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Old 05-18-2004, 01:14 AM   #1
batemanb's Avatar
Dojo: Seibukan Aikido UK
Location: body in UK, heart still in Japan
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 1,030
How have you helped with stiffness

Rachel Massey wrote:
Could you please elaborate on any techniques you have used to help your students overcome extreme stiffness. It manifests itself in ukemi and as nage.
Sorry for starting this here Rachel, but I can't reply in the Voice of Experience forum

We do a similar exercise to Steven. Have both partners start in ai hanmi, tori offers a hand palm down, uke then places his middle finger lightly against the back of tori's hand. Tori now moves slowly wherever he wants, trying to get uke off balance, uke has to follow and try to maintain a light contact. Variations on this are using two fingers (mddle and index together) and doing it with eyes closed.

The idea behind this exercise is to lead and follow maintaining a connection throughout. The slower the movement and lighter the touch, the more relaxed your partners will be.



A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 05-18-2004, 04:35 AM   #2
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 794
Re: How have you helped with stiffness

Hi Bryan,

Thanks for the information. We did those kinds of exercises to no avail. The student eventually left the dojo. In all my years of practice, I had never experienced anyone with quite so much rigidity in his body. It was driven by his career as a welder. There was another thread running on this back in September or October I think.

best, Rachel
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Old 05-22-2004, 11:00 AM   #3
gasman's Avatar
Dojo: Sunyata
Location: Oslo
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 114
Re: How have you helped with stiffness

when training with beginners and they stiffen up, i stop the technique and do the "electric boogie" on their arms. For you non-hiphoppers out there, this is the bogaloo movement that starts at my shoulder and whips through my arm, through the grip and into the other persons arm, like a wave travelling on a rope. then i explain that if they are stiff I can just break away from their grip and atemi to the face. Works almost every time...
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Old 05-25-2004, 02:41 AM   #4
Robert Cowham
Dojo: East Sheen Aikido and Kashima No Tachi
Location: London, UK
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 267
Re: How have you helped with stiffness

I find that emphasizing breathing and slowing things down helps a lot to overcome stiffness. We have/have had plenty of stiff people in our dojo (myself included), and slow practice with deep breathing works well given time.

E.g. breath out and relax when grasped katatedori and then breath in when going up with the technique such as ikkyo, and then out again as it descends. Make the breathing loud to emphasise the point.

I have had someone change within a few minutes doing this sort of thing. Note that it takes a while to bed in of course subsequently. Also, you then have to speed things up and raddress the issues etc.

We have someone who worked as a blacksmith and had a very rigid chest - felt like steel and his ribs didn't seem to move when he breathed. He has worked hard on various breathing exercises and awareness exercises to develop feeling in this area and is a lot softer now.

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Old 05-25-2004, 04:32 AM   #5
Green Machine
Green Machine's Avatar
Dojo: Iwama Ryu Caerphilly
Location: Wales
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 17
United Kingdom
Re: How have you helped with stiffness

I think it is one of those things that just takes time, when I started 4 months ago I was like a robot. Taking in to account my background in weights and my other past-time cycling I was to say the least unbendable. I have over the last 4 months let go of the rigidity I am far from perfect but compared to when I first started I am more pliable.

Also a dan grade told me to take up swiming this will really help me to loosen up

hope this helps Andrew
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