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Old 01-24-2011, 06:16 PM   #301
kewms
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Unless you can name some student of Ushiro that has learned kokyu by just learning the choreography of that kata, I think it's pretty improbable that someone is going to learn "straight internal power" via that kata.
When I saw Ushiro Sensei teach the Sanchin kata, there was a great deal more to it than "choreography." Have you attended any of his seminars? Crossed hands with him?

Katherine
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:32 PM   #302
Mike Sigman
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
When I saw Ushiro Sensei teach the Sanchin kata, there was a great deal more to it than "choreography." Have you attended any of his seminars? Crossed hands with him?
I watched Ushiro teaching people a fairly choreographic kata. BTW... if it's possible, could you and others debate an issue without bringing the other person into things personally? Sure, it helps to know if I've seen him teach the kata and if I've "crossed hands" with him, just as it might be interesting for me to know if you know anything at all about internal strength, what your background is in it, if you've 'crossed hands' with people like Chen Xiaowang as I have, if you've got about 50 years of martial-arts experience with the implication that someone with less than that doesn't understand martial-arts, and so on, but let me tell you a better way to do it on the internet......

I established that I have experience with Sanchin kata. I didn't say anything like "Ushiro sux", I said that Sanchin kata isn't going to particularly teach anyone internal strength (but if I'm wrong, show me). The correct debating point is "Oh, Sanchin kata will teach you internal strength and here is how it does that .....". We may disagree, but the point is that if Sanchin kata teaches something which is in itself physically demonstrable, then the method by which Sanchin kata does that training is physically discussable. Right?

So without you and I getting into a discussion of where the other person has some glaring personal faults, let's see if "how Sanchin kata shows or imbues or teaches, etc., internal strength" can be explored.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:42 PM   #303
kewms
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Re: Training Internal Strength

I don't have enough experience with Ushiro Sensei to say what he can or cannot do or teach, except to observe, as I said, that he discussed quite a bit more than choreography in the presentation of Sanchin kata that I saw.

Since you have, as you say, personally seen him, I'll leave it to your vast knowledge of internal arts to draw whatever conclusions you like.

Katherine
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:48 PM   #304
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
I don't have enough experience with Ushiro Sensei to say what he can or cannot do or teach, except to observe, as I said, that he discussed quite a bit more than choreography in the presentation of Sanchin kata that I saw.

Since you have, as you say, personally seen him, I'll leave it to your vast knowledge of internal arts to draw whatever conclusions you like.

Katherine
Thanks for your insightful observations and contributions to the topic!

Mike Sigman
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:10 PM   #305
Marc Abrams
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
I don't have enough experience with Ushiro Sensei to say what he can or cannot do or teach, except to observe, as I said, that he discussed quite a bit more than choreography in the presentation of Sanchin kata that I saw.

Since you have, as you say, personally seen him, I'll leave it to your vast knowledge of internal arts to draw whatever conclusions you like.

Katherine
Katherine:

Ushiro Sensei emphasizes that Sanchin Kata focuses on two major areas. 1) Kokyu- Breathing. Breathing is unified with movement. As one gets better in this area, the breathing becomes an integral part of the explosive power with the punch. 2) Shime- Tightening. The emphasis is on relaxing the joints so that a unified tightening is created in the body. This is critical in developing explosive power. It is spoken as developing "Bu" through "Ju" (hard through soft). It is simply not worth getting in a debate with certain people as to whether or not something teaches you and/or constitute "internal power." You saw something that indicated a depth of material. Hopefully, it was to your benefit in your own training.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:44 PM   #306
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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Ushiro Sensei emphasizes that Sanchin Kata focuses on two major areas. 1) Kokyu- Breathing. Breathing is unified with movement. As one gets better in this area, the breathing becomes an integral part of the explosive power with the punch. 2) Shime- Tightening. The emphasis is on relaxing the joints so that a unified tightening is created in the body. This is critical in developing explosive power. It is spoken as developing "Bu" through "Ju" (hard through soft). It is simply not worth getting in a debate with certain people as to whether or not something teaches you and/or constitute "internal power." You saw something that indicated a depth of material. Hopefully, it was to your benefit in your own training.
I suppose I'm the "certain people" so rudely referred to, but *leaving me out of the actual topic*, how about explaining how and when it's supposed to work... the Sanchin and internal strength? Seeing something and believing firmly that it will develop power is something one of the characters in the Wizard of Oz might believe in fervently, but in the real world, how would Sanchin develop internal power. And yes, I happen to know the answer, but my central point had to do with the fact that people following the latest trend on AikiWeb aren't ending up often enough with internal strength for all the fuss. In other words, if a beginner (which I was, at one time, and I darned well remember it) comes to me and says, "I want to learn internal strength", I wouldn't say "Go to Joe Blow and let him teach you Sanchin.... it's just chock full of IP power". Is that really what we'd do to newbies because it sounds cool and it doesn't rock the boat? Noobs don't need to be used as cannon fodder for workshops, IMO.

Show me a few gaijin people that have studied Sanchin with Ushiro who have developed internal strength. I haven't met any and I'm certainly willing to be pleased and open if I do meet someone like that. If it's even marginally good I'd say "Awesome". If there's no results from a certain type of training I think it would take the lowest type of person to continue sending newbies off to pay the seminar bills. Hence my question to Ledyard Sensei about Sanchin's internal power. Let's think of the Noobs as human beings rather than as pigskin wallets.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Last edited by Mike Sigman : 01-24-2011 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:53 PM   #307
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
... the point is that if Sanchin kata teaches something which is in itself physically demonstrable, then the method by which Sanchin kata does that training is physically discussable. Right?

So ... let's see if "how Sanchin kata shows or imbues or teaches, etc., internal strength" can be explored.
FWIW -- I see in Sanchin, in a different way, what I see also in the kokyu undo in Aikido. Both code the results of a manner of movement/force concentration/dissipation -- I think that just "doing sanchin" will not teach one much -- if "doing" sanchin is what one is trying to learn. It does not teach -- it codes an outcome... it shows a certain set of shapes of movement/stress, such that when one grasps it results in something very like sanchin occurring when you act in that way.

Sanchin is the rough measure of the shape of the resultant -- and what one strives for is the manner of bodywork that just ends up that way without conscious intervention greater than for walking. Same for the kokyu undo. Like having the multiple choice test answers -- but you have to read the text book to find the questions they respond to. Sanchin, like kokyu undo, is to give you defined areas to focus on in a poorly defined text -- and to help check your work -- it is not a substitute for reading the book.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:08 PM   #308
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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FWIW -- I see in Sanchin, in a different way, what I see also in the kokyu undo in Aikido. Both code the results of a manner of movement/force concentration/dissipation -- I think that just "doing sanchin" will not teach one much -- if "doing" sanchin is what one is trying to learn. It does not teach -- it codes an outcome... it shows a certain set of shapes of movement/stress, such that when one grasps it results in something very like sanchin occurring when you act in that way.

Sanchin is the rough measure of the shape of the resultant -- and what one strives for is the manner of bodywork that just ends up that way without conscious intervention greater than for walking. Same for the kokyu undo. Like having the multiple choice test answers -- but you have to read the text book to find the questions they respond to. Sanchin, like kokyu undo, is to give you defined areas to focus on in a poorly defined text -- and to help check your work -- it is not a substitute for reading the book.
I basically agree, Erick. So let's re-phrase it like this:

Doing Kokyu-ho undo won't give you internal strength unless you know how to do it as coded for internal strength. IF a person has been doing Kokyu-ho undo correctly for umpteen years they don't need to learn Sanchin because they would already have internal strength. I basically made that same argument on this forum about 5-6 years ago.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:10 AM   #309
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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It is simply not worth getting in a debate with certain people as to whether or not something teaches you and/or constitute "internal power." You saw something that indicated a depth of material. Hopefully, it was to your benefit in your own training.
Yes, I've concluded that. And yes, I found Ushiro Sensei's presentation helpful.

Katherine
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:36 AM   #310
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Re: Training Internal Strength

I feel like we're circling around the meat of the actual discusion, which to me is - what discrete elements around internal strength can we identify and how are they trained? What I see happening is that people say (paraphrasing), "This is cool! I like it, it must be internal!!"

So using Sanchin as an example - the two areas that Marc speaks to (breath integrated movement and loosening the joints) are certainly basic pieces of the kinds of conditioning you need to do in order to rewire your body - actually, what I wrote is misleading - they are *key* components that you will keep building on as long as you are training. And what I've seen by a lot of people doing Sanchin kata is certainly emphasizing breath and stretching (CAVEAT & NOTE: I've not seen Ushiro or any of his peeps practice this kata), but also with "locked" poses and external/localized tension in arms, shoulders, letgs, etc.

The clips I've seen where Ushiro s moving, he's not showing the localized tension - but the point I'm making around Sanchin is that there's most likely a "right" way to do it and a "progressvely less correct" ways. Just like funakogi-undo (rowing) in aikido. Find the clip where Ueshiba is doing it with Terry Dobson and you can see very different "types" of movement exhibited by the two (and before anyone gets their thong bunched together - I'm not saying that Terry sucked or didn't know anything, okay?).

So in addition to using Sanchin to train breath, pressure, stretching and relaxation - there's a fundamental (almost said "weight management" ha!) connection (almost said "middle managment" ha!) componet that involves how you bring your "intent" and "strength" (using that loaded term - even though it encapsulates heaven/earth, ground/gravity, etc. all that) to a single point to an overall covering throughout the body and back to a single point and . .so on and so on.

For instance, in funakogi - there's an accompanying stretch and release on he inside before the arms come forward and back. How that stretch is managed and released gets increasingly more complex based on how the body is conditioned over time because more of you will be coordinated together to act as a single connected unit. How you manage the ground pushing you up and gravity pulling you down to manipulate the stretch - will result in how powerful your release ends up being. How well conditioned your body is (relaxed, connected etc.) will result in how much power you can load into the stretch. The use of local muscle will inhibit these things.

The are the nuts and bolts in how I define internal strength. This other talk of energetics, etc. I'm curious about - but less from the perspective of "Oh my sensei does cool shiznit with energy" and more along he lines of how it works - what and how are you training yourself to do?

If people can refrain from having to discuss personalities - I think it will be more productive for everyone. I keep seeing the phrase - "Budo is all about the relationships" (again paraphrasing). Fine, depending on your definition of Budo (e.g. something you belong to versus something you DO and ARE), I can buy into that. But in terms of these "how to" discussions - I care a lot less about how much fun you had attending someone's class or how affirmed you feel as a person. Obviously it should be a relatively "safe" environment . . but can you see how that's a separate discussion?
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:05 AM   #311
Marc Abrams
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
I feel like we're circling around the meat of the actual discusion, which to me is - what discrete elements around internal strength can we identify and how are they trained? What I see happening is that people say (paraphrasing), "This is cool! I like it, it must be internal!!"

So using Sanchin as an example - the two areas that Marc speaks to (breath integrated movement and loosening the joints) are certainly basic pieces of the kinds of conditioning you need to do in order to rewire your body - actually, what I wrote is misleading - they are *key* components that you will keep building on as long as you are training. And what I've seen by a lot of people doing Sanchin kata is certainly emphasizing breath and stretching (CAVEAT & NOTE: I've not seen Ushiro or any of his peeps practice this kata), but also with "locked" poses and external/localized tension in arms, shoulders, letgs, etc.

The clips I've seen where Ushiro s moving, he's not showing the localized tension - but the point I'm making around Sanchin is that there's most likely a "right" way to do it and a "progressvely less correct" ways. Just like funakogi-undo (rowing) in aikido. Find the clip where Ueshiba is doing it with Terry Dobson and you can see very different "types" of movement exhibited by the two (and before anyone gets their thong bunched together - I'm not saying that Terry sucked or didn't know anything, okay?).

So in addition to using Sanchin to train breath, pressure, stretching and relaxation - there's a fundamental (almost said "weight management" ha!) connection (almost said "middle managment" ha!) componet that involves how you bring your "intent" and "strength" (using that loaded term - even though it encapsulates heaven/earth, ground/gravity, etc. all that) to a single point to an overall covering throughout the body and back to a single point and . .so on and so on.

For instance, in funakogi - there's an accompanying stretch and release on he inside before the arms come forward and back. How that stretch is managed and released gets increasingly more complex based on how the body is conditioned over time because more of you will be coordinated together to act as a single connected unit. How you manage the ground pushing you up and gravity pulling you down to manipulate the stretch - will result in how powerful your release ends up being. How well conditioned your body is (relaxed, connected etc.) will result in how much power you can load into the stretch. The use of local muscle will inhibit these things.

The are the nuts and bolts in how I define internal strength. This other talk of energetics, etc. I'm curious about - but less from the perspective of "Oh my sensei does cool shiznit with energy" and more along he lines of how it works - what and how are you training yourself to do?

If people can refrain from having to discuss personalities - I think it will be more productive for everyone. I keep seeing the phrase - "Budo is all about the relationships" (again paraphrasing). Fine, depending on your definition of Budo (e.g. something you belong to versus something you DO and ARE), I can buy into that. But in terms of these "how to" discussions - I care a lot less about how much fun you had attending someone's class or how affirmed you feel as a person. Obviously it should be a relatively "safe" environment . . but can you see how that's a separate discussion?
Budd:

Very good points. His breathing method is different than the one taught by Ki Society. The breath in is allowed to occur naturally (not like to controlled breathing in as done in Ki Breathing). He emphasizes keeping around 20% of the breath in your lungs when you finish with the exhaling through your mouth. He finishes with a short, compressed burst outwards, that is linked to the explosive power. This body movement emphasizes the lack of muscle contraction that you talk about. The tightness would best be described as the torsion of the body trains so that the frame is bearing a unified degree of tension that can be easily be released in any direction. Another sign that you are doing it right is that incoming force can pass through you.

He has a variety of tests and bunkai kumite to verify the correctness of one's movements. The learning process is definitely one of trying to develop better patterned movements.

I frankly am staying away from the "internal debate." One person's view of internal is another person's view of external, is another person's view of ....... In the end, we should all be trying to become better martial artists. Thank you for your efforts toward keeping the discussion on topic.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:45 PM   #312
Budd
 
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Re: Training Internal Strength

Hi Marc,

So if we're crosswalking these things to what I described, perhaps a deeper look would be that the breathwork is intended to make you start to feel how the insides connect within the movement. The compressed burst linked to explosive power could potentially be a means to focus that connected body along to a single point while also managing the micro-muscles that convey your intent (the mental direction of the ground/gravity acting through you as it results in a physical change).

Based on the tests you describe, I see where it can be checking frame and connection - are there explicit drills beyond passing an incoming force towards manipulating their directionality?

Again, just guessing based on what I work on - but does that make sense as the kind of deeper dive that's useful to look at these things - especially "simple" forms, like Sanchin - should be a container to work on all the mental/physical IS conditioning aspects through one drill, I'd wager. So, the better our understanding of the component parts, the better we can see how they fit within the overall landscape of shape.

Thanks for the info,

Best/Budd

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Budd:

Very good points. His breathing method is different than the one taught by Ki Society. The breath in is allowed to occur naturally (not like to controlled breathing in as done in Ki Breathing). He emphasizes keeping around 20% of the breath in your lungs when you finish with the exhaling through your mouth. He finishes with a short, compressed burst outwards, that is linked to the explosive power. This body movement emphasizes the lack of muscle contraction that you talk about. The tightness would best be described as the torsion of the body trains so that the frame is bearing a unified degree of tension that can be easily be released in any direction. Another sign that you are doing it right is that incoming force can pass through you.

He has a variety of tests and bunkai kumite to verify the correctness of one's movements. The learning process is definitely one of trying to develop better patterned movements.

I frankly am staying away from the "internal debate." One person's view of internal is another person's view of external, is another person's view of ....... In the end, we should all be trying to become better martial artists. Thank you for your efforts toward keeping the discussion on topic.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:01 PM   #313
Marc Abrams
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Hi Marc,

So if we're crosswalking these things to what I described, perhaps a deeper look would be that the breathwork is intended to make you start to feel how the insides connect within the movement. The compressed burst linked to explosive power could potentially be a means to focus that connected body along to a single point while also managing the micro-muscles that convey your intent (the mental direction of the ground/gravity acting through you as it results in a physical change).

Based on the tests you describe, I see where it can be checking frame and connection - are there explicit drills beyond passing an incoming force towards manipulating their directionality?

Again, just guessing based on what I work on - but does that make sense as the kind of deeper dive that's useful to look at these things - especially "simple" forms, like Sanchin - should be a container to work on all the mental/physical IS conditioning aspects through one drill, I'd wager. So, the better our understanding of the component parts, the better we can see how they fit within the overall landscape of shape.

Thanks for the info,

Best/Budd
Budd:

Remember that I am learning from Ushiro Sensei and can only share from the limited experience that I have. The breathing in Sanchin is very much about connecting breathing and body together. The interesting thing about Ushiro Sensei's burst is that the emanation of energy is 360 degrees. I can only wish to be able to do that one.

There are many tests and many different levels of tests, depending upon your level of development. The interesting stuff is the stuff around neutralizing the force of the other person without changing the directionality of their incoming force.

Ushiro Sensei starts his day by doing Sanchin kata. He talked about always learning new things from all of the kata. I just finished rehab. on my shoulder and have begun my daily kata practice again. I feel as though I have slid backwards in some areas. Interestingly enough, the time I spend on watching video and thinking deeply about certain movements in other kata have helped me clean up my execution in those areas. Thank you for the clarity of your writing. I find it helpful.

Regards,

marc abrams
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:52 PM   #314
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Re: Training Internal Strength

Thanks, Marc. I'll be really interested over time to see how you work on connecting the dots between what you're doing now and the burst that Ushiro does. I have an idea in theory how it works, but don't want to comment any further without hands on. I expect a lot of it is the right conditioning combined with the right balance of stretch and release.
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:01 PM   #315
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Re: Training Internal Strength

And that's the way it should be done.

Thanks, Marc and Budd.
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:02 PM   #316
Marc Abrams
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Thanks, Marc. I'll be really interested over time to see how you work on connecting the dots between what you're doing now and the burst that Ushiro does. I have an idea in theory how it works, but don't want to comment any further without hands on. I expect a lot of it is the right conditioning combined with the right balance of stretch and release.
Budd:

I'm interested as well!!! This work for me is mentally taxing. I hope that one day, the mental intend can drive easier that it currently is. Luckily, I have some great colleagues and teachers to help me move forward. The nice thing about where I am in my life, is that I feel no sense of urgency or rush, just a dedication to apply myself harder as a student to learning something new every day. I genuinely look forward to meeting you.

Regards,

marc
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:04 PM   #317
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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And that's the way it should be done.

Thanks, Marc and Budd.
Seconded.

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Old 01-25-2011, 03:21 PM   #318
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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Seconded.
Yes. Thank you.
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:23 PM   #319
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
I feel like we're circling around the meat of the actual discusion, which to me is - what discrete elements around internal strength can we identify and how are they trained?

So using Sanchin as an example - the two areas that Marc speaks to (breath integrated movement and loosening the joints) are certainly basic pieces of the kinds of conditioning you need to do in order to rewire your body ... what I've seen by a lot of people doing Sanchin kata is certainly emphasizing breath and stretching ... but also with "locked" poses and external/localized tension in arms, shoulders, letgs, etc.

The clips I've seen where Ushiro s moving, he's not showing the localized tension - but the point I'm making around Sanchin is that there's most likely a "right" way to do it and a "progressvely less correct" ways.
I would say that the purpose of Sanchin is to emphasize correct connected movement that is also a management of applied stress (which is why the form is often tested by beating on the demonstrator in various ways). The lesson is not localized tension, but whole-body connection in an explicitly FLOWING manner.

The stiffness seen in proper sanchin is not the stiffness of locked-up joints, (or your properly noted criticism of "localized tension"). It is simply very SLOOOW flow. The stiffness is throughout the body without exception. It is the stiffness of using "softened" joints in very "viscous" manner but flowing, like the flow of taffy or cold molasses.

The principle being, if you allow the muscles which want to actuate to just actuate all over, and altogether, then they learn a way of flowing while actuating in a way different from ordinary "push-pull" reciprocating limb movements that is the default most people's bodies have to unlearn. Eventually, the stiffness can soften more and more and the local muscle actuation diminishes progressively and stops inhibiting the flow within the body .
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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
For instance, in funakogi - there's an accompanying stretch and release on he inside before the arms come forward and back. How that stretch is managed and released gets increasingly more complex based on how the body is conditioned over time because more of you will be coordinated together to act as a single connected unit.
Funakogi undo (and udefuri, zengo undo, furitama, and most all fo the kokyu ho undo, etc. ) takes the completely opposite tack compared with sanchin. No limb muscle actuation of any kind should be used and the core is properly used to drive the loose, slinging, shuddering flow throughout the body, out the limbs and back again, in coordination with the breath. Eventually the muscles in the limbs learn the pattern of this action and can assist in guiding it in ways that do not diminish it.

Done properly it has two basic modes: one is the kind of flowy continuous reversal of motions that never stops, i.e. -- the sign changes but the magnitude of the momentum never even goes toward zero - -a la funa kogi done in the slow furling/unfurling motion (i.e. -- "spirit of the Demon Snake" in the Doka).

Breath figures in because the cycle of breath furls and unfurls the torso in precisely the same manner.

The other mode prompts resonance or reverberation in the body seen in tekubi furi and furitama which should ideally bounce the heels spontaneously from its higher frequency oscillations, The Doka calls this the "spirit of bees."

Funa kogi can be done both ways, actually, one looking more like a flag waving in the bereze and the other more like an atemi with the "pop" and the resonance in the reverb of the body in extension drives the retraction spontaneously. It is like a chain rebounding with that stretch you mention -- because it IS a chain rebounding -- a chain of bones.

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The use of local muscle will inhibit these things.
Localized actuation causes discontinuities or reversals that eat up the flow. Some people call these discontinuities "creases in the suit." Sanchin totalizes actuation throughout the body removing the local discontinuities. Kokyu ho undo removes all actuation except from the core, and thus also eliminates the local discontinuities.

Sanchin has the inexorable flow of a landslide. Kokyu ho undo has the twin aspects of flow in the breaking wave.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 01-25-2011 at 03:30 PM.

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Erick Mead
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:35 PM   #320
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Re: Training Internal Strength

Erick, without getting into a scientific debate regarding your understanding of how internal strength works - I'd say that how the physical forms of both sets of movements is powered (conditioned pressures managing the movement of limbs directed by opposing forces inside you) is the same . . think a bit more about "what" causes the limbs to move. I'm not accepting "shear" as the answer, either
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:49 PM   #321
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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Erick, without getting into a scientific debate regarding your understanding of how internal strength works - I'd say that how the physical forms of both sets of movements is powered (conditioned pressures managing the movement of limbs directed by opposing forces inside you) is the same . . think a bit more about "what" causes the limbs to move. I'm not accepting "shear" as the answer, either
Fair enough, the "what" is the thing, after all, that the exercises only point to. I agree both are powered. Let me work with you on our respective definitions, because I think we are not so far apart.

"Conditioned pressures" is what I would describe as "stresses," or if you prefer, "managed stresses." Now, I would understand those stresses in a certain way.

How would you understand them, assuming for purposes of the discussion we are both seeing the same things in these examples? How do you describe them when trying to discuss them ? How are the forces opposed ?

I ask these to make a point about your statement above that may help our discussion, but I would prefer to have your understanding, rather than imposing my own, or at least so you do not perceive me to impose terminology you are not comfortable applying in this way.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:50 PM   #322
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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Fair enough, the "what" is the thing, after all, that the exercises only point to. I agree both are powered. Let me work with you on our respective definitions, because I think we are not so far apart.

"Conditioned pressures" is what I would describe as "stresses," or if you prefer, "managed stresses." Now, I would understand those stresses in a certain way.

How would you understand them, assuming for purposes of the discussion we are both seeing the same things in these examples? How do you describe them when trying to discuss them ? How are the forces opposed ?

I ask these to make a point about your statement above that may help our discussion, but I would prefer to have your understanding, rather than imposing my own, or at least so you do not perceive me to impose terminology you are not comfortable applying in this way.
That's also fair - have to run for a bit to train, but if the discussion hasn't moved on, I'll reply later this evening, okay?
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:57 AM   #323
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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That's also fair - have to run for a bit to train, but if the discussion hasn't moved on, I'll reply later this evening, okay?
So got delayed more than I expected - but the basic principle around "conditioned pressures" - to take it a step back towards the Asian definitions - is that you are managing the meeting of gravity/heaven and ground/earth inside you. So there's a skill/trick component at work with how you best manage natural forces around you from a balance perspective. If someone add's another force (say a push, or pull from a grab), it just becomes part of the sum total that you're managing.

Just those pieces alone are aspects of the "skill" at work in this stuff. Another piece - which requires a lot of conditioning work over time - is to better rewire your body to manage those external forces and connect the body. How you breath, how you stand, how you perform the most basic movements over time - all come under heavy scrutiny because there very definitely is a "right" and "wrong" way for this. The "right" way involves training the legs and middle to fully support the upper body and to act as primary power generators.

As you condition the body over time through correct practice (and yes, I'm intentionally leaving things out because it needs to be shown hands on) you will gain the ability to coordinate the management of external forces with the leg/middle strength and store them along various parts of the body via the elastic connections you've trained. It's different from how people normally think of Ki "flowing" in that it's an ongoing stretch/release along the large muscles connecting to the fascia to the bones - so that when one part moves - all parts move.

Erick - do you see how this is different than applied stresses (such as beating the muscles so they don't clench or cut off a visualized "flow")?
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:38 PM   #324
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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So got delayed more than I expected - but the basic principle around "conditioned pressures" - to take it a step back towards the Asian definitions - is that you are managing the meeting of gravity/heaven and ground/earth inside you.
I'll come back to skill later-- First, let' finish work on the "what" before going to the "how."

The question is what is happening to make these two basic components (tenchi or weight/ground) interact. Some people visualize them as a simple down-arrow of weight and an up-arrow of ground (reaction force). I would take issue with that simple image only slightly, but adding to it in an important way.

If the action/reaction arrows meet head to head you have compression, if they join tail to tail you have tension -- same two forces -- but two different actions/ stresses -- or pressures, if you like. The heaven-gravity part, in your terms, is actually the action of weight suspended, and therefore in tension, while the earth-ground part is the action of weight supported and therefore in compression.

But there is a third, and in some senses much more fundamental and more common orientation of the up and down arrows and that is where the neither the heads nor the tails meet. They are offset from one another. This is (if you think about it) a class of interactions that is vastly more common than the relatively rarer instances when action and reaction meet in a perfect line.

In mechanical terms the two opposed forces out of line in that way are eccentric, and two eccentric forces define a shear. The offset cutting action of scissors is called shearing for this reason. Let us just note that point in passing, for now, and then move on in your terms to look at the "what" of things that are going on in the body.

So let's start at the ground and work our way up the body in stages and see if we agree on some things as we go. Start with the most basic bipedal activity -- walking. We have two legs. To move requires shifting the support from one leg to the other in succession, typically. Unless you are a kangaroo, one leg is always in relative compression and the other is in relative tension, hanging, in a sense from the "frame" and these alternate.

Standing (a la zhanzhuang) this difference of stress depending on how the weight is disposed between the legs can be accentuated by extension or stretching of the tension side, or by driving the weight more firmly onto the weighted side. In fact doing one requires the other and vice versa, which betrays something about the nature of the relationship between these opposing forces, actions or stresses, and how they interact.

But these two lines of opposing force/stress/pressure must meet (obviously) in some manner just above the junction of the legs. and they alternate in moving (or striking, I might add). So an important interaction must happen there.

So, the question, after this long preface, is to you, in your terms: How do you understand the interaction of those two opposing forces at the hara or xia-dantian? I think we agree that is how we call the place where it occurs.

If you prefer to answer that operatively rather than trying to define it -- that's fine. Operation implies a defnition, so we can work back to a definition that you may agree with based on your sense of the operation you use or perceive in controlling or manipulating it.

I would suggest, if that operative approach is your preferred way of addressing it to start with this that you already said, because we are in full agreement on this point:

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
The "right" way involves training the legs and middle to fully support the upper body and to act as primary power generators. ... it's an ongoing stretch/release along the large muscles connecting to the fascia to the bones - so that when one part moves - all parts move.
The question between us under discussion being, of course, the "what" that is moving them -- so we are close on the hunt for common meaning, in this, I think

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Erick - do you see how this is different than applied stresses (such as beating the muscles so they don't clench or cut off a visualized "flow")?
I do. And perhaps you mistake my meaning as to "applied stresses" because I am talking about a systemic condition of differing but innately related stresses that connect the whole body, very much in the manner you suggest, though my terms, as you know, differ, though not as much or to the effect that I think you think they do.

Bear with me, and let's see if we continue to close any gaps in our respective meanings.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 01-26-2011 at 03:41 PM.

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Erick Mead
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:09 PM   #325
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Re: Training Internal Strength

I sorta feel we're around the limits of what we can have as a dialogue until we get hands on time (or have mutual contacts vet what we're doing) - but I agree with you that there's a joining where the two natural forces of ground/gravity meet. Part of the training is managing the intersection of those forces in you AND conditioning your body to more efficiently manage that intersection (and additional "inputs" - whether they be a weapon, other people, etc.).

If we go back to the "what" . . and describe that as the intersection .. you've used the term "shear" and I think I know what you're going for - but I would add that there's a few other factors you aren't giving due consideration to and may be perceived as a tipoff to others that have extensive time and training in this area.

So there's an intersection and a natural power output - whatever you wanna call it. But at this point there's a conditioned trick for getting that output where you want it to go - hands, foot, head, through somebody else, out the end of a weapon, etc. This involves stretch and elasticity of the body as well around the management and delivery of that intersection - through the bones, ligaments and muscles acting as one unit. I don't go into too much detail online around this, because there's some risks when you haven't been shown how to do it correctly - and I'm a firm believer in this area of the "it has to be felt" principle.

This is where I tend to see the biggest differences in approach, which parts of the body are responsible for the stretch and release, how they're coordinated, trained, etc. The "what" that is moving the intersection is going to depend on your level of training and ability - it could be local muscles, could be the middle, could be the mind firing off micromuscles, could be some combo of things . .
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