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Old 11-20-2006, 08:46 AM   #120
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 931
Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Dan Harden wrote:
Why did Akebonna get off balanced and land foward?
Do you suppose if I were to push you -that I'd fall over if you moved? First off...I wouln't. Second, lets say even if you were to try and off-balance me by moving away then "leading or pulling and I just stood there...How would I do that? What am I doing? How?
Why did Akebono fall down?

I appreciate your earlier statement telling me what I do isn't Aiki. No problem. Your ealier Aiki description (of opening the door or leading the knob)....offers a a problem I'd never present you with.
Your solution is nullified by the fact that while you would be most likely pushed over...I am not pushing on you that way.
Aiki is not the two of you..never was. It is in you.

First to comment on this part. This has been a weird aspect of the push out exercise (if we're talking about the same one: legs mostly straight, mugamai/natural posture, one partner resists while one extends the arms...). Most people in Aikido think that to generate a lot of force, the attacker has to have a lot of momentum or must be off balancing themselves to throw their weight into the attack. Before ever dealing with the Aunkai, I knew this was false, but particularly after working on their exercises I'm getting a sense of how to actually do this. One of the guys we train with hasn't been able to move me in this exercise unless he leans into me with all of his weight, at which point I release the tension in my arms and he stumbles forward in a rather dramatic fasion. When it's my turn, I've pushed him back so suddenly that he's forgotten to absorb with his arms and had to take a few steps backwards. The guy in question is much stronger than I am, but he hasn't figured out how the exercise works *yet*. He will. I should point out that this isn't a rank beginner, we've been training together for well over a decade, and he has blackbelts in several arts. He has gotten frustrated at my pulling my arms back when he's leaning forward and started doing the same thing to me, only I wasn't leaning forward at all, so it didn't affect my balance in the slightest (my arms just shot out the rest of the way lacking any resisitance). *I'm not great at this exercise* but just doing it for a couple weeks has changed my ability to generate power and maintain body structure. However, I really believe that I would have never stumbled onto this method for power generation myself. Which leads me to...

...a point I made the last time we had this little discussion. I HATE the term "natural movement." By definition we can't really move unnaturally, so it's a really terrible way to describe things and leads to lots of confusion. I prefer to think of "intuitive" and "counter-intuitive" movements. Aiki works because it takes advantage of intuitive/reactive movements (in uke) through counter-intuitive strategies and movements (as I see it anyway). That's why I get my panties all in a bunch over people talking about "natural" movements in aikido. The real 'aiki' stuff is specifically the kinds of things that you wouldn't stumble across, and that's why they work.
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