Written by Paul Nicholson
気結び [むすび] – Ki Musubi – or the “tying together of energy” is viewed by many as an important principle concept when beginning your study in Aikido.
Everyone has their reasons for starting Aikido in the first place. Whether its for Fitness, Self-Defence, Friendship/Community, etc, the principle of Musubi is something that can enhance practice regardless of your motivation and focus. More importantly, it helps build a foundation for longevity and continuous growth during your study.
Whatever your reasons for starting Aikido, there are practical benefits to focusing on Musubi practice. For those looking for:
Fitness: Try to stay relaxed and physically connected to your partner while being thrown around repeatedly – even after you hit the ground keep the connection, stand back up – and see how your cardiovascular system feels after five minutes.
Self-Defence: It helps to develop a physical awareness and sensitivity to your attacker. This awareness allows for a more adaptive response when working through an attack and helps you to better act on an attacker’s position/weak points. There will always be someone bigger and stronger and so it can help you develop a better understanding of their body and how it moves – more so than they have them self!
Friendship/Community: Developing an awareness and sensitivity towards each other while engaging in focused practice only lends itself to developing better relationships on and off the mat.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget the KI in Ai-KI-Do and even harder to understand what it all even means and how it’s related to our practice. By focusing on principles like Musubi as you advance in your studies, it can help to take the sea of concepts and ideas about Aikido and separate them into more manageable pieces – helping connect these concepts to further aid and in your research as an Aikido practitioner.
There is never “nothing new” to study.
We just have to slow down and connect.