When Marcel Marceau appeared on the "Johnny Carson Show" in 1973, he
mentioned that he was studying aikido. When asked to demonstrate what he was
learning, Marceau sat on the floor and asked Carson to lift him up. On the first try,
Carson succeeded with little effort in doing so. Marceau then began to concentrate,
and again sat on the floor and instructed Carson to "lift him" up. By Marceau
focusing his weight underside, Carson struggled, but could not lift the little man up.
Aikido is the self-defense art that stresses harmony with all living things. It was
founded by the late Morihei Uyeshiba who stressed that all things are born of ki,
translated to mean "life force." The name aikido is derived from ai, meaning to
combine, to love; ki, the basic energy of the universe itself; do, the path that all can
In aikido, there are four basic principles:
1) Keep centered or balanced. One must settle his mind at one point in the lower
abdomen, about 2 inches below the navel. This point is your center of gravity around
which your body weight is evenly distributed.
2) Relax completely. Relaxation must be both physical and mental. The individual
must allow his mind to settle down into his center of gravity without his body
becoming limp. Be aware of your center when you move as well. When you walk,
sense your movement originating from that point below your navel rather than leading
with your head. With practice, you will begin to move more smoothly. It sometimes
helps the centering process on slippery surfaces to push off on each step with the ball
of the foot.
3) Keep your weight underside. Like all physical objects, the weight of every part of
the human body should be on its lower region or underside. Directing your
conscious awareness to your center naturally allows the weight of an individual's
body to fall underside.
4) Extend you ki. All too often, the decision of the mind to move the body is not
sufficiently positive and as a consequence, the action of the body is feeble.
Extending your ki means to direct the body's energies positively with the mind.
Each one of the four rules is a different expression of the same state of being. The
first and fourth are rules of the mind. The second and third are rules of the body.
Can the normal gravitational pull be affected by the polarity of your body's energy
field? Perhaps it's like when you lift a large magnet easily off a non-metallic weight
scale, but can't budge it from a metallic scale. Doesn't the magnet's weight remain the same (see "Exercise -- Levitation")?
As an exercise, relax, get centered and take a few deep, abdominal breaths. Work
with a partner and have him lift you up from a sitting or standing position the first
time without thinking about anything out of the ordinary. On the second time, have
him lift you up while you visualize your energy field focused above your head in a
giant, diffuse cloud. Imagine it flowing upward through your head and 'feel'
yourself lighter as if a helium balloon were pulling you up. On the third lift, visualize
your legs connected to an unbreakable extension through the earth, and imagine your
energy field pulling in tightly and flowing downward through your feet. Don't tense
up your muscles or make any other attempt to help or hinder the lift, but just 'feel'
yourself as heavy as lead and immovable. Your partner will definitely notice the
difference in all three lifts. With practice, this visualization technique will enable you
to appear too heavy to be moved. This process of energy focalization underlies many
of the phenomenal skills demonstrated by martial artists.