View Full Version : Always Aiming

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04-26-2009, 05:41 PM
Breathe in, metsuki and musubi.

Breathe out, kuzushi.

Always aiming.

When I first starting to learn how to break things (board and brick, not people anymore), I was taught that I needed to aim through the target. If I focused on the target, my hand would bounce off the surface and probably break instead. If I focused through the target, aiming at the floor, as if the target wasn't even there, the target would break and my hand was uninjured. I liked that idea.

As a shooter I learned: ready, aim, fire. Yet most of the time I just fired without aiming, usually missing the target. Learning target acquisition is as important as learning the basic body mechanics of pulling the trigger.

I also learned that in life, not to just focus on the target goal. Most people slow down just before the goal and often fail at that point, never accomplishing the target goal and reinforcing self-fulfilling limitations and failure.

Elite athletes aim through the finish line. Many avoid post-event-depression by planning the next event before they finish the current one. This facilitates the aim through the event and maintains the momentum of discipline and training in a certain direction. It is direction/process-oriented.

There is a difference in business if you focus on a career path or simply the next job or raise. There is a difference in life if you strive for the quick-fix short-term happiness (usually a immature and insecure scarcity mentality) or the long-term fulfillment that only comes from being dedicated to the decision, direction, and discipline of happiness and success (a mature and secure belief in abundance). Without acquiring a decisiveness of direction and discipline, we will aimlessly wonder around wondering why we are not getting anywhere.

The other day I had the opportunity to teach Aikido. I used a variation of Tenshin-nage, or heaven and earth throw. It is called that because it is usually executed off a double arm grab (Ryote-tori). One hand goes down and the other hand goes up. But goes up or down where? What is the direction or target one is aiming at? So I took the bottom hand to an outside rear balance (Kuzushi) point by gently intercepting and aiming my Uke's wrist bone taking balance. I took the upper hand into a nikyo directly on their centerline and directed/aimed at their rear Kuzushi point, reinforcing taking balance. Two points of contact and connectedness (Musubi). Did I mention I tend to look into and through Uke's eyes (Metsuki) in the direction I want them to go, back and down? I do. It's an alpha-male dog whisperer thing. I know they often tell you not to look into your opponent's eyes because they may take your spirit. Or, you can take theirs. A third point of contact and connectedness (Musubi). Finally, I just rolled/waved the weight of my hips/center into their center. Yes, a fourth point of contact, connectedness. They dropped on the spot.

My feet, knees, hips, shoulders, eyes, hands, and intent/mind were all aimed in one direction. I was taught that structural alignment was important or energy would be wasted, not transferred. I was also taught the Ki/energy followed the direction of my structure and my intent. So, not only am I to keep my one-point, I am to align and aim it all in one direction.

When I first saw this type of movement/technique in Aikido, it looked like magic to me. That's not totally true. It didn't look like anything. I couldn't see it, but I sure could feel it. Straight to the floor I could feel it. But I didn't feel the Sensei or see him move. I wanted me some of this. So I continued to train and show up at seminars and try to learn something new or at least reinforce something old. But, even those new learnings were aimed in but one direction.

I have often been kidded about my sense of discipline. Once I get my head around something, and make a decision, I aim in that direction, and start walking. The discipline is to walk that way every day. I don't always know where I am going, because I never would have thought I'd make it this far (neither did most people). But, we'll see how much distance I can make. Let's see how much distance we can make together.

Breathe in, metsuki and musubi.

Breathe out, kuzushi.

Always aiming.

Thanks for listening, for the opportunity to be of service, and for sharing the journey. Now, get back to training. KWATZ!