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Discovering Aiki

posted 13 May 2010, 17:19 by Unknown user
Last night we explored Tenchi nage from Kotai to  Kontai levels  from Maruyama Sensei's teaching at the Japan seminar. Pretty quickly though we had to examine how to attack in order to understand the progression.

Aikido is a tough art to learn and its all to easy to go through the motions on the mat and just have a good time. Aiki is not an intuitive concept to grasp (see - About Aiki) It is present in many samurai koryu martial arts and gives the practitioner a way to deal with someone that is faster, stronger and has an advantage over you through an attack that has taken your centre. 

Thus when we practice aikido uke has a tremendous responsibility to provide all of those things, but in a structured way that has our best intreats at heart ( see Art of Ukemi). Thus when uke attacks they must do so with enough power that you cannot succeed with strength or even be in a position for a counter attack. (If you could do these things then you don't need aikido and wouldn't need to train in it)

Last night we practiced and felt the benefits to be gained when uke attacks with something as simple as a hand grab that takes away out ability to hit them, kick them or break a grab - because only with this kind of attack can we truly practice aikido. in this way uke resists the temptation to just go through the motions, taking a fall because it is polite, but because it is the appropriate response to protect them self.

Nage when training with an uke that understands how to attack learns then that pushing, pulling and fighting are not the way to improve their understanding of aikido. Instead we find that by following the kata of aikido that we can make ukes power irrelevant. When practiced this way (particularly at kotai level) we find that both uke and nage experience the wonder of aikido 

 - that marvellous moment as uke when try as you might you power is taken from you and the ground approaches.

 - the delight as nage when you feel the grip of death on your arm but find that you can proceed anyway and uke starts to tubule and let go of their own accord

- with the understand and convidence of doing aiki at kotai level we can then progress on this solid foundation to the other levels of aikido (66% more Aikido techniques at the National Seminar)

 When you feel this happening seize that moment for this is all to often a rare moment and can serve as inspiration and encouragement to continue studying the art.