This exercise (.zengo-undo) involves a series of turns, reversing direction. When applied to Aikido techniques, it models a response to attacks from two or more attackers coming fiom opposite directions. It also models demands from two different jobs or chores that threaten to divide time and attention. Turn completely, directing ki, mind, and attention, strongly forward while remaining balanced and centered. Pattern is "hips-hands-hands-hips."
Attempting to lift nage from ankle.
The Eight-Direction Exercise (happo-undo) is ikkyo-undo (page 131) or zengo-undo ('Two-Direction Exercise*" on page 134) with a series of turns in "eight" different directions. Like zengo-undo, it models multiple attacks, but from two or more directions.
As in zengo-undo, the point is to turn completely, to direct ki, mind, and attention strongly forward while remaining balanced and centered. The temptation is to leave your mind behind, to split your attention, to be overcome by second thoughts, regrets, the accumulated weaknesses of small failures. Continuing through a series of turns, nage typically becomes more and more unstable, usually falling backwards in response to a test to the chest, having left mind behind.
Mechanically, this is a very simple exercise, and hopelessly baffling to beginners trying it for the first time. Think of moving through eight directions of the compass
The footwork indicated is simply this:
"Left-right," "left-right," "left-right," "left-right."1
If you are an advanced student who has forgotten how confusing this is to beginners, do the exercise backwards (stepping back on the ikkyo motion rather than forward).
In left hanmi (left foot forward)
1. Step forward with LF.
If you do this exercise based only on visual clues, you can become so dependent on them that you may be unable to do it in a different space, a different dojo.
B^eatki^g and A^dîtation
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