Robert M Watson Jr
This weekend (Sept 17, 2011) at ADV (Aikido of Diablo Valley) seminar Dan did something that I think is a really compelling display that cannot easily be explained except by pure internal abilitiy. If ever a youtube of Dan doing anything gets posted this is the bit that should be there. Seeing that tidbit and trying to explain or replicate it can only lead to one solution. Maybe even cover art (or inside flap) for the book?
Sitting in seiza suddenly propelling forward through the air ~2 feet with no external movement (if there was any it was not obvious).
I think only me and one other person were watching when it happened ... I thought it was freaking awesome. Goofy - but awesome.
My physicist brain tries to explain things in simple mechanical terms some times ... Imagine a box. Inside the box is a bowling ball on a compressed spring. Imagine the box sitting on the ground with the spring pointing down (compressed upwards). Suddenly the spring is allowed to uncompress and drives the ball towards the ground. The box now 'magically' jumps off the ground and zero force is felt by the ground. Conservation of momentum makes this happen.
Now find how to do that with back bow, dantian, etc while sitting in seiza or standing.
Of course there was a massive amount of movement and tissue displacement that launched me off the floor. Mass times acceleration can produce dramatic forces. You just cannot see the initiation of the change in mass and what propels it. I do the same thing standing and UNLIKE Ueshiba, with my legs and feet locked I pop all of me off of the ground without using the legs and feet. It's using the dantian!
Interestingly Shirata has basic body conditioning models geared for similar results. Learned from who I wonder?