View Full Version : Totonoeru

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Benjamin Mehner
04-05-2011, 11:51 AM
This past weekend my dojo hosted a seminar taught by the man who taught my teacher, Yamane-sensei, from Sakura Aikikai in Sakura, Japan. He's a 7th dan shihan and he certainly impressed me. Being a beginner, this is the first time that I have witnessed someone at his level. His Aikido looked effortless, almost fake. When I got a chance to be uke while he demonstrated a technique to the class I found out first hand just how real and powerful his Aikido was. It was gentle, yet irresistible.

He spoke to us in Japanese for the most part, with my sensei translating for him. Yamane-sensei kept bringing up a concept which my sensei had trouble fully translating to us. It was totonoeru. He explained it as things being in order, and he said that it was this concept that made his Aikido what it was. Yamane-sensei demonstrated totonoeru to us by walking to the edge of the mat and lining up our sandals in an orderly manner. He was trying to tell us that this is a concept that we need to take to heart and apply to our daily lives, not just in the dojo. I will never forget the moment he looked me in the eye and said "Remember this word, totonoeru". My life is more than a little chaotic, so I intend to apply this concept to establish a more harmonious environment for me and my family.

Any thoughts?

04-05-2011, 12:06 PM
Hi Benjamin, sounds awesome. I have never heard that term, but the idea of lining things up means a lot to me.
Like, lets say some of the sandals make a nice line, but the next few are "out of line" with that. It's an analogy for what happens on the mat: If the lined up sandals are inside uke's body, and the rest are inside yours, you better line yours up with his, to be able to merge with him, yes? Then (and only then) can you push on your own sandals thereby making his move too. Without lining yours up first, the chain will just fall apart if you try to push.

Richard Stevens
04-05-2011, 12:57 PM
Common term. I've always used it as "arrange". 整える

graham christian
04-05-2011, 01:35 PM
It is a term used in various forms of Aikido. Tomiki, takemuso and Ki Aikido I believe. You yourself heard it from an Aikikai teacher.

I have seen it used to do with arrangement of exercises and also in the context of preparing yourself to use Ki. (Ki wo totonoero).

There's probably many references on the net.


Mary Eastland
04-05-2011, 04:51 PM
Ron reminds me that "neatness counts."