There and Back Again

pierresPhotography by Nguyen Thanh Thiên © 2016

Noro Masamichi sensei often reminded us that we should direct our energy toward the sky. I always wondered why he did so when he used to do mouvements so low that Tori’s hands where stroking the tatami. I remember a Kaeten Nage which beauty burnt into my eyes, some 37 years ago. At the time, he stressed that we should be flexible, and stretch in every direction. Later he came to privelege that we orientate our mouvements upwards. Still he did at the same time tell us to go deep, river deep and then mountain high.

I have dug into his teaching, getting right down to the rock bed, and even lower to an ever darker layer.

Noro sensei did ask his students to reach high. To those who did what was asked, he also asked more. This further lesson set them on balancing high and low, not as a medium request but as a quest to the extremes and back.

This is what we study in Ringenkai Aikido: There and Back Again. This is one way of understanding my vision: the wheel is pushing in all directions at a time and bringing them all back to the one central point which is void. Kaeten Nage translates as “throw in circle”.


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