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Old 03-13-2012, 02:04 PM   #1
notdrock
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Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

Hey all,

I think Zhangzhuang (standing meditation) would be very very beneficial to Aikido practise. For those who don't know, it's a postural exercise which most Chinese internal arts are based upon and creates excellent structural strength in bone position and tendon strength with the avoidance of using muscle.

Be interesting to see if it would be a good catalyst for Aikido

Osu!

Luke
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:55 PM   #2
Janet Rosen
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

Yep

Janet Rosen
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:10 PM   #3
gregstec
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise



Greg
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:15 PM   #4
Jon Haas
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

Well then you might find this pretty interesting as the author is a 15 year Aikido student as well as a teacher of Yiquan.

An Introduction to Yiquan: Martial Arts, Health, and Physical Fitness

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Old 03-13-2012, 04:20 PM   #5
Rob Watson
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

Quote:
Luke Hobbs wrote: View Post
creates excellent structural strength in bone position and tendon strength with the avoidance of using muscle.
Tendons connect bone to muscles ... you can't make tendons strong without using muscles.

Besides, one should shoot for a 'proper' balance between bone, muscle, connective tissues and pressure systems as opposed to obsessing over one or the other or one over the other. Let's not forget about the brain/nervous system while we are at it.

Doing standing drills wrong will not help anything, even aikido.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:17 PM   #6
gregstec
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

It is my understanding that there is way more involved than just strengthening bone and tendons without using muscle. Actually, muscle is involved, but it is not intentionally tensed. There is also a big mental component involved as well. With all that said, IMO, stillness meditation/exercises can be extremely beneficial in learning the internals - however, as with all things, you need a good coach/teacher to make sure you are getting it right.

Greg
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:37 PM   #7
sakumeikan
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

Quote:
Luke Hobbs wrote: View Post
Hey all,

I think Zhangzhuang (standing meditation) would be very very beneficial to Aikido practise. For those who don't know, it's a postural exercise which most Chinese internal arts are based upon and creates excellent structural strength in bone position and tendon strength with the avoidance of using muscle.

Be interesting to see if it would be a good catalyst for Aikido

Osu!

Luke
Dear Luke,
Perhaps Aikido could help improve Zhangzhuang? Aikido is sometimes called moving Zen.Zen practice in itself requires one to study meditation .Usually sitting {Za Zen], but can be standing form.Cheers, Joe.
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:12 PM   #8
phitruong
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

Quote:
Luke Hobbs wrote: View Post
Hey all,

I think Zhangzhuang (standing meditation) would be very very beneficial to Aikido practise. For those who don't know, it's a postural exercise which most Chinese internal arts are based upon and creates excellent structural strength in bone position and tendon strength with the avoidance of using muscle.

Be interesting to see if it would be a good catalyst for Aikido

Osu!

Luke
try this thread http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...t=19216&page=2

worked well for me so far

"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 03-13-2012, 07:08 PM   #9
Allen Beebe
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

Below are some random thoughts in no particular order . . .

Actually solo sitting practice, standing practice, breath practice and movement practice has long since been a part of some individual's Aikido practice.

Besides Makoto no Kokyu breath practice, Shirata Rinjiro also taught a series of solo exercises which were practiced at the beginning of every training session I attended as near as I can remember, which was from 1986 until sensei's death in 1993. [I find it interesting that Tomiki, Shioda and Shirata, are all well regarded Aikidoshi who all trained with Ueshiba Morihei (and his teacher too BTW) and all developed solo body movement exercises. {Later Tohei did as well.}] Shirata sensei's series of body movement exercises begin in seiza (seated movement in stillness) then gradually progress to standing, then locomotion (stillness in motion), and finally end in standing hanmi (back to motion in stillness). There are thirteen exercises counted in all but actually solo body movement exercise #0 (which entails quite a bit of instruction actually) is included so there is really 14 all together. Those in addition to separate practices such as shiko. (Shirata sensei's shiko was a bit different from Sumo's, Akuzawa's and others. It was a bit more like the way Sagawa's shiko is represented in Hiden magazine.)

BTW, the practice was, and can, also be applied to weapons. Just hold a weapon. Well, obviously to anyone familiar with standing practice there is a lot more to it than that. But from the outside that is the "big difference" from standing without a weapon.

So solo body movement practice has existed in Aikido since . . . Ueshiba did solo body movement practice (and started calling it Aikido.) And breathing practice has existed in Aikido since . . . Ueshiba did breathing practice (and started calling it Aikido.) And, movement in stillness practice has existed in Aikido since . . . Ueshiba did movement in stillness practice (and started calling it Aikido.) [And, yes, all of those practices pre-dated Aikido] And it should be NO big surprise that his students should replicate those practices. In fact THAT should be EXPECTED I would think.

The big question is . . . which of Ueshiba's students demonstrated the traits that are the normally expected outcome of those practices???? Demonstrating those traits would be evidence that they understood the practices properly and under went them productively. Finally it can be reasonably asked, who now knows those practices and can teach them AS EVIDENCED BY THEIR DEMONSTRATION OF THE TRAITS THAT THE PRACTICES ARE SUPPOSED TO PRODUCE?

Succeeding in finding such an individual it seems reasonable to seek instruction from from them. Failing in that, it seems reasonable to look elsewhere. (Is it reasonable to continuously visit a barber shop expecting to learn how to play piano when all you witness and experience is the cutting of hair . . . because the sign outside says, "Piano Lessons" and the barber says that his instructor in barber college was a great piano player?)

Of course my underlying assumption is that one wishes to reproduce a unique phenomena demonstrated by an individual (Ueshiba Morihei for example) rather than just mimicking the outward appearance of the practice of such an individual. Or, stranger still, mimicking the outward appearance of an individual possessing the ability to produce a unique phenomena demonstrating the application of that unique phenomena by various means (martially applied for example) while believing that such a mimicking WAS the actual application of the phenomena (Aiki or Kokyu Ryoku for example). My underlying assumption is that the end goal is to demonstrate the valued phenomena one's self. This would be true whether that phenomena were the lifting heavy objects, disappearing and reappearing, reading other's thoughts and intentions, prevailing in a martial encounter, seeing bullets as dots of light and dodging them, producing Aiki, causing others to have paranormal experiences, pounding mochi particularly hard, manually farming in an incredibly powerfully manner, channeling certain kami while avoiding being possessed by a badger or fox, etc. This being the case, it seems reasonable to me that one would wish to seek instruction towards their desired goal by one that can reliably demonstrate that desired goal and/or phenomena. Or better still, seek instruction from one that can reliably demonstrate the desired goal/phenomena AND has reliably produced others that could do the same.

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:57 PM   #10
Chris Li
 
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

Quote:
Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
Below are some random thoughts in no particular order . . .

Actually solo sitting practice, standing practice, breath practice and movement practice has long since been a part of some individual's Aikido practice.
Yeah, what he said...

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-14-2012, 03:42 AM   #11
Alec Corper
 
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

Yes, except that translating it as standing meditation suggests a mediation done standing up. Motion in stillness, as Allen mentions above, is the yang to stillness in motion, or is it the other way round
However, try doing it. It is extremely physically demanding past the 5 minute mark when the shakes set in. Unless you can find a way, either through experimentation or detailed instruction, to change the way your structure accepts and reroutes gravity, you can't do it for long. This, in turn, teaches the body another way to accept and redirect power, recruits the fascia system, instead of using separate muscles, creates whole body strength, and leads to tensegrity, a wonderful word. Most of us who are trying to do this stuff find it a hell of a lot more difficult than it sounds. It makes it harder for people to throw you, without muscular resistance, and it makes it easier to throw, without muscular force. It's value tens to be more evident in free style tui shou than in predefined waza practice. The old CMA guys swear by it and when you feel people who have done a lot they have a relaxed solidity that is impressive.

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:34 AM   #12
Rob Watson
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

Quote:
Alec Corper wrote: View Post
It makes it harder for people to throw you, without muscular resistance, and it makes it easier to throw, without muscular force.
All the folks I've seen or met that exhibit the traits attributed to this type of training have well toned muscles. Gotta stay realistic here ... this type of training augments. The muscles are just used a bit differently than normal and I find more of them working together to spread the loads is what is happening. On a scale of 1-10 I'm a self proclaimed 2 ... others may suggest a different 'rank'.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:56 AM   #13
DH
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

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Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Luke,
Perhaps Aikido could help improve Zhangzhuang? Aikido is sometimes called moving Zen.Zen practice in itself requires one to study meditation .Usually sitting {Za Zen], but can be standing form.Cheers, Joe.
Not in any manner that has ever been shown, trained, discussed or written.
The founder embraced these training models and would probably either be hosting internal training to fix aikido or out doing it himself.
I am positive that once he looked around...one way or another he would be involved in this new movement.
Dan
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:05 PM   #14
chillzATL
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

Quote:
Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
Below are some random thoughts in no particular order . . . *snip*
Allen,

Are Shirata sensei's solo exercises outlined anywhere online? I've searched tandoku dosa and tandoku renshu, the two names that came to mind when looking, and found very little. Having seen some of the others takes on solo training I've always been curious of his. Thanks.
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:23 PM   #15
jackie adams
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

I have always considered by self an open minded person. I am willing to explore new avenues where I can relish in that "Ah ha" moment.

@ Luke Hobbs

Do you feel Aikido meditation is lacking where Zhangzhuang could help? What advantages do you find in the Chinese mediation that inspired your question?
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:14 PM   #16
Michael Douglas
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

I'm with Jason in asking for more info ... regarding mostly this stuff ;
Quote:
Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
Besides Makoto no Kokyu breath practice, Shirata Rinjiro also taught a series of solo exercises which were practiced at the beginning of every training session ...

... There are thirteen exercises counted in all but actually solo body movement exercise #0 (which entails quite a bit of instruction actually) is included so there is really 14 all together. Those in addition to separate practices such as shiko. (Shirata sensei's shiko was a bit different from Sumo's, Akuzawa's and others. It was a bit more like the way Sagawa's shiko is represented in Hiden magazine.) .
Where may we see some of this?
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:41 PM   #17
Chris Li
 
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

Quote:
Michael Douglas wrote: View Post
I'm with Jason in asking for more info ... regarding mostly this stuff ;

Where may we see some of this?
In Oregon.

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-14-2012, 02:54 PM   #18
woudew
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
In Oregon.

Best,

Chris
End of July in the Netherlands
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:47 PM   #19
Janet Rosen
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

Quote:
Jackie Adams wrote: View Post
I have always considered by self an open minded person. I am willing to explore new avenues where I can relish in that "Ah ha" moment.

@ Luke Hobbs

Do you feel Aikido meditation is lacking where Zhangzhuang could help? What advantages do you find in the Chinese mediation that inspired your question?
I'm not Luke
But for me the issue is not "meditation" per se but the focus on stance, weight, center, fascia, etc that is elicited during this specific form.

Janet Rosen
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:59 PM   #20
notdrock
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
Tendons connect bone to muscles ... you can't make tendons strong without using muscles.

Besides, one should shoot for a 'proper' balance between bone, muscle, connective tissues and pressure systems as opposed to obsessing over one or the other or one over the other. Let's not forget about the brain/nervous system while we are at it.

Doing standing drills wrong will not help anything, even aikido.
I am referring to not using muscular strength solely as a way of holding up force. Afterall, if a bridge is not built with the correct "posture" it will collapse no matter how strong the materials holding it up. Zhangzhuang actually increases nervous system regularity and function around the body as a whole.
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:24 AM   #21
notdrock
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

Quote:
Jackie Adams wrote: View Post
I have always considered by self an open minded person. I am willing to explore new avenues where I can relish in that "Ah ha" moment.

@ Luke Hobbs

Do you feel Aikido meditation is lacking where Zhangzhuang could help? What advantages do you find in the Chinese mediation that inspired your question?
Zhangzhuang is basically re-teaching the human body how to stand naturally before having unnatural hic-ups. For example, our society is heavily based upon front focus (computing, writing, driving, mowing etc), and we now have an un-natural tendancy to hunch, and to collapse our chest area and pulling our shoulders forward . Adding to it that most of these jobs are done in a sitting position, you then get the added effect of sticking the bum/tail bone out, thus having an exaggerated "S" shaped posture that ends up all out of whack. You then end up having un-natural tension all over the body to counter this. This tension can easily be taken advantage of by a person acute at Aikido.

Keeping this in mind, most of the truly great martial artists had not encountered this problem of forward focusing, sitting work. For example, farming is done through strong posture-work, technique and both front and rear focus (lots of digging, carrying etc). So the shoulders are pulled back slightly and the tailbone is naturally tucked under the hips.

Zhangzhuang is designed to boost postural strength and therefore a strong foundation. A martial art is an expression of a person, and can only be as strong as the person expressing it.

Given the Western way of life in that most people don't practice 10 hours a day, something like Zhangzhuan could be very helpful to people.

Just a thought.
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:26 AM   #22
notdrock
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
Tendons connect bone to muscles ... you can't make tendons strong without using muscles.

Besides, one should shoot for a 'proper' balance between bone, muscle, connective tissues and pressure systems as opposed to obsessing over one or the other or one over the other. Let's not forget about the brain/nervous system while we are at it.

Doing standing drills wrong will not help anything, even aikido.
Ah yeah I meant ligament sorry
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:35 AM   #23
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
It is my understanding that there is way more involved than just strengthening bone and tendons without using muscle. Actually, muscle is involved, but it is not intentionally tensed. There is also a big mental component involved as well. With all that said, IMO, stillness meditation/exercises can be extremely beneficial in learning the internals - however, as with all things, you need a good coach/teacher to make sure you are getting it right.

Greg
What he said...
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Old 03-15-2012, 01:49 PM   #24
Allen Beebe
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

Quote:
Michael Douglas wrote: View Post
I'm with Jason in asking for more info ... regarding mostly this stuff ;

Where may we see some of this?
Hi Guys,

Probably the best thing to do would be to visit Dan when he is in the UK and ask him. He is familiar with Shirata's Tandokudosa AND he CAN DO (That is vital BTW.) The next best thing might be to visit The Netherlands. The Zwolle and Leeuwarden groups both know the Tandokudosa and also have had the advantage of Dan's input into what he sees in them. {We all are at the beginning stages of "mining" their potential.}

I'll be in the Netherlands in July (as was posted) and will lead a weekend seminar devoted to this topic. (I did so last year as well, but this year, based on feedback, I plan to spend more time explaining and demonstrating how the Tandokudosa directly relate to any Aikido waza. I won't be teaching waza BTW, just providing examples of the essential connection. In my opinion these exercises are not just for building IP/Aiki (there are separate ones for that too, like Shiko) I think they were "constructed" to not only develop IP/Aiki but also to illustrate the "path to the waza" typically practiced by Aikidoka and in Daito Ryu (remember Shirata studied Daito Ryu under Ueshiba.) I teach the way I was taught, first come the Tandokudosa, other IP/Aiki exercises, and other basics. Only after those are mastered does one move on to waza. We have the long standing saying, "You suck, you stay!" So after decades of training TDD I realized I'd missed the mark, and well, "You suck, you stay!" We've gone back and been working on this stuff for a couple years now. (In other words, no waza for years now.) Please keep that in mind when you read what follows . . .

As for posting descriptions, illustrations, or video here (or pretty much anywhere), I think it would be pretty well pointless, a disservice really. Think of the topic of this thread . . . the description standing, the illustration standing, the video showing someone . . . standing. I know it is disappointing but, direct instruction, from someone who understands, can do, and can teach (and is willing to provide repeated correction) is truly essential. Just take my example for instance. I was just got out my dusty box of video tapes of Shirata sensei last night and we were watching them. Sensei was highly unusual for his time in that he was gentle, patient, potent and would demonstrate, break down, explain, repeat, even provide handouts of lists of related techniques, etc. He was truly one of a kind, and I was a devoted student who would video, annotate,and train 7 days a week . . . and I still missed some of the most important things that sensei taught EXPLICITLY. You don't know what you don't know.

If any of you find yourself in Oregon please give me a holler!

All the best,
Allen

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 03-15-2012, 02:43 PM   #25
phitruong
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Re: Zhangzhuang could help Aikido practise

Quote:
Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
If any of you find yourself in Oregon please give me a holler!
Allen
What! you meant we have to go Oregon or Netherland to get the stuffs? sheesh! i have problem getting out of the state. you guys are taking the IHTBF too far. oh wait! it's legal in the Netherland, right?

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