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  • testing and hara coodination

    At what rank are examiners looking for hara to sword coodination? As in physically seeing movement initiate from it?

  • #2
    Originally posted by hl1978 View Post
    At what rank are examiners looking for hara to sword coodination? As in physically seeing movement initiate from it?
    I don't think I've heard any sensei say this must be done to pass such-and-such a grade. It's one of those things that you'd expect to get better and better gradually, such as tenouchi and ki-ken-tai-no-itchi.

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    • #3
      Since sandan is generally considered the grade where one has achieved technical competence, I would say that you should have started this progression by nidan and it should be well developed by sandan. That's just me trying to be logical though, I wouldn't actually know. :P I'd be interested in hearing what the more experienced members have to say.

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      • #4
        You shouldn't concern yourself with it too much before 6th dan. Until then learn all the foot, sword hand co-ordinations that will gradually lead to an understanding of this. I started to get a feel for it about a year ago (7th dan + 2 years)

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        • #5
          It depends on what you mean exactly, but I would think that the rudiments of this concept should be seen in 4-dan examinations. There are many factors that have to be taken into consideration though, including the age and maturity of the examinees. For example, a young 22 year-old Japanese university student sitting a 4-dan grading is going to be different (show different qualities and grasp of seme) to a midde-aged or over kenshi who has been training in the West for 20 years.

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          • #6
            Wow that's all much later than I expected. I must be thinking of something very different. Well good, that gives me many years to figure out what you all are talking about now.

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            • #7
              I was referring to the movement shown at 1:50 on in this clip:

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mbE5PAKfAU

              The motion begins in the middle of the body and propagates outwards into the arms and legs. This forces the arms back (and the weightshift back) like the "turtle emerges from the sea" movement in chinese martial arts. This is an open. This is followed by a closing motion as the weight shifts forwards.

              compare this to
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Viwj...eature=related

              at ~2:55 or so where its all arm movement with no motion going from the middle on out (or weight shift).

              The above is not intended to be a how to, I just wanted to clarify as to what I was referring to. I guess i could poke around on youtube and start to see what dan this tends to manifest itself at.
              Last edited by hl1978; 18th August 2010, 01:00 AM.

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              • #8
                Hmmn i guess that depends on your organisation
                But hara is very hard to understand and use.

                The guy in the background of that top video dressed in white is very good at showing the muscle groups.
                True it means fealing an old mans arse and abdomen, but its the best way.

                I would say start trying now but always remember the basic shape.

                How iai old are you by the way?
                The guy in the second clip is going for nidan, the guy in the top clip is hachidan hanshi headmaster of the ha
                But he is addressing a different question asked by a sandan....
                ...see what i mean

                no real answer

                Your organisation will have guidelines as to what they want to see at certain levels though.

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                • #9
                  Oh, also by the same user
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaJbD...eature=related
                  a very koryu esque seitei guy....

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rottunpunk View Post
                    Hmmn i guess that depends on your organisation
                    But hara is very hard to understand and use.

                    The guy in the background of that top video dressed in white is very good at showing the muscle groups.
                    True it means fealing an old mans arse and abdomen, but its the best way.

                    I would say start trying now but always remember the basic shape.

                    How iai old are you by the way?
                    The guy in the second clip is going for nidan, the guy in the top clip is hachidan hanshi headmaster of the ha
                    But he is addressing a different question asked by a sandan....
                    ...see what i mean

                    no real answer

                    Your organisation will have guidelines as to what they want to see at certain levels though.
                    A neat thing in the first clip is to watch the forwards leg to see how it offsets the forwards weight transfer while the cut is being completed.

                    I've got 13 years in iaido, 17 years in marital arts and 5 years specifically studying hara/dantien based movement with a group which focuses on such in japan. If I hadn't been interested in this stuff, I doubt I would have even noticed where the differences in movement originated from in the more experienced iaidoka.

                    You are absolutely right about touching someone to feel where the power is originating from, both in terms of what muscles are activated, but which ones are not.

                    I'm curious as to what the ZNKR requirements are which is why I am asking around.
                    Last edited by hl1978; 18th August 2010, 03:16 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by hl1978 View Post
                      I'm curious as to what the ZNKR requirements are which is why I am asking around.
                      Hara is a complex topic to be honest. It has an expansive, esoteric meaning aside from the physical/mechanical definition that's attached to it -- lots of intangibles in there.

                      Michael Hodge

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                      • #12
                        Iwata sensei (the sensei in clip above) states you cannot pass hachidan without mastery of hara control. 7 dan is the sticking point for most people (apparently) because of this!
                        He expected me to get this sorted inside a year of showing how it worked. No pressure Tim...and the year is dragging on... and on... and on...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Michael Hodge View Post
                          Hara is a complex topic to be honest. It has an expansive, esoteric meaning aside from the physical/mechanical definition that's attached to it -- lots of intangibles in there.

                          Michael Hodge
                          I would say its simplier than most might think if you have a bunch of guidance (not to say its easy), but a heck of a hard thing to figure out on your own without guidance or developmental exercises. In some ways I think it might be easier to specifically teach hara based movement from the begining since you kind of have to throw away some of what you think you know as it is entirely counterintuitive (the idea that a less "powerful" swing is stronger/heavier is kind of hard to wrap your mind around at first), but thats not a debate I want to get in right now.

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                          • #14
                            haha true, not easy, but knowing how to do it physically a simple process
                            i am getting there with the muscles bit now ...i think. But i am struggling with the timing
                            Nice that you have a hara group to study with
                            I put my iai hara into my niten and karate, i am guessing the principles are the same?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rottunpunk View Post
                              haha true, not easy, but knowing how to do it physically a simple process
                              i am getting there with the muscles bit now ...i think. But i am struggling with the timing
                              Nice that you have a hara group to study with
                              I put my iai hara into my niten and karate, i am guessing the principles are the same?
                              Yep, they're the same, found all over the place in martial arts since most martial arts all talk about the importance of breath, using the hara etc. If you watch highly ranked practicioners in various arts you will notice some similar movements.

                              For example this video from the style of karate I study. You can see that his arms don't move in isolation, the motion begins in the middle and moves out through the arms.

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