Aging Martial Artists

When older martial arts are practice many tend to think, Tai Chi Chuan. Where older practitoners are seen in parks, etc. making slow movements that are graceful, rhythmic and peaceful. Aging martial artists have to deal with those aging issues just like people who are not martial artist but one of the great things about martial arts is that one can practice the arts regardless of their age.

Tai Chi Chuan is a wonderful and beneficial system for any age but is especially beneficial, in my view, to those who have reached the, “Winter Years” of life. It is a wonderful time of life, the age beyond the first sixty years. The changes nature inflicts on us can be mitigated by certain mental and physical efforts and this blog is about how the effort of martial arts practice can and does mitigate and alleviate the aging processes.

So, this blog will be about that aging process and how the practice of martial arts can help. The first article that will follow will simply list those aging issues that directly relate to the practice of martial arts such as balance as it relates to falling. As with any effort such as this it warrants the readers effort in understanding that this effort is from a non-professional view and with that stated I encourage each reader review the caveat provided here and at the start of each article. I also encourage each and every person who is taking up this practice to make sure it meets approval by your personal medical professional. Get that before you try to participate in martial arts or any program that would benefit you as you age.

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

Bibliography (Click the link)

Hey, Attention on Deck!

Hey, NOTHING here is PERSONAL, get over it - Teach Me and I will Learn!

Search This Blog

Friday, January 15, 2016

Tenshin/Taisabaki and Age

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

As we age certain changes occur in our bodies and for this article I want to talk about body movement with footwork and legwork as a particular topic to discuss. As we age our ligaments, tendons and muscles lose mass and flexibility. Add in that our balance tends to become less stable and you find yourself walking and moving to compensate.

One factor why karate and martial arts are beneficial is the practice can be taken into our winter years. As we age we can find our gate, the space between each foot when walking, etc., changes and gets shorter. Our balance, think of vertigo and so on, makes us nervous along with the dangers of falling - gravity can be a real bitch. The practice and continued training in karate and martial arts will combat this tendency so that we don’t take on that “Short-gate-walk” often observed in older folks, i.e., the shuffling along walk pattern, etc.

Practicing tai-sabaki or what I prefer, Tenshin, keeps us moving and using legs so that the muscle, tendons, etc., maintain as much elasticity and range of motion that will combat and delay that old man shuffle. Add in the longer and deeper stances while moving you get this great combination that does the above while maintaining strength and stamina. Both necessary to compensate and maintain our movement so that the aging process is held in abeyance. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

Tai Sabaki [体捌き]

It means in martial circles, "Whole body movement." It is body management in the throws of fighting, combat or conflict when utilizing martial technique. It is more a means to move the body off line or out of the line of attack while countering with martial technique. It moves you, the attacked, into a more advantageous position to counter while avoiding the attackers technique. Tai sabaki is related to ashi sabaki (footwork) and te sabaki (handwork).

The first character means, "body; substance; object; reality; counter for images," while the second means, "handle; deal with; dispose of, etc."

Tai sabaki (体捌き) is a term from Japanese martial arts and which relates to 'whole body movement', or repositioning. It can be translated as body-management. It is a term used widely in and very important in kendo, jujutsu, aikido, judo, karate and ninjutsu.

Tenshin [転身]: Lit. Change direction or course; Tenshin is one of the three basic elements of Ti. It is used to generate an effortless and powerful body movement and acceleration. One of the trademarks of the Shinjinbukan School is the use of tenshin to create an immense thrust for each tsuki (hand strike) and keri (foot strike). 

Tenshin is commonly defined as "Body Displacement". This is a very superficial definition because tenshin is more than just moving from point A to point B. Tenshin could be compared to the breath of life: "Without air, we can't live. And without tenshin we can't move or use our body efficiently". In fact, tenshin is directly connected to the use of breathing techniques. For this and other reasons, a more holistic definition of tenshin would be: "The most efficient method of body mechanics used to generate body movement".  

Furthermore, according to Onaga Kaichō, "Our bodies do not move back and forth, but only left or right". The reasoning behind this approach is that we do not have four legs. Consequently, we do not have front or back legs, only left and right

No comments:

Post a Comment