Re: The Problem of Jiyu Waza/Spontaneous Application
Professor Goldsbury, I find the analogy fascinating, “embodiment” of a purely mental task. As an aside how was the transformation manifest? A binary clicking of the switch into a new modality, or was it more of a convex combination where both modalities were present for a period of time (I suspect the latter but that would be an assumption on my part)?
As to the observation of the masters, you have clearly enjoyed extensive hands on experience; are you referring to this or observation and mental analysis of live and/or recorded practice. Embodiment from the former being an understood methodology, whereas embodiment via visualization is something I find intriguing.
John, I am still working a lot of this through. And the one thing that seems to keep occurring, is that what I think I am talking about keep evolving as my understanding increases (and occasionally veers way off course), knowledge and understanding is a moving target. To continue a little more off thread.
Phi’s “aiki in me before aiki in thee” applies but I think there is more to the description than this. Not a correction but an inclusion. By the time one starts down the IP road (whether intrinsic or extrinsic) you typically have embodied some/most of your repertoire. Your ability to follow and move with uke would be reasonably well established and embodied.
“that I should move like no one is there,” to me, really means that focusing on the proper comportment of your body, utilizing this new movement/body paradigm, is what best facilitates embodiment of the skill. Stickiness is accomplished via body translation and internal opposing spiraling, articulated externally, and not limb flailing. One still has to at least vaguely move in the right direction, but if you do, uke is dragged along if one is doing it right. The point being “vaguely in the right direction” is governed by embodied waza experience, and at this point, is on autopilot and thus should not be a consciously monitored function, when the new movement paradigm is the actual focus. Thus, focus on what you are doing and not the interaction with uke.
Another way I am currently thinking of it is, if I am manifesting movement in all directions (or at least all the directions a human body moves in (I am not yet a sphere)) within my body (movement in stillness), then once in contact with uke my body “fills” in the direction of uke’s least resistance, automatically. Peripheral stiffness in nage overshadows auto-filling in the direction of least resistance.