Sunday, 8 September 2013

Labreport 9 September 2013… - Yamashima Shihan in Christchurch


The incredible view on the commute promised a good weekend of Aikido in Christchurch. This was the second time that I attended a seminar with Takeshi Yamashima Shihan organised by Aikido Shinryukan Canterbury and I was more than happy to have attended yet again. 

The core work covered over the 2 days focussed on ki/musubi (connection) and the instantaneous kuzushi (balance taking) that it enables. Yamashima Shihan's ability to connect with your centre when your attacking him and to immediately take your balance as you attack him (or put strength into the attack) is truly astonishing and like so often you have to feel it to believe it, as it sure looks strange when looked at from the outside. 

There were much things I liked to hear this weekend including and related to the above two, like relaxation being a prerequisite for good musubi. Related to this in turn was the idea that it is relaxation and allowing the opponents strength/force to travel into and then back out of one's body into one's hand or any other part of the body that bring about the unbalancing. Of all the things that Sensei said however, what I liked to hear most due to my currently most burning interest and research, was that none of this work was necessarily related to technique, but actually a more general development of the body as a foundation for technique to become possible. 

I'll write about this more another time as I wanted to keep this review brief, but I do want to add that like so often, understanding the principle intellectually, feeling it when its done with you and then actually doing it yourself are not as close as we would often like this to be, especially with this incredibly subtle kind of work that Sensei was suggesting. In this context it was nice to hear Yamashima say that the work we have to do is one of kenkyu - experimentation - a term that I was aware of, but never heard the translation so far (see Takeda Yoshinobu's Kenkyukai International Association). 

Samuel Beckett's saying 'ever tried, ever failed, no matter, try again, fail again, fail better' comes to mind, with the crucial point being that firstly and obviously, failure is a necessary part of our journey and is best appreciated fully if we want to improve, and secondly and more implicitly, that we will never get good at something (difficult) unless we keep at it. So, to conclude this labreport I would say let's not waste time, further experimentation is required..