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a. Our framework

Aikibody is what we understand to be the inside work of aikido. It is a catch all phrase for what is used by many 'Internal Martial Arts'. Internal Martial aArts are those that focus on internal Strength  inner Ki or Chi development and include Tai Chi, Chi Kung, Bagua,  Xingi some Kung Fu;s  and Aikido to name the more well known. The movement exercise are also found in many of the more well known hard style percussive martial arts. 
The key challenges are 3 fold
    1. Who can really do internal strength and who is yanking your chain
    2. How to incorporate the practices without having to go and learn all the kata of another martial art (cause most of us don't have another 20 years left to wade through all the trappings of another school to get to the good stuff)
    3. How to make measurable progress.

Internal Strength seems to resist robust definition, though for us seems to be a way of connectness of the whole body in a martial and very physical sense. Thus the saying go the founder 'that Aiki os standing on the floating bridge between heaven and earth' is then our very bodies that link the ground with our extremities seems to be a reasonable fit. It makes the metaphysical concepts of O'Sensei relate to the very real work of ground reaction forces and biomechanics come together.

Our approach then is to examine the practices of our school which are some of the practices of the Daito Ryu for tanden development and aikiage/aikisage, O'Sensei exercises like sword and Jo meditation, 'the rites of Spring' together with Tohei's Ki development exercises through the prism of Internal Strength development exercises. 

There are many methods for the development of internal strength in the Chinese arts though we look principally to those that are most common to the language of Aikido and specifically find those coming from Dan Harden's Body Work seminars (many of which are said to have been influenced by the Daito Ryu),. the pioneering work of Mike Sigman (much of which is available on youtube) and emerging work on the structure of the body through fascia and the role of the 20 something muscles that control the abdominal areas of the body.

Most important to us is to ensure there is adherence to the traditional of hand to wrist transmission of the art, backed up with scholarly enquiry. This is not to say that other methods are inadequate opt don't produce great results - just that we want to minimise the risks of going down the wrong path. The dojo environment of collegiality sees influences from these other paths to IS have a voice in our dojo as a means of keeping us on track with the 'dynamic tension' of other views keeping us honest yet whilst avoiding too many distractions.  

As the saying goes chase two rabbits catch none


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