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Seeking Zanshin: Blood, Sweat, Tears & Aikikai Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 02-24-2005 11:53 PM
One small gal + a dojo full of big guys = tons o' fun
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 270 (Private: 12)
Comments: 195
Views: 820,967

In Miscellaneous Lessons Learned on a Windy Dock at 6AM Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #229 New 07-03-2007 01:53 PM
Just got back from a fun and relaxing Canada Day long weekend at Shoal Lake and naturally wherever I go opportunities to deepen my understanding of Aikido always seem to follow.

Rootedness on Unstable Ground

I woke up early on Saturday morning and did a hybrid of my AM workout on the dock --- some balance and Chi Kung breathing/centering exercises and basic Aikido kihon exercises such as different varieties of Irimi Tenkan (as well as some improvised cardio/strength ones thrown in for good measure later on).

As I was performing the balancing and centering exercises in particular, I found that Kawahara sensei's descriptive imagery of rootedness took on a new dimension. It was far more windy that morning than ever before and the already unstable dock would rock back and forth quite erratically. Up until this point, I had only had a physical understanding of rootedness "in one's feet" by way of feeling connection to the ground. I had only a mental understanding of rootedness in one's centre from feeling more stable on stable ground by lowering my centre of gravity (through squatting in Aikido technique). But when one's ground is itself unstable, one's ability to stay centered is no longer felt in the lower body but (as it became quite apparent to me on the dock) in one's hara. What was once solely a visual depiction suddenly became a sensory one.

The Aiki of Fishing

We did a fair amount of fishing this weekend, which I enjoyed (caught one Jack, which we ate, a couple nibbled but got away and one snapped the line and took off with my lure, the dirty rotter). I may have made this analogy before, but just in case I haven't I leave it for your consideration. As I was fishing, it occurred to me how much the process reminded me of the Aiki concept of leading: to reel in a fish you need to maintain a certain level of tension on the line; too much tension and the connection between you and the fish is lost --- the line will break and the fish gets away. Same with one's connection to uke.


To my fellow Canadian AikiWebbers, hope you had a wonderful Canada Day long weekend; to my fellow American AikiWebbers, have a great Independence Day tomorrow!
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