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Old 09-15-2011, 10:15 AM   #1
HL1978
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Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

I posted this in the Mifune thread, but figured this might deserve its own thread.

Quote:
As others have said, if you have some experience you can see whether or not IS is being used. Lets look at the following 3 examples for a simple motion of turning the body from left to right.

1) The average guy on the street:
The average person on the street turns left to right by using their upper waist/torso, which pivots the upper body down to the knees. This is sort of top heavy if you use this motion to turn and propagate the motion on out to the arms.

Most people should be able to see this on a video.

2) The hips/koshi/inner thigh (Half IS?):

This guy turns left to right, by opening up the left hip and closing the right hip/inner thigh area. This is much more stable and strong for putting energy out into your arms. Some might call this IS, others might call it good martial movement.

Most people probably are not familiar with this movement, but could see it fairly easily if taught to see it in the matter of a few minutes.

3) Moving/iniateing with the middle (full IS?):

This person does number 2 (No Jokes Phi), but instead of initiating the movement solely with the hips and inner thigh, the iniate with the tanden and push/pull it towards the right which causes the motion to begin on out to the thighs.

this is a lot more difficult to see, particularily if the person has loose clothes on. I'm not sure if I would be able to see the difference between this and number 2, perhaps it is the scale by which the opponent is moved. Probably a lot more experienced person would recognize it (I'm no teacher) by watching.
Now how to use the middle for number three is probably a little bit more advanced. I'm willing to discuss how I am approaching it at the moment if anyone is interested.

Do people consider #2 to be IS or just good martial movement?
 
Old 09-15-2011, 10:35 AM   #2
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

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Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
I posted this in the Mifune thread, but figured this might deserve its own thread.

Now how to use the middle for number three is probably a little bit more advanced. I'm willing to discuss how I am approaching it at the moment if anyone is interested.

Do people consider #2 to be IS or just good martial movement?
First, #2. I wouldn't consider it IS. I've seen karate kata's with lots of similar movements and no hint of IS skills. I'd probably consider it signs of what was there (and could be again) more than anything.

#3. The way I learned it and how I practice it is to inflate the dantien/tanden area (inhale) and the push that ball of pressure from the ground to initiate movement. It is a much different feel than moving from the hips and it's something that allows you to move in situations where "move your hips" simply isn't possible. I assume as my breath skills increase the need for so much of an inhale will diminish. Currently if I spend some time just breathing before doing anything the need to do so decreases, but there's still some focus needed on that area.
 
Old 09-16-2011, 07:05 AM   #3
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

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Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
Now how to use the middle for number three is probably a little bit more advanced. I'm willing to discuss how I am approaching it at the moment if anyone is interested.
I am interested.
 
Old 09-16-2011, 07:25 AM   #4
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

Me too. And of hearing about any specific body changes or methods you used to make it happen..
 
Old 09-16-2011, 07:33 AM   #5
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

Just so I can try and understand what you mean, please do elaborate.

When I make the comparision for mae ukemi (tachi) between a beginner and more experienced person, the big difference is in having some sort of tension in the body. The beginner often does not have this and 'craches' into the tatami. I would almost go as far to say does not have proper posture yet. Would this be the same/comparable difference between your proposed sit.2 and sit.3?

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
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Old 09-16-2011, 07:52 AM   #6
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

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Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
Just so I can try and understand what you mean, please do elaborate.

When I make the comparision for mae ukemi (tachi) between a beginner and more experienced person, the big difference is in having some sort of tension in the body. The beginner often does not have this and 'craches' into the tatami. I would almost go as far to say does not have proper posture yet. Would this be the same/comparable difference between your proposed sit.2 and sit.3?
IMO, no.

looking back at example 1, think of it as someone turning their body by simply rotating the upper half, with no coordination/connection to the lower half, which would put them in all sorts of unbalanced positions. You see this in new aikido people ALL the time, constantly tripping over themselves as they turn.

#2 adds in some coordation between the two and probably some sort of physical connection in the body. You're aware of what doing #1 does to your balance so it's more coordinated and connected to the lower half in order to maintain strength and balance.

#3. your focus is on moving the middle/dantien/tanden. The movements in the arms/legs are a result of the connection of those parts TO the middle, not from the arms/legs moving the middle.

To some degree, I think there is some crossover in what you're saying. New people doing ukemi, while being told to relax, are usually limp noodles, where more experienced people are (hopefully), full and relaxed, but never noodly.

make sense?
 
Old 09-16-2011, 08:07 AM   #7
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

Noodly must remember that one!

But yeah, I get what you mean.
I made the comparision because you can see the difference in how someone uses their body when taking ukemi especially with forward roll (at speed). More experienced students project their arms only after their center has started moving, while beginners often do the opposite.
In technique I think it is a timing issue. Many want to be fast, so start moving arms, legs first also giving away their intentions. Whereas first move your body and at the latest moment lift/project arms is more relaxed, maintains proper posture and is faster. But I get the feeling this too is not exactly what you are talking about?

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
 
Old 09-16-2011, 09:37 AM   #8
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
I

Do people consider #2 to be IS or just good martial movement?
you are killing me, Hunter! you kept dropping stuffs like that and tell me not to make jokes. you might as well take out your sword and run me through and put me out of my misery. sheesh!
 
Old 09-16-2011, 09:45 AM   #9
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

if you grab the person by one of their shoulder and ask them to turn,

#1 - would have some difficulty to turn
#2 - you can feel they power up with their legs and lower region
#3 - you won't feel them. one moment nothing then the next moment movement happen.

i am still mostly doing #2 and it's hard going and might need some more internal work around my hara area and fibre (sorry Hunter, can't help meself!)
 
Old 09-16-2011, 12:52 PM   #10
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
you are killing me, Hunter! you kept dropping stuffs like that and tell me not to make jokes. you might as well take out your sword and run me through and put me out of my misery. sheesh!
I can't make it too easy for you, then you might get lazy!
 
Old 09-16-2011, 01:12 PM   #11
HL1978
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

Here are the things I have tried over the years with respect to number 3:

All of these would have me pressurize first with an inhale.

1) pushing down with the upper abs

2) from doing a bunch of reverse breathing I figured out how to "pull" with the kidney area, pulling away from the abs in the front which were pressurized. After a while I learned how to activate either kidney area. I then tried pushing down with the upper abs and pull up with the kidney area.

3) Got some feeling/awareness in the lower abs below the belly, tried using those in number 2.

4) Elongation only of the hip/inner thigh area.

5) try variants of 1-3, but without exhaling

6) variants of 1-3 with an exhale, or using an inhale to press against. While I might feel pressure in the hips/inner thighs, this didn't seem to really work for moving more pressure into the legs.

7) which is where I am at now. I do sort of combination of 2/4/6, but pull with the perineumn as I am pushing with the lower abs and pulling with the kidney area. If I try and move via a reverse breath its all in reverse: The perineum pushes up, abs push up, kidney area pulls down. For me right now the exhale version seems to work the best, but all the muscles in my middle are SUPER SUPER SUPER weak. I'm aware of them, and my partners can feel when I engage them, but they aren't nearly conditoined enough yet to really use them. I can seem to use it to push into one leg or another if I choose.

For both the #2/#3 of my original post, I can do either if I think about it, but my body isn't repatterned enough yet. While I have played with #3 for the past 3 years, I really only learned about how to do the open/close with the hips last summer at a Forrest Chang seminar.

It is really only the 7th variation with which I have had any success in really initiating movement from the middle. I figure at this point with more conditoining the middle will get stronger, but that I need to really work on initiating with the middle as well.

Given that Ark talks about there being 6 dantiens, I probably should have experimented with different combinations much earlier, but since I lacked the awareness of each one, it likely wouldhave been difficult to do so.
 
Old 09-17-2011, 04:12 AM   #12
Michael Varin
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

Sounds like too much "doing."

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
 
Old 09-17-2011, 04:36 AM   #13
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

I think, at some point or another, I've tried most of the variations outlined above..

In addition, I've found a way to further complicate my own approach by varying the structure or system that I emphasize from one practice session to another.

In other words, day 1 might emphasize breathing and abdominal pressure. This is usually more 'work' and often ends up focusing on the core muscle groups. Day 2 might be devoted entirely to skeletal alignment. Day 3 could focus on fascial stretching and the elimination of internal friction or plugging the 'leaks.'

I've had the most success when I stumble on one of those methods that allows me to optimize the interactions between the various components. Not so much, 'oh, that's how this works' but instead, 'oh, that's how this works with that.'

Last edited by tombuchanan : 09-17-2011 at 04:43 AM.
 
Old 09-17-2011, 09:36 AM   #14
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
Here are the things I have tried over the years with respect to number 3:

All of these would have me pressurize first with an inhale.

1) pushing down with the upper abs

2) from doing a bunch of reverse breathing I figured out how to "pull" with the kidney area, pulling away from the abs in the front which were pressurized. After a while I learned how to activate either kidney area. I then tried pushing down with the upper abs and pull up with the kidney area.

3) Got some feeling/awareness in the lower abs below the belly, tried using those in number 2.

4) Elongation only of the hip/inner thigh area.

5) try variants of 1-3, but without exhaling

6) variants of 1-3 with an exhale, or using an inhale to press against. While I might feel pressure in the hips/inner thighs, this didn't seem to really work for moving more pressure into the legs.

7) which is where I am at now. I do sort of combination of 2/4/6, but pull with the perineumn as I am pushing with the lower abs and pulling with the kidney area. If I try and move via a reverse breath its all in reverse: The perineum pushes up, abs push up, kidney area pulls down. For me right now the exhale version seems to work the best, but all the muscles in my middle are SUPER SUPER SUPER weak. I'm aware of them, and my partners can feel when I engage them, but they aren't nearly conditoined enough yet to really use them. I can seem to use it to push into one leg or another if I choose.

For both the #2/#3 of my original post, I can do either if I think about it, but my body isn't repatterned enough yet. While I have played with #3 for the past 3 years, I really only learned about how to do the open/close with the hips last summer at a Forrest Chang seminar.

It is really only the 7th variation with which I have had any success in really initiating movement from the middle. I figure at this point with more conditoining the middle will get stronger, but that I need to really work on initiating with the middle as well.

Given that Ark talks about there being 6 dantiens, I probably should have experimented with different combinations much earlier, but since I lacked the awareness of each one, it likely wouldhave been difficult to do so.
Nice post Hunter. I would say that my progression was probably very similar, though I feel I may have had some boost in uptake on this from so many years of doing abdominal breathing and unconscious forms of reverse breathing. I don't know really, but I was able to feel that pressure down low pretty easily, though getting it exactly where I think it should be continues to be a work in progress, as expected.

One thing that I found that helped was doing the breathing exercises while seated, even if just sitting in my chair at the office. It seems to have the effect if clamping off the lower half of the body , so the sensations were easier to pick up on and didn't require so much forced tension to feel. Then it was just a matter of replicating that feeling while standing and then getting it pushed down lower and more relaxed. Maybe give them a try seated, if you're not already, and see what it does for you.

Currently the pressure is pretty low. If you put your hand on my lower back area, around the top of my butt, you can feel the expansion there. So I think I'm on the right track, for now at least.
 
Old 09-17-2011, 04:15 PM   #15
HL1978
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
Sounds like too much "doing."
I'm not sure what you mean by this?

From my experience there is a fair amount of experimentation involved, since you are chasing after various sensations and the resultant feedback. Its sort of like figuring out how to wiggle your ears. At least for me, I couldn't wiggle my ears until I learned how to activate those muscles. Given that IS work is supposed to take years of progress a lot of time spent "doing" is involved. Or at least thats what people seem to say

This sort of thing requires you to learn how to use muscles that we don't inherently use as a prime initiatior of movement as well as a means by which to connect the limbs to the middle. That is to say you are conditoning yourself mentally to repattern movement, conditoining various muscles as well as support tissues. While I do agree that a "relaxed" mind is helpful, you have to spend a good amount of time thinking and analyzing. Mindless repetition only goes so far in terms of improvement.

Maybe one of the more experienced people can chime in on how much thought they see involved in learning these skills. I wouldn't mind some pointers too as I'm no IS guru.
 
Old 09-18-2011, 10:32 AM   #16
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

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Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
This sort of thing requires you to learn how to use muscles that we don't inherently use as a prime initiatior of movement as well as a means by which to connect the limbs to the middle. That is to say you are conditoning yourself mentally to repattern movement, conditoining various muscles as well as support tissues.
If only "don't use muscle" had been explained this way from the get go this whole thing might have met with less resistance.

Quote:
Maybe one of the more experienced people can chime in on how much thought they see involved in learning these skills. I wouldn't mind some pointers too as I'm no IS guru.
can't speak on the "more experienced" part, but I honestly can't imagine my progression being any different than it would be for anyone seeking these skills so I'll share it.

Initially I was just repeating exercises that I had been shown by someone with demonstrable skill and trusting that I was doing what they had did and if I kept it up it would eventually start to make sense. Fortunately, it eventually did and some of the sensations started to click in me and I was able to take the things I was shown, the words used to explain them and apply them to myself. There were lots of "hmm, that's interesting" and more practice and then lots of "hmm ok, I think this is what he meant" and then more practice to confirm these things. Fortunately I have people near me who are clearly better than me and we meet up regularly enough to give me a source to validate my thoughts.

There is a base level of conditioning that, IMO, has to be reached at the beginning stages before you're really able to even wrap your brain around the stuff. Muddling along, doing 15 minutes here or there every week or something like that will not cut it. That base level requires a few weeks of consistent practice and thought. Again, this is just base conditioning where you're working with very low amounts of force and pressure so that the stuff that surrounds joints like the shoulder or lower back can get some direct conditioning without the more traditionally used, dominant muscle groups kicking in to do the job. Once you get that, then you can actually start to relax enough to really feel some of what's going on with those forces within your body and things should start to click.

Anyway, sorry about the ramble. You asked about the amount of thought involved and I think to really progress it requires an equal investment in both doing and thinking. Repeating exercises will only get you so far. As Ueshiba said and I'm sure the various classics on these subjects support, there is a point where everything becomes practice. There was a point in time where I would read Mike and Dan talking about that sort of thing and I would just scratch my head, maybe one day that will make sense, but I honestly feel that I've reached a point where I can make most any physical activity into good practice. Whether it's more martial arts based stuff like suburi or just simple yard work and gardening. In a lot of ways, the hard physical yard work is better, IMO, because of the feedback it offers in the form of fatigue and sore muscles.

I wish more people would attempt to talk about this stuff. It's through discussing it that we improve our own ways of thinking about the things which in turn helps us be able to talk about it more clearly. This is a subject that really needs it. Considering the number of people out there supposedly working on this stuff now, you'd think there would be more interest in actually discussing it on a "this is what I feel" level. I know there are various factions these days and everyone thinks what they're doing is some big secret that can't be discussed, but the majority of this stuff is the same core skills and they can be discussed at that level. I don't know if people simply don't want to say something that turns out to be wrong later or if they don't understand what they're doing beyond repeating exercises, but talking about it, being wrong and then figuring out what right is is a pretty big way, combined with practice, of making progress in most anything.
 
Old 09-18-2011, 11:26 AM   #17
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
Sounds like too much "doing."
Yeah, martial arts/atheltics is all about being like water, flowing with floating Tao balls, surfing on the cosmic waves, and all that fun stuff that we associate with being one with the universe! God forbid we actually analyze body training methods for efficient movement!

Last edited by Lorel Latorilla : 09-18-2011 at 11:29 AM.

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Old 09-18-2011, 11:52 AM   #18
gregstec
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by this?

From my experience there is a fair amount of experimentation involved, since you are chasing after various sensations and the resultant feedback. Its sort of like figuring out how to wiggle your ears. At least for me, I couldn't wiggle my ears until I learned how to activate those muscles. Given that IS work is supposed to take years of progress a lot of time spent "doing" is involved. Or at least thats what people seem to say

This sort of thing requires you to learn how to use muscles that we don't inherently use as a prime initiatior of movement as well as a means by which to connect the limbs to the middle. That is to say you are conditoning yourself mentally to repattern movement, conditoining various muscles as well as support tissues. While I do agree that a "relaxed" mind is helpful, you have to spend a good amount of time thinking and analyzing. Mindless repetition only goes so far in terms of improvement.

Maybe one of the more experienced people can chime in on how much thought they see involved in learning these skills. I wouldn't mind some pointers too as I'm no IS guru.
IMO, there is a tremendous amount of thought used to first understand and grasp the concepts as they relate to you. And then an additional tremendous amount of intent type of thought to learn how to do - then absolutely no thought when doing

Greg
 
Old 09-18-2011, 12:54 PM   #19
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

lol @ lorel. well you told this fool about the tao and I laughed so it must be so.

on the other hand..
well;
i was thinking depends exactly on what you're doing.

1. if you're 'blasting' yourself; trying to flood neural connections/neural activation
2. if you're connecting up parts
3. if you're feeding/strengthening enriching the vascularized areas
4. developing coordination between disparate regions
5. etc. etc. etc.

that was interesting Hunter. thx.
 
Old 09-18-2011, 03:03 PM   #20
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
If only "don't use muscle" had been explained this way from the get go this whole thing might have met with less resistance.
Of course, not knowing what I don't know, I can't know with much certainty how right it is, but I agree about the resitance issue. I remember asking one time how seiza ho might relate to "internals" and being told it doesn't. Later I saw someone ("vetted") describing how it can relate to internals. It's hard to know exactly what people are talking about, particularly at a cursory glance.

Quote:
I wish more people would attempt to talk about this stuff. It's through discussing it that we improve our own ways of thinking about the things which in turn helps us be able to talk about it more clearly.
Me too, and while I'm at it I should thank you all for such a great thread! I've really enjoyed it and found it to be very illuminating. I was able to meet with one guy who is very involved in the "internals" approach and I think he summed it up very well when I appologized for not having much to offer in return. He said it was very useful for him to try and explain it; that it helped him organize his own study by trying to express it to someone else.
It seems to me that if we're to have a good mind-body balance, we probably should have, on the whole, equal parts thinking and doing...probably both at the same time, being fairly ideal.
Thanks again, folks!
Matt

Last edited by mathewjgano : 09-18-2011 at 03:06 PM.

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Old 09-18-2011, 10:07 PM   #21
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Of course, not knowing what I don't know, I can't know with much certainty how right it is, but I agree about the resitance issue. I remember asking one time how seiza ho might relate to "internals" and being told it doesn't. Later I saw someone ("vetted") describing how it can relate to internals. It's hard to know exactly what people are talking about, particularly at a cursory glance.
I am very much a beginner with the IS stuff. However, I think what complicates the kind of conclusions you are talking about it is that from my impression, pretty much anything can be done with IS, and anything can be done without IS.

Thus, one can take all kinds of exercises such as torifune, kokyu ho, furitama, ikkyo undo, walking, standing, waving your arms, and one can use them to train aspects of IS, but they all can also be just plain aerobics or stretching. Really depends on how they are used.

The real question then becomes which exercises can get someone on the right track early on and which ones should be held off for later.

So for example, to use the jin and suit paradigm, I can do some engagement with suit, just little slight movements that can sometimes get my arms to move a little bit. On a good day, I might be able to hold them in front of me for a second or two, or maybe get them to open a little. But there is no way I could lift up a bokken at this point using suit.

Thus, in my mind, figuring out how to lift my arms using suit (or ki) can be an IS exercise for me, but lifting a bokken is not. However, in six months or a year, if I can improve before I go insane from this, trying to lift and swing a bokken will be an IS exercise.

Oops, none of this has anything to do with hip/lower torse movement. Sorry
 
Old 09-18-2011, 10:41 PM   #22
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

So, understanding that people are following different methods, at different places, etc. here's some thoughts:

From the perspective of hip/lower torso movement, you first have to relax the upper part of your body enough that the lower part is taking the full load.

While doing this you are also training to connect your insides so that when you push your foot from one side of the body you can reflect that power out the opposite side hand (or same side hand, or head, or elbow - ie. it's all connected and related), while remaining relaxed (important).

Then you have to work like hell to condition the body to be better at these things. It's hard work, tiring work . . a hint is that you should be building godlike strength in your legs and middle.

All the while doing "intention" type of work to mentally direct how your increasingly connected body manages the primary forces acting on it (ground pushing you up, gravity pulling you down).

The body basically either opens or closes as a single unit, if you're talking about whole-body-power. Funakogi is a good example of this, as is suburi - if you know what to practice, have some development to build from and are using it is a training exercise for building on the right kinds of strength and connection.

Then there's levels of development - different things people focus on, etc. But the stuff above is the basics.
 
Old 09-18-2011, 11:35 PM   #23
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

A quick thought I had after thinking about seiza: I remember working on sinking my hips as low as possible between my legs (while practicing waza) and having such a "completely" stable feeling, as if my hips and spine were just resting on the ground. Eventually I could in fact touch the ground. I had such a distinct feeling of being under aite. It felt like incoming forces were easier to direct around me. It was harder to get the feeling while standing though. One of the things which was interesting too, and which I was happy to read about here, was the inflation of hara with breath. It helped me feel around my lower abdomen, "expanding" my base while in seiza.
While I was practicing with someone at the seminar I could recently attend, I inadvertantly started inflating my hara the way I used to. I tend to relax my abdomen which causes it to poof out (perhaps too much?), but think "down" with the pressure, and it seemed to do the trick. Not very well, but it seemed definite according to the person I was partnered with. As was mentioned earlier, the hard part was maintaining the pressure while exhaling and not making too much noise as my guts shifted around.
Not sure how worthwhile this all is, but that's what came to mind.
Thanks again for the great thread.

Quote:
Eric wrote:
I think what complicates the kind of conclusions you are talking about it is that from my impression, pretty much anything can be done with IS
That makes sense...and I doubt I asked with a good question. I probably asked in a way that suggested simply doing seiza will give you "internals" while I was intending to simply ask how it could relate. I have had a bad habit of tossing out too many sideways thoughts, sometimes muddling the actual questions; too much of a shotgun approach to getting answers, I think. That's why i really like those folks who can say so much in so few words.
...oh is this thing still on!?
G'night folks.

Gambarimashyo!
 
Old 09-18-2011, 11:59 PM   #24
Budd
 
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

Okay, fine, here's how you really move correctly to develop internal strength:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spAGx...eature=related
 
Old 09-19-2011, 01:15 AM   #25
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Progression of Hip/Lower torso movement

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Okay, fine, here's how you really move correctly to develop internal strength:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spAGx...eature=related
Good morning! Is this a metaphor for how it's hard to understand what is being said when different language sets are being spoken over the top of each other? Je ne le comprends pas.

Also, while I'm thinking about it: how does what I wrote fit/not-fit with what folks more well-trained than myself are doing?

Last edited by mathewjgano : 09-19-2011 at 01:20 AM.

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