Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement
I really like Erick's attempts, because at one time or other, the understanding and thought he brings to the issues will be expanded and transferred to the exact same things Mike, Rob, and Dan are talking about. It's probably just a matter of time before a hand-on experience happens. I don't agree with Erick's views on juji (it's not as simple as you make out, I believe, but I'll leave Rob or Mike to comment on that), or on omote and ura, but I certainly agree that not much can be said in public by one senior about another. So that's just clues thrown out for the benefit of those who already know what's being discussed. How's this for a quote (from a section entitled "Judo and Jujutsu"):
"First, there is no se-oi [taking weight on the back]. There is no pull. One does not grip tightly the lapel or sleeve. Both feet must use fully the way of no-feet and therefore do not grip the tatami. One moves under those conditions. The other may be as strong or conditioned in a sports sense as can be, that only serves to accentuate his weaknesses. Just a drop in the hips takes his center without feeling his weight, and the other does not realize that his weight is no consideration as he falls head-first to the mat. This is dangerous so a supporting hand needs to be ready."
Thus, a way of training is emphasized here, more than a particular mindset of how the body movement can be rationalized (I think at present no theory can fully explain complex movements without actually duplicating them). Further quotes about the training is "the existing strength must be actively denied, refused to be used... the athleticism and mobility of the feet must be negated and not used.... a new body must be forged which does not look strong or conditioned... It looks like a normal body without excess muscles." Here we have Kuroda Tetsuzan talking about training in his book "Ki-Ken-Tai-icchi no bujutsu-teki shintai wo tsukuru" (On the creation of a martial body unifying Ki, Sword and Body.) The way of training he expounds comes from his family style, from the kata. Seated kata practice is the vehicle for creating a seichusen and floating body which then is present whether standing or lying down, sitting he says is a quicker way to learn and build-in the particular body coordinations. There's more, but this should do for now.