All Aboard The Aiki Train!

Do you ever feel like you have a guardian angel? Or the universe is trying to tell you something? Well this is a story about a lot of things, in reality it is about how I feel like I am on the right track with AIki Cloud. I have built AIki Cloud up from the bottom, using my software design skills to help teach my students online. Now I am not trying to teach Aiki specifically online, but I think it will be a by product as it is built into the system. I want Aiki Cloud to be the premier aiki online resource, it started as a video DAM for all of my Amatsu videos but has continually morphed into what it has become today.

So this is a story about a phone conversation I had with a stranger whilst sitting on the train to the Gold Coast. The conversation started with a message ‘Can I call you?’, and I said sure. Then he said ‘Do you mind if I give you some constructive feedback on Irimi Nage?’, then I said sure go for it. Now I don’t really care what random strangers on the internet think, but I was willing to listen, and I had an hour train ride, so I thought go for it. Now generally the information you would get from a stranger in an adhoc call whilst you are on the train, might not meet the standards required for you to actually even listen. But I had an hour to kill, so here we were.

Getting Constructive Feedback

At this stage of my martial arts life I only listen to advice from people I respect, as we all don’t get a second chance at this life so I will only associate myself with things that serve me. Its not an ‘ego’ thing, it is a ‘I don’t have much time left on this spinning rock thing!’, So I cant waste time with useless endeavours. To find a mentor in internal martial arts or aiki, is actually pretty hard for me. Most people don’t have a clue about real aiki, so when I recognise some useful information, well actually 3 useful pieces of information I will put my hand up and say for everyone to listen. Here is the related video, it is an irimi nage waza and my focus was mainly on being relaxed and not trying to coat hanger teki. The feedback I got was of an advanced nature, so maybe not for beginners, but it clarified some things that had been swirling around my head.

Irimi Nage

So Listen Up!

The first feedback was about movement, do we need to move? Well of course we do, but what happens when we cant move. You can see in the above video I move off line, that is pretty standard Takeda Ryu principle ‘Don’t stand in front of the enemy’. But what we do when we cant move, and why did Amatsu sensei not move sometimes. If you did some data mining on the soden videos, you will see a lot of the time sensei did not move. So how do we do that?

Bow Theory

Now this blog is not just about bow theory so I am not going to explain it all now, however I will talk about what we have been working on at the dojo. I have personally been working on my arm bows, and not that I had forgot about my legs, but this conversation was a handy reminder. Here is a video about the arm bows.

Using the arm bows

Now with the leg bows if I tell you one thing, it is using your hip sockets. If you think of your hip joint, the head of the femur sits in the hip socket. If you stand in Shizen Hontai, try at first just to isolate the movement in your hip sockets, so try and rotate the head of the femur. Once you have this down, you can start to manipulate force using the hip joints and related muscles. I wont go too much into it, but when teki strikes with shomen uchi try absorbing the force my manipulating your inguinal crease and hip sockets. Stay tuned for more info on this in the members area!

Where Does Power Originate From? Ground Power?

Now I have shamelessly stolen this, but it resonated with me (fun fact) as my Dad is an electrician, and I kind of came one be default. I never did my ticket, but I could easily wire and fit off a house. Now the conversation went to where does force originate, now with internal martial arts it is actually very hard to find a mentor that is actually better then you, or further down the same path. Now the reason I write this as we should all take advantage of this information as it is from someone further down the path of aiki. Now when we think of the ground, some people talk about ground power, or power originating from the ground. Now whether you think force rebounds, or is absorbed by or what ever, you need to take stock of the following statement about the ground.

The ground is wait for it: neutral.

When something is earthed, the earth is neutral, it is just a conductive surface, where the electricity flows through it. We need to think in that direction in regards to internal martial arts! The earth is just a conduit. If you would like more information on this please subscribe to Aiki Cloud.

Talk Of The Tanden

To tanden or not to tanden that is the question. Amatsu sensei taught me Daito Ryu, but he also taught me to critically analyse what he has taught. Now to develop a tanden you need to prepare your body in a particular order. It is generally considered that power originates from your tanden, or you centre. Tanden development must follow a particular order, you must prepare your torso, for your tanden development. So for a discussion point I would like to posit the following positions:

Now in the six harmonies you have an external relationship with your shoulders and your hips. This relationship is important, as it is the catalyst for tanden development. To prepare your torso, you need to let your shoulders sit relaxed in their sockets, and your hips do the same, kind of spiralling your hip joints in their sockets. Before in the blog post I mentioned your hip joints, this is where they come into play.

We have some further content coming in the members area regarding these topics so please consider joining Aiki Cloud.

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