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Old 03-29-2005, 06:43 AM   #26
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
"...which means, Ron, you aren't missing anything except the 50 years Takeno Sensei has ahead of you in training.
... yeah, you got that right!

Quote:
who in the U.S. would be a consensus recommendation as someone who well demonstrates classical Yoshinkan kamae, ability, etc.?
West coast used to have Jaques Payet Sensei, but I hear he's no longer there...Mits Yamashita is in California, Amos Parker (8th dan) visits Sacramento at Steven Miranda's dojo frequently (long time student of Takeno Sensei), Mustard Sensei and Kimeda Sensei in Cananda, Kushida Sensei in Michigan (no longer yoshinkan but was very prominent in Yosh history), Utada Sensei on the east coast in Phila. and a bunch of others all in between. I've felt and / or seen personally all of the above except for Kushida Sensei and Yamashita Sensei. Kushida Sensei was one of my teacher's teachers, so I have an idea of what the training is like there (many of my Sempai tested under him initially).

Also, the aiki expo will have at least Inoue Sensei, and probably Mustard Sensei as well as some others. You'd have an opportunity to see the current Dojo Cho of the Hombu and one of the best foriegn students out there...in public demonstrations, I'd say Inoue Sensei does the closest to what you'd be looking for.

I'd recommend checking out any two of the above...since everyone has their own take on things (I know you probably cringed when you read that ).
Ron

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 03-29-2005 at 06:48 AM.

Ron Tisdale
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Old 03-29-2005, 06:50 AM   #27
Mike Sigman
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
West coast used to have Jaques Payet Sensei, but I hear he's no longer there...Mits Yamashita is in California, Amos Parker (8th dan) visits Sacramento at Steven Miranda's dojo frequently (long time student of Takeno Sensei), Mustard Sensei and Kimeda Sensei in Cananda, Kushida Sensei in Michigan (no longer yoshinkan but was very prominent in Yosh history), Utada Sensei on the east coast in Phila. and a bunch of others all in between. I've felt and seen personally all of the above except for Kushida Sensei and Yamashita Sensei. Kushida Sensei was one of my teacher's teachers, so I have an idea of what the training is like there (many of my Sempai tested under him initially).
Which of the above would be considered "true to the way Shioda taught things and very good to boot"?
Quote:
I'd recommend checking out any two of the above...since everyone has their own take on things (I know you probably cringed when you read that ).
What I want to find is someone who epitiomizes Shioda's teachings, not necessarily their own take. In too many martial arts there is a tendency for athletic, aggressive males to dominate and represent a "style" when often what they do is not kosher for the style in many ways.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 03-29-2005, 08:18 AM   #28
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Also, the aiki expo will have at least Inoue Sensei
Actually, Inoue sensei is not slated to be at this year's Aiki Expo.

-- Jun

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Old 03-29-2005, 01:19 PM   #29
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Hi Jun, that's a shame...If I was going I'd really miss him.

Hi Mike,

Drop me an email and we can discuss offline...tatemae would suggest that I not favor anyone in particular in this regard...

Ron

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Old 03-29-2005, 02:40 PM   #30
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
...Amos Parker (8th dan) visits Sacramento at Steven Miranda's dojo frequently (long time student of Takeno Sensei...
Parker Shihan is located in Houston, TX and was a long time student of Kiyoyuki TERADA Shihan.

Terada Shihan is the senior most yudansha in ALL of Yoshinkan Aikido.

Parker Shihan is the senior most non-Japanese yudansha in all of Yoshinkan and is senior to a majority of the Japanese instructors as well.

Regards,

Charles Burmeister
Aikido Yoshinkan Yoseikai

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Old 03-29-2005, 03:02 PM   #31
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Thank you Charles...my mistake.

RT

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Old 03-29-2005, 03:19 PM   #32
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

More for the record than for you Ron!?!

Charles Burmeister
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Old 03-29-2005, 03:30 PM   #33
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Which of the above would be considered "true to the way Shioda taught things and very good to boot"? What I want to find is someone who epitiomizes Shioda's teachings, not necessarily their own take. In too many martial arts there is a tendency for athletic, aggressive males to dominate and represent a "style" when often what they do is not kosher for the style in many ways.

Regards,

Mike
This is interesting...For me, Shioda sensei is the only one that epitomizes 'Shioda'. As far as Yoshinkan Aikido goes, all the people that Ron stated, epitomize what Yoshinkan is about. If you listen to any of these instructors teach - they all harp on very similar lines.

But there are differences. I have not trained with all the afore mentioned teachers so I cannot comment directly on there "uniqueness". However, they are all high quality instructors.

Charles Burmeister
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Old 03-29-2005, 03:30 PM   #34
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Mike Sigman:
Which of the above would be considered "true to the way Shioda taught things and very good to boot"?

Hell, that's like asking who would be considered "true to the way O'Sensei taught things" and very good to boot. They're all great in their own right. There's no one in north america who has practiced Yoshinkan Aikido in Japan longer than Parker Sensei, 35 years. Though Payet Sensei was a direct student of Shioda Kancho and being as I've been on the receiving end of both of their techniques, I would say either. Of course, Yamashita Sensei is my first teacher and has practiced Yoshinkan Aikido in N.America longer than anyone, starting in 1959. So I'm partial to him as well.

I understand a new Yoshinkan school is being formed in Colorado Springs, but I have no details. Though your welcome to come to Sacramento any time you'd like and I'd be more than happy to show/explain/teach you kamae.

It's only unnatural to those who have never practiced it.

... Steven
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Old 03-29-2005, 04:09 PM   #35
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
What I want to find is someone who epitiomizes Shioda's teachings, not necessarily their own take.

That's like trying to find someone who epitiomizes O'Sensei's teachings, and not necessarliy their own take. Shioda Sensei's Aikido is what he learned and understood from the founder. As is Tohei's and Saito's and Shirta, etc, etc, etc. So which one is right I wonder?

Good luck. If you find that person, please share it with the rest of us.
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Old 03-29-2005, 04:48 PM   #36
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
Steven Miranda wrote:
Mike Sigman:
Which of the above would be considered "true to the way Shioda taught things and very good to boot"?

Hell, that's like asking who would be considered "true to the way O'Sensei taught things" and very good to boot.
Well, in that case it would be Saito, probably. However, I'm not silly enough to think that because someone resembles his teacher that he knows and does things exactly like the teacher.... I'm simply looking for indicators.
Quote:
I understand a new Yoshinkan school is being formed in Colorado Springs, but I have no details. Though your welcome to come to Sacramento any time you'd like and I'd be more than happy to show/explain/teach you kamae.

It's only unnatural to those who have never practiced it.
OK... if you get the scoop on the address, etc., for the Colorado Springs place, I'll try to drop by sometime, but it's about a 5 1/2 hour drive.

I'm used to various postures and It's usually fairly obvious what the training portions and functional portions of postures are to me. Can you tell me physically why the fingers are spread apart and straightened in the basic kamae?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-29-2005, 05:34 PM   #37
Michael Mackenzie
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

As an aside I wanted to thank Bermeister Sensei for the wonderful clips on his website: www.myaa.info

It's great to see extended clips of both Terada and Parker Shihan. I was also amazed at the variety of techniques found in thier respective practices that have been lost largely in other aikido schools.

Respectfully,

Michael Mackenzie
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Old 03-29-2005, 09:52 PM   #38
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:

I'm used to various postures and It's usually fairly obvious what the training portions and functional portions of postures are to me. Can you tell me physically why the fingers are spread apart and straightened in the basic kamae?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Mike S.,

I have heard two explaination given to me thus far from my practice;

1) The more esoteric one would be to let the Ki flow and hence not impede the execution of aikido techniques. Another way of putting it is that your aikido will flow when your Ki is not blocked.

2) The more mechanical/scientific explaination I have heard is that when your fingers are spread out and straightened, your wrist and brachial radial muscle is taut and that prepares your forearm to receive or exectute technique.

The above is my version, what is your take on this?

Boon.

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Old 03-30-2005, 06:20 AM   #39
Mike Sigman
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote:
I have heard two explaination given to me thus far from my practice;

1) The more esoteric one would be to let the Ki flow and hence not impede the execution of aikido techniques. [snip the second sentence because it doesn't really belong as part of explanation]
Hi Boon:

So my question would be: "why would this physically make the ki flow?".
Quote:
2) The more mechanical/scientific explaination I have heard is that when your fingers are spread out and straightened, your wrist and brachial radial muscle is taut and that prepares your forearm to receive or exectute technique.
Bunk. But let's say I'm wrong. Why would this physically better prepare your forearm to receive or execute technique? In other words, in this second explanation the whole idea of "relax" and therefore "ki" goes right out the window, but I'd be glad think it over out loud with you. The idea of questioning "why" and "how" about everything that is done always seems to be a good idea to me. The teachers I had always expected me to do it, in fact. I've never forgotten a comment one of my teachers asked when I questioned why he hadn't shown his public class how to move the body with reeling silk.... he said, "They either figure it out or they don't".

I'm waiting for Steven Miranda and Ruth McWilliam to post their answers to the same question... I asked Ruth several times but she won't even give me the courtesy of a reply even though, as she pointed out, she studies Yoshinkan and I don't.

I appreciate your post and the fact that you can engage in a discussion in a polite and neutral manner, so if I don't say anything on this forum, I'll send you something privately later. Who knows, maybe someone will put the right answer on the forum and we can all discuss what it means, the ramifications, etc., and have a very productive discussion?

All the Best,

Mike Sigman

Last edited by Mike Sigman : 03-30-2005 at 06:23 AM.
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:24 AM   #40
Steven
 
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Hi Mike S,

Overtime, I've learned to stay out of conversations that talk about specific ways of doing things. There are many reasons for this, most notably, because they tend to have no value if the participants have no real interest in learning/considering other peoples approach, and simply use the post to argue their own agenda and build up their own leader.

Now I'm not saying that is what you or anyone else is doing here. However, I thought it important you understand why I don't engage in specifics. Though in this case, I will attempt to answer your question based on my own personal experience.

Throughout my 23 years in trying to figure this all out, I have not passed 3 examinations. My 5th and 4th kyu and my first shodan exam. In the case of my 4th kyu exam, it was failed because of a mental break down. I did the wrong basic movement to start. But that's a story for another day. My 5th kyu and shodan were failed because of my hands. Particularly my lower one. The problem was simple. They were too lazy. This laziness of my hands caused me to be "too slow" and off balanced thus making my technique weak. The video footage I have of both exams is remarkable when you compare the 1st and 2nd attempts. And the only thing that was changed were the hands, must notably, the fingers.

When teaching, I tell my students to spread the fingers and extend their energy forward. I emphasis that the tips of the fingers should represent the tips of a sword, thus projecting their energy forward. When I see their technique is lacking, I have found it has to do with the weakness of the hands. When they focus on extending their energy from the back toe all the way up and out the finger tips, their technique is energized.

Now why this works or makes a difference I don't know and frankly don't care. All I know is that for 2 years after failing my first shodan test, I was consistently getting knocked on my butt. "Sensei, what's wrong" I would say. He would reply, "Too slow". "Sensei, what's wrong?" I would ask, and Sensei would say, "Too fast". ARG! Then he said, "Steven, go back to the basics … all of them". It all started with kamae. Once I ‘fixed' kamae by paying more attention to my hands/fingers, things started moving much better. I see this in my own students as well.

Now the funny thing about kamae is that for those who have never had the Yoshinkan kamae taught to them, don't understand it. Many times they say, your kamae is too stiff and un-natural, when in reality, kamae should be relaxed, but not to the point to where you can be moved. Relaxed, yet strong.

Though we have a 60/40 posture, the weight should be evenly distributed on both feet. When drawing a circle around your body, your hips should be dead center of that circle. And that should remain consistent no matter how far apart your feet are. Some would argue that is impossible with a 60/40 posture. I say, no problem, when taught and done correctly, which can only be done in a dojo, with an instructor.

So, these are my views on the subject. I'm sure my fellow Yoshinkan brethren may have different views on the subject, or they may agree totally. Again, it doesn't matter to me. These are my experiences and what I have come to figure out in my own training with the help of my instructors, most notably, Parker Sensei who in 2000, made me move to and from kamae for what felt like an eternity. "Migi hanmi KAMAE! Stop, do it again." Etc, etc, etc, etc. I'll give you one guess why he kept stopping me and made to do it over and over and over again until I got it right.

… and with that, that is all I have to say on the subject. I now return you to your regularly scheduled program.
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:51 AM   #41
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Steven...thanks for that post. And now, back to training in how to stand in kamae...

Ron

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Old 03-30-2005, 10:13 AM   #42
Mike Sigman
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
Steven Miranda wrote:
Overtime, I've learned to stay out of conversations that talk about specific ways of doing things. There are many reasons for this, most notably, because they tend to have no value if the participants have no real interest in learning/considering other peoples approach, and simply use the post to argue their own agenda and build up their own leader. [snip rest of post]
I can accept that as a postulate, Steven, but let's leave it alone since there is an implied aspersion to it. I notice that too many posts on this forum are allowed to go to the personal when there is a disagreement, etc., and I don't want to go there. I'm happy with you believing what you want and my position is more along the lines of "if you believe something to be true and that it functionally works and you teach it (charging money), then my opinion is that you should be able to explain it to someone who also has a good understanding of the processes involved."

The only contention here is that you believe that I can't understand something you do about postures and I believe I can understand anything you want to explain about postures because I have a lot of experience with postures and training. And I'm not trying to contend about the postures... I'm trying to get you to tell me things about your kamae so I can think about them and decide if there's something new I can learn. That's all there is to it.

If you go back and look at a lot of the information that I've shared over the last month, it's a lot of stuff and a lot of it is new to most people. What I know from experience is that I'm perfectly safe in offering some pretty good information because most people won't take the time to try it or think about it. It's as safe as if it were in a lock box, so I don't worry too much about what I say. Yet, a very few people will be able to use it and the general level will be helped by the sharing of information. If you really understand your kamae and you think I won't then shouldn't you be perfectly safe in just talking about it and explaining things for the same reasons I just mentioned?

The question about the hands is important and I'll explain it to you off the forum some time. You offered to explain the kamae to me because I didn't see the sense in some things (in comparison to other ways to do them)... I'd like to hear your (or other peoples') explanations and I'll always try to exchange as much or more information as I get. How's that?

Mike
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Old 03-30-2005, 10:27 AM   #43
Mike Sigman
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
Steven Miranda wrote:
Now the funny thing about kamae is that for those who have never had the Yoshinkan kamae taught to them, don't understand it. Many times they say, your kamae is too stiff and un-natural, when in reality, kamae should be relaxed, but not to the point to where you can be moved. Relaxed, yet strong.
There's no way to have a consensus about what "relaxed, yet strong" means in writing. I'll take your word on it.
Quote:
Though we have a 60/40 posture, the weight should be evenly distributed on both feet. When drawing a circle around your body, your hips should be dead center of that circle. And that should remain consistent no matter how far apart your feet are. Some would argue that is impossible with a 60/40 posture. I say, no problem, when taught and done correctly, which can only be done in a dojo, with an instructor.
I'm a little confused here. If we use the pictures on page 30-31 of "Total Aikido", can you tell me how the demonstrated posture is 60/40? It's not what I would call a 60/40 posture, so I'm trying to understand your perspective.

You mentioned the fingers/hands and energizing them, etc. The idea of where the fingers point-spread and how it affects the ki is a very old one. In fact, it is a basic of all stances, if you get above a superficial level. There are a lot of subtleties in a stance, but the most subtle aspects have to do with the intention and ki and what it is doing not just in the hands but in the various limbs, etc. There's also a question of relaxation being necessary for the "energy" to go through the hands. My original comment about the kamae I was seeing in "Total Aikido" had to do with the conflict between ki and tension... and it's the root of my curiosity. Since it's always possible to learn new things, I always ask. I appreciate your patience.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-30-2005, 11:10 AM   #44
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Mike,

I addressed my post to you because you asked me a direct question. I answered the best I could based on my own experience. It's up to you to believe what I said. I don't care either way.

YOU:
Can you tell me physically why the fingers are spread apart and straightened in the basic kamae?

YOU AGAIN:
You mentioned the fingers/hands and energizing them, etc. The idea of where the fingers point-spread and how it affects the ki is a very old one. In fact, it is a basic of all stances, if you get above a superficial level.

Seems to me you answered your own question, no? Or at least know why we do this?

The simplest answer to the question is this. The reason we spread the fingers is because that is what Shioda Kancho told us to do and if it's good enough for him, then heck, who am I to argue.

In regards to Total Aikido. It is just one of many sources and is designed to give the reader a basic understanding. To truly understand it, you need to be in a dojo, with an instructor, who knows what he/she is talking about. Written words don't do it the right justice.

You also have to consider that in the Yoshinkan, our concept or definition of KI is different that most. I'll refer you to page 17 of the same book.

As for the 60/40, I'll refer you to page 19 of Inoue Kancho's book, Introduction to Basic Techniques, Vol 1. which can be purchased online at AikidoJournal.com.

I've learn to stop pysho-analyzing things and just train. I get confused too easily when I start thinking. And it hurts too.
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Old 03-30-2005, 11:14 AM   #45
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

... and, I'll point out that in all of these books, there are things that are implied and not just said. This may have to do with the translation from Japanese to English. Hence the reasons for being in a dojo and practicing.
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Old 03-30-2005, 11:19 AM   #46
Mike Sigman
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
Steven Miranda wrote:
The reason we spread the fingers is because that is what Shioda Kancho told us to do and if it's good enough for him, then heck, who am I to argue.
OK. Thanks.
Quote:
In regards to Total Aikido. It is just one of many sources and is designed to give the reader a basic understanding. To truly understand it, you need to be in a dojo, with an instructor, who knows what he/she is talking about. Written words don't do it the right justice.
OK. I was just asking. I'm used to conversations where we discuss the pro's and con's (and there's a pro and con side to anything; not always a "right" side) of doing things certain ways. Articulating the logic is often a help to everyone.
Quote:
You also have to consider that in the Yoshinkan, our concept or definition of KI is different that most. I'll refer you to page 17 of the same book.

As for the 60/40, I'll refer you to page 19 of Inoue Kancho's book, Introduction to Basic Techniques, Vol 1. which can be purchased online at AikidoJournal.com.

I've learn to stop pysho-analyzing things and just train. I get confused too easily when I start thinking. And it hurts too.
OK. Each to his own. I was just looking for information, just as I've always done. Thanks for the input.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-30-2005, 11:39 AM   #47
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

"Articulating the logic is often a help to everyone. "

There in lies the problem for me. Trying to articulate what I'm trying to convery is like doing shihonage on this Oak Tree outside my window. In fact, I'd have better luck with the Oak Tree.

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Old 03-30-2005, 04:39 PM   #48
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

About the fingers open in kamae thing...

1. One of the important precepts that we have is that all motion should be strong, balanced and forward. There should be no backwards feeling, even when moving backwards and our posture should be strong and upright - no bending over. One of the things that spreading your fingers strongly forward and apart does is emphasize that there is a "forward committment" and there is no turning inwards of intent, which having fingers turned in would do.

2. Another precept is that we try to be as efficient as possible in all that we do. This is the reason the weight is forward. It is also a reason the hands are spread. Since we do a lot of grasping it is more efficient to close the hand in the grasp rather than open and then close it to grasp.

3. The arm shape in kamae can be found by swinging your arms around your body where there is no feeling of stretching forward or pulling back. To have your hands at this distance from your body is the ideal point to use your body through your arms as opposed to just your arms. By spreading your fingers you can feel the shape of the arm better than if your fingers are curved in and the hand stays in the same plane as the arm.

4. How far apart your fingers are spread is not really important. It's just easier and more natural to have the fingers spread and forward rather than pushed together and forward. The only rule here is that your bottom hand should have the 2nd finger from the thumb parallel to the floor and the top hand should have the 3rd finger from the thumb parallel to the floor. This is to keep that kamae arm shape that is being looked for.

Kamae is a training tool and is used to describe how to do things in the middle of techniques. If you have trained to keep your fingers spread and feeling forward then describing how to do shihonage is alot easier than if you have not.

Another important point about kamae is "keep the armpits closed". This also helps keep focus forward and sets the "correct" kamae arm shape and makes the upper body move together within techniques.

My thoughts based on my training and what was taught to me.

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 03-30-2005, 06:27 PM   #49
Mike Sigman
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
Michael Stuempel wrote:
About the fingers open in kamae thing...
Thanks. I know a good conversation icebreaker when I hear one.
[snip Michaels comments since they're nearby]

I appreciate it. I was just mulling over how all of this has gotten more complex than I originally envisioned when I thought I'd stop by and delve for some possible history to support the theory I already believed. Turns out that things are never simple, as usual. After watching the Shioda DVD yesterday, I'm having a discussion in my head about possibilities and I'm not through yet, so let me mull a bit longer.

The one thing I can say about the Shioda posture question is that I *may* have the wrong idea about Yoshinkan postures due to the Total Aikido book and a few videoclips I've seen of the occasional US dojo putting on demonstrations. Shioda's postures in the DVD weren't like the exaggeration I was thinking about. Also, I found my old copy of Dynamic Aikido from years ago and I don't feel any critical reaction to the postures of Shioda in that old book.

I have a general theory about Asian martial arts that has developed over a long period of time. The general idea is that the Ki/Kokyu (Qi/Jin) things are so important that they spread to almost all martial arts and they are the common theme around which most Asian martial arts build themselves. The Chinese credit DaMo with bringing this type of body technology to China (there were martial arts before he came, but the root technology was new). Whether there was an actual DaMo or not is arguable, but I'd say generally that the Chinese credit the body technology of Ki/Kokyu, etc,. to the Buddhist monks. If the Chinese had given it to the Indians, I doubt seriously that they would lie still for giving the credit to an Indian. Anyway, that still puts the body-technology (which BTW, I think is actually still in some secret yogic techniques in India, almost certainly) at around 500+ AD into China. It was considered a Big Deal (tm).

By the Tang Dynasty, which was I forget but like 600-900 AD, martial arts with this body technology were pretty rampant, so the cat was out of the bag. Variations grew, using different body tricks, but the basic principles and training methods were the same. At some point in time, to make a long story short, the refinement of these techniques reached apparently very broadly with many of the Chinese martial arts using the complex "Six Harmonies" movement as a core supplement to the basic Qi/JIn. Since that zenith, a number of arts appear to have dropped back from the six-harmonies movement (which Taiji, Xingyi, Bagua, and a number of others still use) to more simple but ki/kokyu-driven movements. Aikido, a number of the jiu-jitsu ryu (probably all of the older ones), karate, etc., appear to have gotten the body technology somehow.

The point I'm trying to arrive at has to do with postures so bear with me. Also keep in mind that these are just general musings by me and I could be wrong... although I'm being so general that I think I'm probably pretty safe.

Let me jump aside for a minute and discuss the Ueshiba-Bagua thing for a minute. Since the basic techniques in Aikido were present in Japan before Ueshiba went to China, I wouldn't bet any big money that he got any Bagua input, although of course he probably saw some Bagua since there are newspaper reports of Bagua demonstrations by Chinese in Tokyo, etc. The body technology was in Japan before Ueshiba went to China... yes, he may have picked up some information in China, but it's not necessary that he did so, in my opinion.

Back to the winding path toward postures. In the refined postures and body principles of six-harmonies, not to mention most Shaolin arts, it's considered a no-no to lean forward. From some of the Yoshinkan pictures I see, I get the strong impression that a "lean" seems to originate from Kendo training. However, I don't see much of a lean when I watch Shioda moving around, so he's pretty well centered, IMO. Insofar as some of the other body admonitions, like the armpits, etc., those are pretty standard, although there can be discussion about "rounding" joints, etc.

What I see that catches my eye is Shioda doing kokyu (jin) tricks. I'm hampered by his having too-agreeable students, but it looks like he's probably pretty good. You don't really get good if you don't do correct standing practice. So I run into a conflict about the way the hands are held as a small piece of these mental ruminations.

Without getting dragged into a long discussion on qi, fascia, mind, muscle, etc., let me just note that relaxation is essential for the training, but also the body trains best when it is slightly spread because the "qi" flows most easily through a smooth, slightly extended body. I like to use the idea of the body being covered by a thin dancer's tights that cover every inch of the body. The idea is to stand so that there are no wrinkles in that suit. The crotch should be slightly bowed so there are no wrinkles; the armpits slightly rounded ("a pomegranate under the armpit"), the elbow rounded, the head held up and the butt dropped down by relaxing the back... and the hands held slightly open and extended. However, tension simply keeps the power from developing in the hands and just makes you develop strong hands.

There. Sorry I took so long. But I had to politely suggest, even though I might be wrong, that perhaps too much tension could be something that distorted over time, like has happened in so many other arts before this? Just a possibility.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 03-30-2005, 07:07 PM   #50
maikerus
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Mike,

Thanks for clarifying a bit more where you are coming from. I admire the depth of insight you are looking for.

WRT Shioda Sensei and kamae...he actually didn't do "kamae" as it is taught, but had evolved? beyond that. When he taught kamae it was with the goal that it would get a student X% of the way to the "riai" or "fundamental principles". One of his goals in creating his style was apparantly to develop a systematic way of teaching that was much more effective than the "Monkey see, Monkey do" way he was taught.

You are probably right about too much tension in the spread hand blocking ki. I actually know nothing about ki, since it isn't a term that my teachers use. However, I do know that there is a point between having the fingers too tense and having them too weak where the arm and body come together in balance and can move quickly and efficiently.

And wrt to ki tricks...if we don't learn/teach about ki in Yoshinkan, then they aren't ki tricks, are they Seriously, in demos and videos there may be more cooperative uke's than there should be. Its very hard to tell, because it does look too easy and uke's are really out to protect themselves.

In one seminar Takeno Sensei was making a particular point and I was his uke. He asked me to strike and it took me about 6 times - mainly because I was terrified - to attack the way he wanted me to in order to make his point. On the "correct" attack I remember starting the attack and then getting up about 3 mats behind where I had started. On the "incorrect" attacks he just moved or blocked or did something else while still talking to the class...kind of ignoring me. The correct attack was when I had decided (through frustration) that I was going to hit the <insert nasty name here> and to hell with the consequences. If this had been a demo he would have taken my first attack and I either would've broken or looked like I was diving. FWIW...this was at the 1st International Gasshuku held by the IYAF in Japan in 1995 (hmm..1994?) - if anyone reading was there or have a video they might remember it.

cheers,

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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