No information at the contact point

In a recent seminar in Oslo, Kuribayashi Shihan talked about the emptiness inside our body. We need to have contact outside, but if there is nothing inside, the uke has nothing to attack. I have the same feeling many times when I grasp my teacher, Tor Anton. I have tried to find out which point I could rely on, or connect to his center, but I lost. It might be because I was trying too much 🙂 As a friend told me, stop trying, just do it. Anyway…

Habitually, when a tori is grasped, for example, in katate-dori, the first move is from the wrist. But then the uke knows that the tori wants to go from that, and he just continues the attack. In the end, both are fighting, and we don’t want that in Aikido. That’s why no information at the contact point is critical.

But then, how to move? Moving from the center, I am sure that you have heard that many many times. And this fantastic video from Yoshihito Shibata sensei explains very well.

(When I saw the face of the uke in this video, I could not stop laughing, because I recognized myself there, exactly the same feeling when I tried to push Tor Anton.)

When I first heard about no information at the contact point, it confused me. On one side, we are told that we need to keep contact, and we can read our partner from that. On the other hand, we don’t want to give information at the contact point. Hah… my head was spinning 🙂 I also had another failed assumption: don’t move the contact point. Failed. We still need to move, but the importance is how to move, and where is the source of the movement.

So:

  1. Move. But from your center. Don’t start moving from the contact point.
  2. When you are moving, still need to connect to your partner center.

Don’t do complicated things. Just a simple movement, but move correctly. By doing this, I am pretty sure that it will give a little or no information at the contact point. And by practicing this, I believe it helps to build the inside emptiness. Enjoy the video, I would love to hear your experiences after trying.

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