Aiki-Themes

Current week is 29

15 Jul. 202421 Jul. 2024.

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This week's Aiki-theme is the void (Kara).  Thanks to Ze'ev Erlich for his contribution to this week's theme: A common use of the word Kara is in the word Karate. Often it had been misunderstood as 'empty hand' but in fact Karate means the hand of the void. The word Kara has also links to Taoist readings, something which the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, was fond of. We often think of an achievement as applying an effort. Aikido techniques can be seen that way by the beginner. A technique is achieved when an effort to carry out the technique is made. However, within the form of the technique there are a lot of moments where Tori embodies the void. It gives Uke the sensation that there is nothing there and that Uke is moving freely through space. Of course we cannot replicate a black hole on earth due to the physical properties of gravity and matter. However we can simulate it and the universal dynamic of being sucked into to a vacuum. This is part of the philosophy in Aikido that founder Morihei Ueshiba or O-Sensei wanted to express. We don't want to be stuck in form. Therefore we try to create space in the technique to produce an unexpected effect, that expands the potential of the result of the technique. If we get it right it's almost as if Tori surprised him or her -self with the outcome! Drawing your partner into this void effect makes Aikido appears to be somewhat fake as a martial art. However, founder Morihei Ueshiba had a bigger goal than to prove techniques work effectively. His goal to resolve all human suffering through unification of human beings made this way of training the void effect very powerful. Once we are rid of the material aspects we only need to behold the purity of being and awareness of the moment. This somewhat spiritual association is nevertheless exciting to embody in action and makes it a pleasure rather than a strain to practice Aikido.