It was sometime between 2005-6 that I started to have a deeper look at the idea of centre attack and control. I read quite a bit on WingChung at the inspiration of a friend that had been studying it for a while. The basic concept appealed to my simple mindset on Budo. He who controls the centre in any interaction controls the interaction.
Having Tesshu as my hero meant that I had done quite a bit of study on itto Ryu, and this philosophy reminded me of the technique kiri-otoshi. Cut into the line of attack, take the space, take the centre.
I decided to adjust my technique to investigate this theory, it wasn’t easy to have all my techniques start and finish with my centre still facing their centre, with my body still centred, balanced and connected.
But more than my technique, I made a conscious decision to change my uke to fit this exact same philosophy. To try as much as possible to have my centre on my nage. If this connection was broken, to try to return this state as fast as possible, to have my centre at their centre and moving forward at all times. This meant a change from the classical ukemi I had been taught, but I have always believed never sacrifice principle for any reason, so if this was the philosophy I was investigating, then changes had to be made.
In 2008 in Hobart Maruyama sensei taught us over two days this exact theory, using my students as uke do demonstrate why it is important to have this centre to centre communication. The importance of the heart chakra, and the light of the heart that sees all things. Later investigation lead to understanding the shadow of the moon, an important technique in Yuishinkai aikido since 2004 is actually really talking about the solar plexus, or heart chakra and how we read intent intuitively if we study this point intently for long periods of time.
This transmission is experiential.
You must do the work to know the feeling. When this centre connection becomes intuitive and subconscious, a change comes over the way technique and space/time is perceived. Until this moment, all the teachings from sensei are just words we repeat to not much avail.
When the form is all that’s left, the heart ceases to exist.
Uke is the path to the heart of the teachings. It’s where the secret has always been hidden, and where we must return to give life to aikido and its future….
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