This has been a busy week, and, although I found time for training, finding time for writing has been more difficult. Instead I thought I would share a short, inspiring film about aikido. The filming is beautiful and the use of slow motion, and directional arrows, really allows you to see the effects the sensei is having on his uke. There are many principles on display such as joint manipulation, balance, and redirection. But what I really like is the film’s portrayal of the intimacy and physical closeness that exists between combatants. As you practice alone this coming week, use these images to develop a stronger sense of the imaginary opponent you are fighting. Disregard specific techniques and focus on how close he is to you, how he might fall, or how your movements might off-balance him. Think of him as connected to your arms as they move. Think of the two of you trying to occupy the same space. Regardless of the style you train in, this type of practice will allow you to see things in your movements that you may have been missing. Imagine that.