The UN-Doing of Aikido
Tonight we finished our class with a true exercise, meaning we didn't learn a specific technique.
Two people raise arms and one person slowly presses against the their partner's wrist as if they are aiming for the other person's head. Something like two people crossing swords. The second person should feel the intention and the pressure then remove any “information” and step off the line of attack, yet keep the connection to the other person. The two people switch roles and weave around their space almost like a dance.
Our Sensei made a few comments that I think are worth noting. During the initial instruction he implied that this exercise was not a technique but rather we are just doing “Aikido”. And when dealing with specifics he pointed out that in Aikido the point is to take advantage of any indication of the opponent's intention and use the appropriate technique and here we are trying to respond with no indication of our plans and in fact proceed no further than that.
In this case both people were trying to do NO technique and deliver NO “information” to the other person. Each person in turn presented a small intention toward the other's head but the “opponent” simply removes resistance (while keeping contact) and then the roles were immediately reversed. So with each exercise there was only non-resistance and a lack of technique.
Learning the essence of Aikido by doing no Aikido technique. Even experienced students had trouble adjusting and relaxing. The playing field was level for a few minutes and we were touching the core of Aikido.
I think this also relates to something Brian previously demonstrated, in that each technique has the potential of being reversed. Reversed, because you are giving too much information of your plan to
Uke who takes that and redirects your plan until it become their own.
I'm not sure the image above applies but I felt it presents the idea of contact yet not control.
No Theological implication to be inferred, just looking at a picture.