Thursday, December 26, 2019

Listening Through Touch

Aikido relies on awareness not only of your balance but your attackers'. One of the many reasons muscle and harsh movements do not work for Aikido is that you must allow your brain to "listen" to your attackers body. We will sometimes even train blindfolded in order to help the brain concentrate on the tactile feedback and connection to our uke's body. Our brain's our incredible engines, well tuned and trained, they can pick up on the slightest nuances and make adjustments at an almost the speed of reflexes. Provided we let it. Practicing a calm, empty mind in the face of stress is a key element in developing this ability.

The linked article is a very interesting recognition of what as martial artists we are already aware of, though perhaps less apt to articulate. One has to recognize that "Proprioception" is a pretty fancy word for everyday dojo use. But one that maybe we should. Martial artists often resort to flowery language like "feeling" and "ki". But these terms are just the flip side of the same coin. The science side of the coin is great for explaining, but the art side makes it real for us. Concepts may be conveyed through talking and writing, but it must also be experienced. Perhaps your New Year's resolution will bring you our way, or maybe you have already found us, either way, have a read and these about concepts the next time you are on the mat.

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