowing well. Straightening, which means both a twist out at the buttocks and knees and ankle, and a pointing of the toes (the top of the foot is curved as much as you can) and stretching of the back of the knee, will help to increase the range of motion. In that same position try flexing the ankle as much as you can, slowly. Although I said twist, the stretch is linear, the twist is only for alignment.
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Old 02-12-2007, 12:25 AM   #24
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Re: rowing exersize

Years ago when I had a bunch of ankle problems (b/c of high school track), our coaches used to tell us to "write the alphabet in the air with your foot." So we'd sit in a chair and just flex the ankle/point the foot through all 26 letters. It worked pretty well to get range of motion back.
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Old 02-12-2007, 11:01 AM   #25
sbrocklebank
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Re: rowing exersize

had 24months of extensive physio, physios and orthopedic drs reckon the range of movement i have now is all i'll get... we'll see eh!?
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