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Old 10-08-2009, 12:56 AM   #5
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 813
Re: Aiki Physical Model -- Structure & Dynamic

I feel like I need a Physics degree to understand what's going on in here... But I like it. In a way I can catch glimpses of how we can describe what has been largely an indescribable element of Aikido.

What I would have generally described as the non-mechanical aspect of Aikido i.e. the Aiki or Mind-Energy-Body unity part is now hereto being described aptly as being mechanical/physics still. Does this help in the learning of it? Apparently so if Erick's students are to be believed.

Does it require actual/extensive physical instruction or can it be done just by understanding the concept as introduced by Erick to learn though... I wonder.

A large part of learning aiki is to take ukemi from the sensei. To feel how its done, to hear his explanation on how its done, and then to emulate, fail, experiment, get feedback and ultimately achieve some semblance of success.

I confess, I really can't understand everything that's been described above even though I suspect is been largely watered down for the benefit of us laymen. But what has been said is largely reinforcing my growing realisation that 'ki' has a very large number of subsets. A major part for the beginner-intermediate subset is how we train the physical body to react under force/pressure and how we use our own force efficiently.

Grounding incoming force and projecting the 'earth' into various parts of the body, extending it beyond our body into uke, taking uke's center, leading not forcing, wave/bouncing, impulse/ateru... I've seen it, felt it, heard it described from the esoteric to the scientific way, and it boils down to how well we can duplicate what we feel. If we can't make our body do what we are thinking of doing, the scientific explanation written like a manual might as well have been written in French.

I like training with bigger and stronger guys because it regularly dispels my confidence that I have truly absorbed the fundamental beginner-intermediate aiki subset. Elements work but I find losing control easier because there's no cheating here. You can't use a little force here and there to supplement the 'correct' way of doing things. Not without getting a forceful of resistance you can't possibly overpower.

For example doing sankyo last night against my uke who's taller and stronger, once you get him down keeping him there is messy if don't maintain control on his centre. You can't take control with your strength because he is stronger. You may make use of torque and leverage, that will give you the advantage, but in the end the use of such strength really shows that we're doing it the wrong way. And once he has achieved a certain height and position, you lose whatever leverage anyway and then you start thinking ok lets cranking his hands and resorting to pain and positioning. Come the day you meet someone who can take the pain, you lose again. And so you then say ok lets do henka waza... the fact that we've gone here is basically just to pick up the pieces i.e. survival mode.

Personally I won't want to try to bring uke up once I got him there. Especially if we don't want to use any of our strength. The element I desperately need to master is to ensure I can cancel his upwards resistance that comes from a stronger arm, leg and back muscles and height. Bouncing is less effective because I'm having trouble balancing the upwards amplitude against my force, and giving him space to move in for a strike. Load bearing? Power dampening? Might be an answer, in fact it did have a measure of success.

Actually it was the least tiring way of accomplishing my goal last night. Channeling his upwards force into my structure and into the ground and reversing it to bring him down. But then where is the 'sankyo' element of controlling? Where does the image of us holding uke up with sankyo come from?

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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