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Old 03-20-2005, 07:20 AM   #1
Mike Sigman
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Standing Postures in Aikido?

Does anyone know if any of the original uchi-deshi (pre- and post-war) used any standing postures or "standing meditation" in their practice?

Thanks for any information.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-20-2005, 11:17 AM   #2
Michael Mackenzie
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Hi,

Shioda incorporated standing practice into the kihon dosa, especially for the senshusei and riot police. I've also heard both Saito Sr. and Yamaguchi were happy to have students stand for periods of time with the sword.

Mike
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Old 03-20-2005, 11:22 AM   #3
Mike Sigman
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Fabulous. Thanks! Can you or anyone else add any further information as to types of postures, other people who practiced postures, books that may mention this, etc.?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-20-2005, 08:02 PM   #4
Michael Mackenzie
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

I'm on the road for the next few days. Hopefully I can dig up some source material when I get home. In the meantime perhaps some of the yoshinkan people could comment on their practice of the kihon dosa, including posture holding.

Mike
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Old 03-21-2005, 12:04 AM   #5
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Hey Mike -

One common practice was a method originally derived, I believe, from Tenri-kyo, a neo-Shinto sect. The individual stands with feet shoulder-width apart, and the hands are clasped, right cupped palm over left, and the arms at the natural relaxed extent that this hand grip allows. The hands are shaken almost as if shaking dice, but the body is organized so that the waves of the shaking go through the body all the way through to the feet. The body is relaxed - not limp - and there is no sway or drama, just a subtle vibration. Ueshiba Kisshomaru used to do this for about 3-4 minutes every class he started, as did, I believe other instructors. I've been told that Abe Seiseki would do this practice for very long periods of time and this was the source of his amazing (to my informant) relaxed power. (Note that this last is not something I know or witnessed - just something mentioned to me).

The orginal practice was a psycho-religious one - I have not experimented at any length with this procedure, other than that it feels quite good and the longer one does it, the better one feels. It's quite unlike "post standing," which I find quickly fatiguing. It has a very quiet, but definite energizing effect.

I am working on a set of solo movements for aikido practice, along the lines of simple chi kung - congruent with aikido movement, and have been integrating this practice in the curriculum of a dojo with whom I consult. When our research is complete, I'll be releasing it publicly. I've always felt that some form of solo "internal" cultivation is a) certainly lacking in most aikido practice b) surely was a key factor in Ueshiba M.'s remarkable skills.

Note that when I refer to "internal cultivation," I am only focusing on what I understand - a little - the effficent intergration of the neuro-muscular system. Never having experienced or witnessed - on either side - the kind of "ki", or "kokyuryoku" that is described in more miraculous tales, that kind of cultivation of power is not a focus of my own research.

Best

Ellis

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Old 03-21-2005, 07:34 AM   #6
Mike Sigman
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote:
One common practice was a method originally derived, I believe, from Tenri-kyo, a neo-Shinto sect. The individual stands with feet shoulder-width apart, and the hands are clasped, right cupped palm over left, and the arms at the natural relaxed extent that this hand grip allows. The hands are shaken almost as if shaking dice, but the body is organized so that the waves of the shaking go through the body all the way through to the feet. The body is relaxed - not limp - and there is no sway or drama, just a subtle vibration. Ueshiba Kisshomaru used to do this for about 3-4 minutes every class he started, as did, I believe other instructors. I've been told that Abe Seiseki would do this practice for very long periods of time and this was the source of his amazing (to my informant) relaxed power. (Note that this last is not something I know or witnessed - just something mentioned to me).

The orginal practice was a psycho-religious one - I have not experimented at any length with this procedure, other than that it feels quite good and the longer one does it, the better one feels. It's quite unlike "post standing," which I find quickly fatiguing. It has a very quiet, but definite energizing effect.
Thanks. That's very helpful to know, Ellis. I'm not sure if you're aware that what you're describing is a fairly well-known Buddhist standing practice? The "shaking" is supposed to develop into an unconscious (not deliberately done) movement which "balances" and strengthens the Ki, FWIW.
Quote:
I am working on a set of solo movements for aikido practice, along the lines of simple chi kung - congruent with aikido movement, and have been integrating this practice in the curriculum of a dojo with whom I consult. When our research is complete, I'll be releasing it publicly. I've always felt that some form of solo "internal" cultivation is a) certainly lacking in most aikido practice b) surely was a key factor in Ueshiba M.'s remarkable skills.
I'd like to see what you're doing. As I noted elsewhere, the jo-trick indicates a high-probability of "standing" practices, BTW, but I can't prove it with the information I have .... that's exactly why I started this thread, so I am unveiled.
Quote:
Note that when I refer to "internal cultivation," I am only focusing on what I understand - a little - the effficent intergration of the neuro-muscular system. Never having experienced or witnessed - on either side - the kind of "ki", or "kokyuryoku" that is described in more miraculous tales, that kind of cultivation of power is not a focus of my own research.
Actually, there's more to it than just neuromuscular, although arguably that's one way to describe a component part of it. The real problem in describing what some of these things are is that some descriptions are probably correct, but since no real research has been done on these things, some descriptions of the mechanics are questionable and subjective. I.e., if I say something is "myofascial" a kinesiologist or physiologist might hold me to task, and correctly so.

For every assertion of the actual mechanics of "ki" and "kokyu" power (i.e., trying to describe something while avoiding the ki-paradigm and shifting to the western-science paradigm), I have to run the descriptions by an imaginary physiologist in my head so that I don't get too carried away with the sound of my own mouth-noises.

I did an in-service for the physical therapy staff at the University of Colorado medical school and they all agreed they'd never seen the physical tricks I led them through (and one pretty good "external qi" qigong).... but since it wasn't their bailiwick or what was in the accepted literature, they weren't all that interested in what it could be. That same mindset is actually in a lot of the martial arts, Aikido included, so don't let the bastards grind you down, Ellis. Go forward with what you're doing. If you get a chance, let's get together and physically compare notes.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 03-21-2005, 08:07 AM   #7
Mike Sigman
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Michael Mackenzie wrote:
I'm on the road for the next few days. Hopefully I can dig up some source material when I get home. In the meantime perhaps some of the yoshinkan people could comment on their practice of the kihon dosa, including posture holding.
Gozo Shioda's descriptions of how to do things are part of the conflict I was describing to Ellis about what is Ki versus what is body mechanics. Years ago when I bought Shioda's "Dynamic Aikido" I felt that his descriptions were the most practical, although they weren't explicative enough to satisfy me. On the other side of the coin, Koichi Tohei's approach was tantalizing, but it wasn't explicative either. Although they appear to be describing different things, Shioda is painting part of the picture very well; Tohei is painting part of the same picture (the part about the esoteric phenomena), but he doesn't do it very well, IMO.

I have Shioda's "Total Aikido: The Master Course" (translated by David Rubens) and I basically like it a lot (if an Aikidoist doesn't have it, they should get it) but I have to comment that it's another one of those books that is easier to appreciate if you already know how to do things. There seems to be an Asiatic art-form in telling people how to do things in such a way that it's not understandable unless they already know how to do them.

There is a subtle danger to Tohei's approach, as many people have spotted... following vagaries can lead you not too far in any particular direction. But there's a danger to Shioda's approach also, in my opinion, in that it can lead you to the mechanistic and limited approach of the "external" or mechanistic side, causing you to miss the gold while giving you the wooden chest it was in.

My current impression is that Shioda knew more than his books indicate and we're seeing mainly his best attempts to get people started correctly (what more can you ask from a simple book?). I'm extrapolating this point of view from reading his books, of course, since I never studied Yoshinkan. My question is sort of "what did Shioda know and when did he know it?" because that will cast some light on the question of "what did Ueshiba Morihei know and when did he know it?". The comments about standing practices in Yoshinkan are interesting indicators, so I appreciate the information.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-21-2005, 08:45 AM   #8
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote:
Hey Mike -

One common practice was a method originally derived, I believe, from Tenri-kyo, a neo-Shinto sect. The individual stands with feet shoulder-width apart, and the hands are clasped, right cupped palm over left, and the arms at the natural relaxed extent that this hand grip allows. The hands are shaken almost as if shaking dice, but the body is organized so that the waves of the shaking go through the body all the way through to the feet. The body is relaxed - not limp - and there is no sway or drama, just a subtle vibration. Ueshiba Kisshomaru used to do this for about 3-4 minutes every class he started, as did, I believe other instructors. I've been told that Abe Seiseki would do this practice for very long periods of time and this was the source of his amazing (to my informant) relaxed power. (Note that this last is not something I know or witnessed - just something mentioned to me).

When I was living in Tokyo, they also used to do this at my dojo before every practice. Our Kaicho studied under both Ueshiba M and Ueshiba K. It was always done in conjunction with torifune, i.e. we would start with torifune in migi kamae then do shimburi with the right hand over, then do torifune with hidari kamae followed by shimburi with left hand over. Unfortunately, I don't recall him explaining it much. My understanding was that it was to do with active/passive breathing practice (torifune being active, shimburi being passive). I'm afraid I never questioned it at the time so I don't have much else to add.

regards

Bryan

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Old 03-21-2005, 09:33 AM   #9
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Funny thing about Shioda: Other aikido groups have referred to him (and Yoshinkan) as a "hard" style. This is probably for two reasons. First of all, there is the organized set of exercises, including solo movement exercises, which are practiced in counted cadence. Shioda developed this as a means of training large groups, and it has a "rigid" military air to it. Second, I believe, is that Shioda, in public demonstrations, was quite brutal to his uke, and that violence was reacted to as "hard." Shioda led strike-breaker thugs (with the support of GHQ) to stop unions from developing power in post-war Japan. But although this is all "hard-edged," it doesn't make his aikido hard.

I am amazed by how subtle his technique was. Particularly of note was his "irimi" - he occupied the uke's space a microsecond before they arrived, and had the ability to explosively "lock position." In priniciple (though not technique nor method), it resembled xingyi. Shioda used to jam his big toe into the mat at the moment of the throw, tightening all the muscles in the inside of the legs, making a powerful arch like a wishbone (Mike, I gotta take that PT course myself! All I have is images). I've spoken about this with David Rubens, and he corraborated that Shioda emphasized this as a means of generating explosive power.

Finally, there is something between a rumor and an account that Kodo Horikawa, known as one of the most subtle of the Daito-ryu technicians was a "visitor" to the Yoshinkan - that Shioda would clear the dojo on some evenings and study, in private, with Horikawa. I've seen this discussed on several forums, and although there will probably be no substantiation of the depth and nature of his possible studies, this may be a secondary source for Shioda's power, which, like Ueshiba, has not been achieved by most of his descendents. As far as I can tell, the very best of the next generation are Takeno and Chida in Japan, and their (and Shioda's) student, the amazing Robert Mustard in Canada.

Best


Ellis

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Old 03-21-2005, 09:38 AM   #10
Mike Sigman
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Bryan Bateman wrote:
When I was living in Tokyo, they also used to do this at my dojo before every practice. Our Kaicho studied under both Ueshiba M and Ueshiba K. It was always done in conjunction with torifune, i.e. we would start with torifune in migi kamae then do shimburi with the right hand over, then do torifune with hidari kamae followed by shimburi with left hand over. Unfortunately, I don't recall him explaining it much. My understanding was that it was to do with active/passive breathing practice (torifune being active, shimburi being passive). I'm afraid I never questioned it at the time so I don't have much else to add.
Thanks, Bryan. Just as a quick comment, there seems to be a common perception in a lot of the Aikido community that the various breathings, exercises, sittings, etc., used by O-Sensei represented a native-Japanese religious practice like Shinto, etc., with maybe a tad bit of Chinese Buddhism that crept in. However, other than some superficial modifications, etc., the basic physical practices (not to mention the chanting, use of sounds, etc.) I see all seem to be pretty obvious Buddhist-derived items. In essence, I see nothing in Aikido practices that is far-removed from many substantive qigongs that involve "qi"-related movement. The caution is, as usual, that because you copy the movements doesn't mean you know what's going on "inside"; i.e., copying a Taiji form or a martial qigong might look like the choreography, but it's far from what is really going on. The same can be said for traditional Aikido, too, as more and more people are beginning to realize, I think. The caution there is that learning the "8 secret steps" can be a lot like learning a Taiji form... appearances can trip you up.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 03-21-2005, 09:56 AM   #11
Mike Sigman
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote:
Funny thing about Shioda: Other aikido groups have referred to him (and Yoshinkan) as a "hard" style. This is probably for two reasons. First of all, there is the organized set of exercises, including solo movement exercises, which are practiced in counted cadence. Shioda developed this as a means of training large groups, and it has a "rigid" military air to it. Second, I believe, is that Shioda, in public demonstrations, was quite brutal to his uke, and that violence was reacted to as "hard." Shioda led strike-breaker thugs (with the support of GHQ) to stop unions from developing power in post-war Japan. But although this is all "hard-edged," it doesn't make his aikido hard.
Shioda's codification of principles is the best I've seen. I re-read some portions of "Total Aikido" last night and once again I was impressed. More on "hard" below.
Quote:
I am amazed by how subtle his technique was. Particularly of note was his "irimi" - he occupied the uke's space a microsecond before they arrived, and had the ability to explosively "lock position." In priniciple (though not technique nor method), it resembled xingyi. Shioda used to jam his big toe into the mat at the moment of the throw, tightening all the muscles in the inside of the legs, making a powerful arch like a wishbone (Mike, I gotta take that PT course myself! All I have is images). I've spoken about this with David Rubens, and he corraborated that Shioda emphasized this as a means of generating explosive power.
IF, as I speculate, the source of the "ki" knowledge in Japan came via Gempin or other visiting/immigrating Chinese, the almost certain probability is that it represents one of the general Shaolin approaches (there are a number of them) to qi. Because something is "Shaolin" (often called "external") does not mean it is not as sophisticated or as subtle as something "internal", by any means. They're all simply variations on the same basic themes. Shioda's use of the big toe, leg, etc., would indicate that his "ki" is of the Shaolin variety and your story (rumour, I realize.. but we work with what we've got) of Horikawa would provide a possible factor contributing to the "hardness" of Shioda's body mechanics. Let me emphasize again that I see all these approaches as variations on a few simple themes. Even Tohei's ki pronouncements are probably derived from a Shaolin source... I see nothing that suggests the body mechanics of the "internal" styles. Shaolin qi practices can be very "soft" ... depends on how you want to develop and use them.
Quote:
As far as I can tell, the very best of the next generation are Takeno and Chida in Japan, and their (and Shioda's) student, the amazing Robert Mustard in Canada.
I'd like to see Mustard. Maybe after I get back from Frankfurt.

Mike
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Old 03-21-2005, 10:01 AM   #12
pezalinski
 
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Question Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

I was wondering, about the "standing postures" mentioned earlier -- would the breathing exercises demonstrated my Tamura Sensei at last years' Eastern Region 40th Anniversary Summer Camp qualify?

He usually started his sessions with a 1/2 hour of standing breathing exercises, in various postures.

My sensei usually has us start off with subset of these exercises, befoe we start warmups.

Would the traditional "rowing exercise" count, as well?


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Old 03-21-2005, 10:26 AM   #13
Mike Sigman
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Peter Zalinski wrote:
I was wondering, about the "standing postures" mentioned earlier -- would the breathing exercises demonstrated my Tamura Sensei at last years' Eastern Region 40th Anniversary Summer Camp qualify?
Is there a video or still pictures of this? I'd be quite interested in see this, particularly as done by Tamura Sensei, thanks. If you know of a video of Tamura doing these exercises, I'll be glad to buy a copy, etc.
Quote:
Would the traditional "rowing exercise" count, as well?
Well, technically all these things are qigongs, but I'm interested in seeing any Japanese do the "standing" (still) types of posture holding which are maybe related to traditional Japanese practice and cannot be traced within the last 2 generations to the Chinese. Thanks a lot for your help.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-21-2005, 11:01 AM   #14
Michael Mackenzie
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Hi Guys,

A bit of further grist for the rumor mill. I did come across an online article a couple of years ago that suggested Shioda Sensei and Taikiken's (yiquan) Kenichi Sawai may have had some information exchange. I tried to track the article down again a few months ago but no luck. Can anybody substantiate this?

As for all things Shaoliny, Ueshiba was a devotee of Shingon Buddhism long before his foray into Omoto-kyo. Perhaps some of his practices were dervied from this? As for Tohei, the majority of his cultivation methods come from Tempu Nakamura, who was a yoga adept. HE Davey's book "Japanese Yoga" outlines this.

Best,

Mike
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Old 03-21-2005, 11:14 AM   #15
Mike Sigman
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Michael Mackenzie wrote:
A bit of further grist for the rumor mill. I did come across an online article a couple of years ago that suggested Shioda Sensei and Taikiken's (yiquan) Kenichi Sawai may have had some information exchange. I tried to track the article down again a few months ago but no luck. Can anybody substantiate this?
Heck.... when Ellis said that about the toe and leg, I immediately thought "yiquan", but then I dismissed it because those particular leg, foot, etc., trainings are derived originally from Shaolin. You could be right, but I don't have enough data to place any bets. It's not clear how much information Kenichi Sawai got, anyway, and it's not clear from his books or videos exactly what he could do... so what he could pass on to Shioda would have been up in the air. A definite maybe is the best I would go.
Quote:
As for all things Shaoliny, Ueshiba was a devotee of Shingon Buddhism long before his foray into Omoto-kyo. Perhaps some of his practices were dervied from this?
Perhaps.... but that's the sort of thing I'm trying to narrow down. At the moment, I'd lay my bets as the most probable source being Takeda Sokaku.
Quote:
As for Tohei, the majority of his cultivation methods come from Tempu Nakamura, who was a yoga adept. HE Davey's book "Japanese Yoga" outlines this.
I bought Davey's book, but it's not much of a source of information. In fact, I was pretty certain that no one showed him how to do the ki and kokyu parts from what he wrote. My current best guess on Tohei is that he got his basics from Nakamura and added them to what he could learn and deduce from Ueshiba. For whatever that's worth.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 03-21-2005, 11:30 AM   #16
Eric Webber
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

With regards to the practice of shaking one's hands in front of the center as mentioned by Ellis in post #5, this is also practiced by various ASU instructors as well, usually in conjunction with rowing exercise. I first experienced it at a seminar with Patty Saotome Sensei about 6 or 8 years ago.
Good luck in your quest, Mike.
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Old 03-21-2005, 11:41 AM   #17
Mike Sigman
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Eric Webber wrote:
With regards to the practice of shaking one's hands in front of the center as mentioned by Ellis in post #5, this is also practiced by various ASU instructors as well, usually in conjunction with rowing exercise. I first experienced it at a seminar with Patty Saotome Sensei about 6 or 8 years ago.
I have to admit that I saw some of this shaking, etc., many years ago, but at the time I wasn't aware of the various qigong approaches in Buddhism, Confucianism, medical, martial, etc. Most people take these practices (like the shaking, Aiki-taiso, etc.) as some part of the esoteric rituals of Aikido and miss the fact that they were actually important parts of the training for the ki and kokyu. I certainly didn't see it at the time, but my momma allus tole me I was slow.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 03-21-2005, 12:18 PM   #18
Alfonso
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

FWIW , a few years ago I was looking for info on exercises which we used to do at the beginning of class.. I recognized some of the exercises we did from the descriptions in this list.

Quote:
Shinji Chinkonkishin No Ho
Ward Rafferty (wrafferty@SNET.NET)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There seems to be a bit of confusion out there from what I have seen in books and print about how to do this. All I can tell you is that if yo see O'Sensei do it here is what he did.

Here is what Hikitsuchi Sensei gave me in Japanese originally and which three of us worked on translating into English which was then translated back into Japanese and approved.

Copy and use it freely as you will. It was ued for a Kototama Work Shop I gave last year. I will post some Kototama things in both English and Japanese (Romanji) for those who want to practice these but don't read the language. I would ask others to do the same.

SHINJI CHINKONKISHIN NO HO
Translated by Ward Rafferty
Copyright 1997

A method to quiet and center one's Spirit and to return one's Heart to God.

1. Stand facing forward with both feet a shoulders width apart. Look down with hands in a prayer form with the fingers pointing down. While breathing in deeply and looking up, slowly raise the hands above the head so that the fingertips are pointing at Heaven. When looking down, feel that you are breathing in the Ki of the entire Earth, and as the hands begin to point upward, feel that you are breathing in the Ki of the Great Universe. As you breathe in the Ki of the Earth, feel it being drawn in through the nose and the mouth.For the upward breath, you must concentrate and imagine that you are breathing in the Ki of the Great Universe, taking it in through the medulla and passing it down the center of the backbone. Do this slowly twice.


2. SHINKOKYU: At the end of part 1, with the hands still over the head, slide the palm of the right hand down so that the fingertips are level with the the first knuckles of the left, and clap te hands 4 times. Then slowly bring them down to a point just below the navel, with the fingers and palm of the left over the right, with the tips of the thumbs touching (as in zazen). Silently concentrate on the syllables I-KU-MU-SU-BI. Breathing out on I, in on KU, out on MU, in on SU and out on BI, letting the BI change naturally to I and continue the same pattern. When breathing out, imagine that your breath is extending out and becoming One with the Entire Universe. When breathing in, imagine that your breath is being drawn in to you from the Entire Universe. The eyes should be almost closed.

3. AME NO TORIFUNE: After clapping the hands 4 times, as in 2., step forward into a left hanmi and extend both arms, fists clenched as though clasping a pair of oars. With the KI-AI of E, rapidly draw the hands back, only as far as the hipbone. DO NOT LET THE HANDS GO BEHIND THE HIPBONE. Then with the KI-AI of HO, shoot the hands forward again. When drawing in the hands,
imagine that you are grasping and drawing in the entire Earth to your Center, and when extending, you should feel that you are moving the entire Earth forward. The whole movement should be done rapidly as a unit as though it was a yari or bo ski.

4. FURUTAMA NO GYO: Return feet to a position a shoulder width apart. Raise hands in a prayer form over the head, and bring straight down, or bring them down inscribing a circle to the point below the navel, hands clasped left over the right. When you are drawing them down, imagine that you are taking in the KI of the Great Universe and forming it into a ball between the
clasped hands. Begin shaking them rapidly so that the entire body draws in and is filled with the KI of the Universe, which should collect in the abdomen and pour through the body, just as the blood streams through it.
This exercise is done with the eyes closed and during this time, one should attempt to see a white crystal in the center of the forehead. Once fully seen, this crystal should naturally turn to red. Repeat the name of the Sun Goddess AMETERASU-O-MI-KAMI over and over rapidly.

5. Repeat AME NO TORIFUNE, from right hanmi.

6. Repeat FURUTAMA NO GYO, this time repeating the name OHARAIDO-NO-OKAMI (the Kami charged with the Purification of the Earth).

7. Repeat AME NO TORIFUNE, from left hanmi.

8. Repeat FURUTAMA NO GYO, this time repeating the name AME-NO-MINAKA-NUSHI-NO-OKAMI. This is the first Kami whose KOTOTAMA brought the entire universe into being. It means "The Divine August Being Who Stands At the Center of the Universe." This Kami s Pure Consciousness, Pure Act, and Pure Energy and has no form. One of the central aims of Aikido is to unite with this Kami. O Sensei said that it is the SU point of Creation. In personal terms it is your spiritual and physical center located in the area
just below the navel. This is the "golden cauldron where the red blood boils" and where the KOTOTAMA spiral forth. You should always be centered there during the practice of Aikido. (In view of recent discoveries in multfields that we live in muti omnicentric Universes, each of us may indeed be this Kami. Now realize it.)

9. Repeat #1 and clap 4 times as in #2.

10. (Optional) Again standing with both feet at shoulders width apart, put your thumbs in your belt or obi and raising up on the bass of the feet, come down on the heels solidly, calling out loudly from the Hara:

IKUMUSUBI
TARUMUSUBI
TAMA TSUME MUSUBI
IKUTAMA
TARUTAMA
TARUTOMARI TAMA
(your own name) followed by TOKOTACHI NO MIKOTO

This is to create the fact and the consciousness that your form and posture have become One with God, and you now take responsibility for being an active participant in Creation. Aikido is Kami Waza. It is a Divine practice transmitted to O Sensei by the Kami. Its central purpose is for the person to achieve a state of "KANNAGARA NO MICHI" where you unite with the Kami and
act in perfect accord with the Will of the Universe at all times. KANNAGARA NO MICHI is the Divine Blood of the Universe spontaneously welling forth out of the Sacred Heart of the Cosmos. MICHI (which is discussed in the notes) is the Cosmic vitalizing continuum. It is the present biological link between individual man and the Cosmos, including the Kami. The first six
chants are related to The Three Fundamental Principles of Aikido in a repeating 1,2,3 pattern and represent the Triangle, the Circle and the Square. (These will be discussed in future notes.)
In the final chant above, you are elevating yourself to the level of a Kami. It activates the forces that will allow you to reach your goal. It was this final chant which so totally upset the Japanese students at the time that O Sensei was forced to
make it optional. I know of only two Shihon today who still teach it, even though it is central to this whole practice. It should also be remembered that the very word Kami is KOTOTAMA code for the Union of Fire and Water.

11. Again standing with both feet at shoulders width apart,raising up on the balls of the feet, clasp the hands over the head with the fingers interlocked, come down on the heels solidly, and bring the hands down to the point below the navel with a KI-AI using the KOTOTAMA "OOOOOOOOO" (as in boot). This should come out like "OOOOOOUHT!" When the hands reach the point below the navel, the index fingers should point upwards from the clasped hands and the energy of the final portion of the KI-AI should sho=
ot the hands above the head.

12. With the hands still over the head, slide the palm of the right hand down so that the fingertips are level with the first knuckles of the left, and clap the hands 4 times.

13. Bring the hands down with the left clasped over the right to the level of your heart forming a ball of energy, in which you place all of the Ki generated in this practice. Begin to move the hands in a circular motion first in one direction, then in the opposite direction. Gradually send the energy out in the four directions, increasing it to eventually encompass all directions.

SHINJI CHINDONKISHIN NO HO ideally should be practiced at sunrise (outdoors weather permitting).
Ideally it would be performed after morning prayers and a breathing/KOTOTAMA practice of the 75 Aikido KOTOTAMA sounds. Each of the sections from Part 2 through and including Part 8 should be practiced until there is a sense of completion and a natural flow into the next section.

This is then followed by the practice O Sensei describes in the next paragraph. The total practice time for all of the sections would encompass an hour or more. This may be shortened to fifteen minutes or more for use before Aikido Keiko.

Sit quietly in either seiza or zazen. Close your eyes and place your hands in the cosmic mudra. First contemplate the manifest realm for twenty minutes, i.e., how the world looks and feels. As you settle down, immerse yourself in the hidden and return to the Source of things, i.e. the Void, formless Center of Creation, Pure Consciousness etc. Remain at the Center as long as you can, working to increase the duration with each practice.

Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 03-21-2005, 12:19 PM   #19
Michael Mackenzie
Location: Calgary
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

In regards to Takeda's knowledge of IMA, it's interesting to note that there are members of the Daito Ryu that do very similiar ki tricks. Even Tokimune Takeda, Sokaku's son, can be seen doing various tricks on some demonstration footage on Mr. Pranin's site. I've also seen footage of Seigo Okamoto doing similiar tricks. He was a student of the aforementioned Kodo Horikawa I believe.

Mike
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Old 03-21-2005, 12:54 PM   #20
Mike Sigman
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Alfonso Adriasola wrote:
FWIW , a few years ago I was looking for info on exercises which we used to do at the beginning of class.. I recognized some of the exercises we did from the descriptions in this list. [snip the translated directions via Ward Rafferty]
Nice. Many thanks. It's a basic Buddhist qigong that's been converted and religionized, but which seems careful not to go too far afield (For instance notice the primordial "Su" is the same more or less of the Chinese primordial "Shu"). In all cases, though, telling you *what* to do doesn't explain *how* to do it. The 3 major parts of the qigong are

(1.) How to do the breathing techniques (not explained enough to do you any real good)

(2.) How to move in torifune (and other movements) except at a coarse level

(3.) How to approach letting the subconscious become stronger through meditation training.

It would have taken fairly complex personal instruction to get this one really up and running on all 8 cylinders.

So it's actually a borderline complete "martial qigong". I wonder about its origins. It's obviously Shaolin, but I'm wondering who introduced it to whom and when. Is there any way to get feedback on how old the roots of this qigong may be?

Very helpful. Many thanks.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-21-2005, 12:56 PM   #21
Mike Sigman
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Michael Mackenzie wrote:
In regards to Takeda's knowledge of IMA, it's interesting to note that there are members of the Daito Ryu that do very similiar ki tricks. Even Tokimune Takeda, Sokaku's son, can be seen doing various tricks on some demonstration footage on Mr. Pranin's site. I've also seen footage of Seigo Okamoto doing similiar tricks. He was a student of the aforementioned Kodo Horikawa I believe.
I haven't done my homework... I missed the video clips on the Aikido Journal site. I'd say probability is very strong now that Ueshiba's initial knowledge comes via Takeda Sokaku.... in my opinion.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-22-2005, 04:22 AM   #22
stuartjvnorton
 
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I'd like to see Mustard. Maybe after I get back from Frankfurt.

Mike
You definitely should if you can.
I went to a gasshuku he held about a week and a half ago and it was pretty amazing.
He was so relaxed but created crazy amounts of power.

He was also a fantastic teacher, and willing to answer any questions we had, be they relevant or not.
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Old 03-22-2005, 04:36 PM   #23
maikerus
Dojo: Roppongi Yoshinkan Aikido / Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Stuart Norton wrote:
You definitely should if you can.
I went to a gasshuku he held about a week and a half ago and it was pretty amazing.
He was so relaxed but created crazy amounts of power.

He was also a fantastic teacher, and willing to answer any questions we had, be they relevant or not.
I can't say enough good things about Robert Mustard Sensei. I maintain that he is the best teacher of anything that I have had in my life.

WRT posture, he emphasizes timing, balance and the relaxation of the shoulders and arms (relaxed, not limp) to create power with hip and legs.

At least...that's what I remember him focusing on. I hope that I am at last starting to understand what he was telling me when we were both at hombu. I use many (if not all) of the exercises he showed me/us to work on balance and power in my own classes.

cheers,

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 03-22-2005, 04:44 PM   #24
maikerus
Dojo: Roppongi Yoshinkan Aikido / Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
My current impression is that Shioda knew more than his books indicate and we're seeing mainly his best attempts to get people started correctly (what more can you ask from a simple book?). I'm extrapolating this point of view from reading his books, of course, since I never studied Yoshinkan. My question is sort of "what did Shioda know and when did he know it?" because that will cast some light on the question of "what did Ueshiba Morihei know and when did he know it?". The comments about standing practices in Yoshinkan are interesting indicators, so I appreciate the information.
Mike,

My understanding mirrors your comments about what Gozo Shioda Sensei was striving for. He wanted to find a way to teach his Aikido to a large number of people very quickly with a simple set of exercises. These, of course, are the kihon dosa that Inoue Sensei and Kushida Sensei (I believe) jointly developed when they first started to teach large numbers of beginners (ie. self defence force / police). I don't remember what organization they were originally developed for, but I believe it was military of some type.

In Aikido Shugyo a lot of time was spent on the concept of "Riai" which was translated as "fundemental principles" which is what we as students are supposed to gain from kamae, kihon dosa and kihon waza.

Although I never studied directly under Shioda Sensei - he was too ill by the time I made it to Hombu - I am told that when he moved around in class to help people the memories of what he did to improve their technique usually centered around the positioning of the hips and legs. I can't say anything further than that, but this seems to be the underlying theme of people I have spoken to who did experience his technique and his teaching.

And, of course, that method has been passed down to his students (ie. Inoue Sensei, Chida Sensei, Takeno Sensei...and of course Robert Sensei ) I should also mention Roland Thompson Sensei since he is the one I have spoken to about this the most in recent years.

Last edited by maikerus : 03-22-2005 at 04:47 PM.

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 03-22-2005, 06:16 PM   #25
Mike Sigman
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Michael Stuempel wrote:
I am told that when he moved around in class to help people the memories of what he did to improve their technique usually centered around the positioning of the hips and legs.
Thanks, Michael. I'm interested in any indications of exactly what standing postures Shioda recommended, but now that the possibility of some contribution by Kenichi Sawai has arisen, I'm not hopeful that I can extrapolate what Ueshiba M. may have known and taught. Sawai would naturally have trained a lot with standing postures via Wang Xiang Zhai since that is the essence of power training in Yichuan.

Ueshiba appears, to my eye, to have used standing postures to get the particular type of strength that he used, but I can't discount that he arrived there through a few other alternatives. You can get massively powerful if you know how (and you have the time to devote) to do proper standing training. It's the time that can be a killer and also the motivation... if you don't really have a need for that kind of power, it's easy to question why you're devoting the time when you have a job, a family, a life, etc. I go through cycles because of the amounts of time it can take.

My suspicion is that since this much Shaolin-based information got through to the Japanese, some indeed know how to do the standing stuff, but they probably keep it fairly close.

One other problem I have in relation to Shioda and Ueshiba is the way I've seen Ueshiba move versus the way I think Shioda moves from the still pictures. There's a rather basic difference. The thing that bothers me is the use of hips that Shioda stresses and the back-up of the legs. O-Sensei appears to use a more hip-dantien combination, but I'm unclear and probably, out of curiosity, should investigate a little further. I have videos of the old Ueshiba film-clips and I'd appreciate a recommendation for the best DVD or video that has old filmclips of Shioda. The difference is curious and if it's really there it raises some new questions.

Any possibilities of you finding out more "inside scoop" on potential contributors like Sawai, or others? It could save me some time if I knew that Sawai or others had been involved *after* Ueshiba.

All the Best.

Mike Sigman
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