3/10/10 w [2s, 10v] I
Again, 3 new people. Now have two people who have trouble retaining their balance when they move. I talked about their center in more concrete terms, as being their center of gravity. When they put their energy up, in their upper body or shoulders, it is much easier to go off balance, when their energy is focused down, in their center, they are much more balanced. I had everyone work on visualizing all the energy in their upper body dropping to their center, relaxing and dropping their shoulders, arms, chest and stomach through their center to the floor.
Not only did this seem to help the two guys with balance problems, everyone could "see" and feel the difference in their control. I had them visualize capturing their partner's [uke] center/balance, use a technique to bring that balance into and through their center to the ground. I explained that in Aikido we never "fight" with an attacker, we use technique to cause them to fight with themselves and with gravity.
Explaining this basic concept in very mechanical terms seemed to help everyone move themselves, and their partner, much smoother, more powerfully, while, paradoxically, remaining more relaxed. Now if I can help them to understand gravity as amplifying their inner strength, I might be able to help them see, to believe in, and make use of that strength in other situations.
(Original blog post may be found here