The Power of You, Centered!
When most people think of the Japanese martial art of Aikido, spectacular and terrifying (spectacufying!) falls usually come to mind. However, the ability to produce these techniques is directly linked to the way Aikido teaches the practitioner to be deeply aware of their own Hara – or center of gravity within their base of support. Aikido practice involves a wide array of simple, slow, and gentle drills designed to teach students their hara/center.
In their study examining the therapeutic effects of Tai Chi on individuals with Parkinson’s Disease, authors Hye-Jung Choi and Carol Garber (et.al.) noted that the “ability to balance is related to control of the center of gravity within the base of support.” This base of support IS the hara. The goal of Movement You is to build your ability to be aware of - and fully control - your balance
“Therapeutic Effects of Tai Chi in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease,”ISRN Neurology, Vol 2013, Article 548240, Hye-Jung Choi, Carol Ewing Garber, Tae-Won Jun, Young-Soo Jin, Sun-Ju Chung, Hyun-Joo Kang
Keep it Simple!
A main element of Aikido is to simplify movement down to its core elements, often ignoring detailed things like “techniques” or “steps.” Because of this, Aikido does not have forms, unlike most other Japanese martial arts. It is taught through basic balance shifting and movement exercises, and then applying these exercises to real-life situations. It is a direct study of economy of motion, or training to have the most impact with the least amount of movement.
A core foundation of Aikido is to learn and apply the “shapes” of our body; the square, the circle, and the triangle. By learning to create, fill, and/or move these shapes in various ways, Aikido students learn how to move with balance, strength, stability, and fluidity.
Keep it Real!
A core issue of movement disorders is the impaired mobility of those living with the condition. Mobility is defined as the ability for a person to move safely in different environments in order to accomplish functional tasks. In their article, authors Gatts and Woollacott advise therapy programs to focus on creating exercises that are task-specific.
“Neural Mechanisms underlying balance improvement with short term Tai Chi training” Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, Vol 18: 7 – 19, 2006, Strawberry K Gatts, Marjorie Hines Woollacott
Movement You applies the balance exercises and drills of Aikido to your daily life!