“The movement of waves,” by Sean Ashby

“I’ve been thinking a lot about the overall movement of tori in aikido. For as long as I can remember, I was always taught to keep my movement and actions (as they apply to uke) horizontal, parallel to the mat. The reason being, as I understand it (which may be wrong) had to do with kuzushi and off balance.”

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  1. Excellent! Think up-spirals and down spirals. In nature tornadoes go up; whirlpools go down. I’ve heard it as 10 direction movement, eight horizontal plus up and down.

  2. I think you are on the right track. Try this experiment-have your partner hold a thick 3+foot rope in their hand. Now pull on the rope so it is taught. The stronger person (you or your partner) will win this tugging match. Now create a wave in the rope by flicking your end. Precisely immediately after the wave hits his/her hand tug on your end & watch your partner fall forward. How is that for a wave. Now if you can add a small rotation, you have a spiral & you also amplify the power. It then becomes much easier to mover your partner. It’s all physics.

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