In 2010, I wrote a book “Tegatana, the secret weapon of Aikido”. It describes history and technical content of Tomiki Aikido. Since that time my life changed a great deal. I am not going to disturb you with my family life. I like to mention the changes in my “martial art” life.
Since I wrote my book some interesting people came on my road to perfection. They changed completely my understanding of Tomiki Aikido.
Is this understanding the correct way of Tomiki Aikido, I don’t know, but at this moment it feels the best way for me.
Nevertheless, who are those people?
- Mike Sigman : Internal Strenght & Chinese Martial Arts theory
- Ilias Calimintzos : Yi-Quan, Chinese boxing
- Akira Hino : Hino Budo, Japanese Martial Arts theory and practise
They triggered something in me and forced me to walk on a path in an unknown territory. I cannot see the end of the road but I enjoy very much the travelling.
Inspiration and creativity
”To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination.”
Inspiration and creativity go hand in hand, but are 2 different things. There is also the “knowledge” component involved.
Inspiration comes at the right time and will be triggered in most cases by external stimulus. It creates new ideas how to solve old problems. The new ideas, of course, have to be concreted by action, in the case of martial arts: practise.
Existing knowledge is necessary, but it cannot interfere directly with new ideas, otherwise creativity will be blocked. Keep your mind open for evaluating the process of problem solving with existing knowledge. Unfortunately knowledge is sometimes hid by bad habits.
How to become creative in your training
First, forget you are a member of a big organisation. The rules of your organisation are blocking your creativity.
Next, study the basic principles of your martial art.
Ask yourself, what is the aim of your training? For yourself or eventually for your students? When you have your answer start with your training and keep in mind the basic principles of your art.
In my case, as I am not interested in competitive randori and certainly not in competitive kata or enbu, my interest goes in the direction “how to move efficiently the body in randori and kata”. I discovered that most of the basic principles in Tomiki Aikido are the same as in most of the other martial arts. My discovery is not based upon conscious thinking and using buzz words. No, my discovery is on the level of subconscious acting.
There are no words to describe how to imply the basic principles into my art. Maybe I can say the art are the basic principles itself.
Another discovery was the concept of “rendo”. The interlinking of all your body and mind movements in relationship with the opponent. Without this interlinking your martial art will be based upon raw muscle power and wrong use of bodyweight.
Once I had a bodily feeling (taikan) of rendo, I started to review basic kata and koryu no kata. Of course my rendo is not optimal and sometimes I am trapped in my old habits.
By reviewing kata, new problems came to the surface. By using the quote of Albert Einstein, some of the problems are solved by using creativity based upon the basic principles.
Besides using the basic principles of the art, you need training in the use of hara (koshi, tanden and yōbu). How to use the mind is another important element in the training. All of those elements are commented in the content of this blog.
People asked on several occasions about the skills of my son. There is only 1 answer: practise.
Of course, there is external stimulus. In his case, he had very good training partners. Those men triggered him a lot to find new ways for improving his randori.
Once, a Japanese teacher said: Tim created a system which only suits him.
His ideas are written into a little booklet:
If you had a look at this booklet, you will notice this is not the basic stuff your organisation is providing. It is totally different, but on the other hand it is Tomiki Aikido Randori.
Don’t become trapped in your own structure
When creative movements become fixed movements you will be trapped in your own body and mind structure.
From a physical point of view, reference is made to doubleweight. Your body cannot move anymore. You are ready to be thrown by the opponent.
An example of this problem is called the stiff knee syndrome. Your knees are blocked because you are pushed in a defensive situation and don’t want to fall. The stiff knee syndrome is frequently seen by older people or overweight people.