Training Torso Torsion Totally (Say it 5x fast!)


A big thanks to Tom Wharton for posing for the blog!

Sit in seiza. This locks the lower body to the ground. Turn the belly button to the right or left as far as you can. Check to be certain that your sternum is aligned with your belly button. DO NOT turn the sternum past the belly button!  (All life Aiki as we know it will cease to exist!)  Try relaxing tissue around the femoral heads, lower back, etc. See what gives you a millimeter or more motion in the desired direction. Do the same to the opposite side.

Your range of motion is likely to be rather small and that is okay! It is a real range of motion rather than a fudge. We want real results so we must deal with realities, such as our limited range of motion.  It is much better to work within a limited reality than to work in unlimited delusion!

Feel what is happening to the muscles of the legs as you do this exercise. Note what are the primary movers. Try to get the same results while doing less.

Once you have some idea of what you are doing, try holding your head where it normally is, looking straight forward, while sitting in seiza. You may find that you wish to move your spine forward or backward to better facilitate your movement.

Keep in mind that while we may think we are turning around a central axis, the spine is naturally curved. Furthermore, the spine is located closer to the back of the body than it is to the front. Figure out where your central axis should be in relation to the spine.

Another worthy form of this exercise is to hold weight while doing it. The object isn’t to hold a lot of weight. The object is to hold enough weight (via eccentric contraction) that your body will naturally align itself to best support the vertical load. There must be enough weight present that your body gets nervous about getting out of vertical line. If there is enough weight present, your body will take care of itself and teach you where it needs to be to best support a vertical load.

This is a handy trick to force one’s self into discovering Ten, Chi, Jin vertical alignment. Once you know where your maximally efficient vertical alignment is you no longer need (nor probably want) the heavy load. You just need the presence of mind to keep yourself aligned in that manner.

Turning while carrying a load will teach you how to align your spine during the turn such that it can support the vertical load. In other words, it will teach you where you need to be to maintain Ten, Chi, Jin.


Next, try standing in a squat such that your legs are parallel or almost parallel to the ground. Try repeating the same sequence of exercises listed above. The squat position will naturally lock your pelvis similar to sitting in seiza.


Finally, try standing like you just were about to begin a box squat. You are not “stacked” but you are not well into scissor jack mode. Try performing the same sequences described above. Be careful not to move from the pelvis. The pelvice will be dragged at the end of the range of the motion. BUT, BUT, it must always work in conjunction with the heads of the femurs. It is in between the femurs not on top of the femurs.

Remember, all tissues are to be held in tension. Therefore, as forces move through the tissues, and as the tissues move, forces move everywhere equally and the tissues move everywhere equally. It is like spinning a tire on an axle. If I move the tire in one location of the circle all other locations naturally move equally.

This is one of the changes that occur via training. As we start, we do not have a circle of like a tire, we (in practice) have individual pieces of rubber. The first order of business is to inflate our tire such that it “connects.” It is already connected but the connections are useless without taking out the slack via inflation (tension). After this we usually find out that some of the areas of our tire are hard as a brick while others are like a worn out underwear waistband. We need to condition the rubber such that the bricks become more elastic and the waistband tightens up. Eventually we want to have a tire that can be pliable and then “snap” into the form of a steel belted radial.

Next, let’s do things backwards!

You really want to do this on a surface with less friction than what is shown.  Please note how the line of the tatami is running through the middle of Tom’s feet.  In the pictures below, you will see that Tom pivoted around the center of his feet moving both toes and heels simultaneously.

Stand as described above. But this time you will want to be on a hard surface in stocking feet. Or, alternatively, you could stand on furniture mover disks. The idea is that initially you won’t want to encounter a lot of friction.

Now, standing with your torso square to a wall twist both femurs in the same direction (clock wise or counter clockwise). Be sure that long axis is running down the center of your femur. Do NOT pivot on your toes or on your heals. Rather, the toes and heels rotate in opposite directions (thereby creating yin yang around the center point of the foot.

You may wish to anchor your arms on the wall to begin with. But since our emphasis now is the torso, as soon as you can let go of the wall, and while it won’t appear to be the case, you will find your torso rotating opposite to the rotation of your legs.

Once you can do this, you can begin working yourself all the way down to seiza if you wish. Also, you can slowly increase the friction if you like.

As with all of these exercises, initially work with minimal amounts of resistance. Why? Glad you asked!  But before I answer that question there are three things to make clear:

First: Force isn’t evil! After all, there are the three forces of: Gravity, Normal force, and Mind force.

Second: Aiki DOES NOT avoid force! After all, Aiki by definition is the uniting as one of dual opposing, mutually arising forces. And besides that, force is virtually unavoidable in our present state of existence (in fact it allows us to exist!)

Third: Aiki DOES NOT involve us resisting force! Aiki brings forces into balance (Aiki #1) and encounters forces in such a way that resultant resultant force vectors are formed (Aiki #2 & #3)


human beings habitually deal with force in one of two ways:

They avoid it, or they resist it.

This is why Aiki is so counter intuitive, difficult to learn and difficult to train. Not only must one overcome ingrained invisible preconceptions and prejudices to begin to conceive of what one is trying to do, but one must re-program one’s neurology to accord with the new paradigm. Then one’s anatomy must adapt to the new way of being. In other words, one literally is re-building their “normal body” into an Aiki Mind/Body.

This is difficult enough in, and of, itself. Progress is often made in fits and spurts, and there are a lot of new realizations along the way where one must go back to the beginning (although it isn’t the same beginning) and “start over again.”

As stated above, force actually MUST be present. However, if too much force is present (often times one’s own mass is “too much force,” one will knowingly (often due to ego) or unknowingly (due to lack of mindfulness) slip back into the mode of resistance and/or avoidance.

It is for this reason that additional stress, and/or force is usually best avoided when one begins this practice.

By stress, I mean anything that distracts one from working on Aiki. Remember Aiki is NOT a technique.


if one attempts to learn Aiki in the context of a technique one is necessarily splitting one’s focus between: a) the goal of learning and developing Aiki and, b) the goal of properly executing a technique.

If one attempts to learn Aiki in the context of competition, one is necessarily splitting their focus between, a) the goal of learning and developing Aiki and, b) the goal of the competition.

In either of these cases the odds of learning and developing Aiki, learning a technique, and/or doing well in a competition are, at best, halved!

The same can be said for adding additional force, but for a different reason. Our normal reaction to the presence of force (avoidance or resistance) is SO habituated that it is very, very, VERY likely that THAT reaction will take place even without additional force being present. If one adds additional force, the odds of our habituated responses being present increases exponentially.

Techniques are not evil. Competition is not evil. Force isn’t evil. But they can, and very, very, likely WILL be a distraction to one’s initial learning and development of Aiki.

That is the BAD NEWS!

Here is the GOOD NEWS!!

Once one has developed Aiki to a certain degree (probably after years of training Aiki) all of the “Aiki Greats” can be seen to have also embraced: techniques, competition of one kind or another, and training with increasing amounts of force.


The catch with the increased force training is that

one is training to increase their capacity to Aiki the force

which implies that one already can manifest Aiki to some degree.

With this in mind, I will give you my SECRET FORMULA for knowing when it is “okay” to add technique, competition of some sort, and or additional force to one’s training. But first I must swear you all to super secrecy!! Done swearing?  Okay!  Here you go . . .

ALLEN’S SUPER SECRET FORMULA: If, after engaging in the practice of technique, competition, and/or adding force, one’s Aiki solo practice is ENHANCED one can continue with the practice of technique, competition, and/or adding force, so long as the aforementioned practices remain ENHANCING to one’s solo practice, and BENEFICIAL to one’s progress in the learning of and/or ability to do Aiki.

Remember, with all exercises one is also continually trying to allow San Gen be the source of Aiki NOT contraction.  (You’ll likely have to keep reminding yourself of that!)



DO NOT mistake these box squats, push training, and/or twists with concentric contraction training such as box squats (Power Lifting), pushing training (Power lifting, Olympic Lifting, Cross Training, etc.) and twists (Russian Twists, etc.) and think that what you are doing is the same as, or additive to, the learning, and/or development of Aiki.  IT IS NOT THE SAME and IT IS NOT ADDITIVE to the learning and/or development of Aiki.

Train often! Train Smart!

And if you want Aiki, Train AIKI!


Well, I’ve had two busy weeks and next week promises to be yet another one! I won’t even be able to go to see Dan again.  Not being able to have everything that I want when I want it sucks!  Just say’n!


Muchas gracias a Tom Wharton por posar para el blog!
Siéntate en seiza. Esto ancla el tren inferior con el suelo. Gira el ombligo a la derecha o la izquierda tan lejos como puedas. Asegúrate de tu esternón está alineado con el ombligo. NO GIRES el esternón más allá del ombligo (¡o toda la vida Aiki tal y como la conocemos dejará de existir!). Intenta relajar el tejido alrededor de las cabezas de los fémures, el lumbar, etc. Descubre qué te aporta aunque sea un milímetro más de movimiento en la dirección que quieres. Haz lo mismo en el lado opuesto.

Seguramente tu rango de movimiento será bastante pequeño, ¡eso está bien! Es un rango de movimiento real en vez de uno amañado. Si queremos resultados reales tenemos que tratar con la realidad, como nuestro rango de movimiento limitado.¡ Es mucho mejor trabajar con una realidad limitada que con un engaño ilimitado!
Siento lo que ocurre en los músculos de tus piernas cuando haces este ejercicio. Nota que son el origen del movimiento. Intenta conseguir los mismos resultados haciendo menos.
Cuando entiendas un poco lo que estás haciendo, intenta mantener tu cabeza donde normalmente está, mirando hacia delante, mientras te sientas en seiza. Descubrirás que quieres mover la columna adelante o atrás para facilitarte el movimiento.
Ten en cuenta que aunque pensamos que estamos girando alrededor de un eje central, la columna está naturalmente curvada. Más aún, la columna está más cerca de la parte trasera del cuerpo que de la delantera. Descubre dónde debería estar tu eje central en relación con la columna.
Otra manera de hacer este ejercicio que merece la pena es sostener peso mientras lo haces. El objetivo no es sostener mucho peso. El objetivo es sostener suficiente peso (a través de la contracción excéntrica) para que tu cuerpo naturalmente se alinee a sí mismo para soportar mejor la carga vertical. Debe haber suficiente peso presente para que tu cuerpo se sienta nervioso ante la idea de abandonar la línea vertical. Si hay suficiente peso presente tu cuerpo se ocupará por sí mismo y te enseñará dónde necesita estar para soportar mejor una carga vertical.
Este es un truquito útil para forzarte a ti mismo a descubrir la alineación vertical de Ten Chi Jin. Cuando sepas dónde está tu alineación vertical más eficiente ya no necesitarás (y posiblemente no querrás) utilizar peso. Sólo necesitas atención mental para mantenerte a ti mismo alineado de esta manera.
Girar mientras llevas una carga te enseñará a alinear la columna durante el giro para que soporte la carga vertical. En otras palabras, te enseñará dónde necesitas estar para mantener Ten Chi Jin.

Luego. Intenta ponerte en una posición de sentadilla de manera que tus piernas estén paralelas o casi paralelas respecto al suelo. Intenta repetir la misma secuencia de ejercicios que has hecho arriba. La posición de sentadilla anclará naturalmente tu pelvis como lo hacía la de sentarte en seiza.

Finalmente, intenta estar de pie como si fueses a empezar una sentadilla de caja. No estás “erguido apilado” pero no has bajado la postura tanto. Intenta hacer las mismas secuencias descritas anteriormente. Procura no moverte desde la pelvis. La pelvis será arrastrada al final del rango de movimiento, PERO, siempre trabaja en conjunción con las cabezas de los fémures. Está entre los fémures, no encima de ellos.
Recuerda que todos los tejidos tienen que permanecer en extensión. Por tanto, cuando la fuerza se mueve a través de los tejidos, y al moverse los tejidos, la fuerza se mueve a todas partes equitativamente y los tejidos se mueven a todas partes equitativamente. Es como darle vueltas a un neumático en un eje. Si mueve el neumático en un punto del círculo todos los otros puntos se mueven equitativamente.
Este es uno de los cambios que ocurren a través del entrenamiento. Al empezar no tenemos un neumático circular, tenemos (al practicar) piezas individuales de goma. El primer asunto del negocio es inflar nuestro neumático para que se “conecte”. Ya viene conectado pero las conexiones son inútiles si no quitamos primero la flacidez hinchándolo (extendiéndolo. Después de eso normalmente nos daremos cuenta de que algunas partes de nuestro neumático son duras como un ladrillo mientras que otras son como el elástico de un calzoncillo muy desgastado. Queremos acondicionar la goma para que los ladrillos se vuelvan más elásticos y el elástico de calzoncillo se vuelva más firme. Con el tiempo querremos tener un neumático que pueda ser flexible y maleable o volverse fuerte como el acero en un instante

Te interesa hacerlo en una superficie con menos fricción que la que se muestra. Por favor fíjate en cómo línea del tatami pasa en medio de los pies de Tom. En las imágenes de debajo, verás que Tom gira alrededor del centro de sus pies moviendo simultáneamente los dedos y los talones.
Ponte de pie como describimos antes. Esta vez hazlo en una superficie dura llevando calcetines. O, alternativamente, puedes estar de pie en discos para mover muebles. La idea es que inicialmente no encuentres un montón de fricción.

Ahora, de pie con tu torso frente a una pared, gira ambos fémures en la misma dirección (en el sentido del reloj o en el opuesto). Asegúrate de que el eje desciende desde el centro de tu fémur. NO PIVOTES sobre tus dedos o sobre tus talones. En vez de eso, los dedos y los talones rotan en direcciones opuestas (creando por tanto yin y yang en el punto central de tu pie)
Puede que quieras anclar tus brazos en la pared al principio, pero como nuestro énfasis es el torso, tan pronto como puedas deja la pared. Aunque no parezca ser el caso, descubrirás que tu torso está rotando en forma opuesta a la rotación de tus piernas.
Cuando puedas hacer esto, puedes empezar a trabajarlo todo bajando hasta seiza si quieres. También si quieres puedes empezar a incrementar la fricción poco a poco.
Como en todos estos ejercicios, al principio trabaja con una resistencia mínima. ¿Por qué? ¡Me gusta que lo preguntes! Pero antes de responder a esa pregunta hay tres cosas que quiero dejar claras: .
Primero: ¡ La fuerza no es mala! Después de todo, trabajamos las tres fuerzas de: la Gravedad, la fuerza normal, y la fuerza mental.
Segundo: ¡El Aiki NO evita la fuerza! Después de todo, por definición Aiki es la unión de dos fuerzas opuestas que se dan origen mutuamente. Además de eso, la fuerza es virtualmente inevitable en nuestro estado normal de existencia (¡de hecho nos permite existir!)
Tercero: ¡El Aiki NO se basa en que resistamos fuerza! El Aiki lleva a las fuerzas a un equilibrio (Aiki #1)y recibe fuerzas de tal manera que crea vectores de fuerza resultante (Aiki #2 & #3)
Sin embargo…
Los seres humanos generalmente tratan la fuerza de dos maneras:
¡La evitan o la resisten!
Por eso el Aiki es tan poco intuitivo, difícil de aprender y difícil de entrenar. No sólo tenemos que superar los prejuicios y preconcepciones invisibles incrustados en nosotros para empezar a concebir lo que estamos intentando hacer, sino que tenemos que reprogramar nuestra neurología de forma acorde con un nuevo paradigma. Y luego nuestra anatomía debe adaptarse a una nueva manera de existir. En otras palabras, literalmente estamos reconstruyendo un “cuerpo normal” en un Cuerpo y Mente Aiki
Esto ya es bastante difícil para empezar. El progreso a veces llega de repente, y hay un montón de nuevas comprensiones y entendimientos durante el camino que nos devuelven al principio (aunque no es el mismo principio) para “empezar otra vez”.
Como dije arriba, la fuerza DEBE estar presente. Sin embargo, si hay demasiada fuerza presente (a menudo tu propia masa es “demasiada fuerza”) de forma consciente (debido al ego) o de forma inconsciente (por falta de concienciación) volvemos al modo de resistir/evitar.
Por este motivo es mejor evitar el stress o fuerza adicionales cuando empezamos esta práctica.
Por stress, me refiero a cualquier cosa que nos distraiga de trabajar en el Aiki. Recordemos que el Aiki NO es una técnica.
Por tanto,
Si alguien intenta aprender Aiki en el contexto de una técnica esa persona necesariamente está dividiendo su atención entre: a )el objetivo de aprender y desarrollar Aiki y b)el objetivo de ejecutar apropiadamente una técnica
Si alguien intenta aprender Aiki en el contexto de una competición, esa persona está necesariamente dividiendo su atención entre: a )el objetivo de aprender y desarrollar Aiki y b)el objetivo de competir
En cualquier de estos casos las posibilidades de aprender y desarrollar Aiki, aprender una técnica o hacerlo bien en una competición son, en el mejor de los casos,¡ la mitad!
Lo mismo puede decirse de añadir fuerza adicional, pero por una razón diferente. Nuestra reacción normal a la presencia de fuerza (evitarla o resistirla) está TAN habituada que es muy, muy, MUY probable que ESA reacción ocurra incluso sin la presencia de fuerza adicional. Si añadimos fuerza adicional, las posibilidades de que nuestras respuestas habituales ocurran se incrementan exponencialmente.
Las técnicas no son malas, la competición no es mala, la fuerza no es mala. Pero pueden ser, y muy, muy probablemente SERÁN una distracción a nuestro objetivo inicial de aprender y desarrollar Aiki.
¡Esas son las MALAS NOTICIAS!
¡Aquí vienen las BUENAS NOTICIAS!
Cuando alguien ha desarrollado cierto nivel de Aiki (probablemente tras años de entrenar Aiki) podrá, como todos los “Grandes del Aiki” han hecho, enfocarse en las técnicas, en la competición de cualquier tipo y en el entrenamiento con mayores cantidades de fuerza.
El tema con el entrenamiento con mayores cantidades de fuerza es que…
Entrenamos para incrementar nuestra capacidad para hacer Aiki en presencia de una fuerza
Lo cual implica que ya podamos manifiestar cierto grado de Aiki.
Con esto en mente, os daré mi FÓRMULA SECRETA para saber cuándo está bien añadir técnica, competición de algún tipo o fuerza adicional al entrenamiento. ¡Pero primero debes jurar que lo mantendrás en secreto? ¿Ya lo has hecho? Ok, vamos allá…

FÓRMULA SUPER SECRETA DE ALLEN: Si, después de haber entrenado técnicas, competición, o añadir fuerza, nuestra práctica de Aiki en solitario ha MEJORADO, entonces podemos seguir practicando técnicas, compitiendo o añadiendo fuerza, siempre y cuando las prácticas mencionadas sigan MEJORANDO nuestra práctica en solitario, y sean BENEFICIOSAS para nuestro progreso en el aprendizaje y/o la habilidad para hacer Aiki.
Recuerda, en todos los ejercicios estamos continuamente intentando que San Gen sea la fuente del Aiki, NO la contracción muscular (probablemente tendrás que seguir recordándote eso a ti mismo)
¡No seas tonto!
NO CONFUNDAS estas sentadillas de caja, el entrenamiento empujando o rotando con el entrenamiento de contracción concéntrica como las sentadillas de caja de Power Lifting, el entrenamiento empujando de Power Litfing, Levantamientos Olímpicos, Cross Training, etc, o con las rotaciones normales (como los Russian Twists) pensando que estás haciendo lo mismo, o que puedes añadirlo al aprendizaje y desarrollo del Aiki. NO ES LO MISMO Y NO ES AÑADIBLE al aprendizaje y el desarrollo del Aiki
¡Entrena frecuentemente! ¡Entrena inteligentemente!
Y si quieres Aiki, ¡entrena AIKI!
Bueno, ¡he tenido dos semanas muy ocupadas y la próxima promete ser igual! No voy a ser capaz de ir a ver a Dan. ¡No poder tener lo que quiero cuando quiero da asco! Sin más
En fin…No he decidido aún sobre qué escribir. ¿Alguna petición?

So . . . I haven’t decided for sure what I’ll write about next. Any requests?


21 thoughts on “Training Torso Torsion Totally (Say it 5x fast!)

    1. Hi Fred,

      Alrighty then! Great suggestion on a HUGE topic. Upon thinking about that, I realize that I haven’t written about back bowing. I’ll have to touch upon that before I can begin writing about either Aiki Ken or Silk Reeling.

      Oh, and then come to think of it, there is walking and turning!

      Thank you!,


  1. What do you mean by “Figure out where your central axis should be in relation to the spine.” Do you mean bringing the central axis in line with the spine?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the question Dan. I mean that since the spine is curved, and an axis is straight, one cannot simply look to the spine as the central axis. Rather, the central axis is usually thought of as running from a point in the middle of head (the point that doesn’t move no matter where you turn your head), down to the perineum. The spine obviously intersects with this line at certain points, but it is not the line itself.

      Also, it should be noted that while we can pivot around the central axis, we are not obliged to ONLY pivot around the central axis. One example is: A tire pivots around the central axis at the hub, but when this tire is placed against another stationary tire, the moving tire will also begin to rotate around the central axis of the stationary tire wile also rotating around its own axis. Ideally, we would like this to be able to occur in three plains.

      We do these types of rotations all over the place in our body.

      I hope that helps clarify what I meant. Thank you again for your question,

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I find it very easy to accidentally cheat by shifting my weight side to side, even in seiza. Having the knees spread wide, like Tom does in the pictures, helps some, but its very easy to shift that central axis while groping for a few more mm’s of rotation. Another cheat I find myself doing is leaning forward into the direction of my rotation, or arching my back unconsciously to try to push my belly in the direction of my rotation. Again, seiza helps with that (you will feel your weight shifting with the lean or arch) but I constantly have to self-monitor and not let myself (with intent or what-have-you) translate around in the transverse/horizontal plane. There are so many ways to accidentally cheat while doing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well you and I are rather similar Sy in that we like to over think things and carefully figure out every possible way to do things wrong. Theoretically this should narrow things down a bit . . . theoretically!

      You bring up a very good point. One ought to avoid relying upon propreoception whenever possible. Mirrors are good, video is good, friends are good, standardized measurement is good. When I began I would set up microphone booms to mark where my body was in space. I’ve even hung a plumb bob.

      At boring meetings (Are there any other kind?) I like to scoot forward in my chair so that my “sit bones” are on the edge and then torsion my torso. The “sitting bones” provide good feedback to prevent rising and falling from side to side and forward and back shifting. Then I can concentrate on asking the tissues to rotate around my femurs . . . all while paying close attention to the meeting’s subject matter of course!



      1. Maybe I should start my own blog, listing all those things not to do! And yes, the marked mirror is a great uncompromising friend that will never lie to you, to soothe your ego

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Jean,


    The sense that I use the term (it is Jargon btw, so as with any Jargon it is best to consult the source as to the specific meaning they intend (Haha) for the word to convey.), implies using one’s mind to create the conditions whereby Aiki (1, 2, and/or 3) are present. That is why It is useful to ask one’s self in any case: “Where is Yin?, Where is Yang?”

    There is a pardox here that is important to acknowledge though!

    “Using Intent” (the mind that creates the conditions whereby Aiki (1, 2, and/or 3) are present pre-supposes the ability to create the conditions whereby Aiki (1, 2, and/or 3) are present.

    If this pre-supposition is accurate, one can profitably be admonished to, “Use intent!” or “Use Aiki!” or “Balance Yin/Yang or In/Yo!” etc.

    The trouble is that most individuals do NOT know how to create the conditions whereby Aiki (1,2, and/or 3) are present. Rather, they are LEARNING how to create the conditions whereby Aiki (1,2, and/or 3) are present. Or, if they are learning how to do so reliably.

    Consequently, in most cases, simply saying, “Use “intent,” or “Aiki,” or “Do it right!,” or whatever, is likely to be of little benefit. As a matter of fact doing so often leads people to “use” or “do” something, anything, in a desperate attempt to satisfy the admonishment. The “something, anything” that is done is, more often than not, what one already knows how to do . . . . resist or avoid. This being the case, admonishing people to “do something” often leads them 180º away from where they ought to go.

    The paradox is: If we don’t try we are guaranteed failure. If we do try, we are likely not to succeed.

    Nevertheless, one obviously can “get there from here.” So I recomend trying . . . gently and mindfully, and correcting the mistakes that are bound to occur along the way. Our success may be invisible, but cumulatively they can become known to us and others.


    There is a risk anytime anybody begins to share a teaching, model, and/or jargon. The risk is that it is usually far easier to learn the jargon and model of a teaching than it is to master and embody the teaching itself. And, as a consequence of this, the original teaching can easily be lost while the jargon, model, etc. remain. If the original teacher, or those that know and can do, exist. This can be corrected to some degree. Once the original teacher and others that know and can do are gone, not doing paired with the jargon and model becomes the “norm.” If the teaching becomes popular, this new “norm” becomes wide spread. At a certain point, even if the original teacher were to magically return, s/he would likely find themselves marginalized by the “new norm” that once was their teaching.


    1. Hi Steve,

      Thank you for the great question! The main component of torsioning is tissue. If we torsion the femur too much it results in a dislocation or spiral fracture. If we torsion the spine too much it results in a “torsional injury of the spine.” The pelviis too has its limitations.

      So, What we are really working on is moving tissue around the long bones, through the pelvis, and around the spine. We want to increase the strength, range of motion, and elasticity of the tissue along these lines.

      Of course the bones, pelvis and spine eventuually get dragged ito movement of the tissue. But moving tissue is the focus. The tissue will move the bones.

      Without going into detail here, but to alliviate the worries that some might have at all of this torsion talk, there will be counter rotations that stabalize joints so that sheer does not occur. Sheer in the body is something we work to eliminate.

      Martially, the movement of our body will often result in sheer of an attached body. But that isn’t our focus. Our focus should remain on creating Aiki in us. Thinking about doing something to another almost always results in screwing up the self.

      Okay, I’ll shut up now. I hope I answered your question!,


  4. Hi Allen,

    Thanks for your reply. So, just to confirm, this post is really about creating tension around the torso much more than rotating the pelvic bowl between the femoral heads?


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Steve,

      We want to leave the pelvic bowel neutral.

      So we are moving the tissue around the spine. This will eventually begin to torsion the spine. As this happens, we leave the pelvis neutral and the skull neutral. Thus creating tension in the tissue and the spine itself.

      Also, if done correctly, this movement will also cause the tissues around the femurs to also pull around the bones. Eventually, it will try to pull the bones themselves unto torsion.

      Eventually, one will find that the same happens with the tissues around the humorous bones. I would ignore that for now and concentrate on the torso and leg connection.

      One common mistake that individuals make is making the tissues around the extremities torsion (locally) because they are “supposed to.”

      They torsion as a result of whole body tissue movement created via intent (purposeful and specific usage of the mind) manipulating the relationship between gravity and normal force in the body.

      The parts of the body with the most mass and tissue are the parts that, when they move, cause the most movement throughout the body.

      Thus, bringing us back to the torso and upper legs.

      The elvis stays neutral for this exercise. It eventually does move of course, we just haven’t gotten their yet.



      1. Oops!

        I meant to write “pelvis.” But “elvis” works just as well. Elvis needs to stay neutral for this exercise. No suggestive gyrations or grinding please!


  5. Hi Allen,

    Yes, I’d agree Elvis works too! Thank you again for posting all this stuff. What little progress I have made using the methods you’ve laid out has been enough to make it clear that here is something deep and profound. I suspect that this methodology you’re sharing really is the keys to the kingdom if you can do your homework correctly.


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks Steve,

    What I have shared so far is basically stuff I made up to keep things as simple and foolproof as possible. I’m hoping that with reading, thinking, and basic practice, there might be enough comprehensible that when I begin to roll out Shirata’s Tan Doku Dosa, people might have half a chance to see what is in there. I’d hate for folks to make the same mistakes I did. Also, I’m hoping that readers begin to understand Aiki well enough that, when I share the translation of Shirata Sensei’s essay, people might have half a chance of recognizing the profundities that are contained in it. He lays out Aiki and explains how Ueshiba communicated about that over time.

    Those that don’t “get it” are self identifying. That has always been the case and I’ve resigned myself to that fact quite a while ago. I’m just fulfilling my debt, to pay it forward. We each get what we get when we get it. And hopefully that knowledge all comes together over time to form a greater image.

    All the best,


    1. Hi Ady,

      Your question is a difficult one for me to answer authentically. You see “kua” is a Chinese term and my experience is primarily Japanese. My understanding of the term “kua” it that it is meant as the area where the head of the femurs and the socket of the pelvis meet. Due to this understanding, it seems to me that “kua rotation” is an apt description since this is the area (besides tissue) being moved. Neverthelss, the term “Kua” and “Kua rotation” may have a different meaning as it is used in various Chinese arts. Therefore, I hesitae to affirm your question.

      Perhaps other’s with more CMA experience can share their respective understandings in this area.



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