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Old 04-05-2011, 11:51 AM   #1
Benjamin Mehner
Dojo: Salt Lake Aikikai, Zen Bu Kan
Location: Midvale, Ut
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 53

This past weekend my dojo hosted a seminar taught by the man who taught my teacher, Yamane-sensei, from Sakura Aikikai in Sakura, Japan. He's a 7th dan shihan and he certainly impressed me. Being a beginner, this is the first time that I have witnessed someone at his level. His Aikido looked effortless, almost fake. When I got a chance to be uke while he demonstrated a technique to the class I found out first hand just how real and powerful his Aikido was. It was gentle, yet irresistible.

He spoke to us in Japanese for the most part, with my sensei translating for him. Yamane-sensei kept bringing up a concept which my sensei had trouble fully translating to us. It was totonoeru. He explained it as things being in order, and he said that it was this concept that made his Aikido what it was. Yamane-sensei demonstrated totonoeru to us by walking to the edge of the mat and lining up our sandals in an orderly manner. He was trying to tell us that this is a concept that we need to take to heart and apply to our daily lives, not just in the dojo. I will never forget the moment he looked me in the eye and said "Remember this word, totonoeru". My life is more than a little chaotic, so I intend to apply this concept to establish a more harmonious environment for me and my family.

Any thoughts?

Let silence be my mantra.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:06 PM   #2
JW's Avatar
Location: San Diego CA USA
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 561
Re: Totonoeru

Hi Benjamin, sounds awesome. I have never heard that term, but the idea of lining things up means a lot to me.
Like, lets say some of the sandals make a nice line, but the next few are "out of line" with that. It's an analogy for what happens on the mat: If the lined up sandals are inside uke's body, and the rest are inside yours, you better line yours up with his, to be able to merge with him, yes? Then (and only then) can you push on your own sandals thereby making his move too. Without lining yours up first, the chain will just fall apart if you try to push.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:57 PM   #3
Richard Stevens
Location: Indianapolis
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 165
Re: Totonoeru

Common term. I've always used it as "arrange". 整える
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:35 PM   #4
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
Re: Totonoeru

It is a term used in various forms of Aikido. Tomiki, takemuso and Ki Aikido I believe. You yourself heard it from an Aikikai teacher.

I have seen it used to do with arrangement of exercises and also in the context of preparing yourself to use Ki. (Ki wo totonoero).

There's probably many references on the net.

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Old 04-05-2011, 04:51 PM   #5
Mary Eastland
Mary Eastland's Avatar
Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,471
Re: Totonoeru

Ron reminds me that "neatness counts."
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