Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the
world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to
over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a
wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history,
humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.
If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced
features available, you will need to register first. Registration is
absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!
For this post I am grossly underqualified and comicly overpaid as it is. Warning! However, impudent brat that I am, I'm still going to dip my toes into writing on the topic that has completely grabbed me at the moment; the nature and implication of space. In aikido, of course, but perhaps in ways that aikido can also shadow.
1) A person's center is the sum of their weight and balance distribution, this may not correlate with their spatial center. Like the balance point on a sword, a key benefit of focusing on intention/action through this is that direction and energy can be rapidly and efficiently redirected. Conversely, when action is not 'centered', there must be a greater telegraphing to reach the same conclusion. Effect can be lesser and injury from the disjunction can be greater.
2) As discussed last post. Movement is defined by the enveloping stillness. It is the moment of movement that removes uncertainty and possibility by the very act of commitment. Likewise, stillness in the midst of movement creates uncertainty, and can be utilised effectively by nage if they have sufficient certainty themselves.
3) If we think of space and anything else as the only two substances in a given area, we see a balanced use of all, where all places in that space seem to have an equal distribution of both. Techniques, in this light, can therefore be seen as a way to restore balance to the situation in a way that bypasses mere human desire for efficiency or rationalisation.
4) The nature and discipline of space can change in tandem to the shift of time. Just as there seems to be infinite types of time speeds that are dictated by context, the nature of space is impacted by time's ebb and flow since it affects us and we can affect space.
5) When restricting physical space available to use, the magnitude of movements can seem quite a lot larger. While more difficult to cope with, restriction seems to stretch us, to grow us in ways we never imagined possible. Like the intrigue of watching a whispered argument, the ripples can also often be harder to spot but have consequences of a deeper and more influential nature. It is these consequences that people can more easily see and assume to be the effect itself.
6) When there is distance, there is disunity. When there is disunity, there is a lost potential from assets not combining, from weaknesses not being mutually protected. Like the Roman shell. In aikido, when the body parts work independantly, the chasm left around the center of the torso fails at both of these. The real drawback to this seems to be the wasteful effort needed to regroup when this is paid due attention.
7) If we think about space as a substance, as an essence that does indeed wrap around us, one can see the disharmony of one substance working and pushing against the other. Especially in the beginning of learning aikido. As one progresses, one seems to become more like a clownfish amongst the sea anemone in the gradual trust, gradual knowing give that starts to happen. Space, then, is an essence that we must become intimately aquainted with, to work efficiently within it.
8) What we cannot conceive of, we isolate or minimise. We think of space as the absence of presence, but we cannot categorise a presence we do not recognise. So too must we reflect, for ourselves and for others. In aikido, an attacker should be considered an opposition at most, an 'other' at the ideal. In this way, we can see their nature and intent regardless of what it may be. The trick, then, is to be able to both percieve and know without categorising, without passing a judgement.
9) Balance is the ideal to which we will always strive for but never attain. The perfect spatial equilibrium that continually fails to come to full fruition. That's why taking someone's physical/mental balance in aikido is so crucial and yet so devestating. It brings honesty, but also an awareness of vulnerability that is otherwise hidden or dormant.
10) Space. A beginner cannot see it but comprehends the magnitude, senior can see it but cannot but grasp the minutia of it. A junior does not know but succumbs, a senior knows but cannot give in. A junior seeks to learn of it, a senior seeks to learn through it. A junior falls, a senior flies.