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Old 03-22-2005, 07:36 PM   #26
maikerus
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
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.
Mike,

I'll see what titles I can dig up. I don't own any of the videos, since they were just laying around in the kitchen at the dojo and we'd throw one into the VCR at random during lunch.

As for "inside scoop", I'll see if I can work it into any conversations I have in the next little while. For my interest as well as yours

cheers,

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 03-23-2005, 02:22 AM   #27
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
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.

Mike,

You could try here:

http://budogu.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/page48.html

I have the first DVD in the list there (Kami Waza if I'm not mistaken), it has some very nice footage of Shioda sensei. I don't know about the others there though.

rgds

Bryan

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Old 03-23-2005, 02:49 AM   #28
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

I remembered last night that I did a seminar with Tada sensei when I was in Japan. He spent the first half hour or so doing standing breathing techniques. I don't remember much about them to be honest, nor whether they are for meditation purposes per se, although they maybe. I just google for Tada sensei and breathing and came up with two sites both containing a transcript of a Tada sensei lecture, possibly the same lecture. Haven't read them in full yet but they may be of interest?

http://www.aikikai.it/riviste/3401/htm/TadaConfEng.htm

http://info.wsisiz.edu.pl/~sleeva/in...id=34&Itemid=3

rgds

Bryan

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Old 03-23-2005, 09:00 AM   #29
Mike Sigman
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Bryan Bateman wrote:
I remembered last night that I did a seminar with Tada sensei when I was in Japan. He spent the first half hour or so doing standing breathing techniques. I don't remember much about them to be honest, nor whether they are for meditation purposes per se, although they maybe. I just google for Tada sensei and breathing
Thanks, Bryan. One of them is in Polish and one is a biographical overview of Ueshiba that's nice. I should have made clear that "standing postures" means that specific postures are held as a way to build up the body strength, but certain powers are engaged so that the postures work. You can't just hold the external posture and get the results. One extremely interesting comment *attributed* to Ueshiba (by I think Shioda but I've been looking at so many books lately...) was the comment about postures and six directions. That's interesting indeed, because it indicates that Ueshiba at a minimum knew the terms of correct standing techniques. So we may be onto something pretty interesting.

Thanks for the help.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-23-2005, 10:19 AM   #30
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Michael, I just found and ordered a suitable-sounding DVD at the site Bryan recommended, so don't bother checking for me, etc. But thanks for offering.

Mike
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Old 03-23-2005, 11:54 AM   #31
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Mike,

back in the 70's, Koichi Tohei-sensei taught a number of "standing" exercises. Most of them were holding postures with bokken, and ranged in duration from minutes to hours

They were intended to be done with "correct mind/body unification" so I think they do fit in the category you are talking about. I don't know if the addition of a weapon makes a difference.

In older school practice, there were standing exercises, holding postures for periods of time, but I hated them and have edited them out of my memory .

More seriously, there were standing exercises in the early days of my practice. One in particular that we called jigatai, which involved standing in a straight backed stance, thighs parallel to the ground with arms extended. There was some teaching on the correct body feel and ground connection to do this right but much of it was just "suffer till you get it right".

Does that help answer your question?

Kevin
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Old 03-23-2005, 12:15 PM   #32
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Kevin Jones wrote:
back in the 70's, Koichi Tohei-sensei taught a number of "standing" exercises. Most of them were holding postures with bokken, and ranged in duration from minutes to hours

They were intended to be done with "correct mind/body unification" so I think they do fit in the category you are talking about. I don't know if the addition of a weapon makes a difference.

In older school practice, there were standing exercises, holding postures for periods of time, but I hated them and have edited them out of my memory .

More seriously, there were standing exercises in the early days of my practice. One in particular that we called jigatai, which involved standing in a straight backed stance, thighs parallel to the ground with arms extended. There was some teaching on the correct body feel and ground connection to do this right but much of it was just "suffer till you get it right".

Does that help answer your question?
Hi Kevin:

Wow. This is even worse than I thought. Looking at John Stevens' translations of some of what a lot of people think of as O-Sensei's "ramblings", it's obvious that his source material were classical directions on qigongs, mixing the "qi of heaven with the qi of earth inside of Man", etc. I.e., the essence of O-Sensei's quasi-religious "philosophy" is actually built around the esoteric practices of how to develop this kind of power and to use it. I underestimated the focus on Ki in Aikido. That means everyone else in the West is FAR underestimating it, probably, in terms of overall comprehension and use. Tohei understood the amount of emphasis, apparently; I thought he was just capitalizing on the coolest part, so I've been a little off in my appreciations.

In regard to the standings you're mentioning, this only makes things worser and worser. Can you get any idea about the source of those standings which Tohei was using? I.e., did they come via O-Sensei or somewhere else?

Personally, I'd say don't do the weapons until the empty-hand standings are correct. You are probably the only person on the list that understands the 6-directions training in postures, so I can safely just add the comment that if someone uses 6-directions training, probably about 20 minutes a day with ONE of those postures would be additive to their powers noticeably in 3-4 months (this assumes that you have limited time and you have regular Aikido to practice).

The quote from O-Sensei discussing the "six directions" really caught my eye (I need to re-find it; it's in one of 4 books here on my desk) ... I'd say the probability that he did standing posture exercises on the side is very high. This is all pretty interesting.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 03-23-2005, 12:30 PM   #33
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
You can't just hold the external posture and get the results. One extremely interesting comment *attributed* to Ueshiba (by I think Shioda but I've been looking at so many books lately...) was the comment about postures and six directions.
I'd be very interested in the reference, if you wouldn't mind posting it...

Thanks,
Ron

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Old 03-23-2005, 01:19 PM   #34
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Hi Ron:

It's on page 30 of "Total Aikido":

"Originally there was no position in aikido that might have been called a "basic stance." The founder, Morihei Ueshiba Sensei, while saying that the basic stance was "to open your feet to the six directions [north, south, east, west, up, down]."

It's a cryptic statement, but the "up" and "down" take it out of the realm of simple directional stuff. The "six directions", "balanced in six directions", etc., is a famous statement in higher-level Chinese martial training which is mainly famous because it refers to the esoteric training of power in stances, yet you can toss it out in front of the layman and he thinks you're talking about being aware or being ready all around you.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 03-23-2005, 01:20 PM   #35
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
In regard to the standings you're mentioning, this only makes things worser and worser. Can you get any idea about the source of those standings which Tohei was using? I.e., did they come via O-Sensei or somewhere else?
I have only listened to stories from the old days of Tohei Sensei's visits to Hawaii and the rest of the U.S. so I would be interested to. I recall stories of Shinichi Suzuki Sensei stand in postures for hours either trying to match Tohei Sensei's training regimen or because Tohei Sensei told him to. I would be interested to hear about that, I have only done a lot of holding standing postures in Tai Chi chuan practice.

http://starbulletin.com/2003/08/11/news/story5.html

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Old 03-23-2005, 01:26 PM   #36
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
The "six directions", "balanced in six directions", etc., is a famous statement in higher-level Chinese martial training which is mainly famous because it refers to the esoteric training of power in stances, yet you can toss it out in front of the layman and he thinks you're talking about being aware or being ready all around you.
interesting...I'll reread that after keiko tonight. You usually hear about 4 and 8 directions for the 'awareness' aspect. The up and down are certainly unusuall. I probably didn't know enough when I first read that to notice anything strange. Thanks!

Oh, when you say chinese, are you refering to shaolin type stuff, or the more internal arts? (pardon any errors due to my not understanding this stuff too well)
Ron

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Old 03-23-2005, 01:28 PM   #37
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote:
I recall stories of Shinichi Suzuki Sensei stand in postures for hours either trying to match Tohei Sensei's training regimen or because Tohei Sensei tld him to.
Ah. I been had. Because Tohei's books don't mention standing-post training, I assumed he didn't do it. That's one of his main sources of power, then, undoubtedly. I wondered how he developed so much just using the exercises in his books. Probably I allowed myself to be had about Ueshiba in the same way because it's not in the books or anecdotes by the uchideshi, but this possibility will be harder to pin down.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 03-23-2005, 01:39 PM   #38
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

The whole issue around up/down being a direction is something I have always focused on and preach. In the Yoshinkan, I believe the way in which we shihonage is a classic example of this and how if your posture and balance is incorrect, you will not be able to take uke down without resorting to power and/or unnecesarry alterations to the technique to make it work.

I found that with myself and see it in a lot of the beginners. They loose their balance when taking their partner down in shihonage, or they loose connection with them. When Parker Sensei does this last move, it is straight down with a thump. I still can't figure out how the heck it does this without moving the front foot. He shifts his weight then drops. Same experience I had with Chida Sensei.

As far as the UP motion, usually you see a break in balance when sh'te attempts to stand because their posture and center line is not good. Thus, they are not able to get up quickly and maintain their balance because their posture is not correct. This is where good seiza-ho practice comes in.

That's my nickles worth and at the rate the USD is dropping, it AIN'T worth much if anything at all.
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Old 03-23-2005, 01:43 PM   #39
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Oh, when you say chinese, are you refering to shaolin type stuff, or the more internal arts?
Well, the so-called "internal" arts are usually considered to be Taiji, Xingyi, Baguz, Liu He Ba Fa, and a few others, while Shaolin arts are often called "external". Technically, and more precisely, the better-known "internal" arts are differentiated by the use of the dantien area to store, release, and control the body powers of jin and qi. I.e., they "hit with the dantien". They also believe in developing Qi via the softer breathing methods and qigongs as opposed to the harder breathing methods coupled with mechanical beating, drumming, etc. Aikido does not belong in this group of "internal" because there is not the specific use of the store-release and control by the dantien (the actual dantien area of some of these internal-arts people is extraordinarily developed with a muscular "ball" [they call it 'qi ball'] that can look like the Alien trying to get out of their abdomen).

So you can bet that the Ki and Kokyu practices of Aikido are from Shaolin (and from the writings, I'd bet the house on it). It has to be noted that "Shaolin" practices have a wide spectrum of approaches to Qi and they also have adherents to very soft, relaxed, etc., training, not just the hard stuff (there is no real clear differentiation of "internal" and "external", IMO). In terms of body training, various martial arts have differing approaches to qi-development and they add different body tricks to the arsenal (the use of the dantien is one trick, use of the hips is another, quivering responses is another, etc., etc.). Note that Aikido uses the hips; the internal arts use the dantien actively. Yiquan and Bajiquan use the hips. Aikido training would probably be complemented best with yiquan training, as it stands. "Internal arts" training would too-heavily modify Aikido and a lot of the stances of Aikido are just too wrong to use in internal arts. My opinions, not necessarily facts.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 03-23-2005, 01:51 PM   #40
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Steven Miranda wrote:
The whole issue around up/down being a direction is something I have always focused on and preach. In the Yoshinkan, I believe the way in which we shihonage is a classic example of this and how if your posture and balance is incorrect, you will not be able to take uke down without resorting to power and/or unnecesarry alterations to the technique to make it work.

I found that with myself and see it in a lot of the beginners. They loose their balance when taking their partner down in shihonage, or they loose connection with them. When Parker Sensei does this last move, it is straight down with a thump. I still can't figure out how the heck it does this without moving the front foot. He shifts his weight then drops. Same experience I had with Chida Sensei.

As far as the UP motion, usually you see a break in balance when sh'te attempts to stand because their posture and center line is not good. Thus, they are not able to get up quickly and maintain their balance because their posture is not correct. This is where good seiza-ho practice comes in.

That's my nickles worth and at the rate the USD is dropping, it AIN'T worth much if anything at all.
Well, not wanting to commit sacrilige or anything, I suspect Yoshinkan could learn from Tohei's teachings just as most Aikido practitioners could benefit from understanding the stuff Shioda put in his books. I absolutely think every Aikidoka should have a copy of "Total Aikido" by Shioda. The only personal comment is that I think some of the kamae are too tense and strained.

In terms of up and down, there's more to it and it would take a while to teach you how to start the training, so I certainly can't tell you in writing, but consider this: it's a common anecdote, etc., about a really high-level martial artist in China being able to stand on a sidewalk and with barely a quiver, crack the concrete. Or to be sitting on a bench and with a slight quiver shake off his seatmates on either side. Think of applying this sort of power to the end of shihonage.

Mike
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Old 03-23-2005, 01:59 PM   #41
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Well, not wanting to commit sacrilige or anything, I suspect Yoshinkan could learn from Tohei's teachings just as most Aikido practitioners could benefit from understanding the stuff Shioda put in his books. I absolutely think every Aikidoka should have a copy of "Total Aikido" by Shioda. The only personal comment is that I think some of the kamae are too tense and strained.

In terms of up and down, there's more to it and it would take a while to teach you how to start the training, so I certainly can't tell you in writing, but consider this: it's a common anecdote, etc., about a really high-level martial artist in China being able to stand on a sidewalk and with barely a quiver, crack the concrete. Or to be sitting on a bench and with a slight quiver shake off his seatmates on either side. Think of applying this sort of power to the end of shihonage.

Mike
I use shihonage as an example because it's what on my brain at the moment. We did a shihonage clinic (in a sense) last night, along with ikkajo osae which can also teach very important things about moving up and down as well.

As for the Chinese and their magic/power, can't say anything about that. I'm still trying to figure aikido out, let alone try to figure out anything else.

As for Tohei Sensei's teaching, well, I've actually practiced in his system and don't recall ever hearing or practicing anything that would help my phsysical movements in all directions. Lots of seiza and breathing practice. Though I'm sure it was just the dojo that I would visit when traveling to their area and not Tohei's teaching itself.
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Old 03-23-2005, 02:08 PM   #42
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Steven Miranda wrote:
As for Tohei Sensei's teaching, well, I've actually practiced in his system and don't recall ever hearing or practicing anything that would help my phsysical movements in all directions. Lots of seiza and breathing practice. Though I'm sure it was just the dojo that I would visit when traveling to their area and not Tohei's teaching itself.
As someone on the outside who can't be affected by Aikido Politics (TM), I would sort of dispassionately opine that whatever Tohei knows he doesn't teach it all. And as it filters downhill, it attrites. At least something is taught that is useful and gradually enough knowledge will accumulate that these skills will become better known.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 03-23-2005, 02:12 PM   #43
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Ah. I been had. Because Tohei's books don't mention standing-post training, I assumed he didn't do it.
My understanding from what I have been told is that what is in his books is meant for everybody. A lot is left out. In other words it's the easy stuff, the broad inclusive main path, that won't intimidate anyone no matter what age or state of health. The Japanese housewives at the mall having a ki class or a ki home party somewhat like a tupperware party, etc. people not interested in Aikido but interested in improving their health. For the most part newer books seem to be a continuation of or adaptation of his older books where the practices you refer to are generally never mentioned. I have been told that in recent years even breathing while sitting in seiza longer than 20 minutes is not common at HQ because the younger generation of japanese is just not used to sitting in seiza that long. Standing postures with a bokken is really something done on your own by personal one-on-one instruction and never in a general class that I have seen.

The practices you refer to are regarded as esoteric now and as is often said "not required or mandatory" but generally considered good to do just because Tohei Sensei did them. Like doing shorter versions of the Ichikukai practices. Generally that many students haven't done them or done only a little. Certainly not with the intensity or frequency of practice that Tohei Sensei did them. This is stuff you will never see in general classes. Even misogi bell, a more common practice generally. is not done except in special classes or if asked for at seminars. Impossible to find someone who even makes a decent misogi bell anymore. The guy that did them in Japan is deceased.

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Old 03-23-2005, 02:28 PM   #44
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote:
My understanding from what I have been told is that what is in his books is meant for everybody.(snip) The practices you refer to are regarded as esoteric now and as is often said "not required or mandatory" but generally considered good to do just because Tohei Sensei did them. Like doing shorter versions of the Ichikukai practices. Generally that many students haven't done them or done only a little. Certainly not with the intensity or frequency of practice that Tohei Sensei did them.
Actually, standing practices are considered among the most inclusive because everyone can do them. I did find in Tohei's book in "Kiatsu" the comment that relaxing was not enough that you had to use the mind, but he seldom mentions that and I've never seen where he explains how to use the mind. You can't just imagine things or just "relax the mind"; there's more to it. The same is true of standing-post practices... they're not hard to do and you can gradually work your way to pretty good power and health with them. Some examples of various postures for health can be found in Wang Xuan Jie's book on "Dachengquan".

My thought is that doing standing exercises is probably as beneficial as doing ki exercises, and it's simpler to do, even for the elderly and infirm. If Tohei knows how to do standing exercises, it would have been a boon to reveal that as well, IMO.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-23-2005, 02:56 PM   #45
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
My thought is that doing standing exercises is probably as beneficial as doing ki exercises, and it's simpler to do, even for the elderly and infirm.
my opinion is that properly done ki exercises would accelerate learning to do standing exercises correctly.

As to the elderly or infirm, perhaps if you are just talking about 10-20 minutes. My 81 year old mother seems to get a lot of benefit from doing weight training 3 times a week for her joints and energy level. A little Iyengar yoga and tai chi, but not so dedicated about that. I am not sure how many have the patience standing exercises.

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Old 03-23-2005, 07:04 PM   #46
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Can you get any idea about the source of those standings which Tohei was using? I.e., did they come via O-Sensei or somewhere else?
I've seen the same exercises taught by other teachers, with different lineages with the only common point being O-sensei. I have no definitive information on where they came from though. Your guess is at least as good as mine.

Craig mentioned Suzuki-sensei's posture practices. There are some really funny stories about those, like the time he reported doing an exercise *wrong* one hour every day for a year because he'd been shown it late at night after too much drink (one of the best times for extracting secret gems ) and the information was "not correctly communicated".

Kevin
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Old 03-23-2005, 07:12 PM   #47
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Kevin Jones wrote:
I've seen the same exercises taught by other teachers, with different lineages with the only common point being O-sensei. [snip] Craig mentioned Suzuki-sensei's posture practices. There are some really funny stories about those, like the time he reported doing an exercise *wrong* one hour every day for a year because he'd been shown it late at night after too much drink (one of the best times for extracting secret gems ) and the information was "not correctly communicated".
I hate to expose myself as the information-hound that I am (but I try to trade better than I got), but I'm interested in seeing some of these "same exercises", etc., if someone can point to legitimate videos of uchi-deshi (or close) doing them. Any help is appreciated.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-24-2005, 01:26 AM   #48
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Steven Miranda wrote:
When Parker Sensei does this last move, it is straight down with a thump. I still can't figure out how the heck it does this without moving the front foot. He shifts his weight then drops. Same experience I had with Chida Sensei.
I hate to say it since I am starting to sound like a broken record, but it is the "standing posture thread"...

It's the snap into kamae and closing the armpit (also in kamae) of the grasping hand that does it. Or so Takeno Sensei says. His is straight down, too. He also talks about accelerating uke to the floor on the way down...don't just let gravity do it. Help gravity along! [Note: my interpretation after being splatted continuously one class]

I was going through this exact point last Thursday morning.

FWIW,

--Michael

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Old 03-24-2005, 08:14 AM   #49
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Quote:
Kevin Jones wrote:
Craig mentioned Suzuki-sensei's posture practices. There are some really funny stories about those, like the time he reported doing an exercise *wrong* one hour every day for a year because he'd been shown it late at night after too much drink (one of the best times for extracting secret gems ) and the information was "not correctly communicated".
Kevin
From what I heard,
That doesn't surprise me at all.

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Old 03-24-2005, 06:01 PM   #50
sanskara
 
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Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

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Mike Sigman wrote:
Ah. I been had. Because Tohei's books don't mention standing-post training, I assumed he didn't do it. That's one of his main sources of power, then, undoubtedly. I wondered how he developed so much just using the exercises in his books. Probably I allowed myself to be had about Ueshiba in the same way because it's not in the books or anecdotes by the uchideshi, but this possibility will be harder to pin down.

FWIW

Mike
I told you via e-mail that Tohei withheld quite a bit in public (that includes his books.) You should have followed up by asking what exactly and saved yourself some time.

Regards,
James Bostwick
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