David Orange wrote:
Thanks for posting that!
And for Mikel, here are two video clips of my 18-month-old son doing aiki root movement. I teach that, when grabbed with a single-hand, same-side attack, you can turn either to the inside or the outside. The inside turn leads to gyaku-te seoi nage or shiho nage. The outside turn leads to sankyo (what Mochizuki Sensei called yuki chigae and Tomiki Sensei called kote mawashi). The root of the two techniques is just turning around in one direction or the other. In the first of these two clips, Ken spontaneously does the outside turn. The second clip opens when he has already made the inside turn and is moving toward gyaku-te seoi nage.
As I said in the article Roy referenced, I have observed aiki movement in a number of children. I'm always surprised that anyone thinks aiki isn't a natural thing. I feel like Ben Franklin saying that the static spark that shocks you when you touch a door knob is the same as the lightning that crashes from the sky. He almost killed himself demonstrating this idea with his kite in a thunderstorm. I think enough people have witnessed children doing beautiful aiki that there should be no more question about where aiki originates. To me, the only question is how to find that original aiki in ourselves and cultivate it to a more powerful level.
Best wishes to all.
The question becomes, do you believe that the root of 'aiki' is simply efficient body mechanics or do you believe it is a system of strategies and intents that can be manifest into a recognizable system? If you believe the root of aikido is simply efficient movement, then what separates it from any other martial art? I believe you can only trace the 'root' of aikido back to a point where it still somehow contains *distinguishing features that separate the art from other forms of combat or martial movement*. The movements of your toddler do not qualify for that in my book. You as 'uke' (and quite frankly, I think that referring to what you're doing there as uke is absurd) offer the clarity that lets us identify the root movements as aikido. The act of ukemi does not in any way indicate the art in question. I don't know how anyone can watch these videos and take them seriously.