I utilised body positioning and gentle movement into my practice methodology and I began to get the results I wanted from this amazing body orientation approach. In 1995, I went to visit Dr Hatsumi to ask for guidance and the opportunity to demonstrate these principles to him. He was impressed with my progress and started to teach me on a one to one basis. He then granted me the Menkyo Kaiden (full teaching rights) of the ancient school of Hichi Buku Goshin Jutsu Ryu.
In addition, during the 1970s, Dr Oschman PhD, began to study the effects of pressure on the tissues of the body. His breakthrough in cellular make-up led to a new understanding on the evolution and makeup of body tissues. It also demonstrated the scientific basis for the interconnectedness and continuity of all parts of the living organism.4 This was another valuable piece of the puzzle in my quest for Dr. Hatsumi’s natural movement principle.
Also in the 1970s Dr Stephen Levin conceived of the ‘Law of Tensegrity’ entitled biotensegrity. This law states that the body is a tensegrous structure, implying that the soft tissues of the body provide tension and the bones and incompressible fluids in the body compartments provide compression.5
He describes the body as: “A soft tissue entity, with local bony spacers rather than a hard tissue entity with soft tissue motor units”.6
Hence the laws of physics and tensegrity created a base of evidence to support the concept that correctly angled and controlled pressure could change the nature of the body’s soft tissue when it is in trauma. The common denominator between this western scientific research, and the ancient eastern art of healing in which Amatsu has its roots is that Dr Hatsumi utilises both martially and clinically a pressure technique described in Japanese as San kaku jime.
This tactile pressure (San kaku jime), when applied to the body’s soft tissue, allows the practitioner to engage with the soft tissue without resistance and initiate movement at an injury site, in order to release spasms and restrictions around the joints. It also reconnects proprioception to the previous injury site as part of its protocol. Proprioception is the body’s internal sense of the physical self and a ‘knowing’ of where all parts of our body are at any time. It is essential to rehabilitation, whilst also accelerating the body’s balance to movement and healing.7