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Old 06-18-2012, 05:56 PM   #52
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
Re: Randori...we don't do enough of it

Chris Parkerson wrote: View Post

I am beginning to understand your use of these words a bit. Symbols and allegories are good tools for parallel realities.

I hold maii in many ways. I try to be counted of all men, yet none too much (Rudyard Kipling)
I try not to let emotion manage my words or actions (including fighting). Thus, maii is present there as well.
I sincerely hope for the best outcome in all encounters but am attached to no specific outcome. Thus I buy bewilderment through surrender to the greater forces of the universe. This too is maii.
I have no compunctions about doing anything that is required in the moment. I try to allow my inner voice to understand a gestalt and to present my actions rather than allowing the voices of others (groups, social conventions or laws) to muddle the clarity of my inner voice. That voice is the prophet within me coming out like a lion. That, too, is maii.
I work on not worrying about what happens to me when I act. I have surrendered to the greater good through meditations on impermanence and death. That, too is maii.
I trust that the love and compassion I have generated in my life will inform me of how to provide liberation to all. That is not a dogma, but an experience of grace. That too is maii.

Now, for point 3, I offer you an experiment.

Take a plum bob and place it on your chest. Let the weight show you where your center is located between your feet. (This is just a model, so please do not get side tracked about a center having more than 2 dimensions or the weight or mass of the center).

Double weight yourself as 50% 50% on each foot. Then decide to move. notice that the plum bob must move towards one foot before the other can take a step. This may be a slight move, but it is a move, nonetheless.

If you can remove that slight move of the plum bob, you have become more efficient and quicker in your footwork.

The traditional way this is done is through using 90% - 10% or 70% - 30% weight distributions in your stances.

A single weighted foot can sink and pivot from the bottom of the foot, using the whole leg as its leverage and torque. It is, in essence, already in motion and can move in at least 270 degrees into its next posture by using the one leg as a pivot point.

In a double weighted stance the two legs oppose each other, coming together at the pelvic girdle, much like a triangle. To move a foot, one must uproot his center some in order to step-drag or drag-step into a new posture. Much of the pivoting is done at lumbar 4 and 5 in the lower back. This is a weak area and has shorter leverage than pivoting on one leg. Power is lost. Much of the softness people see in my technique is not weak. It has long leverage working for it. Uke is forced to move because I am using a long fulcrum. Less muscle is needed.

If you move from the bottom of your single weighted foot, you are naturally sensing through the hara. If you move from the lumbar area during a pivot, the upper body becomes engaged. Energy rises and the eyes and brain are engaged.

I have tried to do double weighted stance with hara guiding the action. My experience is that, while someone may prove me wrong, Why should it matter. my hara engages naturally when I am single weighted. So I help others to do the same and they also experience the same results.

A final thing occurs. If you are upper body, it is hard to read the uke from your finger tips. If you are single weighted, the upper body has not engaged with muscle or force, thus you can read uke like a good masseur would.

Thanks for the question,

Thank you for the answer. I agree with all the ma-ai illustrations.

The method of efficient movement is interesting. I personally don't find that necessary but see how it is so.

Personally I have found that through much continuous taisabaki and tenkan, in fact I have them both within one continuous drill, I end up not relying on weight distribution through legs to move and move from centre freely.

More interesting though was your explanation of the triangle formed which brings about the point in the lumber spine region, you say as 4 and 5. I teach differently and so show another way of moving efficiently.

When talking centre it's as if your legs become light and feet 'float' across the mat.

However, when talking Koshi, (that would mean with weight downwards, heavy) then the point of movement, of rotation, of power, becomes the koshi which physically is the base of the spine, back of the hips. It actually becomes a relaxed point and an opening. The movements then become more like 'skating' smooth, no up and down. Moving from koshi and moving from centre, neither use upper body.

I can give you a reference for the explanation of koshi physiologically if you wish.

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