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WolFlow 10-14-2014 09:05 AM

Re: Refining my view of aiki
Yeah but I donīt mean laying on top distributing the weight and just control someone. Thatīs basic Grappling skill you will get over the years. I talk about the ability to take people down, defend the takedown, doing balistic deep striking and kicking, evading without much effort. Sweeping people, taking balance, etc.

mathewjgano 10-15-2014 11:14 AM

Re: Refining my view of aiki
Rupert and Bjoern, thank you for sharing your insights! It is very much appreciated! The aspect that catches my beginner mind the most is that idea of feeling. I'm a dabbler compared to most people here (although I do consider myself a serious life-long student of conflict resolution and Aikido), so I don't mean to sound like I really know what I'm talking about, but the sense I get is that paying attention to what's happening inside of the body is every bit as important as paying attention to what's happening outside, and that while we all pay attention to some degree, we tend to focus much more on the outside factors. It's hard to be aware of so much at once and upping the sample rate of our attention is one of the biggest mental aspects to learning how to use the body most efficiently. This is where slowing things down and focusing on feeling comes in handy, since it allows the mental sample rate to catch up to what's happening, and that makes it easier for the body to "fill in" those weaker openings that chronic bad habits impose upon our bodies. We need to be working with people who are sensitive enough to perceive those things we cannot, in order to be most effective at this. And this is where the partnered feedback becomes so important.
...again, not trying to teach anyone anything here, just thinking out loud.
Take care,

mathewjgano 10-15-2014 11:34 AM

Re: Refining my view of aiki
...Our bodies communicate to us all the time, so I don't mean to suggest that people aren't paying attention to their insides. The impression I get is that it's a matter of developing the sensitivity to unpack the load of messages your body is sending to you, addressing the individual components of that on their own terms, and then repackaging it all into a cohesive whole. When I'm walking I often play with how I'm engaging my feet and toes and have noticed that this makes my hands want to do sympathetic movements. For example when I create a kind of suction cup with my foot, I notice my hand wants to make a similar shape. Whether that's because I've just conditioned it to do that or because it represents some innate relationship I can later utilize to greater effect is almost moot to the process of discovering how my body can operate. However, that's where the feedback and constant training (i.e. testing) come into play. Through this, we can learn more about the contexts which make these little things valid (or not) and purposeful additions to the whole.

WolFlow 10-16-2014 11:29 AM

Re: Refining my view of aiki
Thatīs true and one of the biggest challenges. You must find the balance between relaxation and tension.

If you just relax you will be like a cooked noddle and not very effective and if you tense up like crazy you canīt do much either.:-)

Many people carry chronic tensions around from working desk jobs (shoulders), mental stress and physical injuries and donīt even recognizing it.

If you tell someone relax everyone will be different since not everyone has the same feeling for his internal body and the same will be if you tell him to tense up.

The best guys I felt had both. I would call it a relaxed tension like a guitar string and I belive this should be one of the main goals. First while you are moving on your own and later when people are trying to attack you maybe first prearranged but later definately free.

Working slow is a great tool to research your own movement patterns but you have to be honest to yourself while doing it.

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