Presence and Chi Kung

Who am I, what do I stand for and how do I relate to my environment. These are all questions I ask myself after the Chi Kung lesson given by Andra Perrin. Andra gave the introductory lesson in the Dojo of Aikido Amsterdam.


In my Aikido lessons I often speak about being grounded and to feel your foundation. But how do you do this and how do you experience where your strength lies. And also: what are your weaknesses. Andra is able to take you on a quest through your own body. First through individual exercises and later with a partner.


The lesson starts with an exercise by laying on the floor. How can we get more in contact with the back of our body, the lower back for most of us. Laying down I manage to give more attention to it, by letting my leg and abdominal muscles work and to breathe to my back.

I take this feeling with me when I’m standing up. We try to be grounded in one position, doing this by to ‘push’ and ‘pull’ with our muscles both up and down. This exercise is not easy, but there’s a world of feelings opening up. Then we try to equal all sides at the same time. However, we all have our preferences. By the guidance of Andhra and a touch on the right place, I feel grounded and centered.


The next step is to take this feeling into movement, in our case with a partner. Andra let us feel, with a simple partner exercise where our strength or weakness is. I learn quite a lot by observing each other. After the last exercise I manage to stay calm. I can stay centered, also under increasing pressure from a partner. What a nice experience and so much to think about.

Photocredits: Andra Perrin