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Old 07-26-2011, 07:03 AM   #26
phitruong
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
The "move your inside" thing is especially frustrating 'cause, well, in the end you can only see what effect it had, but the way Ikeda does it, you can't really see how it does it. It's like seeing the football fly across the field, and knowing a guy threw it, but not being able to see the guy visibly throwing the ball. He tells you just "throw the ball" and then we're back to... how? I've been to Ikeda's seminars long ago, and in the end, that's about all I left with, big giant "how?"s.

I think we can simultaneously raise the level of discourse here, while still respecting the limitations of IHBTF or whatever other 5 letter acronym that gets dragged out. Some of us have already felt it and still have questions, so now what?
sure, the how is a big problem to describe about things that are going inside your body. for years, i was quite frustrated with Ikeda sensei's explanation "move your inside". i meant come on! am i suppose to flip my spleen or rotate my kidneys or making faces with my intestines? in recent years, probably the past 2-3 years, Ikeda sensei demonstration of "move your inside" got a lot better and almost understandable to aikido folks. now, if you pestering him long enough, he would tell you about his solo stuffs, which i have done, pestering him that is, in recent years.

i can only tell you my approach that after years of frustration with Ikeda sensei, and reading various argument of aikido folks with Sigman and Harden; i went and checked out these folks. a session with them, and i understand perfectly what Ikeda meant because these folks have ways to break it down and teach it and demonstrate it at the most basic level. there are folks in the same boat as i, and can attest to what i am stating here. those who have similar exposure, now have the same basic understanding, which is a common ground to start a fruitful discussion; otherwise, it would be two ships passing by in the night.
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:11 AM   #27
Howard Popkin
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

but Phi,

If you were on ships passing in the night, you could go tuna fishing !!

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Old 07-26-2011, 07:15 AM   #28
Lee Salzman
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
sure, the how is a big problem to describe about things that are going inside your body. for years, i was quite frustrated with Ikeda sensei's explanation "move your inside". i meant come on! am i suppose to flip my spleen or rotate my kidneys or making faces with my intestines? in recent years, probably the past 2-3 years, Ikeda sensei demonstration of "move your inside" got a lot better and almost understandable to aikido folks. now, if you pestering him long enough, he would tell you about his solo stuffs, which i have done, pestering him that is, in recent years.

i can only tell you my approach that after years of frustration with Ikeda sensei, and reading various argument of aikido folks with Sigman and Harden; i went and checked out these folks. a session with them, and i understand perfectly what Ikeda meant because these folks have ways to break it down and teach it and demonstrate it at the most basic level. there are folks in the same boat as i, and can attest to what i am stating here. those who have similar exposure, now have the same basic understanding, which is a common ground to start a fruitful discussion; otherwise, it would be two ships passing by in the night.
I think the two ships passing in the night thing is, respectfully, a cop-out. In the spirit of Oisin Burke's question of what, I think we can probably at least try to ferret out some ground rules for what is a center, and what moves it. There are probably at least some things we could definitively say about what a center, as we vaguely use it in aikido, is or is not:

The center is not the arms (fingers, hands, wrists, forearm, elbow, upper arm, shoulder socket).
The center is not the legs (toes, feet, ankles, lower leg, knee, upper leg, hip sockets).
The center is probably not the pelvis, but there may be a some association with it.
The center is probably not the rib-cage and the scapula, but there may be a some association with it.
The center is probably not the skull but there may be some association with it.
There is quite likely a very strong association of it with the spine.
There is quite likely a very strong association with the diaphragm.
There is quite likely a very strong association with the active meat of the torso on all sides.
The center is probably not my spleen or my kidneys or my intestines, because I don't think I could ever figure out how to tie them into balloon animals with the power of my mind either.

But hey, that's already a lot farther than we were, no? And that wasn't even really that controversial to say, I hope?
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:26 AM   #29
phitruong
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

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Howard Popkin wrote: View Post
but Phi,

If you were on ships passing in the night, you could go tuna fishing !!

howard, don't make me go up there with a couple of guys and do an intervention on you since you have turned into a fishing addict! well, at least we will intervene after we eat all of your tuna, no point doing it before.
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:27 AM   #30
DH
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Is it power or connection that you are really looking for?
There is no difference. When people don't understand what being connected inside yourself means, they opt for:
avoiding / evading movement, and noodle arms (which they mistake for "soft"). This has created a false sense of what soft is in the arts among people searching for the illusive state of connected body. .
Power is connection / connection is power. What you do with it is your choice. The founder displayed it and talked about it. You have to have it, in order to be truly soft in the Martial Arts.
Just say'n
Dan
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:35 AM   #31
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
I think the two ships passing in the night thing is, respectfully, a cop-out. In the spirit of Oisin Burke's question of what, I think we can probably at least try to ferret out some ground rules for what is a center, and what moves it. There are probably at least some things we could definitively say about what a center, as we vaguely use it in aikido, is or is not:

The center is not the arms (fingers, hands, wrists, forearm, elbow, upper arm, shoulder socket).
The center is not the legs (toes, feet, ankles, lower leg, knee, upper leg, hip sockets).
The center is probably not the pelvis, but there may be a some association with it.
The center is probably not the rib-cage and the scapula, but there may be a some association with it.
The center is probably not the skull but there may be some association with it.
There is quite likely a very strong association of it with the spine.
There is quite likely a very strong association with the diaphragm.
There is quite likely a very strong association with the active meat of the torso on all sides.
The center is probably not my spleen or my kidneys or my intestines, because I don't think I could ever figure out how to tie them into balloon animals with the power of my mind either.

But hey, that's already a lot farther than we were, no? And that wasn't even really that controversial to say, I hope?
Well, fair dues to you for teasing it out.

How about pressure? How does pressure fit into it? (If at all)?
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:37 AM   #32
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
There is no difference. When people don't understand what being connected inside yourself means, they opt for:
avoiding / evading movement, and noodle arms (which they mistake for "soft"). This has created a false sense of what soft is in the arts among people searching for the illusive state of connected body. .
Power is connection / connection is power. What you do with it is your choice. The founder displayed it and talked about it. You have to have it, in order to be truly soft in the Martial Arts.
Just say'n
Dan
I dunno. I think you can have plenty of "Ki" (power) and no connection. Aiki is connection.

IMO
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:38 AM   #33
DH
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
sure, the how is a big problem to describe about things that are going inside your body. for years, i was quite frustrated with Ikeda sensei's explanation "move your inside". i meant come on! am i suppose to flip my spleen or rotate my kidneys or making faces with my intestines? in recent years, probably the past 2-3 years, Ikeda sensei demonstration of "move your inside" got a lot better and almost understandable to aikido folks. now, if you pestering him long enough, he would tell you about his solo stuffs, which i have done, pestering him that is, in recent years.

i can only tell you my approach that after years of frustration with Ikeda sensei, and reading various argument of aikido folks with Sigman and Harden; i went and checked out these folks. a session with them, and i understand perfectly what Ikeda meant because these folks have ways to break it down and teach it and demonstrate it at the most basic level. there are folks in the same boat as i, and can attest to what i am stating here. those who have similar exposure, now have the same basic understanding, which is a common ground to start a fruitful discussion; otherwise, it would be two ships passing by in the night.
What I think it is interesting is that is that this is any news at all to those in the supposedly soft arts. The reason it is news is because most people don't have an idea of what connection is or feels like in themselves, so they make all soft of assumptions about how to get there. More importantly, "What is feels like," on the inside is something still out there and dreamed of for them.

I must say that I have met many who truly and honestly thought they were connected and soft, till they felt it and had it explained to them.
Get out there and feel and ask. If you keep getting some guy telling you to move connectedly, go somewhere else till you find several who can tell you HOW.
Then work
Dan
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:50 AM   #34
Lee Salzman
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

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Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
Well, fair dues to you for teasing it out.

How about pressure? How does pressure fit into it? (If at all)?
That is where I fear my current studies have no definitive data points to contribute, and I am still researching. I can conjecture that outward movement (for me which I use to make up) is mediated by a directed expansion, and inward movement (for me which I use to make down) is mediated by a directed retraction, but I can't say that is how I should be doing it, or how others do it, or that the whole body muscular effort by which I do it is in any way the final product or just an intermediate crutch. So if you or anyone else wants to contribute data points on that matter, please, please, go ahead.
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:52 AM   #35
Gorgeous George
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Why?
This is basic stuff, Graham. Can you show me something worth being a hero about? The real question is how can anyone claim to truly know aiki...do and not be past this stuff and on to more advanced things?
I'll assume for argument sake that Endo is past this stuff already and is only showing these basic concepts for beginners (I have no opinion, I have not felt the guy), but if that was a teaching tape or an attempt to teach, than well...!
I mean, come on dude, seriously?
I say again, find someone who can do it, more importantly find someone who has students who are very, very good and thus hopefully they can actually teach it.
Just say'n
Dan
Well, it might be basic, but very few - even if they are capable of aiki - actually explain it, as opposed to just practice it.
I also love the way he moves: his demeanour.
And surely being capable of this basic stuff, allows him to do anything more advanced?

I learn from a shodan who follows Endo sensei: he's incredibly powerful, and unstoppable; he regularly asks to be held strong; pushed over; etc., and he never is.
And he's trained with Endo sensei, and is in awe of him.

I should like to train with both Endo sensei, and yourself, Dan, as you both have perspectives that interest me greatly.

What do you do that is more advanced than shown in this video, by the way?
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:55 AM   #36
DH
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

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Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
I dunno. I think you can have plenty of "Ki" (power) and no connection. Aiki is connection.
IMO
I've lost track of how many times I have heard an Asian teacher point out a big strong unschooled dummy and say "He has great ki" Then the same teachers talk about someone with a charismatic personality and say "He has great ki" Good luck with that.
Ki is such a generic term that you can argue all day about it being uneducated muscle or refined whole body connected strength. A connected body makes connection with your opponent. You don't have aiki without connection, you don't have connection with an untrained body.

The martial arts are so full of people who don't have a connected body, that by shear volume, they make wrong... right. I think it is always been this way. There is a reason that throughout history, guys have shown up and gone through every body, with those same "every bodies" stand in wonderment. those that understand, have always stood out against the wallpaper that is budo (in every era). The trick is to stop being the wallpaper.
Dan
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:03 AM   #37
oisin bourke
 
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I've lost track of how many times I have heard an Asian teacher point out a big strong unschooled dummy and say "He has great ki" Then the same teachers talk about someone with a charismatic personality and say "He has great ki" Good luck with that.
Ki is such a generic term that you can argue all day about it being uneducated muscle or refined whole body connected strength. A connected body makes connection with your opponent. You don't have aiki without connection, you don't have connection with an untrained body.
I agree with you that it's a generic term, but I was referring to the term in relation to this thread:

One can have "ki" (i.e develop the centre as a locus of power) and at the same time not have "aiki".
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:06 AM   #38
DH
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

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Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
Well, it might be basic, but very few - even if they are capable of aiki - actually explain it, as opposed to just practice it.
That's not an explaintion that will help anyone. Particulalry when he is demonstrating things that are wrong, and then righting them and not telling anyone what he changed and why.

Quote:
And surely being capable of this basic stuff, allows him to do anything more advanced?
Nope. No guarantee of anything.

Quote:
What do you do that is more advanced than shown in this video, by the way?
Well That's sort of like asking "What can be more advanced than addition and subtraction?" That's okay if your eight, not so good when you're the Math teacher.
Just say'n
Dan
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:19 AM   #39
DH
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

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Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
I agree with you that it's a generic term, but I was referring to the term in relation to this thread:

One can have "ki" (i.e develop the centre as a locus of power) and at the same time not have "aiki".
You can also think you have aiki and not have aiki.
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:23 AM   #40
oisin bourke
 
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
You can also think you have aiki and not have aiki.
Agreed.
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:30 AM   #41
Gorgeous George
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
That's not an explaintion that will help anyone. Particulalry when he is demonstrating things that are wrong, and then righting them and not telling anyone what he changed and why.

Nope. No guarantee of anything.

Well That's sort of like asking "What can be more advanced than addition and subtraction?" That's okay if your eight, not so good when you're the Math teacher.
Just say'n
Dan
Interesting...
If you really have a much greater understanding, ability, and teaching method than Endo sensei, I will make sure to come and see you, when you next come to the UK.

Do you find that you are able, on the whole, to get effective results from how you teach, what you teach?
Do your students display greater ability/understanding than those learning from mainstream aikido teachers?
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:34 AM   #42
DH
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

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Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
I should like to train with both Endo sensei, and yourself, Dan, as you both have perspectives that interest me greatly....

What do you do that is more advanced than shown in this video, by the way?
Hi Graham
I might be back in England this fall Graham. Keep in touch by P.M if you want to hook up.
Dan
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:40 AM   #43
Gorgeous George
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hi Graham
I might be back in England this fall Graham. Keep in touch by P.M if you want to hook up.
Dan
Excellent; thanks a lot.
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:48 AM   #44
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
... I've been to Ikeda's seminars long ago, and in the end, that's about all I left with, big giant "how?"...
I don't know wether I understand your point?

I asked him "how?"
He gave me some exercises I can practice.
So I can explore one first step of "how".

At least I got a direction where to surch ...?

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 07-26-2011 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:49 AM   #45
DH
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

Hi Graham
We cross posted
Let me take this one at a time.

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Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
Interesting...
1. If you really have a much greater understanding, ability, and teaching method than Endo sensei....
I never said that. I may...I may not. I have not felt him or seen what he is capable of so I would never offer that comparison in any way. He is one of the few that I have spoken favorably about in open rooms though, as many here can tell you.

Quote:
2. Do you find that you are able, on the whole, to get effective results from how you teach, what you teach?
If people put in the work? Yes

Quote:
3. Do your students display greater ability/understanding than those learning from mainstream aikido teachers?
Well,, er...I guess I would say yes, but since many people who train with me are Aikido teachers;including something like nine or ten Shihan, I don't know how to answer that.

I'm not concerned so much with comparisons as I am with the work we're doing. The information is out there, it isn't just about me. I'm just a small fish in a big pond. The thing we should all be looking for is who's got it (to whatever degree) and more importantly who can teach it and is there proof that it is helping. That broadens the discussion. I suggest..oh hell I insist...that people go out and train with others all the time. Even those who don't like me much.
If I were a teacher, I would say you are supposed to care about the people you are teaching. Then, you have to care about their growth. Exposure to other methods and different perspectives can help even when they are wrong, because students/ researchers can examine methods and make up their own minds. No comparisons...ya don't know what you're going to get.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 07-26-2011 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:52 AM   #46
Lee Salzman
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
... I've been to Ikeda's seminars long ago, and in the end, that's about all I left with, big giant "how?"...
I don't know wether I understand your point?

I asked him "how?"
He gave me exercises I can practice.
So I can explore one first step of "how".

At least I hope so?
So would you like to contribute some data-points?
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:02 AM   #47
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

Saying "power is connection and connection in power" to an aikido crowd is a bit like putting a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. You're going get lots of protest and nervous glances. It's true. But there is a segment of mainstream aikido that thinks of power as a bad thing. They don't want it, they speak poorly of it... and they don't have it. Funny correlation.

Your core body contains the strongest muscles, connected to the greater part of your body. It is not a surprise that we generate most of our power from it. The problem is that we are pretty bad at generating power. Look at athletes that use power across the board; golfers, football players, baseball players, soccer players, hockey players. I could go on but these athletes all have strong stomach (back) and chest muscles, strong butt and leg muscles and strong shoulder muscles. They do not need to be big but they all have power from their sports science.

Popkin Sensei nailed this answer in the second post. Your body posture supports your center. Fancy wrist flourishes and sneaky movements do not make power. Every see the student who cannot do a single technique outside his dojo? Without the pre-knowledge of the timing and subtly of his fellow students quirks and collaboration? Don't we want to learn how to do this stuff to anyone and everyone?

O'Sensei spent a lot of his life building his body and developing his power between farm work, sports, martial arts, misogi and kiai. This conditioning helped him learn how to be most efficient with his body and generate a level of power that was legendary. We seem to sometimes skip over the hard work part of aikido and go right to the blending harmony stuff. Its a shame that we are so focused on not being powerful; there is nothing wrong with having power. I am not saying go out and punch trees. But, I think we could spend a few more minutes building up our core power and learning how to control our own energy before we start pretending to control someone else's.

For me, Kiai is connection; aiki is the manifestation of a union of energy resulting from kiai. You have to have something in order to share it with another. You have to control something in order to use it to control another. It is dangerous to consider an art that is dependent upon your partner - if my definition of aiki is connection, what is the result if you partner will not connect with you? For me, kiai is like driving a car - if someone grab the door handle while I drive past, it will not affect me but it will affect him. Kiai is the intent and concentration of our movement regardless of our partner's counter-action. Aiki is the union that results when my energy blends with my partner.

For me, developing this kiai is part of learning to move with your center. It is about unifying your body (literally) and moving from you center of power. The interaction with a partner is unnecessary for this type of training.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:13 AM   #48
Mark Freeman
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

Quote:
Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
How about What? Something has got to move "the centre", so what moves it?
Hi Oisin,

For me it is the mind/intent. The mind moves the centre, the centre moves the rest.

'If' the body is connected, then power is a natural result.

I think that Endo Sensei is showing but not fully explaining what he is doing. Being relaxed is only a part of the picture, how the mind/ intent works both with self and uke, is where I find the most useful practice.

Both Dan and Mike explain what they are doing in fine detail. I have found this incredibly useful in understanding what I have learned already, also in how I describe what I am doing when teaching the principles of aikido, which I am still striving to improve on all the time.

Most folk seem to be stuck in the physical aspects of centre and dont get me wrong, the physical aspects are hugely important, if the hands are not connected to the feet through centre in all movement, then power is greatly diminished.

I was taught, use the body to train the mind, then use the mind to lead the body.

Using mental imagery and metaphors, helps to embed the correct feeling and focus.

So don't use your feet and legs to move your centre, mentally move the centre allowing the legs and feet to naturally accomodate the new position. This can be done in all directions.

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:23 AM   #49
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

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Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
Hi Oisin,

For me it is the mind/intent. The mind moves the centre, the centre moves the rest.

'If' the body is connected, then power is a natural result.

I think that Endo Sensei is showing but not fully explaining what he is doing. Being relaxed is only a part of the picture, how the mind/ intent works both with self and uke, is where I find the most useful practice.

Both Dan and Mike explain what they are doing in fine detail. I have found this incredibly useful in understanding what I have learned already, also in how I describe what I am doing when teaching the principles of aikido, which I am still striving to improve on all the time.

Most folk seem to be stuck in the physical aspects of centre and dont get me wrong, the physical aspects are hugely important, if the hands are not connected to the feet through centre in all movement, then power is greatly diminished.

I was taught, use the body to train the mind, then use the mind to lead the body.

Using mental imagery and metaphors, helps to embed the correct feeling and focus.

So don't use your feet and legs to move your centre, mentally move the centre allowing the legs and feet to naturally accomodate the new position. This can be done in all directions.

regards,

Mark
Hi Mark,

That's a very good description, but it strikes me as being cartesian i.e "the mind" and "the body" are being experienced as two different processes. There's so much that's going on within us. The feet and hands of course, but there's so much more else that is moving. Being aware of what one is doing and "imagining" what one is doing can be two very different things, no?

Regards,
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:14 AM   #50
vjw
Dojo: Rochester Phoenix
Location: Rochester, NY
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 83
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Re: Is power really generated from the center?

Quote:
Howard Popkin wrote: View Post
but Phi,

If you were on ships passing in the night, you could go tuna fishing !!

Howard,

Same old Tune eh?
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