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Applying Daito Ryu Body to Body Teaching into Music

26 August 2021

11:00 - 11:30 hrs (GMT+7)

Thanapol Setabrahmana



Puntwitt Asawadejmetakul


The search for a remedy began when I noticed that what I do is not exactly what I describe to my student. Demonstration through instruments and sounds can only bring us so far; imitation of sounds produced without proper understanding of the mechanical movement within can lead to injuries after long hours of practice. With the help of anatomical understanding, some students may logically understand a bit better, but struggle to fully grasp the workings of the internal process. For instance, the word “relax” is very commonly misunderstood. The word can misleadingly evoke the image of a loose or collapsing body,  when in fact a better explanation of the desired posture would be to stand firmly but freely and ready to move, which is a quite subjective description that is not as accurate as I would hope for it to be. After spending much time on this issue, I have come to realize that the “language barrier” may be the problem. Instead of trying to describe a sensation in our body that cannot be fully expressed by words, body to body teaching may help to facilitate a better understanding where language falls short.

Daito Ryu, the origin of many Japanese martial arts, is a training of both the external and internal that can only be learned through touch. The student must feel what is given in order to generate it themselves. Daito Ryu categorises its teaching into four stages. Each stage gives an explanation of how the body, energy and mind work. All of the stages can be applied to the body, energy and mind individually and in unity to create connections both internally and externally.

Haru (波留) is the first stage, in which one must sense the awareness of the neutral boundaries in the body, energy and mind, to heighten the sensitivity of oneself.

Irimi (入り身) is the introductory stage of connection between two objects, both inward and outward, to create the entering touch and to create the point of contact.

Awaze (合わせ) is the stage of harmonizing by expanding, absorbing and stretching the point of connection along the structure of given objects to strengthen the connections to the maximum.

Tenkan (転換) is the stage of conversion in which one senses or initiates the change and adapts to maintain connections.

The interdisciplinary application between Daito Ryu’s method and music teaching has not been evidenced before either in Thailand, Japan or any other countries. By experimenting with this method to both singers and instrumental musicians in a span of approximately one month, my students and I were able to communicate with the same understanding of the quality, quantity, timbre, shape, size, and direction and music in a more efficient way. Moreover, students were able to refine their realization of each body part and organ applications.

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