Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training
Internal elements in aikido or other modern budo is not widely taught because it takes a long time to create a body which can perform movements with internal elements and most of the aikido population can only invest a small time in their training Of course there are exceptions. Finding a valuable explanation about internal elements is not an easy task.
Find here a text about Monjuro Morita, a kendoka who discovered internal elements in his training when he was in his late fifties. His experiences can also be used by aikidoka or other martial art people.
I talked myself to hit with the whole body, but I did not know the true meaning of this teaching. I used to give a theoretical explanation based on the logic of the lever, the subtlety of the use of centrifugal force, moving the center of gravity or the application of the law of inertia. But hitting with the body is not explainable with these simple logic. I understood that there is something far more fundamental.
This is a use of the pelvis (koshi) by which all kinds of strikes are possible.
(The term "koshi" is usually translated as either "kidneys" or by "hip", or by "pelvis", but these translations are approximates. Monjuro Morita said, the koshi is an area in the lower back, opposite the tanden located in the lower abdomen).
The tanden and the koshi, located on either side of the body, form one set in practice. Each muscle use of koshi is transmitted to the tanden by stimulating pressure, which activates positively different parts of nervous systems.
Tanden and the musculature of the koshi form a unity, but their roles are not the same. The tanden controls the koshi. The training of koshi is synonymous with the training of the tanden, center of the body, and thus it becomes a training of body and mind ... We can say the training of each technique strengthen the muscles of the koshi and the tanden. Which has almost the same effect as to strengthen the tanden practicing zazen. If the practice of kendo remains at a mere technical manipulation, the effect can not be the same. By producing the art of the koshi and tanden, we can strengthen our mind and body.
Since ancient times, Japanese have insisted, in the various martial arts, on strengthening the tanden, because they believed that the strength of tanden makes it possible to concentrate his mind and producing a great power and invincible courage.
Just some thoughts,