In recent weeks we have been concentrating on the hips instead of the feet. Last evening we went back down to the feet to make sure that we are good with the hips. It’s the whole chain from tip of sword to floor that is important, sure, but we teach from the extremities and move inward to the center of mass, it seems.
When I started Aikido I made the rule that you watched sensei’s feet twice, then worried about what he was doing with his hands. That helped catch what he was doing so that we could try to copy it after four demonstrations.
It’s still the same, correct the footwork until the students can feel the hips, then work on hips until you can go back to a much more subtle connection between foot and hip. I mean turning the foot with the hip.
We seem to do the same with the arms. showing how to grip the weapon, then…… no, I’m wrong. We work from the shoulders then down the arm to the wrist, trying to get them loose, and back up to the shoulders again before working in the torso. Basically, it’s all got to be soft above and strong below. The tanden and the koshi (center of rotation and hips) being what’s between above and below I suppose.
Strong legs and noodle arms.
Bottom line for last evening, that tiny shift in direction of the front foot that effects the entire chain up to the tip of the weapon, connections, always connections.
Last day to register at the lowest price for the May seminar. Just in case you haven’t noticed my begging and pleading over the last couple of weeks.