|AIKI and its FLAVOUR - 3|
MUSUBI - means joining or blending and is perhaps the key ingredient that distinguishes Aikido from other Budo. During an Aiki technique musubi occurs on 3 levels:- blending of minds, of Ki and on a physical level.
A typical attack emanates from Uke's centre. Tori does not wait for the attack to reach him but reading the intent (blending of minds) begins his avoidance move.Tori then joins Uke's attack - the two are now one there is no separation, no conflict, moving in harmony.
Tori then redirects the force of the attack using circular lines until the movement becomes centred on him. The centre and therefore the control has now been relinquished by Uke, his balance has been taken and Tori can bring the attack to a conclusion with either a throw or a pin.
O'Sensei said words to the effect that if you blend with the spirit of your adversary at the outset then you can read his attack before it begins and leave no possible opening. Thus because there is no separation there can be no opposition and the conflict avoided before it begins.(Did I get that right?)
MISOGI - or purification rites are a common feature to religious and other spiritual practice the world over. It is generally recognised that the world at large is an unclean and immoral place and that we become polluted by being in it. To purge ourselves of the toxins accumulated we need to undergo a regular regime of cleansing.
O'Sensei concluded that Aikido was an all-inclusive form of misogi "a cleansing of the body and soul, a radiant state of unadorned purity, an accomplishment of true harmony, a vibrant state of grace".
The other ingredients which make up the "flavour" of Aikido I assume that you are familiar with so I'll leave it at that. Sorry if the above explanations are a bit heavy but I paint it the way I see it. As I stated earlier I feel that Aikido is far from mundane and far far more than just another "effective method of self defence", when studied in its entirety it is a true "Way" of living ones life.
Tony Hughes - Nidan - Assistant instructor, Koshinkan Aikido