Ame-no-Ukihashi is a newly rediscovered form martial art with its roots in self awareness and cooperation with universal chi energy. Which allows a beautiful production between you and the universe. As all Arts and nature the basis of Ame-no-Ukihashi; is to be a part of a beautiful Production, you in beautiful harmony with your surroundings.
In the beginning early stages it teaches stillness while allowing chi energy to flow through your body on a subconscious level; by the use of your chakras known as the Vasuh letters and the hiragana symbols flowing through each chakra while posing still in the martial stance. At the same time you are learning Japanese and a unique way to communicate with chi energy.
In later stages when each stance is understood it allows one to engage in more indebt forms and even create your own technique as well as participate future productions.
It is to be noted that as stated early that this is a newly rediscovered martial art, the instructors are also students of the art. This means anyone who chooses to participate will have the same opportunity and growth as their instructors. To be apart of this is to be apart of something new and entertaining experience with great satisfying results. I Ninzuwu we respect and incorporated all form of martial art which we believe is all one form teaching different techniques of harmonizing an individual’s mind and body. In the segment we will be talking about Akido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven also known as Ame-no-ukihashi.
“Fitting together opposing forces with Ki and training the attractive forces that are thereby created.” –Akido
Standing on the Floating Bridge of Heaven with “Akido”
The “Floating Bridge of Heaven” (天の浮橋) is “AME-NO-U-UKI-HASHI” and contains all the base vowels “A I U E O” (you may have heard these vowels chanted in Misogi exercises). The vowels are a mnemonic for a description of the process by which the Floating Bridge connects Heaven and Earth:
A: 天（ア） 高天原 TA･KA･A･MA･HA･RA
“The High Plain of Heaven” is itself another mnemonic, we’ll examine that another time.
U: 結（ウ） 産 MU･SU
The “Tai-Kyoku” or “grand ultimate” joining fire and water, heaven and earth. Also, the connection, or “musu” in “Takemusu”
O: 地（オ） 淤能碁呂島 O･NO･KO･RO
“Earth”, literally “Onokoro Island”, the original island of Japan, formed by the gods who stood on the floating bridge.
And there you have it – a pretty neat description of the Floating Bridge itself. Coincidentally (or maybe not), it’s also a good description of the Chinese training methodology embodied in Heaven-Earth-Man that we discussed in “Aikido without peace or harmony“. The Floating Bridge of Heaven is the turning of fire and water bound together. Fire moves water, water is moved by fire. Fire and water are one thing. They turn in a spiral. They are entwined through Ki. That is something that is enacted through the breath (“iki”). This breath (“iki”) is Aiki.
Fire” and “Water” represent opposing “In” and “Yo” forces. In “Aikido without peace or harmony” we saw the importance of opposing forces that are fit together or connected with Ki. In fact, the Founder of akido stated that “Take Musu” is the training of the “Inryoku” (“Attractive Force”) created when opposing forces are connected by Ki. Comparing the two, you can see that the Floating Bridge and Heaven-Earth-Man are, in fact, discussing the same training methodology.
The above sequence of vowels describes the concept of the physical methodology of the Floating Bridge (a.k.a. “Heaven-Earth-Man”). These vowels were often rearranged by Morihei Ueshiba to represent different concepts. For example, the vowels were sometimes reordered to express the progression of spiritual training and development.
“The Floating Bridge of Heaven stands with Mind and Body correctly ordered, it must take the exact form of a cross.” – Morihei Ueshiba
It is said that Aikido must first stand on the Floating Bridge of Heaven. It is said that the Floating Bridge of Heaven is the exchange of Fire and Water. Precisely in the form of a cross, it is the world of Fire and Water in harmony. In other words, it is said the this world is created through the two actions of the twin gods Takami-Musubi and Kami-Musubi winding up in a spiral on the right and winding down in a spiral on the left. Fire (“Ka”) and Water (“mi”) become “Kami”, the source of this “Kami” (Fire and Water) returns to the one, but t he one becomes the source of the physical and the spiritual.
Kami-Musubi no Mikoto represents the principle of physical creation, of the vegetable and the animal. Takami-Musubi no Mikoto represents the principle of the creation of the mind and spirit. In other words, mind and body:
Ueshiba clearly delineates the combined opposing In-Yo forces, represented by Izanagi and Izanami. The left hand is Izanagi, the right is Izanami, in the center is Ame-no-mina ka nushi, this is yourself. Ame-no-minakanushi represents the “Boss”, the person in charge – and Ueshiba states that this person is you, yourself.
You can also see that he cites the two basic forces in the body – fire and water. These are so basic to the model that Ueshiba would often write “God” (“Kami”) as a combination of these two characters – fire (Ka) and water (Mi) (火水, Kan and Li in Chinese).
These are the two basic forces in the body in Chinese internal martial arts – along with Heaven and Earth they form the four cardinal directions in Taiji, which are mapped to the four basic Jin (勁) energies of Peng (掤 / wardoff), Lu (履 / rollback), Ji (擠 / press), An (按 / push).
Shinto theology of the Floating Bridge of Heaven
Stand on the Floating Bridge of Heaven” has a special meaning in Shinto theology. Suika Shinto was founded by the Edo Period Confucian scholar Ansai Yamazaki, and one of the secret traditions of that school is “The Transmission of the Floating Bridge of Heaven”. According to that tradition, it is written that the meaning of the “Floating Bridge of Heaven” is to open the impassable, to transmit the concept of In and Yo – to stand with In and Yo together. In other words, to reconcile two elements that are intrinsically opposed and un-combinable. This is the true meaning of “standing on the Floating Bridge of Heaven”.
The left hand is Izanagi, the right is Izanami, in the center is Ame-no-mina ka nushi, this is yourself. This is standing on the Floating Bridge of Heaven and turning in a spiral. This is called Taka-ama-hara. Heaven and earth are one unit, water and fire are also one unit, all appears through Iki (breath). This is the endless appearance of the Kami. Aiki technique comes forth endlessly.
Sifu Sam F.S. Chin: “Change is stable”
The only really stable position or “stance” from which to operate is on is this neutral point, which is itself constantly shifting – or we might even say…“Floating