Neither here nor there, nowhere……

A movement away from the view of harmony that is technical in nature represented by ki ichi hogan secrets of technique towards a greater understanding that true harmony comes from nothingness, this is any number multiplied by zero being zero.

Zero being the ability to nullify all technique, zero being the realm of no enemy, no self. In emptiness all things are as they should be, nothing added nothing taken away.
The idea of enemy arises in the self, this idea of doing (even intent to do) creates duality.

A person that is in harmony with the universe therefore does not need to create harmony with another person.

All principles in the universe act without conscious intent to their action.

We train the body to a point of realisation of this fact, then represent this fact in technique.

Training in, aikido is training to build an “Aiki body” (founders words, not mine).

First we train to get strength in the pelvis, legs and hips. This is in seated technique. Then we train body shapes through kihon waza and weapons technique. Training correct shape helps us to realise how to relax.

We do all this to create an immovable body. It is from this body that the mysteries of Aikido can be revealed.

Maintain one point – this is maintaining the centre of gravity in relation to our movement, both dynamic and static. I have always said a good test of this is looking at the shoulders, and if the scapula is pulled down towards the sacrum, and relaxed, and also the gluteus, if the but muscles fire, they do so to arrest movement from the central plane, ie, they fire to keep balance. You should be able to do all technique, at any point while giving yourself a nice, relaxed but massage.

Keep weight underside – this secret is in the feet, legs and waist (tanden ball), and the relationship of the human body to gravity, the source of all power in the physical realm.

“The principles of the true harmony of aikido can be found by training in the principles of gravity”

Morihei Ueshiba

It is in this realm we can get an understanding of the body functions of empty and full, open and closed and many of the others that I have taught.

Relax completely – not possible without understanding the previous two. This relaxation is not a “polite” type of relaxation, but one that permeates the entire fabric, when one is connected, the attackers feels the ground through the frame, not the frame. It is not enough to think you are relaxed, you have to know/experience this feeling. Within this feeling, and only within this feeling can we become “invisible” to the attacker. You cannot resist what you cannot feel.

Extend Ki – this is harder. It has to do with mind, intent and relaxation. This feeling is created through ukemi, and is linked absolutely to the last one. Through relaxation in ukemi we experience the ability to absorb, ground and redirect energy. This comes from Ki extension and connection, centre to centre. Anticipation and self preservation have nothing to do with this connection. Intention also has to do with what you intend to do to yourself, after all, true Aikido is not doing anything to your opponent, actually, in Aikido there should never be an opponent.
Extending Ki is not and has never had anything to do with “Jedi mind tricks”.

“This occult-style ki just isn’t possible. That which does not exist simply does not
exist, and that’s the end of it! Knocking someone over by glaring at them, for example.
It’s so obvious that that sort of thing is fraudulent. It’s just not possible! There are
some who would say that nobody knows aikido better than I do, right? So if I focus a
concentrated glare on you, are you going to fall over? I doubt it!”

Koichi Tohei Shihan

So let’s not fool ourselves here. Let our actions and our words be in harmony. If you can speak about it, yet cannot produce it, you don’t understand it. Don’t tell me about mind body integration, show me your mind body integration.

“We must practice, but not let our techniques turn into an aiki dance. It may be okay if we “dance” at the beginning, but gradually, it has to become an expression of budo. Ueshiba Sensei expressed aikido in a budo way. Religious people express aiki in religious terms. Aiki is expressed by singers in songs, and artists in their art. Aiki pervades everything. We merely express things which unite us with the universe.
I think this is as it should be…………….

However, those who want to become instructors cannot reach that level unless they train hard.

This type of training should include the mind. Unless the training is severe, you can’t reach that level. The reason Ueshiba Sensei reached that level was due not only to his natural talent, but also to the fact that he engaged in severe training.”

Rinjiro Shirata Shihan
“Aikido is not dancing!”
Just as bujutsu (martial techniques) teach shiatsu understanding, destructive intent teaches Aiki healing intent. One teaches wisdom about destroying and healing the body, the other teaches wisdom about destroying and healing the spirit. These concepts and wisdoms are intertwined, and together they bridge the physical training aspect of Aikido to O Sensei’s vision of healing the world.

Mitsugi Saotome Shihan