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Old 02-24-2011, 10:41 AM   #5
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,135
Re: Ikeda's videos, my video, your video. Kuzushi on contact.

Like Michael said, thank for posting your video, its brave to do such a thing.

First, understand what Ikeda sensei is doing is a very high level of refinement over basics. Don't beat yourself up too much if you cannot do what he does...
Second, Sensei often slows down or makes bigger the movements he is demonstrating so that you can actually see what he is doing. You have to understand for practice purposes we are not talking free style. I can tell you that he can deal with anyone; sometimes the movement looks fake.

Kuzushi is the physical balance breaking that accompanies ki no musubi (musubi); this is the "aiki" thing. Sensei creates a structure that undermines your balance before you touch him. By connecting to your center before contact he breaks your structure so by the time you grab him you are toast. To me, this is the "aiki" that Gleason sensei says is missing from aikido; we have no connection before we do technique.

Alot of sensei's techniques are about timing and structure. No fancy wrist twists, no flashing hand turns, no muscling, etc. What he does is about moving your center to affect your partner's center. You unify your partner's balance to your own, and then move your body while maintaing balance; your partner's balance will have to follow. This is "connecting" as I describe it. Most of the time I feel like I need to stabilize myself against sensei (i.e. my balance is very dependent upon him). This is why uke looks like a tool - our balance is undermined.
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