032) Using Joints Properly in Aikido: Week of April 12, 2009

The week we spent on helping each student become his/her own best teacher was a frequent exercise in how to properly use our joints.  Joints are designed to help our bodies articulate movements in a wide variety of directions.  When we allow our bodies to move in a relaxed manner, we can observe within ourselves how our joints and limbs operate.  Despite these observations, our ability to replicate these movements when confronted with an attack, quickly fails.  It is not an easy task “rewiring” our responses to an attack.

If our muscles are locked through contraction or full extension, they prevent the movement that that particular body attachment can make.  Movement is the key to be able to execute an attack or defense.  Failure to move has predictable results.  Movement with excess tension in the muscles takes too long and provides too much information to an opponent.

When we begin to experience proper movements by allowing our muscles and joints to operate efficiently, we begin to experience a new kind of power.  Not the power that people experience through the movement generated through locked muscles, but the power of having the weight of the body and limbs move in a balanced and weighted manner.  We will focus this week on moving with a type of power that will surprise you and the person on the experiencing end of it!

Marc Abrams Sensei

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