Re: Where's the hara?
Sorry, I didn't mean to set you up for embarrassment. As far as I'm concerned, anyone who is willing to explain such difficult things so well to aikido students is "sensei" enough for me. I only asked because if you said that was from XYZ sensei, I would try to find XYZ sensei's website and read what else that person had to say.
About the center, the thing that eludes me is how to recognize where to make space such that the feeling of center contact is maintained along with the direction you have set (and are maintaining). I can do an *okay* job of this in basic waza (because someone already did a good job mapping out the general choreography), but I don't have to experience to do this in free waza yet (not on purpose). The center of that seems to exhist between desire and aversion (closer to the aversion side than the desire side) -- so it's not the "exact center". I've been playing around with the balance of this being that uke has to balance this out by behaving a bit closer to the desire side than the aversion side for this all to work out as a system with a center. However, what does that say about doing aikido with the kamikazi type attackers? (Like maybe it can't be done, or the nage has to completely avoid them, I don't know!
Sorry, I don't mean to hijack the thread. I just think "where's the hara" has difficult answers...