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#424277 - 01/05/10 01:39 PM WARNING! Very stupid beginner question!
WadoNovice Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/10/05
Posts: 9
Loc: England
Hi

I went to my first Aikido class last night. It was with the Ki Society, so the first hour was all Ki training stuff. I got confused within the first 5 minutes and it only went downhill from there. To help stop my next class from going the same way, I really need to clarify where my one-point is.

I do karate and unfortunately we don't really do any ki training. But I had sort of got the idea that it was between the spine and the navel and about 2 inches below the navel. Roughly my centre of gravity. I know it's bad to start something new with preconceived ideas (especially when they are incorrect!)

But in the aikido class the instructor told me to focus at a point mid-way between my hip and knee and about 2 inches away from my leg. (Outside my body? I asked about that and was told that only human minds feel the need to label certain atoms and energy as our own - the universe doesn't make such distinctions) That was when we were standing up straight, feet together. Things got even more confusing when we sat down! I asked if the one-point was still hovering over my thigh but apparently it was now on the ground. I didn't ask _where_ on the ground because I was feeling a bit defeated by this stage.

So I guess what I would like to know is:

Where is my one-point when I am sitting in seiza?

Is there a 'Ladybird' book on Aikido? (for children and/or idiots) Preferably with pictures?

Are some people just too stupid to do Aikido? (Maybe some of us should just stick to running around like lunatics and hitting things)

I'm sorry for asking you all a very stupid beginners question.

C

Top
#424300 - 01/06/10 03:45 PM Re: WARNING! Very stupid beginner question! [Re: WadoNovice]
LifesFist Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/07
Posts: 127
Loc: Above Is Heaven, Down Is Earth
Martial art is akward thing for begginers. Later you'll see things more clearly and be able to apply them as tought or as necassary
_________________________
Fellow Of Life

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#424406 - 01/16/10 05:12 PM Re: WARNING! Very stupid beginner question! [Re: WadoNovice]
katana Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/30/04
Posts: 14
Loc: england,uk
Originally Posted By: WadoNovice
Hi

I went to my first Aikido class last night. It was with the Ki Society, so the first hour was all Ki training stuff. I got confused within the first 5 minutes and it only went downhill from there. To help stop my next class from going the same way, I really need to clarify where my one-point is.

I do karate and unfortunately we don't really do any ki training. But I had sort of got the idea that it was between the spine and the navel and about 2 inches below the navel. Roughly my centre of gravity. I know it's bad to start something new with preconceived ideas (especially when they are incorrect!)

But in the aikido class the instructor told me to focus at a point mid-way between my hip and knee and about 2 inches away from my leg. (Outside my body? I asked about that and was told that only human minds feel the need to label certain atoms and energy as our own - the universe doesn't make such distinctions) That was when we were standing up straight, feet together. Things got even more confusing when we sat down! I asked if the one-point was still hovering over my thigh but apparently it was now on the ground. I didn't ask _where_ on the ground because I was feeling a bit defeated by this stage.

So I guess what I would like to know is:

Where is my one-point when I am sitting in seiza?

Is there a 'Ladybird' book on Aikido? (for children and/or idiots) Preferably with pictures?

Are some people just too stupid to do Aikido? (Maybe some of us should just stick to running around like lunatics and hitting things)

I'm sorry for asking you all a very stupid beginners question.

C


your centre and (one point) where your ki resides is where you described. although i trained traditional aikido not ki society aikido, not sure what instructor is referring to about naming atoms etc sounds a bit quantum physics for me. ki is your life force and most technique is directed here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aikido take a look at ki section.

train safe

Top
#431012 - 12/01/10 09:56 PM Re: WARNING! Very stupid beginner question! [Re: WadoNovice]
Th3_Pun1sH3R Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/20/08
Posts: 8
Loc: Earth
Originally Posted By: WadoNovice
But in the aikido class the instructor told me to focus at a point mid-way between my hip and knee and about 2 inches away from my leg. (Outside my body? I asked about that and was told that only human minds feel the need to label certain atoms and energy as our own - the universe doesn't make such distinctions) That was when we were standing up straight, feet together. Things got even more confusing when we sat down! I asked if the one-point was still hovering over my thigh but apparently it was now on the ground. I didn't ask _where_ on the ground because I was feeling a bit defeated by this stage.

So I guess what I would like to know is:

Where is my one-point when I am sitting in seiza?

Is there a 'Ladybird' book on Aikido? (for children and/or idiots) Preferably with pictures?

Are some people just too stupid to do Aikido? (Maybe some of us should just stick to running around like lunatics and hitting things)

I'm sorry for asking you all a very stupid beginners question.

C
There are no stupid questions. Just not very well thought out lines of inquiry. wink

I think the instructor might have been confusing the seika-no-tanden - which is what Ki Soc. generally refer to when they say "one point" and your actual center of gravity - which changes depending on how your body is positioned in relation to 3D space.

The seika-no-tanden, or tanden (abbr.), (or dantien in Chinese), is a "reference point" that is 4 fingers width below your navel and approx. 1 fist width inside your body.

Aikido is in effect, the real basic stuff you (should) learn to do before you even learn to punch, kick or throw. Understanding how your dantien drives movement, or how power is generated thru your legs, controlled by the waist/middle and manifested in the hands forms the basis of nearly every Asian martial art.

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#431014 - 12/02/10 05:44 AM Re: WARNING! Very stupid beginner question! [Re: Th3_Pun1sH3R]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
Good points, the only thing I would add is that from my Qi Gong studies the Chinese identify several Dantian in the body (e.g. Upper Dantian, lower Dantian). When people mention Dantian they usually refer to the middle Dantian, which is similar to the Hara.
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#431015 - 12/02/10 10:24 AM Re: WARNING! Very stupid beginner question! [Re: Prizewriter]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
<< Aikido is in effect, the real basic stuff you (should) learn to do before you even learn to punch, kick >>
Punch and kick in Aikido?

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#431022 - 12/02/10 03:12 PM Re: WARNING! Very stupid beginner question! [Re: iaibear]
Kathryn Offline
Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 262
Loc: Washington, DC
I've never heard of that! Please don't feel stupid for asking.

My general understanding is that the ephemeral "center" lies between the navel and hip region, but some put it near the navel.
_________________________
Be nice, until it's time to not be nice.

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#431023 - 12/02/10 05:13 PM Re: WARNING! Very stupid beginner question! [Re: Kathryn]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
I've seen some punching and kicking in Aikido demonstrations but punching and kicking weren't part of Aikido (as I was taught it). Any punching and kicking that was taught was purely from the point of view of giving uke a few more arrows in his quiver. Kicking and punching were used in my old classes public demonstrations where uke would punch/kick tori. Tori never punched or kicked, they only reacted to those attacks from the uke.

Here's an example of what I refer to. Uke attacks with kicks and Tori (Christian Tissier) responds:

_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#431025 - 12/02/10 05:51 PM Re: WARNING! Very stupid beginner question! [Re: Prizewriter]
Th3_Pun1sH3R Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/20/08
Posts: 8
Loc: Earth
Originally Posted By: Prizewriter
Good points, the only thing I would add is that from my Qi Gong studies the Chinese identify several Dantian in the body (e.g. Upper Dantian, lower Dantian). When people mention Dantian they usually refer to the middle Dantian, which is similar to the Hara.

Yes, but I didn't want to confuse the OP further. The upper and lower dantien aren't usually referred to in JMAs - in JMAs, the tanden is usually in reference to the middle dantien, aka hara.

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#431027 - 12/02/10 06:19 PM Re: WARNING! Very stupid beginner question! [Re: Prizewriter]
Th3_Pun1sH3R Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/20/08
Posts: 8
Loc: Earth
Originally Posted By: Prizewriter
I've seen some punching and kicking in Aikido demonstrations but punching and kicking weren't part of Aikido (as I was taught it). Any punching and kicking that was taught was purely from the point of view of giving uke a few more arrows in his quiver. Kicking and punching were used in my old classes public demonstrations where uke would punch/kick tori. Tori never punched or kicked, they only reacted to those attacks from the uke.
Since this is related to my initial comment, I should perhaps clarify the point regarding kicking and punching.

Consider this:
1. What if Aikido is simply a method of training the body to move in a specific way? Moving from the hara, keeping the weight underside (i.e. sinking the qi), relax, etc...
2. What if this specific way of moving allows one to generate and transmit power efficiently - by using the other person's force against themselves? (i.e. musubi, awase)
3. What if moving this specific way can be directly translated to your "everyday" movements?
4. And what if your "everyday" movements now become your "natural" movement.

Q. would you punch and kick "differently", or would punching and kicking simply be an extension of your body and the way you move - as part of your now "natural" movement?

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#431032 - 12/02/10 07:45 PM Re: WARNING! Very stupid beginner question! [Re: Th3_Pun1sH3R]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
I see where you are coming from, and certainly I've seen what your talking about in Neijia systems (Taijiquan and Baguazhang specifically) but in my modest experience with Aikido, I can't say that anyone I've ever met was able to effectively use their training for power generation relating to punching and kicking. I'm not saying it can't be done, but I've never met or heard of anyone doing it in Aikido.

More to the point, here is a quote attributed to Morihei Ueshiba I've come across a few times:

Kicking leaves you momentarily on one foot, and for that moment you are in a very weak position. If you were to be swept off your feet, you would be finished. This is why lifting your feet off the ground is crazy.

If it did come from O Sensei (and I've never seen or read of him kicking anyone lol) then clearly he indicates he wasn't a fan of kicking in Aikido and didn't see a need for it. Although this is speculative I haven't came across anything where he advocated kicking or claimed that Aikido training would allow you to generate powerful kicking techniques.

Once again I should say I'm not claiming it can't be done, it's just I've never heard of anyone using their Aikido that way. Indeed there are people who claim that most training methods of modern Aikido aren't anywhere near what they use to be in terms of body conectiveness and power generation/absorption. I'm not in a position to comment on that.

I would say though that one of the reasons I left my Aikido class was once I saw (and felt) the power methods and body conectivity of Taiji and Bagua teachers I realized that my Aikido was missing an awful lot of what it claimed it could do.
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

Top
#431033 - 12/02/10 09:13 PM Re: WARNING! Very stupid beginner question! [Re: Prizewriter]
Th3_Pun1sH3R Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/20/08
Posts: 8
Loc: Earth
The key points of that "quote" (I'm not sure that is the exact quote either) are "momentarily" and "IF you were to be...". That's a small moment and a big if.

It's not to suggest that you should never or that it can't be done. There is a story in Gozo Shioda's book Aikido Shugyo, where he recounts an incident where a US soldier was involved in a challenge of sorts, and his response was to kick him in the stomach.

There are many ways to teach and learn the sorts of things you mentioned, not necessarily that one way is better than another. But I would tend to agree, it is less explicitly taught in Aikido than, say, in the CMA.

By the same token, not all taiji (or bagua or xingyi) are equal. The majority of your average garden variety taiji suffers from the same issues and shortcomings as aikido.

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#431036 - 12/03/10 07:45 AM Re: WARNING! Very stupid beginner question! [Re: Th3_Pun1sH3R]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
Originally Posted By: Th3_Pun1sH3R
By the same token, not all taiji (or bagua or xingyi) are equal. The majority of your average garden variety taiji suffers from the same issues and shortcomings as aikido.




Agree 100% on that. When I said I left Aikido for Taiji, it was only after meeting 3 different Taiji teachers. The first 2, IMO, didn't "have it", and they certainly didn't seem to be able to teach it judging by their students. The 3rd teacher was much better in terms of his know-how and ability.
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

Top
#431050 - 12/04/10 09:14 PM Re: WARNING! Very stupid beginner question! [Re: Prizewriter]
Kathryn Offline
Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 262
Loc: Washington, DC
Originally Posted By: Prizewriter
I see where you are coming from, and certainly I've seen what your talking about in Neijia systems (Taijiquan and Baguazhang specifically) but in my modest experience with Aikido, I can't say that anyone I've ever met was able to effectively use their training for power generation relating to punching and kicking. I'm not saying it can't be done, but I've never met or heard of anyone doing it in Aikido.

More to the point, here is a quote attributed to Morihei Ueshiba I've come across a few times:

Kicking leaves you momentarily on one foot, and for that moment you are in a very weak position. If you were to be swept off your feet, you would be finished. This is why lifting your feet off the ground is crazy.

If it did come from O Sensei (and I've never seen or read of him kicking anyone lol) then clearly he indicates he wasn't a fan of kicking in Aikido and didn't see a need for it. Although this is speculative I haven't came across anything where he advocated kicking or claimed that Aikido training would allow you to generate powerful kicking techniques.


Whether or not O Sensei said that, it is something that is common to the vast majority of Japanese arts. I think karate is the only one that employs kicking (let me know if I've forgotten one). Otherwise the footwork is very solid and the 'budo way' of walking is to keep the feet very close to the ground while stepping. It's almost a shuffle but more deliberate and does takes practice.
_________________________
Be nice, until it's time to not be nice.

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#431054 - 12/05/10 06:23 PM Re: WARNING! Very stupid beginner question! [Re: Kathryn]
Th3_Pun1sH3R Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/20/08
Posts: 8
Loc: Earth
The foot shuffle isn't peculiar to JMA, nor is kicking the sole domain of karate.

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#435447 - 09/10/12 08:22 AM Re: WARNING! Very stupid beginner question! [Re: Th3_Pun1sH3R]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
I was reading older posts to see if a question I have had for years might be covered by it.

My original Aikido instructor, due to rapid turnover in his neighborhood, "taught the test". We drilled the techniques required for testing until they were all firmly in motor memory. After that, if the opportunity presented itself, we explored variations. That dojo closed when the ceiling fell.

The second dojo I attended was "traditional" in that the teacher demonstrated variations and only variations. Students about to be tested would ask older students to practice with them. At testing time they would use their own "best guess" or the older student's "best guess" which he, in turn, had gotten his version from a still older student's "best guess".

Is there a "right" way to do techniques in Aikido?

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#435475 - 09/23/12 08:24 PM Re: WARNING! Very stupid beginner question! [Re: iaibear]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello iaibear:

Depending on where in upstate NY you were, I'd suggest Konigsberg sensei to explore more deeply such things. Decades ago I was a seminar student of his... and was never confused despite that Aiki was never my practice.

Any teacher whether Cooking, Aikido, Tode, it does not matter (IMHO), however you present your information is critically important. Haphazard, random you get a very different understanding than highly structured.

Learning, doing, then doing against full resistance are very different "creatures". There are certain structural requirements/positions regardless of the specific technique.

Two, three inches different and anybody can still make X technique work. But you have to use other different pieces for that to occur. The physical structure does not change. The way one achieves them might.

Alter the timing, the angle, the breathing of a technique, and there are all kinds of nuances, subtlety. Start somewhere, learn one SINGLE method of it... learn something really well, and different nuances, subtleties are discovered...

Too many variations, we don't truly learn...
IMHO...
Jeff

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#435478 - 09/24/12 11:16 PM Re: WARNING! Very stupid beginner question! [Re: Ronin1966]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
<< Too many variations, we don't truly learn...
IMHO...
Jeff >>

That has been my opinion as well. Thank you for answering.

My current sensei drills the moves until we get them in motor memory.

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#435563 - 11/18/12 01:14 AM Re: WARNING! Very stupid beginner question! [Re: iaibear]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello iaibear:

<<Thank you for answering.

Pleased I could help, brother.


<<My current sensei drills the moves until we get them in motor memory.

Given muscle memory begins after 10,000 repetitions by the latest accountings, sounds like a pleasant long study -badly supressed grins-.

Jeff

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#435596 - 12/14/12 10:36 PM Re: WARNING! Very stupid beginner question! [Re: Prizewriter]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Prizewriter:

Having experienced some ridicilously experienced instructors of Aiki, even for brief seconds I would offer that spend enough time at ANY ONE THING, you can be very effective with that practice. Cooking, Aiki, Karate take your pick they are the same

The whole problem with the "kicking as a mistaken" idea argument is two fold. Kicking or moving in any manner have the same problem, you are by definition unbalanced. Can you kick or move effectively of course, but the fundamental concern is similar. Can we be effective doing so?

Read an article not long ago which proposed the martial arts "magical feats" have very little to do with magic and have everything to do with millions of repetitions under all manner of circumstances, nuances, subtlities.

I too am not a fan of many flavors of Aiki for similar reasons (ie dizzy, rolling too much, joint suffering, etc.) but technically it is a very high level and subtle art. To be effective demands insane time. No different from any other practices IMHV.

I like the IMA's as the top layers of the proverbial practice cake. Start with something far simpler mechanically, Judo, wrestling, with time head to the karate, taekwan practices, then later on explore the neijia, the internally geared practices. Begin with the nuances, subtle practices, its risky one could become etheral, "love bead" practitioner.

Are they effective of course, but will anybody understand it, if you begin with the universal energy(ies). Very unlikely IMHO...

Jeff

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