This is not easy to write. It supposes certain things about the reader. You will have to consider if it has meaning for you.
Based on what Mick Leslie, my tai chi teacher explained during this Sunday morning’s class.
We were looking at creating anchors in parts of our body and then moving with internal power from that place. We also looked at how maintaining a ‘perfect’ posture is important. Even if you accept an attack, you accept it with sensitivity and move until the perfect posture ‘arrives’. If you have practised a great deal, then your body already knows what the posture is. It will let you know when it finds one that is correct and at that point you can take control of the attacker’s movements.Now, add to this, not gripping or pushing with the point of contact, move from somewhere else because this hides from the attacker any obvious actions on your part. Even mind intention is an attack. When placed in a difficult posture by the attack, merely ask your body to occupy a tai chi posture that you know. Your body will move without giving understanding to the attacker into the perfect place. You will be on balance and the attacker not.
If you are still with this idea – in aikido they say, ‘do not become the attacker’ – in all likelihood for the same reasons as above. Not being the attacker … a hard offense upon another … does not mean you don’t win. In fact, your power is exaggerated when you give away none of your intentions, either physically or mentally. The attacker will understand nothing.
An aside, on weapons training with a new purpose.
The objective in Iwama weapons training is to change the body. The aim is to find the perfect posture or change (transition) … it is that which you want from a suburi or in a kata, every part of you in harmony with self and the weapon used. Every part of it perfect, regardless of any other concept. Perfection of postures, changing, or static, is what will deliver aiki power …. power without strength or rigidity, power that can flow effortlessly from one part to another. Not coming from the arms at all but from somewhere else. Adding anything to the arms (what will be a point of conflict) is counterproductive.
Still with me?
Dissociating your mind from the action is also a key to unstoppable power. It removes self-doubt and also prevents the attacker ‘reading your mind’ … or more likely recognising your ‘big’ muscle movement in a way they can counter it.
Kote gaeshi as an example. With a partner, begin to lead them into a kote gaeshi application. Ask them to resist a little more so that your technique might call out for you to add strength … as we know, this is then, not aikido. Apart from the fact we are now struggling with a point of contact … another mistake.
You know the perfect posture you require for the application, you know exactly where to place your feet and how to turn your waist (spine is a better concept) and you know exactly how your own hands turn to effect the technique. So do just that, no thought of the attacker just place yourself into your perfect idea of the technique. The proof or not will be in the pudding.
Not much to lose by trying this at your next opportunity. Best wishes, Richard Small.
PS there is a lot more to this. It’s why we are never bored with our search.
This article also has much in common with thinking weapsons while doing tai jutsu.