Aiki Codex: Secret to Circular Aiki

The path to learning Aiki is often fraught with plateaus. ‘Getting outside the box’ is often the cure!

The ‘Aiki Secrets’ books provide the ‘alternate approach’ to the rigidity of ‘do as I do’ and replaces it with ‘think about what you are doing’. Within these books is discussion about the physical aspects of Aiki. They detail a unique approach to understanding the physics and simple machines that are applied when practicing Aikido

This second book: Aiki Secrets - The Aiki Codex: Secret to Circular Aiki, is certainly the most complex of the two. ‘Codex’ advances the foundation of ‘Six Precepts’ by explaining even higher aspects of the ‘Precepts’ that underly all Aiki techniques

Written in the same conversational tone, Codex relates the hidden nuance of Aiki through stories and drills based on ‘outside of martial arts’ concepts. (e.g., broom and shovel, fork and knife)

The goal is to assist in thinking about tools, a.k.a. ‘simple machines’, in every day use, and draw the parallels to how our body is composed of these same tools.

By understanding how force is generated and received by tools, we can more clearly see how we can temper ourselves and coordinate our actions to emulate the everyday experience we often take for granted.

What makes ‘Codex’ so much more interesting, is the cross-over between Aiki and traditional Chinese martial arts. Sometimes in hints, and other times in detailed explanation, ‘Codex’ points at other arts to find common ground and resource to give greater depth of awareness of how Aiki is applied.

Codex starts with new (not so) ‘Basic Terms’

Codex follow the same progression as before, and it starts with a new set of (not so) ‘Basic Terms’.

These new terms extend the foundation of Aiki, and are to be found integrated within the later text.

What will, at first, seem like a random collection of short stories, will be made to augment the rest of the chapters:

‘Where Uke Is Weak’, ‘Where We Are Strong’, and ‘Advanced Connection Builders’

Each basic term has significant value when used in combination with other concepts, but can just as easily be used on its own to focus your mind on ‘intentional practice’

Break out of routine!

Here is the list of Codex’s Basic Terms: [Click them! They are drop downs!]

What does Uke feel like when you de-stabilize them?
Lesson 1 in learning to use your Center of Balance (COB) as the source of power
Reinforcing the ‘Drop-Step’, the method for moving the COB with gravity, instead of against it, and showing what not to do (Topple)
Early lesson on integrating the hands with the hips; plus a common flaw you must be wary of if you want the power of the hips to arrive at your hands
A simple, and very common bit of fun people have with the wind, but have you made the connection on how to integrate 'Flying Hands' with the ‘S’ and ‘C’?
Opening the door to efficiency in your motion, learning to move as a wave (from a lesson learned on the beach!)
Lesson on a posture check, that when missing, keeps energy from moving outward through your arms.
Have you ever easily glided through a technique, then ‘run into a wall’ on the next attempt? This is one may be the reason why.
If we want to throw Uke to the ground, we have to move them toward the ground!
Starts the conversation on how to compress or extend Uke’s arm joints. Step one to learning to ‘Aiki Joint Locking’!
A not so well-known attack at Uke’s knees that makes them want to step
Sometimes it is wiser, easier to move Uke like a tack when positioning them for the throw
Never mind the nuance, if you must, you can always use properly dropped weight to your advantage!
Pay attention! This one pays dividends in so many ways, especially later on in the book, and throughout your study of making Uke unstable; de-structuring them

Advanced Concepts

This is where we start into the good stuff.

We begin again by collecting concepts by ‘Where Uke Is Weak’ and ‘Where We Are Strong’.

These lessons bring in the ‘everyday’ and weave in the ‘Basic Terms’ as they explain a new point of view of complex Aiki concepts.

Where Uke is Weak:

I realized that the ‘20’ is sometimes better understood this way. Fresh look at a Precept!
Taking a lead from the ‘20’, we go a step further and detail where Uke is unstable when resting most of their weight on one leg; and even when in a three-point stance
What is Aiki Joint Locking? This is the lesson every Aiki practitioner should take. This one teaches precision in an outside and inside wrist turn (Kotegaeshi and Kotehineri respectively) and how to make them more than just a ‘Pain in the Wrist’. Learn about Uke’s ‘Hypotenuse’ and how to lock a shoulder (find that in another book!). Cap the experience by bringing all that torque to Uke’s center, where you will re-discover friends from Basic Terms!

Where We Are Strong:

We must find some mental toughness to match the physical! Herein is the moral structure of Aiki(do)
The essentials of ‘Drilling Fist’ (Hsing-I) explained, take ‘falling off the fence’ to the next level as we reveal how the ‘Hypotenuse’ can be applied as a strength
The realization of lessons from Sensei Carlisle and Sifu Wolfe, ‘Fork and Knife’ explains the not so obvious mechanics of striking
The true introduction to ‘Internal Power’, using your bodies structure to generate friction, solidity, and, of course, rested power
Lay-persons guide to extracting martial usefulness from Zhan Zhuang ‘Standing Meditation’. Learn that ‘restfulness’ is ‘Song’, ‘relaxed’ is a dirty word, and, in the end, you do not need a great deal of exertion to present a significantly powerful frame with which to present power
What good is all that power generated early in this book (through drop-stepping, bouncing objects from your rock, and using your body’s natural structure) if you cannot express it through your hands? The transmission teaches you how to inter-change the ‘levers in your arms’ so that you can amplify every bit of the movement in your torso

We go even further with 'Advanced Connection Builders'!

Bringing it all together is important, as Aiki is never just ‘one thing’

In the final portion of ‘Codex’ we reveal five key practices that focus on the relationship between you and Uke

Connection Builders:

The complement to ‘The Cheat’ in ‘Six Precepts’, this extremely accessible drill teaches that “all I ever needed to know about Aiki I learned in the ‘elephant-arms’ drills” , but you will need to finish the next concepts to prove that to yourself

Let your everyday experience guide you to better understanding how we best perform most Aiki actions

Put your transmission to use to defend yourself. Learn how it appears in not just your body, but in the ‘martial tools’ you employ (bokken, jo, stick, knife, etc.)

If you are a black belt of any level (Yudansha), you have felt this many times but likely never had a word to explain it, thus no idea what you were trying to emulate. This true ‘secret to Aiki’ is finally described so that you can become aware and practice

I consider this the ‘Secret to Ba Gua’, but since this is used prolifically in advanced Aiki, it is shared so you can apply it yourself. Do not overlook the beauty of this lesson because of its simplicity. This secret divides the circularity of Aiki from the linearity of pugilism (Hsing-I) and the torque of Judo.

‘In Closing'

As a bonus, the final section of the book is a short appendix that covers each concept and adds a 'second look'

These notes help guide the reader to the intended focus of the lesson (so that you know we were both focusing on the same aspects) or to add new tie-ins with the other concepts

Aiki Secrets - The Aiki Codex: Secret to Circular Aiki is sure to provide intriguing new ideas to work with and greater depth to areas you already know

Get your copy of "The Aiki Codex" here!

And the story does not end there!

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