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Old 07-18-2005, 01:24 PM   #76
Drew Scott
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
Drew, you as well, in my opinion, make some fine points. What you say at the end there is what I think we tend to want to do: find some way of making sense of such things. Only, it is pretty hard to do that in this case when it is clear that what one is seeing is clearly a belief system -- not just a discourse. Normally, I'd be right there with you, that something else is going on, etc., but here we are in fact talking about good ol' spirit possession.
Fair enough. I have very little knowledge about O'Sensei's belief system, so all I can contribute are generalities about human nature. :-)

Regards,
Drew
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Old 07-18-2005, 01:33 PM   #77
Mike Sigman
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Drew Scott wrote:
Fair enough. I have very little knowledge about O'Sensei's belief system, so all I can contribute are generalities about human nature. :-)
"Spirit Possession" is just as valid a term as "ki", I suspect. I just look at the results. Here's something from an interview with Tohei (I editted it for conciseness):

When do you think Ueshiba Sensei mastered that "art of relaxing?"
I think it was probably when he was living in Ayabe and heavily involved with the Omoto religion. Ueshiba Sensei often told a story about one day when he was standing by a well wiping himself off after training and he suddenly realized that his body had become perfect and invincible. He understood with remarkable clarity the meaning of the sounds of the birds and insects and everything else around him. Apparently that state lasted only for about five minutes, but I think it was then that he mastered the art of relaxing.
Unfortunately, he always talked about that experience using religious-sounding expressions that were more or less incomprehensible to others.

On one occasion the prince pointed at Ueshiba Sensei and said, "Try to lift up that old man." Four strong sailors tried their best to lift him but they couldn't do it.
Sensei said of that time, "All the many divine spirits of Heaven and Earth entered my body and I became as immovable as a heavy rock." Everybody took him literally and believed it. I heard him say that kind of thing hundreds of times.
For my part, I have never had divine beings enter my body. I've never put much stock in that kind of illogical explanation.

Once when I was with Sensei in Hawaii, there was a demonstration in which two of the strong Hawaiian students were supposed to try to lift me up. They already knew they couldn't do it, so they didn't think much of it. But Sensei, who was off to the side watching, kept standing up and saying, "Stop, you can lift Tohei, you can lift him! Stop, make them stop! This demonstration's no good!"

You see, I had been out drinking until three o'clock in the morning the previous evening, and Sensei knew what condition I had come home in. He said, "Of course the gods aren't going to enter into a drunken sot like you! If they did they'd all get tipsy!" That's why he thought they would be able to lift me.
In reality that sort of thing has nothing to do with any gods or spirits. It's just a matter of having a low center of gravity.

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Old 07-18-2005, 02:07 PM   #78
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
David it's like watching the strongman at a circus. He is certainly strong, but he since he adds a little bogosity to his act by inflating the numbers on the weights, you're discounting the act. I see that he's strong. You see that he's faking a part of the act. Yes, O-Sensei had overly-cooperative uke's.... but most Aikido dojo's would be hypercritical to complain about that, I think. What I see, through a number of demonstrations, is that O-Sensei could indeed demonstrate that he had the traditional power and skills from trained ki and kokyu practices. What if they do everything right but they run into someone who understands body mechanics they're not familiar with? That's the essence of kokyu things and why they're not openly taught, BTW.

Mike
Well upon this we can agree. I think we are focusing then upon different aspects of the same act. You seem to be seeing a strongman, and I seem to be seeing a strong man that is inflating the numbers. For me the "inflating" detracts from the point being made since the inflation has been presented as the point (which is then subject to the charge of "falsehood"); for you the inflation does not seem to affect the point being made.

I am into the purity of a thing - for me therein lies the beauty of any thing or any idea, therein lies what is worthy of appreciation. This is why I can appreciate Osensei's Asahi Shinbun demonstration of an earlier era but not the jo trick of his later years. For me, if a thing is true it is great, and if a thing is great it is true. When things have to be inflated, it is only because they are not so great. It is like when a truth can be whispered and still have a great impact. A falsehood can be yelled and its volume only adds to its impotency. The inflation in the jo trick is actually deflating for me - it is negatory/nullifying, not substantiating. For me, it says something that when Osensei was younger he just chucked folks all over the place; when he was older he did "jo tricks."

That's the beauty of honest ukemi. You do not have to understand what is happening to you for your body to be affected by the physics involved. If you are not faking ukemi, and someone throws you for real, you will be thrown regardless of your comprehension levels. What we are trying to avoid is NOT the additional understanding of greater parts of the natural world. What we are trying to avoid is the false universalizing of a given training culture - one where folks go flying under the justification that such things are alike in principle with actual throws (i.e. are an inflation or an over-exaggeration).

Again, nice way of putting things - thanks,
dmv

David M. Valadez
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Old 07-18-2005, 02:09 PM   #79
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
"Once when I was with Sensei in Hawaii, there was a demonstration in which two of the strong Hawaiian students were supposed to try to lift me up. They already knew they couldn't do it, so they didn't think much of it. But Sensei, who was off to the side watching, kept standing up and saying, "Stop, you can lift Tohei, you can lift him! Stop, make them stop! This demonstration's no good!"

You see, I had been out drinking until three o'clock in the morning the previous evening, and Sensei knew what condition I had come home in. He said, "Of course the gods aren't going to enter into a drunken sot like you! If they did they'd all get tipsy!" That's why he thought they would be able to lift me.
In reality that sort of thing has nothing to do with any gods or spirits. It's just a matter of having a low center of gravity. [/i]
[/b]
Well guy's,
That puts a little different perspective on things for me.
J
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Old 07-18-2005, 02:16 PM   #80
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
For me, if a thing is true it is great, and if a thing is great it is true. When things have to be inflated, it is only because they are not so great. It is like when a truth can be whispered and still have a great impact. A falsehood can be yelled and its volume only adds to its impotency. The inflation in the jo trick is actually deflating for me - it is negatory/nullifying, not substantiating. For me, it says something that when Osensei was younger he just chucked folks all over the place; when he was older he did "jo tricks."
When O-Sensei was younger, he just chucked folks all over the place; when he was older, people took dives for him because his powers were fading and he was an old man. Yet I still see the Aikido, regardless of whether people took dives for him when he was old... I don't discount Aikido or its strength as being fictitious just because of a bunch of politie fakery by students in a culture that value old people.

Granted the jo-trick was a bit of a stretch... but coupled with the other things he did over the years, all I see is various kokyu demonstrations and the surety that he had pretty good kokyu powers. In terms of "purity", none of us can claim that, I think. I once had a teacher who was pure and perfect except for the one flaw of being too humble.

Mike
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Old 07-18-2005, 02:40 PM   #81
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Re: Defining Kokyu

I wouldn't want to make any such statements about Aikido either - I'm simply referring to the jo trick. I wasn't referring to the whole of Aikido or even the whole of Osensei's personal practice, etc.

Personally, I think we are seeing a bit more than just a cultural value on old folks. All of those uke, especially those in Tokyo who did not train with the founder all that much (relatively speaking), had a great stake in two things: making Osensei an icon worthy of everyone rallying under; and then setting themselves up to determine how everyone should be lined up under Osensei. In my opinion, the discourse on respecting one's elders was used here, as was the one on respecting one's senior, to give all this self-interest a larger "social" purpose.

I think what we are seeing in the Tohei interview is the gap that exists between one man that believes in spirit possession and one man that does not. Tohei is demonstrating our modern sensibilities and thus our usual attempt to understand such things more metaphorically. Osensei on the hand was quite serious and quite literal about what he was saying. Look - if there is one thing that a drunk man can do, it's relax. For folks of Omoto-kyo, it was held that one's capacity for spirit possession was relate to one's state of purity and pollution. Under such a cultural paradigm, Tohei was in a polluted state - hence, for Osensei, Tohei was incapable of being possessed by spirits, and thus for demonstrating "other worldly" heaviness. For Tohei, operating under a modern cultural paradigm, he just had to be able to relax - end of story. Osensei was not saying that Tohei's problem was that he could not relax. He was saying he was in a polluted state and thus incapable of being possessed by a spirit, etc. We may want these things to be the same thing - as Tohei did - but these are our modern sensibilities coming through as we are on the other side of an epistemic shift - one that no longer allows for spirit possession.

David M. Valadez
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Old 07-18-2005, 04:10 PM   #82
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
When O-Sensei was younger, he just chucked folks all over the place; when he was older, people took dives for him because his powers were fading and he was an old man. Yet I still see the Aikido, regardless of whether people took dives for him when he was old... I don't discount Aikido or its strength as being fictitious just because of a bunch of politie fakery by students in a culture that value old people.

Granted the jo-trick was a bit of a stretch... but coupled with the other things he did over the years, all I see is various kokyu demonstrations and the surety that he had pretty good kokyu powers. In terms of "purity", none of us can claim that, I think. I once had a teacher who was pure and perfect except for the one flaw of being too humble.
Mike,
Don't take this the wrong way but given the context the use of the word "powers" here sounds a little like an episode of Superfriends, man.

I agree with you, Mike. Osensei was human. And like other humans he made mistakes, craved affection, enjoyed having an audience...ect. I am not trying to take anything from him, mind you, he was an exceptional person, no doubt. I just think its necessary to keep things in perspective. I don't have "powers" and neither did Ueshiba sensei. He had unrivaled discipline, inpeccable training habits and as a result he developed had extremely superb technique that allowed him to do some things that seemed magic to some. It is easy to admire these qualities and human nature to want to emulate them because we, as humans, want to be admired. But its alot easier to live with ourselves, not having achieved these things, if the guy who does acheive them has special "powers".

We agree on alot of things here. In my opinion, caring for and respecting our elders is an admirable quality and Osensei was lucky to be surrounded by students who loved him. I also think Osensei could have done just as well and had just as dedicated and admiring a following without the suspect demonstrations.

I have realized that I do disagree with you on one thing. I don't think its people keeping secrets that makes it so hard to learn and describe kokyu ryoku. I think its because people who don't know what they are lookin at/feeling get really mixed up when they see things like the jo demonstration and have it explained that "a bunch of ghosts jumped into my body".

Just my humble opinion. I could be wrong.
Jason
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Old 07-18-2005, 04:20 PM   #83
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Re: Defining Kokyu

David,
I agree 100%.

Jason
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Old 07-18-2005, 04:20 PM   #84
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Jason Mokry wrote:
Mike,
Don't take this the wrong way but given the context the use of the word "powers" here sounds a little like an episode of Superfriends, man.
Well, I see your point. Someone familiar with literary illusions will recognize "powers declining" as a common phrase related to the aging process (do a Google on the phrase, if you're interested); people used to reading mostly comic books might immediately connect the phrase with "Superfriends".
Quote:
I don't have "powers" and neither did Ueshiba sensei. He had unrivaled discipline, inpeccable training habits and as a result he developed had extremely superb technique that allowed him to do some things that seemed magic to some.
It sounds like you're misapplying my usage of "powers".
Quote:
I have realized that I do disagree with you on one thing. I don't think its people keeping secrets that makes it so hard to learn and describe kokyu ryoku. I think its because people who don't know what they are lookin at/feeling get really mixed up when they see things like the jo demonstration and have it explained that "a bunch of ghosts jumped into my body".
Maybe so. I don't think Tohei and others were misled by the kami explanation of Ueshiba... they realized that whatever it was, he wasn't teaching it too freely so they went out and got it from outside Aikido. However, this thread is only a stab at trying to get consensus on a definition. If few secrets were kept, I'm sure it should be an easy task to define "kokyu" in western terms.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 07-18-2005, 05:37 PM   #85
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Re: Defining Kokyu

All right, Mike-you got me.
I guess I am a little sensitive to "hero worship" so, to me, things like that stick out .
Regards,
J
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:59 AM   #86
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Cooperative uke aside (right, all of you, over there, on the left! ) and looking again at the video, its interesting to note Ueshiba's feet. The way they are adjusting appear that they seem to be the weak link in the chain of force beeing applied (ie, the push on the jo is exceeding the friction between the feet and the mat).

Its especially noticable just as the commentator finishes "...this is our frail old man..." where it seems that Ueshiba's posture stays firm, but its his feet that skid on the mat. Almost spinning on an axis centred somewhere between his feet. Uke may be over-acting, but he is still providing force, and enough of it to move Ueshiba. If nothing else, it demonstrates significant unity of Ueshiba's body - through the jo, arm torso/hips and legs. Especially given he is holding the jo in one hand.

Granted he's wearing tabi and they are pretty slippery (seriously no pun intended), but still for an old dude he's doing ok .

Dave Findlay.
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Old 07-19-2005, 08:17 AM   #87
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Re: Defining Kokyu

[quote=Dave Findlay]Cooperative uke aside (right, all of you, over there, on the left! ) and looking again at the video, its interesting to note Ueshiba's feet. The way they are adjusting appear that they seem to be the weak link in the chain of force beeing applied (ie, the push on the jo is exceeding the friction between the feet and the mat).
Quote:
Well, my read is that he shifts his feet when the rest of the chain simply can't hold that amount of moment-arm. Granted, the ultimate responsibilty will be his feet in terms of lateral force components and the coefficient of friction of his soles.. however, the greatest strain is from his lower back out to his forearm, wrist, hand, the equivalent of the strain on Tohei's shoulder/back area in the one-legged push I mentioned before.

Ueshiba's just asking too much of his training, etc., even with uke putting in a bit of dramatics. If you draw a diagram of forces, most of the push has to resolve in Ueshiba's back foot, but that puts quite a strain on the rest of his body configuration, regardless of the training he's obviously done in some form of "standing".
My 2 cents.

Mike
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Old 07-19-2005, 08:42 AM   #88
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote:
In Goju-ryu Karate they have Sanchin kata - their form of kokyu-ho, if you like, which is of course related to Karate movement - (shameless plug - in my book, I call that kind of training dynamic tension - full power slow muscle movement).
Incidentally, Rupert... even though a lot of people do Sanchin as a dynamic tension exercise, it's more subtle than that. I suppose the best way to point it out would be this: when you're performing Sanchin, a lot of times an Okinawan instructor will come up and push/hit/kick your frame trying to make you wobble out of the solid posture. Most people think that they need to increase their dynamic tension training to increase their solidity (all westerners I've seen do just that). In reality, the training is supposed to be a form of kokyu training. That's why you run into karate instructors with terrific kokyu powers and western karate practitioners that are doing macho role-playing, talking about how much they can bench-press, etc.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 07-19-2005, 10:40 AM   #89
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Well, if can all agree that the degree of the jo-trick was taken too far (as David points out it should snap) then I agree that someone good a kokyu skills should be able to perform most of the ki-tests (where they don't bend the laws of reality).

My current take on aikido period is that you need to unify, thrust, and cut. Many people cannot hold their body in a unified enough way (this is kind of the static kokyu resisting a push stuff that Mike talks about), so we practice movement drills to make the set up easier for the novice (meaning up to sandan at least). Once some form of unification with the partner is established, then the thrust happens. This is where I would say the majority of the two person kokyu stuff happens. A direction needs to be set. Hips and arms actually tend not to move in the same direction to allow the connection to continue, the arms to stay relaxed between the hands all the way to your center, and this is also where the majority of the dynamic listening to the partner and adjusting needs to be done. I find that most people do not listen long enough while thrusting. They are too impatient and they prematurally cut (or unreasonably lift to cut). The patience thing is huge. I'm sure there is something similar when tai chi people do push hands. I agree that aikido is a bit too perscribed - and that aspect is tricking people - but that's really up to the level of honesty the people have with themsevles and their partners. We should be doing waza that cannot work using normal strength against anyone else who has 2 weeks of training in resisting (in a level appropriate way of course).

By the way, in that Chin Kon Ki Shin - Shinto Elements in a Modern Warmup page
http://24.21.240.92/chinkon-kishin.htm
the author wrote " The hands are placed together with the right hand over the left." and the picture of O-sensei clearly has his left hand on top because you can see his right hand's finger tips (at the expected different lengths). Another problem is people's ability to percieve what they see and explain it clearly.

Rob
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Old 07-19-2005, 12:01 PM   #90
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
Well, if can all agree that the degree of the jo-trick was taken too far (as David points out it should snap) then I agree that someone good a kokyu skills should be able to perform most of the ki-tests (where they don't bend the laws of reality).
Are you really an engineer, Rob? Do the math on why a jo should snap and tell us the parameters you're assuming when you say it should snap. And a hand does not present the force dynamics of being in a vise, anyway... I thought that was so obvious, I didn't bother to coment. Unless someone wants to tell us exactly what the forces being applied by the uke's was, it's a silly discussion. Ultimately, the jo-trick is just a variant of a kokyu/jin demonstration showing how strong the connection is between the center and the extremities.

Anyway, the jo-trick is not impossible to do, it's just impossible to do at the level a lot of people assume it's being done at when 3 lads are pushing and you assume they're using full force.

(snip something about unifying, thrusting, and cutting that I couldn't follow)
Quote:
By the way, in that Chin Kon Ki Shin - Shinto Elements in a Modern Warmup page
http://24.21.240.92/chinkon-kishin.htm
the author wrote " The hands are placed together with the right hand over the left." and the picture of O-sensei clearly has his left hand on top because you can see his right hand's finger tips (at the expected different lengths). Another problem is people's ability to percieve what they see and explain it clearly.
Well, I was only interested (on that page) in seeing some pictures of O-Sensei doing exercises that I'd not seen the pictures of before. Regardless of someone trying to say Fune Kogi Undo is mentioned in the Kojiki, it's basically a common ki-building exercise seen in China. Furitama is a common movement in numerous Buddhist qigongs. So common that it's not much of a discussion among anyone who has a modicum of experience in that area. Men place their left hands over their right when doing these kinds of Buddhist qigongs; women place their right over their left. O-Sensei is doing it correctly.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 07-19-2005, 04:44 PM   #91
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Wow! I'm on the other side of "obvious" here. You got the long end of the lever NOT traveling around the shorter end of the lever. This is happening because the short end is (supposedly) providing more energy (to stay still) than the longer end is (to move) AND because the jo's structural integrity is maintained throughout the application of the two energies. Basically, the jo is staying static via the energy that is at one of its ends (the short end/at the hand of Osensei) - a vice secured to a work bench provides this same energy (only in actuality). If you put a jo in a vice that is secured and you get three men to push along the length of a jo (perpendicular to the vice), that jo will break regardless of the fact that we can't here provide the average tensile strength of the average white oak jo nor the average thrusting power of three adult men. If you got some other insight on the mechanics involved Mike, please don't consider it "silly," for I would certainly like to hear more on such things.

Maybe we need to set up some video here - three guys pushing on a jo that is secured at one end to a vice grip that is secured itself - seeing the jo breaks or if it holds. I've just seen jo break from a lot less energy.

Anyway, I think Rob is saying what you are saying when he says "too far" and you say "it's just impossible to do at the level a lot of people assume it's being done at when 3 lads are pushing and you assume they're using full force."

dmv

David M. Valadez
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:54 PM   #92
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
Wow! I'm on the other side of "obvious" here. You got the long end of the lever NOT traveling around the shorter end of the lever. This is happening because the short end is (supposedly) providing more energy (to stay still) than the longer end is (to move) AND because the jo's structural integrity is maintained throughout the application of the two energies. Basically, the jo is staying static via the energy that is at one of its ends (the short end/at the hand of Osensei) - a vice secured to a work bench provides this same energy (only in actuality). If you put a jo in a vice that is secured and you get three men to push along the length of a jo (perpendicular to the vice), that jo will break regardless of the fact that we can't here provide the average tensile strength of the average white oak jo nor the average thrusting power of three adult men. If you got some other insight on the mechanics involved Mike, please don't consider it "silly," for I would certainly like to hear more on such things.
Pass for the same reason I let it go the first time, David. We both know that the 3 men (there are a number of these demo's from 1 to 3 men, so it's not always 3) aren't pushing with full strength, but other than that you have no way of knowing what the exact force is on the jo nor where the focus is so we can determine the exact moment arm. If you think the shearing and compressive loads within a hand are the same as within a steel vise, you're betraying your lack of knowledge in this area... you have no idea what the load is on the stick and over how many square inches it's spread. In other words, you don't have anywhere near enough data to make the assertions you made. You don't even know for sure what kind of wood Ueshiba's jo was made of and that's a telling datum in itself.
Quote:
Maybe we need to set up some video here - three guys pushing on a jo that is secured at one end to a vice grip that is secured itself - seeing the jo breaks or if it holds. I've just seen jo break from a lot less energy.
I have no idea what your point is when you make that sort of statement, if you consider what I said above.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 07-19-2005, 08:41 PM   #93
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
...If you think the shearing and compressive loads within a hand are the same as within a steel vise, you're betraying your lack of knowledge in this area... you have no idea what the load is on the stick and over how many square inches it's spread...
Please pardon the engineering, but I can't stand it anymore:

Yeah, I was thinking when I started reading this part of the discussion that a hand is so vastly different than a vice that the jo-breaking argument goes out the window -- a hand has a lot more "give" in it than a vice, and even a hand that stays still would absorb a lot of the force. It's the same idea as we learned in the "Physics for Biologists" course I took in college where we calculated that if you fall out of an airplane onto the hard ground from height X you'd die of compression of the spine whereas if you landed and let your knees bend even 10cm, you'd be OK -- a little "give" makes a huge amount of difference. So I'm not at all convinced that a hand-held jo would break on impact.

Furthermore, although I've never seen a jo break I have seen more than one bo break -- they're thinner and we use them in karate -- but a lot of that has to do with the speed of the impact as well as the small area of the impact, so you have a big force applied very quickly over a small area and that impulse exceeds the elastic limit of the bo. Snap! That's going to be much less likely with a jo, since they're made to be hit (the bo's we use in karate are for tournament whizzy stuff), thicker, and have several hands on them distributing the force and slowing them down. And from the photo, O'Sensei's jo looks more like mine, 1 1/4" diameter, which is significantly thicker than the 3/4" bo's I've seen break (besides being made of much sturdier wood since the jo is make to be struck).

We now return to your regularly scheduled discussion -- I just hope we can skip any more speculation as to whether or not the jo in the "jo trick" would really break if people were resisting fully, because I really think you don't have enough info to decide (and my engineer's "gut feel" is that it wouldn't).

I think this is a terrific discussion, though, so I hope you'll all keep working on it.
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Old 07-19-2005, 09:11 PM   #94
Mike Sigman
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Wendy Rowe wrote:
a hand has a lot more "give" in it than a vice, and even a hand that stays still would absorb a lot of the force.
Exactly.

If you remember the previous example I gave of holding a half-gallon milk sized weight at about throat level... the normal way involves your body as a "tower" and the kokyu way would be to "get under" the weight in your hands so that the legs and feet are supporting the weight (the upper body relaxes dramatically)... we could *simplistically* diagram it such that the resultant vector supporting the weight comes more or less straight up out of the shins for the kokyu approach but the resultant when held by the shoulders is quite different. All the body does is act as a piece of curved/angled material that conveys that resultant vector. Naturally the joints must be strong enough to play their part in that conveyance of force.

In the case of the jo-trick, it's the same thing. A resultant force comes directly from one of the feet (usually the back, away foot) directly to the point of impingement. You can "extend" your ki by accepting the incoming force at some way along a weapon, but there are limits. Ueshiba tries to push his limits... and hey, he may have been startlingly good at it when he was in his fifties or so, for all I know. The problem with the jo trick is the fact that he does pushes his personal limits of kokyu ability too far... it obviously exceeds his abilities, as good as they are. The joints of the body must be strong enough to propagate the vectored force; changing the force vector direction by dint of will can alleviate the angle of attack on the joints, BTW.

Ueshiba supposedly had an incredibly strong grip throughout his life, so that would be a contributing factor to consider. The real problem for most people would be from the hand to the lower back... that's the part that I recognize as commonly being strengthened by a type of standing training.

I'm a little rushed for time, but I hope that's a good enough comment for some of the engineering types, Wendy.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 07-20-2005, 12:26 AM   #95
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Re: Defining Kokyu

I would agree, a hand cannot duplicate the energy of a secured vice (i.e. some engine capable of generating enough static force capable of robbing the longer end of a lever of its mechanical advantage) . However, that would mean that those men should be able to push the longer end of the lever around the shorter end (especially when that shorter end gave and/or absorbed their energy). Yet, in the example of the three men, this doesn't happen. The only way it can be explained is one of two ways: The hand is duplicating the energy of something like a secured vice (which then goes on to challenge the structural integrity of the jo) OR the trick is a fake (i.e. an over-exaggeration). Osensei can't have it both ways. He can't have his hand absorbing energy but the longer end of the lever not coming to dominate the shorter end - NOR can he have the shorter end maintaining it's structural position but not stressing the structural integrity of the jo. It's not a one or the other thing - Osensei loses on both accounts.

As I said, it's true we cannot provide real numbers here - especially concerning the actual men and jo that were involved, let alone what is measurable in Osensei's grip. That doesn't mean we are at a loss here - we are dealing here with a pretty big window of physical opportunity. Plus, before we say we can't figure such things out (i.e. knowing what the exact force is, where the focus is, what the shearing and compressive loads are, how much load is on the stick and over how many square inches its spread, the tensile strength of Osensei's exact jo) let us realize that if we can't make such a general proposition we are also in no position to say what we are seeing is an over exaggeration. One can surely say, if he or she were so inclined, we cannot say we are seeing an exaggeration because we do not know what the exact force is, where the focus is, what the shearing and compressive loads are, how much load is on the stick and over how many square inches is it spread, the tensile strength of Osensei's exact jo, etc. For myself, I would not be so inclined. Rather, I would be inclined to say that I could with one finger go the end of the jo and move it around Osensei's shorter end. :-)

David M. Valadez
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Old 07-20-2005, 04:43 AM   #96
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
...However, that would mean that those men should be able to push the longer end of the lever around the shorter end (especially when that shorter end gave and/or absorbed their energy). Yet, in the example of the three men, this doesn't happen. The only way it can be explained is one of two ways: The hand is duplicating the energy of something like a secured vice (which then goes on to challenge the structural integrity of the jo) OR the trick is a fake (i.e. an over-exaggeration)...
Isn't there another possibility? I may well be showing my ignorance here; but I've always assumed that rather than applying a static vicelike force via his hand, O'Sensei was in fact increasing his force to oppose theirs, resulting in an immobile jo that has large but balanced forces on it. He'd have an advantage in that there's just one of him and he's positioned exactly where he wants (and he's had lots of practice and I'll bet has a natural -- or learned -- aptitude for that sort of thing); which could well compensate for the mechanical advantage they have via the lever arm since it's extremely hard (perhaps impossible) for multiple people to coordinate their force that well.

Do you agree that might be what's happening? And if so, is his way of applying that balancing force the core of what we're discussing here?
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Old 07-20-2005, 06:52 AM   #97
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
I would agree, a hand cannot duplicate the energy of a secured vice (i.e. some engine capable of generating enough static force capable of robbing the longer end of a lever of its mechanical advantage) .
David, those are pretty troubling phrases to some of us. Vices don't have energy and you don't "rob" mechanical advantages. The idea of "secured vice energy" (SVE) might be something you want to pass onto the National Academy of Sciences. If there's anything really cute going on here, it's shifting the fulcrums and thus the angle of attack on the joints. Plus some pretty tricky training to some unusual body aspects. That's about it. But you have to think what that means, with all its ramifications.
Quote:
However, that would mean that those men should be able to push the longer end of the lever around the shorter end (especially when that shorter end gave and/or absorbed their energy). Yet, in the example of the three men, this doesn't happen. The only way it can be explained is one of two ways: The hand is duplicating the energy of something like a secured vice (which then goes on to challenge the structural integrity of the jo) OR the trick is a fake (i.e. an over-exaggeration). Osensei can't have it both ways. He can't have his hand absorbing energy but the longer end of the lever not coming to dominate the shorter end - NOR can he have the shorter end maintaining it's structural position but not stressing the structural integrity of the jo. It's not a one or the other thing - Osensei loses on both accounts.
I just explained the trick, if you'll think about... the same "trick" applies to a lot of usages of kokyu, if you'll just think it through and it's a very valuable trick, if you can do it. But like I said, there are limits and O-Sensei exceeds his... but that's like Tohei trying to do his immovable stance demonstration in front of a car; just because a trick has limits doesn't mean it's not valuable martially.
Quote:
As I said, it's true we cannot provide real numbers here - especially concerning the actual men and jo that were involved, let alone what is measurable in Osensei's grip. That doesn't mean we are at a loss here - we are dealing here with a pretty big window of physical opportunity. Plus, before we say we can't figure such things out (i.e. knowing what the exact force is, where the focus is, what the shearing and compressive loads are, how much load is on the stick and over how many square inches its spread, the tensile strength of Osensei's exact jo) let us realize that if we can't make such a general proposition we are also in no position to say what we are seeing is an over exaggeration. One can surely say, if he or she were so inclined, we cannot say we are seeing an exaggeration because we do not know what the exact force is, where the focus is, what the shearing and compressive loads are, how much load is on the stick and over how many square inches is it spread, the tensile strength of Osensei's exact jo, etc. For myself, I would not be so inclined. Rather, I would be inclined to say that I could with one finger go the end of the jo and move it around Osensei's shorter end. :-)
You could tip Tohei over with one finger, too, if you take the right position. Anyway, I don't want to belabor this point. It looks like you don't understand the value of shifting the fulcrums and the angle of attack on various joints, so I'd suggest you might find that an interesting puzzle to sort out.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 07-20-2005, 08:14 AM   #98
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Wendy Rowe wrote:
Isn't there another possibility? I may well be showing my ignorance here; but I've always assumed that rather than applying a static vicelike force via his hand, O'Sensei was in fact increasing his force to oppose theirs, resulting in an immobile jo that has large but balanced forces on it. He'd have an advantage in that there's just one of him and he's positioned exactly where he wants (and he's had lots of practice and I'll bet has a natural -- or learned -- aptitude for that sort of thing); which could well compensate for the mechanical advantage they have via the lever arm since it's extremely hard (perhaps impossible) for multiple people to coordinate their force that well.

Do you agree that might be what's happening? And if so, is his way of applying that balancing force the core of what we're discussing here?
I would equate such an energy with the mechanical energy a wall can provide, such that for example the three uke in question would be pushing the jo as if it was pressed up against a wall - which would have the three uke pushing against the resistance the wall can offer. Only there is no wall here; only Osensei's hand is on the short end of the lever. So, if we want to say that Osensei was demonstrating a force equal to that of a wall that was in full-contact with the length of the jo, we would have have to say that he possessed the capacity to generate some kind of energy that could travel from his hand and up the length of the jo (i.e. reinforcing the jo's position in a way similar to what a wall would do). In which case, the demonstration would be neither fake nor an exaggeration. A question would remain however: Could Osensei, or any other human for that matter, project such an energy up the length of a static inanimate object by having contact only with the shorter end of the lever? My answer is, "No, no one can." BUT, if he could, you'd be right Wendy - this would be a viable mechanical solution in my opinion as well.

dmv

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Old 07-20-2005, 08:25 AM   #99
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Re: Defining Kokyu

David, you're using "energy" in such a vague way that it's not totally coherent. Energy is not the same thing as force. When you talk about O-Sensei "projecting" an energy, you can't mean energy, but it's difficult to say whether you're discussing a force or a strength skill on the part of O-Sensei in that case. You appear to think the world pivots around the jo in O-Sensei's well-known strong hand... the weak pivot, though, is probably the shoulder joint for anyone who has strong hands.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 07-20-2005, 08:37 AM   #100
Mike Sigman
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Wendy Rowe wrote:
I've always assumed that rather than applying a static vicelike force via his hand, O'Sensei was in fact increasing his force to oppose theirs, resulting in an immobile jo that has large but balanced forces on it.
It's more interesting than that, Wendy, and I just wrote out a very good explanation of how the process works in combination with several others.... but the explanation was so good and so revealing that I stuck it in my file of "notes for a book in the future if I ever write one".

Kokyu has a lot to do with changing force vectors at will. Even the Ki Society guys will realize that there are vector "paths" involved (BTW, the Chinese word "jin", which is the essence of "kokyu", actually includes as one of its definitions the idea of "vector force paths") if they stop and think that there's an incoming force and if the testee wasn't standing on the ground he'd move away from the push. If you change vectors in relation to a push, a joint lock, whatever, you change both the angle of incidence AND the resultant of all forces. That's the secret, academically. It's not easy to train and takes a lot of work to train it into your unconscious movement.... which is why I don't respond a lot to the people who offer the idea that moving with kokyu is separate from being able to do static demonstrations. If you can honestly move with *real* kokyu power, you can do static demonstrations fairly easily. Moving powerfully and economically with a good command of the external techniques is not the same thing as having kokyu power.

My 2 pfennigs.

Mike
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