Likes Likes:  2
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Do you practice the basics? And by basics I mean breathing and walking.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    270
    Likes (received)
    138

    Default Do you practice the basics? And by basics I mean breathing and walking.

    I try to spend a lot of time in my dojo working with people on the fundamentals of breathing and walking. A lot of students don't do either very well when the come into the dojo, and without a mastery of these fundamental activities, I don't believe students can really learn anything else we do in the dojo because they lack the bedrock upon which to build. I wrote this blog about it. Or am I completely nuts here?
    http://budobum.blogspot.com/2013/09/...h-are-how.html
    Peter Boylan
    Mugendo Budogu LLC
    Fine Budo Books, Videos, Clothes and Equipment Direct from Japan
    http://www.budogu.com

    Find my Budo Blog at http://budobum.blogspot.com/

  2. Likes mkrueger liked this post
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Maine, USA
    Posts
    214
    Likes (received)
    5

    Default

    Very interesting blog. I should definitely spend more time simply walking and breathing. In my class we do a short period of mokuso to concentrate on breath at the beginning and end of class and a lot of step-training in our kihon and gohon kumite, but never intentionally at any other time. I've heard that both Systema and the Feldenkrais Method emphasize walking, breathing, alignment and, sometime when my life permits, I'd love to explore those traditions.

    Thought provoking post; thanks.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Hiroshima, Japan.
    Posts
    2,548
    Likes (received)
    150

    Default

    I believe that in Japanese kihon 基本, kiso 基礎, display some ambiguity in that (a) they tend to be done first and (b) they are the foundations of a structure. I think that Morihei Ueshiba reflected this ambiguity in aikido by following an intensive regime of basic training with weapons such as the spear, bo, jo, ken, which he always went back to, but also by intensively practicing waza 業, 技 and always coming back to these. I also believe that he saw the few waza that are seen in the Budo text, for example, as vehicles or containers for doing something else. So I think you need to do both.
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
    Hiroshima, Japan

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    120
    Likes (received)
    3

    Default

    The title of the thread is a little confusing: “Do you practice the basics? And by basics I mean breathing and walking”.

    Certainly for someone who is conditioned to translate training the basics by “doing kihon”, which has a different connotation from one school or discipline to another.

    Since KI (基) means “fundamentals” and HON (本) in this context can be translated as: “main; true; real”, training the kihon is indeed training the foundation or the basis of the art.

    In HONTAI YOSHIN RYU, formal kihon training is considered essential for bojutsu and iaijutsu. However, the basics of weaponless fighting are usually immediately taught during katageiko (the training of kata). Nevertheless, INOUE Tsuyoshi Munetoshi, the 18th generation soke, used a formal set of techniques in kihon form when teaching to specific target groups like high school children. This kihon consists mostly of a set of very simple gyaku and nage techniques that are useful as warming up for larger groups.

    In most schools, Kata (formal set of techniques), not Kihon, are used to transmit the essential techniques or principles, called “gensoku” of the school. However performing kata can be done as kihon (focussing on the basics as currently codified in the school) This in contrast to a kind of “Kai-gyo- so” (called shin-gyo-so in some schools) execution or even the “Syu-ha-ri” principle.

    Coming back to breathing and stepping. I do agree they are very important. But there are others: obviously the techniques itself (jutsu, waza) study of the kamae, understanding distance and timing (ma-ai), initiative (sen, taisen). More-over, stepping is usually seen as ashi-sabaki, which in turn is part of tai-sabaki (body control or in most cases, the body movement in response to an aggressive act). So I don’t see breathing and stepping as the basics of an art but yes they are essential, amongst other aspects.

    Having said so, teaching beginners how to breath and how to step is very important. Usually, in iaijutsu (at least how we do it), this is done by teaching the students how to breath calmly before the execution of a kata (in HYR, this kind of breathing is usually done 1 time, IKKOKYU, but occasionally 3 times, or SANKOKYU). For stepping we tend to do practise with beginners the “kendo” way of moving, realising that iaikata are done differently. Nevertheless teaching suri-ashi (sliding steps, i.e. feet not lifted from the ground) is very important.

    We don’t teach ayumi-ashi (ordinary walking movement, in a non sliding way), separately, since we don’t want to run in situations like:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-_QMpwPpRI
    Guy Buyens
    Hontai Yoshin Ryu (本體楊心流)
    BELGIAN BRANCH http://www.hontaiyoshinryu.be/

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    120
    Likes (received)
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Buyens View Post
    In most schools, Kata (formal set of techniques), not Kihon, are used to transmit the essential techniques or principles, called “gensoku” of the school.
    I do realise this is the “gendai section and I tend to approach it from a koryu view.

    Nevertheless I found the blog stimulating and useful to reflect upon.

    I hope I don’t shift the discussion away from the importance of breathing and stepping in gendai budo.
    Guy Buyens
    Hontai Yoshin Ryu (本體楊心流)
    BELGIAN BRANCH http://www.hontaiyoshinryu.be/

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,625
    Likes (received)
    143

    Default

    Guy,

    I don't see any reason why there should not be a discussion, here, of comparisons or contrasts between koryu and gendai approaches to breathing and walking/stepping. Feel free to pose your viewpoints.
    Cady Goldfield

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    120
    Likes (received)
    3

    Default

    I had to think on something I read, some time ago, on Nakayama Hakudo on kenshi247.net (blog/2011/02/14/a-lineage-all-but-forgotten-the-yushinkan-nakayama-hakudo) and I went back to the article:
    “In shiai geiko Hakudo’s hip rose every time before a strike, telegraphing his intentions to his opponent. In order to correct this Hakudo was forced to wear stones around his waist to improve his center of gravity. To learn to execute suri-ashi in a more effective way, Hakudo was made to wear geta (Japanese wooden sandals) with a loose thread. This allowed him to develop a type of scraping suri-ashi, making his movement harder to see.”

    None of these trainings were inspired by the thought of becoming healthier.

    Of course, even when training koryu, we now try to be more health conscious but my point is, we tend to learn students how to breath and walk as we go along, because we recognize that this will make things more efficacious not because this will make them healthier.
    Guy Buyens
    Hontai Yoshin Ryu (本體楊心流)
    BELGIAN BRANCH http://www.hontaiyoshinryu.be/

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,178
    Likes (received)
    346

    Default

    Special Operations soldier and sought after trainer Kyle Lamb notes how important breathing is in combat:

    “Combat will require you to get control of your breathing more than any other type of shooting. During combative engagements you will have to gain control of not only your emotions but also your breathing.”


    And Ken Good on breathing:

    ”You need to maintain the ability to adapt and make sound decisions. If you find yourself screaming at threats (posture stemming from fear), you have no breath control. If you are huffing and puffing, before the engagement even unfolds, you have no breath control. If you have never thought about your breath, you have no breath control. No breath control results in you having no mind-control. No mind-control results in you having no body or equipment control. This sends you into a potentially vicious death spiral.”

    Breathing is a “bridging” mechanism between body and mind, and therefore has a major role regulating mental and physical stress and controlling panic under duress. I do not believe this can be achieved through technical practice alone: quite the contrary technical performance will collapse (i.e. "no body control") no matter how well ingrained when spikes, so some other mechanism must be in play that does not simply tie breathing to technique.

    And walking,moving, performing techniques etc. becomes more critical when wearing heavy armor, using live weapons with friendlies and non-friendlies about, etc. Postural and positional control of the body-in-space in conjunction with the weapon is also not always developed in technical practice, especially when that practice is done without wearing armor. I would think quality instruction would cover this, though, and that the baseline movement training as Peter metions takes things like armor into account. I believe some of the odd kinds of things we see in how people move in kata training, at least in the koryu, have to do with the fact that the body it being trained to move "in armor" even though armor is not actually worn, perhaps has never been worn, and certainly has not been "fought" in, by current practitioners.

    For martial training this kind of instruction would probably be in the form of kuden, or even meditation.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,178
    Likes (received)
    346

    Default

    Please delete the first of those double posts - my computer is acting weird and I can't seem to self edit it....

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    520
    Likes (received)
    72

    Default

    I mentioned this in another forum but I think I should add it here, too. When I first went to learn Jikishinkage-ryu I watched for a few weeks. After a few weeks I was told I could start training. i spent about 2 months doing nothing but umpo. Umpo is a Jikishinkage-ryu method of breathing and walking. 2 hours a class or more just walking and breathing with my training partner. It was actually very grueling but I feel it built a superior base to my swordsmanship and it has influenced all of my other budo. You can see the late Mr. Terayama demonstrating umpo here at the 6:30 mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gwvSgFXuUY
    Christopher Covington

    Daito-ryu aikijujutsu
    Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryu heiho

    All views expressed here are my own and don't necessarily represent the views of the arts I practice, the teachers and people I train with or any dojo I train in.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    B.C., Canada
    Posts
    240
    Likes (received)
    11

    Default

    Focus on controlling adrenaline response and breath has been challenged by doing "hands on" security work and work with individuals suffering from mental illness and addiction. I had spent some hours practicing breath control while walking, during dojo-time, during anaerobic-conditioning, etc. and that was all very useful and I will continue that practice. It provided me a good grounding from which to draw in times of stress/danger. Exposure to these new stresses have provided new insights into my level of preparation.

    What methods can martial artists who are not in law-enforcement, security, etc. use to explore states of stress that will challenge their breathe-control and adrenaline response? I might suggest rock climbing as a path accessible to some. Would like to hear others' suggestions.
    Al Heinemann
    www.shofukan.ca

  13. Likes pboylan liked this post
  14. #12
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    520
    Likes (received)
    72

    Default

    Hi Al,

    I agree working in law enforcement has changed my understanding of budo. I worked at a mental hospital for a short time and that has also affected my understanding of a lot of things.

    "What methods can martial artists who are not in law-enforcement, security, etc. use to explore states of stress that will challenge their breathe-control and adrenaline response?"

    I would change careers or get a part time job working in these fields . Many police departments have reserve and auxillary officers with various levels of training and responsibility and someone can join one of these units, too. It is also a great way to give back to the community.

    Best regards,
    Chris
    Christopher Covington

    Daito-ryu aikijujutsu
    Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryu heiho

    All views expressed here are my own and don't necessarily represent the views of the arts I practice, the teachers and people I train with or any dojo I train in.

  15. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    B.C., Canada
    Posts
    240
    Likes (received)
    11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kendoguy9 View Post
    Hi Al,

    I would change careers or get a part time job working in these fields . Many police departments have reserve and auxillary officers with various levels of training and responsibility and someone can join one of these units, too. It is also a great way to give back to the community.

    Best regards,
    Chris
    Chris,

    I am in 100% agreement.

    For those not so inclined I might suggest following the advice of Eleanor Roosevelt and "do one thing every day that scares you." It will help. Methodically addressing the things that I am afraid of has been a fruitful path.

    Regards,
    Al Heinemann
    www.shofukan.ca

Similar Threads

  1. The Basics
    By tgace in forum Firearms
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 24th November 2008, 15:37
  2. Kendo Basics dvd
    By Big Cheese in forum Nomi no ichi
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 13th December 2006, 16:43
  3. Jinenkan basics
    By Methos911 in forum Ninpo and Ninjutsu
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 6th July 2004, 13:56
  4. Fun basics!!
    By johan_frendin in forum Shorinji Kempo
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 19th February 2003, 10:33

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •