A blog with some news, reports and articles from the Aikido community around the world.
Edited by Lawrence Warry & Ze'ev Erlich

Monday, July 21, 2014

July & August 2014

1.0 Solar & Lunar Alignment & The Human Body
As was abundantly reported all around the world, on December 21st 2012, all the planets in our solar system were perfectly aligned with each other. For the first time, our Earth, Moon, all 9 planets in our solar system, our Sun and the Pleiades constellation (which is the star system that our Sun orbits) ALL came into direct perfect alignment with the massive black hole that exists at the very center of our Milky Way Galaxy. If that's not amazing enough, this exact alignment only happens once every 200+ million years!

This 2012 event also marked the completion of a 26,000 year solar cycle that our sun is on orbiting Pleiades. This was an event that the Mayans and many other ancient tribes around the planet predicted as symbolising "the end of the world".
What is so interesting for one studying Aikido is that O-Sensei often spoke about the Sun, the Moon and the Earth being Aiki. Here is a doka from O-Sensei: 
The sun, the moon and the earth
All have become Aiki
Standing on this bridge
The great expanse of the sea is
The Way of the Mountain Echo.

Shimamoto shihan of Osaka has been heard to speak of O-Sensei as teaching students to have a big imagination and to imagine placing the sun, the moon and the earth on a stick and swallowing them whole. Many alternative healing theories (such as medical astrology) involve representing celestial bodies with human body parts. One can consider, for example, the alignment of the mind, heart, lungs and stomach as corresponding to aligning celestial bodies in order to create an influence on the environment by way of gravitational force. This is indeed what we try to achieve in disbalancing uke, as a role as tori. For this disbalancing to happen, we have to create the correct alignment in our bodies. We do this by way of hanmi. Hanmi is, indeed, the intentional act that a human has to make in Aikido in order to create such a burst of energetic influence on their training partner. One can parallel such an effect with that of the spring tide which happens when the moon is full or when the sun and the moon are aligned with the earth, causing the combination of gravitational pull, both from the sun and from the moon. 
If we are to consider our body parts (such as, for example, heart, lungs and stomach, having a gravitational pull of some degree with respect to the earth), then we can also understand that the combined gravitational pull would be achieved when the body parts are aligned, and a corresponding effective force would be established as a consequence. 
In this video from the recent course in Geneva, Yamashima sensei talks about the importance of aligning the center in hanmi:

It seems interestingly close to the spring tide effect caused by planetary alignment with the sun and the moon and is an explanation, to those who comment that "he is not moving" and "it looks fake", as to why he can cause such a big gravitational effect on uke without an exhaustive physical effort. 
How close Yamashima sensei is to O-Sensei in his idea, I can't gauge and, yet, at to that point, it is not even necessary to consider whether this was O-Sensei's main focus, for the study itself and the progress being achieved is of enough value in its own right to be interesting and to be followed up with further reasearch.

2.0 Yamashima Sensei in Geneva
Again, for another time, Yamashima sensei drew Aikido enthusiasts from all around Europe to Geneva to practice Aikido. The participants enthusiastically studied together and enjoyed social time visiting touristic parts of Geneva and having lunch and supper.
The training atmosphere was of a typical friendly nature and the practice with Yamashima sensei gets increasingly interesting for everybody who follows what his development is all about. One aspect is the alignment and hanmi position (as mentioned about) but there is much more than that to it. Aspects of how and when to use your center are important details which need to be considered. 
(Uke: Rodolph Peyvel)
Indeed, the practice of Aikido is not just a spatial practice but equally as much so, it is also a temporal practice. Time and space in unison, should somehow be managed and Yamashima sensei provides a wonderful enquirey into that study. All students got tired and sweaty in the summertime heat and in grabbing Yamashima sensei's arm, curiously trying to feel how he cultivates such an immense and effective power from the relaxed, aligned state.
Many thanks to Rodolph Peyvel for hosting again another great seminar in Geneva. Also, I can't forget to mention and thank the amazing and warm hospitality of Luc Giradin and his family who hosted us in their beautiful house in the countryside outside of Geneva!