Catching the corner, feeling their strength, feeling blocked.
Have you struggled constantly with the corners and angles in Aikido that constantly catch you out? You know, the ones that come up when you are performing kata te tori tai no henka, shomen uchi ikkyo omote and ura, Nikkyo, Sankyo, Yonkyo, Gokyo, Rokkyo, Kote gaishi, Irimi nage
(basically every technique).
You can feel, run into, or come up against your opponent's strength and power, and it sometimes stops you or makes you use strength to force the technique, or perhaps makes the techniques seem wrong or awkward.
Sometimes you get stuck trying to get around that corner, or find yourself forcing your way physically through their strength?
Rings a bell?
Well, I believe that I have found the way to get past all that, and to never feel your opponent's strength or power working against you ever again. No more to have that feeling of getting caught by them again, or to have them stop or reverse the technique on you.
It is amazing what will present itself to you, if you only keep genuinely searching and striving for more.
I have been working on reducing the basic body movements (tai no sabaki) to a condensed form, (just like the chefs of the best restaurants do when reducing a fine sauce to end up with a condensed and more concentrated sauce).
This reduction has produced a single basic movement that is the same for every technique, whether it be omote or ura.
No longer do you need to move one particular way for this technique, and another particular way for that technique.
No more re-adjusting your body or footwork to allow for omote or ura.
No long winded circular movements to finally get to where you want to be.
You start in a relaxed comfortable normal stance, and move fluidly and easily from there to perform any technique following the mantra of evade, off-balance, throw.
Once mastered, you are completely relaxed at all times, and able to move freely and fluidly as required.
As you freely move the techniques now present themselves to you like a menu, and you can freely move from one to another, or to many, without skipping a beat. This allows for rapid change of technique and direction, due to the changing circumstances presented to you at that time (i.e. one or more attackers).
I feel that after training for many many years, I am finally seeing the possibilities and wonders of this art completely unfold before my eyes.
Enjoy the journey, for it is truly amazing.
Remember: If you stop searching, you stop finding. keep asking questions, and keep searching for answers.
Who am I?
I am just another Aikidoka who started his journey back in the 70's, and am still loving it and finding new ways to grow and expand.