Rob Liberti wrote:
I'll add some context to aikido given the 'spontaneous condition' that O-sensei supposedly said something to the effect of 'I lose my center all of the time; I just get it back faster than most of the people I am working with'. That's not an exact quote (as it is in English and all) but it makes sense to me and helped me with the way I think about these things. I think it is the same kind of 'balance - unbalance - balance again' pattern we have in walking where you have to break your 100% balance if you are going to move.
I think you're talking about 2 different concepts of center. The physical "center" is really a ball bounded by the abdomen, pelvic floor, lower lumbar region, and diaphragm. The "one point" is the center of that ball.
The other "center" is of course tied to that physical one, but the idea is that every movement you do contains the "center" as the impetus for that movement. For instance, if you do "sayu undo", every millimeter of movement contains the force of the center moving the body and the force of the center in your arms and hands. That's why the Aiki-Taiso and the Taisabaki are practiced. If you "lose your center", you momentarily lose the center's equilibrium and power behind every movement.
I've also read other discussions where they stopped talking about moving from center and started talking about grounding to the floor (which you reminded me of when you discussed the interdependant relationship between the feet and the head). Their reasons were that if you removed the floor, that the person wouldn't have much ability to do what we generally refer to as move from center. I think that has some validity as well except I can make the counter arguement that plenty of people stand on the floor and I can knock them over with a feather - so it is probably both (as you suggested).
Yeah, but the people you can knock over with a feather don't know how to bring the power from the ground through their center.