View Full Version : Can anyone explain this?

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10-18-2004, 10:04 PM
I remember reading in "Budo" I think, that O-Sensei discovered the ability to manipulate Ki whilst struggling to fight a sumo wrestler. Now the story goes on to say that O-Sensei "drew" a circle around the wrestler and "containing" sumo`s power within that circle (whilest M.U. I assume was outside the power circle) he was able to easily pin him with one finger! :confused:

Now this seems to me to be beyond anything I thought possible...can anyone explain this?...was it merely a simple technique applied that we use today...or something else?

Many thanks for taking the time to read this. :)


L. Camejo
10-18-2004, 10:58 PM
Sounds like a very esoteric description of and application of Ma ai (distancing), leading and Kuzushi (balance disruption) to me.

The circle he drew around the sumo wrestler could represent the wrestler's range of effective power and skill in all directions (i.e. the places the Sumo could effectively attack while being balanced enough to complete an effective sumo technique on Ueshiba M.) this would establish a basis for Ueshiba M. to measure effective ma ai (i.e. stay out of the Sumo's range while being in a place where he could get off an effective technique instead). If the wrestler attempted to lunge or otherwise move beyond his effective tactical range for sumo techniques in order to engage Ueshiba M. it would be relatively easy for Ueshiba to unbalance him and apply a technique.

So "containing sumo's power" within the circle may have been his way of detecting the Sumo wrestler's effective range and as a result find a way to draw him out of it, where the Sumo wrestler would be weaker and he would be stronger as he applied kuzushi and the one finger pinning technique at the edge and outside of the wrestler's range of effective power and balance.

From what I heard about Sumo wrestlers, when they go into that deeply sunk fighting stance and have full control of their movements they are extremely difficult to move and unbalance and as a result are very strong when in that position and are ready to apply some devastating technique (especially atemi). The only way one could get off an Aikido technique would be to find some way to create movement in a way that puts them off balance, thereby weakening their strong structure, allowing one to get off a technique. One of the ways this could be done would be to provide a reachable target and then move it out of reach (ma ai and tai sabaki) as the Sumo's attack is about to land, from here it would be easier to unbalance and pin or throw the incoming wrestler.

Just my thoughts. Of course it could be some Jedi like application of the secrets of ki that I have not yet seen as well. :)


10-19-2004, 07:18 AM

I think Larry has this one covered pretty well.

I find this theoretical use of circles interesting and try to use these to explain how aikido balance taking can work when teaching particularly with beginners.

Firstly I'll use bokken suburi to allow the students to recognise their hara or centre. A few cuts is all it takes really to see that the end of the weapon mirrors the seika tanden. I then explain that this is the centre of the body, working from here allows the aikidoka to use all of their mass rather than arm muscles as an example.

Next step is to use this circle around the body concept. I start off by identifying the 2 weakspots around an individual in Kamae, we call these front triangle / back triangle. They sit on the perimeter of this imaginary circle.

No doubt there is a japanese name for these points that will be posted soon!

Finally we link the 2 concepts via exercise/technique. For instance in kotegaishi the wrist of uke is rolled down towards rear third point on the perimeter of ukes circle. Tori will have his own centre or Seika Tanden over this point so that his body mass re-inforces the kotegaeshi (see pain free kotegaeshi thread for more thoughts on this).

This allows our beginners to see that the smallest can defeat the biggest if they are centred and their uke is not. They just have to put themselves in the right place using irimi, tenkan or maybe tai sabaki.

As students progress then can increase the movement when practicing this and they can develop a sensitivity for putting their centre in the optimum position to maximise their power and to minimise ukes position. They become aware that if they do not draw uke out of his centre he remains strong, If they take him to far he has to move towards them and he becomes re-centred.

As the movement increases further the circles effectively become dynamic...which is why I think 'Aikido and the dynamic sphere' is such a fantastic name for an aikido book.

anyway...just my thoughts.



L. Camejo
10-19-2004, 11:11 AM

You have some pretty interesting concepts about Bokken there. I'll be analysing some of those in time to come.

I like your approach. Your two triangle concept is what we refer to as the weak line concept (my personal nomenclature). It works the same way, but I never thought of combining it with the circle concept etc. etc.

You've given some food for thought.:)

Arigato Gozaimashita

10-20-2004, 06:23 AM
Thanks Larry

I'm certainly taking some thoughts from the board so nice to feel I can give a bit back.

Good luck.