Sunday, March 14, 2010

Studying Aiki and Goshin

The last couple of classes I wanted to explore a bit more on awase and musubi but in the context of practical applications. Needless to say, we are not of sufficient ability to express Ki no musubi at will so I put particular emphasis on doing the physical motions first. Connection and Chushin being the primary factor there. As for the Aiki aspect, intention and capturing opponents ki before contact is essential.

We started with hand grabs and variations of ikkyo, nikkyo and sankyo. Then we proceeded to ryotedori from still and dynamic situations.

In ryotedori we invited uke in and showed him into our space. The physical movement is much like an applied yonkyo gedan throw. The aiki movement just being a deep handshake.

Next we tried inviting and then repelling him away, sort of ateru like. The physical motion being like a double nikkyo. The aiki movement just skin to skin and pulse uke away. I figure its easier for me when I invite him in, unite with him, sink and extend into his center. This is not exactly ateru, but I do try to focus on the skin contact. This might help with developing ateru I think.

Next we had one hand lapel grabs. One where we scoop uke's hands down from the side towards us and then  have him fall back and pin face up. Cutting the hand is not feasible and will invite a hit from uke. The physical motion is a full tenkan and sink down. The Aiki motion you do not have to move a lot. In fact uke would be doing all the movement beside you.

After that we did an invite by stepping behind and using down aiki on his hand with our opposite hand. Its not trying to pull uke using body weight, nor is it pulling his hands down. Done either way, uke will come and rush you. Don't disturb his grab, but move together with him and down. Then touch his elbow and rotate for ikkyo but straight down at your feet into his shoulder. For physical method, we switch feet and cut uke's arm, but aligned with his chushin. Nage is offline.

Next, we just entered into his space and bow. Key here is not to disturb his hand at all and go no more than 90 degrees. Nage really has to concentrate on being one with uke, or uke will feel disturbed and choke nage. The physical motion is irimi and atemi face and armpit. Extend hands and uproot uke from his armpit and then down whilst holding his other hand close. A vigorous technique that is quite dangerous for uke if done too fast. Please be careful of his shoulder and head.

Lastly, please note this is a study. At our level, we can try to understand Aiki techniques as a transition of physical techniques. In some it looks totally different, in others it looks similar but feels different. Essentially, Aiki technique feels unstoppable because you don't understand what's happening. Nor are you feeling any overt threat by nage. In the physical techniques, the waza is done with power and efficiency. Done right, you'll find it difficult to stop or counter but you will feel the attack as a threat. You will feel the ability to counter, but pain or speed prevents you. Think along those broad rules and try to find the feeling of Aiki.

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