This sentence taken from the Tao Te King by Laozu, is one of the most suiting aphorism to define the type of movement that Hatsumi Sensei is developing these days during training.
Everything he does seems to be in total harmony with what his attacker is doing. Each class we train Mutô Dori techniques. When Uke is attacking, sensei moves out of the way in such a subtle and relax manner, that it looks like he is dancing with his partner.
Like in a Tango performance there is 合気 (aiki) in Sensei’s body flow. The aiki or “joining the mind” illustrates the perfect connexion that makes the two bodies move in harmony.
There is no 陰 “in”, there is no 陽 “yô”, there is only “inyô”. Unity.
But Sensei’s presence is also 囲繞 (inyô) “surrounding” or “enclosing” his opponent with 心身一如, (shinshininyo), a full unity of his body and mind. This is the perfect illustration of his Budô, i.e. “unity in multiplicity”. When the “two become one”, when “duality becomes unity”, true Budô is achieved.
If it is obvious when I watch it, I find it hard to do it myself. But I guess it is normal. At least it gives us a hint on which direction we need to continue digging. Budô is an endless and personal path, and it is nice to be aware of your own limitations. These limitations are the reason why it is worth coming to train in Japan with Sensei.
When Hatsumi Sensei moves he is in tune with his opponent. He looks like an ink brush running on the paper and creating, out of nowhere, something meaningful. There is no hurry, no tensions, because Sensei owns the 空間 (Kûkan) and uke is unknowingly trapped into it.
Sensei does nothing, therefore uke cannot react and is captured by his own intentions. As he doesn’t do anything, everything is always in harmony, and nothing is left to be undone.