For several years now we have been lucky enough to be visited fairly regularly by Midori Sensei (Midori Kajihara). From being a senior Dan grade within Kobayashi dojos Midori has moved on to study Aiki in further depth and each year we marvel at the way her Aikido has developed.
While my normal Aikido is traditional, I have practised Ki style a little and am used to notions like weight underside in which the way you think about your arm moving affects how hard the movement is to resist. Midori’s Aiki takes this a whole several stages further. Notions of join and contact affect how you think about your connection to Uke (your partner) and subtle internal shifts in tension and weight are enough to make the techniques work with little effort and little visible from the outside. This subtlety makes Midori’s style challenging to learn but immensely rewarding when you begin to get a glimmer of what’s going on – especially for someone like me who normally relies on big flowing movements to make it all work!