Sing a “SONG”


How many times have we heard this said by any senior on the mat while we have been in the midst of trying to just work out the neurological signals necessary to just perform effective movement? And how many have said this word without actually having any understanding of what it is they are asking?

                                          In the Chinese classics the word for “relax” is SONG.

Song isn’t as shallow a word as to just describe what is happening to the muscles of the body, no SONG is a release, of tension, of the pathway from the point of contact to the root source of all power, a release of the want to enter the conflict, a release of the body, mind and spirit. It implies that the basic connections for release are already established. That the body is grounded and balanced in all directions, that the mind free of the desire to move another is able to move itself at will.

Another important aspect of SONG is that it is relative. Relative to the one experiencing it, relative to the interaction between the two entities. I may feel relaxed, but the one that is more relaxed will always feel they have the upper hand. The way to achieve this isn’t to resist, but rather to let go. When you feel vulnerable release, when you feel compromised release. Learn that the most important aspect in your training – no – in your life, is to let go.

Master Koichi Tohei famously said that the only thing of lasting value that he learnt from the founder of Aikido was how to truly become SONG. Giving up the point of contact is SONG, movement free of hesitation is SONG, a compact stance is SONG, mountain echo is SONG, Ki Gata is SONG, “Forging the power of attraction” is SONG, Ai-Nuke is SONG, Life is SONG and therefore “love” is SONG.

Unfortunately, unless we can experience this for ourselves relaxation just is another word tossed around the dojo to make people that don’t really understand it sound like they know what they are talking about. SONG takes hard work, it takes years of TANREN, years of ukemi, years of tai subaki and ashi subaki, and millions of tanrenuchi cuts to experience.

So in this we see, the first step to releasing, to relaxing is the release of the perceptions and ideologies that hold us back from our own learning. Never ask yourself if the training needs to be done. Do as those before you did to elevate their level. To those of you that exist in this world of entitlement I have bad news for you, there are no shortcuts.

                                                                      The training is the secret.

The path to SONG lies in the heart of the one attempting to achieve it. The excuses stop today. Experience the essence of life and live your SONG……..

Peter Kelly

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