Thread: Wii Fit...
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Old 10-24-2008, 10:18 AM   #1
Keith Larman
Dojo: AIA, Los Angeles, CA
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,604
Wii Fit...

Yeah, that's the title of the thread -- Wii Fit... For those who don't know, the Wii Fit is an add-on for the Nintendo Wii game system. The idea is to use this board that measures your weight, distribution, etc. and play games using it. All sorts of stuff ranging from hula hooping, step exercise to a rythmn, running, yoga, etc. Very cool stuff.

Anyway, my mother-in-law had some medical issues recently and it was suggested we try to get her one to augment her physical therapy. They've been very popular with family level gamers and also with the elderly. Hard to find too. Well, I finally found one and hooked it up at my in-laws. And since they were hesitant to start with it I helped start it off along with my 7-year-old.

The whole time I was doing it I kept thinking "Good, god, I could use this in the dojo with new students." Take the yoga exercises. It starts off with just standing still and breathing. You stand on it and the screen shows a representation of you on the screen with a graphic "target". You try to adjust your stance so that the dot which represents your "real" center is in the center of the target (the optimal center). It is subtle. Very subtle. My wife who doesn't do anything like Aikido had some trouble getting it to stay, but she did all right. My mother-in-law had a lot of trouble, but that's what we're working on. I got up there and I was nearly dead center as long as I adopted that mental attitude of "aikido" movement and stance. My daughter who has been happily training in ballet and jazz dance since she was 4 and likes attending a yoga class was like a freaking rock. Dead still. As you get better it "unlocks" different yoga stances including a number that are quite difficult and dynamic. The whole time I'm doing these things I'm thinking about what a great feedback loop the thing provides.

So now I found one for home (I am the rockstar of the year in my daughter's eyes now). And I plan to take it to the dojo for a fun class with some kids.

Anyway, I just thought I'd mention it. In our style of aikido "keeping one-point" along with a ton of means of testing that is a fundamental and integral part of our training going back to Tohei's influence on Rod Kobayashi-sensei. The guys who are best are like boulders when they want to be. And the power they can generate from that incredibly stable base was astounding to me when I first started many moons ago. So it is just kinda funny to me to find myself standing on a "child's toy" and finding out just how stable I really am now after those years. And it is really great to have such an immediate and detailed feedback loop at your disposal. I find myself taking a break everyday from my work in my workshop to come inside and work on some of the yoga sections. And in just a few weeks I must say I've already found any number of connections with my aikido.

Old dog, new tricks... Cool... And sometimes from the silliest places...

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