Thursday, September 28, 2006

Aikido and Music

Deepak Chopra once said that universe means “the one song”. Does this give more meaning to Osensei’s statement that Aikido was about becoming one with the universe? This would seem to be a very daunting task, but what about becoming one with “the one song”? What if the universe was also a system of harmonics and resonances? What if its basic harmony was expressed in a song of some sort?

One of the best gateways to the body is music. Moving to music is one way to get out of the mind and into the moment. In the 1980’s at the San Rafael Summer Retreats Robert Nadeau would have us do Aikido to music or to drums. In the early ‘90’s I was going through some deep emotional trauma and a dear friend, Beth Becker(now Tabakin) and I would do barefoot boogie in San Francisco. I had no dance experience at all. At first we just did Aikido to music. As I got more into it I started to be able to just move. Initially I was terrified, but her warmth and and my trust in her allowed me to just hang out where before I had been very uncomfortable.

We take reality to be so linear. That A must precede B. There is a synchronous gateway that opens when we open to “the song”. In the following piece I did the editing first, chopped things up and then added the soundtrack later. Initially I just chose the piece(Trunkin” from the “Underworld Evolution “ soundtrack) because it roughly matched the length of the edited cut. When I put the soundtrack in, I was amazed how much for want of a better term coherence there was between the Aikido movements and the music. This was not consciously planned. So what if there was an underlying “song” conntecting both the movements and the music that was directing the way the whole piece was done, from the first time I heard the music in the movie theater to when I was doing the aikido at the shoot to when finally I chose the edited cut?

My special thanks to both Harry Concepcion and Steve Tsao for their sincere attacks and very skillful ukemi.


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