Thursday, June 2, 2011

Natural Movement

May 2011

            It is a common idea in aikido that hara is the origin of both movement and power. This can be misleading.  Hara is the center of body movement and therefore distributes the power that comes from Heaven and Earth and every other part of the body. It is a spiritual, or psychic, center and should be the origin of our intention towards movement. Nevertheless, natural movement requires that every part of the body, although integrally related, should also remain completely independent.
         Attempting to fuse the hara with the arms, or line it up behind the elbows and the wrists, etc., is mistaken and leads to stiff and rigid movement. Practicing in this way, there is no freedom of movement; no grace, beauty, or power. Just as the liver and heart have their own independent functions so the individual parts of the body should remain independent. As it says in the Bible, “Don’t let your right hand know what your left hand does.”
            Each of us as individuals are also part of a much larger life force, yet we also should learn to move independently. Lacking this we can hardly discover our own innate freedom, or the happiness upon which it depends. Realizing our own freedom as a part of something much greater we support the totality of humanity, even the universe itself. Unless this harmony and freedom is present in our own lives however, the idea of bringing peace to the world through aikido, or any other medium, is only an idealistic dream.