Expanding sensation

Peri Mackintosh expanding sensation with breath and movement.

Freeform practice begins with sensation.

Breath and movement is used to heighten and expand sensation into space.

Breath and imagination is used to link sensation.

This is the internal aspect of kimusubi (energetic bonding) that is central to Freeforming.




“a kinaesthetic and emotional sensing of others – knowing their rhythm, affect and experience by metaphorically being in their skin, and going beyond empathy to create a two-person experience of unbroken feeling connectedness by providing a reciprocal affect and/or resonating response” (p. 236).

Erskine, R. (1998). Attunement and involvement: Therapeutic responses to relational needs. International Journal of Psychotherapy, 3(3), 235-244.


the therapist must feel the other side, the patients side of the relationship, as a bodily touch to know how the patient feels.

Buber, M. 1967. In R. Anshen (Ed.), A believing humanism: Gleanings by Martin Buber New York:Simon and Schuster


“tying awareness/intention” – a process of continually unfolding connection.

and awareness of different levels of physical and energetic feedback that enables spontaneous creative experience of Aiki (meeting energy)

See Aikido As A Martial Art © by Lawrence Novick, Ph.D. http://home.earthlink.net/~aiki1/martial.html

intersubjective communion

mutual engagement between subjects who consensually attend and attune to one another’s emotive states, expressions and gestures in a prereflective and nonverbal mode of felt immediacy.

Braten, Stein  http://stein-braten.net/p00044.htm

beginning with ki-musubi

Freeform practice begins with ki-musubi. (I don’t like to use jargon, as I think it carries us dangerously away from our actual experience, but, at the moment, I have n’t found a better term to describe the felt sense of shared-energetic-direction). Ki-musubi is in some ways a locking-in with the energetic extension and/or expressed intention of your partner in movement.

In freeform aikido both parties are active in finding ki-musubi between them. I think it is important to recognise ki-musubi is not the property of anyone, or something I can do, but is something I can be open to as the child of our engagement – born out of our meeting.

Ki-musubi is the starting point and dive board from which all further action evolves. It is the guide and muse of how the situation elaborates. Ki-musubi is the given creative well-spring of the practice.

In many ways the challenge of freeform practice is to how flexibly responsive to the ki-musubi we can allow ourselves to be.


It seems to me that the spontaneous creativity of takemusu aiki that O’Sensei spoke of is an improvisation arising out of kimusubi. When I read the work of those who practice improvisation in other arts I am thrilled by how they seem to be speaking of the heart of aiki. Their thoughts are currently a great inspiration to me as we currently practice.


One of the first writers I first came across was Keith Johnstone and his book Improv – improvisation in theatre. His notion of not blocking but in essence saying yes! to what emerges seems fundamental to aiki practice – very much relating to O’Senseis notion of non-resistance.

Stephen Nachmanovitch has written very eloquently. I am glad when he states the first principle of improvisation is to listen, listen, listen. That is the mantra that I feel hold true as the fundamental basis aikido practice.(more to come……)os