That's very interesting. Would you be able to describe it a bit further? Is there a specific process you follow for driving the spine into the arms, for example?
The term drive is meant to be descriptive. Think driving a nail into the wall with a hammer, you don't hit the nail on the side, you hit the nail on the head, driving through it into the wall. Or if you want something a little more impressive sounding, think driving a spike into the ground with a sledgehammer. There are in a sense specifics, but they are best arrived at by grasping the idea somewhere and just expanding it to everywhere else, but that will really require a teacher to help you do.
Matthew Gano wrote:
And to check if I'm going off-topic too much: would you say that working on "spine driving" helps to connect movement to center? It seems like it would, though your "giant stick" comment makes me think perhaps not necessarily so. I'd definately like to hear what ever else you could share about it.
That drive is in and of itself a sort of connection. Is it the connection in aikido we're all seeking in the end? Dunno, still working on that question, and there are certainly other interpretations or terminology, probably more mainstream ones than that. But, if the spine were nothing more than a rigid stick, then how could it drive into things? In the hammer-and-nail analogy, it's like bashing into the nail with the handle of the hammer, rather than its striking surface. You don't bash into things with the side of your spine, you drive through the spine into things. The spine must be articulated to do that, which requires doing more than holding it in place like a fixed rod, it can flex and extend.
And then there are things it runs into, like the ribcage and the pelvis, which also have significant lives of their own, and in some sense the spine drives into them, and they drive into the spine, and the limbs drive into them, and they drive into the limbs, and you can subdivide it further looking for smaller and smaller drives in between the bigger ones...
But, what provides the drive/articulates it all, and for that matter how best to articulate it (cf: "you don't see naked skeletons walking around")? That's a big can of worms, and that's again where you probably are best leaving interpretations up to a specific teacher who can guide you through figuring that out hands-on in-person with a definite plan in mind. But it is certainly using a lot more stuff throughout the body than merely doing funny movements with your stomach (cf: "flux-capacitate with your dantien").