Welcome Letter


Your Body
Gravity and Grounding
Speed, Timing, Breathing
Congruity and Training
Uke-Nage Relationship
The Dojo
Our Relationship
Other Instructors,
Students, and Arts
Deciding to Leave


Dojo Etiquette
Helpful Phrases
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Basic Counting


Gravity and Grounding

One of the first natural products of consistent training is experienced as a process called "grounding". Grounding takes place as your body relaxes and its chronic tension, which formerly was being used to fight gravity, now is released as energy for the body to use.

You know the feeling of being "uptight", and how quickly one becomes fatigued by uptightness. Grounding is the opposite of that feeling. In your training you can facilitate your grounding by being aware of how completely you can surrender yourself to the gravitational pull of the earth. Let your weight sink towards the mat at all times. Let your muscles relax and work as easily as possible with each movement. As you give up the fight against gravity a whole new world of body experience will open to you. It is especially easy to learn how to do this during your stretches and warmups, when you aren't involved with techniques and your partners. Use gravity as much as possible to assist you. Never strain into a stretch and never bounce. Simply let yourself be pulled into the stretch by the gravitational forces of the earth. Enjoy discovering your body all over again without any expectations about how you should be doing. Just explore how well you can learn and utilize the natural forces around you for your well-being.

Just as water in a vessel seeks its lowest level, allow your ki to settle naturally into your hara, your center. When your movements emanate from your center they will have depth (we commonly say "base") and will have surprising power and grace.

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