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Free from desire you see the mystery.
Full of desire you see the manifestations.

 Tao Te Ching (Chapter 1) – Lao Tzu, translation by Stefan Stenudd

I have always been extremely fascinated by the possibility to do “mechanically impossible things”. Lowering the arm straight down when being lifted by the partner and the partner’s body are aligned straight to make an stable structure impossible to push down, or lifting the arm while the partner is holding and so on. To be able to do what is mechanically impossible I believe that we have to communicate with our partner in the same way that we are communicating with our own body.

A chart of the human body meridians taken from Wikipedia.com.

A chart of the human body meridians taken from Wikipedia.com.

I have not really any clue about Chinese medicine, but I have been thinking a lot lately about how different parts of the body are connected. I have noticed that when the hard place behind my right shoulder blade tenses up, my right pinkie starts twitching. So from this chart of the meridians I can see that the shoulder blade and the pinkie are both on the small intestine meridian, so naturally they are closely connected. So in my keiko, at this time, I am thinking that by noticing where I can feel tension, i can get information about where I have to let go to release that tension by looking at which areas the corresponding meridian passes through.

I believe that when we are holding on to each other and do aiki together, we are joining our systems, so instead of having two bodies, we have only one common body, our body, and that the meridians are connected. The communication should be as much as possible as it is internally in our body. The interesting part is that as all my partners are different they have like different fingerprints, touching different parts of my body. Each partner is healing a specific area where I have problems.

Tanto dori with Jorma in Skellefteå in March 2015. Photo by Rabbe Anklew.

Tanto dori with Jorma in Skellefteå in March 2015. Guiding the opposite arm of uke away is of great importance. Photo by Rabbe Anklew.

By doing exercises like lowering the arm, elevating the arm and so on, when being held strongly by the partner. We learn how to overcome obstacles inside our own body so that we can make the movement completely “clean”. Which means we will immediately will have connected to the partner during strikes. I do not believe it relies on the partner understanding how it works. If the partner follows what he/she feels they will be able to take a beautiful ukemi. If they don’t they simply loose balance or start jumping around in strange ways.

Lately I have been working a lot on my blocks behind my shoulder blades. There is some old fear in there. I feel that when the partner is holding on to me I have an impenetrable area in there which I always have to go around. However, my partner is free on their corresponding area. When we are together, as one body, I try to let my partner take the lead of the area I have problems with. It is scary as hell when we get to the hard spot. Really it feels like polishing away on a big rock in there. Or melting a big piece of ice. It takes time, but it feels really incredible to work on this.

The seminar with Jorma in Skellefteå March 2015. Photo by Rabbe Anklew.

The seminar with Jorma in Skellefteå March 2015. Photo by Rabbe Anklew.

Both with being able to release these tensions, and with being able to penetrate the “mechanically impossible area” a too strong intention, or desire is only going to stand in my way. I am blinded by what I want to do, so I have no clue about what is really happening. I first have to be able to get free from the control of the ego, then I can see the mystery and notice all the little things happening inside.

Enjoy your keiko! Aiki make people happy!