I am starting a new topic...”Sensei Says!”
Sensei always looks for ways to express the subtle points of Aikido and sometimes the phrases have a unique quality that either comes from secret insight or a polyglot's overload of language.
Today was “Weapons Work” and we worked with the Bokken (wooden sword) not for actual martial application but to help us apply and understand our non weapons aikido techniques.
So today we where using the Bokken in a strike to the top of the head, and we all seemed to he holding back, keeping our our elbows too close to our heads or rather not giving our all to the motion of the strike. Not that we didn't use muscle and force to strike to the imaginary head, but that it really was not efficient.
So Sensei struggling to explain and came out with “Share the tip of the sword with his head!”. He then went on to say something like we were keeping our energy in, close to us and not “sharing” it with uke.
The phrase stuck with me and it does point out one of the interesting aspects of Aikido. In that O' Sensei made comments about harmony and there being "no enemy" but it is still a "Martial" endeavor and the reconciliation of those two aspects points not just to our view of Aikido (since slicing a head and harmony are normally two wildly different things), but to our approach to any endeavor. Meaning what do we dig about the thing we are doing; do we like the cool movement or the slicing of a head, the gentleness of sharing or the effectiveness of a strike to the head.
Of course this was just an exercise in our own personal movement. But still, there is the "sharing our sword..."