Two Hundred and Forty-three
Below is a short video clip that introduces a very simple exercise using heavy arm to demonstrate the idea of weight underside. I begin with uke attempting to lift my arm while I maintain a relaxed posture with weight underside. Testing weight underside this way can be accomplished with uke lifting anywhere along the arm from wrist to just below where the arm meets the shoulder. For the purposes of this demonstration I have uke place his hand between my elbow and wrist. Once I have established a state of equilibrium with his lift I can apply weight underside in a more active manner by dropping my arm. If he maintains his connection with me and continues to try to lift my arm throughout my movement he will be taken off balance.
This exercise can be employed:
1. As a demonstration of the difference between using a coordinated mind and body and using muscle alone to achieve a goal. In this case the goal is to move uke and take his balance.
2. As a test to gauge individual progress in coordinating mind and body.
3. As a development tool to first establish and then strengthen mind/body coordination. The more I practice this exercise the easier it becomes for me to slip into that state of being characterized by mind and body acting in concert (mind/body coordination, correct feeling, extending Ki).
What I want to take away from this exercise is the awareness of how I feel when performing an action with mind and body coordinated. The small successes I achieve when first learning how to do this build upon one another, reinforcing correct feeling via a feedback loop.
(Original blog post may be found here.)
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