Here are a coupe of short videos that show some recent musings on how to throw, its aikido centric of course and i hope useful. The first goes through the basics of what constitutes a throw from a biomechanics point of view using our centre of mass, our connection to the ground (Base of Support) and the idea of toppling as a formalised view of a throw being when the centre is outside the part touching the ground, this is true for throwing a ball and also from pickup some one up and throw them. The subtelys like sumo (which seems to be exclusively a topple and the complexity of kuzushi in many arts. For aikido its a bit about the way to do this as subtlety as possible that makes it so elusive to discover and then define in some way. Along the way we got our hands, well actually feet on a force pressure plate to illustrate the point, as the pressure plate exploration shows that a movement of ukes centre by only 1cm can be enough to take their balance – and that they might not be aware of it. Its a bit long at 10mins and just has a narration and some diagrams drawn on the video , but i hope helpful. Its a cut down exploration from Aiki Physics in a way.
The second video is from some video kindly supplied by Bob Withers of Aikido in Sydney, after Andrew Sunter Sensei kindly invited me to share some of these ideas. The exploration is about the Base of Support and applying the topple vector in an optimal way and gives rise to the idea that Aikido kata is about making small movements and adjustments to move uke down the path of reducing their energy. In which the minimisation equation Gamma.Grad.F is useful as an explanation (but fear not there is no maths). A caveat – In these videos, my own body positioning as nage ain’t so great (its a work in progress), the focus here really is on the angle of applied force applied to Uke and the ideas.
Arising out looking for the topple vector we see many of the familiar shapes of aikido kata emerge such as ikkyo, shionage, aikiage etc… Sadly they are imperfect in the video because hey its me and secondly this is built from first principles rather than aikido kata. Kata has other things in it like good body positioning and consideration of being in a good position martially. Though interestingly the topple can be applied through good direction of atemi too. The video doesn’t really talk about the differences between getting uke on their heels or toes and the advantages of floating uke to store theory power as potential energy
It closes with how toppling can help to augment unbendable arm and unraisable body and also how one might become an uke than no one can move. In this as uke you can subtly move nage by toppling so they can’t do technique (because they have only a narrow connection to the ground), it also applies to nikkyo though this didn’t make it from the cutting room floor.
For me this stuff shows me just how far there isto go, but that it is possible to make some progress, given that that Aiki is a game of moving uke’s centre by about an inch. It continues to point the way to internal strength as a means to move subtly (such that it is internal), develop sensitivity to such movements and to gain control of those 20 something muscles that are in our abdominal region coupled to tendons (and fascia) that make terrific elastic storers of incoming force to be released effortlessly in a desired direction.
Of course its nothing new with Maruyama Sensei teaching the tanden ball and aikiage for some years now, as well as more recent explorations of where the weight should be on the feet of uke and nage from Reed Sensei and the wide body of work internationally in internal strength.
Anyways look forward to feedback, if you would like to comment please use the blog article ()
(full background and earlier work from Aikiphysics, fridge aikido etc… here www.aikidorepublic.com/how-to-throw-someone )