Mike Sigman wrote:
Dammit, they were both short men and you know it.
I agree with what you're saying, but I'd add that the whole idea of "aiki" is not just relegated to a narrow spectrum of Japanese arts, but is reasonably common across a lot of Asian martial arts. Just for clarification, do you mean he could move you while you were standing still or are you talking about the engagement while practicing a technique?
These discussions have motivated me to put my thoughts together for my March article. I'd like to have a better working defintion of "aiki" and what it is, at least in Aikido / Aikijustu.
Anyway, both Kuroda Sensei and Angier Sensei can move you from a static position and you won't feel any increase in pressure beyond what you gave them in your own attack (in this a grab). Kuroda Sensei would call you over and have you put your hand on his arm and feel the muscle. He would execute the technique on another person and you'd never feel the muscles engage; total relaxation. He calls this "whole body movement".
I put a bear hug on Angier Sensei one time, an absolute white knuckler, and I am literally twice his mass. He popped me up in to a sankyo and I never felt the technique. I just popped up. Other people have done the same technique on me and I felt it as an irresistable force. In his case I simply popped up into the sankyo. It was amazing. That was when I knew he was the real meal deal. He did it without an ounce of tension.
These teachers totally changed my idea of what Saotome Sensei had been doing all thoise years. I felt really dumb because what I though I was supposed to be doing with my body simply turned out to be wrong. What I thought I felt Sensei doing to me when I took ukemi was wrong but like O-Sensei he didn't have a developed way of describing the mechanics of what he was doing. Both Kuroda Sensei and Angier sensei are extremely good at breaking down the technique into a set of movement principles so you can understand what is happening and why. Anyway, for me, once things clicked on a couple of the techniques that I had been trying for years and not getting, I suddenly was able to take the principles and go back through my Aikido and rework everything based on my new understanding.Sort of like a super saturated solution when it gets that tap on the glass; boom and everything changes. I compare it to the descriptions of various people's kensho experiences that you can read in certain Zen books... when the light finally went on it was "so simple" "how could I have missed it for so long", "it was there all along".
I still need to refine my technique according to these "new" insights. I still can't do this stuff the way Saotome Sensei or these other teachers can. But at least that this point I know I am using the same principles thay are using. That was a big line to cross for me.