Monday, October 5, 2009

Do senseis move differently through time?

The short answer is yes. They move differently through time.

Trip on that.

Let's take a step back. Some years ago one of my students commented that it seemed to him I moved in slow motion but I was always in the right place. I was processing the event in a way that my slow motions could counter his frantic responses.

Another of my group commented a few weeks ago that time moved differently for me than for her. I had to agree. I know my teachers have this similar effect on me.

Here are some of the sensations I feel from my teachers.

When I shiai Matl Sensei I get one action to five of his. I feel like the little man in chopping away at my legs with ashi waza at his high speed leisure. He moves through time differently on the mat. It feels like he speeds up super humanly.

Waddell Sensei slows himself in time. Every normal human reaction is quartered in his time flow. Impatience is his weapon to use against you. The second you try to force something he takes your body in a slow motion way - no options to get out.

Hussey Sensei moves in a way where he forces my body to slow down time even though I am struggling to go full speed. I think he achieves this through constant little structure flaws he creates in me, so it constantly takes me three steps to actually make one.

The fact is Senseis do move differently through time. They have been in situations so many times that their brains can process the minutia of what is happening at fantastic, and I dare say often superhuman levels. Because the mind moves faster, the body need not. The truth is that in the game of Aiki the Sensei's mind moves faster into powerful effective decisions than it does for most people.

I am awe struck that have this power with my students I train with. I am twice struck when I feel it happening to me by my seniors on the path. Totally amazing.

What magic this art is.


  1. There is a phenomenon where "in the heat of battle" or midway through a car crash or something, a person experiences time as slowing down. I think this is akin to what you're referring to.

    I find that when I am in training, time doesn't slow down so much as I just seem to have more time; perhaps plenty of time.

  2. I have thought for a long time that, having seen what the human body can do many, many times, after a while, you just see stuff and know what is going to happen.

    You know, for example, that if a guy is moving forward and plants his weight on his right foot, there are certain things he is simply not going to be able to do, and certain things he can, and is indeed very likely, to do.

    So, when you can literally see things coming, it makes it look like you are a whole lot faster than you really are.