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Old 06-13-2012, 01:01 PM   #28
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Gary Welborn wrote: View Post
Thanks for sharing. The first partial quote from the original entry and the second partial from a later entry seems to me to open space to ask a question about the how of the body. Putting aside the order of things, i.e. Spirit, Mind, do you work the body to allow it of be an effect part of the whole when doing nikkyo? How do you train (drills, etc.) to have the body work in doing nikkyo using your Koshi approach? Is it different training for the Kokyu approach? For me doing nikkyo is a body closing activity on my part and I am trying to effect the other persons feet. I want them light on their feet . With uke my intent goes through the their elbow, through the lower back and through the leg to the ground, breaking the connection, My hold on the uke's wrist and such is like a hug that can't be broken, their is a weight drop, a weight shift, I keep my center/dantien pressurized and I close...a feeling to my light drawing in rather than expanding.

For all of these elements there are drills, some of them solo drills. A whole bunch of folks provide these kinds of practices to help with the whole. what kinds of practices or drills do you use for your body practice?


Good question Gary which I need to clarify first.

As you know my emphasis is spiritual drills. There are also mental drills. There are also physical drills.

On the mental side I usually start off even with beginners asking them questions and getting them looking and seeing there is another way. For example I can grab them, grab their wrist hard, squeeze hard, hold with two hands, all kinds of holds and ask them what they are trying to do as a response and why? Inevitably they say they are trying to escape and the why is varied but basically to escape being trapped. This is considered normal yet in my Aikido is not. The mind says escape, fight, etc. So the first drills are to show not to use that mind and how to use another way which doesn't equal such reaction and leads to new thinking.

Anyway back to body. The first drills are Aiki taiso. Body movement and body movement whilst keeping center and extending Ki. The purpose is to allow the body or cell memories to get used to the body motions involved in Aikido. So from taisabaki, tenkan, ikkyo, funokogiundo, ukemis backwards, forwards, (sidewards) etc etc.

Then geometry of movements in Aikido.

At first the concentration is very much on correct body movement for the beginner but the emphasis given is still more on the spiritual principles and the geometry. In other words why are you doing Ikkyo exercise? What does it do? Where does it come from? What principle should you be using when doing it? So although these are body movements the whys and wherefors have to be adhered to as more important.

Whilst doing these things using Ki and with tests then many body adjustments and awarenesses of happenings in the body are come across. However, the aim is to do eventually based solely on principle application and what feels like nothing happening within the body, as if it is an empty vessel. The only changes are in energy feelings.

I cannot escape mentioning spirit, mind, body in that order here because within my philosophy is firstly as I said before spirit brings harmony to mind and body. So now secondly and importantly I say eventually you have to trust the body as it knows what to do so you don't interfere and try to make it do. Like with a weapon be it a sword or whatever, if you learn the correct principles to adhere to and are thus in tune with then your job becomes letting it do what it 'wants' to do, like it knows what to do.

Therefor by using Ki and space and kokyu etc. spiritually the body gets used to and does what it needs to do. You merely become aware of the subtle changes and thus aware of when you are applying the principle concerned or if you only think you are because the body energy feeling or energy location is out.

That said I will go to the nikkyo question etc. in separate post.