The Secret to Seiza 

“… I could feel my legs going numb. Just let them go numb, everyone said, remember the secret to seiza is not moving. Once you move the blood starts flowing and then you’re in pain,” Twigger, Robert  (1997:108).



“They swim as if they will collide, but never do. Humans, on the other hand, often have a need to ‘show’ that they won’t collide by giving a wider than necessary berth to someone moving towards them. Overreaction is as bad as under-reaction – it spoils the organic nature of a conflict, breaking your connection to your opponent, inserting ‘thought’ where your best guide is instinct.” (Twigger, R. 1997:96)

Preparing for a seminar

This year I intend to go to the international aikido seminar in Hobart in October. From my understanding, this consists of three days of aikido-filled torture.* Because of this, I’ve started to go into my normal aikido classes with the mindset of “never stop unless you’re told to stop (or you feel like you’re about to die.”

Saturday was my first true attempt at this. It was as if sensei read my mind. He introduced the class with two rules to follow: no redo’s (don’t start over when you’re halfway through a technique) and no talking. This meant even more non-stop exercise.**

It was interesting never stopping. When we practise our rolling (I swear I’m the slowest one in the class for this) I would turn back the other direction almost instantly. Don’t talk, he said. So I won’t stop. No point in stopping if I can’t talk, right?

Man, it gets exhausting. But it’s definitely good practise if I want to prepare for four hour days (which doesn’t sound like much when I’m reading Angry White Pajamas, but as Twigger said – pain (and I want to add in here exhaustion) is subjective.

*Torture may or may not be included.
**Exercise is one of my asthma triggers, so I do actually have to pace myself to some extent.