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Old 08-21-2008, 03:48 AM   #62
Dieter Haffner
Dieter Haffner's Avatar
Dojo: Tai Wa Lokeren, Budokai Mechelen
Location: Lokeren
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 114
Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido


I have two exercises that might change your views on the 'how to use your partner's strength' question.
Ofcourse you need to feel it for yourself.
When I felt those things, it made me think differently about aikido.

Exercise 1:
Stretch your arm in front of you at shoulder hight.
Let someone grab the arm from under it with a strong posture.
Try to bring your hand to your belly in a big circle.
You will notice that when you muscle your way down, your partner will be able to easily hold your arm.
You should try to put your focus into your partners body (ex: its shoulder, back, knees, ...).
Then generate the weight from your feet into his body.
Your partner will feel as if a weigth of over 100+ kilo is consentrated on that specific point.
This will brake the structure of your partner (unbalance him) and you will be able to get your arm down.

Exercise 2:
Stand against the wall with heels and shoulders touching it.
Your partner pushes your chest/shoulders.
Try to move from the wall without touching your partner.
You will need to focus on your partner center.
The power that he gives you trying to push you against the wall will be redirected into his own system, braking his structure.
Giving you the possibility to move from the wall.

I have felt both exercises done to me, and was able to reproduce the second exercise in an easier version.
The most amazing about it is the way your body feels when they do these exercises. And all done with very little contact and movement.
For me, exercise 2 is a nice example of using your partner's force against him, literally.

I believe these are things that need to be rediscovered in aikido.
Other arts (IMA) have designed patterns to learn this stuff, where (most people) in aikido need to figure it out for themselves after doing a lot of techniques.
Maybe reinventing (by the masses) what it is all about is the next evolution in aikido.