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Old 01-26-2011, 11:40 AM   #1
RonRagusa
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 678
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One Hundred and Seventy-nine

So the other night I had two of our students help me with the unliftable body exercise. I have been using this exercise to increase my ability to project weight underside for years. I always practiced it with my wrists a little in front of my hips and slightly curled. I decided this time to change the exercise slightly in order to make it harder for me to remain grounded as my partners lifted. What I did was have my arms hang straight down along my sides, in line with my hips, wrists held at their natural angle. I then invited my partners to grab my arms with both hands (katate ryote tori) and lower themselves until they were below my center of gravity so they could really use their legs to lift me. As they tried to lift me I could feel them actually rebound away from the force they were exerting. This was a new feeling for me. When practicing this exercise the old way I always felt them sort of just go away.

My next task will be to dynamically change the configuration of my arms so I can experiment with the applied forces in order to better understand how my physical posture relates to correct feeling. I am also going to incorporate continuously alternating from unliftable to liftable and back again in varying degrees, something I can do now, to see how the position of my arms affects that ability.

(Original blog post may be found here.)
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:11 AM   #2
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,652
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Re: One Hundred and Seventy-nine

Try doing it with the arms straight out in front of you.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:53 AM   #3
RonRagusa
Location: Massachusetts
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Re: One Hundred and Seventy-nine

Quote:
John Riggs wrote: View Post
Try doing it with the arms straight out in front of you.
Hi John -

I've had people push on my out stretched arms while I'm in natural stance. Could you please explain the positions of my partners trying to lift me while my arms are straight out in front of me? I'll be happy to give it a shot.

Ron
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:06 PM   #4
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
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Re: One Hundred and Seventy-nine

Hi Ron. Sounds like good practice. Thought I'd contribute with something you could try.
From the way you described with arms straight down by your side if you allow those lifting to lift up your wrists you will find the weight underside or downward energy transfers to going through the elbows. In other words the wrists and hands and lower arm will lift up easily but then no further as weight is now underside the elbows.
When teaching unbendable arm I always say it's not an arm that cannot bend but it is one that will not bend. I say that because you can control how much you let it bend so you can have a part bent unbendable arm that wont bend any further and you can change it to a straight arm if you wish. Thus it's similar to what you envisage doing on the lifting exercise if I'm not mistaken.
As an additive I've got something for you to try which I think might amaze you. When the lifters are trying their best to lift you, let the weight underside, the downward energy take care of itself and just be with the two lifters, actually look at them with interest as if youre really interested in what they are trying to do. I'd love to know what happens when you do this.
Regards. G.
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:37 PM   #5
RonRagusa
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 678
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Re: One Hundred and Seventy-nine

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Hi Ron. Sounds like good practice. Thought I'd contribute with something you could try.
From the way you described with arms straight down by your side if you allow those lifting to lift up your wrists you will find the weight underside or downward energy transfers to going through the elbows. In other words the wrists and hands and lower arm will lift up easily but then no further as weight is now underside the elbows.
When teaching unbendable arm I always say it's not an arm that cannot bend but it is one that will not bend. I say that because you can control how much you let it bend so you can have a part bent unbendable arm that wont bend any further and you can change it to a straight arm if you wish. Thus it's similar to what you envisage doing on the lifting exercise if I'm not mistaken.
As an additive I've got something for you to try which I think might amaze you. When the lifters are trying their best to lift you, let the weight underside, the downward energy take care of itself and just be with the two lifters, actually look at them with interest as if youre really interested in what they are trying to do. I'd love to know what happens when you do this.
Regards. G.
Hi Graham -

I've already practiced unbendable arm in the manner you describe. I'll give the other 2 suggestions a try, they sound interesting. Here's one you might like. While the lifters are trying to lift you allow your feet to just barely graze the mat. Begin to move around the mat taking your partners with you. Once you get them moving you'll find that it's very easy to get them to change direction with only a slight amount of pressure with your feet.

Best,

Ron
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:04 PM   #6
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
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England
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Re: One Hundred and Seventy-nine

Hi Ron. Thanks I have done that and it's interesting you mentioning it for it is a very strange yet amazing experience when you look at it 'logically' so to speak. By that I mean weight underside and downward energy and yet although you're immovable you can move easily.
Just as an added bit of information as to my view or what I have found regarding these things. I differenciate between one point and what I call Koshi.
Physically I have Koshi as the point at the center of the back of the hips or base of the spine. This point I find is the 'let go' point that allows the energy to go through downwards and leads to relaxation. Thus I usually relate all downward energy movements as using Koshi and just like the concept of keeping one point then there is keeping koshi as well. Thus when people comment on my looking relaxed it is actually me keeping koshi.
It's like a door to me and I find as soon as you tense ou you can feel that door has slammed shut.
Thanks again.G.
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