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!
I always carefully observe how students distribute their weight when preparing to receive an attack. I note which foot receives the major portion of their weight and watch as they attempt to move smoothly into the technique we are practicing. Over the years I have noticed that no matter which foot takes the body's weight, the center must rise before it can move in a lateral direction. This is due to the fact that before a weighted foot can move the weight must first be transferred somewhere else.
Try this: get into a right stance and lean forward so that most of your weight is over your right foot (front). Now withdraw your right foot as though moving along the trajectory away from an oncoming yokomen strike. Notice that before you can move your right foot you have to shift your weight off that foot first. In effect, your center must rise. This takes time and you are vulnerable while executing this move. You can perform the same experiment with the rear foot only instead of retreating execute irimi by stepping in with the rear foot.
Now try this: Walk from one end of the room to the other. Notice how the trajectory of your center remains ‘flat' with respect to the ground. Also notice that you're not as aware of your weight shifting from foot to foot as you were in the prior example. This is what I mean by having no weight on your feet.
When you walk naturally you are moving from your center. Why should your motion during the execution of technique be any different?