Alignment should be a military term, a strategy. because proper alignment is a force multiplier. Why is it that a better trained Special Forces unit can hold off a larger attacking force? Because of proper alignment to the application of force and violence. When properly aligned, it allows a small unit to sustain a unit many times its size. A two man sniper team can hold off a 500 man battalion, because the snipers knows to strike the soft under belly target, a proper application of aligning strength to weakness, not strength to strength.
The understanding of this is imperative to our study of the martial arts. Look at my sensei, at his age, he can upset the alignment of a larger, stronger, younger opponent. Because he has spent decades properly aligned. He can move people with his pinky, because his understanding of alignment helps him understand how people are aligned and how he can disrupt that.
Usually alignment is about physicality, we are all aligned, never mis-aligned. It is only the quality of our alignment. So with what we have, we must endeavour to better our alignment. And how will we know when we are more aligned?
That is when things falls ‘in place’. When you feel your energy humming… and there is never a need for you to ‘demand’ for more energy. or feels lethargic. the posture is neither aggressive, nor weak. You don’t feel drawn, and when you do, you’ll know and adjust accordingly to it. Its neutral without being neutered. The movement necessitates the situation.
Being a physicality thing, it brings from outside in, a peace to the fluttering mind. sometimes, we try to calm the mind, by saying to ourselves ‘calm down, Randy! Calm down!’ what happens is that self talk is often counterproductive, we end up getting more agitated. Let the body take control, and the body will have ways to get properly align take on any stress or load expeditiously, efficiently. Let the mind get out of the body’s way. The mind cannot fix what the mind has no control over. sometimes the best is to submit our wills and expectations to the body. And the body with innate wisdom will find a way, and appease the mind in the process. To calm the mind, hence is to align the body.
In training sometimes, we move forward, eager to engage our uke. This is a problem of mind, and moving forward diminish our quality of alignment. The body will wait for the uke, which is actually another body in a dynamic alignment, called moving; to come within the effective area of engagement,]. Beyond that area, the body is weak, alignment is off. The body’s ‘on board computer’ will know how to calculate distance, speed in amazing accuracy. So in Aikido, leave the thinking aside and move, irrespective if it is a ‘right’ move, ‘wrong’ move, ‘shitty’ move, ‘stylo’ move. Just move and the whole universe will align towards your cause.