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Old 10-21-2011, 02:11 AM   #1
Carsten Möllering
 
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torifune and IS

Hi,

can somebody (or better: wants to) give me a clue how to understand / practice torifune as a method of internal training?
Do you do it? Or is it (in oyur eyes) just part of a spiritual way which doesn't belong to aikido?
How do you do it?

If I know it right, it was not part of Ueshibas practice from the beginning and does not stem from Daito ryu?
Thinking of the "Ueshibas aiki" thread:
Can "the stuff" be seen Ueshiba doing torifune?

Sorry for asking maybe silly questions.
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:49 AM   #2
Tim Ruijs
 
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Re: torifune and IS

In my experience it helps to do the exercise with a partner. Your partner stands in front of you, feet side by side, holding your wrists. You do torifune and try to keep your partner moving while maintaining your own balance and posture. Proper distance is very important.
When you do the exercise like this you will feel how to move your center and remain connected to your partner. After that when you do the exercise solo its 'content' has become much more valuable.

Also I think the exercise is originally Shinto....but I am not sure.

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 10-21-2011, 02:56 AM   #3
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: torifune and IS

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
In my experience it helps to do the exercise with a partner. ...
Thank you.

Quote:
Also I think the exercise is originally Shinto....but I am not sure.
Yes, think so too.
That's exactly why I am asking about it's connex to IS, aiki ... in Ueshibas practice.
(And in our practice today.)
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Old 10-21-2011, 05:45 AM   #4
Walter Martindale
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Re: torifune and IS

Opening scenes of Enter the Dragon - you see the movement on which this exercise is based. Get your mind around moving a scull against a viscous medium (water)... The little guy in the movie uses his arms to connect his body to the oar which, in the long run, he's moving with his feet.
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:31 AM   #5
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Re: torifune and IS

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Hi,

can somebody (or better: wants to) give me a clue how to understand / practice torifune as a method of internal training?
Do you do it? Or is it (in oyur eyes) just part of a spiritual way which doesn't belong to aikido?
How do you do it?
.
not spiritual. quite practical from an IS training perspective. it starts with two directions: forward and backward.

forward: push from the back leg, send the energy up to your hara/dantien, then down to the front leg
backward: push from the front leg, send the energy up to your hara/dantien, then down to the back leg

couple of things: curve your tail bone slightly so your lower back can relax, keep hip joint creases relax and soft, use the Buddha breathing pattern (kokyu power). for the advance, you add something called dantien rotation which you need to talk to Sigman or Dan or one of the Chen taichi masters. actually, you need to get your hand on one of those guys to learn how to do things the correct way.

the aunkai guys have something they called push-out. that's the forward portion of torifune (even though the aunkai folks don't move forward, but their internal energy do; thus, internal, right?). might want to talk to Rob John about that.

for taiji, if you know silk reeling, where you normally do it in a horse stand. just turn your body 90 degree either left or right and you would have torifune.

practice without a partner: rig up a bungee cord horizontally around solar plex level. grab the thing with both hands and do torifune.

*standard disclaimer of IS idiots*

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:01 AM   #6
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Re: torifune and IS

nice post.
and i like your disclaimer.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:46 AM   #7
Lee Salzman
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Re: torifune and IS

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
couple of things: curve your tail bone slightly so your lower back can relax, keep hip joint creases relax and soft, use the Buddha breathing pattern (kokyu power). for the advance, you add something called dantien rotation which you need to talk to Sigman or Dan or one of the Chen taichi masters. actually, you need to get your hand on one of those guys to learn how to do things the correct way.
I figure I'll eat the bullet before someone else does. When you say "the correct way", I believe you mean "(a) better way(s)". Doing it not "that" or "those" ways is not wrong. There is no right. There are just utilitarian criteria according to goals and what way of coordinating your body best helps you personally satisfy them.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:05 AM   #8
MM
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Re: torifune and IS

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I figure I'll eat the bullet before someone else does. When you say "the correct way", I believe you mean "(a) better way(s)". Doing it not "that" or "those" ways is not wrong. There is no right. There are just utilitarian criteria according to goals and what way of coordinating your body best helps you personally satisfy them.
Hi Lee,

I would disagree with that concept of right/wrong. There is a right way and a wrong way. After 40 + years of the aikido world doing tori fune, it pretty much solidifies the notion that there is a correct way and an incorrect way to train. Otherwise, we'd have a whole lot of Ueshiba-level people in aikido. Now, just replace "aikido" with "taichi" and "Ueshiba" with a grandmaster level teacher in taichi and you pretty much have the same thing.

Ueshiba's torifune is ... interesting.

Ueshiba:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...19258211657447

Starts around 3:40 and goes to around 4:02.

Notice how he changes from arms going upwards to another set where arms are more in front.

Notice Ueshiba's hands. Not just that they are in a fist, but look how they spiral from outward to when he has them at his sides.

Especially notice 3:54. Notice how his upper body is turned? Significantly.

Now, to compare:

Watch Terry Dobson. Notice his shoulders and his hands.

Or from this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ImL1ScuVq8

Are these people moving the same way that Ueshiba is moving?

So, if aiki is all internal and no one explains what you're supposed to do, then how are you to do the exercises correctly? You can only copy the form and hope that you can figure something out.

Even if someone explains how to do this exercise, there is a correct way to train aiki and an incorrect way to train aiki.

IMO anyway,
Mark
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:28 AM   #9
Lee Salzman
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Re: torifune and IS

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Hi Lee,

I would disagree with that concept of right/wrong. There is a right way and a wrong way. After 40 + years of the aikido world doing tori fune, it pretty much solidifies the notion that there is a correct way and an incorrect way to train. Otherwise, we'd have a whole lot of Ueshiba-level people in aikido. Now, just replace "aikido" with "taichi" and "Ueshiba" with a grandmaster level teacher in taichi and you pretty much have the same thing.
And if someone comes along who is better than Morihei Ueshiba? Who is better than his teacher? Who is better than your current teacher(s)? Does that make all those other people suddenly wrong, and the new guy alone right? What if the new guy can show you how wrong you are in some contexts, but not others? Does that mean now he is just wrong? Saying things are right and wrong does not make something objective, it makes it self-defeatingly subjective because no one will agree with you. You need a benchmark to measure performance, that allows people to determine for themselves if something is failing them and needs improvement in some way, otherwise it is just online dick measuring.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:53 AM   #10
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Re: torifune and IS

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
And if someone comes along who is better than Morihei Ueshiba? Who is better than his teacher? Who is better than your current teacher(s)? Does that make all those other people suddenly wrong, and the new guy alone right? What if the new guy can show you how wrong you are in some contexts, but not others? Does that mean now he is just wrong? Saying things are right and wrong does not make something objective, it makes it self-defeatingly subjective because no one will agree with you. You need a benchmark to measure performance, that allows people to determine for themselves if something is failing them and needs improvement in some way, otherwise it is just online dick measuring.
Good questions, Lee. If we look at what these people said and trained, we find underlying commonalities. From Morihei Ueshiba talking about spirals to Hong Junshen talking about spirals. Martial arts themes of Heaven-Earth-Man that are found throughout history.

Even in Chen style taiji, we find that Chen Fake disagreed with other martial artists on how they "translated" the martial concepts and ideas.

Anyway, if you look at history, it's pretty clear and evident there is a correct way of training and an incorrect way of training.

Morihei Ueshiba trained for how many years and was seen as an outstanding martial artist? It wasn't 40 years. Now look at the entire aikido world, from every country, and tell me how many people have trained 30-40 years and are not at Ueshiba's skill level. Yet, they are doing the same techniques, the same warm ups, and some are doing the same spiritual training. Or at least they were told that they are.

Sokaku Takeda trained how many students that ended up being outstanding martial artists? We mostly know the popular ones of Sagawa, Horikawa, and Ueshiba. But, how about Yoshida, Sagawa's father, Hisa, Sue (his wife), not to mention Kimura, Okamoto, and others. What about Sagawa saying that near the end of his life he decided to teach his students the secrets and they started getting better?

Correct training and incorrect training. As someone recently brought to my attention in regards to the Chinese martial arts -- how many Grand Master level non-Chinese people are there? How many Grand Master level Chinese people are there?

On Rum Soaked Fist, someone posted a very remarkable story about how they were trained in a Chinese martial system separately from the rest of the group. He did different exercises and watched through a doorway as the rest of the group practiced forms. Literally an indoor disciple.

A lot of hard style iron shirt practitioners were taught to do exercises with tightness, hard muscle tautness, etc. And a lot of these practitioners had strokes and other medical problems. Chen Fake didn't do that kind of training but was regarded as being a very exceptional martial artist.

It isn't me that's saying what is correct or incorrect, but a whole lot of history that's stating it.


Edit: Okay, I'm way off topic. I'll stop there.

Last edited by MM : 10-21-2011 at 08:54 AM. Reason: Off Topic
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:40 AM   #11
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Re: torifune and IS

I'm not an expert but a novice. But to share my experience..

1. Moving forward(and little bit down) from back leg hits your lower back. Then lower back contracts, chest pops, and finally your arms raise by not engaging shoulders. Of course, arms aren't raised in torifune. But without intention you can do so. If you combine these, one arm up/one arms doesn't move(or little bit down), it's tenchinage shape. Contrary moving backward makes arms down. This is for shomenuchi cutting down.

2. Some Japanese shihans do this with kiai. yi-ho or yi-sa.... Yi with breathing out and Ho with breating in. I guess this trains and stabilizes muscles around middle part.

3. On the 2nd linked video, you can see many people just rocking back and forth. That's very meaningless. -.-
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:10 AM   #12
Chris Li
 
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Re: torifune and IS

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
And if someone comes along who is better than Morihei Ueshiba? Who is better than his teacher? Who is better than your current teacher(s)? Does that make all those other people suddenly wrong, and the new guy alone right? What if the new guy can show you how wrong you are in some contexts, but not others? Does that mean now he is just wrong? Saying things are right and wrong does not make something objective, it makes it self-defeatingly subjective because no one will agree with you. You need a benchmark to measure performance, that allows people to determine for themselves if something is failing them and needs improvement in some way, otherwise it is just online dick measuring.
"Better" and "different" are two separate things. More than one of Ueshiba's direct students said that it seemed as if he were doing something completely different than they were - and they were right on target.

If you have a specific goal - "Aiki", for example, then some things are just going to be wrong, once you set political correctness and universal self-esteem aside.

If you have a non-specific goal - that whatever anybody does that makes them happy is fine, for example, than maybe it's a little different.

A major problem is that Ueshiba, as concerns Aiki, was doing something extremely specific, but in modern Aikido it has become a non-specific sense of general self-fulfillment.

Best,

Chris

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Old 10-21-2011, 11:40 AM   #13
mathewjgano
 
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Re: torifune and IS

I have to give the same disclaimer on IS as Phi...though I'm actually with less understanding I reckon, but I have some experience with Torifune undo which comes from Tsubaki Okami Yashiro.

One aspect that I think might be very important is the idea of bouncing ki off the ground. I've seen it done a couple different ways, but this "bouncing off the ground" always seemed present.
An important note: I've recently seen sensei Barrish do this a couple different ways (more like O Sensei's strong horizontal motion, than in the video I found on Youtube), so I think the form is less important than the feel, but here's my example to offer for consideration (starts at about half a minute in):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My9LLW3mJd0

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:52 AM   #14
Lee Salzman
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Re: torifune and IS

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
"Better" and "different" are two separate things. More than one of Ueshiba's direct students said that it seemed as if he were doing something completely different than they were - and they were right on target.

If you have a specific goal - "Aiki", for example, then some things are just going to be wrong, once you set political correctness and universal self-esteem aside.

If you have a non-specific goal - that whatever anybody does that makes them happy is fine, for example, than maybe it's a little different.

A major problem is that Ueshiba, as concerns Aiki, was doing something extremely specific, but in modern Aikido it has become a non-specific sense of general self-fulfillment.

Best,

Chris
Well, how do we empirically measure what is a wrong torifune? Or, worse, what if I am only doing it half-right, how do I know what I need to change to do it completely right? I am just asking for a description of a direct way to feel by contrast within my body the two opposite states of wrong torifune and right torifune, so that I can work from one to the other and gauge my progress. Surely there must be a better way than trying to just film yourself and ensure you look adequately like Morihei Ueshiba's way of moving.
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:59 AM   #15
Chris Li
 
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Re: torifune and IS

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
Well, how do we empirically measure what is a wrong torifune? Or, worse, what if I am only doing it half-right, how do I know what I need to change to do it completely right? I am just asking for a description of a direct way to feel by contrast within my body the two opposite states of wrong torifune and right torifune, so that I can work from one to the other and gauge my progress. Surely there must be a better way than trying to just film yourself and ensure you look adequately like Morihei Ueshiba's way of moving.
Sure there is - get with somebody who knows what they're doing.

Best,

Chris

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Old 10-21-2011, 12:09 PM   #16
Lee Salzman
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Re: torifune and IS

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Sure there is - get with somebody who knows what they're doing.

Best,

Chris
Well, what if I encountered several somebodies, and their various frameworks were self-consistent, but not the same, maybe even contradictory on some aspects? How do I choose who is more right? And that question is not even a hypothetical for me, since that is really my situation.
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:09 PM   #17
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Re: torifune and IS

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
Well, what if I encountered several somebodies, and their various frameworks were self-consistent, but not the same, maybe even contradictory on some aspects? How do I choose who is more right? And that question is not even a hypothetical for me, since that is really my situation.
try this one? http://denner.org/reinhard/neijia/peng/teacherTest.html

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:14 PM   #18
Lee Salzman
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Re: torifune and IS

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
What if they all passed, who is the passiest?
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:17 PM   #19
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Re: torifune and IS

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
Well, what if I encountered several somebodies, and their various frameworks were self-consistent, but not the same, maybe even contradictory on some aspects? How do I choose who is more right? And that question is not even a hypothetical for me, since that is really my situation.
explain the contradictions. I've felt two people with completely different backgrounds and methods and am working on meeting the third. The core of what the first two were doing was, despite the different terminology and approach, largely the same and I'm confident that this will remain the case when I meet that third person. The core skills are the same, though I accept that this is not immediately obvious.
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:22 PM   #20
Chris Li
 
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Re: torifune and IS

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
Well, what if I encountered several somebodies, and their various frameworks were self-consistent, but not the same, maybe even contradictory on some aspects? How do I choose who is more right? And that question is not even a hypothetical for me, since that is really my situation.
If they really know what they're doing than they ought not to be contradictory. That doesn't mean that they'll all be the same - different things happen for different situations, but at heart the physics is all (and must be) the same.

Best,

Chris

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Old 10-21-2011, 01:41 PM   #21
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Re: torifune and IS

AME-NO-TORIFUNE-NO-GYO

Sometimes called Fune-kogi-undo. Ame-no-torifune is one of the Misogi Jumbi Taiso or exercises to prepare the mind/ body/ spirit for the activity of Misogi Shuho (purification in free flowing water). Ame no torifune no gyo is also commonly used as the Aiki jumbi taiso.

Torifune (Bird Rowing)

1. Stand straight and put your left leg forward

2. Clench both fists with your thumbs inside

3. Lean forward and move your arms as though rowing a boat starting from your left knee and ending near your *armpits. As you "row," shout "Yie".

4. Perform this 20 times and then repeat Furitama

5. Changing to a right leg stance, repeat the Torifune shouting "Ei" and "Ho" alternately. Do this 20 times and then repeat Furitama

6. Return to the left foot forward stance and remake the clenched fists as before and bring the hands up to the chest to a shout of "Yie" and thrust them down and forward with hands opened and fingers extended to a shout of "Se" After this, once again repeat the Furitama

The Object of Torifune-no-gyo

The basic purpose is to introduce a dimension of physical calisthenics along with the spiritual. Since misogi and also Aiki Keiko are psycho-physical experiences, both types of preperatory exercises are necessary. " Torifune-no-gyo (done properly) is very grounding and invigorating. The kiai organizes the hara… centripetality/contraction and centrifugality existing simultaneously while grounding relates very directly to the organization we want to manifest during Aiki waza.

TAMA FURI/ Furitama-no-Gyo

Tama (soul) Furi (shake) basic meaning is the self Chin-kon and relates directly to the furube-no-kamu-waza of Chinkon Saho.

Furitama ( Soul Shaking)

1. Stand with your legs apart about shoulder width .

2. Place your hands together with the right hand over the left. Leave space between them big enough for an imaginary ping pong ball.

3. Place your hands in that position in front of your stomach and 0shake them vigorously up and down.

4. While shaking them concentrate and repeat the words: Harae-do-no-Okami - an invocation to the kami of the place of harai.

The Object Furitama-no-gyo

The purpose of shaking the soul is to generate awareness of it within yourself. Kon, (the soul), in Shinto, is one of the four important elements along with Mei (life), Rei (spirit) and Ki (which means Spirit in its causal aspect - Ki is a kind of energy source). Kon is the most important of the four since human beings can also be described as Waketama (separated individual souls), which is another way of saying "children of the kami".

Chinkon kanji can also be read as Mitama Shizume..the basic meanings are:

1) to reintegrate the elements of self/soul into the current moment

2) to quiet or pacify the soul

3) to invigorate the soul

4) The kanji of Chin-kon can also be read Sho Kon and carry the nuance of pacifying and assisting the raising of vibration for the Mitama of a person who has left this life

Tama-furi aims at the reception of strong spiritual waves/higher spirit/ refined vibration.

The aim of activities of Shinto Gyo (tuning practices) Misogi Harai (self purification) is to quiet and reinvigorate the very soul these activities can be called

1) misogi harai

2) mitama-furi

3) tama-furi

4) mitama shizume

5) chin-kon

all these are written with the same kanji these activities relate directly to the function of I-buki-do-nushi-no-Ou kami who is one of the Harae-do-no-Ou-kami and deals directly with purification by out breath.
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:59 PM   #22
Lee Salzman
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Re: torifune and IS

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Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
explain the contradictions. I've felt two people with completely different backgrounds and methods and am working on meeting the third. The core of what the first two were doing was, despite the different terminology and approach, largely the same and I'm confident that this will remain the case when I meet that third person. The core skills are the same, though I accept that this is not immediately obvious.
Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
If they really know what they're doing than they ought not to be contradictory. That doesn't mean that they'll all be the same - different things happen for different situations, but at heart the physics is all (and must be) the same.

Best,

Chris
Keep in mind I said "maybe", I'm not trying to lay out absolutes. But there are big and little things that could be at odds, or focused differently. In some cases there are easy to spot commonalities, in others it requires considerable leaps of imagination to connect dots if they even there to be connected due to vast gulfs in how material is presented and trained. But some issues I could think of that I might expect all of them to answer differently:

Are internal and external different and separate, or is the distinction of of little worth and everything can be broken down to discernible athletic qualities? The mind is the end-state, or is it only a training tool and a crutch that must be erased lest it become a liability? The arms, just along for the ride, or going around an axis, or on the axis, or all of the above depending on taste? Organize pathways statically, or according to movement goals? Is it a dantien or is it a spine? Do you try to go in all directions at once, or do you merely have the ability to go in any direction at any time for any reason? Is awareness continuous or is it reactive? Do you wind or spiral for the sake of winding, or are they only valuable as a component of bringing the body into line and a structural fault if taken too far? Breathing - supplement, complement, or just a tiny extra? Tension - necessary to understand spectrum of relaxation and force or just heresy? Explosiveness - funny spiral movement, mental projection, or inherent quality of all movement? Movement - starting point or the end point? Stillness - everything or overrated?

Probably a lot more issues they'd take different sides on, at least based on my understanding. I don't think they'd approach torifune or things like it the same way or for the same reasons...

Last edited by Lee Salzman : 10-21-2011 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:05 PM   #23
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Re: torifune and IS

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
What if they all passed, who is the passiest?
The one that doesn't hold back information, has the best way of transferring knowledge and is the most available?
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:33 PM   #24
Chris Li
 
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Re: torifune and IS

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
Keep in mind I said "maybe", I'm not trying to lay out absolutes. But there are big and little things that could be at odds, or focused differently. In some cases there are easy to spot commonalities, in others it requires considerable leaps of imagination to connect dots if they even there to be connected due to vast gulfs in how material is presented and trained. But some issues I could think of that I might expect all of them to answer differently:
Can't say, since we don't know who you're talking about, and in what context they're talking. I will say, however, that if they can't explain what the differences are and why in a way that's understandable then they're probably not good enough. That doesn't mean you can't learn anything from them - just that you ought to take it with a grain of salt.

Best,

Chris

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Old 10-21-2011, 03:24 PM   #25
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
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Re: torifune and IS

Quote:
Lawrence Koichi Barrish wrote: View Post
TAMA FURI/ Furitama-no-Gyo

Tama (soul) Furi (shake) basic meaning is the self Chin-kon and relates directly to the furube-no-kamu-waza of Chinkon Saho.

Furitama ( Soul Shaking)

1. Stand with your legs apart about shoulder width .

2. Place your hands together with the right hand over the left. Leave space between them big enough for an imaginary ping pong ball.

3. Place your hands in that position in front of your stomach and 0shake them vigorously up and down.

4. While shaking them concentrate and repeat the words: Harae-do-no-Okami - an invocation to the kami of the place of harai.

.
#2, right over left? i was taught by Saotome sensei that it was left over right. he mentioned something about left is heaven and right is earth. also he said to shake from the inside not the hands. lets see if i can repeat his japonglish "hands no shake. move inside! (as he pointed to his hara)" just like Ikeda sensei usually said "move your inside", i.e. flipping your kidneys around
Saotome sensei also pushed my chest to see if i stay centered as well as place his hand beneath my hands and tried to lift me up to make sure my arms weren't collapsing or rigid. he also told a story about O Sensei made him do this thing, then went away for awhile. Saotome sensei would get bored and weren't paying attention to the exercise. O Sensei came back and yelled at him for not doing it right and corrected him. also, Saotome sensei didn't make us chant; otherwise, we would have been chanting: 99 bottle beers on the wall.....

anyway, right over left or left over right, methink, wasn't the real part. it's the "move inside", that's the real thing.

*standard disclaimer of IS idiots again*

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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