Shintaido Natural Body Movement

The Shintaido | What is Shintaido | Origin of Shintaido | Shintaido Background | Shintaido Curriculum | The Founder Hiroyuki Aoki | Haruyoshi Fugaku Ito | Natural Body Movement

To obtain the greatest effect with the least amount of energy, we should not depend on the power which originates from a single part of the body, such as our arms or legs. Instead we must use our holistic power which can only be found by removing all the tension from our body. By making our whole body soft and fluid, our movement will naturally proceed in the direction of our aim, carrying with it our hands and feet, our arms and legs and all the parts of our body in exactly the right balance and motion.

Though it is possible to obtain limited results through the use of muscle power and body building techniques, what I was looking for was something far greater, similar to the natural power and grace displayed in the extraordinary movements of certain animals. If we return to the innate condition of our infancy, we can express this graceful animal power when we move.

A baby will never tense up a particular part of its body. Even though babies have had no physical training, their expression of power is so strong and automatic that it is difficult for us to imitate. As infants, we all had strong breathing, soft muscles and a natural innocence which could disarm the strongest oppostion. Where has this ability gone? Whenever I had the chance to play with babies, I tested my ideas on their bodies.

The natural form and movement of holistic energy expression is quite different from the so-called natural movement espoused by traditional disciplines. As I was doing my research, whenever I had the opportunity I would study the movement and technique of an experienced or skilled worker, a shoe maker, farmer, fisherman or other craftsman, very intently.

On close inspection, I discovered that as an artisan works, his seemingly slow movements are soft and devoid of shoulder tension. Perhaps that is why they can work so rapidly with a technique that looks sublime to an amateur. ~ By Hiroyuki Aoki