Re: Principles of Aiki
George was very helpful for my students this past weekend. I have always had as a warm-up exercise a shoulder rolling routine which helps teach students how to free up the scapula and allow it to engage in a wide range of movements. We emphasize the importance of allowing the scapula to relax back into it's structure in order to allow a technique to work with better "Aiki." His description of sliding the shoulders together gave the students another visual image that allowed them to focus anew on the importance of creating this structure.
I cannot emphasize the importance of going out taking seminars with a variety of good instructors who understand the internal aspects of our arts. Looking at things from another perspective always helps to allow you to see better what your own instructor is doing. Sometimes we get use to training with only one person and our "eyes" become lazy as to what we see and understand.
Training experiences such as what George offered at my school only help me to better cue in on what my teacher is doing. This also allows my students the same opportunity to look at what I am doing from hopefully a deeper perspective.