Movement segments or the concept of “3”
Whole body movement is made of linked movement segments and it is called “rendo”. Although it is not only a physical action, the brain (and its functions) plays also an important role.
When we consider mainly the physical actions, we can divide a movement segment action in 3 parts:
- root: source of force for movements
- joint segments: transfer of force by using the joints of the body
- tip: end of the line of force or the point of transfer into the opponent
By dividing the human body in 3 major segments we can focus on a smaller part of the body. Each segment can be divided into another 3-part segment. By using this concept of “3”, we can isolate partial movement and focus better on moving the partial segment. By using the skill of rendo or linking skill, whole body movement is created.
- Upper appendicular segment
- Central axial segment
- Lower appendicular segment
The central segment of the human body has 3 parts
- Head or top of the body.
- Upper torso – with kyokotsu as control system. Middle of the body.
- Lower torso – koshi/tanden/yōbu. Base of the body.
The upper appendicular segment, called the arm
- Shoulder or source
- Elbow or transfer
- Hand/wrist or extremity
The lower appendicular segment, called the leg
- Inguinal crease (mata) or source
- Knee or transfer
- Foot/ankle or tip (end of force line – see later)
The article “guide, movement and power” is related with the concept of “3”.
Segment of central body
Kyokotsu controls the central body. By manipulating kyokotsu, movement of the the arm segment can be controlled.
Kyokotsu has also an effect on the koshi/tanden/yōbu. Of course this area has to be free of tension. The movement of koshi/tanden/yōbu will have an effect on “mata” or inguinal crease.
There are 3 basic movements of the kyokotsu:
- Forward and back
- Up and down
- Figure 8
Segment of the arm
The power in this segment is a push/pull action. The hand is the leading factor and is a pulling action in the direction of the target, shoulder is the driving factor and is pushing forward. The elbow is transferring the pushing power in coordination with the pull of the hand.
Kyokotsu is controlling the power from koshi/tanden/yōbu and direct the power into the shoulder. The pointing of a finger has a pulling action on the arm, the elbow functions as a transfer for the power in the arm.
Segment of the leg
The lower segment (inguinal crease, knee and foot) uses the power of koshi/tanden/yōbu. The power is directed into the front foot, the knee is flexible and is used as a transfer. When the knee is frozen, the power cannot reach the foot. By using the skill of rolling feet, the body will move forward, the back leg is used as a a Nordic** stick for walking.
Some exercises : Weight shift – practical exercises.
** From Wikipedia – Nordic walking
Technique : The cadences of the arms, legs and body are, rhythmically speaking, similar to those used in normal, vigorous, walking. The range of arm movement regulates the length of the stride. Restricted arm movements will mean a natural restricted pelvic motion and stride length. The longer the pole thrust, the longer the stride and more powerful the swing of the pelvis and upper torso.
The body has more than 3 segments
The 3-part segment is of course a part of the whole body, and it is the skill of rendo to use the body as 1 whole part. Dividing in a 3-part segment is only a tool for focusing on a particular dynamic part of the body. We cannot infinite divide parts of the body, because it must be practical during training.
The end of the leg segment is the ankle/foot. By looking at the foot we can see a new 3-part segment.
- Heel or source
- Ball or transfer
- Toes or end of line
In Tomiki Aikido there are many solo- and partner drills with the purpose to link segments together.
Tandoku undo (tegatana dosa) is one of the favorite solo-drills for linking segments. In the next videoclip, tandoku undo – tegatana dosa is covered from the “segments” point of view. The first part is covering some isolated segment exercises. The linking is covered in the solo-drill of tandoku undo.
Basically all aikido techniques or waza can be used as a drill to create a specific skill. Creating the skill of rendo is very basic, unfortunately one of the most difficult to perform. Disturbing balance exercises is an ideal method to create whole body movement. It is not only arm movement, but all the segments needs to be linked to create balance disturbing.
Find here an example