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 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!
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.
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
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.
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