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Old 10-18-2009, 09:36 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
Sumo What Can It Teach Us?

I was talking about Sumo on another thread on how it differs from Aikido because it is about collision of force, at least at the on -set of a match either Oshi-zumo or Yotsu-zumo and the later is the focus of this post and referred to generally as technique. On the whole these techniques real make good use of making a good connection, controlling the opponent's center.

By connection I mean, when you move your opponent moves with you in the same time and direction. This is done when you have control of the center of the opponent's center of gravity and balance and the opponent has lost that. All the while you are maintaining your own. This isn't new, and that is my point.

Many of these techniques (including Oshi-dashi and Oshi-taoshi require the hip to come in play of both fighters. For one the small of the back on the winner is not broken; it isn't convex or concaved the hips are straight and in alignment with a straight spine. Whereas, the losers hips and spine are all out of alignment. The former being a stronger position, the later being the weaker position. This has great significants and modeling to understanding and utilizing connection and control of the center. By utilizing proper position and movement of hips and proper spine alignment combined are one of the major factors in the difference between winner and loser.

One might think that the stronger muscle groups of the hips and spine would contribute to achieving and maintain proper position through out a technique. But this isn't the case, completely. Yes, there has to be some muscle tone to keep the body from simply collapsing to the ground. The muscles only have to be strong enough to keep the hips and spine in place for the winner. This is the opposite for the loser who has to fight against forces and limitation of movement to right themselves. Unless they understand movement differently, and not struggle against force. Instead adjust the hips and spine where there is least resistance to try and right themselves. This true in away for the winner. He too can use other dynamic forces to help keep his hip and spine in proper position without exerting much muscle energy and tension to do so. That can be in his over all body position due to the technique to support his proper position- this can be readily seen in many techniques done during a match. In many techniques in Sumo it is center to center contact or in close proximity; modeling something we need to pay attention too.

Here is what Sumo can teach us, that proper body alignment (support your local chiropractor ) is essential to Aikidoka's. Don't believe me? Watch films of O'Sensei when he was young and when he was old. Look at his hips and small of his back, note what they do and what they don't do. Then do the opposite in the dojo at your next practice. You should find the importance of proper position has to do with getting that connection and controlling that center in your Aikido technique.

*In terms of Aikido practice and principle I was told this when applying say Nikyo. I would not have the proper hip and spine position as I described and the techniques was not as effective. FWIW. I am just sharing.
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