Connections between Music and Aikido
“In the beginning music was our sole means of communication. It was worship, divine, intelligence and basic communication. Music intoxicated the human soul. In every way, music is our bond
between the material and the eternal”.
„You must first standing on the floating bridge of heaven. If you don’t stand on the floating bridge of heaven (the bond between the material an the eternal) aiki will not come forth.“
Since 20 years I practice Aikido and I am engaged intensely in music since 40 years. Because of the Aikido teachers Miles Kessler and Patrick Cassidy I got to know Aikido accompanied by music (especially in jiyu waza) a few years ago. These experiences opened new worlds for me and changed my Aikido fundamentally.
„Aikido and music? How does that works together?“, people ask me many times – „Isn’t that only
dancing? What does remain from the martial art?
Actually in the beginning, I was quite astonished, that the martial art didn’t get lost because of the music. But instead of loosing any, something new arose: I could feel „aiki“ immediately and directly. For such a long time I was searching for the perfect technique and practiced years and years for that. However, the experience of „aiki“ happened only very seldom.
After my first Aikido seminar, where music was used for a jiyu waza, I was quite overwhelmed. While practicing with music, there arose again and again intensive connections to my training partners. I never experienced something like that before.
It was impressive, because there was nothing to „do“ and nowhere to „go“. With the music was the exchange unexpected and directly „there“. I could feel the „aiki“ between us. The vibrations from the music communicated with my own movements and the movements from my partner. The music provided me rhythm and speed which are inherent in every technique. It happened effortlessly and
there was no need necessary, to be guided by the head. I could just feel into the moment.
In my former aikido-life I experienced these moments of a deep connection very seldom. But doing jiuwaza with music it is often very easy for me to drop into that state.
For myself, while doing jiuwaza with music the world of duality sometimes disappears. There is no time and sometimes a moment of all-embracing connection appears.
Music alone can you take into a world between the material and the eternal world. Aikido alone can also take you into a state where „aiki“ can be experienced. But music and aikido together intensify the process to experience „aiki“. This connection synchronizes effortless the movements of both partners. The link between music and Aikido takes the attention from „only technique“ to a space which is often receptive and creative.
Jiuwaza with music let me sometimes experience, that movements and techniques just flow through me, without effort and thinking. If I am able to bring all my love and consciousness in this
moment of now „it“ begins to play my music or „it“ will express my Aikido. In this state there are no wrong movements – every movements is the most beautiful I have ever expressed in my life.
Aikido becomes so my very personal Aikido and music my very personal music. Dropping in a state of „being it“ rather than „doing it“, this is able to touch me and the others deeply.
A great thanks you to all my training partners and friends, who supported me along this way. I am also very grateful to belong to an Aikido community (EAC), which supports, is open minded and
searches for growing and evolving into a higher state. My deepest appreciation to my Aikido teacher Patrick Cassidy. His mastery of the art, his tireless work and dedication to Aikido are inspiring me again and again. He motivated me also to write and share my thoughts about music and Aikido.
I (Heidrun Hoffmann) practice Aikido since 1998. I teach Aikido since 2006 and lead together with Josef Jürgens Aikido Dojo Alpen/Germany.
Furthermore I studied music at the Meistersingerkonservatorium/Nürnberg and the Folkwang-University/Essen. Since 20 years I am pianist, oboist and music teacher.