Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the
world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to
over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a
wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history,
humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.
If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced
features available, you will need to register first. Registration is
absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!
First training in the new year for me. My body is was still in the wrong time zone and since I was up at 0530 I figured that I would head over to the dojo and see if it was open. I got there an hour before class, and was able to get in some solo weapons time, and some time with Candice on weapons work, and some tai Jitsu time with Julia. This was great!!!! Class started, and I had already been on the mat a better part of an hour actually working on Aikido.
Still in class I could tell that I have been off the mat for 11 days. Felt like I didn't know anything. Worked on Ikkyo and Nikkyo from Shoman. It was good to be working on something that felt in some ways basic. It wasn't the best training that I had ever had in the world, but it was a concentrated, effort, working on getting back into the swing of things. Sensei came over at one point and helped me with the understanding of the different ways to set up the uke for either ura or omotee. It was really amazing watching and feeling it. Several times he came over and helped me or my partner during the class, I got to take some Ukemi from him which was wonderful. His connection to you is amazing. When he was talking about matching the energy of the uke and moving with the Uke it was like he was part of me, I would move and he was right there with exactly the same pressure, the same energy that he had in the first contact.
Important points to note in the technical end of this. That if you want the Uke to step backward and put you in the position to be able to do omotee really well stay closer to them when they are attacking so that they want to go back. If you want to do ura then stay a bit farther away so that their natural tendency is to step forward to push the attack then you have a better ability to go around the back, and more energy to work with in that situation.
I got to be the crash test dummy for Kokyu Dosa at the end of the class. Sensei was telling us to treat kokyu dosa like we were getting something out of our pockets. Not to think that it could fail, or to think about where to do it, but just like reaching in our pockets to get out our keys, to tip the person gently to the mat. Not to throw them to the mat, as this would create a different sense of power and aggression that would be met by the spirit and body of our partner. Then he used me for the uke on this. It was amazing feeling it in my body. When he just gently landed me on the mat, I didn't resist. When he came at it hard and like he was going to toss me to the mat I resisted a lot!!!! I think that there are some things here to learn about how to blend and work with energy too. There are ways that we communicate which are other than verbal, or intentionally physical. There seem to be ways to communicate safety in a situation, even one that you are taking control of to another person that are on a much subtler level. Not something that we can fake, or a manipulation but truly not meaning any harm to them as we work on our techniques together. This is also going to be true I think in situations that we are physically or mentally defending ourselves in the world outside of our dojos. If your aim is to kill the other person regardless of what is going on in the situation they are going to be able to sense than and are going to do anything to kill you in return, after all it becomes a contest to the death does it not? If on the other hand your goal is to gently take the person to the floor and hold them there till they calm down, or someone comes that can help them, there is a different goal, a different non-verbal communication that is being passed. It isn't necessary to argue that there is also a spiritual connection, although I have believe it to be there. The simply non-verbal communications that we pass back and forth are enough to see that behaviors can be changed in others by changing the way that we react to the situation and the way that we look at the situation, think about the situation, and feel about the situation. Our goals for any given situation are also going to effect our thinking, feeling, and emotions about that situation.