Rethinking a Tanren-Uchi / Splitting Wood with an old Tire or two.

When Martin, my friend from Aikido, saw the punctured tire on my trailer, he had the good sense to suggest that I could turn it into a tanren uchi.At the time I laughed it off, as to my mind, the trailer tire was far too small to be useful in that capacity, and I also had been letting my Aiki training lapse in the face of pressure to get the yurts built and inhabited.

In a strange case of circularity, or perhaps synchronicity, the bearing in my remaining trailer tire blew out today as I was carrying some more wood to split, as well as a new splitting stump and two bald tires, courtesy of Canadian Tire’s dumpster (retrieved with permission I must add!).

After spending much of my time chasing split wood and tipped stumps, I knew there had to be a better way to get my wood put up, without investing in a commercial wood splitter.

Like many men, (and perhaps a few women…) I find splitting wood a relaxing and rewarding “chore”. I just want to be more efficient at it.

I had in my head to simply stack the tires on top of my new splitting stump, and then insert wood to be split into the tires.

With my tires positioned and my log in place, I was delighted with how well it worked, and the parallels to a true tanren uchi appeared before my eyes.

As an experiment, I really tried to channel all my bokken work at Aikido into my axe swing, and it seemed to work! Donna immediately called out, asking if I was using my ki-ai. I also made certain to strike shomen uchi from my centre, and drop my hips. I was able to clear out my slated wood in a true fraction of the time I had previously recorded. It was a great joy to be able to just cut, cut, cut.

Hopefully no one from my dojo will expect that my buki-waza is any improved from my extra shomen training, but I do like drawing lines between what I have learned on the mat and real-world applications whenever possible.


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