Monthly Archives: November 2015

Sangen

In September I started a monthly Intensive training group. A 3 and a half hours of Keiko held in our Jerpoint Dojo once a month till the end of the year. Instead of focusing on techniques I chose to explore a different principle for each session. We started with Zanshin and will move on to Shoshin, Mushin, Tanren and so on. It seemed like the logical thing to do and allows for people of different level to come train together and get from the experience what they can. I will write about this course after Christmas when it has been completed. I will likely chose a different structure for the training group next year.

Sengai was a Zen Buddhist Monk and master of calligraphy.

Sangen – this image by Sengai (1750 – 1838) can be interpreted in numerous ways. Ueshiba would draw on this symbolism to explain Aikido. Explanations differing depending on the emphasis. Technique, Principle or Philosophy. The concept of Sangen is so all encompassing with so many different aspects to consider. With a subject as holistic as Aikido it seems to me to be an essential idea and one which I hope by trying to understand, I can improve my Aikido and help my students in turn.

Triangle – Stance before contact. Circle – The spiralling nature of all Aikido technique whether Omote or Ura. Square – The Power of Kokyu and pinning techniques such as Ikkyo.

All Aikido movements should contain these elements. Take Suwari Waza  Kokyu Ho as an example. The stance Seiza is triangular. The movements of hands is first circular and then more square. Ikkyo is at first direct, then spherical with the angles of attack begin triangular. The emphasis is different between the Omote and Ura but both contain similar elements.

The more philosophical aspects. Triangle – A solid base ascending upwards. Also various trinities. Body, mind and Spirit. Heaven, Earth and Humanity. Past, Present and Future. Circle – Spiraling motion. Perfection. Emptiness and infinity. Square – Solid form. Order.

Move like a beam of light;
Fly like lightning,
Strike like thunder,
Whirl in circles around
A stable center. Morihei Ueshiba – The Art of Peace

For more on this subject read – aikidosangenkai.org/blog/aikido-structure-universe/

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