A tense muscle cannot deliver efficient power (think reaction time, control, strike power, etc).
Being relaxed allows your brain to register minute changes in the opponent’s tension – this means you can detect their intention “easier” (this may take years to develop…).
Being relaxed saves energy;
When we are relaxed as a result of a mental practice, we can control the adrenaline rush with more accuracy;
Being relaxed is not just an Aikido trademark; it is part of the Internal aspect of all practices.
Relaxation is – according to my great teacher and friend Paul Linden Sensei – the use of appropriate effort to be efficient in reaching whichever goal you have set to achieve (that includes a technique as a response to an attack, or even a mere standing up from a chair).
Most people relate being relaxed to a certain level of limpness. In terms of martial skill (aka Fighting), in limp mode you cannot disperse the force of the impact…and you get hurt – depending on the strike and one’s ability to handle the mechanical force that enters one’s body at the moment of impact.
So, maybe it is more useful to meditate and explore the “relax versus elastic” proposition, to better understand what the goal should be, in terms of being relaxed.
Two fantastic Martial Arts examples of using elasticity in the context of being relaxed are Systema and Wing Chun.
|This post will continue to be updated with more information and links; check back often.|
~ Bogdan Heretoiu
Freelance Writer/Filmmaker, Aikidoka, and Full-time SuperDAD.
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