Happy New Year


Musical greetings for the New Year

Preludium of Suite no. 1 BWV 1007 by Johann Sebastian Bach.
Our aikidoka Christian Bellisario is lecturer for violoncello at the Conservatorio di Musica "Giuseppe Verdi" in Milan, concert soloist with violoncello and conductor.
The recording was made for the film "La straordinaria storia degli antichi teatri di Milano Atto II", produced by Slow City.

Unbendable arm

The unbendable arm was a standard exercise in the early days of Ki Aikido. One person stretches out his arm and maintains the form while the other person tries to bend it in the natural direction.
The illustration is from "Aikido with Ki" by K. Maruyama.

Purpose of the exercise:
The first purpose of the exercise was probably to overcome the mechanics in Aikido, i.e. force and compulsion. The person with the unbendable arm does not use any particular muscle strength. He should even relax! The arm is like a strong branch of a tree that cannot be bent.
What's happening? The most obvious explanation is that the muscles etc. in the arm are optimally organized in order to maintain the form of the arm without great effort. Physiologists have developed detailed explanations for this, based on the structure and function of muscles and fasciae. These explanations are not necessary here.
The effect of the exercise is to learn the physical-mental posture that leads to this state and apply it to the whole body, if necessary. So the whole person is in a better overall condition and can deal with external challenges more easily.
Practicing the unbendable arm without a partner is not possible. However, if you remember the exercise, it will be easier to get your whole body in a good state. This is good for your physical and mental health.

Good posture

From the film "Isshin Tasuke: Tenka no Ichidaiji" from 1958.
Setsubō has a depressive phase because of lovesickness and his posture is therefore very lax. He gets trained as a helper by Tasuke. He should bring the fish to the customers. Tasuke shows what a good posture looks like which makes it easier to carry the weight.
- Extend Ki.
- Always go straight ahead.