Sensei mentioned something about the spinal cord a couple of lessons back. He has advised us to take care of our back, especially in areas of posture, taking a ukemi in Aikido’s context.
To him, the spine is like an information highway, any and all things and sensations pass through the spinal cord straight up to our Grey Matter, and vice versa. Therefore, taking care of our Spinal nerves is very important.
If we damage our nerves, we will be very much impaired, and severely affect our lives.
I was thinking along that line, when the phrase ‘Tom lost his nerve that day.’ Or ‘Dick has a nerve of steel.’ Imagine a person who has a nerve injury, the person would behave in a manner not coherent with that of a ‘normal’ person.
Sometimes, excessive or insufficient physiological stimulus will also affect our psyche, and unnecessary physical tension at the wrong place will make us move slower than desired. so we look not at bright and sparky as we should. Some of these tensions we need time to loosen them, and having a good posture with enough balance between being taut and being relaxed is important.
Aikido as a martial arts is one way we can learn that balance. Too much tension, we stumble like elephant, too relaxed and we flutter like flies. Keeping the nerves supple and in place allows us to enjoy our activities for many years to come. My Sensei is a testament of this value.