Saturday, January 5, 2013

KI, swords and fingers

This article is dedicated to the common characteristics between using the sword (Japanese traditional fencing) and pressing with our fingers. Both arts are amazingly involved with KI development & usage.

During my course of practice both in Aikido martial art, where we practice with a wooden sword (Aiki-Boken), and in Shiatsu therapy (finger pressure), I began noticing the similarity between the two in several manners:
- Proper cutting with a sword requires a calm & loosen body, so the sword can "pass through" the target's body and not get stuck in it. Same in Shiatsu. A loosen body and correct shift of body-weight is necessary to be able to pass through the matter and not "fight it" (like in some other techniques such as punching or kicking where we wish to "break down" our target)!
- The basic body posture in both Aikido (derived from Daito-Ryu Aikjiujitsu, an earlier form) and Shiatsu is a "Half-body" stance (HANMI no KAMAE), where we are turned towards our partner half way (about 45 degrees).
- Correct abdominal breathing (exhaling breath while executing a technique) is crucial in both arts and enables our muscles and joints to stay loosen & free. I call this "KI work".
- Both Aikido-style cutting and finger pressure are vertical in nature and lead in a downwards motion.
- The sword of Aikido does not kill (cut the enemy) but only neutralize, so the principal of peace and respect for life is sustained. This promotes healing (cutting the evil factor).
- Being loosen and working with "KI" allows our senses to be more aware of our target (partner) and receive more information about it. in treatment we can learn a lot of thing about our patients state of mind, body, physiology etc. In combat we can sense our opponent's motion, state of mind and more.

Well, through the years of practice I noticed that each art helps me to improve the other art and together they train me much better to "sense KI" and improve my health!