Central Body Axis or Seichusen

Central body axis or seichusen

Aikido claims to be a circular method and even Kenji Tomiki made a point of it in his book “Goshin Jutsu”.

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Central Line

 

 

 

 

 

turning axis

Circular movement such as twisting & untwisting is one of the motive forces for the whole body movement. To understand and feel correct circular movement you have to know and feel the central body axis or seichusen.

The advantages of circular movements

1.An easier transition from one technique to another as the completion of one technique would blend into the one that follows. In other words, a series of movements can be made without stopping between the movements.

2. A whip like motion like gyaku gamae ate could generate a lot of speed and a great impact as it hits a target.

Seichusen

A fundamental item in training martial arts is the control of seichusen, the axis of the body. As the definition of this term varies from school to school, let’s just consider here the vertical line from the top of the head which passes by the middle of your body, to the floor. (see pictures)

Seichusen is a virtual line and can only be understood by experience.
The classic interpretation would be that one considers that two standing people are equally centered. Yet even in neutral position, everyone has tensions that unbalance his body, even if it is stable and its column is vertical, the seichusen can be not correct. It is something that one learns to feel in oneself and to see in others.
When a person has a better seichusen than his opponent it becomes very easy for him to act. On the other hand, with a bad seichusen, even though the form will look the same to an untrained look, the technique will rely on muscular power, speed, etc …

Developing one’s seichusen is a fundamental practice.

Central body axis exercise

Keep the shoulder line, don’t use actively hip joints and don’t use the knees.
The turning of the central body (shoulder line and waist) creates tension in the abdomen. By releasing tension, the stored power can be used to generate spiral power. This will be discussed with “tenshikei”.
Keep your attention to the feeling of the central body axis, later you can use this feeling in other exercises and techniques.

central axis

 

About shobukaidojo

A passion for Martial Arts since 1964

5 Responses

  1. […] The principle employed by more classical performers is very different. The transfer of body weight and using gravity will create a situation were it will be difficult to tell how the attack will executed. The application of this principle is masked either by its slowness or speed and the difference can only understood by the skill of taikan*. At the instant of movement, instead of creating a force against the ground, we take away muscular tension from the legs to allow our body weight to come into play and in doing so we transform the force into a horizontal displacement under the control of body weight. Whether it is with a stick, spear, sword or knife, or even empty-handed, the principle of movement that allows the transfer of body weight is associated with rotational body movements whose main axis is the body’s center line, seichusen. […]

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