- Here's a way to get the feeling of using your hips. Stand with your left foot forward,
arms at your sides, and feel very relaxed and loose. Move your hips forward and back
repeatedly so as to get your arms swinging forward and back, too. Use your hips to
swing your arms all the way up as you saw in this exercise.
- You're only moving air! So don't work hard. The surprise in aikido is that power
doesn't come from muscle, it comes from relaxation and positive thinking. So don't
- Remember your posture. Keep both feet on the ground, most of the weight on the
balls of your feet, and your heels lightly touching the ground.
- Look forward. Feel as though you have something in each hand (like a shoe) that you
are throwing across the room.
- Keep One-Point. This is where true power comes from. Feel as though your hands are
attached to one-point by a short string, and you must move one-point forward with
enough force to propel your hands into the air and break the string.
- If you have a friend handy, try this test. When you have thrown your arms into the
air, keep them there for a moment and have your friend put her right hand under your
right elbow and gently lift. Keep one-point (concentrate on your lower abdomen, but
without putting your strength there), keep your mind forward, and your arm won't go up.
Get stiff, or think too much about the person who's lifting, and your arm will go up.
- When you've gotten pretty good at that, try this: With your friend still lifting your
elbow, drop your arms down to your side. Don't work hard. Just smoothly move your
arms down as though a gnat (okay, a fairly strong gnat) was doing the lifting.
- Just catch a good rhythm and enjoy. Don't try to incorporate all of these ideas at
once. When you're doing it right, all of these thoughts will pretty much go away, and
the exercise will just feel good.
- By the way, that's pretty much the point of all these ki exercises: Helping you to
catch a good feeling. I do them every morning. Not because I think they will help me
develop a greater feeling a mind/body coordination some day. But because they help
me to feel better immediately.
- Let your hands open on the way up. Close them into light fists (starting with the
pinky) on the way down.