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Old 10-07-2011, 09:49 AM   #10
Dojo: Aiki Kurabu
Location: Elizabethtown, PA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,110
Re: Focal points for solo training

Hi Azriel,

Congratulations, you managed to draw out a big grin from the big Kahuna himself, but don't let that go to your head since he is easily amused at times

Anyway, your idea to post details on solo training is a good one, however, as you can see from Ernesto's and Dan's posts, there can be some issues with getting on the same page of understanding with others that are not familiar with the same exercise you are doing - and even if there are similarities in the movements, that does not mean the focal point is the same.

IMO, the main focal point of any exercise is on the objective of the exercise and not just a ‘how to' on the physical movements, this is especially important in IS exercises where there is more mental things going on than is readily evident in an observation of the movement.

So with that said, some folks on Aikiweb may be familiar with some parts of the exercises you posted about, but unless they have been with Dan, will not know all of the objectives of what the exercises are designed for. I am a firm believer in keeping things simple, so I look at things to try and determine just exactly what it is that is being accomplished, and then I look at other things that may be able to get me the same thing - I do this with these solo exercises. There are many of them out there so I just focus on what I am trying to accomplish and will then condense things down to what works best for me, and this brings me to just a handful of things I concentrate on. Once you have an understanding of the objectives, you can even develop your own exercises and drills to customize what you need the most. However, the key here is knowing exactly what that is based on feedback from your instructor and training partners

I also think that the exercise should not be viewed in multiple levels - maybe broken down in different parts to help understand better, but there should be only one level of the whole exercise that should be at the core of the reason for doing that exercise, even though there may be multiple benefits from a single exercise - all benefits should be in your focal point at the same time.

I also would like to say how fortunate you are to be training where you are - you are getting high quality Aikido training coupled with high quality IS training as a complete package - most of us other un-enlightened folks need to compile it all from multiple sources

Good luck in your training


Ps: Oh, one other thing - of all of Dan's exercises, I think the ‘winding' one with spiraling is the most important one, especially when done with no external movement
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