Thursday, September 15, 2011

Atari and Chushin, the Gozo Shioda demo or something like that...

Well, for want of a better word I'm using Atari here for a particular training exercise. You see Gozo Shioda doing this very often. And Inoue sensei as well, following his teacher's style. Though it is impressive, it doesn't require you to have a stronger body than that of your opponent. So how is it that an apparently weaker and smaller old man can let fly an uke stronger and younger and who is charging at him at full speed?

Pic from Koshinkan Aikido Website
According to Kancho, its all about timing. I think though, its a whole lot more than that. Sensei does this type of demonstration too, however nothing too frontal. Most of the time his frontal demonstration which is similar starts from ryotedori instead. However, with uke charging against his shoulders or chest, sensei invariably always turns on his chushin. Uke always flies but not back to where he came from, instead it feels like pushing against a secret wall that turns on you and your hands got sticky glue so you can't let go until of course you find yourself falling...

Its not something you can replicate just by spinning. But I think I'm beginning to see how it works.

First off, it all begins with kamae. If you can stand in kamae with your center in advance position and you can actually move from center instead of legs then you could probably do this.

Basically its about advancing your chushin as if you are moving forwards being drawn by it but not yet quite reaching the stage where you need to move your feet. As uke touches you, your imaginary kamae is touching his centerline too (your hands are by the side in this case), turn from chushin and watch uke fly. Or at least that's what we hope would happen.

Trying to stablise your posture with your legs, you will find that when uke comes, invariably their power will snag into you and in the worst case plant your weights on your feet. The give of the body also sucks any power that you could have utilised.

Conversely, toughening up your body or meeting forward with body movement when Uke comes will usually lead to a clash of power that dries up any force you could have used.

Its not muscle power, its centerline. Its not timing, its sense, its not bracing with force, its atari.

I think that's about it...
Um yes, its not the actual Gozo Shioda's signature demo... but something like it. His demo has got to start from this one I think. But until I actually find out, I'm not gonna bet on my words.

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