I was checking out Brushmind, the web site of Kazuaki Tanahashi Sensei, and found this quote:
O-Sensei is my only Aikido teacher. When I have questions, I go back to him in my memory. In that way, I am still learning from him – 50 years later… Wisdom is acquired using the body as well as the mind. The skill of incorporating various different forces into one positive force must become a body-habit.
This rings true not just for Aikido, but for all aspects of live. We can memorize/learn something with our brain, but can’t actually do it well until the understanding rests within our body. That is something musicians understand well. A melody has to rest in our arms and hands and gut or it will not sound quite right.
This morning Kaz Tanahashi Sensei talked about the invisible strokes one should not forget when doing calligraphy. He said, without them the characters don’t quite look right. Invisible strokes are, for example, the movement of the brush from the end of one line to the beginning of the next line.