Move Bigger!

What does that even mean? Well I need to step back a bit and give you an overview of Daito Ryu. In Daito Ryu we have 3 different categorisations of waza:

Now in modern times these have kind been artificially separated into almost different densho, but it wasn’t originally like that. These concepts are from what Amatsu sensei taught, so I’m just the story teller.

Jujutsu (柔術)

Lets look at the meaning of jujutsu and breakdown each character:

The ju character is made up of the following characters

So the character for a spear sits atop of that of a tree, giving the implication the tree has the power of a spear thrust. If we look at young bamboo shoots and their indomitable spirit, where they can pierce concrete if it lies between them and the sun.

The jutsu character is made up of the following characters:

So if we dig a bit deeper and look at the ancient shell and bone script we see it is a pictograph of foxtail millet being stripped of its grain and left in passing through a sieve. Thus jutsu can be understood as passing through a crossroads or a process. So I think somewhere in the middle of an artistic or scientific process.

The Path Of Aiki

Now when you start training you might start doing waza from different books and when you first start you have no concept of how a particular waza would work. Some waza require what I term an aiki body, so there is a skill developed over time where you condition your body. Now its not necessarily an athletic conditioning, its not like an athlete cane come in do do aiki. So this conditioning happens over time and is a personal journey, no one can give you aiki, no one can teach you aiki, you can only progress through your own effort as aiki is a journey of internal discovery.

Jujutsu Is Move Bigger!

So for example you start doing a Jujutsu in 3rd book, now when you start doing that waza you are just doing jujutsu. You also concurrently start doing aiki rensei (or aiki drills). These drills are not waza, they impart the mental, physical and spiritual teachings of aiki. With these drills it really is investing in loss, like when you start grappling. All you do is get tapped out, but you are learning, if you quit because you are losing you wont progress. Aiki rensei is the same, you need to invest in loss. As it takes a while for your body to catch up with your mind in aiki. But it is just important to train the mind, as that takes time too! Now as this article is about moving bigger, what does that actually mean? Well our Jujutsu waza is big movements, we want to practice recruiting all of the muscle/fascia we can. Especially in the solo breathing work. Below is a video showing a Takeda Ryu waza from 7th book, notice I say in the video move bigger!

Amatsu Sensei’s Lectures

Below are a couple videos from the lesson where Amatsu sensei was teaching us to move bigger. I remember doing this waza over and over with the same response from sensei: Move bigger! I felt like I was literally running around the mat doing Kote Gaeshi like a mad man. On a sort of related note, I remember a lesson with Jyrki sensei at Fudoshin dojo, where we were doing Shiho Nage in a similar manner. Imagine running through a melee, don’t spend too much time on each enemy, as there is another one coming. But back to Amatsu sensei, also take note of:

Related Solo Training Exercises

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2 responses to “Move Bigger!”

  1. Aiki Cloud Avatar

    Your welcome Tim! I’m glad you can connect with my work and Amatsu sensei.

  2. TIM HILLMAN Avatar

    Have enjoyed reading all you have posted , I’ve got a lot to learn . Awesome work

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