Retraining body and mind
Throughout our lives we unconsciously adopt habits of posture and movement, most of which we remain unaware of and as such incapable of changing. The premise of Aikishintai is that it is possible to rewire how posture and movement live in us such that intent, rather than habitual patterns, becomes the underlying driver. This is essential to martial training because you never know what is going to happen until it happens. The demands of the moment are specific to that moment; it is not possible to consider which pre-meditated technique might be appropriate, because none will be. This ideal is captured in what O-Sensei referred to as Takemusu Aiki or the state in which one is capable of spontaneously expressing the martial response demanded by the moment.
Other essential qualities of Aikishintai include:
- Intent – the ability to develop a quality of intent, which orchestrates body connections and structure in response to internal and external stimulus.
- Awareness – the ability to send out awareness into undiscovered areas of your body and thereby build finer and more intelligent connections and alignment.
- Neutrality – the active ability to remain physically, mentally and emotionally neutral.
- Balance and movement – the ability to maintain intent in all six directions while moving.
- Listening – the ability to develop finer and finer proprioceptive sensitivity to internal change.
- Relaxed tension – the ability to maintain a fine inner tension and micro gyrations within your body such that you can move effortlessly in any direction.
- Yin Yang / In Yo – the ability to reconcile and direct opposing forces – expanding and condensing in all directions simultaneously.