Posted by: Eddie deGuzman | June 10, 2009

The View from Aikido Mountain

I’ve mentioned before how one of the shihan in my dojo has compared aikido with climbing a mountain.  That is, the higher you get the wider and more beautiful the view is.  Monday night I felt like I got a glimpse at a very scenic aikido overlook.

The last few years I’ve been trying to move more from my center and use less upper body muscle in techniques.  And I feel I’ve been making good progress.  But the ability to do the really difficult techniques comes and go.  One of the shihan explained for the nth time how to do it and after that I was able to do it every time.  The odd thing is that he never explained it that particular way to me before.  After workout, while we were chatting he explained it again, and it was different and more complete than earlier and made even more sense, but with the new information it makes the technique more difficult to do. At least, it’s going to take time for me to readjust how I’ve been moving to apply this new theory.

The theory is simple and it’s been said before, even by me, move from your center.  The technique was in response to a two hand grab on one wrist with your partner to your rear side .  You cut up and back to your partner’s rear side.  The strange and difficult part was that before anything you move your center forward and around which causes your shoulder to turn toward the rear to which you add the rest of your arm, elbow and shuto.  And this is all done with complete relaxation.  This explanation probably doesn’t do the action any justice.  It’s effortless.(When done right, of course.)

What I find interesting is the forward and circular movement of your center.  When it comes to rotating the body, I’ve been concentrating on rotation of my center axis up until now. This action felt more like I was drawing a circle with my lower abdomen. I feel like it’s a completely different skill and I’m certainly going to have to experiment with it.  So for now, I’ll sit and enjoy the scenery.  Maybe I’ll have a picnic. 🙂


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