View Full Version : Maai, Musubi ?

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04-06-2006, 01:27 AM
Hi everyone,

I was wondering how people train these two aspects of Aikido individually.

Are there any specific training drills that you can do to only focus on Maai and Musubi individually?

I would really like to focus on these areas because during training we don't really have time (as we go through certain techniques more often than not). Don't get me wrong I love techniques but I want to learn the basics to almost perfection before I start moving on.

I am now 6th Kyu ( where I study Aikido your first grading is for 10th Kyu) and am starting to be a model for the lower ranked students for guidance. I would really like to pass on the correct way to perform techniques and what finner points to look at when a technique isn't working. To do that I need to train the basics more so they become second nature.

I know there is years of experience and knowledge here in this forum and would appreciate your thoughts and ideas.

Thanks in advance
Ben :)

Dirk Hanss
04-06-2006, 03:48 AM
Hi Ben,
every partner exercise is training for ma-ai and musubi, for ma-ai training with cutlery ( :sorry: , i.e. buki/weapons) is helpful.

I just recall one special exercise for both.

One partner (or one aikidoka of a group) takes a jo at one end and swings it horizontically. The other(s) now just try to enter and start a technique - just do the opening of the technique as we do not want to waist time.

First you have to learn to control your fear, or you will never get right timing. When things work well you can start to increase speed. The goal is to step in at the right time as calmly as possible.

The first time, you do it, you will find it strange that speeding up does not increase necessary speed to enter significantly, as the frequence does not change much (basic physics).

If you really want to change frequence, take a lighter jo or bokken and then maybe a tanto? And then do not swing your whol body, but only your forearms - that's challenging ;)

No just joking - we only do it with a jo. The rest is done with "normal" aikido technique exercises.

04-06-2006, 04:34 AM
Thanks Dirk, I will defiantly try your suggestion.

Ben :)

Ron Tisdale
04-06-2006, 09:42 AM
I would stress that you should be training ma ai and musubi with every technique. Some nights I'll pick a specific principle to work on in the class. What ever the instructor is doing, I will add something specific to it, and focus on it. In the case of ma ai, it helps if you have someone with longer reach who punches or kicks powerfully. Ask you partner to really focus on being on target with their attacks and to 'bop' you lightly when your distance/timing is off. Ex-kareteka are really good for this sort of practice.

In the case of musubi (joining/connection), I find that waza which involve a series of tenkan/kaiten are really good (also for ma ai). One waza we did last night involved entering as someone grabbed for your hand, retreating the hand and cutting with the other hand, entering kamaemi, huge front pivot all the way behind your partner, back pivot, xstep in to throw with iriminage. With all of that movement, uke should be at the same distance from you through the whole technique. If you don't first join with their movement by initially following them, then leading them, you can't do the waza. Very challenging. Look for waza like that to train your ma ai and musubi.


04-06-2006, 10:02 AM
Maai: distance
Musubi: connection

Use your eyes to really see people.
Use your ears to really listen to them.
Use your body to really touch them.
Use your heart to really teach them.

Once you learn to really connect, you can move people at any distance.

Kevin Leavitt
04-06-2006, 03:16 PM
I think that it is important to understand the concepts, but you train them through doing aikido holistically. I personally would not single these things out as because if you concentrate on them, well, you are missing other things.

I'd experience aikido as aikido and learn these concepts over time as you gain an understaning through your total experience.

I like Lynn Seiser's concepts, they really drive home what is important, it is not the hand position, timing, and technical stuff...it is the experience we gain through our senses.

04-06-2006, 03:22 PM
I like the training exercise in which uke attacks shomenuchi (straight strike down the forehead) and nage moves toward them, tenkans to pass by them, and ends up behind and facing toward uke. (You can turn either toward or away from uke; these will later suggest different techniques.) You need connection in order to move when uke moves. If the exercise is done well uke should feel inclined to turn around and see where you've gone--it's a sudori, a "disappearing throw", without the throw.

This also works with bokken for both partners.

Mary Kaye

04-10-2006, 12:35 AM
Thank you to everyone that posted a reply. Your time and effort is much appreciated.

Ben :)