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Old 06-18-2009, 03:03 PM   #26
HL1978
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Re: Solo Training

Quote:
Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
Seems that some brave soul (cris693) has posted a clip of Aunkai shiko. here!
I'm not out to criticize the guy,but that video shows the general shape of how aunkai's shiko is preformed, but makes it clear that the practitioner hasn't figured out how to move the body properly yet.

When watching aunkai members preform it, it looks a bit different. My advice is don't try and figureouthow to do shiko just from watching video, yu need someone to work on it with you in person.

Last edited by HL1978 : 06-18-2009 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:25 PM   #27
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: Solo Training

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Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
I'm not out to criticize the guy,but that video shows the general shape of how aunkai's shiko is preformed, but makes it clear that the practitioner hasn't figured out how to move the body properly yet.

When watching aunkai members preform it, it looks a bit different. My advice is don't try and figureouthow to do shiko just from watching video, yu need someone to work on it with you in person.
Hey Hunter,
Given that I'm an ass and will (/have been) trying anyway, would you have any thoughts you could share?
Sorry to put you on the spot. No worries either way.
Cheers,
Josh
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Old 06-19-2009, 10:28 AM   #28
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Re: Shiko Training

Since spending a very long afternoon with Akuzawa Sensei a month ago, I have been puzzling through what he taught me of shikko.

Coming on the heels of a weekend with Mike S. I found all kinds of ways to use this exercise.

When I have a "cross-body" connection between the uplifted arm and the opposite leg, I can drop my center downward on to the lifted foot. When it makes contact, the resulting force "bouncing" up through my body shows me where I am breaking from vertical or where I have too much slack. Any lateral wiggle means I am not quite doing the right thing, but when I feel my raised arm both direct and be moved by the bounce, I know I have a more clear path through the leg center, arm and hence the rest of me.

Dan, I remember you showing me your version of this years ago, and I am a bit fuzzy on how it differs from the way Akuzawa taught me. I attribute this to my lack of understanding of either. I use it as a tool for my current level of understanding.

I don't yet grasp where spiralling has to come into play. It seems to me that by it's nature, doing cross-body work naturally leads to spirals. Until shown otherwise, I think that is far too complex to talk about and really would have to be shown to learn or to mean anything to anyone.

Joel
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Old 06-19-2009, 12:42 PM   #29
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Re: Shiko Training

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Joel Zimba wrote: View Post
I don't yet grasp where spiralling has to come into play. It seems to me that by it's nature, doing cross-body work naturally leads to spirals. Until shown otherwise, I think that is far too complex to talk about and really would have to be shown to learn or to mean anything to anyone.
I both agree and disagree with the above statment. I think that doing cross-body work correctly leads to spiralling happening inside the body. However, the problem with that is that there can be an emphasis too much on the shape of something and how it looks - and not enough on specific "internal" checkpoints that you're guiding with your intent when practicing - which then manifest in a physical and testable external action. When I say testable - I don't necessarily mean against resistance, although that can be part of it once you have a modicum of skill (though the problem with adding it too early is that you train more to defeat the resistance, rather than training the actual skill - two different things in my opinon), but rather there's a specific and desired action and reaction for each "test" or checkpoint.

To that end, especially something like spiraling, I think is enough of a "basic" thing you have to have going on inside you - that it absolutely should be discussed. What needs to be understood as an ongoing caveat, is that even using the same terminology doesn't guarantee that everyone's talking about the same thing -- it has to be felt to be sure -- but still, talking about common themes and checkpoints to training, especially around the basics . .makes a lot of sense. It's revealing in that people make a stand and show some cards (especially when discussuing basic principles), but can also be misdirecting in that it isn't really indicative of how well someone can do something (has to be felt, dammit!!).

But for a discussion board it might just be the best thing you got beyond using the discussions as motivation to get out and see what people are doing (as a lot of people that traverse this forum are already doing). So in the spirit of practing what I preach, when I use the term cross-body-work to describe what I'm doing, I'm training to connect the inside of my body is such a way that my legs, waist and back work to together to use existing forces of gravity and ground most efficiently. My intent and my middle work together to coordinate these things. Exercises should work to better connect your insides and link the control centers to pass gravity/ground through them. Seems like sound logical stuff.

Now, HOW, I'm training to do that involves specific exercises involving stretching/expanding things, breathing and working against really, really light forces to start out with (heaven and earth are enough to deal with at first before adding more - at least in my case) - stuff that probably really does need to be felt. But even after doing this and things start to manifest - it's a tricky line between keeping the momentum going to dig deeper and learn more, versus assuming that you've gotten somewhere and going down a tangent. Being hypercritical is a headache but a freaking necessity to get anywhere, I'm pretty convinced.

So, even in the simplest of movements, I'm trying to check my connections throughout the body, am I using local muscle, am I breathing appropriately, am I carrying tension spots, what exactly is the root cause of each movement I am making, how much of what I'm doing is dependent on "timing" versus "being", if there's another guy, do I have him on contact, before contact, how am I receiving/returning his force or otherwise fitting in appropriately (ukemi and I don't mean falling down) . . that kind of thing.

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Old 06-19-2009, 10:43 PM   #30
David Orange
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Re: Shiko Training

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
... I think that doing cross-body work correctly leads to spiralling happening inside the body.
I did a good bit of shiko with Ark in Atlanta but I don't recall any mention of spiralling related to it. He did talk about spiralling power up from the rear foot to the hip and transferring that to the rear hand on the bo, but he was not clear about how this spiralling was produced, that I could hear or understand, as tired as I was.

How would shiko develop spiralling power, and how do you get spiralling power from the rear foot to the hip, in the bo-pushing walking exercise, against a resisting partner, transfering the power to the rear hand and into the bo.

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
... To that end, especially something like spiraling, I think is enough of a "basic" thing you have to have going on inside you - that it absolutely should be discussed.
I'd like to see an explicit discussion of that topic. Where does the power come from? How does it spiral?

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
... for a discussion board it might just be the best thing you got ...So in the spirit of practing what I preach, when I use the term cross-body-work ...I'm training to connect the inside of my body is such a way that my legs, waist and back work to together to use existing forces of gravity and ground most efficiently. My intent and my middle work together to coordinate these things. Exercises should work to better connect your insides and link the control centers to pass gravity/ground through them. Seems like sound logical stuff.
Completely. But where does the spiralling come into or out of that?

Thanks.

David

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Old 06-20-2009, 05:18 AM   #31
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Re: Shiko Training

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David Orange wrote: View Post
But where does the spiralling come into or out of that?
The two common things I'm seeing in the "basic" desired outcomes of internal exercises is that they're connecting the body via bones/ connective tissue and then using the spine, waist and legs to direct the natural forces of gravity and ground through your connected body unit. "How" exactly you do this seems dependent on the 'frame' and intent of the exercise you are doing, but the legs push/pull/turn, the waist push/pull/turns, the spine lengthens and turns. So any whole body exercise that's practiced over time and with attention given to the efficient use of these things - how is spiraling "not" going to come into and out of that?

Add in varying degrees of local and external muscle that are used (and I assume we're all trying to eliminate as appropriate) and different nomenclature - I get why it can seem like a different or "advanced" topic.
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:42 AM   #32
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Re: Shiko Training

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David Orange wrote: View Post
I'd like to see an explicit discussion of that topic [spiraling]. Where does the power come from? How does it spiral?
I can talk a little bit about "spiraling", but I'm not going to pretend that I have a complete understanding of it. In fact, I reserve the right to be wrong and/or change my opinion in the future.

OK, so *one way* to conceptualize internally-powered movement is to map it along two axis. The first axis is the "vertical" axis, and I call it that because it relates to a vertical movement or rotation of the center. Outwardly, "vertical" movements correspond to extending/contracting the limbs, arching/rounding the back, and looking up/down. Internally it corresponds to a sense of rising and lowering "energy".

The second axis is the "horizontal" axis, which--you guessed it---relates to a sideways movement/rotation of the center. Outwardly, "horizontal" movements correspond to rotational or twisting motions, such as "rolling" the hips and shoulders in/out, twisting the torso, turning over the wrists, and looking to the side. Internally, there is a sense of "winding" in/out, and that's where "spiraling" comes from *as I currently understand it*.

If you look at the "Anatomy Trains" model that maps the various muscle-fascia pathways, you'll notice that there are lines that run straight down the front, back, and sides, as well as lines that crisscross around. Those straight lines are the ones that generally come into play with "vertical" movements. The crisscross-y lines---that quite literally "spiral" around the body---are the ones that generally come into play with "horizontal" movements.

Furthermore, you'll notice that those straight ("vertical") muscle-fascia lines are, umm, "one-sided". Meaning, you have lines that run up the right side, and lines that run up the left. The crisscross-y ("horizontal") lines, however, cross from side to side. This is why "cross-body" training relates to "spiraling".

Now, in the big picture, training "windings/spirals" is the same as "straight" connections (*IME/IMO*). You just connect through and work those crisscross-y muscle-fascia lines. But IME, it can be tricky to learn how to engage those spirally lines in the beginning, and the exercises you regularly practice play into that.

*Personally*, I first started to understand this type of movement by practicing "sideways" oriented motions that work a cross-body connection. As I get more familiar with "spirals" in big, obviously sideways movements (like Chinese silk-reeling), I also start to see more subtle spirals in movements that otherwise appear "straight" (like in a karate punch).

So here's the exercise my old teacher recommends for learning sideways movement (which I still practice a lot): Stand with your feet about shoulder width and a half wide, feet parallel and pointed straight ahead, and knees slightly bent. For now, just let the arms hang at the side, in a relaxed but connected manner, if you know what that means.

The exercise consists of simply shifting your hips from side to side, so that your weight is balanced maybe 70%/30% at the extremes, while keeping the spine upright. But here's the important part---you need to keep the hips straight and level, as if they were skewered on some sort of pole. This sounds incredibly easy until you watch yourself in a mirror. What feels "straight" actually causes the hips to get all twisted up.

What you have to do to make this work is turn the leading "knee" in, and the trailing "knee" out, but there's some trickiness involved. To do this correctly the movement has to come from the hip joints themselves. It's more than just "twisting" the leg---it actually involves changing the position of the femur head inside the hip socket by "rolling" it back and forth.

When you do the femur head thing correctly, the knees rotate, but they don't otherwise move around. (Oh, and the trailing leg does slightly straighten and the leading leg slightly bends, if it wasn't obvious.) Watching for knee movement is one way to gauge your correctness, on top of watching the straight- & level-ness of your hips.

A word of caution, however---there's a good chance you'll have to loosen up the hips/groin/lower-back areas a bit before you'll be able to do this properly. Tension in the aforementioned areas will cause the knees to get torqued. (But miraculously, if you remove the tension in those areas, you'll feel nothing in the knees.) So in the beginning, go really light until you figure out how to release those tensions, 'cause otherwise the exercise will cause sore knees.

Now, what I've described above is the mechanics of the exercise, but not the all important feeling. When you learn to do the exercise with the correct form---which also involves spine stretching and all the other general advice you'll hear elsewhere---and with an ever increasing level of relaxation (and connection, if you know what that means), then you begin to experience an "opening" and "closing" sensation in the pelvic crease. That is to say, you'll start to experience an "expanding" or "pushing" feeling in the trailing leg, and a simultaneous "contracting" or "pulling" feeling in the leading leg, that seemingly "winds" the legs in or out, respectively. If you're focusing on the connection between the legs (the "lower arch" as they call it in the Aunkai), then it might feel as if "something" is being "passed" from the leading leg to the trailing leg through the lower abdomen. In time, you might also feel a little spot of pressure moving horizontally across your abdomen (that's the center).

It is this rotational "open/close" or "winding" in the hips that leads to "spirals", *as I currently understand it*. As you become more familiar with this "winding" feeling, you can begin to learn to engage this "opening/closing" independently (somewhat) of any external movement. You also learn to connect the "winding" in your hips out to the extremities, which is when you get the sensation of a whole-body "spiral"... That's my working assumption, at least, I'm not quite there yet. (I get whole-body movement, but it's still difficult for me to overtly feel the connective lines in the legs.)

What I've described here is only the beginning, developing whole-body "spirals" that stretch from foot to hand takes time... like, a few years. I also suspect that there are deeper elements to all this that I haven't yet grasped, but I'm confident that will come with time.

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
I did a good bit of shiko with Ark in Atlanta but I don't recall any mention of spiraling related to it... How would shiko develop spiraling power...
I'm not too comfortable giving advice on shiko, but I'll make a couple points.

The way I *currently* understand shiko is that it's kinda like 2 exercises rolled into one. The "squat & clap" section seems like one bit, and the "shift, raise, & stomp" like another. The way *I experience* shiko is that the "squat & clap" portion seems to primary work a vertical rotation of the center---down the back and then up the front---while the "shift, raise, & stomp" part primarily works a horizontal rotation. (I can tell that there's a general horizontal movement in the center during the "shift, raise, & stomp", but it's still difficult for me to discern the exact "route" that the center takes. Sometimes it feels like, uhh... like it *might* just maybe be moving to one side along the front, before circling around through back horizontally... or maybe I'm just imagining that, it's difficult for me to tell.)

As such, if you want to emphasize the spiral-y parts of shiko, I think you have to practice it a bit differently from the way it is normally explained by the Aunkai, particularly the "shift, raise, & stomp" portion. (But even though the normal Aunkai description doesn't include "spirals", if you watch Ark, he'll often throw in the winding elements.) But I'll leave it to others more experienced than I to explain how to do that.

Last edited by Timothy WK : 06-20-2009 at 11:54 AM.

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Old 06-20-2009, 12:22 PM   #33
Timothy WK
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Re: Shiko Training

PS---That post came out a whole lot longer than I meant it to.

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Old 06-21-2009, 05:26 PM   #34
Upyu
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Re: Shiko Training

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Joel Zimba wrote: View Post

I don't yet grasp where spiralling has to come into play. It seems to me that by it's nature, doing cross-body work naturally leads to spirals. Until shown otherwise, I think that is far too complex to talk about and really would have to be shown to learn or to mean anything to anyone.

Joel
Thought I'd pipe in here...since I think this subject tends to get over-rated in terms of its complexity.
And that complexity only stems from whether or not your body is conditioned enough to feel certain things.
Basically, if you keep at it and have cross body connections hardwired in, the spirals will occur naturally.
Joel, did Ark show you the "twist" solo exercise he does? It's on the first DVD (and no that'S not a cheap marketing shot ). That component is definitely in the Shiko.
In the beginnining you drag the body from side to side by stretching the body across the X lines, and "Pull" it up so to speak.
Eventually, as those lines become hardwired, you should be able how to shift the body and raise the leg without having to drag it across each and everytime. More specifically you simply wind the body to lift the leg, and unwind to let it back down.

Course...it's easier said than done, but m 2 c on the matter.
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Old 06-21-2009, 06:43 PM   #35
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Re: Shiko Training

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Robert John wrote: View Post
Thought I'd pipe in here...since I think this subject tends to get over-rated in terms of its complexity.
And that complexity only stems from whether or not your body is conditioned enough to feel certain things.
Basically, if you keep at it and have cross body connections hardwired in, the spirals will occur naturally.
Joel, did Ark show you the "twist" solo exercise he does? It's on the first DVD (and no that'S not a cheap marketing shot ). That component is definitely in the Shiko.
In the beginnining you drag the body from side to side by stretching the body across the X lines, and "Pull" it up so to speak.
Eventually, as those lines become hardwired, you should be able how to shift the body and raise the leg without having to drag it across each and everytime. More specifically you simply wind the body to lift the leg, and unwind to let it back down.

Course...it's easier said than done, but m 2 c on the matter.
'bout time you chimed in!
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Old 06-21-2009, 09:54 PM   #36
JangChoe
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Re: Shiko Training

I didn't read everything that tgwk wrote since I'm too lazy. But for spiraling in shiko, there is a reason why the palm is turned up in the beginning and end up turned down at the apex of the leg lift. That little motion in the arms is actually conveyed by the whole body--and tada! spiraling in shiko.
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Old 06-22-2009, 07:01 AM   #37
John Brockington
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Re: Shiko Training

AHA! I knew something was going on with that hand movement, Jang! I was trying some different things with (Aunkai version) shiko, and noticed that if the palm of the outstretched arm remains up and doesn't rotate, I would feel a distinct sensation of diminished stability/connection, would wobble, etc. Go figure.

Thanks for the discussion, everyone.

John
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Old 06-22-2009, 07:05 AM   #38
Mike Sigman
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Re: Shiko Training

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Jang Choe wrote: View Post
I didn't read everything that tgwk wrote since I'm too lazy. But for spiraling in shiko, there is a reason why the palm is turned up in the beginning and end up turned down at the apex of the leg lift. That little motion in the arms is actually conveyed by the whole body--and tada! spiraling in shiko.
Nice, Jang. And of course now you can go back and look at videos (well, you should be able to do it; not everyone will be able to see it as well) and see whose Shiko is really hooked up, who uses local muscle, and so on. Want to give a shot at *why* people would do this sort of thing, how it helps, and so on?

Good job.

Mike
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Old 06-22-2009, 07:33 AM   #39
JangChoe
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Re: Shiko Training

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Nice, Jang. And of course now you can go back and look at videos (well, you should be able to do it; not everyone will be able to see it as well) and see whose Shiko is really hooked up, who uses local muscle, and so on. Want to give a shot at *why* people would do this sort of thing, how it helps, and so on?
Are you talking about why we would want to do the spiraling or why we would want to do shiko?
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Old 06-22-2009, 07:48 AM   #40
Mike Sigman
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Re: Shiko Training

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Jang Choe wrote: View Post
Are you talking about why we would want to do the spiraling or why we would want to do shiko?
Aren't they the same thing? There's a particular reason to do Shiko, as opposed to say Fune Kogi Undo, but for all practical purposes they're just facets of the same jewel. But I'd be interested in either hearing discussion about why Shiko particularly as an exercise or why winding in Shiko. Maybe Dan can chip in, since at the beginning of the post he was telling Chris:

Whatever you do ignore everything in that Sumo link Chris provided. It's nothing a martial artist wants to do. This is NOT the Shiko you have read us talking about nor want you want to be doing.

What exactly is a martial artist doing in Shiko that is so helpful? Why is winding/spiralling important? And so on. The discussions about the how and why would probably be helpful to everyone.

Best.

Mike
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:52 AM   #41
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Re: Shiko Training

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Aren't they the same thing? There's a particular reason to do Shiko, as opposed to say Fune Kogi Undo, but for all practical purposes they're just facets of the same jewel. But I'd be interested in either hearing discussion about why Shiko particularly as an exercise or why winding in Shiko. Maybe Dan can chip in, since at the beginning of the post he was telling Chris:

Whatever you do ignore everything in that Sumo link Chris provided. It's nothing a martial artist wants to do. This is NOT the Shiko you have read us talking about nor want you want to be doing.

What exactly is a martial artist doing in Shiko that is so helpful? Why is winding/spiralling important? And so on. The discussions about the how and why would probably be helpful to everyone.
It's probably because it helps to develop that whole body connection (from head to finger to toe). This helps a martial artist because it makes them feel stronger to their opponent.

Buddha's Warrior Attendant move in the Chen Taiji form is pretty much shiko. I rotate my dantien (my torso) to the right to pick my right leg up and rotate my torso left to drop the leg back down.

It's better than using just your hip flexor muscles to just pick up that leg. That's just training your hip flexor muscles. I guess that's okay if you want nice looking hip flexors.

But if you use the winding connection in your body (also connected to the ground), the leg should feel stronger to the opponent when the leg is raised--provided your body's connection is conditioned well. It's because you have that whole body behind the leg being raised. That can be good if you want to knee someone, walk, or do whatever technique that involves you picking your leg up.

These are just my observations.
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:39 AM   #42
Mike Sigman
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Re: Shiko Training

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Jang Choe wrote: View Post
It's probably because it helps to develop that whole body connection (from head to finger to toe). This helps a martial artist because it makes them feel stronger to their opponent.
I'd suggest there's more to that part of; it's the like the start of some things that all tie together. But it's good to see these things being discussed as a topic.
Quote:
Buddha's Warrior Attendant move in the Chen Taiji form is pretty much shiko. I rotate my dantien (my torso) to the right to pick my right leg up and rotate my torso left to drop the leg back down.
Yeah, that's good. Besides Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds Mortar, there are equivalent practices in a number of other arts. There are partial practices in a number of arts (e.g. the fumikomi in Kendo, the step/stomp in Xingyi, etc.) that are undoubtedly related from long ago to the same practice. That's why it would be a little silly to tell, say, a Chen-stylist that "I've never seen you practice Shiko".
Quote:
It's better than using just your hip flexor muscles to just pick up that leg. That's just training your hip flexor muscles. I guess that's okay if you want nice looking hip flexors.

But if you use the winding connection in your body (also connected to the ground), the leg should feel stronger to the opponent when the leg is raised--provided your body's connection is conditioned well. It's because you have that whole body behind the leg being raised. That can be good if you want to knee someone, walk, or do whatever technique that involves you picking your leg up.

These are just my observations.
Thanks, Jang. That's pretty good. I think Shiko is a lot more involved than people realize. There's plenty more that could be discussed, too.

Best.

Mike
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:19 AM   #43
John Brockington
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Re: Shiko Training

Jang-

And it would seem that what spirals down (arm to leg) can also spiral up (leg to arm), and allow more effective power transfer than simple groundpath to anything the arms are doing.

Also, I wonder if the effect of spiral-based movement has something to do with one's actual connection to the ground, ie, sort of firmly screwing you in to your stance? Isn't it harder to pull a screw out of wood than a (linearly driven) nail? This would further enhance groundpath based movement, I would think, too.

Just some lunchtime thoughts.

John
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:20 PM   #44
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Re: Shiko Training

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John Brockington wrote: View Post
Jang-

And it would seem that what spirals down (arm to leg) can also spiral up (leg to arm), and allow more effective power transfer than simple groundpath to anything the arms are doing.

Also, I wonder if the effect of spiral-based movement has something to do with one's actual connection to the ground, ie, sort of firmly screwing you in to your stance? Isn't it harder to pull a screw out of wood than a (linearly driven) nail? This would further enhance groundpath based movement, I would think, too.
I think that stuff can help in rooting too. I mean it can't hurt it. John Medurga's standing thing recommends us screwing our legs in. I remember an article written by Yan Gaofei that talked about how the legs screws inward naturally when standing. I can see how that's possible if you relax and let the weight pull down the front of the suit, the body closes inward and the legs screw in. That doesn't happen to me naturally yet unless I focus on that aspect. I'm too concerned about other stuff I have to focus on in my standing. I'm assuming the more I get connected all these stuff will happen more naturally.
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:43 PM   #45
Timothy WK
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Re: Shiko Training

Quote:
Jang Choe wrote: View Post
Buddha's Warrior Attendant move in the Chen Taiji form is pretty much shiko.
In the big picture, yeah, they both rely on the same principles, and they both train you to "drop" your weight. But as *I experience* the two movements, they seem to work a different set of connections.

"Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds Mortar"--- here's Chen Xiaowang performing it (0:30-0:39), as well as some random dude---has more of a "straight" same-sided vibe. There's a strong connection between the lifting foot and lifting hand by "closing" through the front. Vice versa for the supporting leg and "catching" hand.

Shiko on the other hand---sorry, I can't find any good video---emphasizes that cross-body connection from hip to opposite shoulder through the back by tilting and lifting the leg slightly behind and to the side. That's why (I assume) the Aunkai folks say the leading hand "lifts" the back leg.

"Buddha's Warrior Attendant" still has some subtle "spirals", just as shiko still has some subtle "straightness". But in both cases, *to me* those things don't seem to get work as much.

Last edited by Timothy WK : 06-22-2009 at 12:46 PM.

--Timothy Kleinert

Aikido & Wujifa qigongs
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:55 PM   #46
Mike Sigman
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Re: Shiko Training

Quote:
Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote: View Post
In the big picture, yeah, they both rely on the same principles, and they both train you to "drop" your weight. But as *I experience* the two movements, they seem to work a different set of connections.
So, how does it work, then?

Best.

Mike
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Old 06-22-2009, 01:07 PM   #47
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: Shiko Training

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
So, how does it work, then?
Best.
Mike
Mike,
Where's the beef?

Josh

Last edited by thisisnotreal : 06-22-2009 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 06-22-2009, 01:53 PM   #48
Lee Salzman
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Re: Shiko Training

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Yeah, that's good. Besides Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds Mortar, there are equivalent practices in a number of other arts. There are partial practices in a number of arts (e.g. the fumikomi in Kendo, the step/stomp in Xingyi, etc.) that are undoubtedly related from long ago to the same practice. That's why it would be a little silly to tell, say, a Chen-stylist that "I've never seen you practice Shiko".
I can think of two ways to look at this:

1) What is the end result of doing these specific exercises a lot? You get better at the specific exercises. They each have a set of external demands placed upon the person doing them (i.e. foot here, arm there, etc. etc.) that are different between all of them or else they would look exactly the same. So rather than say they are all birds, call a duck a duck, a turkey a turkey, and an ostrich an ostrich. These external demands are there to teach something about how one is to do the exercise in question. Now, it may be possible to generalize principles from the form of the exercise about other movements, but the result of the exercise is bound up with the form, because the form defines the utility of the exercise.

or:

2) If, following these external demands, it is still possible to do the exercises "wrong" or that it is still possible to do all these exercises the same "way" regardless, then there are, in fact, demands not intrinsic to the exercise, and you could go so far as to say the exercise in question is actually useless and pointless for teaching them. The necessary demands of the exercise are not bound up in the form of the exercise itself. Why do an exercise to learn something if it doesn't specifically teach it? You could just as well rub your belly and pat your head over and over and practice whatever underlying principle there is and it would be equally effective as doing Shiko or Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds Mortar or xingyiquan or....

Which of those two ways of looking at it is it? I dunno. I got my own vague answers, but I would rather pose these as questions.

Last edited by Lee Salzman : 06-22-2009 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 06-22-2009, 01:54 PM   #49
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Re: Shiko Training

Outstanding posts. Thank you.

Some thoughts I had;

Most of our conversations have been about the structure. For the record; I hope that continues. Almost infinite depth, there alone.
Structure. This is critical but, I think, not the whole of the story. One way to frame the discussion is to say: "Among others, the body has Skeletal, Muscular and Effort/Intent systems"
The following post is about the Effort/Intent system in the body. These are tangible material skills and nothing metaphysical.

Quote:
… There's a particular reason to do Shiko, as opposed to say Fune Kogi Undo, but for all practical purposes they're just facets of the same jewel…
I guess this is all obvious, but I have not yet seen or heard it laid out like this, despite direct questions:

I think both are conditioning exercises refined for differing purposes. Both are related to bodyskill, and tie to use/application of dantien.

Fune Kogi Undo is predominantly a ki-pump exercise.
(read: assisting spirit-effort-pump (rising/falling energy) with mechanical rowing motion)

Shiko is predominantly a whole body connectivity exercise.
(read: strengthening interconnections)

These are opposite sides of the same coin.
the >thread< of commonality of the jewel is in working with the ki.

Quote:
..the practice of the membrane is difficult, and the practice of Qi is more difficult.
Briefly, I see it like this; Working with the membrane is like the forcing of blood thru it. A kind of flexing. Or a ‘body breath', if you like. The spirit effort of pushing the blood thru it, is what I take as ki. It is something that happens naturally; but through these practices something that 'conscious thought' seeks to manipulate. A systemhack, if you will.

In regards to ki:

Shiko is in holding the pressure in a quasi-static way; and Fune Kogi Undo is in circulating/modulating the pressure around a circuit.
From one point of view, analogous to DC vs. AC circuits, respectively. But they are definitely related.

Shiko is about maintaining this fullness throughout the movement. Practicing keeping it full and steady while the whole body connectivity is the focus. In movement, no less. This helps to attain & re-enforce that suspended feeling that was alluded to earlier.
Doing this over time literally knits the body making and strengthening interconnections in the various systems (muscular/fascial/skeletal/circulatory).
In a very literal and real way pressure leads to capillaries, muscle chains, fascial nexus, etc, opening and requires the feedback loop that is the body to build, re-inforce, strengthen, etc;. This is a part of the changing of the body. I think Shiko can be a practice to set(/increase) the maximum DC voltage/tension/breath-pressure limits the body (/sausage suit) is capable of. Done by equilibrating the body structure against an ever growing progression of loading asymmetry. And what a nice movement Shiko provides to allow you to control the load you can handle.

Fune Kogi Undo is about controlling where the fullness is in the cycle of the movement. Practicing moving and circulating it. The opening and closing feelings in the pelvic crease (/kua) tgwk mentioned is part of this loop/cycle.
Think of a peristaltic flexing action. Except it can be visualized as a traveling pressure wave of blood/flexing. Doing this is by manipulating your (/with your) ki and posture-shifting your body structure and synchronization of the two. With breath timing involved, no less.
Doing this over time will lead to skill in moving/controlling/circulating/tension/relaxation in a dynamic way. It will help to imprint this pressure manipulation cycle into normal movement patterns. I believe that this is what the >Inaba< quotes refer to (i.e. how to move it).
(search: "even if you grasp timing")

This is just what I think. And my limited understanding.
Truly, we are wonderfully and fearfully made.

Be careful. And be gentle. You know that hemorrhaging and broken blood vessels exist and are possible.
Kaizen is the rule here. Don't break yourself. Physically, spiritually or emotionally.
That would certainly not be worth it.
It's just another thing you can do with your body.

I likewise reserve the right to be wrong now and/or later.
I am definitely not wrong about the being careful part though.
I hope this helps... and that it doesn't hurt.

Best to all,
Josh

p.s. dang. too long again. i just get all revved up. sorry.
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Old 06-22-2009, 01:57 PM   #50
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: Shiko Training

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
I got my own vague answers, but I would rather pose these as questions.
nice.
For what it's worth, I am interested in your thought process leading to your vague answers.

Cheers,
Josh
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