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Moving with freedom

October 11, 2015

Monday’s Aikido class, was one of those where I felt a disassociation with my limbs and brain, I just couldn’t seem to ‘get’ the movement, Sensei was constantly (or so it seemed) having to come over to correct me.

One of my main problems was my ‘fixed’ mindset on the movement and technique, for example – munetsuki kotegaeshi tenkan.

As soon as Ian launched his attack I was looking for the technique straight away, rather than just moving first, and seeing what technique comes about through that movement.

Also the movement itself, is a changing evolutionary process, when I was training at White Rose Aikikai, the movement (for example Tenkan) would be very precise, quite a tight movement, stepping in front and pivot through hips, to create a very precise and ‘clean’ looking tenkan, (we used to be able to perform the movement on the same line of the mats).

What I’m finding with Ki Aikido is the movement is much more fluid, the tenkan undo we do as an exercise at the beginning of class, has this precision, but then its just an exercise, during technique the movement becomes larger with a certain amount of lateral movement, so rather than being on the line, (as my Aikikai background trained us) this tenkan can ‘drift’ several mats wide, and also after the turn and few forward steps can be taken if needed to keep uke going – to keep the energy flowing where you need it to go.

So the result doesn’t look at martial or precise as the Aikikai movement, but then again when was it supposed to look like something, if the technique finishes with uke either thrown, or usually down under control with the required technique, does it matter if the turn took more or less space?

I suppose the other advantage of having a larger movement, is that it can be shortened, and retain the integrity of the circle, whereas if you start compact, it is much harder to then make the movement larger, especially when uke is very much in a position to re-attack.


I’m reminded of  Zen Master Tenshin Fletcher Roshi,  – that you’re life doesn’t have to look like anything.

Also in Buddhism we talk about non-attachment, one of my problems, was that I was ‘attached’ to what tenkan looks like, rather than the ‘function’ of the movement, I was attached to the notion of performing a ‘correct’ looking tenkan, rather than just turning and drawing uke around into the technique.

I think for me the main focus for the next couple of months will now be on getting my head around moving with an easy relaxed manner.


From → weekly blog

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