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Old 06-07-2009, 12:35 PM   #6
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,616
Re: Teaching Methodology

Karolina Owczarzak wrote: View Post
More interesting stuff! Thank you, Erick-san.

This makes me think of other instances of the relation between vibration, movement, and balance, e.g. in autistic rocking and stimming, as well as dyspraxia and facilitated communication (or just in general, facilitated movement).

And yet further thread drift -- ah well. ... Go with it, I say...

This story about a teenage girl with cerebral palsy who began aikido training was noted on Aikiweb a little while back.

My stepmother is a OT. The problem with CP kids is that their spasticity is only exacerbated by their neurological effort to move the more distal parts of their extremities, whereas the closer to the core, the less spasticity is experienced. It makes sense therefore that for a kid with CP, aikido training would reduce tend to distal spasticity in favor of more relaxed core-driven movement, and create a more functional operation of the limbs. If you think about it -- aiki likely developed (IMO) from observations about what was left to make the body operate in battle after the limbs were exhausted and almost completely limp hours into a fight. The core still works but is reduced to very basic stability functions -- and the limbs are barely answerable -- not unlike CP.

I also think that aiki relies more heavily on cerebellar "tuned" reflex processing for movement, which, in most undamaged brains relies much more motor-cortex driven (voluntary) processing, and which (the cortical-cerebellar connections) is where a lot of the breakdown in various forms of CP occurs. While it is only anecdotal, the proof that aikido helped this little girl's movement so dramatically tends to confirm the suspicion on the nature of the neuro-mechanical function of aiki.

And -- I always thought it took a little brain damage to fully appreciate Aiki


Erick Mead
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