I was in the toilet when this occurs to me, (amongst other just as profound things). The theory of Gestalt is as stated ‘The whole is greater than the sum of the parts’. It is so idealistic in theory as we humans commonly like to live our lives as ‘The sum of its parts is greater than the whole.’
This is so evident in Aikido as we struggle against our ukes. When our uke grabbed our hands, they are employing their ‘whole’ as in their entire being to grab our hands, our ‘sum of its parts’. And we, react by instinct, and respond to the ‘whole’ with the ‘sum of our parts’. In plain speech, we use our grabbed hands to move our uke’s entire being. In physics terms, it is crazy right?
It all due fairness, none of our ‘whole’ neither is the uke’s ‘whole’ is arrested, we are linked to each other by the ‘sum of its parts’ our hands. Because of how we think, our bias, unbalances us, and allow our ‘whole’ to be manipulated like ‘sum of its parts’. If our uke is better centred, the ‘sum of its parts’, the hand becomes the whole and it is almost impossible to move the ‘whole’ with the ‘sum of its parts’. Similarly, a skilled practitioner can arrest a person’s entire ‘whole’, as if it is ‘the sum of its parts’. Hence why certain Aikido masters, like Gozo Shioda can immobilize a person simply by holding the person’s fingers. Impossible? Incredulous? it can be easily explained theoretically, and it can be explained, practically, BUT only with tremendous amounts of discipline and freedom.