Re: A Primer on Aikido, Aiki and IS
Re. Japanese teaching methodology... I only have experience with one group in Japan, it's where I first started aikido. The senior students had all done lots of training with Yamaguchi Sensei since their late teens. They had very heavy hands and very soft touch and could move me in ways that just felt like something weird had happened. But the teaching methodology was to throw the crap out of you until you were so tired, until your muscles were useless and your brain completely fogged,until (as I understood it) your body just had to rely on something other than usual kind of movement. They would always say, "rakuni..." (which was translated as "relax" but not quite relax in the Western meaning). I really think that they just did not know any other methodology and did not know how to describe more clearly what was happening with their bodies. Plus they really liked the macho aspect if this kind of training. In any event, like many have already said, I wish I had been taught this IS/Aiki long ago. Like others have already said, this IS/Aiki approach is showing me something I was looking for for a long time, and really not getting.