Tuesday, January 17, 2006

It's a Kind Of MAGIC

WOW! You watch those guys at Kagami-biraki and they make it look so easy...they hardly touch uke andBOOM! like a cannonball from a cannon. It must be a kind of magic, right?

OK, maybe it's not really MAGIC, per se. At least, there seems to be a real, logical, quantifiable method for understanding how aikido works. The rest, of course, IS magic. The subject of another later post (stay tuned).

Today, sensei mentioned visualizing the lines, circles, spirals and other key shapes.
Aikido motion is sometimes best understood by the combination of shapes between shite and uke, and once we can see the imaginary lines in our mind, getting from point to point become more meaningful, more efficient, more effective.

I recall a very interesting book on physics in the martial arts, "Fighting Science: The Laws of Physics for Martial Artists" by Martina Sprague. You can find it on Amazon. OK, this helps turn some wizened old monk's words into something that foreigners can sink their teeth into (especially pointy-head enginner types, no offense). It does explain a lot, and it is a bit better than just saying "it works because that's how it has always been done".

We often discuss martial arts (especially striking arts) as "application of hard weapon against soft target" or in Yoshinkan "all your power, all your force, on a single point at a single time". Why? Maybe this book is a good read for the curious (or the faithless). Check it out and see what you think. See if you can start to notice the power of the geometric shapes in Yoshinkan. See if those shapes appear when your techniques manifest.

I want to believe that I can break down my movement scientifically and polish it until it is in accord with Natural Law, and has inherent strength, balance, and power because our universe provides a framework for it to be so. Not just because we say it should be so.

Beyond that, a little magic couldn't hurt, right?


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