Daitoryu Aikijujutsu Roppokai and what the training in this martial art means for me

Published in the anniversary book at Roppokai Japan's 25 years anniversary, June 5, 2005

I have been a member of Roppokai Denmark since October 1987, which means that my membership has lasted through two marriages and four different employments. During the last few years, I have realized how much the training and philosophy behind Daitoryu Aikijujutsu have influenced my attitude to life and my relations to people outside the dojo.

When I get into a discussion, I can think about the importance of only pulling so little that my opponent does not withdraw. I can choose words that make him follow me, and avoid fighting both him and the consequences of my own acts. I have realized that a straight line often is the most difficult way to a target, and that I both inside and outside the dojo must defeat my own anger and fear before I can defeat an opponent.
Despite seventeen years of training I am still amazed by the techniques of Aikikujutsu. I find them hard to believe, not only when I see them done, but in particular when I am thrown with an almost imperceptible movement.

I have realized that Daitoryu Aikijujutsu is based on a deep understanding of the human body and the voluntary and automatic processes used to control it, and I can see how some aspects of the techniques may be explained by recent research within cognitive psychology and biomechanics. When a joint is pressed into its socket, it becomes locked. It is also known that it is more difficult to follow a curved than a straight movement, such that a person who is forced to follow a curved movement easier is brought out of balance. Other techniques may be understood as the consequences of specific actions that affect the reflexes and feedbacks that normally control our movements. This may explain how it is possible to throw a person without touching him, only by making a precisely adapted movement in front of his face.

This scientific knowledge tells me that there is nothing mysterious or supernatural about Daitoryu Aikijujutsu. However, no matter how thorough our scientific knowledge becomes, it is not enough to do or even to fully understand how the techniques are done. In order to do them successfully, a multitude of different aspects shall work in unison in each moment, in ways that are tested and refined through more than one thousand years of development.

(I am a black belt 3rd dan)

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