Aikido

All of the BIM work on postural stability and efficient movement certainly applies to teaching Aikido. In addition, the somatic self-regulation that I teach as part of conflict resolution training also applies. In this section, I will focus on how one particular body awareness concept that is part of Being In Movement can improve Aikido training. In my Aikido practice and teaching I emphasize aligning the body vertically. This focus came to me early in my practice, though it wasn't something...

Applications

The work with breathing, posture, movement, and intentionality combine to create the mindbody state of fullness. This section on applications of body awareness training will show how that state of fullness can be applied in various areas. We will start with simple postural work and move on to work with developmental and emotional difficulties. These may seem like radically different topics, but from the perspective which sees the human being as a somatic whole, these topics are fundamentally...

Gardening

O'Sensei practiced Aikido and farmed. I have been practicing Aikido and organic gardening for over thirty years, and within a short time of beginning Aikido, I started thinking about how to apply Aikido movements to gardening chores. An early article that I published on Aiki extensions work was an article I wrote in 1978 on gardening. The first photo shows the way people typically hoe. They use the arms and back to generate movement and guide the hoe. However, the arms are relatively weak and...

Posture

Breathing easily is the beginning of the experience of postural stability, which is crucial in developing the feeling of efficacy and ease. I begin working on postural stability by having people feel how straightening up from a slump is accomplished. Most people think that straightening up is done by throwing the shoulders back or by straightening the back, and practically no one notices that the whole process is built around pelvic rotation. When the pelvis rotates backward the direction in...

Sports

I've worked with runners, swimmers, golfers, tennis players, weight lifters, baseball players, volleyball players, bicyclists, and so on. The key to effective performance is always openness and balance of the body and the perceptual intentional field. Here I will examine golf as an example of how the Aiki-based body training I have developed can be applied to sports. The first two photos show how the golfer was accustomed to playing before she started lessons with me. Note how as she addresses...

Children With Attention Disorders

In the last couple of years, I have been working more and more with children with Attention Deficit Disorder and Asperger's Syndrome. In both of these developmental disorders, children have a hard time focusing themselves and controlling their reactions to environmental distractions. Inattention and impulsivity are common, as are inability to remain attentive to a task and inability to control impulses. Asperger's also includes a component of reduced awareness of non-verbal communication and...

Fundamental Body Awareness Exercises

The systematic process of body awareness teaching that I have developed I call Being In Movement mindbody training BIM , and it is this which forms the basis of my teaching both in and out of Aikido. BIM is an educational process which uses practical movement experiments to help people learn how to examine the body as the self, and it explores the underlying links between structural functional efficiency, emotional spiritual wholeness, and social justice. By examining how breathing, posture,...

Aikido Roots And Branches Body Awareness Training Methods and Their Applications in Daily Life

2002 Conference of the German Aiki Extensions Association Columbus Center for Movement Studies Columbus, Ohio, USA www.being-in-movement.com The other day in my children's Aikido class, I stopped the class and asked a question What is the capital of Texas Without hesitating, all the kids together shouted out Hips The joke in our class is that all questions in Aikido have the same answer, hips, and so the kids immediately knew how to answer my question about Texas. In the same way, there are...