I'm sure there are much better explanations out there, but, as far as I understand it right now, opening six directions involves lengthening the tissues and removing excess tension in the natural directions of bending of the torso: to each side, to the front and back, and opening across the front and back of the body.This practice strengthens the core muscle system around the spine, and builds neuromuscular connections directly and diagonally across the body.
How does this make me feel? I have much more of an awareness of what is happening inside my hara and how it is connected to my legs and my upper body, and I'm starting to feel a kind of "springy" strength coming from my belly.
Spiralling and yin-yang are, at a basic level, about a balance of forces around the point of contact/connection with your partner - you don't push or pull or twist, but your body rearranges itself around this point to transmit a spiral or spherical movement to your uke. You are right, of course, about the hand movements in aikido being spiral in nature, but you will agree, I hope, that it's more than just twisting your arm and expecting your uke to fall over. Where does the twist/spiral start, and where in your partner's body does it end?
I think Daren is being ironic about the brainwashing thing. You are, aren't you, Daren?
It was another amazing weekend, and a great endorsement that someone previously a little unsure it now able to add their name to the list of people that have had their eyes widened by Dan.
Its just a shame that newbies such as us are here describing the work that Dan continues rather than the man himself.
Hopefully it won't spiral downhill (see what I did there
) as per usual.....
Andy mentions dual opposing spirals....I'll just add that we try and create these throughout the body, so I see it as pairs of spirals rather than a single pair up and down the torso, so for example whereever force is placed on the body...or the arms...or the legs...it meets a spiralling body body part connected to the centre (dantien) by the 6 directional forces so never gains a direct access to centre.
Sure it sounds a lot like 'regular Aikido'.....because it is the engine of regular Aikido.
There...said too much already and exposed my extreme beginner status in the world of IP/Aiki so forgive me all you seniors who I know are reading but don't post due to the normal shellacking that such posts receive.
Hi Joe - hopefully the guys are giving you some thoughts, I believe your questions are more sincere than many others I read.
Best wishes all....