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Old 10-06-2011, 02:41 PM   #1
Mary Eastland
 
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Correct Feeling

There seems to be a bit of confusion about the term "Correct Feeling." It is just a term that we learned from Shuji Maruyama, Sensei. If you have any question about him having the "goods" go check him out.

Maruyama Sensei's focus was on developing "correct feeling" though his 4 principles.

Ron has his own way of talking about "correct feeling" that comes from his 35 years of experience in this art. Correct feeling is a very meaningful way of expressing how we train to us.

If you have any other questions about our view point check out Ron's Blog. He talks about correct feeling more eloquently than I ever could.

Let's really work toward an openness in discussion rather disparaging one person's terms to make our own way the BEST.

Last edited by Mary Eastland : 10-06-2011 at 02:44 PM. Reason: spelling!

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Old 10-06-2011, 03:10 PM   #2
DH
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Re: Correct Feeling

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
There seems to be a bit of confusion about the term "Correct Feeling." It is just a term that we learned from Shuji Maruyama, Sensei. If you have any question about him having the "goods" go check him out.

Maruyama Sensei's focus was on developing "correct feeling" though his 4 principles.

Ron has his own way of talking about "correct feeling" that comes from his 35 years of experience in this art. Correct feeling is a very meaningful way of expressing how we train to us.

If you have any other questions about our view point check out Ron's Blog. He talks about correct feeling more eloquently than I ever could.

Let's really work toward an openness in discussion rather disparaging one person's terms to make our own way the BEST.
Mary
My apologies if it came across harsh. I stated clearly that is has no meaning as a teaching tool to me as it is highly personal. As I said, and I should have placed a wink next to it; "What do you under even more stress to fix a student- tell him to get even more correct feeling?"
If you think that the feeling that seems effortless to you is your own and it is different for everyone else, I would argue you were wrong. I would argue that that there are known and established ways for connecting to an uke that make their weight and force go away. They have been written down. You can use certain visualization tools to get there by teaching or by happenstance in discovery. That does not invalidate them, but neither does it mean they are fully realized or ever will be because if you don't define how to get there, you cannot define what is wrong, or how to make it better or add to it.

Apparently and wisely you enjoy correct feeling. I would just betcha there are ways to make your correct feeling... better. In other words there are known and established ways your brothers and sisters in budo, for generations have taught each other to establish correct feeling.

Following one teacher's view is up to you, have fun and God bless. Just don't be surprised if your own teacher met a certain other method and dumped what he was doing for it....it's happening all the time. Then hopefully he will not look at you and say "This is even more more correct, correct feeling", but will actually use human words to tell you how to do it every time without fail.
It's like telling someone "Move inside." It doesn't help when there are any number of ways to grab that guy's people and actually help them discover and know WHAT...to move inside.
Some people are trying to get me to meet certain senseis, if only to give them the words.
Good luck in your training
Dan
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:24 AM   #3
Janet Rosen
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Re: Correct Feeling

Mary, I was in no way trying to disparage your use of the phrase but to explain that I thought that, in fact, it was your shorthand for a whole lot of pretty specific stuff....which is pretty much what you have just said yourself.
My reasoning was based on coming from a dojo in Tohei Sensei's lineage - I came to view his 4 principles as a shorthand for a whole lot of specific body/brain things that can be specifically taught and practiced, whereas I have seen that merely telling the 4 principles to beginners doesn't give them anything they can use.
Does that make more sense?

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Old 10-07-2011, 03:37 AM   #4
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Re: Correct Feeling

IMHO, I often think that when I can feel the technique, I am probably not doing it correctly. When I do not feel like I am doing it, I probably am doing it correctly. Therefore, perhaps the correct feeling is feeling the least amount of effort to get the maximum amount of effect. (Or, perhaps my uke is just being too nice to me.)

Lynn Seiser PhD
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:52 AM   #5
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Re: Correct Feeling

Correct feeling is meaningless without awareness. Like Lynn said, perhaps aite is not as sharp as he/she should be. When aite poses the attack with true intend and is keen on using possible openings on your side during the technique and you still feel free in your movement and aite cannot find openings you are on to something.
Off course aite may still not be up to par with you....

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 10-07-2011, 04:53 AM   #6
Walter Martindale
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Re: Correct Feeling

But... What's "correct"? I don't share the other person's nervous system, so I can't know what anyone else is feeling as "correct".

I can experience what it feels like to me when someone who has "correct feeling" does whatever it is they're doing - to me, but I still have to figure out for myself if I'm approximating whatever it is that the other person "feels" as "correct"....
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:00 AM   #7
Dazzler
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Re: Correct Feeling

Agree with Walter.

Telling someone to do something with "Correct feeling" is not what I'd call a SMART target...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria

These days people expect more from an instructor, something tangible with a process in place to achieve it.

Its a lot more credible than saying "its a 20 year technique...buckle up for a long ride".

Regards

D
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:09 AM   #8
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Re: Correct Feeling

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Mary, I was in no way trying to disparage your use of the phrase but to explain that I thought that, in fact, it was your shorthand for a whole lot of pretty specific stuff....which is pretty much what you have just said yourself.
Hi Janet -

You're right. Correct feeling encapsulates what we are training to achieve and strengthen. Correct feeling an end-state of sorts, not an instruction given to students. Our training methodology is designed to cultivate mind/body coordination which is the source of correct feeling.

Best,

Ron

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Old 10-07-2011, 09:03 AM   #9
Abasan
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Re: Correct Feeling

Just thinking out loud...
1. Correct feeling as in subscribing to a method of movement which is precise and absolute... Delivering the most pound to inches power generation/annullatiom.
2. Correct feeling as in splendidly and inespicabally moving effortlessly and naturally.

My opinion being no1 would perhaps be the most advantageous to learn and operate under if you want to train as an effective warrior within the shortest timescale. No one can deny your ability when it is tried and tested through generations of students who could repeat it under any given circumstances. You have created a powerful warrior caste.

No 2. Harder to consistently achieve and transmit and worst, master. Yet it also operates in an even more broader range of situations. A feeling that could be applied in situations of any random variables. A methodology that has no coerciveness in it's teachings, it's mastery and it's application.

The first develops and empowers. The second provides insight or rediscovery and guides.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:03 PM   #10
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Correct Feeling

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
But... What's "correct"? I don't share the other person's nervous system, so I can't know what anyone else is feeling as "correct".

I can experience what it feels like to me when someone who has "correct feeling" does whatever it is they're doing - to me, but I still have to figure out for myself if I'm approximating whatever it is that the other person "feels" as "correct"....
Walter, I can't feel what another person feels yet I know when te interaction between us is as correct as it can be. When I am impatient I can really feel it...can you it when you are?

My uke may seem clunky or stiff or some other way my ego might want to describe them ...yet it is really just me being impatient, again.

Correct feeling can be restored when I accept uke as they are at that moment and blend with what is.

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Old 10-07-2011, 01:55 PM   #11
Walter Martindale
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Re: Correct Feeling

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Walter, I can't feel what another person feels yet I know when te interaction between us is as correct as it can be. When I am impatient I can really feel it...can you it when you are?

My uke may seem clunky or stiff or some other way my ego might want to describe them ...yet it is really just me being impatient, again.

Correct feeling can be restored when I accept uke as they are at that moment and blend with what is.
I understand what you're getting at, but - even though I've been doing this since 1993; even though people tell me I have pretty good movements; and even though I can tell when something goes very well, easily, smoothly and uke is helpless to do anything other than take ukemi (take taking? hmmm) I still don't know if what seems to be working for me is "correct" in the eyes of the sensei or shihan who may be observing me...
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Old 10-07-2011, 02:54 PM   #12
graham christian
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Re: Correct Feeling

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Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
Just thinking out loud...
1. Correct feeling as in subscribing to a method of movement which is precise and absolute... Delivering the most pound to inches power generation/annullatiom.
2. Correct feeling as in splendidly and inespicabally moving effortlessly and naturally.

My opinion being no1 would perhaps be the most advantageous to learn and operate under if you want to train as an effective warrior within the shortest timescale. No one can deny your ability when it is tried and tested through generations of students who could repeat it under any given circumstances. You have created a powerful warrior caste.

No 2. Harder to consistently achieve and transmit and worst, master. Yet it also operates in an even more broader range of situations. A feeling that could be applied in situations of any random variables. A methodology that has no coerciveness in it's teachings, it's mastery and it's application.

The first develops and empowers. The second provides insight or rediscovery and guides.
Even more simple than that I would say Ahmad. The result of doing things correctly. This may take time and effort but there at the end of it is correct feeling.

So first is to recognise that feeling. Next would be to recognise it can be there all the time but is dependent on us being in total harmony with what we are doing which takes a lot of learning and practice.

I would personally say that thereafter it would actually show us what to do almost like saying your Ki has already done whats necessary but are we aware of it.

Regards.G.
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Old 10-07-2011, 03:13 PM   #13
David Board
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Re: Correct Feeling

As a beginner, I do not understand. What is correct feeling? I went and read a few of Ron's blog as you suggested and it appears to be an end point, a goal. However, I don't understand what it is. Perhaps this is because I have yet to feel it. But if and when I do how will I know?

I can look up the words in a dictionary:
Correct (several definitions but I think you mean): conforming to an approved or conventional standard
Feeling (even more definitions but I think you mean): generalized bodily consciousness or sensation

So there is an approved or conventional sensation that I am looking for? Can you explain what that sensation is? What are it's hallmarks? What am I supposed to feel?

Please understand this isn't a critique or criticism. It is just that I do not understand. How do I identify an incorrect feeling versus a correct feeling?
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:25 PM   #14
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Re: Correct Feeling

Hum there are a lot of ways to think about correct feeling, from how my own body feels for things like quality of my structure, how relaxed I am, how I feel the connection to my partner or attacker, as well as how much of their structure and center I can feel.

I have found that expecially for beginners the link below on "Aikido from the Inside Out - The principals" gives a good initial perspective on all those components of correct feeling as I understand them

http://designeq.com/deq/aikido/insid...rinciples.html

thanks
Bruce
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:33 PM   #15
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Correct Feeling

Correct feeling is relaxed, connected and on balance. When you throw it feels like your uke falls effortlessly. You are not pushing uke or pulling uke...they get to go the way they are headed with a little guidance from you.

Check out our Ki syllabus if you want to develop correct feeling.

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Old 10-08-2011, 02:49 AM   #16
SeiserL
 
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Re: Correct Feeling

IMHO, "correct feeling" has to be felt first to have some comparison bench mark to compare it to.

When I first started training with Ikeda Sensei he would move (okay I didn't see the motion) and then say "Understand?" And I would say "no". He would gently connect to my center, "Unity" and then disconnect and say "No Unity".

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 10-08-2011, 05:28 AM   #17
Mario Tobias
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Re: Correct Feeling

The tricky thing with determining what correct feeling is the biased analysis (us as nage) that comes with it.

When you're doing a technique for example, you're thinking to yourself that you are relaxed, calm and doing the technique correctly. Yet when you ask your ukes or sensei, they would beg to differ. For them, you are still stiff, muscling through and forcing the technique. So what is "relaxed" to you, others would disagree. It leaves you confused and disillusioned. I still struggle with the concept of relaxation but have just started to understand how it works.

The simplest analogy I can think of is that the body is like a line of falling dominoes with one end of the line as a body extremity (eg wrists, head, etc) and the other extremity as the center or hara. As with the falling dominoes game, you should not have broken links in the line otherwise, the end tile won't topple. A technique is similar to the game of falling dominoes where the challenge is to "connect" a body extremity to the hara. Any broken link in the technique will make it useless.

You can use the above concept for both nage and uke but in opposite ways (yin-yang).

Nage's objective is the connection generated from his hara to the extremity when initiating the technique. On the other hand nage is also trying to connect with uke from uke's attacking extremity to the hara (uke). You need to complete the "circuit" to make the technique work, hara to hara.

Although the concept of relaxation is still vague to me, the above is my guiding principle. I will therefore not be "relaxed" if there are "broken links/broken circuit" in the technique. We may have been told a million times not to use the shoulder since this will force the technique. This is because we need to initiate movement from the center first which is the broken link. What this means is that we initiate the technique from the shoulder when it should be from the hara. What's comforting is that broken links do manifest themselves in nage and uke's responses to the techniques so its easier to analyze. So probably understanding correct feeling is to understand the "circuit" by observing uke's responses.

Probably a strong evidence for you getting "correct feeling" is if you can do the technique with almost any body morphology getting the same response from ukes, from the strongest, tall, short, sturdy, flimsy to the clumsiest but it will take a lot of time to validate this. If you can do this you are starting to make progress IMHO.

Last edited by Mario Tobias : 10-08-2011 at 05:43 AM.
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Old 10-08-2011, 06:03 AM   #18
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Re: Correct Feeling

When you take ukemi for a 7th or above dan shihan, that is correct feeling imho. that is why 1) you need train and to take ukemi from these people as much as possible to feel their techniques 2) mimic their techniques.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:35 AM   #19
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Re: Correct Feeling

Quote:
David Board wrote: View Post
As a beginner, I do not understand. What is correct feeling? I went and read a few of Ron's blog as you suggested and it appears to be an end point, a goal. However, I don't understand what it is. Perhaps this is because I have yet to feel it. But if and when I do how will I know?
Hi David -

Correct feeling is an end point, of sorts. That is, you never reach a point where you can say, "ah ha I have correct feeling, now what?" Developing and strengthening correct feeling is an ongoing process. We have specific exercises, most of which were handed down to us by Maruyama sensei from Tohei sensei, some we have developed on our own, designed to teach the student how to develop coordination of mind and body (the source of correct feeling). From repeated practice of the exercises and being tested the student learns to identify correct feeling based on results.

Many Aikido people believe that the exclusive practice of technique over a period of time will engender the type of internal organization that we'd define as correct feeling. Since I have never trained in that manner, I've always mixed Ki development with technique training, I can't voice an informed opinion in that regard.

My blog, being as it is, a personal recollection of my own training and not a how to manual, does contain some specific exercises you can do on your own or with a partner to get an idea of what correct feeling is.

Keep training.

Best,

Ron

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Old 10-10-2011, 03:49 AM   #20
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Re: Correct Feeling

Perhaps looking for the "correct feeling" as a kinesthetic sense in movement and execution is like a zen koan that focuses the training in the direction of the search?

Through training, introspection, and feedback we eventually (will someday) find the answer and be able to drop the question.

If we could answer it when first asked we would not be learning anything new.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:43 AM   #21
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Re: Correct Feeling

I was just thinking...uke attacks, I move ...the question and the answer for that moment.

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Old 10-10-2011, 07:24 AM   #22
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Re: Correct Feeling

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Perhaps looking for the "correct feeling" as a kinesthetic sense in movement and execution is like a zen koan that focuses the training in the direction of the search?
Meaning, it inspires us to pay attention to how we're feeling in our training, and not just in what we're doing (i.e., throwing uke)?
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Old 10-18-2011, 09:21 PM   #23
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Re: Correct Feeling

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Mary, I was in no way trying to disparage your use of the phrase but to explain that I thought that, in fact, it was your shorthand for a whole lot of pretty specific stuff....which is pretty much what you have just said yourself.
My reasoning was based on coming from a dojo in Tohei Sensei's lineage - I came to view his 4 principles as a shorthand for a whole lot of specific body/brain things that can be specifically taught and practiced, whereas I have seen that merely telling the 4 principles to beginners doesn't give them anything they can use.
Does that make more sense?
Pardon the recently-tested-for-6th-kyu interjection.

Maruyama-sensei was Tohei's student as far back as Hombu and through the formation of Ki Society before Maruyama spun off Kokikai. We still have the Four Principles with one difference - at some point, Maruyama changed the wording of the fourth one from "Extend Ki" to "Develop your positive mind". He believed these meant pretty much the same thing but the altered version was a clarification. His formative experience partly involved being one of the early teachers in the USA, where people were less inclined to accept things on authority alone.

I wish I could find the article again to link to, but there was a college paper that quoted Maruyama-sensei speaking at a Fall Camp some years ago, where he expressed the opinion that ki was "correct feeling". We don't use the term in class here, but explaining it that way made sense to me from the student perspective.

Bear in mind: I'm an extremely secular person. I look with suspicion and disdain on anything that smacks of magic or mysticism. I don't find "ki" to be a useful term for me as a student because it seems no one can agree on what it means. What I can understand are thought processes and body mechanics, and when someone at my dojo speaks of "extending ki" I can translate it into this context.

But to try to tie it all together, ki test 101: unbendable arm. Positive mind: your body will follow your attention, your focus, your imagination. I am relaxed, but not floppy. I focus on imagining the "firehose" feeling, and the muscles respond in the correct way - one day someone will do all the biomechanics research to establish exactly what's happening, but it's enough for me to know that I can do it easily, reliably, and that it's not a trick. The thought process is positive mind, and the result is correct feeling.

Of course if this were all to it, we wouldn't need the dojo. You learn, gradually, how unbendable arm, ki exercise warmups and all those other things apply to the rest of Aikido. It's one thing to have correct feeling, or keeping focus on one point, when sitting or standing comfortably, and a very different thing to maintain it when throwing or being thrown. That's what practice, and the other principles are for.

That's my interpretation, subject to evolve with experience. I know others will disagree and I've seen the fights that break out on the subject, something I'd rather avoid. But I hope it was clear enough to be understandable.

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Old 10-18-2011, 11:29 PM   #24
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Re: Correct Feeling

Drat, too late to edit. A correction: Ki was explained as "a feeling", not "correct feeling."

Found the article.

Quote:
At a recent aikido seminar (Kokikai Fall Camp, 1995, Arizona State University), Kokikai aikido founder Sensei Shuji Maruyama continually stressed that ki should be approached as simply "a feeling." In aikido, a feeling of correctness, good posture--a natural, relaxed yet active state(17 )-- not a mysterious magical element. He demonstrated the absurdity of "magical ki" in several ways: once by pretending to exert an invisible force through his hand to stop an attacker, and another by mimicking a person desperately worrying about an aikido test, hoping for divine intervention through ki power.

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Old 10-19-2011, 07:58 AM   #25
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Re: Correct Feeling

Thanks for the reminder, Jamie. One of the things I loved that Maruyama Sensei said was, "Ueshiba could, Tohei could, I can and so can you.
Maruyama stopped talking about Ki after Tohei started getting really, what Maruyama called "out there". He wasn't feeling The "Ki stones" and stuff. Gotta love everybody's process...we are all human after all.

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