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A lot of the work I've been doing over the past month or so centers (pun!) on generating power -- ki -- during atemi and waza. A lot of that power is generated by sinking or dropping one's center during movement. This reminds me of what fighter pilots call "God's G." Fighter pilots make maneuvers that result in forces several times the normal pull of gravity. They measure those forces as "G-forces" or "Gs." Two Gs are twice the force of gravity, etc. But when flying straight and level -- or simply standing up -- there's 1 G. Pilot's use that 1 G, or God's G, to add energy to some maneuvers, or bleed energy away from others.
I can't help but see a parallel with the ki work I've been doing. Previously, I focused mostly on moving my center on a horizontal plane, but dropping my center and taking advantage of God' G adds significantly to the energy I can apply. A natural consequence of dropping my center is acceleration during technique that gives a change in tempo during waza.
Again, a lot of my previous study resulted in a focus on doing techniques smoothly and without cheating by speeding up to get ahead of uke. For that matter, uke were not supposed to get ahead of nage either. This is good training, and that sense of matching speed and giving an appropriate attack is very much a part of training at my new dojo. However, I'm realizing that working at an appropriate speed does not mean that every movement during the waza are done at the same speed!
Saturday we worked on basic movements and kata during iaido class. The kata are somewhat similar to the kumitachi I studied previously, but with different emphasis and technique for the cuts. However, the need for zanshin and the transference of principles from sword to aikido are readily apparent.
I've got a number of annoying problems to work on for my sword work. My footwork is strange, but correct on the left side and weird on the right. Finally, I need to relax a lot more on my cuts (making sure the sword follows a clean line on cuts) and on my stances.
Aikido class was very interesting too. We worked on sankyo. The technique as taught at my new dojo is different than the more classical technique as most aikidoka would perform it, but the end result is unquestionably sankyo -- it most certainly felt like sankyo.
It's a lot like the difference between multiplication and division. Three times four is twelve, and twelve divided by four is three. No matter how you look at the problem, the relationship among the numbers does not change.
For the past two weeks, I've been suffering from strep throat. After nine days on one antibiotic, I still wasn't feeling well and was actually feeling worse. So the doctor changed antibiotics for me and now, after three more days, I'm finally starting to feel better.
Naturally, I haven't felt well enough to train much, which is very frustrating. I've made it to two iaido practices, but not aikido. I should be back in the swing of things this coming week.
In the nearly ten years that I've been training, I've had to take time off several times. I've taken time off for injuries, writing my thesis, taking care of my wife and son after my son's birth, and various illnesses. The key is to get back into training as soon as possible and work through the inevitable frustrations of loosing ground due to lack of training.