Carrying on from Davids question on the 'how not to throw thread' he asked how do I teach and get realities across regarding drills.
I have mentioned aiki taiso but I would do other exercises before that to give reality to a student as to the way and what I teach.
It all depends on the person to a great degree as to where I start with them. I inform them that Aikido is all about Harmony and how to do so and thus includes principles they are probably not used to.
That's about how I start basically. Informal, no big sell, no history lesson, no martial this or that, just the assertion that it's a way of self improvement where martial is a side effect.
Reality on the mind and what it does and more importantly how it get's in the way. A number of exercises demonstrating that and thus showing some principles I use.
For instance, holding the wrist. I will hold their wrist tightly and ask them to move or escape. They will do so. They will either be stuck or they will escape, it makes no difference.
I will then hold them again and ask them to try to do what they did before but don't complete it but rather explain what's happening. Then ask them to do it fully and this time I move them and they wonder how.
I ask them why would they want to escape? I get them looking at that rather than just thinking it's obvious.
I show how them trying to escape is resistance and thus I can feel their resistance going against my hold. I then show how due to this wanting to escape using resistance takes them into a fight, they are fighting being held, being trapped. By holding them so that they can't escape or at least very difficult I also ask them where their mind is. I point out it is now in my hand so as I move them easily I am in fact just moving their mind.
I explain how I am accepting their resistance, their energy and letting it go to my center and now I am left holding their mind.
So thus they are introduced to the principle of acceptance, center, and meanwhile recognising how the mind is all part of resistance and most important of all the fact that thus they were trapping theirself rather than me trapping them.
Part two of this same demo would be them holding my wrist. I get them to squeeze, then say come on harder. Then, as they are getting nowhere I tell them to use two hands and really try to squeeze and then to do it so hard that it could break my bones. They give up. I ask what they felt. They felt the harder they tried the less energy they had. I tell that that is the effect of non-resistance.
Then I get them to do it again and this time don't let me move. I move them easily. I then explain what I am doing. Two principles. 'Letting go' and 'giving' I do not fight the hold. The wrist is held. I explain what that equals to me. It doesn't equal 'I am held'. As soon as I equate it with I am held then I am trapping myself. No, the wrist is held.
I let go of the wrist completely. It is no longer my wrist. I show how the fingers are still mine, the hand is still mine and I move them freely and as I do this it moves them. I explain how I am still extending energy out of my hand or fingers but the wrist is not mine, I have let go of it. Then I accentuate it by giving the wrist to them. They obviously want it so I let go of it and in so doing give it to them. All part of non-resistance. Letting go and giving. As it is now not mine then nothing is trapped, there is nothing to resist and thus I can move freely wherever I want to move.
I can move my elbow, that's not trapped, I can move my feet, theyre not trapped, in fact no other part of the body is trapped so there is no reason for me not to be able to move freely.
Thus they learn letting go is fundamental to relaxing and thus non-resistance as well.
Just one example of introducing to principles and the effect and use of them. Just one example of the type of principles I use and a feel for the type of Aikido.
Not even any japanese words..lol.