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Aikido and “The Discipline of Authentic Movement”

Wu Wei, “do without doing” or “dive into not knowing”.
Even if we regularly practice the application of the Aikido principles and the techniques in Aikido training, Aikido essentially arises anew again and again. His techniques emerge at the moment as an answer to the challenge of the world / the Uke. One must immerse oneself wholeheartedly in this “not knowing what happens in the next moment”.
Authentic Movement (in the following AM) deals exclusively with the process of “immersing oneself in not knowing”. By practicing AM I become more and more familiar with this “feeling”. When I find myself in a conflict situation, it may be easier for me to recognize whether I am acting from a pattern or from the moment (saying Yes to the situation). In this sense AM can be an inspiration and support for aikido training.
What is “The Discipline of Authentic Movement”?
AM was founded in the 1950s by the dancer Mary Starks Whitehouse and later further developed by the dance therapist Janet Adler. In AM I move first of all alone. The question is always, „what is now, what is looking for expression through the body at that moment“? With my eyes closed, I explore the movement impulses that arise from within.
In the beginning it is often difficult to recognize whether I am following an inner impulse or am in a movement pattern. It takes an open willingness or relaxed attention to allow what wants to become visible at the moment.
As a second essential element I practice a attitude which we call the inner witness.
It is essential to have a direct experience as a mover in order to develop an inner witness and be a witness for others. For AM it takes at least 2 people. One who moves and one who is a witness to the moving. There are no techniques, only the empty space, the own presence for what wants to express itself in the moment through the body and the witness. Movement, voice, silence – moving, being seen and seeing.
The experience as a moving person is manifold, from physical needs such as stretching, jumping, falling, dancing or resting. Emotions can also emerge. The longer you practice, the easier it is to enter a state of consciousness in which movement impulse and inner witness (observer) merge and the sense of time
disappears. This state of oneness could be called Wu Wei. “Doing without doing”, spontaneously, without effort, intuitively and without intervention of the mind. In this attitude of letting happen, non-violence and non-resistance result as a natural consequence.
And this experience inevitably flows into the life and practice of Aikido.
In our Dojo interested people practice Authentic Movement once a week in one


Julia Geissberger

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