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Old 01-27-2006, 08:36 AM   #1
theninthwave
Location: New York
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Circle It's (not?) all in the hips

Last spring, I hurt my back. MRI revealed a bulging disc, herniated disc, and degenerative discs, but I seem to be doing OK. However, the injury has led me to modify my "style." Previoulsy, I was studying movements which emphasized hip movements which put a lot of torque on the the lower back. I would use the back leg to twist the corresponding hip to put more power into the throw. In an effort to protect the back, I'm trying to reduce the torque. Now, I try and keep my hips "stationary." Power is coming from the legs. I try to position myself so I don't twist my hips. I enter, driving off the legs. It's hard to describe, but I move by rotating on the balls of the feet or the heels to shift my whole side profile without "twisting" the hips. I could show you what I mean, but it's hard to put into words. Do you have an idea of what I'm talking about? One of my instructors told me that Tohei Sensei (spelling?) had such a style. Do you know of instructors and/or videos of such an Aikido style I'm trying to describe?
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Old 01-27-2006, 09:02 AM   #2
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: It's (not?) all in the hips

Matt, you could publish a video of your aikido.

I also read read that Tohei had an injury and thus had to change his movements. So maybe you can find some of his videos.
But I would not call it "style". It is an adjustment to your capacities. And maybe you can with time extend your capacities to find a new optimum by time.

Just m 2 cts.

Dirk
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Old 01-27-2006, 11:44 AM   #3
Larry Feldman
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Re: It's (not?) all in the hips

Tohei founded Ki Aikido, or Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido. There are several schools that are offshoots of his 'style', including Shin Budo Kai in NYC (Imaizumi learned under O-Sensei and Tohei) . On the shinbudokai.com website there should be a link to other styles related to or that came out of Tohei's.

Video on Tohei is hard to find, Aikido Journal has some clips included in a 'sampler' DVD of a variety of instructors. I found a VHS from Budovideos that shows Tohei in the late 60's - a find.
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Old 01-27-2006, 01:28 PM   #4
Mike Haftel
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Re: It's (not?) all in the hips

Also, you could start throwing people down to the ground instead of away from your center (I'm making an assumption here based on what most Aikidoka do). That way you wont have to use your hips as much to project a person into the air; instead, build a false base under Uke and just let the throw and gravity do all the work for you.

Take the motion for a sword cut for example. Your hands are moving away from you at first and then once they reach their full extension they start to arc back towards your center...basically making a half circle in the air. That is the basis for most of the throws in certain styles of Aikido and are present in Shiho-Nage, Kotegaeshi, Sankyo, Ude-Kime Nage, etc.....

But if you raise your hand and just drop it from the elbow first and then let your hand fall (so your elbow is moving faster than your hand) like the common "trucker horn" sign, throws become more centripital and the arm motion becomes more whip-like. Rather than centrifugal and away from your center. When you project Uke away from you in any throw or technique you need to use your hips to compensate for your loss in power and ability to control Uke.

Of course using your hips will help in both situations, but you can also start using power from your legs as well and then power from your feet and then power from the ground and then all at once. Then make every thing you do centripital and constantly drilling down into the ground and every movement will become a manifestation of power and you will actually be powerful rather than having to generate power. There is a difference between the two.

Just my .02 cents
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Old 01-27-2006, 10:56 PM   #5
Adman
 
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Re: It's (not?) all in the hips

Well, there's moving the hips and then there's moving from the hips. The torque you mention sounds like twisting at the waist. I've been specifically corrected to never twist. There are definately techniques I practice that could give the appearance of twisting. However, the shoulders always remain aligned with the hips (well, that's the plan, anyway). All of the right side moves together and all of the left side moves together. Legs may turn to move the hips, but the upper body stays stable on top.

You know, after reading Mike's post ... if I'm reading it correctly, sounds pretty close to how we practice at our dojo. Except that I wouldn't say that we throw down so much as up (then, down becomes easy). Uke's momentum or attempt at gaining back their balance is what can cause them to be "projected" away.

thanks,
Adam
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Old 01-28-2006, 05:36 PM   #6
Mike Haftel
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Re: It's (not?) all in the hips

Quote:
Adam Bauder wrote:
You know, after reading Mike's post ... if I'm reading it correctly, sounds pretty close to how we practice at our dojo. Except that I wouldn't say that we throw down so much as up (then, down becomes easy). Uke's momentum or attempt at gaining back their balance is what can cause them to be "projected" away.

thanks,
Adam
Yes, that could be included in what I said.

Afterall, there are only two motions in martial arts: up and down. Every other motion is simply derived from these two.

Look at any Daito-Ryu throw and you will see this.
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Old 01-28-2006, 06:08 PM   #7
Edwin Neal
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Re: It's (not?) all in the hips

i don't know but it sounds as if you have been given incorrect information... i have seen some aikido where strange body movements were taught, but my understanding has always been that you us "normal" comfortable body mechanics... if it looks or feels odd or unnatural or awkward then you are probably doing it wrong... i have seen some people who stick there hips back and upwards to "try" to utilize "hip power" so much so that they get an extreme curve ie swayback in their lower back... i just try to stand comfortably and relaxed and not try to feel forced or awkward...

Edwin Neal


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Old 01-28-2006, 06:45 PM   #8
eyrie
 
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Re: It's (not?) all in the hips

Sounds like you should have been moving that way to begin with, without having had an injury to highlight the need.

A brief qualifier to what seems to be a generally correct assessment of how you're using power from the legs.

Power originates in the feet from the yongquan (bubbling well) point in the sole and where it connects with the ground. The entire section of the body from the quads to the chest is where the power is transmitted to your hands (the laogong point in the center of the palms). This is the control center. Your spine should feel like it is suspended from the ceiling, from the crown of your head (the baihui point) to the perineum (huiyin). When you move, the whole section of your body should move as a coherent unit.

Ignatius
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Old 01-28-2006, 07:39 PM   #9
Edwin Neal
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Re: It's (not?) all in the hips

oohh someone has been practicing their taichi and qigong...

Edwin Neal


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Old 01-28-2006, 08:03 PM   #10
eyrie
 
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Re: It's (not?) all in the hips

I wish it were.

IMHO, correct body movement transcends martial art forms and "styles". I just happen to supplement my knowledge from a much broader spectrum. Teachers can only "teach" you so much... especially if they don't talk much during lessons, or if they tend to talk in circles.

Ignatius
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Old 01-29-2006, 01:59 AM   #11
neaikikai
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Re: It's (not?) all in the hips

Kanai shihan felt the hips are the most important place for power. But he also believed in the united body principle that on any technique or throw every aspect, and joint need to be included and pointed in the same direction, but common sense tells us, if one has an injury to obviously you need to change your practice habits to fit your needs, this is not changing styles, it is improvising to continue to practice thats all.
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Old 01-29-2006, 06:15 AM   #12
James Kelly
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Re: It's (not?) all in the hips

Interesting thing. In aikido we do most of the techniques with our upper body and are constantly told (at least I am) to use or legs to generate the power. In capoeira, most of the techniques are kicks and we're told to use our arms and shoulders to generate the power. I suspect it's not about using one over the other, but really about using the whole body in concert. It's just we tend to get hung up on the business end (arms in aikido, legs in capoeira) and let the other half lag. The hips.... well, they're in the middle and so get used both ways.
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Old 01-29-2006, 05:49 PM   #13
Aiki Teacher
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Re: It's (not?) all in the hips

Quote:
Matt Leone wrote:
Last spring, I hurt my back. MRI revealed a bulging disc, herniated disc, and degenerative discs, but I seem to be doing OK. However, the injury has led me to modify my "style." Previoulsy, I was studying movements which emphasized hip movements which put a lot of torque on the the lower back. I would use the back leg to twist the corresponding hip to put more power into the throw. In an effort to protect the back, I'm trying to reduce the torque. Now, I try and keep my hips "stationary." Power is coming from the legs. I try to position myself so I don't twist my hips. I enter, driving off the legs. It's hard to describe, but I move by rotating on the balls of the feet or the heels to shift my whole side profile without "twisting" the hips. I could show you what I mean, but it's hard to put into words. Do you have an idea of what I'm talking about? One of my instructors told me that Tohei Sensei (spelling?) had such a style. Do you know of instructors and/or videos of such an Aikido style I'm trying to describe?

I understand what you are describing. My sensei has always emphasized turning the hips. Sounds as if you were twisting the waist before.

If you ever get a chance to work with Kato Shehan, you will definintly see him use the hips the man is awsome!!!
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